Thursday, December 31, 2015

Member Profile: Gwyned Trefethen


 I am pleased to share this member profile interview with Gwyned Trefethen. I really felt like we were old friends after reading all of her answers. I am finding this to be such a fun way to get to know our club members! You can visit Gwyned websites too... www.gwynedtrefethen.com and www.gwynedtrefethen.blogspot.com.

When did you start making art quilts?

This should be a simple question to answer, but it isn’t. I took my first quilting class in 1988. I knew nothing about art quilts and very little about quilting. Over the next decade I gradually transitioned from traditional quilts to art quilts that were completely my own design.

Gwyned Trefethen


What type of work do you do - abstract/realist/representational...? What styles or techniques do you use?

My work is often abstract and sometimes representational. I use whatever technique suits the current piece. I am fascinated by layering, not just the quilt sandwich, but the layering of quilted or thread painted appliques, stitching and any embellishment that calls out to me, such as beads, yarn and Angelina fibers.

How did you learn the techniques you use? (Did you study with a mentor, self-taught, etc?)

In the early years I took many workshops, especially ones that taught either techniques and/or design principles. Now I lean towards experimentation or on-line learning if I need to master a new technique.

Do you have a favorite color palette?
Value is what cries out to me, far more than a particular palette. I am not drawn to neutrals and am more likely to use tints and shades versus toned colors.

Deconstructed Sunrise #3


Are you working on a particular theme or series now? Tell us more about it.

I just finished making four pieces in a row that I have dubbed the Deconstructed Sunrise series. I am fortunate to live in a condo that overlooks a small lake. The sunrise can be spectacular. My husband and I participate in the National Bike Challenge each summer. Since we head out before the sunrise (we have bike lights) we often get to see the sunrise during our outing, frequently over the Lake Winnebago. The views and contemplative time riding led me to create a variety of pieces that include stitched over sections of sunrise photographs peaking out from pieced backgrounds in a sunrise palette.

How do you work? Give us some insight into your design process?

I do not keep an artist’s journal of ideas. I do journal first thing every morning and have done so for approximately 20 years. Many of my ideas and insights come during the process of journaling and when I am exercising (biking, walking or in yoga class.) I explore my ideas in my head allowing my natural stream of conscientiousness to test possibilities and ponder how the idea could be executed. Once I have settled on an idea, I very roughly sketch out the framework along the lines of a blueprint. This provides me with a guide on relative sizes and placement of the design. Next I will I choose a palette and gather fabric that works together, organizing it by hue and value within the hue. I then start assembling the top, using the blueprint as a guide, but not something to be rigidly adhered to if inspiration strikes.
Deconstructed Sunrise


Do you work on a single project at a time or do you work on multiple pieces at once?
I typically work on one project at time. However, if I don’t have a deadline to adhere to, I might start the next piece while doing the finishing hand sewing for the current piece.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Hands down – curiosity. I am fascinated by the question “what would happen if …?”

What is your studio like and when do you like to work?
I am extremely fortunate to have a large, well-organized studio made possible by our move from Massachusetts to Wisconsin in 2010. It is the lower level of our condo with pictures windows overlooking the lake. It is 30’ x 40’. The laundry room is beside the studio and it doubles as my wet studio. One of the counters is padded, covered in plastic sheeting and includes a large “laundry” sink. I had the studio renovated to suit me before we moved in, so besides the natural light, there are many judiciously placed lights, a 120” W x 72” H design wall, and vinyl floors that are can easily be swept up or vacuumed.

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?
My goal is to keep making art for as long as I am able and inspired.

How are you making the most of your SAQA membership? Which aspects of the organization are you enjoying?

I find that volunteering is the best way to get to know SAQA, my fellow members and make discoveries about all that SAQA has to offer. I first volunteered as the Rep for SAQA MA/RI region. Later, I joined the Exhibition Committee as its Secretary. I have been the Chair of the Exhibition Committee since February 2015. I love being able to have a voice in the direction that SAQA is heading. From a personal development standpoint, I find the Visioning Project, outstanding.

Do you design your art with a purpose in mind (function of the piece, for a particular call for entry, a commission)? Tell us about that…

Most of my work is designed with a particular call in mind with the knowledge that if it doesn’t get in, I can always try another call. I have done some commissions as well.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Member Profile: Salley Mavor

I am very excited to post this member profile about Salley Mavor. Her work is fascinating, detailed and beautifully stitched. I really enjoyed learning about how she works and visiting her website.

Salley Mavor


When did you start making art quilts?

I started making what I call “fabric relief” pieces in about 1980. At that time, I made a conscious decision to present my sculptural fiber work in a frame, so that it would have a better chance of being recognized as art.

What type of work do you do - abstract/realist/representational...? What styles or techniques do you use?

I’m interested in creating work that surprises, delights and draws people into a narrative that connects on an emotional level. My artwork resembles miniature, shallow stage sets, with scenery, props and characters telling a story. I embroider, wrap, appliqué and paint different materials and found objects to create scenes in relief, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric backdrop inside a shadow-box frame. Wool felt is feature prominently and everything is hand stitched. I illustrate universal, playful situations having to do with human connections and the natural world. My original artwork is photographed and reproduced in children’s books, cards and posters. I’ve also written how-to books of projects, including Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures.

Pocketful of Posies, 2010, children’s book cover


Are you working on a particular theme or series now? Tell us more about it.

For the past year, I’ve been making pieces that contain collections of miniature human characters, each one portrayed as a head and shoulders, peeking out of a cameo shaped opening. The pieces address themes of history, time, fashion and social customs. “Whiskers” depicts dozens of bearded men from diverse times and places, all inside a large flowing felt patchwork beard. Right now, I’m working on its female counterpart, “Cover Up”, which will include a whole array of women in head coverings. The piece will show the contrast between different cultures’ notions about hiding and exposing females.
Whiskers, 2015, 24” x 30”


What is your studio like and when do you like to work?

I have a fairly large studio, filled to the brim with materials and supplies and do my best to keep like
things together in boxes and baskets. When using found objects, you have to have a large supply to choose from. Thread takes up very little space, but felt, fabric and misc. objects are stored in every place I can find. I try to arrange furniture and containers in an aesthetically pleasing way. Piles are fine, as long as materials can be accessed and the mess is part of the creative process. Super neat, white spaces with everything lined up on shelves or hidden behind cabinet doors turns me off. I prefer spending time in a space that has evidence of activity.

I start each day with an hour of group exercise or dance at a local gym. My work is very sedentary and moving like this helps me stay healthy in mind and body. Then, I usually engage in the business and promotional end of things; writing and answering e-mails, filling Etsy orders, blogging and posting on social media and organizing art exhibits. I try to limit my time on the computer, but always seem to get sucked in more than I want. By late morning, I may get going on my artwork and then continue working after lunch. I take a break to cook and have dinner with my husband. In the evening, I go back to my studio and work until bedtime. Weekdays and weekends are the same, unless we go to a social event.

My husband teases that except for eating and sleeping, I can be found working in my studio.

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?

At this stage in my career, I’d like to follow where my art is leading me in a more cognizant way. And it seems like my muse is directing me away from children’s book illustration and how-to books, toward more personal expression. I’m interested in exploring ideas of human and animal connections, fashion and cultural history, and the passage of time. My most recent pieces are larger (24” x 30”) and since I hand stitch, they take from 4 to 6 months to complete. At this rate, it will take a few years to amass enough new work to exhibit together. I’m not sure where this path will lead, but I feel confident that whatever I create, my primary tool and material will be needle and thread. 
Birds of Beebe Woods, 2012, 24” x 30”


How do you work? Give us some insight into your design process?

When I’m stitching and the process is going well, I almost feel transported into the world I’m creating. 

It’s a refuge from the stresses around me and a way to gain control of something in my life, even if for a short while. Through the repetitive, tactile process, I find a calm satisfaction that helps lead to effective problem solving. I would rather do something over than have it not come out the way I want. Each piece requires figuring out something new, so I need time to work things out. Since I know from the start that it will take a long while to complete each project, I’m realistic about planning enough time and persist until it’s finished.

For me, the creative process involves a constant jockeying between the intuitive and the pragmatic parts of my nature. My imagination is full of colors, shapes and emotions that hover, ready to come alive through my fingertips. I find drawing useful for sketching out ideas and designing layouts, but I
discovered a long time ago that I need a more tactile experience to authentically express myself.
Manipulating materials and stitching with a needle and thread by hand helps me communicate what I’m seeing and feeling inside.

Also visit Salley here:

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/SalleyMavor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weefolkstudio

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/salleymavor/

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Florida Regional SAQA Exhibit in MA




The global climate is changing, and manifestations of that change are abundant in some of America's most treasured places, her national parks. The diversity of impacts is as varied as the parks themselves. Rising sea level threatens Cape Cod, Assateague and Point Reyes. Ice is nearly non-existent at Glacier. Flowers bloom earlier in the Great Smoky Mountains and fall colors arrive later along the Cuyahoga and Schuylkill Rivers. Corals bleach at Biscayne and intense storms rip up docks at the Statue of Liberty. At Lowell smoke stacks harken back to the very beginning of the industrial revolution. Elsewhere, migrations are disrupted, fires rage, animals are stranded, lakes dry and oceans acidify. 



Wildfire by Deon Lewis
Maya Schonenberger


Artists are frequently catalysts of change, especially when national parks are involved. Thoughts, fears and concerns were expressed in a variety of textile techniques. The interpretations are as diverse as the problems themselves, but all of them have a common goal: to create an awareness of a vast array of issues facing our planet. 

A juried show of twenty-six art quilts created by over 20 Florida artists is coming to the Boott Reflections Room at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John St., Lowell, MA, Sunday, December 6th. The free exhibit will remain at the museum through February 7, 2016. The national tour of Piecing Together a Changing Planet is made possible by SAQA and Biscayne National Park, with support from the National Park Service's Climate Change Response Program, the South Florida National Parks Trust, Les Bouquinistes Book Club, and an anonymous donor. For more details about the exhibit, visit the show's website at www.nationalparkartexhibit.com, the park's website at www.nps.gov/lowe or call 978-970-5241.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Member Profile: Audrey Hyvonen


Audrey Hyvonen is the subject of today's member profile. When I first met Aubrey she was planning a traffic calming event in which stilt walkers carried quilts across the street at red lights. That is so cool right?

She answered a few questions so that we could learn more about her and if you want to know even more you can head over to her website or etsy shop. 

Audrey Hyvonen


When did you start making art quilts?
I learned to use my sewing machine soon after my now twelve year old was born and pretty much started making art quilts right away as I was using fabric as a medium to express and communicate.

What is your work like? What styles or techniques do you use?
I have a variety of styles that I enjoy working in. Free form appliqué with machine quilting best demonstrates my artistic intentions, but what really excites me a lot right now is a new-to-me technique of creating portraits with a gridded mosaic. It feels a bit like riding a roller coaster each time I create a piece as there is a lot of mystery and thrill in the process.

Do you have a favorite color palette?
I find that most of my work has green and gold, though in the portrait work I’m exploring a range of browns and grays. My favorite color is blue, but I rarely work in blue.
Apis & Monarda


Are you working on a particular theme or series now?
Animal portraits are my current expressive focus. I am also exploring a couple of shapes in my modern piece work and my free form appliqué work.

How do you work? What is your design process?
For the fiber mosaic animal portraits, I take or find photo that feels engaging and balanced, tweak it on my computer for stronger contrast and then apply a square grid atop of the photo. I print a few copies of that as my base and then spend a week or so cutting out one inch squares to place on my fusible grid that is mounted on a board or wall. I work in regions, sometimes linearly and sometimes in color waves. Once the image is mounted on the grid, I sew up the seams and then use thread work to adjust color and add both physical and visual texture. Once quilted, the piece is faced onto a frame I’ve constructed to fit the exact dimensions of the piece, and stretched to the back like a canvas. I feel that this elevates the piece into the art world.
King Snugglepuff Macoun


What are your sources of inspiration?
My own animals, the animals of friends, what I see when I go outside. The relationships we as humans make with other creatures.
Ramona


What is your studio like and when do you like to work?
I am currently converting my garage into a quilt studio, which involves learning a lot of about construction, building and finishing work. My living room is where I work. I have a high cutting table, a small domestic sewing machine on it’s own portable table and an ironing board set up at all times. I have taped a piece of batting to one wall as a design wall and my desk spills over three other rooms. My computer work is portable and travels with me daily. I prefer to work in the morning and need frequent breaks. Working close to home allows me to be present to my family as well as present to my art which feels great for the time being.

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?
I want to see my art being enjoyed out in the world. I often feel that it comes through me, and is not always of me. It is meant to be shared.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Member Profile: Celeste B Janey

Celeste B. Janey, has been making representational (realist) art quilts since 2000. She has a website, http://www.yellowrosema.com/. According to her website, Céleste's personal motto is, "I'll give you the best that I got!" She founded The BEE, a quilt training component of Yellow Rose, which promotes and empowers women to express the natural gifts of creativity that move their soul.

Celeste recently answered some questions so we can get to know her better.
Celeste B Janey


How did you learn the techniques you use? 

Mentor (Juanita Yeager/ Anne Sullivan)/ self-taught

Do you have a favorite color palette?

Earth tones
Mantra 2 (detail)


Are you working on a particular theme or series now?

I'm working on a weaving/ embroidered series. Two of my most favorite, most passionate techniques. One from the old country (Ghana Africa which I visited 3 years ago), another which I'd learned, but steadily been improving 15 yrs. ago.
African Triangles


How do you work? Give us some insight into your design process?

I try to do a little something daily, but at least once a week, I work on one of the pieces that is in my studio. I have at Least 3 pieces going at a time: short term, mid-term; extended term (short term: just needs quilting; mid-term: needs detailing and quilting; extended term: just past the designing stage in my design book; pieces all over design table).

What are your sources of inspiration?

My life, other sisters, or that of close friends.
MJ29 Benjamin


How are you making the most of your SAQA membership? Which aspects of the organization are you enjoying?

Ed. Committee. I get to use the skills I was trained in, to help others.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Trunk Show Piece

We just received an exciting new piece for the MA/RI Trunk Show from Sharyn Raiche.



Suspension

Sharyn's most recent work has been about creating lines of color and movement. She is interested in how colors play off one another, and the way she can develop an impressionist effect using many, tiny sections. She cuts fabric into strips and then builds the blocks by piecing and cross-cutting several times, until the strips become quite complex. For Suspension, she machine appliquéd the strips onto silk with a satin stitch and then added movement with quilting lines. She works with a loose idea and builds each quilt on the design wall as she progresses, making changes until she likes the result. Suspension is sixth in a series using this technique. Sharyn used commercial cottons, silk, foil ribbons and polyester thread for her materials. 


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 sue@suebleiweiss.com

Send the artwork to Sue Bleiweiss (or bring it to a future SAQA regional meeting, our next is Sat., Nov. 14 at NEQM in Lowell from 10am to 2pm) 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 all SAQA MA/RI members and there is no deadline to submit a piece for it.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Member Profile: Laura Bundesen

I met Laura a few months ago at an art opening and enjoyed her enthusiasm for fabric art. I hope you will visit her websites because she has some very fascinating techniques: http://www.friskyfurnishings.com/ and http://www.laurabundesen.com/ and an etsy shopwww.friskyfurnishings.etsy.com

Laura Bundesen


When did you start making art quilts?

This is a relatively new area for me as I've predominantly been a painter, crazy-quilter and embroidery fiend for most of my adult life. In early 2014 I discovered fabric collage and fell in love with its improvisational nature. It is freeing and quicker than crazy quilting and embroidery and even more satisfying because I can change what I'm doing in an instant. I often combine it with other mediums such as acrylic paint, embroidery and bead-work. I should add here that my mother is a phenomenal quilter and I think I stayed away from the medium until recently because there was no way I was going to learn to do all the piecing and hand quilting that she does on her traditional quilts. But then I found this different way to work and a light bulb went off for me.

What type of work do you do - abstract/realist/representational...? What styles or techniques do you use?

I like to work abstractly (though it often takes a representational turn) using scraps of found or donated fabric. Color plays the most important role in the process although I also pay attention to texture and love working with a wide variety of fabric. Hand marbled velvet that I buy from another maker is my current favorite! I lay the fabric down on a base of cotton, canvas or vinyl and then machine topstitch it into place with random patterns. I often make Wearable Fiber Art pieces utilizing this same technique as a base for bracelets, necklaces and bags. Some of the bags are produced with another maker. We have formed a collaboration called FriskyMama's. I do the decorative work on the bag flaps and send to her to construct the bags. We met as part of the Artisans of Western Mass group that we belong to and it has turned into a great partnership and friendship too.




Do you have a favorite color palette?

My favorite color palette is BRIGHT and I gravitate towards blues and purples but the whole rainbow excites me - the more vibrant the better, the more colors the better. My work is far from subtle.

Are you working on a particular theme or series now?

I've recently started incorporating this work in a series of Neuro-Brain paintings - The first one I did was crazy quilted, then I did a fully embroidered one and now I've completed two that incorporate fabric collage: Blue Skies (12x12) is the last one in the series. I expect to continue working on this and would like to go bigger. I'm also playing around with hoops to display my work, such as the Wild Flower (10 inch round).
Blue Skies

Wild Flower



How do you work? Give us some insight into your design process?

I like to work organically and improvisationally. I have a broad idea of what I want to do but I feel my way through it once I have fabric in my hands and the end result is often quite different than what I had in my mind's eye. I do the fabric collage first, adhering bits of fabric to the base with temporary spray adhesive. Once it is all in place the way I like it, I topstitch with invisible thread sometimes following the edge of the collaged fabric and sometimes working a grid through it. I then embellish with embroidery thread and beads.

What is your studio like and when do you like to work?

My studio is located at the back of my old Victorian house located in the foothills of the Berkshires in Western Mass. The kitchen opens up to it and I love that it has a door I can shut when I leave so I don't have to look at the mess. And yes, I'm very messy. I have bins of fabric scraps roughly sorted by color and I pull them all out and rummage around until I find just the right shade, texture, color that I need in that moment. I spend full days in my studio but find the morning is my most productive time. The evenings are when I do most of my handwork - hand sewing, embroidery and bead work.

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?

I started a new handmade business when I moved up to Massachusetts from New York in 2012 called Frisky Furnishings, and hope to continue to grow it so that it can sustain me in retirement. I currently work part time at a local college in an administrative position spending 3 days a week there and the other 4 blissfully in my studio. I'd like to spend 5 days a week in my studio and take off 2 days a week! While I exhibit my fine art locally I'm very interested in branching out to a more national audience with it and hope to find some opportunities that will be a good fit for my work through my membership in SAQA.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Member Profile: Jodi Scaltreto

It is wonderful to introduce SAQA member Jodi Scaltreto. I hope you will check out her website: www.Jodibird.com. She has an etsy shop as well.

Jodi Scaltreto


She recently answered some questions about her art quilts...

When did you start making art quilts?

I made my first two quilts in 1978 from squares I hand embroidered then sashed with commercial gingham check cloth. One of those two quilt still hangs in my best friend's bedroom. Then I did not do much quilting other than baby quilts for friends and my son. In about 1993 or so I met a friend who was into quilting and she took me to Keepsake there I was so overwhelmed with the amount of fabric and I was off and running making more bed size quilts which slowly got smaller and smaller. I used to work from patterns for my first art type quilts but now I do not use any commercial patterns since I don't want the hassle of getting all the permissions needed when I enter shows with my work. 


What type of work do you do - abstract/realist/representational...? What styles or techniques do you use?

Mostly I do thread painting of animals. I also have become very interested in the modern style of quilting with the bold colors and patterns so I have started to explore some of those type of quilts. I also like to do landscape type quilts from photos as inspiration. 

El Zorro


How did you learn the techniques you use?

I began taking classes when I was still making bed type quilts and little by little I started taking more classes with art quilting teachers. I like to take classes with as many different teachers who do thread work or painting on fabric to learn how others do it and take from them what works for me. 

Do you have a favorite color palette?

I tend to like bright colors like yellows and oranges but that can change too so really all colors work for me. 

Modern Mini 2



How do you work?  Give us some insight into your design process?

I like to have a reason to make something such as a theme or challenge. Then I will often go off in a direction to meet the challenge or theme. 


Do you work on a single project at a time or do you work on multiple pieces at once?

I like to start one thing and finish it with sleeve and label before I go on to something else. 


What are your sources of inspiration?

I use photos as my sources. I get them from my friends on social media or from places I visit and photograph with my own camera or phone camera. 

Herman Gulch



What is your studio like and when do you like to work?

I have a large space I share with my husband's hydroponic gardening in the room over our garage which is attached to our house. I work most anytime I want because I do not have young kids nor do work outside the home so when the mood strikes I work. 


What are your goals or aspirations for your art?

Some of my goals have been met. I wanted to have my work shown in galleries and at major quilt shows and I have been lucky to have been juried into both kinds of venues. I also hoped to have my work published in books or magazines which also has been fulfilled. Most recently one of my pieces was published in 1000 Quilt Inspirations by Sandra Sider.   So what aspirations do I have? I guess just keep making art and entering shows. 

How are you making the most of your SAQA membership? Which aspects of the organization are you enjoying?


I enjoy reading the SAQA Yahoo digest list and learning what others are doing. I like the calls for entry and have been lucky to be juried into one of the traveling exhibits and have my work in both my regional group exhibits. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Workshop Opportunity

Independent Art Quilt Workshop

February 28 - March 4, 2016 

(Sunday - Friday)


with Sandra Sider


This workshop is based on the principles of art and design developed in Sandra’s critique workshops and written about in the volumes of her Studio Quilt monograph series. Limited to a maximum of twelve participants, the workshop will allow Sandra to spend considerable amounts of time each day working one-on-one with participants, evaluating their work and suggesting possible directions for developing each quilt. The final day will consist of critiques, with participants sharing and discussing their works in progress.

Quilters should bring a work in progress or materials to begin a new quilt, their sewing supplies and tools, a sewing machine and an iron.  Class is suitable for all levels of quilters, but excellent sewing skills and expertise with one's sewing machine is a must.



For more than ten years Sandra Sider has been known for her critique workshops benefitting quilt artists. She has also taught studio classes in contemporary quilt art, most recently at the Peters Valley School of Craft, and has been a quilt artist and critic since the late 1970s, with works in several public collections.


Sandra is Curator, Texas Quilt Museum, past president of Studio Art Quilt Association, and author of the blog "Textile News," the recently published "1000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts" as well as articles in many quilt publications. 



Check in is 3-5pm Sunday, February 28, 2016. Dinner is served from 6-7pm, and then we will begin the evening program.  The class ends with lunch on Friday, and you are welcome to enjoy the premises through the afternoon.  

The class will be held in the beautiful new Art Space at Stony Point Center, located about an hour north of New York City: http://stonypointcenter.org

Tuition for the week is $500.   Total cost is dependent on the lodging selected, from $450 to $775.  It does include all meals. To register: www.stonypointcenter.org/quilting

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Exhibition by Elizabeth Sylvan


Sumac Summer


Quilted Landscapes: Shades of Summer

By Elizabeth Sylvan

November 2 to December 29


As the year winds down and the air turns chill, fill up on sunlight, warmth, and color. Immerse yourself in the rich vibrant hues of wild meadows, bright gardens, and twilight mountains depicted in Elizabeth's quilted landscape collages.


U.S. Fish & Wildlife 

Regional Office & Gallery

300 Westgate Center Drive
(Behind Staples)
Hadley, MA

Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday/Sunday/Holidays CLOSED

Artist's Reception

Wednesday, November 18
4:30 to 6:00 pm

For more information about Elizabeth's artwork go to, www.SylvanQuilts.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Member Profile: Michele Leavitt

At the first SAQA meeting I attended I met Michele Leavitt very briefly. I remember thinking after the meeting how I was looking forward to meeting her again and talking more about her work. Although we have yet to meet in person again I feel fortunate to share her answers to a few of my questions with all of you. Please check out her website too: micheleleavitt.com.



When did you start making art quilts?
I started piecing quilt tops as a child of 6 or 7 years. Quilt making is a tradition in my Mom's family for many generations going back.

What is your work like? What styles or techniques do you use?
Experimenting with materials is what I do - so my works contain a variety of construction techniques. However, if is fair to say that a majority of the landscape textile pieces are created with small bits of fabric top stitched to a backing.
Woods Cool


How did you learn the techniques you use? 
Invention is the thing for me - other than how to use a sewing machine and how to construct a basic quilt, I make most of my techniques up to meet a particular need.

Are you working on a particular theme or series now?
After a long series of textile quilt landscapes (12 larger ones in addition to ten 3 X 5's) I have wanted to get back to the more political quilts I made in the past. I am working on a piece that has targets all over, right now.

How do you work? What is your design process?
Oh that's is a tough one. I am not making art works to be recognized or to make sales. I make stuff because I enjoy it challenging myself to expression of a certain concept, a question, and/or a thing of beauty. So I generally start with an idea which can be anything - like a group of interesting colors, or the question can I 'paint' with textiles, I have also dreamt quilt ideas. I believe that the idea is the main thing and everything used to make a piece - techniques, colors, textures and so on - must support the idea. Studio time seems to be primarily spent on construction of the piece. When it is a quilt, I start in the middle and work my way out.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Saunderstown RI where I live is a delightfully beautiful little village along the western coast of Narragansett Bay that 'posed' continuously. Additionally news events inspire me to communicate my responses, and sometime I am just playing. And at times I work to meet a challenge which also brings new ideas and techniques.
Manhasset Bay


What is your studio like and when do you like to work?
My studio is big and bright and fairly messy and I like to work when I can't resist the temptation!

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?
To make everything I create be the best I can do or it doesn't leave the studio.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Solo Exhibition - Wen Redmond

Beyond the Edge: Wen Redmond has opened September 18 and runs through November 15, 2015 at Emporium Framing and Gallery in South Berwick, ME. In this exhibit Redmond explores her chosen medium fabric to see what it can do and to stretch its perception as an art medium. An unusual use of fiber combines painting and digital media.

Wen Redmond exhibits extensively, has received a list of awards, has been included in multiple collections, taught workshops and has been involved with multiple books, TV and video projects. She has been included in the following exhibits: 2015 Quilt National, Ohio; Westbeth Center for Art, NYC; SAQA Celebrating Silver; Fiberart for a Cause; and Gallery Seven, MA. Her work has been included in the following collections: Leaping Point, Purchased by Marvin Fletcher, Quilt National; Elliot at Rivers Edge, Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH; Delaware Neuroscience Specialists, Delaware.




Leaving Home, Digital Fiber- A nest, one of a kind multi-layered fiber photographs printed on an under collage. Images are printed onto treated natural textiles and other surfaces, combining painting and digital media into a one of a kind art piece.


Emporium Framing and Gallery, LLC
261 Main Street
South Berwick, ME 03908
Phone 207-384-5963
Gallery hours - Mon - Sat, 10 - 6 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trunk Show/Lecture - Wen Redmond


Wen Redmond
Trunk Show/Lecture

Please join Wen Redmond at the Fiber Fest. The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) presents the third annual Fiber Fest, a one day event celebrating fiber arts including weaving, felting, spinning and knitting. The event is being held at NHIA's Sharon Arts Center campus located at 30 Grove St. in Peterborough, NH from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 3 and is free and open to the public.

The day's events offer a patchwork of prizes from local sponsors, hands-on demonstrations by NHIA faculty and artists, refreshments and art displays, with a special presentation at 1:00 pm by Wen Redmond, a mixed media artist whose work embraces several media including digital processes, surface design, and collage. Wen delights in creating dialogue, changing your perspectives and perceptions of fiber. She works intuitively, encouraging flow, experimentation and the inner muse in her workshop participants.
  
Wen will be giving a slide show, trunk show and talk about her journey to fiber digital processes from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.








Workshop with Timna Tarr

Timna Tarr
Workshop & Trunk Shows

Timna Tarr is a modern quilter who works with color. Her quilts have won awards at national shows and have appeared on the cover of national quilting magazines.


Trunk Show/Lecture 
Thursday, October 1, 2015 
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Timna Tarr will be giving a Trunk Show and lecture at the general guild meeting of Quilters by the Sea at St. Barnabas Church, on 1697 E. Main Road in Portsmouth. Guests are welcome to attend, with a $5.00 per person guest fee. 


Workshop 
Friday, October 2, 2015 
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Timna is teaching a workshop Designing with Flying Colors, which is sponsored by Quilters by the Sea. This is a color class where Timna has everyone play with fabrics and color, then use improvisational piecing to combine them. The workshop is being held at the Portsmouth Library on 2658 East Main Road in Portsmouth. Contact SAQA member, Allison Wilbur at allisonquilt@me.com for details of how to register as there are a few spots left.

Full day workshop - Fee $40.00


Trunk Show/Lecture 
Saturday, October 3, 2015 
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Timna will also be giving a Trunk Show and lecture at a meeting of the Rhode Island Modern Quilt Guild at the Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library on 1 Memorial Ave, (Lower Level Conference Room) in Johnston, RI Members %5.00/Non-Members $10.00. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Member Profile: Sandy Gregg

Sandy Gregg is a member of SAQA and has been making art quilts since around 1976. Her website is  www.sandygregg.com. She kindly answered some questions for our ongoing blog series: member profiles.



Sandy Gregg


When did you start making art quilts?
I first began quilting in 1976 when I moved to Lebanon, NH and took a quilting class to meet new people. I had been a sewer since home economics class in junior high and needed a new creative outlet after my two sons were born. I took classes with Rhoda Cohen, Nancy Halpern, Ruth McDowell and others at the Vermont Quilt Festival when I tired of the repetitive blocks of bed quilts, and that was the beginning of making art quilts. I continue to take a lot of classes, mostly in surface design these days, and prefer a five day class over a one day class.

What is your work like? What styles or techniques do you use?
My work is abstract and I dye or paint my own fabric so it shows the hand of the artist and has a unique look.

Golden Glow

Do you have a favorite color palette? Not really.

Are you working on a particular theme or series now? (Offer a description of the work if you would like.)
I usually work in a series, and right now I am working on the theme of migration which is timely and fits the SAQA call for entry for the show that will be presented at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC next spring. My work may not be accepted for the show, but it’s given me a starting point for the series. Some of these pieces are text based, and I go to Wikipedia when looking for text to include in my work because there is no copyright involved.

How do you work? What is your design process?

I start with fabric and work intuitively. I never work from a sketch which allows me to veer off in any direction that seems right at the time.

Sea Swirls


What are your sources of inspiration?
Inspiration is all around us. Look around at your surroundings and listen to what’s going on. I make a lot of art (10 big quilts last year, and 150 paper collages) and I’m not afraid to fail. All I do is start and it doesn’t take much to be absorbed by whatever project I’m involved in. Since I retired in 2002 I’ve made over 150 quilts, and exhibited widely, so it’s all about doing the work.

Navigating the Crosswalk

What is your studio like and when do you like to work?
I have a three story house in Cambridge, and the top floor is where my studio is located. There is a a lot of natural light and I can leave my mess behind when I’m finished working for the day. I only work during daylight hours. For wet processes, I work in my kitchen and make sure that I have food ready for the microwave so I don’t have to cook while I have fabric batching.

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?

I am a retired college administrator and I make art to keep myself happy and occupied. It’s nice to be able to have my work shown and accepted into exhibits, but that’s not my motivation for making it.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Steeped in Stitches in Connecticut


Members of SAQA CT & MA/RI


It was a lovely afternoon for tea and quilt viewing in northwestern Connecticut on Saturday. Catherine Whall Smith and Barbara Coleman Adams, CT's reps, organized what they call a "Gathering", or an unofficial meeting around a quilt show by the members of the CT Fiber Arts Collective held in a pastoral setting of the Phelps Hathaway House in Suffield. Set in the massive barn on the property, the members gave a walking tour of their quilts. MA/RI members were invited to attend and I & Francesca Lenville of Massachusetts were able to join them. A delicious tea was served in the Summer House, an open air dining area, on the property. Activities ran all day long with a book reading, museum tours, raffles, the tea luncheon, gallery walking tour and a best hat contest. It was a great way to meet and talk with our many talented neighbors in Connecticut. Thank you for the invite and I hope we can reciprocate in the future.


Quilt show hanging in the barn


Barbara and Catherine 


Rosalind Spann with "Club Notes" 


"Flower Power" by Karen Loprete


Carol Eaton, who brought her hand dyes to sell, with her piece, "My Peaceful Place" 


Tea and lunch in the Summer House



The formal garden next to the main house at the Phelps Hathaway House

Thank you to all involved for the invite and the experience!