Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Look Back at 2009: A Year of Progress, Creativity and Friendship

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

-Pablo Picasso

As we look ahead to a new year, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge some of the wonderful milestones of 2009. I’d like to begin by thanking Susan Ferraro, our former CT Regional Rep, for offering me a chance to represent this fantastic group of artists. And for being such a great mentor as I started out.

This has been an incredible year for me, as an artist and as the Regional Rep for SAQA Connecticut. I always say that our little Nutmeg State has an unusually high percentage of creative people living in it. By being involved with SAQA and maintaining our CT blog, I have had the opportunity and privilege to stay in touch with fiber artists all around our State. It has been so exciting to meet new people and see what kind of artwork is being done by our neighbors every day.

It has not been an easy year for many of us, especially with the downturn in the economy. Many quilt stores and galleries have had to close their doors and others are living on very thin budgets. And during the holiday season it becomes even easier to feel overwhelmed, maybe even discouraged. So in an effort to balance our mental “score sheets”, let’s remember just a few of the things we CT members were able to accomplish this year….


clip_image002Aurelle Locke

· Joined SAQA CT in September 2009

· Travelled to Guilford to attend the CT Regional Meeting in December and to see the SAQA Transformations exhibit, Guilford Art Center

· Named Wednesday Morning “Queen Bee”, Farmington Valley Quilters


Corrigan_auction Barb Corrigan

· Started a brand new blog called “Wrong Way Rules

· Donated her art quilt “Love Stands Up” to the 2009 SAQA Benefit Auction

· Added to her lists of artistic skills by experimenting with different techniques, such as bleach discharge

· Her art quilt “Fragments” was juried into the Form, not Function exhibition, Carnegie Center for Art & History


BarbaraCAdams_postcard Barbara C. Adams

· Joined SAQA in September 2009

· Participated in Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge and Green Challenge exhibits

· Helped organize several fiber art events in Guilford CT, including the SAQA-CT Regional Meeting at the Guilford Free Library

· Helped set up the SAQA Transformations exhibit at the Guilford Art Center

· Work is currently shown at the Chester Gallery in Chester, CT


clip_image008Barbara Barrick McKie

· Exhibited her work in many prestigious venues, winning awards and honors such as:

· Earned the Viewers Choice Award for “My Buddy & Me” at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

· Won Judges Choice ribbon for “One Good Tern Deserves Another”, Denver Nat’l Quilt Festival

· Won 2nd Place, Digital Imagery category, International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston TX

· Won 2nd Place, Innovative category, World Quilt Show New England

· Won an Honorable Mention, “Red Dahlia Reflections”, Lowell Quilt Festival


clip_image010Barbara Drillick

· Participated in Northern Star QuiltersGreen Challenge Committee

· Exhibited “Etude in Blue” and “Etude in Red” in the Gray Plus One Challenge, hosted by Scrapbag Quilt Artists, Newtown CT

· Exhibited work in Fiber + Thread=Art in Mahopac NY


clip_image011Barbara Khachane

· Joined SAQA CT in October 2009


clip_image014Betty Warner

· Led workshops and taught classes at Sew Inspired Quilt Shop in Simsbury CT

· Donated art quilt “Door #1” to SAQA’s 2009 Benefit Auction

· Took on artistic challenges such as “Fast Friday”

· Exhibited “Together We Can Bridge the Divide" and "More Than Ever, A Beacon of Hope" at the Cafritz Gallery at Montgomery College.


clip_image015Beverly Hughes

· Recognized by SAQA as a generous donor, helping to promote art quilts worldwide


clip_image017C. Susan Ferraro

· Acted as SAQA-CT Co-representative and Mentor before turning over responsibilities to new rep, Kate Themel

· Hosted a CT Regional meeting at her home in Colchester

· Donated work to the “Bras for a Cause” to benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation


clip_image019Carol Eaton

· Taught class “Norah’s Garden” at Close to Home Sewing Center

· Added hand-painted fabric to her website

· Exhibited “Expressions of Joy” in the Sacred Threads fiber art show, Reynoldsburg OH


clip_image021Carol Ludington

· Volunteered her time at SAQA’s exhibition at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston TX

· Participated in the Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge exhibition

· Her art quilt “Here Comes the Sun” was featured on the front page of the Connecticut Post


clip_image012[1]Carol Vinick

· Recognized by SAQA as a Gold Star Volunteer, for offering her time at SAQA’s exhibition at the IQF in Chicago IL


CarolynCooney_grayplusone Carolyn Cooney

· Joined SAQA CT in June 2009

· Participated in Northern Star Quilt Guild’s Going Green Challenge Committee

· Demonstrated Beading & Embellishment techniques at the Nutmeg Quilters Guild Demo Fair

· Exhibited “Falling Water” in the Gray Plus One show, Newtown CT


clip_image012[2]Cher Hurney

· Shared information about QPN (Quilt Professionals Network) at the SAQA CT Regional meeting in June 2009


clip_image025 Corinne Levy

· Joined SAQA CT in March 2009

· Organized a quilt project to benefit Audubon Sharon (Connecticut)


clip_image027Cathy Smith

· Participated in shows such as Celebration Quilts at the Windham Textile & History Museum

· Featured in a 2 artist show “Kindred Spirits” at Tolland Art Center (reviewed in the Hartford Courant)

· Won Best Craft prize for “Where’s Hillary?” at Gallery 53’s annual Open Juried Exhibit

· Featured as SAQA-CT’s Artist of the Month for October 2009

· Participated in Open Studios of NE Connecticut Tour


clip_image012[3]Cynthia Butts

· Shared her art quilts, such as “In the Beginning” and “Short Story” with her friends at Farmington Valley Quilters Guild


clip_image029Debbie Bein

· Joined SAQA CT as a dual NY/CT member in December 2009

· Her art quilt “The Spoils of War” was selected for SAQA Transformations: Reflections traveling exhibition

· Exhibited “Eudaemonia” at the 2009 Sacred Threads show in Reynoldsburg OH


clip_image011[1]Debra Bento

· Participated in the Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge exhibition

· Supported her fellow fiber artists by attending meetings, openings and visiting exhibitions of their work


clip_image011[2]Diane Cadrain

· Joined SAQA CT in November 2009


DianeWright_TidepoolingBLOG Diane M. Wright

· Exhibited art quilt “Reflections” in Quiltscapes at the Whistler Museum

· Organized an incredible celebration of Fiber Art in Guilford CT

· Participated in Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge and Green Challenge

· Exhibited work at the Fayetteville Museum of Art in Fayetteville, NC

· Donated “Fault Lines” to SAQA Benefit Auction


clip_image033EdJohnetta Miller

· Exhibited her work in several venues, including:

· The Invisible Thread exhibition in Kansas City, MO

· New York State Museum, Albany NY

· American Folk Museum, New York NY


clip_image035Gail Kotowski

· Participated in Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge and Green

· Photo displayed in Eye of the Quilter: Inspiration special exhibit at IQF Houston

· “Metropolis” was exhibited at the Harvest of Quilts show in East Haven CT

· Exhibited work in the Standing Ovation show at the Garde Arts Center, New London CT


clip_image037Georgia Heller

· Won 2nd Place, Applique, “Ballet Shoes” and 3rd Place, Innovative, for “Protect, Save, Enjoy”, Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show

· Won an Honorable Mentions for “Blowin in the Wind” and Man and Desert”, Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show

· Won 3rd Place, Miniature, for “Man & Desert” and

· Won 2nd Place, Special Tech, “Sonoran Spring”

· Won 3rd Place, Art, “Woman with Book” in A World of Quilts XXX


JaneDavila_haiku2 Jane Davila

· Organized regular meetings and artistic challenges as the creator of FANE (Fiber Artists of the North East)

· Created Art Quilts at Play: Ignite your Inner Artist as well as Jane Davila & Elin Waterston Teach You Art Quilting Basics, book and DVD by C&T Publishing

· Led several printmaking workshops at her studio in Ridgefield CT

· First book Art Quilt Workbook voted “Most Inspirational Book” by Quilters Newsletter Magazine


clip_image040M. Jean Slaughter

· Library Committee, Farmington Valley Quilters Guild


clip_image012[4]Jane Driscoll

· Joined SAQA CT in December 2009

· Attended the Regional Meeting in Guilford and saw the SAQA Transformations show at the Guilford Art Center


JenOBrien_ZenStitches_quiltBLOG Jennifer O’Brien

· Exhibited “Guiding Light” in the Zen Stitches show, Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden, North Salem NY

· Participated in the SCAN (Society of Creative Arts Newtown) Fall Art Show & Sale

· Jen’s company JT Trading Co. sponsored WOW (Women of the World) Friendship Quilt Display, which will travel to Turkey, Japan, Australia and the US in the next 2 years


juttahalpin_goldentrianglebuddha Jutta Halpin

· Exhibited “Golden Triangle Buddha” in the Sacred Threads Exhibition, Reynoldsburg OH

· Participated in several exhibitions with Fiber Revolution

· Recognized by SAQA as a Gold Star Volunteer, for her work as “Creative Force” entries coordinator


clip_image048Karen Eckmeier

· Published “Layered Waves” featuring her curved piecing technique

· Exhibited “From Lizards to Landscapes” at the Brick Wall Gallery, Portsmouth NH

· Won 2nd Place, Innovative Pieced category, for “My Stash at 50” and exhibited “Bridal Village” in the Making Memories special exhibit at IQF Houston


BLOGPHOTOFlowerPower_KarenLoprete Karen Loprete

· Featured as the Artist of the Month, Valley Arts Council of Derby CT

· Displayed a solo exhibition of art quilts at Spector Furniture Showroom in Ansonia CT

· Participated in Art Now for Autism 2009

· Pet Portraits featured on “Faith’s Furry Friends Pet Blog”

· Donated her art quilt “Kite Flying” to SAQA’s 2009 Benefit Auction


PrayerBLOGPHOTO Kate Themel

· Became SAQA CT Regional Representative

· Exhibited Fiber Snapshots, a solo show of work at Naugatuck Valley Community College

· Created SAQA CT blog

· Completed a 7 quilt commission for Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University

· Joined Fiber Revolution and participated in their art quilt exhibition in Botswana


KarenMaru_Khadi Karen Maru

· Continued to work within several fascinating series, such as “Dresses of Heaven, Dresses of Earth: Ancient Khmer Fashion”


clip_image040[1]Kathleen Burns

· Designed and created several quilts based on photos taken in Cienfuegos, Cuba

· Attended CT Regional meetings throughout the year

· Served on the Hospitality Committee for the CT Piecemakers Guild


LaurieDhandapani_postcard Laurie Dhandapani

· Led several classes including “Thread Painting” and “Diamonds are: Study in Color, Value, Shape”

· Presented a Trunk Show and Lecture on her hand embellished fiber art, Ellington Country Quilters

· Demonstrated her technique for folding ribbon flowers, Stafford Mill Town Quilters in Stafford CT


clip_image058Linda Sexton-Patrick

· Recognized as a SAQA Gold Star Volunteer for her work at IQF Houston

· Participated in Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge

· Organized the 3rd Annual “Fiber Art at the Garde” exhibition, Standing Ovation at the Garde Art Center

· Donated art quilt “Emergence” to SAQA’s 2009 Benefit Auction


clip_image060Linda Zimmerman

· Participated in Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge and Green Challenge

· Exhibited work in the Harvest of Quilts in East Haven, CT

· Participated in Clinton/Killingworth Arts Trail as well as the Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studios Tour

· “Composition in Making Jewelry, Fabric Collage, Inspiration and Boldness”, Willoughby Wallace Library, Branford CT

· Events coordinator for SAQA Transformations show at Guilford Art Center


BLOGAlpertFay_carnegie Liz Alpert Fay

· Organized a 13 artist show featuring expressive hooked rugs

· Won an SDA Award of Excellence for “Fly Free” in the juried show Pushing the Limits: New Expressions in Hooked Art

· Was profiled in Country Living Magazine November issue

· Images of Fay’s work will be included in two upcoming books: The Guild Sourcebook of Art, Vol. 24 and 500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work


clip_image040[2]Lois Palmer

· Presented “How Quilts are Appraised and Judged” at the SAQA CT Regional Meeting in June 2009

· Offered her services during “Quilt Appraisal Day” at Pat Ferguson’s Studio in Ashford CT

· Library Committee, Farmington Valley Quilters Guild


clip_image064Margaret Phillips

· Exhibited art quilt “Uncle Mike” at IQF in Houston

· Work was chosen to be featured in upcoming book 500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work

· Exhibited art quilt “Mostly Purple” at the Zen Stitches show in North Salem NY


clip_image066Martha Sielman

· Organized the incredibly diverse and successful SAQA Convention in Athens, OH

· Celebrated and promoted the 4th printing of Masters: Art Quilts with speaking engagements and gallery talks

· Asked to create Masters: Art Quilts Volume 2 for Lark Books

· Donated “Jellies Dance”, SAQA 2009 Benefit Auction


MayannWeinberg_sunflower Mayann Weinberg

· Participated in a 3 artist show Trois Palettes, Greenwich CT (reviewed in the Advocate)

· Chaired the Northern Star Quilters Guild 2009 World of Quilts

· Donated “Sunflower” to SAQA’s 2009 Benefit Auction

· Won 2nd Place, Use of Materials category for “The Resale Shop”, Northern Star Quilters Guild Going Green Challenge


clip_image070Michele Palmer

· Joined SAQA CT in June 2009

· Featured vintage fabrics and artists who use fabric as their medium in her on line museum


clip_image072Mickey Lawler

· Led paint workshop and lecture “Crazy Quilters”, Falmouth MA

· Attended SAQA’s Annual Conference, Athens OH

· Continues to produce stunning, one of a kind fabrics

· Lectured on “The Sky is Never the Limit” at Beach Cities Quilters Guild meeting, San Juan Capistrano CA


clip_image074Muriel Stockdale-Grabe

· Joined SAQA CT in October 2009

· Created Art Flags depicting 20 different countries, each design based on the US flag.

· Formed a traveling exhibition of her flags entitled “E Pluribus”

· Led a gallery talk about “E Pluribus” as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s 6th Annual Immigrant Heritage Week in NYC


clip_image076Nike Cutsumpas

· Won 1st Place, Best Use of Green, for “Primeval Green” and

· Won 1st and 2nd Place, Best Environmental Message for “Renewable Energy” and “Green or an Alternative”, Northern Star Quilters Guild Going Green Challenge

· Was featured as SAQA CT Artist of the Month for November 2009

· Participated in Gray Plus One exhibition in Newtown CT


clip_image077Rachel Miller

· Joined SAQA CT in October 2009

· Handled the dismantling of the beloved Artworks Gallery and looked ahead to a new career path with hope and creativity


clip_image079Norma Schlager

· Won 1st Place, Wall Quilt, for “Fiesta” at Mountain Laurel Quilters Guild show

· Won 2nd Place, Art Quilt, for “Fern Dance” at Mountain Laurel Quilters Guild show

· Exhibited “Fiesta” at IQF Houston

· Won 1st Place, Best Use of Recycled Material in Northern Star Quilters Going Green Challenge

· Participated in Gray Plus One exhibition in Newtown CT


clip_image081Pat Ferguson

· Participated in the Artists Open Studio Tour in the Quiet Corner of CT

· Published a newsletter about long arm quilting, custom quilts, classes and more

· Received an Honorable Mention for her long arm quilt work for “Fantasy Garden” at the April 2009 MQX Show

· Hosted a “Scrappy Trunk Show” at Apple Valley Quilters


clip_image083Rita Hannifin

· Bravely entered the world of “Art Quilts” with enthusiasm and curiosity

· Attended SAQA Conference in Athens OH

· Exhibited work in the Celebration Quilts show at Windham Textile & History Museum

· Donated her art quilt “Happy Hour” to SAQA’s 2009 Benefit Auction


clip_image085Ruth Anne Olson

· Exhibited work in Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge and Green Challenge

· Donated art quilt “Scorpio #1” to SAQA’s 2009 Benefit Auction

· Exhibited work in Small Pieces, Big Ideas show at the Guilford Art Center

· Started a new website called “Fiber Art by Ruth Anne”

· Expanded her horizons by taking art classes such as Rayna Gillman’s gelatin & screen printing


clip_image087Sally Brown

· Shared her quilted book of memories “Sisters Forever” at the SAQA CT regional meeting in Guilford CT


clip_image088Sandi Schrader

· Joined SAQA CT in September 2009


clip_image092Vivian Lazich

· Offered classes, special events and even a sewing catch-up retreat at her Quilt Shop “Sew Inspired”

· Added a new Handi Quilter long-arm machine for quilting services


clip_image094Vivika DeNegre

· Participated in a 3 artist show, Fusion: 3 Artists, 3 Media

· Exhibited Shorebirds: New Works in Fabric & Thread at the Fire and Rain Gallery

· Created a new blog for Sisters in Cloth

· Participated in the Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge exhibition

· Participated in the Shoreline Arts Trail as well as the Clinton/ Killingworth Arts Trail events

· Featured articles in Quilting Arts Magazine in the August “Gifts” issue and the December/January issue


clip_image095Yvette Howard

· Shared gifts in lovely handmade decorative envelopes with her Sisters in Cloth

· Participated in the Sisters in Cloth Photo Challenge exhibition

· Helped set up the SAQA Transformations exhibit at the Guilford Art Center

· A generous donor and supporter of SAQA and the Guilford Art Center


The following SAQA CT Members of 2009 continue to work hard, teach classes and explore new creative territory in their own lives. A few have left SAQA, others work quietly and independently for their own enjoyment while keeping a connection with the group. We may not have seen their work on line this year but hopefully we will get together at future events to share stories and see their newest work:


Tobi Andrews

Jennifer Bigelow

Tristan Robin Blakeman

Tracie Bolack

Judy Cuddihee

Roxanne Lasky

Suzanne Miles

Jane Pollak

Annemarie Riemer

Betty Rushin


Thank you everyone for making 2009 a fantastic, inspiring and enlightening year. I’m looking forward to seeing you and your artwork in 2010. Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Your CT Rep and friend,
~Kate Themel

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