Piecing Abstraction with Pat Pauly comes to B.C.

Have you read our latest SDA Journal article on Piecing Abstraction?    Register for a workshop with featured artist, Pat Pauly.  Known for her improvisational technique, Pat uses bold colour and unusual juxtapositions of printed and painted fabric, to create absolutely stunning art.
Check out her website: http://www.patpauly.com/index.htm   or enjoy her blog:  http://piecesandresistance.blogspot.com/ 
Recognized as a Quilt National and Quilts=Art=Quilts winner,  SAQA BC has the opportunity to host Pat teach and give her evening lecture coming in October 2014.


Workshop:  CUTTING UP THE PRETTIES     2 days

$120- current SAQA members,
$140 for all others
Thurs-Friday Oct 9-10, 2014
10 – 4 each day
Brookswood Seniors Centre,
19899 – 36 Ave, Langley, BC
20 participants max
sponsored by SAQA BC
We all have that great yard of fabric that we purchased, made, traded or were given.  But using it up is sometimes the most difficult thing to do!  Sometimes that fabric just does not “play” well with others.  Pat will show you how to “cut up the pretties” to use that special fabric to its best advantage.  So, gather those great and unique fabrics, in combination with other handmade or commercial fabrics, and explore design and colour in some careful exercises that will give you a road map for creating with one of a kind pieces.  Pat will show various design solutions while you learn a new language in design elements.  This class will teach you to embrace and USE the special fabric we love (but are afraid to use) and we will overcome our fear of ‘Cutting Up the Pretties.”  This is a hands on sewing class where we will start a notebook of ideas as well as begin an art quilt using our great fabric.

Evening Lecture:  WALK ON THE WILD SIDE:  Finding Your Style in Contemporary Quiltmaking

Friday, October 10, 2014       7 – 8 pm          $10
George Preston Rec Centre,
20699 – 42 Ave, Langley, BC
Sponsored by SAQA BC
This evening lecture is Pat Pauly’s irreverent look at her own work and career, with its lucky beginnings and twists and turns.  After having diverged several times to accept positions in other aspects of the design profession, she cane back to full time contemporary quilting, where she had started in the early 1980’s.  All is far game for inspiration and comment as Pat presents more than 400 images in the space of an hour; you will never think of the word “quilt” in the same way, again.
Interested?  Registration for the workshop is limited to 20 participants, evening event – 100.     
Need additional information?  or to register contact:  Jennifer Cooper      coopernordic@gmail.com 

Maura Donegan’s “Text-ural” Art


Maura Donegan with some of her 3-D cubes


Last week, SDA member Maura Donegan visited the Eastside SDA chapter meeting to share her incredible fiber art embroideries.  Born and raised in Ireland, Maura holds a diploma from the London Cities and Guilds Embroidery program which she started in the UK.  However, after completing her first year, she moved to the Puget Sound region… Luckily, she was able to continue and complete her studies under the tutelage of  Gail Harker here in La Conner, WA.  In 2011, Maura was one of four graduates of the Gail Harker Center to be featured artists at the “Four Embroiderers” exhibition at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum.


imageMuch of Maura’s work features words embroidered with each letter within squares in a grid, like crosswords.   Memory and a historical tradition of handwork in both Maura’s family and women in general are honored in her work.  Some of her pieces are for the wall, while others are 3-D, such as her box of 108 cubes, each with a 6-letter word inscribed on it.  108 is considered a sacred number by several Eastern religions and is the “hyperfactorial of 3, as it is of the form:108Maura invites people to choose a cube from the box and then replenishes with more cubes as needed to maintain the number within.


Box of word cubes

Box of word cubes

Maura’s Irish heritage also is seen in some exciting new pieces she is making with machine embroidery on a heavy Japanese paper.  The designs are inspired by ancient art on the megalithic rock tombs that were near where she grew up.  The dense, beautiful embroidery is made with metallic thread, making elegant patterns and webs in the areas she has cut away which replicate the stone-age art.





imageSee more of Maura’s art on her website at http://www.mauradonegan.com

Experience the Glories of British Textiles with Gail Harker

custom_tourMany Washington state SDA members have had the pleasure of studying at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts, or even just visiting the studio for an exposition or a SDA group meeting.  Gail was also one of the featured speakers at the 2012 SDA symposium in Seattle.  Now a truly unique opportunity is being offered by Gail this October… a chance to tour and study art, design and stitch in Great Britain!  

The Littlebury Hotel in Bicester, Oxfordshire

The Littlebury Hotel in Bicester, Oxfordshire

Gail lived over 20 years in Britain, and has developed relationships that open doors to places that the general public will never get to see!  Tours to historic houses, museums and galleries will be guided by specialists, tutors and curators. If you have a keen interest in textiles of all sorts, including embroidery, quilts, and lace,  or a fascination with educational and historic sites, you should consider this trip, planned specifically to enhance appreciation of art, design and stitch studies.

The sense of camaraderie that Gail engenders in her students will be fostered during travel between venues in a comfortable coach where historic stitches and techniques will be discussed, demonstrated and even practiced.  Participants are also encouraged to keep individual sketchbooks on the tour.

Each night after activities the participants will return to the Littlebury Hotel, with the exception of 2 nights aboard a ferry when the tour goes to Normandy, France, to see the amazing Bayeux Tapestry and moving D-day beaches.  Returning to the same comfortable hotel each night allows students to share their experiences and not have the difficulty of packing up and moving multiple times throughout the trip.

A portion of the 70 meter long Bayeux tapestry, embroidered in approximately 1070 CE.

A portion of the 70 meter long Bayeux tapestry, embroidered in approximately 1070 CE.

17th century Frog purse from the Asmoleum Collection

17th century Frog purse from the Asmoleum Collection

The tour starts off with a special one-day event called “The Big Stitch” at the Ashmoleum Museum, Oxford.  There will be about 25 demonstrators throughout the museum, special talks, and a new exhibition of 17th century embroideries.

At the Victoria & Albert Museum, a textile specialist will be giving the group a personal talk while viewing incredible Tutor, Stuart, Georgian, and Victorian textiles.

One day is spent at the infamous Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra palace, where the height of stitched textile art is showcased each year, as well as an amazing vendor market of over 100 specialist shops.

17th Century red velvet embroidered Bible owned by James II, King of England (1633-1701.)

17th Century red velvet embroidered Bible owned by James II, King of England (1633-1701.)

Another highlight is getting to visit the British Library where the group will get to see 16th-17th century books with embroidered pictorial bookbindings.

There are so many wonderful stops and details that it’s difficult to pick just a few to highlight here.  On the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts website (http://www.gailcreativestudies.com/) you can download a full packet that describes all the details and places the tour will cover, as well as having some fantastic links to textile collections and online galleries.



To find out all about this incredible tour, you can go to: http://www.gailcreativestudies.com/about/england-tour-2014 and scroll down to see the highlights and download the complete packet on the tour.


Margaret Layton waistcoat (1610-1615) at the Victoria & Albert Museum, made of linen, embroidered with colored silks, silver and silver-gilt thread, lined with silk.


Natural Dyeing and Organic Indigo Vat Dyeing with Michel Garcia

The University of Washington School of Art in Collaboration with the Surface Design Association of Washington State and Earthues Natural Dye Company Seattle, WA are thrilled to present two workshops and an evening lecture with Michel Garcia!

Michel Garcia, natural dyeing expert

Michel Garcia

Workshop 1:  July 10 – 14, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm

Fundamentals of Color from Plants and Insects:  Exploring Wide Applications of Natural Dyeing and Printing on Textiles

University of Washington Seattle Campus:  Art Building Room 216

 Keen on sustainable development and ecology, Michel Garcia will teach special techniques for extracting dye from plants and insects and using these to dye and print on textiles. He will demonstrate a variety of mordants on cotton cloth, using various techniques to get a full range of shades in the same dye-bath! In this workshop, students will make different soluble extracts that can be used to dye wool, silk and cotton.

 In printing on wool and silk, the difficulties of using powdered dyestuff can be avoided altogether by using a natural extract. These extracts also present a wealth of opportunities as they can be applied directly to cloth. The class will use extracts to print directly onto wool and silk using blocks, paintbrush and screens. Michel will also present a variation that permits printing with indigo.

 Participant Experience: Dyeing experience required.  Natural dye experience preferred.

 Cost of the workshop is $575 including supply fee.


 Workshop 2: July 16 – 20, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm

Indigo: The Organic Reduction Vat

University of Washington Seattle Campus:  Art Building Room 216

Indigo has a reputation for being a difficult dye. In this class, students will discover some very simple methods to prepare natural organic indigo dye vats. These vats can be kept in the studio for a very long time and can be revitalized through readily available natural ingredients. Students will learn the mechanics of the vat and move beyond a single recipe to a thorough knowledge of the indigo process and the ability to select the appropriate vat to match the desired technique.

 Michel Garcia brings in depth experience and perspective to the vat process. His background in botany and chemistry and his intense knowledge of colorants combine with his enthusiasm for sharing this information! Students will learn about possibilities for making a natural indigo vat using henna, dates, figs, pears, or bananas as reagents. Students will be able to establish and to maintain a fast natural vat that can be used to dye any natural fiber.

Participant Experience: All dyers welcome.

Cost of the workshop is $575 including supply fee.


Lecture: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7-8 pm, catered reception 8-9pm

Natural colors and even more

Center for Urban Horticulture

3501 NE 41st St, Seattle WA

Around the world, the rediscovery of colors from plants and insects is strongly linked with the concept of a “better life from natural substances”, of sustainable development, traceability and care for the planet.  From the point of view of Biology and “green” chemistry, it seems that the colorants from plants are bioactive components, with interesting protective effects on the body, even when they are used to dye a simple cloth. The plurality of biochemical effects of these colors is amazing. These natural substances are no longer considered as only ordinary colorants, but also as protective molecules. With the help of simple explanations, Michel Garcia will introduce the world of the bio-active dye.

A reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres will follow the lecture from 8-9 pm.

Cost of the lecture is $12.


Michel GarciaMichel Garcia short biography

Michel Garcia, a French national born in Casablanca, Morocco, has been interested in plants since childhood. He was a teenager when he first discovered a passion for natural dyeing and his study of plants and pigments over the decades has made him a leading authority on natural dyeing.  Author, collaborator, and founder of Couleur Garance and the Botanical Garden of Dye Plants in Lauris, Provence, he is a passionate advocate for the use of these dyes and for their many commercial and educational possibilities. His work includes professional consultation in West Africa, Tunisia, Mexico, United States, Canada, China, Indonesia, and Europe.  He has written 21 monographs and 3 books and is featured in three pedagogic DVDs.

Since founding his first company in 1988, Michel has continued in his in depth study of the biology and chemistry of plants. His generosity in founding the Botanical Dye Garden as a resource center for anyone interested in sharing in the knowledge of Natural Dyes extends to teaching philosophy.

He is an innovative dyer and hands-on teacher whose enthusiasm is infectious and knowledge extensive. He is interested in using simple methods to present the complex world of Natural Dyes to a wide public.

Registration for Workshop and Lecture


Registration for the workshops and the lecture will open at 9AM PDT on March 15th.  Acceptance into the workshops will be based on date of payment.  Class size for each workshop is limited to 15 each.  Participants can register for one workshop.    Please fill out registration form here (link will work starting at 9 am PDT on March 15):


 and follow the link for Pay Pal payment.  Registration is NOT complete until both the registration form has been filled out and payment has been received through Pay Pal.


Registration for the lecture and payment on Pay Pal can be found at

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1X8qNRr9kgieT_Mn8TRlnX8XzfMKBQX1zuKQk-4yLF4A/viewform (link will work starting at 9 am PST on March 15)

Lecture is limited to 200 people.  Registration is NOT complete until both the registration form has been filled out and payment has been received through Pay Pal.


Please email Layne Goldsmith ms.layne@gmail.com.

Presented by: University of Washington School of Art, Surface Design Association of Washington State, and Earthues Natural Dye Company.

SDA Pres Jane Dunnewold meets WA SDA

SDA President Jane Dunnewold speaks to WA SDA

SDA President Jane Dunnewold speaks to WA SDA

 A wonderful treat for Washington state SDA members, Jane’s talk on October 12 focused on the psychology of being an artist.   Here are some points that this artist pulled out from her speech:

We should always be in a cycle that includes studying, analyzing, thinking, making, and critiquing our art.  We can feel as if we haven’t done enough… learn to be satisfied with the work you’re doing.  Look to find what’s your best path and turn inward to find it.  Connect with the mystical-the mysterious part of life we can’t understand.

Jane’s definition of “Alignment”:  when what you love to do is what you’re good at.  There is a learning curve to doing something really well- you need to practice.  Often, you start out wanting to play at something.  If you play around long enough, you start to understand it a bit and want to get good at it.  You need to keep at it to get good.  Persistence can be undermined in many ways.  You might feel you aren’t talented at something.  You shouldn’t look at comparing yourself… accept what you’ve got and go with it.  We’re all challenged with the difficulties of having a busy, crazy life.  Building time into your schedule for your art is important.

WA SDA representative Barbara Matthews introduces Jane Dunnewold

WA SDA representative Barbara Matthews introduces Jane Dunnewold

A huge negative influence on our artwork which we all feel is what Jane calls “the committee.”  These are the voices you hear or faces you see in your mind whom you want to please or for whom you want to have your artwork be good enough.  You may hear a specific voice saying “What are you going to do with that?”  Or you might compare your work with the work of an admired artist and feel you come up short.  It’s important for you to think about who you have on your committee… then fire them!  Learn to Say YES to your distinctive style and choices you make for your art.

We also need to develop our “Creative Stamina.”  Jane suggests we develop a program of creative strength training… like cross training in the gym… go back and forth between different activities that support your development as an artist.  These may include:

  • Cultivating looking- take a photo each day and post them online- engage seeing-closer,richer, in a more detailed way
  • Writing- even if not a writer it helps us organize and keep track; can do a Free Association- write a term at the top of a page and free associate for 2 minutes- can lead to design inspiration and ideas; write descriptions to help see more thoroughly and cultivate curiosity
  • Visiting museums & galleries
  • Reading about other artists
WA SDA members

WA SDA members

Work on being proud of every aspect of what you do.  The detail, materials you choose, and the finishing work- all of the craft needs to support the message of the piece.  You should practice “intentional making”, limit variables and simplify.

Each of us has a life that has elements that are fascinating… bring that out in your work!  Craft a statement about your work and practice saying it aloud so you can comfortably talk about your work.

WA SDA members

WA SDA members

Finally, don’t be afraid to make mistakes… it’s how we learn and grow.  Jane joked, “I’ve made so many mistakes and have been so good at it, that I’m thinking of making some more.”

Thanks so much to Jane and to all our members and guests who attended.  Coming soon- reports from our small group breakout sessions!

Okan Arts- Japanese Fabrics & a Whole Lot More


Seattle’s SDA group had the pleasure of having Patricia Belyea speak to them recently.  Patricia is both the owner of Okan Arts and the powerhouse that created “Stashfest”- a fundraiser for the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum.  Her passionate voice in the Northwest quilting community encourages and cajoles others to try using unusual fabrics in their artwork, as well as contributing to and building the Northwest as a major quilting center.

Okan Arts imports vintage Japanese Yukata Cottons, as well as being Patricia’s business for selling her artisan quilts, being a speaker and teacher, and leading retreats.  There are a few places still available in the 2013 Okan Arts Quilt Retreat with Joe Cunningham and Patricia Belyea.  In their retreat, students mater techniques for creating simple yet innovative quilts, learning directly through cutting and sewing.  Held on Hood Canal (2 hours from SeaTac airport) the 5 night workshop includes instruction, programs, ALL meals & snacks, and group accommodations.  The dates are Sunday Nov 10- Fri Nov 15, 2013.  Patricia and Joe are generously contributing a portion of the proceeds from this retreat to support the  La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum.  For more information or to register go to the Okan Arts website at: http://okanarts.com/learn/retreat/


Patricia also leads some fun classes out of her Ballard-based Okan Arts classroom, including “Counterintuitive Piecing”, “Doodle Piecing”, and “Freemotion Quilting”.  You can check out more about these classes at: http://okanarts.com/learn/seattle-classes/

Looking to spice up your fabric stash?  Contact Patricia to come see and buy some of the lovely hand-dyed yukata cotton fabrics from Japan.  She has more than 450 bolts available!  http://okanarts.com/contact/

What Direction Would You Like To Take Your Art?

–Have you thought about mentoring or teaching a class or workshop?

–Would you want to build a body of work, prepare for a sale, or have a solo exhibition?

–Do you want to branch into a new material, do installation art, or make your art bigger?

–Do you want to get better at a technique or just have fun?

JanePlease join us October 12th for an SDA meeting open to everyone in WA State featuring Jane Dunnewold, SDA President.

Meet like-minded artists to share ideas about Jane’s presentation on Making and Meaning, as you think about your future, and about what could further your art.

See blog post on September 17th for more details by clicking HERE.