Friday, May 22, 2015

Sandra Lauterbach - Report about the SAQA Conference in Fiberlandia

Thoughts about Fiberlandia by Sandra Lauterbach

I attended Fiberlandia--SAQA's 2015 conference in Portland, Oregon.  It was my second SAQA conference.  It is a great way to meet other art quilters and to put faces with the names of people you have read or heard about.  Everyone wears a badge with their name and hometown in BIG LETTERS!  The conference started Thursday afternoon and ended Sunday at noon.  People came from South Africa, Australia, France and Canada.

There are a lot of benefits to attending the conference.  For example, besides meeting other art quilters, there are practical tips about marketing, social media, photography (from the last conference when Gregory Case spoke), and photoshop.  The content depends on the speakers.  You can find out about opportunities to get more involved with SAQA.  That is how I got involved with the JAM sub-committee.

There were several panels.  One was of international artists and their work.   Gul Laporte, from France, made an interesting point.  She said that American quilts tend to use brighter, "in" trendy colors versus European quilters tend to more muted colors.  Rosalie Dace and Hsin-Chen Lin (involved with the Taiwan Quilt Show) were the two other international artists on that panel. The other panels consisted of 1) students in MFA and BA programs; and 2) Quilters from Washington and Oregon. Some amazing pieces and stories.  

Maria Shell from Alaska (where she lives in an off the grid home with her family) spoke about getting grants and writing proposals.  Maria was enthusiastic, inspiring and informative.  If you want to receive Maria’s mailings about show opportunities, she said to email her at  Maria said she views each rejection notice she receives as bringing her that much closer to an acceptance letter—very positive attitude!

Namita Gupta Wigger mentioned criticalcraftforum.comShe spoke about quilts and art.
Everyone sits at large round tables for the panel discussions and general meetings—which is a great way to meet other artists.  There is also a choice of smaller breakout sessions.  I picked one that dealt with social media. Most people arrived Thursday in time for the small vendor mall--hand dyed fabrics, yarn, clothing and KAI scissors.  There was a short meeting for JAMs and prospective JAMs.  Sharon Bass was "speed dating"  (as she called it) --meeting individually with people interested in applying to be a JAM and reviewing their work.

Thursday night Lyric Kinard organized a type of “round robbin” collage ice-breaker.   There was a general meeting with the SAQA board and you could meet the members.  "Maker Space" took place one evening.    There were different tables where you could try out paint sticks, sashiko stitching, machine felting and more.

Saturday night was dinner and the SpotLight Auction of 6” x 9” pieces donated by SAQA members. The auction raised over $14,000 this year!  It is a great way to get your work known.

The SAQA members from the Portland area went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  They organized various tours for Saturday afternoon--from walking in the arts district to going to the falls.  

The conference ended Sunday at noon.  Beth Smith and Charlotte Bird from Visions Art Museum spoke about the museum's origins, its programs and its exhibitions.  One tip for applying to Visions is to submit photos of work that is in a series.

It is interesting that SAQA members in the Portland area and also around San Francisco have monthly meetings with large attendance;  members drive up to 3 hours to go to them.  Why is it different in So Cal? Our traffic?  better weather?  or???

Monday, April 13, 2015

Member Profile: Serena Brooks

Serena Brooks
Los Angeles, CA

1.  Describe the work that you make.  I grew up in the 60's and 70's so I'm drawn to anything bold and graphic -- from art and architecture to home furnishings, color palettes, and TV and movie credits.  My art reflects the influences of that time period.

2.  Do you have a signature style? In addition to being influenced by the era, my contemporary style has been clearly influenced by my parents.  My father was an ultra contemporary, mid-century architect and my mother was an accomplished seamstress who made our clothes and my father's 3-piece suits!  Although my techniques vary, bold design, geometric shapes and saturated color permeate my art.

3.  Favorite color palette?  I have to force myself to NOT to use complementary blue/green and red/orange, which must clearly be my favorite palette!

4.  How do you work?  Do you piece, raw edge applique, fuse, glue, etc.?  I'm most creative when I alternate between piecing and fusing.  I also paint, dye, knit and needlepoint so that I can be cross-training my brain and hands all the time.  I also like to be working on a few pieces at different stages of development at any given time, so that I can take a break, for example, from designing a piece up on the wall, to something else like quilting or trying out a new color palette with paints.

Aleph Bet  2014 55x41

5.  Where do you find your inspiration?  So many places... my eyes are always wide open which constantly annoys my two teenagers.  They are known to complain about my taking detours to look at a building or making a dead-stop in front of a greeting card that caught my eye.  However, I have to admit that my main source of inspiration is watching what happens on my design wall when two pieces of fabric or two remnants from other projects accidentally collide.  Many of my pieces begin when I'm not even TRYING to be inspired, I just notice what's going on up on the wall!  I recently squared up a quilt, and instead of throwing the edges away, I pinned them up on my design wall... and behold, a quilt idea surfaced -- loud and clear!

6.  Do you enter your work in shows?  List your top 3 exhibits that you work has been shown in, and what year.  Yes, I do enter shows and I occasionally have my own solo shows.  Top 3 exhibits:  International Quilt Festival Houston -- 2008, 2010 and 2014; QUILTCON  2013 and 2015; AQS Paducah  2011 and 2013.
Stitched Paint 2014  82x61

7.  Describe your studio space?  I am fortunate to have a very large room just outside my main house, as my studio.  I have a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling foam core-covered design wall, which is covered with both my current piece, and also lots of inspirational photos and drawings as well as notes, for future projects.  I also usually have a few free-standing foam core pieces around the sides of the studio with other projects pinned up, that I can move closer or further back, as I'm working on them.  I have my sewing machine always set up, either in the drop down quilting position into my sewing table, or up ready to piece.  My machine FACES my main design wall so I'm always looking at what I'm working on while I sew.  A long table on risers stands perpendicular to my machine table -- half is a cutting surface and half an ironing surface.  My threads, notions and smaller cutting mats hang on a nearby wall so that I have easy access to them as need be.  My fabrics are stored in covered bins:  One group of bins contain a combination of non-cotton fabrics and cotton prints, sorted by color family; one group of bins contain Kona cotton solids, sorted by color family; and then I have one large tray of pre-fused fabrics sorted by color family.  Paints, dye supplies, fusibles and books are stored in a closet until I need to pull them out to work on a given project.
Mid-Century Modern 2013  45x78

8.  How do you balance your life between art, family, friends, etc?  I find that I HAVE to make art every day, so there's my balance.  If I take good care of me, then I can be much more available to my family and friends, and it's really important to me to be present and available to them!
Math Homework 1  2012 36x30

9.  What other professional organizations are you affiliated with? IQA, AQS, LA Modern Quilt Guild
Math Homework II  2012  36x30

10.  When did you make your first art quilt?  Year.  2004

and Serena occasionally teaches, when asked.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Member Profile: Ann Turley

Ann Turley
Fallbrook, California

Why Not Be Creative!

This sounds a bit cliché, but I don’t ever remember not sewing, crafting, or doing something creative. My mom was very versatile with her little Singer featherweight, and I sat at her feet from a very young age, watching her create wonderful things to wear, plus fabulous draperies, pillows and accessories. She even reupholstered the station wagon one summer! She had a huge influence on me, encouraging me to sew my own clothing so that I could have the latest styles. Hot pants, miniskirts and Nehru jackets filled my closet. From this I learned to put fabrics and colors together, and sew curved and inset seams. Who knew that many years later, these skills would come in handy as I learned to quilt! 

As a child of the 50s and 60s, I learned many of the popular crafts of the era – macramé, knitting, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint and counted cross stitch. Quilting crossed my radar in the early nineties when I started searching for yet another way to express myself. While learning traditional skills and techniques were a very necessary part of the process, I really wanted to express myself artistically in fiber and color. I wanted to create fiber art! As a child I exhibited a bit of talent and was selected to attend art classes offered to a select few by the San Diego school district. Wow, what fun that was! Every Saturday for two years I learned to sketch, work with color and play with technique. But I was a practical child, so in high school I put away my paints and focused on academics. 

As a quilter, these talents reemerged when I began to draw my patterns and use color to my advantage. As I worked up the courage to enter my work in larger shows and exhibitions, I found myself a mentor, Desiree Habicht. Desiree pushes me to be and do my best. She can be brutally honest, but in the end, I have always benefitted from her advice. Even today as I work on a new piece, I can hear her saying “make those shadows darker! Go big, go bold!” or, “I like your idea, but…” 
Just Passing Through by Ann Turley

I have been very fortunate to have pieces selected for two SAQA exhibitions – Sense of Scale (“Orbs in Transition”) and Redirecting the Ordinary (“Forke Family Secrets”). I also have a quilt in the 2015 AQS Paducah Quilt, as a first time entrant (“Just Passing Through”).

There’s much I have learned about art over the years, but there is always so much more to learn. I love the process, and every day is a new adventure!
Fork Family Secrets by Ann Turley

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Workshops at Quilters Studio in Newbury Park

2015 Art Quilt Workshops at the Quilters Studio in Newbury Park

Workshops with National Teachers
Indigo & Shibori with Lisa Walton. 

Sat - Sun, Apr 25 & 26
Explore the magical properties of Indigo with stitching and clamping fabric in the shibori style. Combine these techniques for a fabulous selection of original indigo dyed fabrics. Skill Level - beginner
Material fee will be required (TBD) Note new days and lower tuition! Tuition:  $225, Call to register, space is limited! 805-480-3550

Neutral Territory: 50 Shades of Gray with Carol Soderlund.

Fri - Tue, July 31 - Aug 4, 2015
Have you been frustrated when the dye houses discontinue one of your favorite black dyes? Do you sigh in frustration, because all the samples you have developed with these dye go out the window? Learn about making your own black mixes from the pure primary dyes. We will create the ever elusive
• Neutral blacks, that gradate to neutral grays • Warm blacks, that gradate to pinky lavender • Cool blacks, that gradate to steely blue •Grunge blacks, that gradate to greenish hues
In addition the class will cover creation of many neutral studies--tans, browns, gray-blues, gray-reds, and other chromatic grays. Think of the palest alabaster to inky night sky--all values ranges will be examined. Taupes and tans can be fascinating as well--ecru, heath, titanium, putty, and driftwood. Sharing our results, we will compile a large reference book--our own 50 Shades of Gray will just be the beginning of our explorations in Neutral Territory, as we cross into 50 Shades of Brown as well. 
Call to register, space is limited!   Tuition $600, $75 non-refundable deposit require 

For Website, click here

Monday, March 16, 2015

Member Profile: Suzie Hammond

Suzie Hammond, formerly from Southern California, but now lives in Chile.
1. Describe the work that you make;  Like the melodic, complex classical or jazz usually playing in my studio (think Schéhérazade or The Lady is a Tramp) my favorite art works are subject driven. Social commentary is where I mostly live artistically. Depicting the homeless vet with old kakis purchased off the scrap table, showing the unbalanced student who is hallucinating violence or the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and tsunami in Chile where I used fabrics in a paper pieced collapsing house block from a recovered ladies’ dress found on the beach are examples.

2. Do you have a signature style?  For most of my quilting life, which started in the 1970’s I did not have access to all the goodies available in the US where they were being invented. As soon as the US started to develop the delights of interesting cottons and tools like rotary cutters my husband’s musical career had enticed us to Canada. Then as the first imports trickled across the border we were heading to Australia, then England,with short bursts in China and Russia. Now Chile is home. Every move was right before quilting tools, books and cottons got there. So I always used whatever came to hand in terms of fiber content. What I was doing was considered ‘not real quilting’ or ‘real art’ anyway. But it satisfied my creative urges.

Since I was a photographer, developing my own photos in chemicals I was an early experimenter with photos to fabric. I had to make my own ‘Bubble Jet’ for years as it was totally unobtainable unless someone carried a bottle back from the US for me. Signature-wise I make a lot of fabric via printer and permanent ink dyes. Only when we were living in the US did I get the huge stores and low shipping prices that others have access to all the time. So I often have to make what I want to use. There are many more options now of course. But I have still stayed with the love of photo work and simply dyed and stamped fabrics. (Tea and hair dye being favorites.) I love my permanent pigment printer and hallelujah! these printers and their inks are one technological thing cheaper in South America than in the US.

3. Favorite color palette?  I love just about everything but yellow/orange are my least used colors. A good challenge can always change my mind for a while but generally I tend to decorate in blues/greens/purples/reds/blacks

4. How do you work?  Experimentation with technique is always fun as it adds to the tools I can use to further a statement. But for setting my mind to creating some art the idea always comes first for me. The portrayal of how transient life is for example is the focus of an ongoing series that started in 1995. I have used many a photo of a South American crypt, photos of animal skeletons and photos of ancient archeological ruins for those. These are all exclusively photo based and there are 2 more planned. Scrap piecing,paper piecing, raw edge applique, fusing and gluing are all there along with painting and dyeing and whatever else will get the job done. Like most artists every color, thread type, photo, overlay, etc. is calculated to add to the overall statement I want to communicate on a visceral level. It very much depends on project results desired. But I almost always have some photo layers in there somewhere.Then standing back and discovering how others view your work is always a delight as each individual brings their own history to the work.

5. Where do you find your inspiration? Perhaps examples of the process would illustrate best. As a writer I am a story oriented person so the curiosity behind why a house by the side of the road was abandoned can fascinate me for a long time. It leads me to do a series on abandoned dwellings—Just past a beautiful collapsed adobe off a dirt road in Ecuador I talked to the lady in the little corner grocery. There was a bad cholera epidemic years ago she says and everyone in that house died. Another house in Chile was left because the family was out of favor when the government changed and they had to flee. They are in Canada but still own the property. The series ended with our own beloved ruined burnt out house in California before it was torn down. In addition to the actual photos and piecing of the houses each work had bits of the story of that particular house in it. The blood stained corner of kitchen towel I found in the house from the fleeing family. Using black and the colors of sickness in the cholera work, photos of album covers from the 2500 records that were burned in our house. I use these not so much because anyone would pick up the significance but I knew they were there. I included the location and some of the house’s stories in the notes. Since I adore narrative and explanation I figure others do to.

While a work can definitely stand on it’s own merit I also think art can often be even more loved when there is more information about the who, when and where. A life of dealing with some of nature’s calamities has me toying with all the earthquakes, tsunamis, lava flows and hurricanes in my life, but it hasn’t developed into enough of a thread yet. Just the experiences alone aren’t enough for me, I need a story thread.The stories behind the lives we lead and the problems and solutions we create intrigue me and I love portraying them. Commentary art is the home of my heart and so any good story, cultural difference or idea will captivate me.

6. Do you enter your work in shows? US quilt shows were mostly out of my reach for many years. Instead I have shown work in art galleries/shows and sold to corporations and art collectors. I found that well mounted or stretched quilts were often accepted if it was presented in terms show organizers and patrons could understand.  Because I was out of country, and not in Europe, the most recent impressive sounding exhibitions I have done would be the invitational shows from the US Embassy art and culture events, plus collectors events. (Chile, Argentina and Ecuador 2009-2014)

7. Describe your studio space.  For the last 5 years I have been split between 2 very small bedrooms in our rental house. We are currently building a new house here in Santiago, Chile and I am welcoming all ideas for my 25x15 studio! I have a 12’longarm machine which will be set up mid-room. There will be two framed 4x8 sheets of batting covered insulation on one side creating an 8x8ft wall with lots of projects in process. Hubby gets the sunshiny side of the house for the music studio and I am backed up against the granite hillside. There will be lots of light and airflow via clerestory windows and sliding glass windows with an extra dark closet full of shelves for fabric storage. There is a custom designed L-Shaped sewing area overlooking the second story view of the valley and the city. It has oversized desk top with drawers and cupboards underneath for tool storage. I have a couple of machines and an overlocker too so I wanted room to swing back and forth between projects.Flooring will be torn brown packing paper—layers of this with polyurethane over it looks like polished leather and wears like hardwood without the cost. You DIYers looking for a new cheap floor should check You-Tube. That project will have me slaving over it before the actual move in the next few months. There will be an inside/outside, painting/dyeing, dog washing shower area.Am I spoiled or what? But all suggestions are welcomed as we are building still. Here many materials are more costly than the US but labor to have cupboards built is inexpensive. So what have I missed on the wish list?

8. How do you balance your life between art, family, friends, etc? I’ve always been a writer, homeschooling teacher- due to our globe trotting, and an artist. Our kids are grown and flown the nest but these activities could be done anywhere, anytime. Carl’s musical events- a few months in Russia, a year in England, time in Australia, etc. created an oddball lifestyle and schedule. The result was a far flung network of good friends and family mean we can go many places and have a pillow for our heads in many countries. Skype makes it all seem much closer than it is and we use it almost daily along with semi-regular trips back to the US.

9. What other profession organizations are you affiliated with?  SAQA has an international reach and offers great value for the dues. I locally hang out with all sorts of artists plus there is now a lady who has organized a quilt group and they are making log cabins and coming to use my machine. There is a good sized show in Brazil which is the other side of the continent. (By the way Brazil has the most awesome cotton batting anywhere if you ever get the chance to use it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Regional Show - Oasis

Southern California and Southern Nevada SAQA members

We invite you to submit an art quilt for a juried exhibition that will debut at Oasis Palm Springs in early October and travel onto PIQF in mid-October 2015

We present "Oasis" as the theme for the exhibition
A place to feel replenished, relaxed, rejuvenated, and restored.  It could be a favorite vacation spot, a concert, or somewhere in your neighborhood, your backyard, or even the oasis within.  A time or experience that is pleasant and restful.  We all have our own personal oasis' in physical, metaphorical or filed away as a memory.  Where do you go to find your oasis?
18" wide by 40" high - vertical format
Nothing hanging off the sides, top or bottom of quilt.  No weights in the bottom portion of the quilt.

We will use the online entry system 'Art Call'
Entry Fee $25/for up to three pieces
Online entry from July 1 - August 1
Deadline is August 1 at Midnight Eastern Time
Acceptances/Rejections - August 6
Late August/Early September - Quilts due

Member will pay for shipping both ways
One paragraph artist statement about the work that you created
Jurors:  Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. 

email Jamie Fingal at if you are interested in volunteering your time with the shipping committee. Here is a list of the committee jobs/descriptions and the volunteers who have come forward to help in blue
Gay McNeal:  Wall Cards for the exhibit - typed on cardstock in the Mancuso format and will be shipped with the quilts to Palm Springs.  Text can be uploaded from Art Call site.

Shipping Committee:   
1.  Help with check in of the quilts at my art studio in Orange, CA - on a Saturday or an agreed upon date.(2 people)
2.  Help with packaging up the quilts to ship to the Mancuso's (2 people)
3.  Help with checking the quilts in when they come back to Orange, CA (2 people)
Docents at the shows to talk about the quilts - Oasis - Palm Springs venue and
PIQF - Santa Clara.  Text can be uploaded from Art Call site ahead of time.

Eileen Wintemute:  Finances - keeps track of all expenses for the exhibit.  Works with Curator.

Catherine Baltgalvis:  Exhibit Catalog Designer - design a self published book about the exhibit, uploading images and text from the Art Call site.

Let's all make a quilt for this regional exhibit and support our region and SAQA!  It will be fabulous!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

quilts exhibit in Long Beach, CA

quilts, the month of march, by joanell connolly and friends - cindy cooksey, jeanette kelly, peggy calvert, stacy hurt, susan willen and vickie valdez-green.  opening reception is sunday, march 8 from 12:30 to 2:30pm.  artist walk at 1pm

unitarian universal church of long beach, 5450 e. atherton st, long beach.  gather your friends and GO!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Member Profile: Cuauhtemoc Kish

Cuauhtémoc’s Journey to Sewing Machine Stardom and Thread Fame

     My initial journey into fabric art actually took form at a place called Ayers Rock (Uluru) in central Australia. It was at this hot and bug-infested location where I managed to catch my breath after suffering the first part of a whirlwind vacation that was moving so fast I had lost all contact with real time.

     After a bumpy, wild ride on a camel near the infamous Red Rock, I happened upon a souvenir shop that featured fabric art by a heralded textile artist who boasted the moniker, Caroline Sharkey.  After my purchase, I realized that Caroline was in residence at the artist-in-residence gallery near this very shop.  While observing this talented quilter I made a vow to myself that I would learn how to create fabric art masterpieces, just like my newly discovered mentor.

     When I returned home to San Diego I took my first-ever sewing class in an attempt to master a simple straight line on a sewing machine. I was awarded a “Certificate of Course Completion” in Sewing Fundamentals in 2012. Following this course I was introduced to my second mentor, Karen Cunagin. She took my hand and instructed me in the basics of fabric art, which laid the foundation to the blissful anguish and the many joys of quilting. 

     While I’m still looking for my signature style I tend to enjoy bold colors (reds and purples) and challenging fabrics. Most of my fabric art is rendered using a fused appliqué technique, while inspiration comes at odd times, but mostly during a very sound and uninterrupted sleep. 

     In 2014 I had the audacity to enter several national and local shows and had some 17 pieces juried into these exhibitions (Chandler’s Vision Gallery, La Conner Quilt Museum and the Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza XXI, to name a few).
Fiesta. 46x26.  Fused applique, machine quilted, silks

     My studio space is small (a corner of the bedroom that my dog, Yatzachi, allows me to inhabit), but it affords me ample space to conduct quilting business. And, yes, it is a business; I’ve had the good fortune to sell my work and almost show a profit on my latest Federal Tax Form. 

     Like many fabric artists I have become somewhat obsessed with quilting (Admittedly, it’s really about purchasing fabric), but many who know me think that’s not a bad thing. Some members of my immediate family have blatantly opined that it’s much better for the world if I confine myself within my studio than venture out into the outside world where I may cause havoc and mayhem (mostly to myself).

     Like so many before me have said, quilting has opened the door to meeting diverse and wonderful quilters and some very accomplished artists. Almost all are kind, caring, and generous individuals who respect the work and effort that it takes to finish a project. Currently I am a member of SAQA, Visions Art Museum (San Diego), Canyon Quilters, American Quilter’s Society, and a local group called the Sew ’n Sews. All of these groups and organizations support me on many different levels. And I would not be the fabric artist I am today without their support, as well as their truthful critiques along the way.
Birdman 17x18. Fused applique, machine quilted, silks and hand-dyes

     Although I have made progress I have still much to learn. After returning from a trip to Mexico in mid-February I discovered the email news from Martha Sielman regarding my JAM application; I had been rejected. The JAM Review Committee found my work to be “fun and enjoyable” but suggested a more cohesive body of work (I’m not certain I know what that means?). 

     However, I do know that my journey into the world of fabric art has allowed me to express myself visually and artistically. And although I don’t know if I’ll have enough time to cultivate a cohesive JAM-like voice, it doesn’t make much difference to me because right now, at this very moment, I’m still enjoying the journey and having a very good time.

Visit Cuauhtermoc's website

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts in La Habra Heights

Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts - Friday to Sunday, February 20-22.  2000 West Road, La Habra Heights

Gallery Hours:  Fri/Sat 10am - 5pm; Sun 11:30am - 5pm.  Free admission.  Shuttles available