Monday, January 31, 2011

February 2011 Artist Profile

Beatrice Hughes
East Lansing, Michigan

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts?
Sewing was part of my rearing. I used my mother’s fabric scraps to make doll clothes for my and my niece’s dolls. Home economics formalized my sewing and quilting sprang upon me when I discovered and purchased a box of sewing notions and Mountain Mist quilt batting at an estate sale. Once I found that batting with a Lone Star quilt pattern wrapped around it, quilting gradually grew into a passion. Yes, my first quilt was the Lone Star and I made two—but oh, the centers, how they peaked! Now that I’ve been sewing for over 50 years, my centers lay flat. I am both an art and traditional quilter. My first “art” quilt came together in 1990 and my philosophy is that a well made traditional pattern is also a piece of art.
Describe your art and its inspiration.
My art is inspired by graphic design, in which I have a degree. I like line and texture and love color. Many of my designs begin by using computer graphics, where I can test shapes, colors, change arrangements and print patterns. Photos also play a part in my work and I take most of the photos that appear in my books.
Where do you do most of your artwork?
I have been blessed with and appreciate space dedicated to quilting, sewing and an occasional craft project. There are no picturesque views or finished ceilings but my well lighted large basement area houses myriad fabrics, tools and supplies. My old model 2010 electronic Singer sewing machine and my new 2010 Janome Memory Craft model 11000, which includes quilting motifs, get along fine. I now realize how much I like having two machines. An 8’ x 8’ pin-up board is an important spot where I pin quilt designs before sewing. The 4’ by 8’ work table, covered which cutting mats, facilitates cutting, piecing and design layout. Other quilters also gather from time-to-time to work on projects. A 2’ x 5’ ironing board, which my husband made (he has helped quilting friends make a similar board), is ideal for ironing a full width of fabric. An office upstairs is where I physically draw, design, and publish on computer and work on business related tasks. It has a pleasant view where I can watch birds at the feeder.
What are your goals?
Striving to improve my quilting and computer skills is an ongoing goal. I am still thinking about 2011 quilting resolutions and usually vow to complete a project that is in the design stages and sometimes I get that done. My next quilting book, which is in progress, will continue to keep me busy. That can take so much time that art and traditional quilting both take a back seat. And of course this year, I want to get my recent, “Crazy for Lemoyne,” quilting book into more hands. The web site, FullCirclePublications, features this book. Creating a photo gallery of my quilts to post on a web site is another task on my to-do list. Learning more about digitizing is another goal so that I can create and stitch my own quilting motifs.
Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork?
For many years teaching has been a part of what I do. Four wives of Japanese visiting professors were my first students and I taught basic quilting skills. Each student got a “quilting diploma” to frame after finishing their project. At least one of these women went on to teach in Japan. In 1991 I began co-teaching a group of MSU women who initially came together to make a scholarship raffle quilt. After completing that project, we continued on to learn new techniques and to make and donate quilts to International Aid and MSU Safe Place. That group has grown to about twenty members. I continue to belong to this group and teach on occasion. I have also taught at local quilt shops and at the MSU Adult Evening College. In 2009 I gave a trunk show and slide presentation to the Roanoke, Virginia Star Quilters.
Where can your work be seen?
Lou Anna K. Simon is the 20th president of Michigan State University. To commemorate the Sesquicentennial of MSU and honor women, like her, who contributed to the development MSU, I steered and worked with women in the MSU quilting group to make the photo quilt that hangs outside the president’s office. The foyer of MSU Safe Place houses another quilt. More recently I had a quilt in the SAQA “A Sense of Humor” travelling show with venues in places like Houston, California, Chicago and New York. This quilt can be seen in the SAQA publication that features all the quilts in that show. Three of my quilts can be seen in my book, “Crazy for Lemoyne.” And some are featured here.
What are your interests outside of art?
I just finished a wood working project (with a little help). I have strips of fabric in a rainbow of colors that were part of past quilting projects. I made a decorative wall-mounted hanging board with 7 long dowels. I now have my fabric strips hung by color. I also play trumpet in the Meridian Community Band, at church and sing in choir.

My best wishes to all quilters, Beatrice


80.5" x 85.5"

Broken Hearts

45" x 45"

Ties at the O ffice

29.5" x41"

Crazy Patch Lemoyne

52.75" x 52.25"

We hope you enjoyed meeting Beatrice and seeing some of her work! Be sure to check out her book 'Crazy for Lemoyne' which can be purchased here.

If there is a SAQA Michigan member you'd like to see in one of our monthly artist profiles, just email us at

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentine Give Away!

Sure, you'd like to have some chocolate for Valentine's Day but how about one of SAQA's catalogs instead!
Our February give away is the SAQA catalog, Transformations 2008: Icons & Imagery.
The following is a description from the Transformations 2008 exhibit:
Each of the artist members of Studio Art Quilt Associates who are represented in Transformations 2008: Icons and Imagery used the idea of an icon, with its ability to elicit symbolic meaning beyond the object represented, as a starting point for the quilts in this exhibit. German textile expert Rudolf Smend, who served as the sole juror of Transformations 2008, chose work he felt "focused primarily on artistic originality, perfect craftsmanship and innovation," while providing a new take on the meaning of iconography through the use of fresh imagery and interpretations. Transformations 2008: Icons and Imagery, is composed of 32 quilts from nine countries, traveled to South Africa and the United States after opening in the UK.
This catalog contains 72 pages including the juror's essay, full and detail images and artists' statements. You'll find some great inspiration from this catalog.

Just leave a comment on this post only. If you don't have a blog or website, you can select 'Anonymous' in the comment section and leave your name and email address. You can enter more than once but make sure to leave your name along with your email address!!

You have until Friday, February 11th @ midnight! Winner will be announced on Valentine's Day. Good luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bonnie Peterson: After the Glaciers Exhibit

Bonnie Peterson developed an early passion for the outdoors while skiing on Wisconsin's glacial moraines and sailing with her Dad on Lake Michigan. She lived near Chicago and the lake so close and vast, that she didn't give the other Great Lakes a thought beyond memorizing the acronym HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior) in grade school. She finally saw Lake Superior while kayaking to Raspberry Island in the Apostle Islands where she heard stories about her great-great-grand uncle Francis Jacker who was a Raspberry Island lighthouse keeper in the 1880's.

Bonnie's Exhibit will run from January 19,- March 11, 2011 Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm in the Besse Center Galleries. The gallery is located at the Bay de Noc Community College, 2001 North Lincoln Road in Escanaba, MI 49829

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jim Hay SAQA Japan Rep

Jim Hay, SAQA Japan representative, will be having an exhibit at the Dennos Art Museum in Traverse City. The exhibit opens January 16 and runs until March 27. This is the first time that the international award-winning "Five Natural Elements" series has ever been seen in one place. Jim plans to be at the museum around March 18-27 time frame. You can check with the museum for exact dates. There will also be an opening reception on January 15th. To see more of Jim's work go to his website here.
You can click on the picture to read more about this exhibit and see some of Jim's artwork.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Artist Profile 2011

Artist Profile for January 2011:

Judi Blaydon

Milford, Michigan

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts?
I guess my first quilt would be classified as an "art quilt" [only because it was non-traditional], but certainly not because there was anything particularly artful about it. It was so unskilled, anyone else would have said "nice try" and taken up tennis or sumo wrestling instead. I'm amazed that I made any more. Really!

It was very encouraging when the next quilt, "Hot Mobius", won a Merit Award in Quilt National 1981 - - - but when I made that first quilt in 1976, I had done everything wrong and nothing right - - - no intersections intersected and no points were pointed . . . . . and no one has seen it since Ami Simms talked me into showing it in an exhibit she curated. If you can recall the most inept quilt you have ever seen and multiply its faults a thousand fold, you'll understand why no one will ever see it again.
Describe your art and its inspiration.
For a long time, my quilts were always about something I wanted to record and remember or celebrate. My quilt "The Mountain and the Magic: Haiku Moon" is an example of that approach, recording memories of teaching trips to Japan.
Currently, I've been focusing on the process that's described in my recent book, "Collage+Cloth=Quilt: Create Innovative Quilts from Photo Inspirations" / C&T 2010. [There's a nice book review on Barbara Brackman's Material Culture website [August 20, 2010] and ordering information will be on my website: - - - which is coming soon.
I begin by exploring experimental collage compositions using fragments and elements gathered from photographs I have taken - - - layering, combining and re-arranging them so they function as 'sketches' for abstract quilts. It's kind of like a work-wall on a small scale. Although the designs are inspired by photos, they are not in any sense 'picture quilts'. When I have an abstract composition I'm drawn to, I’m ready to enlarge the design and interpret all the colors, patterns and textures in the collage, transforming the 'paper quilt' composition into pieced fabric, to make a quilt that reflects the design elements and visual content of the collage. The quilts are very personal, because personal photographs are the inspiration. The collage serves as the "map" of the quilt.
What has resulted is a series "Sub Rosa" quilts that make reference to an abstract horizon line that allows me to suggest imaginary landscapes where things happen 'above' and 'below' that line. The "Sub Rosa" series got me out of a comfort zone of left-right symmetry [which came very naturally to me] and sent me in a new direction that always challenges and surprises me.
I use commercial fabrics, and combine them with Skydyes, Lonni Rossi, Judy Robertson, and Laura Wasilowski fabrics. (You can see pictures of this series of Judy’s quilts at the end of this profile.)
Where do you do most of your work?
I don't have a swanky studio with skylights and a view of the garden - - - - I have half of the basement of our house, with an inspiring vista of the washer and dryer. But there's lots of fluorescent lighting, a Bernina for dark value thread and machine quilting, and a 1960 Singer sewing machine [always filled with light value thread. I work at a 4' x 8' architect’s drawing table, an 8’ x 8' flannel-covered work wall and another 4' x 8' panel that I can move around the room . . . and most of my students have larger fabric stashes than I do. I also have a separate room beside the studio for doing my Stitched Paper prints, which are off-shoots of my quilted Icons.
What are your goals?
To learn something from each new quilt and then make the next one. And the next one. And to make every day count. . . .
Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your art?
I teach and lecture, mostly doing 5-day Color and Design workshops for guilds and quilt conferences. At the end of January, I'll be offering a new workshop at Monarch Quilts in Brighton, Michigan. In the coming year, I will be teaching for East Bay Heritage Guild in Berkeley CA, at Katie Pasquini-Masopust's Alegre Retreat in Colorado and 2-weeks at Quilting By The Lake in Syracuse NY. What I love most about teaching is the chance to meet so many fabulous, funny and industrious women.
Where can your work be seen?
There will be a retrospective collection of my work in The Gallery section of my up-coming website; and my quilts are also in several books, including "Uncommon Threads: Ohio's Art Quilt Revolution" by Gail Pritchard; "The Art Quilt" by Robert Shaw" and "88 Leader's of the Quilt World Today" published by Nihon Vogue. "The Mountain and the Magic: Night Lights" is in the permanent collection of The National Quilt Museum in Paducah KY.
What are your interests outside of art?
Spending time with my husband Frank, [a retired architect and restorer of sports cars]; I love being with my children and my funny wonderful grand-daughters, The Detroit Tigers, reading, writing, Lake Michigan, and keeping in contact with old friends and fellow quilt artists.

Haiku Moon
84" x 73"

Sub Rosa: Aquifer

52" x 52"

Sub Rosa: Portal

53" x 70"

Sub Rosa: Venice II

54" x 54"

Jurors Choice Award

Quilts=Art=Quilts / Schweinfurth Art Center 2010

Sub Rosa: Venice I

47" x 38"