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.

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, 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.


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

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: and and an etsy

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: 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.