Featured Post

Monday, April 23, 2012

SAQA - Massachusetts/Rhode Island Region: Newsletters-October/November 2011 just posted!

SAQA - Massachusetts/Rhode Island Region: Newsletters-April 2012 just posted!

Upcoming Regional Meeting for Massachusetts & Rhode Island Members and their guests!


 Our next SAQA regional meeting will take place on April 28th 10:30 AM to 1:00 pm with a short break for lunch, or we will just chow our way through out packed agenda. Michele David and I will co-host.

      Location: Fabric Place Basement, the store is located at the Cloverleaf Mall, 321 Speen Street, Natick, MA, and Telephone:  508-655-2000 with ample parking in shopping plaza lot. The shop is on the lower level and there is an elevator just to the left of the stairs. Refreshments: pot luck finger foods would be nice this round. Let us know if you can bring some finger food.

    Do you have a friend or acquaintance that is starting to make the transition from traditional quilter to art quilter?  Guests are always welcome, it would be a great time for them to meet likeminded people.

Proposed agenda items:

1. Business Card Introduction exercise. Bring approx. 20 business cards or contact information on a card. Postcards with your work and contact information are also welcome.

2. Featured Artist

3. Professional Development: Bring two quilts that will be used in a Jurying Exercise. Quilts should be no wider than your arm span.

4. Stretching – taking care of your limbs & back

5. Old and New Business

6. Feedback from members who attended the SAQA/SDA Conference

7.  Update on the proposed Exhibit/Symposium

8. Update on the regional grant

9. Retreat possibilities

Here is the link to our blog:  http://saqa-ma-ri.blogspot.com/.  Teachers, Lectures, those with a business related to the arts & quilting let me know so that I can add a notation beside your name.  If you have photos or video on flicker or you tube I will point the blog to your site for 30 days. 

Please note the MA/RI Members List on the blog will be updated to reflect our active membership as of April 1, 2012.
Regards, Ms. V

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Landscapes, Sunrises, & Sunsets at John C Cambpell Folk School

Here's an opportunity to spend a week painting on fabric, we will paint skys the main focus when we start will be landscapes, sunrises, and sunsets, then as we all relax into the week we will begin to paint different times of day, weather, seasons, you get the idea!  If there are not slots you could get on the wait listing!  For those who are local and would be more comfortable toting their machines there will be time on the last day or so to put in a few machine stitches, I personally would rather paint as much as possible but we all have our comfort zones so feel free to bring that machine.  Sewing will be encouraged before or after class sessions...except the last day or sew.

Landscapes - Sunrises and Sunsets Instructor: Valarie Poitier
May 20-26, 2012


In a relaxed setting, learn how to use non-toxic, permanent textile paints on cotton fabric suitable for quilts. Spend the first few days painting in colors evoking earth and sky, and then incorporate your fabric into a wall quilt of your own pieced, appliqued, or fused design. Discover how fabric and design choices convey "mood" and "sense of place." Painting will be outdoors with moderate activity; no prior skills needed. However, students should have experience in piecing and applique.

SAQA - Massachusetts/Rhode Island Region: Newsletters-October/November 2011 just posted!

SAQA - Massachusetts/Rhode Island Region: Newsletters-May 2012 about to be posted!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gallery Shots, Postcard, Painting on Fabric, Weaving, Show & Tell

I call this Three Pregnant Ladies.  My two daughters were pregnant with children and I was pregnant with grief.  It was made from my hand dyed then painted fabrics, the center was drawn then painted on muslin, the chair and animal appeared in the picture so I painted them in.  The brown is a commercial fabric just the right color that I found a few years later, and was then able to complete the quilt.

This quilt was made in answer to a call for quilts that included birds or other wild life John James Audubon drew and painted.  The celebration was the 200 anniversary of his landing in Kentucky.  The piece was on display for three months in a gallery there.

Original print by John James Audubon.

This quilt was made from my hand dyed fabrics, scraps, reverse applique method on the hand and arm, beaded nose, eyes and bracelet, painted nails, sheer fabric over the background and hand and painted leaves echoing the leaves in the original print.  it is also my second overall machine quilt.

Great Grandmother Willie Cratic Finch and E. Finch Morris   

Postcard Swap, Great Grandmother Willie (born before the end of Slavery) & Great Aunt Eunice her daughter walking on Market Street in Philadelphia. This photo was taken before 1945. The building was Tuskegee Institute, now University where three of the youngest, of my great-grandmother's nine children attended school.  Eunice or E. Finch Morris, as she like to be called was one who attended.

My Dear Professor Haymaker.  He encouraged me to enlarge my work from 8 1/2" x 11" to 8x10 feet.  The weaving behind us is one of three I made during our time together.  I often start small but end up five to ten times larger.


Bad hair day, not anymore.  I created the square behind the face, of paper, thread, crystals, glue and fabric.  Later this mask required a backing and the cream fabric square felt just right.  As I completed the appliquéd of face, hair, then necklace I realized it needed to be larger so I added the boarders.  The quilting is the first overall machine quilting I completed after I got over the fear of machine quilting.  Oh yes, I was nervous about it for years, finally taking the plunge after a session with Juanita Yeager.  So it doesn't matter if you can draw, sew, paint, or fussy cut. There are things that have us stumped...until we gird up our loins and punch through or pop the bubble.

Show Tell partner.  I use this piece to demonstrate the way some quilters show their work.  After the demonstration we all laugh at ourselves and having gotten the point do a much better job at introducing ourselves and sharing one of our art works with our audiences.

Journal Quilt Project, hand dyed fabrics, the plants were drawn into the surrounding pink area mocking the printed fabric and drawing the eye out from the central figure in three directions.

Journal Quilt Project, detail of hair and hand/

This was embroidered using a simply zigzag stitch, straight stitching, on a commercial fabric that I reworked with fabric paints then digitally enhanced so that the colors matched a PowerPoint presentation theme.

These are some of the faces I create out of scraps. This project was part of a round robin.  Below is the fourth of five rounds.  It is now being hand quilted by the luck owner.


One of the faces on  my 2011 Self Portraiture. Acrylic and oil sticks were used to enhance the faces after the whole cloth had been soy waxed, dyed, and stitched.

This is an old fashion bush comb from Ghana.  My parents purchased it during a trip.  I wanted that comb but Mother still has it on display at her home.  So I did the next best thing, I sketched it and painted it on fabric, then enhanced it with stitching.

This is the wrong side of the 2011 self portrait some of the other faces showing some of the trapunto and stitching process.

Thanks for stopping by, Ms. V

Monday, March 26, 2012

Painting, Applique, Piecing, QuinobeQuin Quilters Quilt Show!

This picture was taken at a gallery where I had five items in the exhibit. There two were an acrylic painting and a collage using 1" x 2" magazine clippings.  Lots of fun getting the colors to work but it really gave me a chance to explore.

There are a more than a thousand bits of paper clippings used in the picture on the right.  And I probably went through forty magazines.  It makes the work I do in fabric seem easy by comparison.  I have been using my painting and collage work to develop back drops for landscapes and the bird quilts I have been producing.  Two of the bird quilts made for the 2010 Audubon Quilt Show held in Kentucky were on display at the Quinobequin Quilt Show this past year!   

Here is a peek at a detail of the youngster.  The background was painted using fabric paints, a wee bit of glitter, and then free motion quilted.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Volunteers, the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Recently I took on a task to head a fact finding committee.  A short task with a great group of people to work with and somehow in the middle things started to fizzle.  Hey what happened some stayed, new people joined and others dropped off.

After a while we all think about the time we are spending, what is in it for me, and is this something I really want to be involved with, or I gave the info I had, I am done.  If we could accept this is what happens when you call an ad hock committee things would be a lot smoother.  OF course the one running the program usually gets shot in the foot once or twice. And if they did not have their combat boots on at the time, getting your toes shot off a few times is enough for most people.

Why do I stay?  I usually stay because have a vested interest in the out come, I am going to learn something, or I have something valuable to share.  But when I am done, wild horses could not drag me back.

So we ask ourselves what happened, why it did not work, why don't people step up or go the distance, and why cant we get people to volunteer.  Well I'll tell you, adults do not to hear no a million times or to have their ideas rejected time and time again.  Who knows if their ideas would pan out or not.  Kids you can say no to until you die but not adults.  Well here is something to keep in mind people... sign on for their specific reasons, not necessarily or even rarely for the reason you think.  Then when it is time to get down to work, the group shrinks. 

Don’t worry it is not just your guild, group or committee.  This timing happens on every committee and group I belong to where people are not receiving a monetary exchange for their efforts, a possible prize, or honorable mention or an award at a big function.

Note that volunteers always receive some negative feedback for their efforts.  Usually from somebody that is not doing anything or is sending out negative vibes.  Why in the world would anyone continue to volunteer after having their ideas rejected, or negatively critiqued and they never got a chance to get them off the ground?  This has happened to me more than once, and at more than one group or another. 

Here are the facts, well some anyway.  People want things to change and they want them to stay the same.  If they change the entire group will be affected. If they remain the same, guess what the whole group will be at the effect of no change.  Volunteers usually come along with new members, new ideas, new energy.  The current members of a group spend the first few meetings whispering oh we tried that, or we tried this.  No one thinks to ask if the person offering the idea or volunteering has professional expertise in this area.  Or is bring tried and true methods from their work life to the team.  The person is treated to the 'wack you on the back' line.  If you make it through and still want to volunteer, either you have played this game before or you are a tough nut to crack and the group will prosper, as long as the person has honorable and positive intentions.

Members of teams, committees, and groups beware, you may be the reason, without knowing it that volunteerism is low.  If you always do what you always did you will most like get what you always got.  That is why some organizations fly to the top and other seem to settle midway or below.  There are ways to keep the high energy of new group members and seasoned volunteers coming back and ways to keep chasing them away

Lets review some things that work:

·         One sure way to keep volunteers coming back is to break tasks down to manageable parts and/or short periods.

·         Add lots of one time tasks on a clip board that you send around during a meeting.

·         List tasks or jobs in the bulletin, newsletter or on-line email group sites for members who do not come to the meeting but want to volunteer and can do these jobs off site .

·         Revamp jobs so that a team of two volunteers (present and incoming) handle the work so that no one person is carrying too heavy a load.  This way you get to pass the history of the task and new ideas and new skills may come with the incoming volunteer.

·         Have a handout spelling out the task, so people won't feel like there are hidden things that may show up and cause them to quit midway or feel taken advantaged of

·        Each time the job changes hands there should be some kind of transfer of information, hand over a loose leaf book. 

·         Pass along an online file.

·         Share a document on a flash drive to the next person with the duties, and  time lines clearly written so one does not have to start from scratch. 

·         Include the history of the job and some do’s, don’ts, and ‘what worked for me’ type comments volunteers would know exactly what they were being asked to do and have a guide.

Why is this important?  I have volunteered to help with many projects well before the event and  some times years go by before I find out there was a book with the information I had been trying to find.  So without that knowledge I started from scratch and always felt like I was panning for gold.  The information was not a secret but everyone knew the information but me.  Especially with a group that have active members who have been faithful for five or twenty five years.  Again this is typical of groups and organizations so it is an observation not a criticism.  If you want to increase volunteer efforts there will be adjustments to make.  That is why corporations hire specialists to come in and work with different departments to help stream line their efforts and document what each person does.

It does result in layoffs, jobs disappearing, or new positions being created, new people taking over or coming into positions of authority, and lets face it people getting really out of joint.  But the result does provide benefits to the team, group, or organization. 

Even though volunteers are not paid in cash they receive numerous benefits.  It is often how to barter their skills in the future, shared experiences, they gain opportunities for growth in a specific area of interest, receive training they would have to pay for otherwise, they get to add these experiences to their cv or resumes, and more important to many volunteers they get to spend time with others who share their interest in a cause or program.

 There is good, there is great, there is bad, and certainly ugly.  But at the end of the day good works are done by those who have incredible skills and a go give spirit.

Warmest regards,
Ms. V

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Words of comfort ease you on your way, or Grieve now.

For Patty Doyle and Family...

Keeping you and yours in prayer this morning. 
Words of comfort sort of slip over one during times like these, its ok let them.
Let whatever feelings you have surface.
Face them moment by moment.
Grieve now.
Let the words of comfort ease your way.
Many of us have fathers who have passed on.
We do not love them less or miss them less.
We do not adjust or even forget.
We face the moments without them as each arrives.
Words of comfort sort of slip over one, beyond one’s grasp.  It is ok.
Let them.

Heart felt sympathy,

Ms. V