Friday, March 15, 2019

Meet Sue Bates

Meet Sue Bates

1: When did you start making art quilts?

In 1998 I walked into my local quilt shop and signed up for beginning quilt making.  I had limited experience sewing and did everything by hand.  I made placemats and a twin-sized quilt for my daughter all pieced and quilted by hand.  Soon after I joined my local quilt guild, Quilters By the Sea.  They were starting special interest groups and I joined the Art Quilt group. It was a small group with talented art quilters. I learned a lot from them.
2: What type of work do you do - abstract/realist/representational...? What styles or techniques do you use? 
I love experimenting with new materials and techniques.  The past two months I have been monotype printing (Gelli plates and plexiglass plates) using acrylic paints (some fabric paints, some not) on fabric.  I also dye and paint my own fabric.  This week I have been rust dyeing.  It is so exciting to play with something new!
3: How did you learn the techniques you use? (Did you study with a mentor, self-taught, etc?)
I have to say that the small art quilt groups, like my regional SAQA group and my SAQA Pod, Rhode Island Threads, are inspirational and instructive for me.  I have taken a few workshops at ProChem in Fall River.  The most recent was in 2017 with Carol Anne Grotrian.  She is such an empowering teacher I went home and started dyeing at home and organized a Shibori Indigo Dyeing get-together outdoors the following June.  Such fun!

4: Do you have a favorite color palette? 
I love color but I am giving a lot of thought to the color green.  There are so many subtleties and it is so abundant in nature.
5: Are you working on a particular theme or series now? Tell us more about it.
have been doing a lot of flowers and plants.  I started with some purple cone flowers and one thing just led to another, daffodils, violets, sunflowers, vegetable seedlings.
6: How do you work?  Give us some insight into your design process?
I also love watercolor on paper.  So I go back and forth between fabric and paper.  Sometimes I do a watercolor and think this would make a great art quilt.  Other times my goal is an art quilt and I make a quick sketch and/or watercolor to work on design, value, and color.
7: Do you work on a single project at a time or do you work on multiple pieces at once?
I always have multiple projects going at one time.  If I cannot progress on one, for whatever reason, I work on another.  Sometimes I have to do something else to let my mind work on a problem in the background.
8: What are your sources of inspiration?   Nature and my local SAQA groups
10: What are your goals or aspirations for your art?
This is an interesting question, goals and aspirations.  Generally I follow a path without thinking too far ahead.  So for now I want to continue playing with new materials, painting and dyeing fabric.  I think I would like to expand my use of untraditional objects on my quilts.  I think I should push myself a bit to get my quilts into public view.  I have avoided calls for entry and exhibitions.  This is where I find my local SAQA members very helpful!
11: How are you making the most of your SAQA membership? Which aspects of the organization are you enjoying?
Besides meeting with my local SAQA members, I really look forward to reading the SAQA Journal. I like the connection with other quilt artists even if they live far away from me.

March 23, 2019 Regional Meeting at ProChemical and Dye

Next Regional Meeting on March 23, 2019

at ProChemical and Dye

in Fall River, MA

10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Be sure to join us for our next regional meeting on March 23, 2019 at ProChemical and Dye ( at 126 Shove Street, in Fall River, MA, with Vicki Jensen, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  If you have ever wondered about fabric paint and the use of gel plates in surface design, this meeting is for you.  Remember to bring your lunch and something for Show & Tell.  Guests are always welcome.

There will be time for some hands-on exploration after the presentation. If you want to participate, please bring two fat quarters of 100% cotton fabric, an apron, a couple of pairs of disposable gloves, a roll of plastic wrap/Saran wrap to cover each of your fat quarters and a small garbage liner or zip lock bag to transport your samples home in.  If anyone would like to place an order for any supplies, to save on shipping and receive an additional 10% discount, please call Vicki at 800-228-9393 no later than Thursday, March 20th. There will also be time to shop in their new showroom as well to purchase the products presented in the program at a discounted price.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Member News: Quilt for Change has a New Project! "Sister Artists"

Quilt for Change has a new project!

"Sister Artists” was launched this week. The main goal of this project is to raise funds for victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Mali in West Africa through an online auction of art quilts. On this project we are partnering with, The Advocacy Project , a Washington DC based non profit organization. For several years now, The Advocacy Project  has been working with Sini Sanuman, a Malian civil society organization which provides job training to survivors of Gender Based Violence Survivors. Sini Sanuman's newest venture, Sini Brodage, teaches the women to embroider.  

For this project, the women have embroidered 39 blocks depicting village life in Mali. Quilt for Change is looking for quilt artists to collaborate with these women and turn their embroidered blocks into art quilts. The quilts will be exhibited in Washington, DC in the fall of this year (venue to be determined), and then auctioned online to raise funds for Sini Brodage in Mali. Photos of the quilts will also be posted on the Quilt for Change and The Advocacy Project’s websites.

Hollis Chatelain, whose exhibit Stories of West Africa is traveling the US, has agreed to select one quilt for special recognition, and the artist of that quilt will receive a bundle of beautiful fabric from West Africa. Hollis says she will be looking for the quilt which best supports and raises up the art of the Malian women’s embroidery.

We understand it is a big ask to donate a quilt to be auctioned, but hope you will consider taking part in this project. All the details are on our website here: and on The Advocacy Project’s website. 

There are a limited number of blocks available, and we encourage you to enter as soon as possible. Blocks will be mailed in the order the entry fee is received, so please take a look as soon as possible. 

If you would like to know more about the work of The Advocacy Project, please visit their website to see the wide range of their programs. To see how they have incorporated quilting into their mission, visit the quilting section of their website here

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at Quilt for Change, or Karen Delaney at The Advocacy Project ( We encourage you to share this announcement with fellow art quilters who might be interested in participating.

Member News: Essex Art Center presents "Outside the Ordinary" featuring the Joined by Stitch critique group

The Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA presents ”Outside the Ordinary,” on view from March 22 to May 31, 2019. The exhibit features the work eight SAQA MARI members: 

Agusta Agustsson
Anne Kimball

The common thread binding the separate works together is the outside, the world that surrounds all of us. Each artist hopes that together their works will excite viewers to expand their own perception of the natural world outside to include a renewed awareness of its beauty, its particularity, and its fragility requiring our care and protection.

Join them at the opening reception on March 22, 2019 from 5 to 7 pm. The Essex Art Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and is located at 56 Island Street in Lawrence.

Member News: Gwyned Trefethen's Deconstructed Sunrise #1 will show in Sacred Threads

Gwyned Trefethen’s Deconstructed Sunrise #1 will be in Sacred Threads. It is part of the traveling exhibit. Details for Sacred Threads, including a slide show of the traveling exhibition can be found here: 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Allison Wilbur Teaches Shibori Dyeing Class

Shibori Dyeing Class

Meraki Studio, 30 Cutler St, Warren, RI

March 15, 2019 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Fee $75

Allison Wilbur will be teaching an all day Shibori Dyeing class at Meraki Studio in Warren, RI on Friday, March 15, 2019 from 10:00 am  - 4:00 pm. Shibori is an ancient Japanese art of dyeing using indigo dye combined with various folding, clamping, stitching and pole wrapping methods which creates beautiful geometrics and organic patterns. Spend a day learning how to create several patterns as well as how to mix the dye vat.

To sign up, contact Meraki Studio at

Hanabi (Fireworks) by Allison Wilbur

Fiber Art by Joan Blade Johnson and Catherine Whall Smith

The Ruth Wells Center for the Arts

 proudly presents:


Fiber Art by Joan Blade Johnson
and Catherine Whall Smith

March 3rd  - April 1st, 2019

Reception and Gallery Talk
Sunday, March 3, 2019, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
111 Main Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts 01550