07 Oct

Weekend Whirlwinds

I am a long-time member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), and finally live in a region where there are opportunities both to gain from the organization, and to give back to it, in more than an online, arm’s length manner. I spent two days this last weekend volunteering.

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Thursday and Friday were spent at this table, giving a SAQA “elevator speech” to anyone at the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Fredericksburg, VA who would listen. My mission was to let people know what SAQA is and to make the connection between our information table and the two art quilt exhibits nearby.Expo 1

A good portion of the show, Deux, which premiered at IQF Chicago, is traveling with the Expo. Unfortunately, my bestie Deborah’s work was not part of this grouping, but hopefully each Expo location will have a different selection of work so that they all get their moment in the sun. Expo-goers definitely gushed over the work.

Expo 3

I also enjoyed meeting peers whom I have previously known only online or by their work. I had a lovely dinner with local friend Lorie, and online friend Victoria, whose quilts above are not only beautiful and beautifully made, but convey an absolute joy of quilt making. My crap photos do not do the work justice.

Then, I switched gears on day three and helped out my knit night friend Elisabeth at her booth at the Fall Fiber Festival a little closer to home. It was a gorgeous day, but a bit too sweltering and many people melted away early in the day. Still, I enjoyed promoting Elisabeth’s cool cottons, and had plenty to restock.

Fall Fiber 1

 

The slower afternoon left me some time to do my own shopping and I picked up this pretty shawl pin.

Fall Fiber 2

 

I don’t think I even mentioned that the weekend before, I spent two days in North Carolina attending SAQA and PAQA-South events. Weekends have been a whirlwind! Local pal Mary Beth and I drove down to attend a PAQA-South regional meeting and then the opening reception for their regional show, Freeze Frame. The works I liked the most were the ones that took more liberties with the theme, but overall it was an enjoyable show.

PAQA 2

Since many of the PAQA-South members are also SAQA members, if one has an event, then the other tags along, and so we had a regional meeting for SAQA VA/NC too. People brought show and tell, and as always, sharing work highlights unexpected tips and tricks. It was great to see familiar faces from MB’s retreat last summer, and NC faces from our last PAQA-South event in January. I find the in person contact makes a bi-annual long drive worthwhile.

PAQA 1

I’m itching to get back to my “studio,” but I am happy to have had the opportunity for professional development and making new friends.

23 Sep

SAQA Annual Benefit Auction

SAQA’s annual benefit auction is here! Actually, it’s been going on for two weeks now, and has done a super job of raising thousands of dollars for it’s exhibition program so that people all over the US and the world can see more, and more variety of, art quilts. My piece is on page 3b and is up for bidding this week. The price goes down each day, but don’t wait too long or your favorite may already be gone. I have my eyes on one each year, but the ones I like never last long enough to get to my budget. Oh well, more money for exhibits, and I definitely appreciate the opportunity to see and participate in those!

 

So go check it out!

02 Sep

Hi September!

There’s lots of good stuff happening this month.

SAQA’s annual benefit auction is coming up soon, on Monday the 9th. I have a piece in it this year (on page 3b), as do many other member artists. There’s lots of beautiful pieces to look at, and maybe even purchase…

The Sketchbook Challenge theme is Houses and Hideaways and we’ll be doing a blog hop a little later in the month (stay tuned)…

Twelve Months, Sponsor's Social, Medallion for an Army Family, and Connections

And, we hung my show at McGuffey Art Center! I’ll take more photos soon, when all the lights are properly adjusted and the room is looking it’s best, and hopefully some “action” shots on Friday at the opening reception. Maybe I’ll get really tricky and do a video walk through. Speaking of walk-through, I’ll be giving an artist talk on Sunday the 15th, after which I invite any local SAQA members to come for a meet-up (I’m not sure exactly where yet, but I’ll find a local restaurant this week). In addition to my show, the Watercolor Guild is having it’s annual show in the hall galleries and there is some fabulous work.

Connections, Unraveling, Be Strong Always, Non-Entity, and Hanging by a Thread

14 Jun

Quilt Retreat!

I am a member of SAQA, and, lucky me, one of the co-representatives for our VA/NC region lives right here in C’Ville. I also count her amongst my friends and peers. So, when she organized a week long retreat at her house, it was easy to jump right in as a “day tripper.”

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First off, the setting is lush and rural even though it’s mere minutes outside the city. Mary Beth’s chickens run to greet you (well, psych you out as they really just run past) if you walk through their pasture.

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Goats provide milk each day to accompany the fresh eggs.

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But the best part was a large family room emptied out and then filled with tables for a rotating list of local and not so local art quilters. It was wonderful to meet people with shared interests, and to see what everyone was working on. There was a large range of styles and techniques. Based on our post-game emails, everyone left inspired and energized.

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This table was my base of operations for five greatly productive days. I finished embroidering the whiskers on Zeitgeist, and started a medallion quilt that has been on my mind for at least six months. Being able to work surrounded by camaraderie and positive energy rather than groceries and laundry is a boon.

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We were “serenaded” by Mary Beth’s peacocks, so Anita brought in Barb Forrister’s fun, sparkly, sparkly peacock pumps she had purchased through the Kick Off Your Heels Fundraiser.

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And on the last day, two peachicks hatched and brought out the mother hen in all of us.

All in all a great week, and I look forward to hopefully doing it again next year.

05 Mar

I will not work on spec. I will not work on spec. I will not work on spec.

I am a content Active SAQA member. I see many benefits of membership in this professional organization. A Call for Entries today got me excited. An opportunity for me to try again at fabric design (the Hawaiian designs I shopped around a few years ago were flops)! I read the details with anticipation.

Andover Fabrics (formerly Concord) will print and market a collection of cotton fabrics branded with the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) name and logo – the SAQA Urban Textures fabric collection. A percentage of sales of the collection fabrics will go to support SAQA in our 25th Anniversary Year – 2014!

Until I got to this part…where my heart sank.

You will be asked to agree with these Terms and Conditions:
This set of designs is my original design. I understand that my designs may be altered in order to be successfully used for the SAQA Urban Textures fabric collection. I agree to give Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. copyright to these designs, including all rights, titles, and interest in and to the designs. If my design collection is selected, I will sign a transfer document transferring copyright to Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. I UNDERSTAND THAT I AM ENTERING THIS COMPETITION TO SUPPORT SAQA AND WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY MONETARY REMUNERATION.

Did you catch the part in all caps? Flashback to my graphic design days. AIGA’s position discourages the inherent discount of the most important element of most design project — the research, thoughtful consideration of alternatives, and creative contribution designers make toward client’s objectives that occurs when working without commitment or compensation from the client. I think the same concepts can be applied here. So I sent off an email to SAQA’s president, and the competition’s juror:

Dear Martha and Luana,

Wow, everywhere I turn, there’s a new line of fabric being promoted or created. The variety available to the consumer is amazing. So it pleases me to see SAQA approached as a possible source of unique designs. I am also in support of seeking out new and different ways to promote SAQA and art quilts in general. I appreciate SAQA and the opportunities I have found through the organization.

As a former graphic designer, a current art quilter, and an artist whose subject matter often includes villages and homes, I got excited reading the call for entries. Finally, here was a project that might actually be appropriate for me to pursue. However, when I worked as a graphic designer, we as a profession were always cautioned not to do work on spec. To develop sketches and ideas, the difficult intellectual and creative part of design, for free, with only a hope that it may be selected, devalues the work of the designer. So you can imagine my disappointment when I read the terms of Call for Entry. Not only would NONE of the competing artists get paid for their work, they would also have to pay their way into the competition. An artist paying to do work on spec?! What that shows me is that Andover and SAQA place absolutely no value on my, or any of the artists’ creativity — our strongest asset.

I can’t imagine that Kaffe Fasset, Jinny Beyer, Amy Butler, Thomas Knauer, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, or any of the myriad fabric designers whose collections are the billboards of the major fabric companies today are creating their designs without monetary compensation. Exposure is a canard as well. New lines of fabric are introduced and replaced at the speed of light and buzz for a few weeks at Quilt Market is hardly worth the devaluation of one’s artistic capability.

While I appreciate the effort to expand SAQA’s footprint into other aspects of the quilt world, I’m afraid that I cannot support this project. I will not enter any designs. In addition, I will encourage my colleagues not to submit as well.

Regretfully,

Kristin La Flamme

While I don’t expect the parameters of this particular project to be changed, I hope that SAQA will take into consideration the value of our intellect and creativity when the next opportunity arises. Perhaps a few potential applicants will re-think submitting and send emails themselves. Ideally, Andover will see a little more value in those with the potential to create the products upon which their business thrives, though I’m not holding my breath. Finally, I’m feeling deflated. Disappointed. Once again, a conviction of mine has closed a door on opportunity. I’m sorry it has to be this way.

14 Jan

The Army Wife at Beyond Comfort

Three of my Army Wife aprons, Home Fires, Hanging by a Thread, and Issues Public and Private, will be on view at the Butler Institute of American Art as part of SAQA’s exhibit, Beyond Comfort. I posted previously that the show was to start today, however, the opening has been delayed a week, to open on January 21, 2013. Eileen, the curator notes:

“The quilts are hung, and look great, but the signage is not finished. Meanwhile, the museum staff will allow in visitors who made the trip especially to see our show – as happened a few times today, already.”

So, if anyone plans to be in the Youngstown area from now until March 10th, please take yourself on an artist date and see the show!

09 Oct

I’m a Cover Girl!

I received my catalog for Beyond Comfort last week. What a huge surprise to see my art quilt/apron “The Military Wife: Hanging on by a Thread” on the cover!

The exhibit premiered at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, and though that show has ended for the year, Beyond Comfort will continue on to the US at the Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan from June to August, 2012; and then on to the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio from January to March, 2013. That’s a long way off, and I’m going to miss my aprons sorely, but hopefully they will be excellent ambassadors for the rest of the collection, which I continue to slowly work on.

I must give kudos to Eileen Doughty for curating the exhibit and to Diedre Adams for creating a top notch catalog (and that’s not just because she put my artwork on the cover).

10 Aug

Festival of Quilts

Despite living in Europe for most of twelve years, I never did make it to Birmingham, England for Festival of Quilts. This year, I especially wish I could be there.

For one, the 144 small quilts from the first two years of Twelve by Twelve’s art quilt challenge will be there, plus Twelves Helen, Françoise, and Diane! If you are in England this weekend, please take the time to go to the show and search out our exhibit area and say hello.

(Thank you Helen, Françoise and Diane for hanging the exhibit and sending this update photo!)

Secondly, I wish I could be there to see SAQA’s Beyond Comfort exhibit in which I have three aprons from my Army Wife series. Helen has been checking things out and says my aprons have a great spot near the front of that exhibit–yay! So, go say hello to my aprons as well.

I’ve heard that Festival is the premier quilt and quilt art show in Europe and definitely worth a visit. There are many exhibits, classes, vendors and the works. Helen and Diane will be attending lectures by my heros Kaffe Fasset and Laura and Linda Kemshall. Yes, I am a bit jealous.