Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Artist: Patti Cantu

Today I'm pleased to introduce you all to Patti Cantu.  She doesn't have a website, but you can e-mail her at   Her work is beautiful and I'm particularly glad to be sharing it now, as much of it beautifully captures the season we're in now.

1. Who are you and where do you live? 

I am artist with a love of nature and all things related to fiber.  I enjoy expressing my interpretation of nature in my creations.  My personal photographs often evolve into inspiration or subjects for my artwork.  I use my own dyed fabric but it doesn’t stop me from using purchased commercial fabrics and mixing the two in my pieces.  I love realism but add a touch of abstract for interest in my art.
I am married and we have two grown daughters and live in Columbia Missouri.

Patti Cantu, Sunrise, 38" x 33"
2. Tell us a little bit about your artistic journey and how you got started?

My paternal Grandmother was an artist and worked with oil paints and pastels.  At age four, my Grandmother would take me to Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri for art lessons.  While growing up, my Grandmother and I often did art together and I traveled a lot with my grandparents.  These times together were some of my favorites.  My mother and her mother sewed and I learned to sew with them at an early age.  By age 11 I was sewing my own clothing.  After I married, my mother and I took a quilting class together (1979)  and she embarked on traditional quilting for the next 35 years.  I also did some traditional quilting but became more interested when my children were older.  Fabric art was the next step for me because it included many of the things I enjoy; drawing, painting and photography all sewn together with fabric.  I have been creating fabric art for several years using the skills I have been developing my whole life.  I hope to continue this journey for many years to come.

Patti Cantu, Indian Paintbrush, 15.5" x 19.5"

Patti Cantu, Fall Color, 15" x 7"

 3. How do you describe your work?

My work is realism with a touch of whimsy for interest.  I have tried many different techniques and have enjoyed all of them.  I start with an idea, then check my morgue of photos and or go put and take additional photos.  From the photos I design my quilts, doing thumb nail sketches until I have a composition I like. I follow with a quick watercolor paintings to try out different color choices.  Then I create a pattern and start collecting fabrics hopefully from my stash.  Some of the commercial fabrics I have used have been over dyed and I create my own dyed fabrics to use in my art work.

Patti Cantu, Stream of Trout, 40" x 48.5"

4. Do you have any favorite techniques or approaches?

Most of my pieces involve appliqué,  I prefer turned under appliqué but I have also used raw edge appliqué and piecing techniques.  When possible I paint or dye fabrics to use in my art.

Fall Leaves Falling, 31" x 42"

5. What do you want to communicate with your work?

We all live on a very large planet.  This planet Earth has many different landscapes and animals on it.  I want to see and share as much of it as I can through my art.  I hope when someone sees one of my pieces they think they want to experience nature up close and personal.

Patti Cantu, Subterranean, 9.5" x 12.5"

6. What methods, or lifestyle tips, or time management tips do you find helpful to producing work?

This is a difficult question for me.  I feel I should be using my time more wisely.  In a good week I spend two to three hours a day in my studio three to four times a week creating.  I have found any time spent in my studio is effective because my mind is thinking about art, even if  I am thumbing through fabrics, cleaning or drawing.  
I belong to a group of artist in Columbia Missouri, we get together each month and this keeps me inspired, we share ideas materials and critiques of our work.  I also formed a drawing group that meets weekly.  Time spent with creative friends is so important to me.

Patti Cantu, Free Motion Sampler, 25" x 25"

7. What kind of studio/workspace do you have and what features of your surrounding are most helpful for your productivity/work?

A special place to create art is so important.  It can be a small desk area in a family room or bedroom, but every artist needs an area that is just theirs.   Creative minds tend to have short  memories and if you must drag all supplies out each time you have an idea you probably won’t.  I am fortunate to have a wonderful space that I share with my husband.  His office is a  corner of my studio and I love it when he is at his desk working when I am also working.  I feel the closeness.  I collect mixed media and art books and read them over and over.  By my bed is a stack of  books to read when I am restless.  If you have the space it saves time to have similar things together.  I have a cutting area, a pressing area, a painting area and a couple sewing areas.  I use a large walk-in closet for fabric storage.  I have one wall dedicated as a design wall.  I pin my pieces on it, step back and evaluate the composition, changing it before I commit to sewing it.

Patti's Studio

Patti's Studio

8. Which artist, other individuals or subjects currently inspire you?

Many artist inspire me.  More than I could mention.  I have recently studied with Leni Weiner.  She has helped me to see the big picture and what I should do with my art and the importance of value in a fiber piece.  Hollis Chatelian has taught me to use my drawing skills and how to use dye to paint fabric.  Caryl Bryer Faller-Gentry’s classes helped me with “flow of line” and color.  Phil Beaver’s class was one of my favorites.  He showed me how to easily paint fabric using fabric paints.  Since my background is in landscape painting with acrylics and oils this was so useful to me.  I have taken other classes and have enjoyed them immensely.  If  you have not taken a workshop or two please consider it.  I have never been to a workshop and not learned something that would help me create art and it’s a wonderful way to meet new artist.  It is usually best to not copy the teaching artist style. The fun is in learning and then how it may be applied to your style.   

Patti Cantu, Fall Patterns, 15.5" x 15.5"

Thanks so much to Patti for sharing and I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Local Meetup in Overbook

Last week some of our regional members attended a local meetup near Overbook Kansas at Marnie Clawson's house.  Ruth Powers wrote a lovely blog post about it, definitely click over to her blog to check it out.  It looks like they got to do some wonderful indigo dyeing; Ruth shared some photos of her shibori fabrics from the event.

Many thanks to Marnie for hosting and to Ruth for writing about it!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Artist: Jackie Berry

Today I'm excited to introduce you to Jackie Berry.  I love her work, especially her use of color and print.  If you have a minute, check out her website: in addition to more of her beautiful quilts you can see her inspiring photography.

1. Who are you and where do you live?

I live in  Moberly, Missouri and have been a psychology teacher and school counselor for 32 years.

2. Tell us a little bit about your artistic journey and how you got started?

 In 1994, I needed a couch cover for a large couch combination. Not being able to find one, I decided to make one.  It's a humorous story you can find on my website at   I was hooked. I loved the fabrics, and the creative process of design.  After 32 years, the next 11 years, I was a part-time school psychometrist for my district. During those years I joined a quilting club, made bed quilts, read books, took workshops, and created a “stash”.  

Five years ago, two of my quilting friends and I organized a smaller group of twelve that meets once a month. Each month one of the members is responsible for demonstrating a topic of interest regarding quilting, dyeing, painting or other techniques and we do hands on experimentation.  During this time, I began to figure out what my style is, and what speaks to me… And what speaks to me is NATURE.  I love the outdoors and I love photography.  Before I get to work on nature-inspired quilts, I spend a good deal of time photographing the subject I’ll include in my work.  I want to capture the wonder of the world in fabric and thread, and share a moment in time with the viewer.

Jackie Berry, Flying in for Lunch (11" x 12”)
Inspiration: Chickadee flying to my bird feeder with stenciled nature 
 Jackie Berry, Poppies - Beautiful From Any Angel (20" X 16")
Inspiration: Poppies in my garden

3.  How do you describe your work?

I would describe my style for my focal image as realism; with either a natural setting, a solid fabric (hand-dyed, hand-painted or not), or a more abstract look for the background depending on the project, placing the main emphasis on the "character".

Jackie Berry,  Zoo Mother and Child (18 X 25 3/4")
Inspiration: Photos taken at the zoo and combined.

4. Do you have any favorite techniques or approaches?

I found that I love free motion, and the design process as much as the construction.  My favorite technique for the main image is appliqué.  I love dying and painting fabrics. The quilt below is sketched sunflowers from my photos, using painted fabric on commercial background with the fun of quilting lots of sunflowers and leaves quilted throughout.

Jackie Berry, Tempting Sunflower Seeds (43" X 60")
Inspiration: photos of sunflowers and cardinal flying to my bird feeder

5. What do you want to communicate with your work?

 Hopefully, my photo images and quilts will make people more appreciative of nature, find the beauty in even the most tiny bits of nature,  and will convince people that nature and the earth need to be respected and valued.

Jackie Berry, Lovely Lavender Iris (45 1/2 X 45 1/2)
Inspiration: A awesome lavender Iris in my garden

6. What methods, or lifestyle tips, or time management tips do you find helpful to producing work?

I find that I need to divide the day into thirds using one third on my husband's business, one third on the house/bills,  and one third on quilting. I actually set my iPhone alarm for the ending time and move onto the next segment of the day or I'd never get to quilting. Wow, and when he retires, I'll have 50% of my daily time spent quilting!!  LOL.  I  already have patterns drawn for quilts I want to make for that period of time, and as such, they're not UFOs; because they're not in fabric yet, right....?

7. What kind of studio/workspace do you have and what features of your surroundings are most helpful for your productivity/work?

I have a large studio area (entire basement once the boys moved out), decorated with art (not just quilting) and nature objects, such as leaves, etc. for inspiration and floor length windows to view my woods and watch nature. They all inspire me.

8. Which artists, other individuals or subjects currently  inspire you?

Those who have influenced me the most in the area of free-motion are Diane Gaudynski, and even though Hollis Chatelain doesn't teach free motion per se, her work has inspired me.  Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry has influenced me in design, and from her I discovered my favorite piecing approach- applipiece.  Leni Wiener impacted my understanding of the importance of value.

Jackie Berry, Grandma, Great Grandma, and Me, Sydney  (19" X 14.5")
Inspiration: Photo of granddaughter at one hour old with Hollis's whole cloth technique

Jackie Berry, Nana's Little Angel?? (27" X 24")
Inspiration: Grandson posing and asking to have his picture taken, created in Leni Wiener workshop. 

9. Do you have a blog or website you'd like to share?

I don't have time now for blogging, but do have a website that my grandson set up so I could share some of  my photos, and be able to share how I made some of my quilts (such as the quilt below). I don't have much time to add to it on a regular basis, but hope to soon and add to the blog.

Jackie Berry, Moonflower Paradise in Uncle Bob's Backyard  (18 X  28)
Inspiration: Capturing my uncle's backyard for 88th birthday

Thanks so much to Jackie for sharing her wonderful work with us!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SAQA Volunteers at the Sewing and Quilting Expo

Twelve members of the KS MO OK Region of SAQA volunteered to sit at the SAQA booth for the three days that the Sewing and Quilt Expo was in Overland Park, KS.  

On the afternoon of the last day they organized a local/regional meeting.  The plans for the meeting took advantage of the SAQA Exhibit that was a part of the Expo.  The group spent time viewing and discussing the art quilts that were in the exhibit.

Many thanks to those who volunteered to help out!

Table Volunteers

Viewing the Exhibit

Friday, October 3, 2014

Featured Artist: Pat Hilderbrand

Today I'm extremely pleased to welcome Pat Hilderbrand as our featured artist.  When she sent me the picture of her work for inclusion on the blog gallery page I was instantly captivated by the graphic design, gracious and organic-feeling curves, and judicious use of sparkly or reflective elements to capture a bit of light.  I was anxious to see and share more of her work and am so pleased she agreed to participate here!

1.   Who are you and where do you live?
After 32 years of teaching interior design at the University of Missouri I took advantage of an early retirement option offered to all faculty in 2000.   My husband and I live in Columbia, MO. 

2.   Tell us a little bit about your artistic journey and how you got started?
The amazing generosity of Georgia quilters for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games and the warmth and love evident in Amish baby quilts along with my background in sewing and design planted the seeds for my quilt journey.  Did you know the major motif used for those Olympics came from a quilt?  Quilters in Georgia, honoring a native American custom of presenting blankets to honored friends, also made enough quilts to send the flag bearer and the National Olympic Committee from each country participating home with a quilt!  On the way home from attending the Olympics my husband and I discovered the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.  I was particularly captivated by the atmosphere of joy and caring in a gallery of Amish baby quilts.  I am continually drawn by the human qualities of quilts and the idea that giving a quilt to someone is like giving them a hug whenever needed.

Pat Hilderbrand, Making Waves  (14 1/4" x 23 1/4")
      Inspiration: Ocean waves viewed from my son's home in Massachusetts and waves in Asian artwork.

3.   How do you describe your work?
Most of my art quilts are relatively simple designs involving smooth flowing curves, lots of quilting, and often a bit of shine from metallic fabrics or beads. 

Pat Hilderbrand, Who's Watching  (20" x 20")
      Inspiration:  The play Wicked for a Cherrywood Fabrics competition.

4.   Do you have any favorite techniques or approaches?
I love that using traditional and curved piecing requires simplifying content to basic elements.  My favorite technique is using freezer paper to facilitate smooth curved piecing with the edges turned under.

5.   What do you want to communicate with your work?
      Calm, joy, appreciation of nature and beauty of simple things around us. 

Pat Hilderbrand, Japanese Maple  (17 1/2" x 31 3/4")
      Inspiration:  Bright red leaves on a Japanese Maple in our yard in fall.

Pat Hilderbrand, Waterlilies  (25" x  39")
      Inspiration:  A waterlily pond we once had in our backyard.

6.   What methods, or lifestyle tips, or time management tips do you find helpful to producing work? 
Take time to enjoy it all!  The process of making a quilt is much more enjoyable if there is no specific deadline or at least plenty of time allowed.  It’s wonderful to be able to get lost in the studio and completely forget what time it is or what’s going on in the world.  Sometimes, however, time away from a project is needed to be able to come back with fresh ideas and solutions to problems that may occur.  I love that a quilt shop in Beijing, China is called “Slow Life Patchwork”.

Pat Hilderbrand, Eternity  (52 1/2" x 75")
      Inspiration:  Night sky.

7.   What kind of studio/workspace do you have and what features of your surroundings are most helpful for your productivity/work?
      My studio was originally a large bedroom with lots of windows.  It has never had overall planning for making quilts but seems to adapt to my needs as I go along.  It gets terribly messy when working on a project leaving tools and fabric that need to be put away every few months.
Pat Hilderbrand, New Beginnings  (17" x 23")
      Inspiration:  Casual sketch that started to look like a seedpod.

8.   Which artists, other individuals or subjects currently inspire you?
      I have admired works by Carol Bryert Fallert, Ruth McDowell, Jane Sassaman, and Diane Gaudynski.
I am continually surprised that there is no one thing that inspires.  Ideas for a quilt could come from appreciating details on a building, nature along a biking trail, something in the backyard, or just a message that begs to be conveyed.  Occasionally ideas seem to come out of nowhere – sometimes when I’m asleep.  I try to keep pencil and paper by the bed, or may steel away to my studio in the middle of the night to jot down thoughts and sketches so they aren’t forgotten. 

Pat Hilderbrand, Susan  (12" x 12")
      Inspiration:  A very special dog we had whose entire back end became paralyzed when running and falling on our icy patio. Her continual positive attitude was amazing.

Thanks so much to Pat for sharing!

Monday, September 22, 2014

OK Face Time Meet-up

Our last OK Face Time group included 12 members in attendance. We met at a local quilt store and had our first directed Critique Session. Everyone felt there were many good ideas gleaned. In an effort to become better aquainted with one another and our work styles and technics, our featured artist, Carol Sinnreich gave a short presentation of her work and her artistic process. She gave us a peek into her creative process and strongly encouraged us to keep journals .

 We were all looking forward to the SAQA Regional showing next Spring and are working toward creating entries. Our next meeting will be scheduled in March of 2015 with Charlotte Hickman as our featured artist.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Columbia, MO Face Time Group

The Columbia, MO SAQA FaceTime group met Sept 13 at Orr Street Studios in Columbia, MO. 

 Attending were Pam Gruer, Jean M Brueggenjohann, Pat Hildebrand, Patti Cantu, Becky Paneck, Jackie Berry, and Rebecca Douglas.

Columbia SAQA group meets. 

Columbia SAQA group in action.

It looks like they had a great time!  If your regional face time groups meet, feel free to e-mail an update and/or pictures to share on the blog.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Face Time Group in Overland Park

Hi All,  the Overland Park face time group had a lovely meeting last Saturday, August 24th.  Here's a photo from their event.

Standing:  Cindy Parry, Cindy Brendzel, Linda Frost, Karen Hansen and Carmen Rinehart.
Seated:  Ada Niedenthal, Jackie Stokes, Dora Agbas and Leslie Holmes .
Photographer:  Mary Kay Fosnacht

When your face time groups meet, please feel free to send photos or a short message about it and I'll get them posted on the blog!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Reminder: Kansas City Show This Weekend

Just a friendly reminder that Ada Niedenthal and Elnora Nokes are having a show this weekend (June 6-7) at LoudRock Studio in Kansas City. 

Hopefully those of you in Kansas City can stop by.  For more info see the previous post.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fiberworks 2014 Opening

Several of our regional artists from Oklahoma had pieces accepted into Fiberworks 2014 which opened last Friday at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery at 706 W. Sheridan in Oklahoma City.  The show runs through June 10th, so check it out if you missed the opening.

I saw Janice Filler, Cherrie Hampton, and Charlotte Hickman from our region at the opening, apologies if there were other SAQA members there who I didn't get to meet!  Here are a few pictures I took while there (sorry for the crummy quality- I only had my phone with me!).

Charlotte Hickman with her piece.

Janice Filler with her piece.

Cherrie Hampton (left) with her piece.

Cherrie's fabulous piece was a collaboration between her (left with her fiber representation on the left) and Millicent Gillogly, a ceramicist (right).  It was really cool to see the same idea interpreted in two different media.

Andrea Luliak (I loved the dimension in this one!)

Me (Shannon) with one of my pieces

Barbara Tobin's piece

Barbara Tobin's piece (above) won the Award of Merit for best quilt at the show (congratulations!) and it was really a beautiful piece.  

That isn't her in the picture,  in the picture are shown Janice Filler and Karen Collier, the two Fiber Artists of Oklahoma members who were in charge of the show.  I know it was a ton of work, and they really did an outstanding job putting it all together!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Shin-Hee Chin Solo Show

Hi All,

One of our regional artists, Shin-Hee Chin is having a solo show with her beautiful, dimensional fiber art.  The show titled "Reverberation Silence" and is at the Kansas City Artist Coalition.  The show runs from May 9th-June 20th.  For more information check out their website

I hope any of you in the area or traveling through will take the opportunity to check it out!

Seom (Standing Woman), Shin-Hee Chin

Poom (With the Open Arms), Shin-Hee Chin

Monday, May 5, 2014

Face Time Group in OKC

Hi All,

Cherrie sent me this report from the first OKC SAQA Face Time meet up.  If you have any pictures or things you'd like to share from your meet ups, just send them along and I'll post them!

Nine people were in attendance and 8-9 more expressed an interest but had previous engagements. We had a great organizational meeting and found that there were not only many common interests but an enthusiasm to continue meetings once a quarter.  One of our members traveled 3 1/2 hours to be with us.  It is possible in the future for this group to ramp up and meet more often with smaller focus groups.  We will be meeting again in early September and are currently working on a venue.  At this point, in an effort to acquaint ourselves with each other and their work, our next meeting will have a "Featured Artist" focus. Carol Ann Sinnreich will speak to us about her career as an art quilter and bring some examples of her work.  In addition, we will have a topical question discussion and a critique group, which was an enthusiastically embraced idea.  We found a welcome camaraderie with other artists striving for the same goals and the refreshment that that brings.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Call for Entries: Oklahoma Artists

The Fiber Artists Of Oklahoma annual juried show (Fiberworks 2014) is coming up.  It's open to all Oklahoma fiber artists and you don't have to be a member of FAO to enter.  It's a great opportunity, so I hope you will all enter.  You can find the call for entries at  Fiberworks 2014.

Anyone else with show announcement or Call For Entries, just send them my way and I'll get them posted!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Featured Artist Profile: Linda Filby-Fisher

Today I'm thrilled to present the work of Linda Filby-Fisher, one of our region's SAQA artists from Overland Park, KS.  I find her work and approach inspiring and hope you do too.  For more, check out her website at

1. Tell us a little bit about your artistic journey and how you got started?

In 1970 I was a psychotherapist and the director of a small neighborhood mental health center.  After consultation with my grandmothers [experienced needlewomen], I launched a quilting project for clients in our day treatment program, and also began my first quilt.  In 1987 I became a professional quilt maker, in 1989 a quilt artist, and in 1998 a collage fiber artist.
From the Outside In, A Seeing Way Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

2. How do you describe your work?

I am primarily a collage fiber artist with an art quilt base using mixed media to express a concept.  Text and poetry in many languages are an integral part of each piece.

3. Do you have any favorite techniques or approaches?

Photography has been and continues to be a significant element in the creative process.  And now, for the past few years, I have been very excited about various printing techniques--especially hand printing.  I am constantly learning; constantly looking for the method/the media that will best help me manifest the concept--to give the concept visual form.
Dignity 3, Quilt on a Frame Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

We Rise 1, Medicine Wheel Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

4. What do you want to communicate with your work?

It is important for me to bear witness, to bring a voice.  I am driven to add a certain energy to the Universe.  Each piece has a purpose; each is an offering----and the Medicine Wheel sings.
Earth Song 3, Medicine Wheel Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

5. What methods, or lifestyle tips, or time management tips do you find helpful to producing work?

It is important for me to work in the studio Monday - Friday for about 8 to 10 hours each day.  This is my time to create and to do the administrative tasks that are required to maintain a professional studio.  It is important for me to set aside time Monday-Friday for meditation, exercise, and reading--all are crucial to a productive workday.

Be curious, be interested, and listen in the silence.

Dignity, Celebration of Life Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

Dignity-Detail, Celebration of Life Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

6. What kind of studio/workspace do you have and what features of your surroundings are most helpful for your productivity/work?

My studio is now in my home--an old home with banks of wood windows that fill the studio with natural light and wood floors that make clean up of paint spatter and copper shavings easy.  A large worktable and a floor to ceiling design wall are surrounded by books [including a dictionary collection and Learning Journals], photographs, stones, twigs---special small things that quietly sing.

A place of vibrant peaceful energy.
From The Outside In 3, A Seeing Way Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

Leaving 6, A Telling Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

7. Which artists, other individuals or subjects currently inspire you?

Observations from daily life: a snippet of conversation, a brief glance at a profile--a stance--a gesture, all inform the work.  People's stories--their joys & challenges--their feet and hands--their music, the bend in a branch, the colors-the sounds, the stones and the earth, all bring form to the work.

Meditation insights, tongues of nations gone, words of poets and sages, microscopic and macroscopic science, all nurture the work.

Unity 5, Medicine Wheel Series, Linda Filby-Fisher

 Thanks so much to Linda for sharing her art and thoughts with us!