Wednesday, May 11, 2022

 We had our first reveal of 2022 on April 27.  As usual, it did not disappoint.

Bird's eye view

"Miner's Ravine Springtime"
36" x 16"
Jan Mitrovich

This is an imagined bird’s eye view of a portion of the park:  Trees, boulders, path, and patches of color representing poppies and lupine among the meadow grasses. The inspiration was walks though Miner's Ravine. Materials include cotton prints (some hand painted), organza, tulle, various yarns, cotton batting, hemp burlap background, assorted threads. Nature is a ragged collection of textures, colors, and elements that work together to create the beauty that we love. This piece experiments with straight/crooked, soft/hard, thick/thin, loud/muted in an attempt to imitate the art that is nature. Jan chose to include “human views” of the poppies and lupine that include details we may see when we look closely, in contrast with the aerial perspective.

City Scape

"Urban Decay"
"35" x 18"
Tracy Visher

Cities are busy, exciting places to visit, and for some, to live a unique lifestyle. It’s not hard to imagine young professionals in such a role. What if you HAVE to live there. What if you HAVE to live in the parts of the city no one wants to see or care about? This quilt depicts those areas. Whatever they may seem on the outside, they are homes and lives well lived for many.  Tracy had wanted to make an “inner city” quilt for some time. She happened upon the line of fabric by Tim Holtz called “Abandoned” and it all just came together. She used cotton fabrics, cotton, blend and metallic threads. WINDOW SCREEN! Inktense pencils and blocks, acrylic paint and beads. 80-20 cotton/poly batting.  
For Tracy, the trickiest part of this quilt was getting some sort of accurate perspective with the buildings. She also had a very clear mood in mind when she made it. While somber, she wanted to include bits that told you this was still home to people. It was a lot of fun “aging” the buildings and street. If you look at the far L building closely, you will see that she used some actual window screening material (saved from a replacement she did last year). She found the sky fabric and knew it was just the thing, with a little paint added.


"Sun Shades over Fudenjuice Food Court"
30" x 21"
Robin Hart

The inspiration was a photo challenge from the Nevada County Camera Club.  Robin was assigned a grid in Nevada City and went out to photograph a city scene with umbrellas.  She found the food court outside of Fudenjuice and not only were there umbrellas, there were beautiful red sun shades.  She shot a number of images with her camera and then picked the best one and processed it in Photoshop using the pen and ink and poster filters to give it texture and interest.  She then had it printed at real Graphics and quilted it for design.  The materials include cotton percale whole cloth, cotton batting, and cotton back fabric, various colors of cotton and polyester threads.  It was inspiring to Robin to create a piece that fulfilled a photographic challenge and a MAQ challenge at the same time.  

Lynda Loves Lace

"I Do - Reuse and Recycle"
13" x 21"
Shelli Fried

This piece was inspired by the work of Natalya Khorover, an artist who uses her work to bring attention to the environmental impact of single-use plastics. When Shelli started to collect single-use plastics to use in this piece she was shocked just how ubiquitous they are in our lives. This challenge was an opportunity to integrate the plastic flowers as a reminder to herself and others to look for and lobby for alternative packaging. Materials used include satin, various lace trims and borders; plastic wrappers from toilet paper, paper towels, and frozen pea packages; plastic caps from medication and toothpaste tubes; ribbon; cotton batting, Superior Monopoly thread. This piece morphed over time as ideas came and went. Initially Shelli wanted to have stuffed glove hands holding the bouquet. After trying a couple of different sizes, she abandoned the idea as they covered too much of the lace. The first bouquet turned out to be too dense and heavy looking. Three of those flowers were cut out and replaced with the top flower to create better balance and lightness. The flowers were glued to pipe cleaners which were inserted through a hole she made through the all layers. The pipe cleaners were spread apart and stitched down and covered with a piece of satin on the back. Shelli had forgotten how much lace can stretch!!! She made her college roommate’s wedding dress, and that was too many years ago to remember.

"Cinq Pots de Fleurs"
20" x 16"
Ginny Lee

The inspiration was a Libby Williamson workshop at Craft Napa on technique process.  She use acrylic paint, canvas, cheesecloth, lace trim, white-on-white & black-on-white cotton, felt.  This was a process of sketching a design concept, painting fabric with acrylic paints, free motion stitching individual components to a felt backing and collaging the shapes, using scraps of lace & cheesecloth to break up the background.  Ginny especially likes the 3-D effect and intuitive process for future quilts.

"And Still I Rise"
30" x 40"
Kathryn Madison

The inspiration was Maya Angelou's poem, "And Still I Rise."  

"You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I rise"

Materials used were Alencon lace, tsukeniko ink, inktense blocks and pencils, organza, cotton, batting, beads, monofilament thread, crystals.  In the dark ages when Kathryn first started working for IBM, women in the 'business' side of the house were mandated to wear dresses or suits, nylons, and heels.  even Kat, who did construction contracts. Picture it...climbing a ladder in an Oleg Cassini suit, heels and a hard hat.  Kat is sure the guys below loved that.  She sewed many of her clothes to save money.  One of her "uniform" regulars was an ivory silk chiffon blouse with Alencon lace down front, back and sleeves.  It worked with every suit and was cool in the summer. So... when the "lace" challenge was announced, she immediately knew what she wanted to do.  Strip that lace off that blouse and turn the "uniform" into a Phoenix rising from the flames.  This Phoenix is created with the lace from that "uniform" blouse.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

 We started our March meeting with a presentation from 3 of our members;  Kat Madison, Lynda Lasich & Tracy Visher, on how they use embroidery in their quilts.  They shared some quilts using these techniques.

Ginny will begin offering fabric dying and painting classes again. Here are some class samples:

Show & Tell

Joan Dyer

Joan shared a quilt that she made using embroidery techniques.

"Cats 'n Dragons"
15" x 45"
Tracy Visher

Made for the SAQA Prism Exhibit

"K is for Katie"
21" x 25"
by Tracy Visher

This was for a challenge from a local quilt shop. You purchase a $10 bag of random "parts". With it you can make anything you want. A purse, a pillow, a quilt, whatever. The only requirement is that you must use a minimum of 5 items from the bag and one of them must be an upholstery fabric. Tracy used every item in the bag except for fused T-cup. All she added of her own was the background and binding, her earring and she painted fabric for her face. 

"Power Hungry"
by Tracy Visher

Tracy was driven to create this after seeing the Ukranian invasion.

"The Year That Left a Hole in My Heart"
by trish Morris-Plise

"Madam Vice President"
by trish Morris-Plise

The first quilt was included in "Quarantine Quilts:  Creativity in the Midst of Chaos" by Sandra Sider and the second was juried into the 2022 Sacred Threads exhibit.

"Label Me Human"
23" x 30"
by Karle deProsse

Karle took a picture of her eyes for this piece.  The fabric & objects represent many of things in her life that make up who she is. She came across a school project for teen girls that had them collage their body/self-image from pictures cut out of magazines.  The concept intrigued Karle.  She went to the internet to find pictures to use for parts of her face with the concept that she desired it to be cartoonish. Karle used tea-dyed fabric, hand dyed fabric, commercial fabrics, handspun natural-dyed yarn, buttons & charms, felt, colored pencils, crayon rubbings.  Karle quoted "In life, if we are fortunate, we surround ourselves with the things that we love.  We label ourselves with these.  I have depicted that in this piece with as many things that came to mind as I had representative fabric or other objects.  I envisioned my image to be cartoonish, to portray humor in life."

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

 We were able to meet in person again for our February meeting.  We did a hybrid meeting;  some members were there in person and some joined us via zoom.  

Our very own Lynda Lasich gave us a lecture on what Quilt Show Judges look for.  It was very informative.

Show & Tell

"Box of Chocolates" by
Stephanie Bennett-Strauss

"Journal Quilt" by
Stephanie Bennett Strauss

"Tumbling Pots" by
Marie Brower

by Shelli Fried

"Cerulean Seascape"
by Lynn Tubbe
Close Up

This is Lynn's entry for SAQA's, "Prism Play" call for entries.  The concept is to display long & narrow quilts in the expanded colors of the prism.  Lynn got her color card and wanted to salute the ocean's majesty.  She used hand dyed and commercial cottons, cheesecloth and scrim.  She also painted netting and scrim.  Manipulating, shaping and stitching the scrim and cheesecloth into wave shapes proved to be a challenge.

by Jan Reed

by Jan Reed

Jan Reed shared a couple of quilts that were originally revealed via zoom.  She was finally able to share in person because they're back from the Houston show.

"Bloom in the Darkness"
by Kathryn Madison

Kat wanted to create a fantasy place with a story to include only original images of her doodled flowers, birds and bugs.  She used cotton, silk, organza, watercolor blocks, lumiere paint & oil pastels.  The stitching was done with cotton, poly, monofilament and metallic threads.  There's also hand embroidery floss, Kevlar and silk ribbon.  It's embellished with Szwarsvski crystals and beads. The quilt was created for a story:  It is midnight in the fantasy forest.  The rare bioluminescent Lunamore flowers open to the rays of the full monn, sending their intoxicating fragrance through the trees.  The nocturnal Pollen Birds and bugs flock to the feast.  As they feed, they spread iridescent pollen from flower to flower.  By sunrise the Lunamore flowers will be dark and closed and the birds and bugs will be gone.  She strongly does not recommend using oil pastels on art quilts.  Even when heat set three times, it flaked away as quilted, causing fine dust across the quilt front.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Our January meeting was via Zoom.  We had a fabulous lecture by Irene Roderick on her Improv techniques and methods.  You can visit her website for more information:

We had Show & Tell from Stephanie Bennett-Strauss

Pyramids Built by Slaves

Egyptian Royal Excesses

Both quilts were made in 1993 or ‘94 from a package of fabrics brought back from Africa as a gift. The inspiration was a King Tut Exhibit. Stephanie adapted a pyramid block from the book East Quilts West, by one of her all-time favorite quilt artists Kumiko Sudo. She used both African fabrics and regular domestic fabrics for each of these quilts. She hoped to embody a lesson learned from Roberta Horton – The Fabric Makes the Quilt; or  for her,  the fabric ‘Speaks’ to the ideas offered through the quilt. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

For our December meeting, we had a wonderful event to top off MAQ 2021.

Members were encouraged to wear an ugly mask. After popular voter comparison, Carla was declared the winner.

Wrapped gifts were circulated among members in a Right/ Left package exchange game. You would think that those of us who regularly deal with right side vs wrong side, top vs bottom, and mirror image patterns would have an easy time with left/ right, but this game stretched our collective direction following abilities.  Lots of fun and great gifts!

Our very talented members showed their holiday quilts Past and Present. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear the stories and learn a bit more about the presenters.

Lots of free goodies and yummy cookies topped off the  afternoon.

Friday, October 29, 2021

 After our record breaking storm last weekend, we had a beautiful day for our last reveal of the year.  And so many beautiful quilts were revealed. Here are their stories:

The Dark Side

"No Word" 15"x23"
by Michelle Peerson

Grief is dark.  A child whose parents die is an Orphan.  A partner whose spouse dies is a widow.  A parent whose child dies knows the dark side.  This was created with hand dyed Shibori Indigo background, steam-a-seam 2 lite.

"Firestorm" 23" x 19"
by Pat Gillings

Living with fire and smoke for months on end in Northern California is definitely "the dark side" of climate change.  I created this quilt to show the emotional impact of another summer of continual loss.  I believe the tree picture was originally taken in New Zealand and I had previously modified it to a 'glowing' look, but never used it directly in a quilt  I then applied the app WordFoto which allows you to surround your photo with up to ten works of your choosing.  The app fills in the words randomly in all the empty spaces.  Amazing.  This quilt was created after learning multiple skills in Susie Monday's online course on crating online art and collage.  

"Deciding in the Darkness" 35" x 39"
by Stephanie Bennett-Strauss, MD

I was inspired to choose this them because it fit only too well the state of mind I have been dealing with intermittently for some time now.  Artistically, I think that some observers might find that it evokes similar feelings applicable to moments in their own lives.  Munch's famous painting, "The Scream", inspired my starting place for the Dark Side challenge.  The screaming suffering "Self" is in the center, with dark, moody fabrics radiating out from upper left, suggestive of the perspective that Munch creates with a bridge in his original painting.  There is an Angel on one shoulder, and a Demon on the other, each in position to whisper influential advice.  But the Angel is trapped in a gilded cage, in the path of an oncoming storm, and so the Demon has full access, and spews his malice to the unfortunate suffering Self. Note:  the only white fabric in the quilt is a ray of White Light, perhaps a Ray of Hope, extending down from the upper left.  It appears to be coming from the outstretched hand of a hooded figure, who at first glace could be a Savior, but then looks more like the Grim Reaper.  Perhaps it is both death and Redemption  It stands in a peaceful graveyard, beckoning. This torturous predicament is made even more acute by the rising flames.  This is, indeed, a very dark quilt.  The Angel image was fussy cut from Christmas fabric, the Demon & Death figures were drawn by me with Micron pens and colored pencils, the background is pieced and machine appliqued.  Mostly cotton/polyester thread was used with some monofilament.  Then bamboo batting was used.

"Midnight Midway" 34" x 44"
by Marylee Drake

I wanted to do something using dark fabric with a dark theme.  I'm a an of Steven Kin's literature and his many dark stories.  I thought of a midway at midnight before the lights went out , but the visitors were gone.  I imagined scary shadows and monsters lurking in the recesses of the booths and among the rides.

Who Am I

"Healing" 27 1/2 x 40 1/2
by Jan Reed

All this time isolating during COVID made me re-evaluate who I am and what's important to me in life.  The inspiration for this was a painting of a creek that made me long to be able to go and sit there for as long as it took to sort through things.  This was made with commercial batiks, fabric inks, prismacolor pencils, some fabric paints and fused, raw edge applique of almost 300 pieces.  This piece turned out to be really difficult as the wonderful blends of paints the original artist used were tough to find in my fabrics.  I also altered certain parts of his scene and then those didn't match up with the master I drew.

"Mask Mandate" 20" x 20"
by Jane Haworth

I included the year 2020 and this is how we lived our lives in 2020 - Masks! I made a self portrait-selfie photograph.  I used hand painted on cotton using a variety of acrylic fabric paints.  I used a hand-carved rubber stamp, wool & cotton batting.  I used terial magic on the mask. This is my first self-portrait and I feel hiding half the face made it easier.  I painted the face after I drew out an enlarged photo.  This I backed with wool and free motion quilted.  I made my stamp "20" and stamped fabric for the background.  I layered them up and added the mask.  The mask I pinned in place and sprayed with terial magic to keep the folds.  I thought that was a good idea.  I enjoyed making this quilt.  The hardest part was adding the light reflections on the glasses.  

Wild Animals

"Barn Owl" 22" x 28"
by Ginny Petersen

I wanted to create a quilt without straight sides and also crate another wall hanging using the beautiful maple tree seed pods.  I used scraps from my stash, yarn, vinyl mesh, maple tree seed pods for the owl's body.  Tree roots were splayed out on freezer paper to prevent sticking and glued in place using Elmer's craft bond quick dry glue.  The tree was quilted with stippling stitch on my Bernina 770QE. Barn owls are rarely seen but always there.  The only one I ever saw spent a few days under the overhang of our house.  This one is hanging out in a tree.

"Alkebulan" 36" x 26"
by Sandi Lauher

This depicts 4 wild animals of Africa  My love of Africa, it's landscape and it's cultures and especially it's wildlife inspired this quilt.  I used cotton fabric, synthetic felt, polyester thread, water color pencils, tassels, and bone beads.  The quilt's largest animal is centered.  I chose the elephant because of the love and respect that I have for them.  But what you notice first are the other 3 animals (lion, giraffe & meerkat).  The acacia tree and monstera leaves are plant life of Africa.  2 challenges I faced were the painting of the lion's face (took many attempts) and the order of my process.  The backing was attached before the bottom cording.  I think the reverse would have been easier.

"Gino & Aloicious" 35 1/2" x 20 1/2"
by Tracy Visher

While not the typical rendition of a wild animal from a jungle or African veld, these two chimpanzees are definitely "wild"! The typical crazy thing that just pops in my head was the inspiration.  I found a photo that showed two chimps together that I used mere to be sure I understood their features.  The rest is whimsy.  I used cotton batting, cotton fabric, tinsel, angelina fiber, fiberfill, sequins, brass chain, inside of a mylar balloon, upholstery vinyl, inktense blocks and pencils.  I always set out to challenge myself in some fashion.  Trying to get clothes on these boys and give them facial features that conveyed a personality were the two big ones this time.  Getting Gino's eyes was really important too!

Wildcard 2020

"2020" 20" x 20"
by Sharon Rizzato

As an ICU RN, I have been hit, pinched, kicked and emotionally abused by family members, but never have I felt unsafe for more than a moment.  In 2016 a pandemic team was appointed for the USA.  They developed an epidemiologic play book, it included identification of emerging threat and a specific plan to keep the US safe from a novel virus.  In 2018, the pandemic team was disbanded by our "leader". The pandemic play book was never utilized during the Covid pandemic.  As an ICU RN, I witnessed hospitals scrambling to obtain and stretch the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  One time use cheap plastic gowns and a mask were now to be used for an entire 12 hour shift.  N95 masks were only issued to be used with identified positive Covid patients.  Covid testing took 6 days to result.  In normal times, PPE was readily available to us, we were able to use what we needed without positive testing.  I witnessed two emergencies that occurred shortly after shift change where our only options were to use night shift's old PPE or wait for PPE to arrive from the basement or not respond to the patient  This was unacceptable and dangerous to healthcare providers.  In fact during the first year of Covid, 3800 health care providers died in the US.  The majority of them worked either in the ED or the ICU.  Being an older RN with underlying health issues, I realized it was time to leave.  After the second emergency with no PPE, I left the ICU and went to a non-Covid unit and eventually moved to Covid tracking and tracing.  I retired two years earlier than I expected due to this.  The hospitals were doing their best to protect us and make sure we had PPE for the future. It was the US that failed the health care system.

"Let's Heal the World" 24" x 22"
by Sue Marshall

I wanted a positive take on "2020'.  So "Heal the World" was conceived.  I wanted to symbolize "Heal the World".  It shows a broken world in the background, hand stitching and photos of people being 'hugged by quilts' to symbolize healing.  I used batik and cotton fabric, printed photos on cotton (ink jet), machine and hand stitching.  I went to my first quilt retreat.  So it was a great opportunity to get pictures of people with quilts around them.  I love the photos and good memories I have of getting people to help with my project.