Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SAQA Michigan Profile of the Month: Lauren Strach

The SAQA MI Member Profile of the Month is Lauren Strach. Please take the time to view Lauren's work, her perspective on her art and it's processes and her goals for the future.

Lauren in front of "First Snow" 2011. 60 x 55.
How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts?
I started taking traditional quilting classes about 13 years ago when my late husband became terminally ill. I was home with him, and two small daughters, and quilting became my release. After he passed away, and I went back to my career as a college professor of marketing, I didn't have time to quilt, but continued to buy patterns, books and fabric, and I would plan the quilts I would make when I had the time. That is all still in a corner of my studio, untouched, but at the time, it was an important artistic outlet!
As my girls got older, my interests in the type of quilts I was drawn to started to change. Then I picked up "Thread Magic" by Ellen Anne Eddy, and my creative world changed. I discovered that Ellen lived only an hour away from where I lived, and that she did private tutoring in her studio. I called her, signed up, and never looked back.

MAAC Solo Gallery Show

Describe your art and its inspiration.
My inspiration, like so many other quilters, comes from nature. I am a Master Gardener, and am lucky enough to have an extensive garden, with two water ponds, and many perennial beds. I live on a ravine, with a creek at the bottom, so I am daily surrounded by inspiration. Nature has always been an important part of who I am and it is an important part of the creative lens that I view my world through. So, it is only natural that that the vocabulary of my work comes from this inspiration.

Where do you do most of your artwork?

I am lucky enough to have a third floor studio space, with large dormer windows, overlooking my garden. I can look up and see the sun and the clouds and all the drama of the sky, I can look out into the branches of the trees and watch the squirrels and the birds, and I can look down, and see the tiny koi swimming in the water.

What are your goals?
My goals are to continue pursuing this artistic journey as fully as possible. I continue taking classes, learning new textile techniques. I am also expanding and developing my skills in other areas of art, such as pastels, drawing, photography (which I use to constantly document the changing garden landscape), and watercolor painting. I believe that if I continue to work hard, show up, and be dedicated, that there is a reason I have been given this passion. 

Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork?
Not at this point. I took an early retirement from my teaching position, so I have already had the experience of teaching professionally. I am still focused on learning and developing as much as I can.

Where can your work be seen?
I have had pieces accepted at the International Quilt Show in Houston for the past three years, and have two new pieces that I just mailed off for the 2011 show. I have also had quilts accepted into the AQS show in Paducah, the Minnesota Quilters Show, and various Mancuso shows. My quilt, "Saguaro Familia" won a third place ribbon at the Pacific International Show, and "Abundance: Pumpkins and Vines" was a finalist in the $100,000 Quilt Challenge.
I have also entered quilts each year in the local Michiana art competition at the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan. I have won "Best In Show" twice, which has been a great honor.

What are your interests outside of art?.
My other main interests are gardening and photography and garden photography! All of which feed directly into my art quilts! And, I love to travel, and taking quilting classes around the U.S. has given me the opportunity to spend time in many beautiful and interesting parts of the country. And, of course, my family is a blessing as they support my continued devotion to my art!
The SAQA MI member profiled this month is Lauren Strach. Please take the time to view Lauren's beautiful and colorful work and learn about her, the art processes she uses and how she is inspired.

"Flora in Wonderland" 2011. 55 x 69

"Flora in Wonderland" Detail
New Work "Spring Botanica" 2011. 18 x 42


  1. nice to meet you Lauren! Your work is beautiful!

  2. Hi Lauren - I happened to purchase a 2007 copy of "$100,000 Quilts" at the quilt show in Grand Haven last summer. It has been so difficult describing what type of quilting I want to do, i.e. "No I'm not really interested in wacking a stack." Your "Abundance:Pumpkins and Vines" is amazing in print. I wander back to South Haven on occasion and would love to see your work. Will you be at the Box Factory this year?