Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SAQA Conference 2017

Asking an art quilter to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage. 
~Author Unknown

Last week, Thursday,  my daughter Andrea and I went to the annual Studio Art Quilts Associates (SAQA) Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.  We flew into Omaha and rented a hour drive from direct flights into Lincoln. We got to our hotel about 4:30...ate a bite then hit the vendors who were only going to be open until 6:00. And, of course, we did find a couple of pieces of fabric that we just had to have!

Friday morning we met in the large room of the Hilton...the conference began with Lightening Talks...each speaker had 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their art.  This technique was started last year and was so successful, it will be continued for other conferences. Lunch, break out sessions....just so much information and inspiration filling my head.

Saturday we were bussed to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum where we were given an extensive tour of several of the collections, archives, and a very good lunch.

IQSCM Building
A Sculpture outside the IQSCM building
It is a beautiful building..interesting architecture and we decided this sculpture looked like a wad of thread taken out of a  sewing machine!  We were divided up into four groups and had tours all day with the same group.  Our group first took another bus over to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln to the School of Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design. There we had a fascinating tour of the School...a great experience for me as I had no idea about the workings of a Design School.  And Michael James, a fiber artist, is an instructor there; I have been such an admirer of him and his work for longer than I have been doing fiber arts myself!

Michael James was our first tour guide explaining about the designs..

The wall behind him is a slide show that constantly changes showing student designs for fabric. This particular display is a show of a competition among the students. Then we saw other classrooms where the students learned to make designs and patterns, etc..We saw the archives where they have a collection of clothes from the nineteenth century to modern times. And were bussed back to the Center where we had three more tours.

     One of  the tours was to see the Japanese quilt installation which held some beautiful is one of my favorites.

The feathers are embroidered on.
a close up
Then we went to the archives where they keep quilts from all ages and all styles. It was really interesting to hear all about how they care for the quilts and restore them.

An early Nancy Crow quilt
An early Michael James archived
A recent  Michael James archived
An archived quilt made entirely of buttons!
One of many archival storage rooms
     Then our last tour was of a quilt display by a current quilter, Luke Haynes, who had an unusual installation of his Log Cabin Quilts.
A poster of all Haynes' Log Cabin Quilts

These are just three of over fifty quilts of his
Saturday night we had our banquet where the silent auction of donated quilts was also held.
My quilt, one of 120+ is on the back row, center.
The last day of the Conference, we had our keynote speaker who happened to be Michael James!  It was so  great to hear about how he developed his style and how his career grew and changed through the years.

Introductory slide
His early works
His more current work.

     After the conference ended, Andrea and I drove back to Omaha to fly home the next day.  We were staying in a Best Western, and when I pulled out the receipt to put the directions into our GPS, the address was for a Best Western in Iowa!  I panicked!  I thought I had really messed up, so I called and our motel was in Iowa but I didn't realize until I talked to them that Omaha is on the Nebraska/Iowa line!! As it turned out, it was a very nice motel.  See what met us!
The cruises have nothing on BW in Carter Lake, Iowa!
As we had a little time to kill before going to the airport on Monday, we checked out Omaha and discovered a Lewis and Clark National Historical Park there. 

Lewis and Clark National Historical Trail
The Missouri River at the Lewis and Clark Trail

     A great trip!  And next year the conference will be in San Antonio so we will be sure to be there!!!


  1. James early work reminds me of Chihuly.

  2. So glad that it was a rewarding and fun trip for you and Andrea. And I'm glad you are back home!!!