Jan 24 2017

Tech Tuesday: Fabric Printing, Part 3


We are often asked to recommend a good online fabric-printing service. A few years ago we wrote a couple of reviews. You can read them here:

Online Fabric-Printing Service Review 1
Online Fabric-Printing Service Review 2

This past summer we had the opportunity to write a more comprehensive article about online fabric-printing services for the SAQA* Journal. Click here to read it. The upshot of the article is that you need to identify your needs (such as type of fabric desired and the importance of black to your image) before deciding on a particular company. And, we found that different companies excel in different areas. We hope our articles are helpful to you. Leave us a comment, if you would like us to review a different online fabric-printing service .


Sample image from the article

* The SAQA Journal is one of the many benefits of membership in Studio Art Quilt Associates. You can view back issues (older than two years) without membership, but we think the journal alone is worth the price of our membership! Thank you, SAQA, for permission to post the article on our website. Click here to view more SAQA Journal articles.

Jan 4 2017

Ahh, The Company We Keep!


I regularly check out the website of Studio Art Quilt Associates because they frequently change their homepage banners. For me, it’s a weekly art fix. Well, wasn’t I surprised to check in the other day to find this amazing collage:

Jan 2017 SAQA Banner

Jan 2017 SAQA Banner

Wow, our Obama quilt is in great company! These artists have produced some amazing work, and we hope you click on their names to view more of their work. Let’s take a closer look at these “faces.”



Margaret Abramshe‘s “Zazen” is an explosion of color. She works with family photos to create compelling stories. Even subjects such as a pallbearer and immigrant are striking in their use of color.



One of our oldest SAQA friends, Mary Pal works with professional photographers in order to concentrate on portraits of older people. She is able to achieve remarkable and sensitive portrayals using . . . cheesecloth. Mary molds the cheesecloth into a story right on the person’s face, even if we don’t know exactly what that story is.

Masked Self Portrait

Masked Self Portrait

Kate Themel is known for her ability to create light. From the camera lens in this self portrait to her street scenes, look for her brilliant lighting effects. And, remember, she’s doing it all with fabric and thread.

Romancing Red

Romancing Red

Michelle Jackson often uses text in her work. In this case, she does so to great effect by interspersing words for the color red throughout the piece. It’s also an evocative portrait, creating other sensations associated with the color red.

The Picture is Only Half the Story

The Picture is Only Half the Story

Have you seen the Pixeladies‘s gallery of text art recently? We’ve been working away on pieces in our Language of Color series and our Walk a Mile in Her Shoes series. We use text to subtly influence meaning with specific word usage.

Always curious as to how things get done, I wrote SAQA’s multi-talented assistant executive director, Jennifer Solon, and asked her how these collages are selected and assembled for the SAQA banners. “I am still the person creating the banners. I select the artwork using the selections from the most recent online gallery,” Jennifer replied. We must note that among her many duties, Jennifer is still SAQA’s website master!

This month’s online gallery is called “Faces and Expressions.” You can access it by clicking here. Please take a look because there are so many other fascinating works of art in this gallery. Hats off to SAQA member Shruti Dandekar, who curated this particular online gallery!

Note: SAQA is always looking for guest curators. If you are an interested SAQA member, contact galleries@saqa.com for more information.

Sep 26 2016

Bid On Our Quilt Starting Today!


As most of you know, we are proud members of Studio Art Quilt Associates, whose mission is to promote the art quilt. Their annual online benefit auction is currently underway, and you can bid on our quilt starting today at 2 pm EDT.

The Language of Color 9: Color IQ

The Language of Color 7: Color IQ

“The Language of Color 7: Color IQ” is one in the series of pencils we have been creating to address the issue of race in America. The colored pencils are created using words and phrases cut from magazines and newspapers. While many of these snippets show how often color is used in everyday language, interspersed among them you can find some biting, cutting, or difficult concepts.



Prices today are $750 per quilt, but you can wait, if you dare, to try and get the quilt later on at a cheaper price. If our particular piece doesn’t grab your fancy, we’re pretty sure you’ll like something in the auction. Click here to get to SAQA’s auction page. Bid early! Bid often! And support this wonderful organization. SAQA has helped artists like us since 1989.

UPDATE: The quilt sold today (9/26/16)! Many thanks to all the supporters of SAQA and especially to Del Thomas. Click here to read more about Del Thomas and the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Art Collection.

Sep 6 2016

Deb’s 2016 SAQA Dream Collection


Every year Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) holds an online auction of amazing 12″ x 12″ art quilts. They invite the public to post their dream collection. Kris and I just love curating the six quilts we would like to have in our houses (and, of course, really bid on). I started to create my collection when it was really hot, so all the pieces were a cooling blue green. Then I saw a couple of architectural quilts and built a collection around them. Unfortunately, Kris posted her dream collection before I did (view it here). I know we’ve been friends for a long time, but it would be embarrassing to post a collection based on the same subject with 5 of the 6 pieces being the same. (It’s the same as when we accidentally wear the same clothes to give a talk–teal shirt, black pants, clog-like shoes).

Okay, back to my collection. So I created a different collection based on pieces that had grids in them (or what I perceived as grids). I love little boxes with things in them, so I think that’s why these pieces appeal to me. Click on any image to start the slide show and to expose the title and artist for each piece. Links to artist websites are included below so you can explore even more of their work. The auction starts on September 16. Click here to view all the auction pieces. I hope you find a piece you’d like to bid on.

Brooke Atherton
Kate Crossley
Jane Dunnewold
Diane Glos n/a
Judy Langille
Karen Miller

Aug 10 2016

Kris’ 2016 SAQA Dream Collection


Every year Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) holds an online auction of amazing 12″ x 12″ art quilts. They invite the public to post their dream collection of six pieces. Deb and I just love perusing the collection to pick out what we would like to hang on our wall (and, of course, really bid on). Here is my collection (Deb will post hers next week). The auction starts on September 16. You will probably find at least one piece you would like to own. I found at least six! Click here to view all the auction pieces.
I called my collection “I Wanna Live There” because I found several city scenes that I found intriguing. They invited me to explore their space. While the techniques used sometimes varied greatly, the resulting quilts accentuate the architecture of the city they are depicting. Links to artist websites are included below so you can explore even more of their work. Click on any image to start the slide show and to expose the title and artist for each piece.

Judith Ahlborn
Natalya Aikens
Heather Dubreuil
Deborah Fell
Dolores Miller
K. Velis Turan

Oct 14 2015

Procrastinating in Black and White


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need to procrastinate. You know, those times you should be doing something productive, but you’d rather check out all the Facebook posts from the last year. And one post leads you to a website or blog, that leads you to something else, that leads you to something really cool. Well that’s what it was like yesterday. I was testing out links from the SAQA conference page and landed on Maria Shell’s website (because she’s going to be one of the speakers at the SAQA conference in Philadelphia next year). I hadn’t checked out her blog in a while, so I clicked over to Maria Shell’s blog. She was discussing her series of quilts depicting chairs. She gave examples of chairs created by many artists. One of the artists was Wang Huaiqing. Beautiful black and white or grayscale images of chairs. I didn’t know of Wang, so being in procrastination mode, I had to Google him/her. Mr. Wang’s stylized furniture paintings are really worth a look.

Well, that got me thinking about several black and white quilts I had seen in the past month. As with black and white photography, there’s just something appealing about black and white, or black, white and gray quilts. One was Maria Shell’s donation to the 2015 SAQA benefit auction.

Maria C. Shell, Trance

Maria Shell

Then I recalled several black and white quilts that Kris and I saw in Europe. Mirjam Pet-Jacobs posed with Kris in front of her quilt Square City. If you happen to visit Heidelberg, Germany before January 10, 2016, you can see this quilt and many others at The 6th European Quilt Triennale.

Kris Sazaki and Miriam Pet-Jacobs in front of Square City

Kris Sazaki and Miriam Pet-Jacobs
in front of Square City

The European Patchwork Meeting in Ste. Marie aux Mines, France, had a few stunning black and white quilts, too. Among Erica Waaser’s brightly colored quilts was this wonderful piece.

Erica Waaser White Afternoon

Erica Waaser
White Afternoon

Harue Konishi’s piece in the Mixed Media Art Association’s exhibition was also intrigueing. I loved the way she cut apart the work and stitched it back together. It made for a much more interesting quilt.

Sheila Frampton-Cooper’s Untamed Symphony was another black and white piece among an exhibit of her very vivid quilts. Your jaw just drops looking at the stitching.

I really love color, so I’m not sure what made me so hyper-aware of the black and white pieces. Perhaps it was several weeks of looking at half-timbered architecture. (Or maybe it was all that amazing iron work – look at the restaurant sign to the right.)

Half-timber House Neuberg Am Rhein Germany

Half-timber House
Neuberg Am Rhein, Germany

Or loving the pattern in one of our works in progress.

Pixeladies  Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy looking at these pieces as much as I did.

Sep 17 2015

Bid On Our Quilt!


The SAQA Benefit Auction starts tomorrow. We donated this 12″x 12″ quilt to help support this wonderful organization. After all, earth without art is just “eh.”


Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: What It’s Really Like Out There

There are a lot of great quilts available (just in case ours doesn’t strike your fancy). When our #internkelly was doing her internship with the Pixeladies, we all put together our “dream” collections of six quilts each. Take a look:

Deb’s Dream Collection featured this colorful quilt by Tommy Fitzsimmons.


Kris’s Dream Collection featured this striking quilt by Regula Affolter.


#internkelly’s Dream Collection featured this evocative quilt by Maggi Birchenough.


Whatever your personal taste, you will surely find something to bid on. And it’s also fun to watch the bidding. Click here to view the entire auction collection. Good luck!

Aug 13 2015

#internkelly’s 2015 SAQA Dream Collection


The art quilts I viewed for SAQA’s 2015 Benefit Auction have enchanted and impressed me in so many ways. I am struck by the intelligence and innovation behind every quilt and delighted by some of the unconventional re-purposing of materials. As I browsed the evocative body of work, I found myself pausing on a select few, wishing I could physically jump into them (à la Bert the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins) to explore the depths of my own imagination. For this reason, I have named my dream collection “Intrigue.” Let’s take a closer look at the imagination evoked by each of my dream quilts.

When I look at this quilt, I imagine myself frolicking over the face carved into these colorful mountains, running up and down the hills towards the deep center, where I would hope to find a mystical littoral cave at the end of the deep blue waterfall.

This quilt felt very nostalgic to me, because it evoked the kind of child-like excitement I feel when I pull up someplace in my car after dark and see the reflection of my wheels and headlights on the windows; a visual cue that I have arrived.

The green figure in this quilt reminds me of a grasshopper. I would like to drink some of Alice’s shrinking potion from Alice in Wonderland and then walk alongside the grasshopper into the mysterious night.

When my mind jumped into this quilt, it landed on a psychedelic subway platform in a parallel universe, where I imagined I could people watch and listen to street artists and musicians collecting change.

While looking at this quilt, I imagine myself sitting on a cliff on a silent night by the sea, watching a warm moon glimmer over peaceful waves.

I wish I could jump into this quilt, land on the moon, and jump off into the sky where I could fly between the stars and see the universe from all different perspectives.

Here is what my Dream Collection looks like as a whole:

Thanks for joining me on this adventure through my Dream Collection! Curating it has filled me with creative inspiration.

Aug 6 2015

Deb’s 2015 SAQA Dream Collection


Every year, SAQA members are invited to choose 6 quilts from the SAQA Benefit Auction they would love to own. Kris’s collection was Kind of Blue. Deb’s choices must have been inspired by the heat on the day she curated her dream collection*. It is called Riot of Color. Here’s the way I would hang the pieces:

Riot of Color Collection

Riot of Color Collection

I thought you might find it interesting to see what I started with.

Down to Sixteen**

Down to Sixteen**

I kept looking at the quilts, taking different ones out, adding them back in, taking them out…

Down to Twelve

Down to Twelve

I thought I had it…

First Collection of 6

First Collection of 6

but when I rearranged the photos I had to change them yet again. Here are the final six quilts with the artists’ names and titles.

Clicking on any image will open the slideshow of all the images, and you’ll be able to see the details better.

* Lest you think I was kidding about the heat here’s the temperature as I was driving home. It was 111 when we started.

Temperature near Folsom, California

Temperature near Folsom, California

** I really can count, you’ll see that I had opened one quilt twice. I think it was a sign. I tried to take dear Brenda’s flowers out of the collection several times, but like the Cat in the Hat, it just kept coming back.

The 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction starts September 18. We hope you take a look at all the art available at the 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction and bid on a piece or two!

Jul 30 2015

Kris’ 2015 SAQA Dream Collection


The 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction starts September 18. Every year, members are invited to select their dream collection. We always have so much fun doing this. Here is Kris’ dream collection. Both Deb and Intern Kelly will pick theirs in the next two weeks. The idea is to curate your own 6-piece collection that you would love to own. My collection is called “Kind of Blue,” and if I had this collection in my home, I would sit back, sip a bourbon, put on some Miles Davis, and just hang with these incredible pieces.

Clicking on any image will open the slideshow of all the images, and you’ll be able to see the details better.

Studio Art Quilt Associates is a 3,ooo+ member organization that promotes the art quilt. The Pixeladies are devoted members (Kris is the current president, and Deb is chair of Special Events). It’s through SAQA that we have met so many amazing artists and have had so many opportunities to develop as professional artists. We hope you take a look at all the art available at the 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction and bid on a piece or two!