The Artist

I am an art quilter exploring stories starting with a photograph.

Vintage images, family albums and camera phone snapshots documenting my life are my primary subject matter.  Every art quilt I make has a rich subtext - a hidden story.

Creating allows me, as an artist; to think deeply about my life and celebrate the joy I find everyday

jim

My process starts with a digital image. I use photo manipulation software to enhance or create a new composition. The digital file is sent to a commercial fabric printer. When the fabric arrives in my studio, I use a variety of  materials including dyes, pigment sticks and paints directly on the cloth.  As I quilt through the cloth, batting and backing; I am  drawing with thread to create a rich and visually exciting  work of art.

Margaret Abramshe was born in Honolulu Hawaii in 1959 to family of academics. She studied for her BFA at the University of Colorado at Boulder, received a degree in Art Education from Florida International University and a Master’s in Fine Art from the University of Northern Colorado. She spent her career as public school educator, a mentor teacher, wrote numerous grants and was part of district wide curriculum writing teams in Jefferson County Colorado.

Since retiring, Margaret has devoted her time to being studio artist working as an art quilter.  In the past three years Margaret’s art quilts have been included in numerous local, national and international shows.

Recent Posts

Not All Art Quilts Are Flat!

As I write this post,
I looked  down at the calendar I almost missed the fact that this is the first day of March!

Another year sailing by too quickly.

My life since retirement has increasingly been focused on creating work for entry into art quilt exhibitions. The first three months of this year contain more opportunities than I have experienced in the past.

I have already entered over a dozen quilts into local, regional, national and international quilt exhibitions. I still have more exhibitions to enter. I was glad today when I got a rejection. The rejection allowed me to save this piece for entry into another show.

Building an inventory of quality work has been key to getting more quilts accepted to more exhibitions. It has also been key to expanding my subject matter and my techniques.

When I first submitted a portfolio to become Juried Art Member of SAQA in 2015; every quilt was a portrait using a consistent process and was similar in size. Since then I have been adding new materials , techniques and exploring different genres including landscapes.

Umbrella Book

My most unusual quilt this year is an exploration of three dimensional forms using layered and stitched fabric. These sculptural books were inspired by SAQA’s recent exhibitions encouraging artists to submit both two and three dimensional quilts and an exhibition called “3D Expression”.

Some of you reading this post will think, quilts have to be hung on the wall: Quilts are flat!  

The definition of an art quilt is a creative work that is layered and stitched. The stitches can be real or implied. So what can an artist make within those parameters? I stumbled onto an idea for a 3D quilt when I entered an exhibition called “Forced to Flee” .

Roadmap

The call for entry asked artists to respond to the issues of people forced to move from their chosen homes. What would that be like for a family leaving on foot, being desperate, possibly scared, with limited resources and no clear roadmap leading to their desired destination?

Since I have never been forced to flee the safety of my home, I thought about what  it was like for me as child to travel. 

My family went a several long road trips. No matter how well planned, family vacations often involved leaving something important at home, impatience, hunger and getting lost.  Everyday of the trip Dad would carefully fold a map that we used to  guide us on our journey.This memory was my inspiration.

I created an accordion folded quilt in  a shape that reminded me of those folded road trip maps. Each section included a Central America country with pictures of a refugee. I was pleased that jurors included this dimensional work into the exhibition. 


Who knows where this new idea of an art quilt will lead?

Until next time……
Margaret

After the “Road to California”

 Last year I wrote a post about my experience entering my first art quilt in a traditional quilt show in Ontario California. “ By the end of two days at the show I learned that I needed to improve my technical skills and rethink what might be a better fit using my current technique. I […]

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It’s a Plan

  Planning for a New Year A favorite author, Donna Leon; said in an interview “I write one page a day and by of the year I have written another book.” Taking each day to accomplish something toward a larger goal is a strategy I employ. I no longer put all my energy on getting […]

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The Quilt Shows Rubric

“Critics have a job to do. They do not criticise you without reason.” Abhishek Bachchan This fall I entered two quilts at the state quilt festival. One of these quilts was selected by Nancy Prince and given the  shows’ National Teacher Award. I was surprised and grateful for Nancy’s kind words.  As an art quilter […]

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Sharing what I know with others….

For many years I spent my creative time making projects for my students. I was continuously gathering inspiration at museums, galleries, in books, at classes, online and with other artists. Very little of my energy was devoted to my personal work. Like many of my fellow art  teachers, when I first retired I had zero […]

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