Monday, July 27, 2015

Member Profile: Wen Remond

Forty years of creative fiber play thread the work of Wen Redmond. From the beginning, intuitive piecing called her creative muse. Similar to Yosemire, a Japanese technique used to patch kimonos, Wen cut free angles in straight lines, matched edges, sewed, trimmed and continued. Expressing her love for textiles in quilts and art wear, she began playing with curves in this piecing technique.

The digital revolution wove her passion for photography, techology and fiber. Using silk organza, she layered images framed with fabric borders in a technique she calls Holographic Images. After writing and teaching about this, she created a DVD to explore its uses in 2007.

With a long list of exhibits, shows and gallery representation in her repertoire, Wen cherishes being alive in the moments when, "you forget time and become one with the work. Flow!"

Art Quilt, "The Creative Hand", Wen Redmond
The Creative Hand by Wen Redmond
Wen's piece, "The Creative Hand," is part of the 2015 Quilt National. This work varies from her nature imagery, as it uses a photograph of an artist model’s wooden hand, printed on a substrate of digitally ready molding paste. Photograph was cut into segments and collaged, hand sewn using metallic thread onto a silk noil base. Hand painted silk organza, scrim, antique hook and eyes add creative accents.

This summer, you can also find her quilts at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Annual Fair, at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, and participating in the
WCA/NH, Force of Nature at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, 150 Main St, Plymouth, New Hampshire.
She is the August Artist of the Month at Exeter Fine Arts, NH. (We'll have more about her Quilt as Art submission soon!)

From her years as a home economics teacher to workshop facilitator, Wen enjoys sharing skills with other quilters, inspiring them to make merry, and cherish the day.

Her personal studio space has evolved over time as well. She says, "I have had a number of studios in the past 40 years. My first official studio was a small room in the back of our antique cape. Later I learned it was called the borning room. A great place for creativity! I crammed everything in there and it worked very efficiently plus I never had to walk very far! But then I couldn’t get far enough away to view a work in the distance. Slowly, I took over the large master bedroom and moved us into a smaller bedroom. This studio was lovely with a large table in the center made from 2 gorilla shelves on each end and topped with a 4x8 piece of plywood and plenty of storage but no vertical walls at all!"

(For those of you whose work is creeping over your house like English ivy, you can probably relate!)

Wen continues, "Eventually, I felt I needed a public place to hold openings, workshops and be part of an artist community. I had 2 such lovely 4x8 tables, a wet studio area, Gallery wall and storage for my crafts booth used for selling. It worked nicely for about 9 years until I realized I liked to work best in my PJ’s, the first thing in the morning when I was fresh, or maybe I had just changed. So I dropped the public studio about the time we built a new house. I now have a somewhat smaller studio but vertical walls, functional set up, great light and next to a lake. Perfect!"

 The outdoors inspires and soothes Wen, and nature is a common theme in her work.  take to the road or woods for long walks, or go to the ocean and allow thoughts and ideas to bubble up from my unconscious. Her art reflect this with muted, delicate and earthy tones and tonal mixes of nature and especially  of trees.

These days, her design process begins with ideas, simple drawings and a plan, but she allows the process to inform the work. She finds that sometimes letting go of the ‘plan’ and just arranging the pieces or even ideas brings one to a fresher, less stiff, and more inspired result.

Find more of Wen's work, inspiration and activities on her web site and blog. She also maintains an active presence on Artful Home, Etsy.

We look forward to her participation on the MA/RI SAQA panel on August 8 on finding your voice!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Trunk Show - New Pieces

The SAQA MA/RI Region has had a call out for trunk show pieces since fall of 2014. In the last few months we were excited to receive a few new submissions to the show. We now have 11 pieces collected and every time we have an event the MA/RI Trunk Show is displayed. It is our hope that with over 120 members our show will grow much larger so we can look for small venues to exhibit this fabulous expression of our collective work. This is not a juried call. Any member of MA/RI is welcomed and encouraged to submit a piece. Directions for doing so are included at the end of this post.


Circling Around by Jeanne Marklin

Jeanne states of her piece, "Spheres seem to have a life of their own, and they intrigue me. I have come to recognize that for me, spheres represent fullness, completeness and the expression of being centered." Circling Around is hand dyed, fused and free motion quilted.

found words by Janis Doucette.

Janis describes her process, "I took some well known poems and extracted some phrases from them to reconstruct them as 'found' words upon the page. I had embroidered the spiral focal point and used intense pastels to heighten the colors and values between segments." She defines her piece as mixed media textile collage, consisting of handprints, nature prints, DSP, digital photo prints and transfers, machine pieced and hand embroidered.  

Spring by Dawn Allen.

"I am pondering the true colors of spring. I am dreaming of bright yellow daffodils and red tulips...This piece represents a daffodil beginning to wake up after the long winter. The sky is gray and dreary and the soil is dark and rich." Dawn used commercial fabrics and threads, pieced and free motion quilted with a small amount of hand stitching.

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 to Sue Bleiweiss (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.

Monday, July 20, 2015

August 8, 2015: SAQA MA/RI Quarterly Meeting

Wait, wasn't our last quarterly meeting just yesterday? Despite those late sunsets, summer days  do slink by quickly. Our next SAQA quarterly meeting for the Massachusetts and Rhode Island region is:

August 8, 2015 10 am to 2 pm
Fabric Place Basement in Natick MA. 

Sunset by the Zakim Bridge
After announcements, we'll enjoy a panel discussion by Wen Redmond, Mary Ellen Latino and Valerie Maser-Flanagan on finding your visual voice.  As each of these members sing vibrantly in their work, it promises to be a very inspiring morning.

 Bring a bag lunch and something for show and tell. And if you'd like to set up a vendor table at the meeting, be sure to email Sue at suebleiweiss dot com.

If all goes as planned, we'll post more about each of our panel members here in the next month.

Thanks to the folks at Fabric Place for donating a meeting venue for the group.
SAQA MARI August 2015 Meeting Location

Friday, July 17, 2015

Member News - Dawn Allen

Larger Than Life Flowers, a solo exhibit at Black Birch Vineyard in Southampton, MA, will be on view for the month of August. This is Dawn Allen's first solo art show and she is very excited to invite you to the Artist's Reception on July 30 from 6:30-8:00 pm.

Dawn Allen in front of Giant Sunflower.

Larger Than Life Flowers is a series of quilted fabric three dimensional flowers, inspired by the moment in the Wizard of Oz when the film turns to color and the camera pans across giant colorful flowers. As Dawn created this series she enjoyed exaggerating the size, color, and texture of each piece. Her focus was to create happy, fun, exciting art. Preview the Larger Than Life Flower Series at

Close-up of Nothing But Buttercups. 

Black Birch Vinyard is located at 155 Glendale Rd in Southampton, MA. Their gallery hours are the same as their vineyard hours, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from noon to 6pm.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Quilt as Art Exhibit at Fuller Craft Museum

Brockton MA Fuller Craft Museum
Our first regional exhibit at the Fuller Craft Museum opens on October 3, 2015.

 Quilt as Art features 27 artists and 35 works from Studio Art Quilt Associates members from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Fuller Craft displays a wide range of cutting edge contemporary craft, seeking to put people in touch with the minds and methods of the makers, expressing the values embodied by craft. SAQA MARI is delighted to share in their mission, showing how the functional roots of our craft take on new expression.

Jamie Fingal served as the juror for the 106 entries submitted by 54 members.  Many thanks for her dedication and time to this challenging task!

Artist reception
Fuller Craft Museum
Sunday October 18th,  2 to 5pm

Quilt Artists Selected 

Dawn Allen, Nancy Belsky, Christina  Blais, Sue Bleiweiss, Ann Brauer, Sue Colozzi, Sandra Donabed, Janis Doucette, Pamela Druhen, Linda Gallagher, Sandy Gregg, Elaine Cominos Hickey, Rosemary Hoffenberg, Vicki Jensen, Janice Jones, Karen Loprete, Jeanne Marklin, Valerie Maser-Flanagan, Sharon McCartney, Madalene Murphy, Susan Polansky, Sharyn Raiche, Wen Redmond, Judy Ross, Carol Vinick, Allison Wilbur, Diane Wright.

Congrats to all of you! We'll have more info about the works exhibited in future blog posts.

We will hold a regional meeting before the reception (from 12 - 2). Beth McLaughlin, curator at Fuller will speak about how a curator chooses artists' work for exhibits.

Artists, if you haven't received an email about where and when to ship your work, please email sue at

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Member Profile: Dawn Allen

"Morning Glory" by Dawn Allen

When did you make your first art quilt?
The line between a quilt and an art quilt is not exactly clear to me. When I was a small child my mom would sew with me and I would make small art quilts for my stuffed animals. (I call them art because they were my own original designs.) In my 20s I made quilts using more traditional patterns and modern techniques such as “Strips that Sizzle”. When I was about 28 I branched out into more original designs and techniques sometime around 2003.

Describe the work that you make:

Currently I am focused on three dimensional quilted art. I create them as pieces intended for hanging on the wall (not as sculptures). My current series is called “Larger Than Life Flowers”, which accurately describes the pieces!

What are your favorite styles or techniques?
I like to use crooked seams, curves, and texture.

Do you have a favorite color palette?
Bright and rich. I like my colors to be vibrant and rarely use pastels. I use mostly commercial batiks.

Do you have a favorite theme that you like to work with?
Right now I am on flowers but I am always full of ideas. Sometimes I feel too full of ideas!

How do you work?  Give us some insight into your design process:
First I daydream about an idea for a few days or weeks. Then I start collecting fabrics and laying them out on my studio table to see how they look together. I research photos I have taken and photos on the internet of the subject I am interested in. (Such as a daisy.) Then I draw a very minimalistic outline of the shape and size I am planning. I never sketch anything with any details other than the outline, all of the other design and color pattern elements are held in my imagination.
After that I start cutting and sewing free form!

What are your sources of inspiration?
Almost always the texture and color of something I happen to see will be the inspiration. Occasionally I am inspired by an idea, story, or memory of an event.

Tell us about your studio, how you have it organized and how it works for you.
My studio is a smallish room in my finished basement. I like to have it in the basement so I don’t need to worry about sunlight damaging my fabric. My table is actually my husband’s foosball table with a top over it (I told him he could take the top off to play but let’s face it, that isn’t going to happen). It has a sticker with a picture of a can that reads “Whup-ass” from his bachelor days. I find it rather hilarious. My biggest issue is storing finished projects because I can’t simply pile up the three dimensional pieces. One whole wall is full of shelves with stacked fabric and I still can’t understand why I never have all the exact colors I need!

Do you have a website, blog, easy shop, etc?

My website/blog is

Dawn Allen with "Giant Sunflower"

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Member News - Carol Anne Grotrian

As part of the Seasonal Palette Exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum, Carol Anne Grotrian will be givng a talk about the evolution of her quilt, Silent Snow, which is part of the exhibition. Her talk will begin at 11 am, on Saturday, July 11, 2015 and will be followed by a guided gallery walk.

Silent Snow

"Seasonal Palette" is an exhibition of 37 juried, international artists. Each artist was assigned a season and asked to make a 32” x 76” quilt. Though the format is the same, the diversity of interpretations and techniques is captivating. Artists were asked to keep a journal of their progress in creating their piece and some of these journals are available for viewing with the show. If you can, don’t miss a chance to see the show before July 26th when it leaves to travel to Taiwan, the fourth continent on it’s 3 year tour. For more information on the exhibition,

More of Carol Anne's art can be viewed on her website,