St. Catherine of Bologna
Ringwood Manor
Ringwood Library Exhibits


The Ringwood Library in conjunction with the St. Catherine of Bologna Patron of the Arts Association presents the fabric art of Gemma Potts which will be featured at the library from May 23rd until June 30th, 2018.

Gemma Potts discovered art quilting about four years ago. She comes from a family line of Italian women who worked with their hands as fine and fabric artists. Her mom was a water color artist, crafter, and seamstress. Her paternal grandmother was a professional embroiderer in the NY garment district and Paterson silk mills. Her mom taught her dress making, knitting, and hand embroidery which she learned from nuns in a convent school in Italy.

She is a self taught quilter who broke every quilting rule she never learned. Not knowing what is allowed and what isn’t, she learned from watching videos on You Tube, Craftsy, and various blogs by Leah Day, and Jennifer Olfenstein and friends and tried everything. Some things failed, and others took.

Her favorite pattern designer project was Jennifer Olfenstein's “ Project of Doom” and was based on paper piecing. The patterns for the Harry Potter Quilt can be found at the site, “” for free. The quilt is king sized and took three years to piece. There are some hidden objects in this quilt that may be found in the book, but not in the movies. Can you find them? Because of its size and weight, it will not be quilted, so it can be hung for display in various libraries to encourage children to read.

In order to put titles on the books, she had to buy an embroidery machine, and learned how to machine embroider. Credit for the patterns for piecing and embroidery belong to members, where many other patterns of fandoms are available. This project has an accompanying Facebook page for support. On it, Gemma traded fabric with people from all over the world, including England, Germany, Holland and Australia and incorporated them into her quilt, while forming some very good quilting friendships.

Gemma learned about a fabric company’s popular quilting challenge, known as "The Hoffman Challenge. “ A particular piece is produced every year and printed in both a colorful chromatic pattern and a black and white pattern. It is part of a line being promoted for the year. The challenge is to use the fabric and produce a wall hanging quilt that shows off the fabric line. The photos of these quilts are sent to the company. If the quilt is accepted, the quilt is shipped to the company and included in one of many trunk shows that are shipped to various parts of the United States and featured in quilt shows. So far, Gemma has made “Dragon’s Keep” which traveled in 2016, and a different “Gandalf” that is traveling now in 2018.

Her current piece, Ballons in NYC is the piece she intends to enter for the 2018 show. The small Gandalf you see above is actually her first attempt at practicing thread painting, and a sketch from an artist names Tomas Ouerbach was used for inspiration. Once the process of thread painting was practiced, she incorporated it into the Hoffman challenge piece. That one is traveling this year.

As a member of the Brownstone guild for a year in 2017, Gemma was given a challenge of using a piece of orange fabric to make a home of a person either fictional or famous using the fabric. She made Frank Lloyd Wright’s home Falling Water. The quilt won first place for the challenge.All of the quilted pieces are quilted by machine in free motion style using polyester embroidery thread.

She learned how to quilt by watching Leah Day videos on You tube, and as well as on Leah’s site. She quilts for family and friends and to improve her skills for now. These quilts are not for sale. Now Gemma is working with group in Pompton Plains, known as Quilting for A Cause, and helps make quilts for the homeless, orphanages, and women shelters in the local area and NY City. This group is founded and run by Rosemary Phalon and accepts donations. 

Ringwood Manor Association of the Arts

Chartered by the State of New Jersey in 1966, Ringwood Manor Association of the Arts(RMAA) is a non-profit, non-political organization with over 250 members. Membership categories are designed to give all members a chance to participate in the organization, which is dedicated to providing visual arts opportunities for interested persons of all ages. RMAA has an international membership, with the majority of our members coming from Northern New Jersey and neighboring New York state. All officers and directors are volunteers who donate their time and energy to further the Association, as do many of our members. With its home in historic Ringwood State Park, RMAA an Officially Recognized Friends Organization (O.R.F.O.) of the NJ State Park System. The Barn Gallery is located in Ringwood Manor’s Carriage House and offers a showcase for artists of all media. Presenting six exhibitions in 2015, RMAA always welcomes new members and artists.  

West Milford Camera Club

The West Milford Camera Club was founded 1987. Thier purpose is to bring together photographers from West Milford and surrounding communities for a mutual sharing of information and inspiration. They are also happy to respond to requests from our town and participate in its endeavors. During the year they hold meetings at 8:00 PM on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at The West Milford Presbyterian Church at 1452 Union Valley Road in the center of town. A wide range of photographic interests are shared by the members and we keep an open mind toward the various means of creative expression. Exhibitions, workshops, speakers and field trips are some of the ways we keep ourselves involved in the craft.



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