Saturday, December 27, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: Lithuania

Maryte Collard

I was born and spent most of my life in Lithuania, country of amber, songs and rain.
Despite my career in a medical field I was always interested in fiber arts and crafts but quilting stole my heart when I was introduced to it in 1997.
For 11 years since 2002 till 2013 I lived in US and there I realized that quilting was much more than a craft, it was an ART.

I started making traditional quilts but soon I realized that I wanted to explore endless possibilities fiber arts offer: raw edge applique using my own hand dyed silk and cotton as a background, painting and thread painting and free motion quilting that is my favorite part of quiltmaking.

I draw my inspiration mostly from nature and life around me but also I love creating abstract quilts letting the pieces of fabric to fall into places just like they knew where they belonged.

A new challenge in my quilting career emerged when I moved back to Lithuania in 2013. There were no tradition of making quilts here and there were no supplies. I had to start dyeing my own fabrics and to this day I am searching for my new style. For now my style often is recognized as “American” when I put my quilts on display in Lithuania or in Latvia.

Even there are few quilters in Lithuania now, there is no sense of community and I feel rather isolated. That's why I joined SAQA and also became a member of Latvian Quilting Association.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: Belgium (Denmark/Netherlands/USA)


I was born and raised in Denmark, but I have lived and worked for many years in the US and in the Netherlands. Since 2005 I live in the beautiful old city Antwerp in Belgium. I started out as a journalist and worked for five years at the daily newspaper Information in Copenhagen, but then I met my husband and moved to America, where I got a degree in art history at the University in Seatttle. And I saw my first quilt, an Amish quilt hanging on a wash line.
When we later moved to the Netherlands I worked at the Dutch Textile Museum, combining my love of textile, of art and art history and of writing. I was excited about  the opportunity to organize exhibitions and introduce ‘new’ quilts, first with an exhibition about American art quilts, and later in 1997 I was the curator of the very first European Art Quilt exhibition.
That last exhibition, however, also made it clear to me how much I missed making my own art work, so in 1998 I left my museum career to make art quilts full time.

Besides being a maker I am also teaching workshops and masters classes , and in 2001 I organized the 2 year course Quilten Speciaal in the Netherlands for quilters who wanted to further their artistic development - and this course is still taking place; we just started with group # 13.

Metropolis 1

Since 2000 I have been a member of the European group Quilt Art. This group celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015 with two traveling exhibitions and a big book.
And I have been a member of SAQA for about as many years and served as the SAQA representative for Europe and Israel from 2005-08, when we introduced the first Wide Horizons exhibition at the Carrefour in Alsace.

White Wall 2

I construct my quilts like a collage with many layers of cotton, linen, cheese cloth and paper, which I have painted, printed screened, rusted and bleached. I am fond of monochromatic colors and subtle tones and of hand quilting with big stitches. For the last five years I have focussed on the color white.

Words 5

Almost all of my work refers to writing. I was a journalist before I became an artist, and language and communication continue to be my main source of inspiration – from printed book pages to handwritten notes and letters  and from crude graffiti to posters and advertisements in the streets. The text on my pieces is meant to be seen rather than to be read, and to be seen as the human need for communication.

You can see more examples of my work on my website,

Friday, December 19, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: Ireland (Netherlands)

Joke Buursma

Originally from The Netherlands, I am now residing in Portlaw, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
I started quilting when I moved to Ireland in 1996.
The Dutch multicultural society has influenced my colour palette, while travelling has evoked my interest in the cultural legacies of the countries I have visited over the years. My collection of books about the cultural history of diverse countries is another source of inspiration.

Burying their children 4

My work often references a sense of place derived from places which affected me.
In the course of the last ten years I have been working on pieces alluding to the Adobe architecture in Mali (West Africa), South Africa's nature, and in other pieces to the past of Ireland, France, Spain, and Syria.


My work consists mainly of cotton fabrics, occasionally of silk, linen and man-made material as well.
I use a mix of commercial and self hand dyed fabrics.
In my work I apply appliqué, painting, discolouring, stamping, stencilling, piecing, and densely free-motion stitching.

Hermaphrodite 1

In the course of this year (2014) I had two solo exhibitions in the South East of Ireland.

Red Earth

If you want to see more of my work you can visit my website:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: Belgium

Françoise  Jamart 

 I started making quilts in the early eighties while living in the United States. At first, I fell in love with Amish quilts. I loved their simple designs and subtle colours.
When I came back to Belgium a few years later, I continued making quilts and gradually drifted towards contemporary and art quilting.
I dye, paint and print my fabrics, using several different techniques. Most of the time, I machine-quilt my pieces, although I often add some hand stitching.

Shibori (2014)

My inspiration comes from my natural environment and from my interest in all things Japanese. I traveled several times to Japan and became so intrigued by this beautiful country that I started studying the language a couple of years ago.

Rêverie in Japanese »  (2014)

I am a member of the international art quilt group Twelve by Twelve. At the moment, I am working on a series of small quilts using the remnants of fabrics I dyed for the Twelve by Twelve challenges.

Chartreuse Colorplay Scrapquilt (2014)

Recently, I launched a small art quilt group with a few friends. We still have to find a name, but we already have chosen a first theme for the next six months.

Tree of Life (2013) 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The Czech Republic

Jana Lalova

was born in Prague, Czech Republic. She graduated from the Charles University in Prague, field sociology of culture. After working at the Public Observatory and Planetarium in Prague for 28 years, she followed her husband – an astronomer – to New York, USA (for 4 years) and then to Vienna, Austria (for 10 years), where he was working for the United Nations.
She learned about patchwork the first time while living in New York. As a member of the United Nations Women´s Guild, she became one of the founders of the Quilting Group of the UNWG in Vienna. After taking several classes, she became the patchwork teacher, first in Vienna and after returning back home, in the Czech Republic as well.

After the Fire

She introduced patchwork several times on Czech TV, translated the Susan Briscoe book on Sashiko from English to Czech language and she is contributing to Czech handicraft magazines.

Hands of the Treasure

She became one of the „godmothers“ of  the Prague Patchwork Meeting in 2007. Since then she is participating as an exhibitor, workshop committee member and as a translator of some workshop lectures given in English.
First, she tried many different techniques, but prefered smaller hand made projects (baby quilts, wallhangings etc.). Recently she found her main interest in art quilts (she is a member of  Art Quilt Harbour Group).

The Tower of Babylon

She participated at exhibitions in Austria, Germany, Roumania, United Kingdom, Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic.

Monday, December 1, 2014

This is SAQA Europe/Middle East: The Czech Republic


I was born 1955 in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Since about 15 I started to study fine and applied art with textile specialization, mainly textile collage and classical (woven) tapestry technique. All this, however, never being my professional career as my parents insisted on some more practical job. Following my degree in economics (travel trade), I have spent whole my active professional life in tourism organizing both incoming as well as outgoing tours and events.
Shortly after 2002 I came back to my sewing and creative textile hobby and since then I concentrate on contemporary and art quilt and the integration of textile art works in modern interiors. Since years I have been also teaching surface design not only in Czech Republic, but also abroad in English or German).
In 2005 I was among those who decided to upgrade the experience of the growing Czech patchwork community by founding an international event, unique in the Middle and former Eastern Europe: Prague Patchwork Meeting (  As we are mainly a family run enterprise with a substantial help of my friend quilters from the Art Quilt Club CZ, I am also active in bringing up the monthly Newsletter PPM in CZ and EN version and in curator activities regarding the Czech collection shown abroad.


I take regularly part in many shows and exhibitions not only in CZ, but also in various international projects (EPM contest, Sign of the Time, Radiation, EAQ, FOQ with the Art Club CZ….) Lately my latest quilt collection “RED” was  presented at the 20th EPM in France.


My current work concentrates on quilts for PPM special category Leather in 2015 as well as a brand new project Art Quilt Harbour ( 

Terra Fuego