March 2015 Informal Meeting

On March 5th, SAQA AK members Faye Stiehm, Marsha Burns, Amy Meissner, Sandy Winfree, Diane Melms, Gail Ramsay, and Nan Thompson (by telephone), gathered at the Brayton Road Kaladi Brothers for coffee and conversation.

The group welcomed new member Marsha Burns.We are glad you have joined us!

Nan Thompson from Seward, Alaska joined us via Skype. She is bringing quilt instructor Rana Gillman to Alaska to teach Aug 22 - 24 (Friday - Monday).  Nan is looking for a space in Anchorage to host this 20 student class.  If you have any suggestions about a teaching space, or want to take the workshop, please let her know.  She can be reached at  351-6812 or 

Diane Melms talked about our upcoming gallery exhibition at blue.holomon gallery in November. This will be our second annual exhibition.  Although we still need to have a meeting to finalize details with gallery owner Gina Holloman, we think we will have similar entry requirements and schedule as last year, but more pieces might be submitted - up to five per person. We assume the jurors will still select a similar number of pieces as last year (approximately 20-25).  

We discussed Maria Shell's idea of having an annual statewide SAQA meeting to coincide with the show’s opening on November 6, 2015.  Members present decided we could easily host our out of town members in our guest rooms for the weekend and maybe have a studio tour and perhaps some classes or workshops. If we want to do this we will need volunteers to organize and make arrangements for this gathering. Feedback would be appreciated.

We also talked about the possibility of requesting one of the SAQA "Trunk Shows" for that possible meeting. There are just a few available for that time frame (they have 8 sets available to loan), but it would be nice to see real examples of work from other SAQA artists. We do have funds available for the $50 fee charged for shipping that mini show.  To learn more about SAQA’s trunk shows, you can by clicking here.

Sandy Winfree shared several new pieces of her wonderful shibori and wet felting.  She said the wet felting shrinks 35%.  She also folds up her large quilts for shipping and has no problem with the shibori or anything getting wrinkled.

Amy Meissner brought three pieces that will be exhibited in her solo show called “Reliquary” at the Bunnel Street Arts Center solo in Homer, Alaska this coming June.  The pieces featured wonderful hand stitching and vintage fibers.  She also brought a sample of her timekeeping sheets for us to look at. She logged 24 hours on just one section of french knots!

Gail Ramsay showed her newest experiment in “Comic Strip Quilting”.  She is planning to write a quilt book on the subject and include projects as well as methods for quilters to create their own comics.  This piece is a super fun table runner.

Diane Melms brought 4 parts of a very large (79” square) piece she has been working on for several weeks.  The work features curved lines in her fabulous solid hand-dyed fabrics. While those who were at the meeting got to see pieces of this quilt, the rest of us will have to wait....
Diane also shared “Cool Mints” a finished piece made from solids and stripes.

If members are looking for an educational fiber experience, they should visit the Sami Exhibition at the Anchorage Museum .  The exhibition features a 50 foot long embroidered piece as well as other amazing story textiles. AK SAQA member Amy Meissner shared her experiences with the show and lectures on her blog.

Thank you Gail Ramsay for taking notes and photos during the meeting.

Our next informal coffee talk will be at the same Kaladi Brothers on Brayton Street on Tuesday April 14th at 1pm.  Hope to see you there!!