Sunday, April 27, 2014

MA/RI trunk show

In the last regional newsletter I talked about putting together a trunk show  to represent the diversity of styles and techniques of our MA/RI region SAQA members.  The trunk show will be available to travel to our regional meetings as well any parlor, quilt and art guild meetings and other interested groups or venues.  Each SAQA member can create a piece of work measuring 9” x 11” which will then be mounted on 11” x 14” mat board with a frame opening of 8” x 10.

I thought I'd show you the piece that I made for the trunk show so you can see how the pieces will  look mounted and framed:

Each piece will have an artists statement on the back and the entire thing will be packaged in a clear plastic sleeve so that it can be handled without damage.

 The collection will be available for any  SAQA member to use as a promotional tool for the MA/RI SAQA region and my hope is that it will travel all around our region and others as a way to promote SAQA, our region and our members.

Submission details for the trunk show:
Each piece must be 9”x 11” - unbound please as the edges will not be visible and the piece will be mounted on matboard.  Please keep any dimensional embellishments at least 1" from the edges.  Include a one page ( 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of paper) artist statement that has your name, the title of the piece, materials and techniques used and any contact information or other information about the piece you wish to include.   Please also email a copy of this statement to Sue at

Send the artwork Sue Bleiweiss to (or bring it to a future SAQA regional meeting) Please include $5.00 (make checks payable to SAQA) to cover the supplies needed to mount and frame the artwork.

Note that this is an open ongoing call for SAQA MA/RI members and there is no deadline to submit a piece for it.

If you've got your piece for the trunk show completed, send me a photo at so I can spotlight it here on the blog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What's going on in Nancy Turbitt's studio

Hi, I'm Nancy Turbitt. I live in rural Rhode Island and my studio, which I named Studio Girasole (Girasole is Italian for sunflower), is a large room at the back of my home. It is filled with light from sliders onto two decks, skylights and three large triple pane windows. Yes I am very fortunate that my husband has allowed me to overtake this gorgeous room. It gives me a lot of light when I want to be sure of my color choices but it presents problems in keeping fabrics from fading. Unlike Sue's new and neat studio, mine is always messy. You could do an I Spy with my photos.

I have been sewing art quilts since 1995, developing a style which is true to me. But only recently have I decided it is time to get serious. I stepped away from my full time retail position to be at home full time. I often help my husband at his jewelry store but for the most part this is the beginning of my retirement - straight into my art. I came to art quilts from two directions, as an art student-college trained, and as someone who learned to sew at age 11. I saw the 'Deck of Cards' exhibit in a Smithsonian Magazine and life has not been the same since. My two loves fused and I now have a path to pursue.

I am currently pursuing my goals as if they were a huge tree with many branches. My roots are solid and I am reaching for several goals concurrently. I am looking to build a body of work through several series, my Santa Fe series, my garden series, my fantasy series, and my nostalgia series. Each series will have 5 to seven pieces which are cohesive in style. I have completed some in each series. I am the queen of UFOs, moving from one quilt to the next as the need arises. Another goal is to exhibit as much as possible. So I have been looking at my drawings for each series critically so as to apply them to upcoming calls for entry. Due to time requirements I have moved from working one quilt to another to complete in time for a show. There is always something partly done on my board or on my table and I have a stack of UFOs awaiting the right time to get back to them.

I use cotton and silk fabric almost exclusively and keep most of it in an armoire which I keep closed when I'm not using it.

 I used to work for Fabric Place, which went out of business and when they did I purchased my work table which is massive, with an extension that I always have up and in use. Below the table are drawers and cupboards where I keep scads of things from my batting to buckets of trims, ribbons, beads and my finished quilts. I use my Bernina almost exclusively as it is a perfect work horse giving me even stitches without breaks. I also have an old brother I used for teaching kids, a Pfaff, and a Baby Lock serger. Mine is a dry studio. I do not do any dying any more, but rely on those who do and sell their hand dyes. I do have paints and fabric markers and some lino blocks so I can explore printing my own designs.

On my wall now is a piece from my fantasy series called Queen Bee, she is one of a series of nature royalty meant to awaken a spirit of concern for our environment. You can see corners of it but I am not showing it fully as I hope to enter her into a SAQA show this fall.

On my table you can see the backing roll of a piece I am doing for entry to one of the IQF shows. I cannot show you any of that at all. There is a stack of UFOs on top of the table folded inward. In that stack are 'Monumental', 'Beyond the Deep', 'Peter and the Wolf' and 'Peter's World'; one from the Santa Fe series, two from the fantasy series and one from the nostalgia series.

I tend to be wordy so I will clip it here. If you are ever in my neck of the woods, please drop by for a visit. My address and phone are accurate on the SAQA member list. Come on by, we can play in the studio!"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What's going on in my studio

We’re starting a new feature on the MA/RI blog called “what’s going on in your studio?”  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m working away in my studio in virtual anonymity and I’d love to see and hear about what everybody else in our region is working on in theirs.  So we are starting a new feature on the blog to help us all feel a little more connected to our fellow SAQA members by getting to see what others are working on.  You don’t have to write a long detailed blog post (although if you want to, you can), just send me a couple of photos of your studio or work in progress and a blurb about your working on and we’ll feature you on the blog.  And to kick this new feature off, here's what's going on in my studio...

I just moved into my new studio 6 weeks ago so it's still relatively tidy.  Trust me when I say that it doesn't always look this organized and uncluttered!
This is the production side of my studio, the other side which you don't see is my office area where my desk, files and all the "business" supplies are kept.    You can see a few more photos of the room on my blog here.

And here's a look at my latest quilt in progress...

I've been working on this for a week or so and it's a fairly large piece measuring approximately 30" x 60".   It was inspired by a smaller 12" x 12" piece that I recently finished:
I liked it so much in small format that I thought it would translate well into a larger piece and I'm happy with the way it's progressing. 

So that's what's going on in my studio - what's going on in yours?  Send me the details at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

MQX and the Sewing and Quilt Expo this week!

There are two big quilting and sewing events happening this week:

MQX Quilt Festival 
The Center of NH / Radisson Hotel
700 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03101
April 9-12, 2014 

The original Sewing and Quilt Expo

DCU Center 
50 Foster St.
Worcester, MA 01608 

April 10, 11 & 12, 2014