Stitching Bevy is a collective of two women, Emily Runyan and Faith Agostinone-Wilson, who currently use fiber arts to explore a range of design possibilities along with the political implications of textiles. Currently Stitching Bevy has three divisions. The first is our reproduction vintage clothing and accessories, which reflects a keen interest in the legacy of handmade. These are sold through our website and at the Dandelion Gallery in Waukegan, Illinois. The second division is our historical costuming, with a focus on Victorian and Civil War eras, sold through our website. The third division is our modern art quilts, which have examined political issues such as feminism, domestic violence, women’s labor, same-sex marriage, and economic inequality. Our quilts are exhibited at various local venues as well as online. In addition to our gallery and website work, we also host a free sewing circle the third Sunday of every month in the hopes that others will share in the communal benefits of textile arts.
Both of us came to textiles several years after our studio training from fine arts backgrounds, finding it a more flexible media to work with. Stitching Bevy uses all manner of fiber arts, including knitting, crochet, machine and hand quilting, hand dying, garment construction, embroidery, and photo transfer. We often incorporate repurposed antique and vintage materials into our work, so the old often takes on a new life of its own. The relative anonymity of textiles is often its own strength because it flies under the radar. Viewers aren’t often sure what to think when they encounter crafted objects in gallery contexts. Rather than conforming our work to a traditional fine arts vision, we attempt to bring the craft ethos into the gallery.