Fabric artist Linda Shepard will return to the Camden Public Library with “Animal Alchemy,” an exhibit of colorful, vibrant quilt art, for the month of July. There will be an opening reception for the artist Tuesday, July 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The work features bold designs, making use of the fabric’s color, texture and patterns; and usually portrays colorful creatures from the animal kingdom. After years of making traditional quilts, Shepard learned fabric collage from Susan Carlson and said she immediately saw the limitless possibilities this technique could offer: “I was hooked. A new and liberating way to play with fabric!”

She starts with a piece of muslin. An outline of a subject is lightly sketched on it, and then hundreds of small pieces of fabric are glued onto the muslin, creating the image, much like making a mosaic. A layer of black tulle is put over the entire subject; cotton batting is used for the filling; and a single piece of fabric is added for the backing. She then free-motion sews over these four layers, binding them all together.

“The hours of slowly assembling and layering the small fabric pieces gives depth and texture,” she said. “I let the imagery and design elements build spontaneously, intuitively, without the interference of a predetermined result.”

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.