Sunday, May 29, 2011

Looking Back on the SAQA Conference

Just a week ago I was in Denver, getting ready to check out of my hotel and meet some friends. The SAQA Visioning Conference had finished the night before and I had just had a pleasant breakfast with fellow SAQA Vision member, Jean Judd, and her husband. Jean was only one of several wonderful friends that I met at the SAQA conference. Having breakfast with her helped prolong the warm feeling of spending time with new found friends who shared a common love of creating with fiber.

From registration on Thursday afternoon, the conference continued to reward those who attended with high quality workshops and presentations. Now, a week later, my memories are fading but I still appreciate the opportunities presented.

An opening highlight was the display of 268 member contributions to the SAQA traveling exhibit, This is a Quilt!, never again to be viewed as a group. The framed 8" square quilts will now travel in smaller groupings both in the U.S. and abroad.  Seeing all these wonderful art pieces on display as we registered reminded us of the artistry of our work. (Just saw that Bev Haring has attempted many more photos - check out her blog for more!)

After a night of getting to meet and visit with fellow attendees, our conference began in ernest on Saturday morning. We had an excellent panel presentation by three Colorado Artsis, Deidre Adams, Carol Watkins, and Charlotte Ziebarth. They described how they create their very different art works and then, on the prompting of the moderator, shared a typical day in their lives and how they approach studio time. Their responses to that question were as varied as their works and helped me visualize some options for framing my own day.

We were then all off for our first workshop. Mine was by Regina Benson. She shared with us her approach to marketing her works with an eye on her ultimate goal to have her works reviewed in a national art magazine. I found her thoughts on mailing lists, promotional cards, and approaching museums about shows, of value despite having a different personal vision for my work.

Lunch followed, with an opportunity to sit with fellow Vision Project members and listen to a talk by Luana Rubin of on 'Finding and Creating Your Vision'. We all then attended a second workshop of our choice. I participated in Valarie Poitier's workshop entitled 'Promote Your Work Without Apologizing.' Valarie is a skilled speaker and had some great suggestions for all of us.

We then had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion on curating which definitely gave us all a sense of what is involved in curating exhibits. Then in the later afternoon there was an opportunity to tour some galleries and studios with local members of SAQA. I was lucky enough to wind up in Regina Benson's car. We began with a tour of the Dry Ice Factory where we were able to view both the studio of Carol Ann Waugh and her exhibit, Layered Textiles.

We then headed off towards Golden,  CO. Regina graciously first took our group to catch a glimpse of the peaks of the Rocky Mountains before visiting the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum where a wonderful exhibit was on display.  Here were two of my many favorites - it was hard to choose!
Winter's Silence by Laurie Hill Gibb
Native Faces by Lea McComas

We also visited the offices of Quilters' Newsletter where the SAQA exhibit, Sightlines, was on display. If you have the opportunity, please do get to see this stunning show.

Saturday was another full day. I did two technical workshops - one by photographer Gregory Case on how to take quality photos for juried competitions. It was detailed to say the least. Fortunately, Gregory offered extensive handouts for us!  In the afternoon, I attended a workshop on Adobe Photoshop Elements by Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki. I actually have the full Adobe Photoshop but was looking for tips on using it to promote my art. Deb and Kris are high energy and laid out a number of basic ideas for creating a promotional postcard.

There were also a number of talks throughout the day for the entire group to attend. Nany Bavor spoke about archiving our art work and Dr. Alice Zreviec spoke about the history of fiber in the art world. My favorite most definitely was a panel on the Rewards and Challenges of Working in 3D. Mary Beth Bellah, Carolyn Crump and Jill Rumoshosky Werner, along with moderator Susan Else, had us laughing till tears came at times while they recounted the challenges they face in getting their works accepted, shipped, and properly displayed in venues. All the time, their slides of their work gave us a new appreciation of the art of 3D quilting.

Then it seemed we were at our closing celebratory dinner and making plans to stay in touch and attend next year's conference in PA. Like many of my colleagues, I had never attended a SAQA event. Beyond a doubt, this experience has made me look forward to my next opportunity.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Wonderful SAQA Conference

Last weekend I was able to attend the SAQA Vision Conference in Denver, CO. I stayed a few days after to see some family and friends so I am still overwhelmed with catch-up work now that I am back in New York. However, I wanted to share one photo from the conference of all of the SAQA Vision Project members who attended the conference. For some of us, it was our first SAQA Conference and an opportunity to actually meet each other in person. Some of us have been communicating for almost two years online as part of the project. It was amazing. Everyone was wonderful. I have never met a friendlier group of kind people.

The conference itself was packed full with valuable workshops so it was a most amazing trip. I will write a little more about the content in the coming weeks. I would really like to thank SAQA for all the effort that went in to planning the event. And all of the Colorado art quilters who helped make it possible.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Food for Thought

 My daughter introduced me to a great vegetarian website a few weeks ago. Herbivoracious is a wonderful site - the recipes are intriguing and the photos are inspiring. I just made a carrot soup receipe that is absolutely delicious.

Here are a few recent photos to inspire you - either to cook, design, or have a great meal!

I love the blue bowl here!

Warm Grapes, Toasted Pita Bread and Ricotta Salata

Bucatini with Smoked Asparagus and Gorgonzola

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Blog Resources on the Web

 Here are a few more resources that I have noticed in the past few weeks that may be of interest:

Entering Shows - Elizabeth Barton had a great blog post on May 3 with thoughts on entering shows. She discusses both the value of shows and deciding which to enter.

Displaying a small project - J Bryant Campbell had a great post on April 26 on mounting a small fiber piece. It would work well for small art quilts. Her photos really help explain the process which she has used many times.

Three Techniques for Binding - Susan Knapp had a blog recently on finishing an art quilt with a non-mitered facing. She provided pdfs for the instructions as well as a mitered facing and a pillow case style.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Art Show to see

f you happen to be in the area, please stop by the Birds , Bees, and Butterflies Juried Art Exhibit at the Lazarus Gallery of United Hebrew of New Rochelle, NY. The exhibit runs from May 20 through September 9, 2011. There is an  Artists' Reception on Sunday, May 22 from 2:00-3:30 pm. The Lazarus Gallery is located at United Hebrew, 391 Pelham Road, New Rochelle, NY  10805.

My art quilt, Dragonfly, is part of the exhibit. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rochester Shows

I am off to Denver for the SAQA Visioning Conference - hope to meet many new friends and come back with many new ideas to support me in my artwork. One thing I do know is that I will have plenty of opportunities to be inspired by other artists over the new few months back here in Rochester.  We will be having an amazing number of fiber arts shows in Rochester this summer.

Here is some info on two coming soon.

  • The Genesee Valley Quilt Club will be celebrating its 75th Diamond Jubilee with its bi-annual quilt show. The show will feature over 600 quilts and will be held June 3-5 at Rochester Institute of Technology. There will be special events through out, including an Iron Quilter competition on Saturday and a silent auction on Sunday. On Friday, there will be a fashion show of some of the award winning garments made by member Priscilla Kibbee. The show will also be hosting the SAQA special exhibit, No Place to Call Home, that has been traveling around the U.S. for the past year. I am delighted to have one of my quilts in that exhibit.

    Rochester is home to an amazing group of quilters and the show two years ago was stunning and totally inspired me to move forward with my own art. I expect no less this time. It is definitely worth a trip to Rochester if you live any where within driving distance!
    •  The Kunstler Gallery of the Booksmart Studio will be hosting a special exhibit, Parallax: Views of Contemporary Art Quilters, from May 31 - June25. This will be a showing of works by nineteen artists whose work embodies the concept of parallax - presenting images and ideas from multiple perspectives. 
    Hope that you can add these shows to your calendar and take a peek. It will be well worth your time.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Making Progress and Soliciting Opinions

    Remember the Crystal Quilt class that I was taking with Dena Crain through Quilt University? I blogged about a design I had come up with a few weeks ago.

    I was in the middle of piecing the center section when travels interrupted me. Last week, I completed the outer ring of the center and was able to pin the entire design on my design wall. At the time of the photo below, the very center was not yet attached and had 1/4 inch seam allowances as when I was cutting it out, I wanted to reserved the right to decide on applique versus piecing for later. Also, on the photo, some of the design is not yet visible as I will reverse applique the 'darting' shapes that shown in the sketch above.

    I had planned to put the figure on a gold background. But, I didn't care for it when I had pinned it up on my design wall. I bought some pink fabric and I think that is what I will use. Any opinions? I think the design pops much more against the pink. I also haven't decided on the final color(s) for those darting shapes.

    Gold background

    Pink background
    The border will be the dark blue with a strip of probably the light blue, if I make this as an art quilt. That was my original intent. I intended to do some decorative stitching and some beading.

    However, as I looked at the figure on the background, I began thinking that it might make a nice lap quilt. I could see free-motion quilting the shape of the 'leaves' in blue radiating out from the design.

    Any opinions on that too?

    Much thanks for any input.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Sorry for the Missing Posts

    Hi everyone,

    As many of you know, Blogger has had some operational problems this week which resulted in missing posts and inabilities to communicate. It looks like things are getting back to normal. My planned Friday post is off in the ether somewhere at the moment. I am going to wait and see if it resurfaces before recreating it.

    In the meantime, here is a peak at my quilt that was accepted in the Stone Hill Quarry Art Park 2011 Juried Exhibtion.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Then There Are Days

    Sometimes life just seems to take over...I have had a few day recently where I felt a bit like I was out there on that Mississippi which they tell me is flowing faster than someone could run these days. But, then I have all those years of mind/body training to support me. So, yesterday, after more computer frustrations, none of which were my doing, I knew it was time to put my foot down and get out of the house and breathe a little.

    I went for a walk on some off-shoots of a trail that I have been running along for years now. Always, curious about what was on those side paths, I decided this was the day to explore. Here is what I found - inspiration for a future art quilt - and some presence of mind!

    Have a great day!

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Gearing Up for a New Wave

    I have often said that my creative spurts feel like waves. Right now I am a bit at a low point. I am busy sewing labels and sleeves on my contributions for our local Guild show as well as my two accepted entries for shows elsewhere. I am always amazed at the amount of time these 'finishing up' projects take. Between creating the sleeves and going over each quilt for errant cat hairs and loose threads, each quilt is a project in itself. And, with deadlines in place for when these quilts must be ready, I can't put off these finishing tasks. Particularly with travel for the SAQA Visioning Conference ahead.

    As I complete these tasks, my mind turns to 'what next'. I expected to return home from my trip out to Washington State last week with plenty of inspiration. Unfortunately, the one theme I was sure I wanted to explore just doesn't please me now that it is sketched out more fully. The trip was successful in other ways though. Besides getting to run in Spokane's annual Bloomsday Race with my daughter and son-in-law, I was able to visit some of my favorite fabric stores in Seattle and Spokane. I brought home a great selection of fabrics:
    And, when I returned home, I couldn't resist another source: Kyoto Kimono. I took a trip to Kyoto a number of years ago with the owner, Nancy McDonough, that I totally enjoyed. We roamed through gardens and open air markets. Nancy specializes in all things kimono and her current newsletter offered a selection of sleeves for sale as a package. I ordered one set, thinking I might use in that project I mentioned earlier. Alas, that project is on a back burner, but when the sleeves arrived, I realize they would be perfect for creating more of the silk scarves that I made a few years ago and were loved by many.

    So, while I may be without a plan for my next art quilt at the moment, I suspect that I can fill in some days creating some scarves -- once I get those sleeves finished!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Off the Topic

    My daughter sent a video that she thought I would enjoy on French school lunches. As you know, I love Paris and often appreciate the Parisian/French approach to daily life.

    When I think of Paris these days, I think of the winter public markets that take place weekly in all the neighborhoods. I last visited in January and despite some dreary weather, the markets were filled with Parisians buying fresh vegetables, meats, dairy, and fish for their meals. My Winter Greens quilt reflects these memories.

    Winter Open Market in Paris

    With memories of those markets, I was not at all surprised at this video! Just in case my embeded version does not work, I am including a link to the video also.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Spring has Sprung - in more ways than one!

    I returned last night from a brief trip to visit our daughter in Spokane, WA. (Had a wonderful time and will share some of my fabric adventures while there in the next week.) Last night as I sorted the mail that had come in while I was gone,  I was happily surprised to find my second acceptance in the past month into a juried show. This time it was "The ArT-QuILT ExPERIENCE" exhibition co-sponsored by the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park and The Art Quilt Experience Group. My quilt, Square Play, was accepted. This is a huge surprise for me and I am quite delighted. I will have to search for a photo to share with you as I am not even sure I ever mentioned it in this blog. I created the piece for a challenge with a local art quilt group but never actually was able to make a meeting of the group and share it.

    It is nice to be back and while it is a bit dreary here this morning, in general, our property is finally showing signs of spring.

    Our Huskies are napping outdoors.
    Even our stone cat looks happy - the real ones are out hunting!

    And more than one daffodil is finally up!

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Some Handy References

    Over the past few months, I have collected some miscellaneous ideas and tips that I thought worth sharing. Hope you find some useful:

    • Diane Gaudynski attended an Empty Spools seminar in California and wrote about it in her blog. She included a list of tips for sewing and quilting on a home sewing machine that I thought was just great. Here is a link to Diane's entry: tips before quilting

    • Judy Coats Perez posted instructions, with photos, on her blog for a faced binding that I thought was both artfully explained and quite useful.

    • Lyric Kinnard created a tutorial for making a simple journal cover that you can find on The Artquiltmaker Blog.