Saturday, November 22, 2014

SAQA International Artists Panel Mentorship Webinar

Have you ever taken part in one of SAQA's webinars? Here is another one coming up soon:

SAQA International Artists Panel Mentorship Webinar

Tuesday, December 9 at 1 pm ET
The International Artists Panel will include three international SAQA members sharing their art quilts and discussing how their creative lives are influenced by the places they live. Alicia Merrett was born and raised in Argentina and lives in the United Kingdom. Barbara Lange and Uta Lenk live in Germany. This webinar is an outstanding opportunity to learn about some of SAQA’s international members and be inspired by these talented art quilters. 
Please click the following link to register. Registration is limited, but all SAQA members will have access to the full audio and video recording of the webinar on the SAQA website within a few days after the event.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom

Fenella Davies 

I have been living in the lovely Georgian City of Bath for many years.

I was a member of Bath Textile Artists for ten years, making and exhibiting jewellery, collages and textiles. 

After winning a number of awards in the late 90’s, I applied, and was accepted into Quilt Art (the International quiltmaking group) about 16 years ago, and we celebrate our 30th anniversary next year, with another international touring exhibition, accompanied by a book. (

 We try to produce an exhibition with book every 2 or 3 years, and these then tour throughout Europe.  Our last exhibition was in Russia and we have also just ended a long tour in the USA.

My work has been based for many years on Venice, a city that I visit often – I am interested in the decay and beauty, the silence of the calles and the contrast of the tourists, the history of past lives, and the disintegration of this unique place.

detritus Venice, 100 x 150 cm

Venice Light, 90 x 137 cm

My work is abstract and becoming more collage than quilted textile – having specialized in embroidery, I now like to ‘distress’ that with over painting, collaging, use of paper, card, flashing, matting, scrim and netting, but always using a small point of interest to make the viewer think further into the piece. 

Venice Wall Tracks

My new work is based on Seam/Stress – the word ties in neatly with the hardships of the seamstresses of the past – unknown women (invariably) whose work went unacknowledged, yet was so exquisite. 


Monday, November 17, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The Netherlands

Marjo van der Leeuw Lauwereys

Events and problems who are happening in the world  - not rarely also related to religion - will I show in my textile work.Emotions, triggered by those events can be described ascommon experience and presenting them in my work I'm sharing this with others.

Losing time, 2013

Inspiration I get from my environment, nature, media and from my former job as a social worker.

On the way to freedom in former times and now, 2011

The shapes and colours that call emotions - I use a lot of earth tones - have a close relationship with my first childhood, that I spent in Belgian Congo. They are mixed with my social experiences.

Marjo van der Leeuw Lauwereys

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom

Brenda Wroe

I am a contemporary quilt artist, having immersed myself in textile art at the start of the new millennium after a long professional IT career.  I do wonder now why I left it so long; there are so many opportunities for personal creativity and the textile world is really obsessive.   However making art quilts has to fit in with my unusual nomadic lifestyle, since I move home between the East Midlands in the UK, rural France and southern Spain, several times a year. 

My quilts are usually bold and colourful, often being inspired by particular shapes in the landscape or architecture which catch my eye whilst I am walking or travelling.  I create my own fabrics, hand-dyeing natural fibres of cottons, silks and linens which I often develop further by screen printing, discharging, or painting.  I am fortunate, due to my lifestyle, to be able to find and ‘reclaim’ old French bedlinen which makes such beautiful texture to work with.

bp@BP (2012)
I normally work intuitively, often with particular shapes in mind, considering what the fabric is asking for before deciding on a particular way forward. Frequently a project stays on my design wall for days, sometimes weeks, before I understand what it needs to express an idea that I have in mind.  Whilst actually creating fabric is always exciting I rarely consider a piece is nearing completion until it has been stitched, often by quite abundant machine quilting or by embellishing with hand embroidery stitching.   I do love a challenge and recently have been learning how to use a longarm sewing machine in creating art quilts.

Stormy Oak Tree (2013)

Through the Roof (2013)
In 2013 I curated a group exhibition called Hidden Treasures at the 19th European Patchwork Meeting in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines in Alsace and went back again to Alsace in September this year with a personal contribution to their celebratory 20th anniversary exhibition.  My work has been exhibited frequently in the UK and also in Spain and France and it is enjoyable to participate in international quilt challenges such as EQA.   Having only recently joined SAQA, I volunteered to assist on the SAQA stands at FoQ and EPM this year.  I was welcomed by many other members and will certainly be offering to help out again.
On reflection I consider life to be enriched by the opportunity to travel, make friends and create art quilts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Call for Entry at Textile Museum, Washington D.C.


A recent message from Leni Wiener, Chair of SAQA Exhibitin Committee, posted on the yahoo-group:

Since stepping into the Chair of the Exhibition Committee a year ago, I have been asking and listening to what our members want in an exhibition opportunity. There were lots of suggestions—more museum venues, large scale work, installation work, free standing or dimensional work, cutting edge work that stretches us as artists. 
That is why I am so excited to tell you about the newest call for entry. The Textile Museum in Washington DC has recently reopened in a fantastic new facility on the campus of the George Washington University and will host a SAQA exhibition there in 2016. This is an opportunity to exhibit work in a world class museum, to do large pieces (they have one section of the gallery space with thirty foot ceilings), and all kinds of cutting edge work that will show the world the innovative and amazing range of SAQA’s artists.

Please read the call for entry carefully, and remember this (actually remember this for all calls for entry): the theme is your inspiration, it is the door that opens to your imagination to interpret in any way you wish. Don’t be limited by only what is suggested, stretch yourself, be inspired and create work that relates to the theme, but doesn’t not need to be literal. I often hear that members want more themes that can be abstract—if you are inspired any theme can be abstract. I hear that people want themes related to their usual body of work—make the theme fit your usual style, technique and subject matter. This is a theme that is wide opened to interpretation. 

 We have posted the call for entry a year in advance so those who wish to make work specifically for this call have ample time to think about, plan and create pieces for submission. And because this is a single venue event, if you can ship it to the museum, you can enter it. None of these pieces will travel after this one venue, so there is no need for your work to be accommodated by the restraints of our usual shipping containers.

This is an amazing opportunity and we want to show the Textile Museum we are up to the task and blow their socks off! Follow the link, check it out, think about it. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!
 Here is the call for entry: (either click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser).

+++ end of Leni's message +++

Note that the date for entry is still some time in the future – but it would be wonderful if many members from Europe would consider entering! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom

Margaret Ramsay

Indigo Waves - SAQA Benefit Auction 2012

SAQA Wide Horizons III ' Weymouth Waves'   Judges Choice FoQ 2014

'Fleet Mudflats'   Knit and Stitch Olympia 2014

My mother was an embroiderer and quilter and I grew up surrounded by fabrics and threads.  While I've always painted and drawn (studying art to 'A' level at school),   I read  botany and biotechnology  at university  and didn't take up sewing  seriously until I was unemployed for a few months on graduation and mum taught me to  quilt - I've been hooked ever since. My career has been in science: nearly 25 years as a botanist at Kew Gardens working mainly on orchid conservation and more recently on mosses.  Working on international projects and collaborating with scientists and conservationists in many countries for my job, I've found it rewarding and invigorating to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. That's one of the main reasons I joined SAQA, apart from the opportunity to exhibit.  I love catching up with SAQA members on my annual visit to FOQ and  I  hope someday to get to an international show/conference.

I like to think that I apply my scientific curiosity to my art work, keen to explore new ideas.  I'm passionate about the natural world and using my own images, observations and experiences in my quilts. I've been going through a bit of an indigo phase for the last few years, constructing seascapes. This year I had my first indigo vat at home (I've used other peoples premises previously.) It gave me the opportunity to dye sections of old tatty antique quilts that I've been accumulating, my husband calls me a quilt resurrectionist.
Painting these rescued quilts with acrylic paints is another direction I've been exploring, started initially in an attempt to  capture some of the freshness of sketches that was sometimes lost along the way in interpreting them in fabric.
What unites all the techniques I use is love of colour and of stitch -   while I   use  machine quilting ( particularly twin needle) , it is the rhythm of hand stitching that I find both soothing and additive. I often combine the two as they bring different effects to a piece.

 'Nautical Dawn' Judges Choice FoQ 2014

 Detail of 'Red Remnants' Cwilt Cymru

Besides SAQA, I've been a member of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles  for 27 years  and its specialist group 'Contemporary Quilt' since it started, enjoying the camaraderie and challenges. I've been making 'Journal Quilts' for over 12 years, using them as a means of  trying out new techniques and practising.  I'm a member of exhibiting group 'Cwilt Cymru' and post regularly on my blog.

I also have a website that I'm afraid needs updating - in my limited spare time I'd rather be stitching! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom


I was born and grew up in Argentina, under crystal blue skies and surrounded by colour, which may or may not explain my preference for working with strong colours.  I came to live in England in the late 1960s.  I have stitched since I was a child, but did not take it seriously until the 1980s, when I became a cloth doll and teddy bear maker, designing my own patterns, teaching and writing books.

In the 1990s I visited the exhibition “Contemporary American Quilting” at the Craft Council in London.  There I was amazed at the works of Nancy Crow, Michael James, Caryl Bryer Fallert and others, and decided to make the move into contemporary art quilting.

Light Fantastic
I made my first quilt in 1994 and won an award for it, so I knew I was on the right tracks!  This quilt, Light Fantastic, was shown again recently at the 20th Anniversary Exhibition of the European Patchwork Meeting in Ste Marie Aux Mines, France.

Login Shakespeare
My first love was colour and therefore my quilts reflect that.  I have worked in series about Music, Shakespeare, ColourScapes, Gee’s Bend.

Gee's Bend Blues
In 2008 made my first map quilt, and in the years since then I have made many more.  I love geography, cartography, aerial views, and maps seem to fit in the right place in the development of my work.

Mapping Earth
I exhibit often in the UK and abroad, including shows at the European Patchwork Meeting in 2011, and the Festival of Quilts in 2004 and 2014.  This year I produced a book/catalogue of this exhibition, which was primarily about my map quilts.

Seaside Town
You can see many more of my quilts, and details about the book, in my website,

The Night Road

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom

Amanda Sievers


I am an Australian from Perth, Western Australia, living in Salisbury, United Kingdom. I love anything creative but my true passion lies in creating art quilts.   

I grew up with art & craft all around me and learned to sew at a young age. My mother is a dressmaker/upholsterer, and through that, I developed a love of textiles of all kinds. She also paints and creates wonderful craft pieces using many different media. My grandmother was also a talented seamstress, oil & china painter. I loved art at school and ended up at university doing graphic design. It was not until 1997 though, that I discovered patchwork quilting and from then on, I was hooked!

About a year ago, I found myself wanting more from my quilting, so when I discovered the world of art quilts through a friend, I knew instantly that was the direction I wanted to take. It has turned into a real passion that I can see lasting a lifetime.

For the past year I have been part of an online art quilt group called 'Latitude Quilts' We produce 15" x 15" pieces based on a theme every 2 months.

So far, most of my work in quilt art has been created for this group, though I am now working on several personal projects including a series based on gears and cogs. Since moving to Salisbury, I am also greatly influenced by the medieval history around me, so I see some pieces being created around this theme as well.

Balance 2
My main areas of interest in lie in surface design, fabric dyeing, fabric painting and digital imagery. I am hardly ever without my camera and find inspiration pretty much everywhere I go. I like to create in a more intuitive way and my quilts tend to evolve rather than be planned in detail from the start.

Dragonfly (work in progress)
 My design style has always been quite bold though since discovering art quilting and trying different techniques, I find my style developing and changing and I am happy to go where inspiration leads me.  I look forward to leaving my mark through my love of textiles, colour and design. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The United Kingdom

Susan Chapman

I live in a small farming village near Winchester in the U.K. I teach adults in Eastleigh College, including City and Guilds, a Masterclass, and am Course Manager for a Degree in Stitched Textiles and HNC Contemporary Art Practice. I also work as a freelance artist, and give lectures and workshops.

My work is about our relationships with others and our place in the world. The passage of time as I reach retirement age is also a strong feature. Handwriting is used as a markmaking device, and of course used as a metaphor for identity because of its personal uniqueness. I am influenced by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Tracey Emin, Dorothy Caldwell and Rozanne Hawkesley.


Self portrait corrected


I make contemporary quilts and also wrapped book forms. I constantly work into sketchbooks, documenting the world around me and my interaction with it, combining my drawings with textiles using stitch, both hand and machine. 
I draw from life into my sketchbooks and my practice involves working into these books nearly every day ...except for my two long college teaching days. 

Inner City
Inner City is amongst my most recent work and combines the quilt form and a wall hung book form. It looks at youth culture and attitude, from observational drawing on the South Bank in London

Inner City, detail

Inner City, detail

I belong to several exhibiting groups which keeps me very busy with exhibitions, do Google them and look at their websites; ArtQuiltFusion(AQF), Studio21, ByDesign, Room6, and ContemporaryStitchWorkshop(CSW)