SAQA Auction Surprise!

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.
Boris Pasternak

My last post a month ago included a reminder that the SAQA auction would be coming in September. Since that post, I have traveled and traveled and traveled. Future posts will share some of the special moments and teachings in those travels.  However, this morning I was greeted by the most wonderful email – a note from Martha Sielman, Executive Director of SAQA, that my auction contribution has sold!


There are still many, many beautiful art quilts available for bidding. The auction will run through October 8. If you would like to review and bid on a 12″ square art quilt, you can do so through this link. You can see the quilts that I selected for my ‘Dream Collection’ entitled tranquility base in my last post.

Happy bidding! And, I will return to post again after my travels are at an end.  🙂

Time to Recenter!

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you the strength,
the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars
to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

There is a lot of synchronicity in this world if you just follow your instincts. I will be mostly off line for a few weeks and intended to do a post on the upcoming SAQA Auction before my travels started. I usually start my posts with a quote and since I intended to share my ‘Dream Collection’ for the auction, I googled ‘dream quotes’ to jog my memory on a good quote. Harriet Tubman’s quote popped up. It felt very appropriate to me for beginning this post after this past week’s events.  For those unfamiliar with Harriet Tubman, here is the opening paragraph from Wikipedia on her life:

Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.

Harriet Tubman is a heroine from our county’s past. She used her home in Auburn, NY as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Auburn is not that far from where I lived for many years in the Rochester NY area.  A few months ago I wrote in a blog post about another heroic woman, Susan B. Anthony. I had created an art quilt based on a statue of her that is in Rochester. It seems these women keep leaping into my consciousness as if to remind of how hard our ancestors worked to create the country we live in now — I am not saying this country is perfect but people have worked hard to keep it growing in the right direction. Times like we are currently living through are unsettling and it is easy to lose sight of dreams and forget the power each of us has as an individual to keep us moving forward positively.

Seems like this is a good time for everyone to recenter — to connect with that place of stability in their being. And so, my Dream Collection for the SAQA auction are pieces that suggest tranquility to me, that offer a reminder to slow down, breathe, and refocus. If you appreciate the pieces I selected, they will be up for auction on the SAQA website, beginning on September 15. You can find information on the auction here.  I also have a piece in the auction in Section I which you are welcome to bid on as well.

Aspen III
Judy Warner

So, without further ado, here is my Dream Collection entitled “Tranquility Base”:

Linking as I often do to Nina Marie Sayre’s Off the Wall Friday blog.

A Feeling of Closure

A sense of resolution or closure at the end of an artisitic work.
Definition in Google.

I have been working fairly intensely on a project for the past two months that revolves around the Ground Zero site in Manhattan. I revisited the site last November and wrote about it in a post on this blog. As I wrote in that post, it was not my first visit to the area but this last visit was meaningful in that I began to see past the horrors and the sadness  and to recognize new life or rebirth in the area. It was that experience that prompted me to create an art quilt that captured my perception of this transformation.

I am still in process on that work and documenting the steps in its development on my Facebook artist page. I realized though this past week that I had reached a turning point in my process – from design to mainly execution.   It created a true feeling of closure that I promptly celebrated by cleaning my studio whose floor was covered with fabrics and sketches. I will save you from what my studio looked like ‘before’ but here is a peak at the after. You may not think this is very ‘open’ so just imagine every place where there is carpeting filled with piles of paper and fabric. 🙂

That large case that you see is for my new Bernina 765 machine that I purchased a month ago to celebrate my birthday. I had decided that 2017 would have a mantra of ‘simplify, simplify’. I have owned an 830 for many years, along with the embroidery attachment that I simply could never get excited over. My 830 was finicky…….it did a beautiful job of free motion quilting once I had the tension just right. But, I had come to realize that my needs were simpler than an 830. My 765 sews for me instantly, whenever I need a straight seam. And, when I want to quilt with it, it does so without any objection. I am in love with it and wondering why it took me so long to change.

Getting closure on projects has proved quite simple with my 765. And so, I retrieved my UFO Aspen III that I wrote about last year and finally faced and labeled it. As a result, I am pleased to be an early bird for the 2017 SAQA Auction.

                                                         Aspen III

I am looking forward to finishing my Ground Zero quilt and moving on to other projects. Hope that you are all moving forward too!






The past seven days have had a number of milestones that remind the time is flying by:


My oldest granddaughter turned five!


My littlest granddaughter turned six months.

Even she seems amazed that she is able to sit up:


Amidst all these delightful occurrences, I made a trip over to La Conner Washington for the first SAQA Regional Meeting held for Washington state. There were nearly 40 of us present, including some SAQA members from British Columbia, Idaho, and Oregon. It was a wonderful meeting.

Jane Dunnewold was the keynote speaker and spoke for an hour on the theme of her latest book, Creative Strength Training. I found her to be a warm and entertaining speaker. I have a copy of her book and hope to read it on an upcoming trip.


Panel Discussion on Being a Professional Art Quilter

There was also an excellent panel discussion moderated by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts with panelists, Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Gail Harker and Bonnie Bucknam. Patricia is an extremely talented moderator who immediately engaged the audience and crafted her questions to bring out the distinctions in the paths that all three very successful artists have chosen.

We also were treated to a tour of the La Conner Quilt Museum which was across the street and had time to network and make plans for future gatherings.

I returned home with some special fabrics and laces from the museum as well as some inspirational coloring books I found in a shop in Seattle.


The SAQA auction begins today so I hope that you will take a moment to visit the auction and plan your purchases/donations over the next few weeks. I have been a member of SAQA for many years and watched it grow as the popularity of the art quilt has expanded. The organization has worked hard to create venues where the public can view the amazing art achieved by these fiber artists. At the same time, I see the organization stepping up more and more to support the new art quilter. The auction is an opportunity to support their efforts and come away with a beautiful work of art as well.


My Dream Collection

SAQA will be having their annual auction next month, beginning on September 16. It is always an opportunity to support this dedicated organization while acquiring a foot square art quilt by one of your favorite artists.

As a lead-in to the auction, members are invited to create their own dream collection of art quilts that will be available in the annual auction. I could not resist the invitation to do so.

My dream collection is entitled ‘Trees that Speak to Me’. I have always found silouhettes of trees catch my attention and cause me to stop, breathe, and contemplate. In this collection, some of the art quilts are simply stark branches while others still have leaves. All  caused me to pause, appreciate the artistry both of the fiber artist and mother nature.

Here are my six favorites:








To view all of the art quilts in the auction, you can click this link. To understand how to bid on art quilts when the auction begins on September 16, you can click on this link.


The Satisfaction of Completion

Nothing nicer than crossing something off a list .

The longer I work on a project, the more clutter becomes associated with it. I do try to ‘put things back where they came from’ as I work through phases but it always seems that there are pieces of fabric, notes, sewing tools that remain out for easy access. So, the day when I can finally clear an area of all that has accumulated always bring a certain air of accomplishment.

This week two projects reached that point:

  • A wall hanging for my soon-to-be born granddaughter. It began as a ‘sketch’ created by my already born granddaughter on my design wall. She assembled pieces of fabric into a design of her choosing. (She had just watched a Harry Potter movie the day before and sounded like she was drawing some inspiration from it.)
    I then fused the pieces to a background and embellished on her theme. The colors came from the quilt already completed for the new baby. The photo below lacks the binding but you get the general idea.
  • My other completion I am particularly pleased with – my SAQA auction  quilt. Last year I was unable to contribute a donation due to our house construction and so I was determined to have something prepared for this year. The opening date for submissions is weeks away so I am really ahead of the game.


I also returned to work on my dyeing class this week. I did a series to learn about creating shades from a base color by varying the amount of black dye. I worked from a turquoise base.


I also played with creating neutrals and browns.


And compared the results of overdyeing some yellow fabric alternatively with fuchsia and turquoise.


With so much accomplished this week, I hope next week will be as productive!

Linking to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.


Plenty of Inspiration

While I am immersed in the final stage of building a second home, I am keeping my creative juices flowing by admiring the process of other fiber artists. Every year SAQA has an annual fund raising auction where members donate 12 inch square original art quilts.

The actual auction begins September 18 and you can read about it here. What excites me this year is that SAQA has been featuring various contributors on its blog with interviews about their process.

I am finding it fascinating to read these posts and have a peek into the creative process of these artists. Each is completely different. I am in awe at what each achieves in a 12 inch square. It excites me to think that soon I will once again be back creating in my own studio!

Here are links to a few of my favorite recent posts:



Joan Dyer


Lois Wilby Hooper


SAQA Benefit Auction is coming!

SAQA-Auction2014The SAQA Benefit Auction will start on Monday, September 15 at 2 pm EST. I hope that you will choose to participate! This exciting reverse auction of small art works donated by members raises money to support SAQA’s exhibition, education, and outreach programs.

Details on the bidding process and advance viewing of pieces up for bid can be found on the SAQA website.

I am pleased to have a piece in the first group of works going up for bid. The art quilt is entitled Memories. In creating Memories, I used a selection of broderie anglaise cotton fabrics which I embellished with hand stitching and then machine quilted.

Warner Auction quilt

Memories by Judy Warner



Detail of stitching


Have fun viewing and bidding! It is a wonderful selection.

Progress on all fronts!

This has been a great week for catching up and luxuriating in time to work on multiple projects at once. It is that sweet time when I am caught up from past trips and future travel is far enough away that I don’t need to organize the household for my departure.

A positive highlight of the week was turning my 830 on for probably the first time in a month! I have two great digital images scanned on silk on hand. This week I got to start playing with a draft (extra printing of the image) of one of the two pieces. 

Aspen quilting

Aspen snow

Journey has also been moving forward. The 12″ square is now quilted and I am starting to hand embroider some flowers. Here you can see some of what I have been stitching.


And, finally, I have gotten immersed in the special three week stitching class I am taking with Karen Ruane. I will share more on that next week but here is a glimpse of some of the fabrics I am working with.


I am linking this post to Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday, so please check out the fascinating work by other artists.

The Beginning of a Journey

I thought it might be fun to travel along with me while I create a new art quilt. I am hoping it will turn out well enough to contribute to the SAQA Benefit Auction this year. My intention, at least for now, is to incorporate some of the hand stitching work that I have been studying for the past three months. 

My working title for this piece will be Memories. Its beginning came from a sketch in one of my journals. I should explain that my journals are highly impromptu. I admire those whose journals are works of art that can stand on their own. Mine are definitely not there yet. I am simply pleased when I find the time to sketch in even the most casual way. 

Pencil drawing

My plan was to create strips of delicate fabric that I have been collecting the past few months, stitch them together and then begin adding hand stitching. The finished piece must be 12″ x 12″ so I began estimating size of strips to cut. As I began to stitch some strips together, I quickly realized that my initial measurements were off but fortunately, with the help of a 12 1/2″ square ruler that I have, I was able to create an appropriate sized piece of pieced fabrics to proceed with.

pieced fabric

As you can see, these are all beautiful pieces of fabric already on their own. It is going to be absolutely delightful to embellish them and then quilt them.

lace overlay

I did include some lace. It is backed with some gently patterned white cotton that I picked up on one of my shopping trips last year in the NYC garment district.

The final version of this piece is uncertain – I always let the art work direct me as it begins to take shape! I will be tossing around the idea of an overlay of flowers as in my sketch. We shall see!  

Hope you will enjoy following along on its creation!


Foot square art quilt of women traveling in India2009
12″ x 12″
SAQA Auction Donation

Contemporary art quilt using piecing, appliqué, and machine quilting.

Created from memories of southwestern India of women in brightly colored garb walking in groups in crowded streets.