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

A Professional Tribe

At a recent quilt guild show, a fellow quilt artist mentioned they did not join SAQA because there were “no meetings.” Her expectations centered around a perception of SAQA as organization just like her local quilt guild would be if it was only made up of art quilters.


This conversation made me think more deeply about the value of the tribes that I choose to belong to and why a professional tribe is important. 


 

Photo from Life Magazine
1950 Quilt Guild.

We all belong to tribes. As humans we formed tribes to share work and increase security. Tribes are defined as a social construct that bonds people by something shared. A tribe could share family ties,an area of expertise or a common interest. Successful tribes provide their members something of value.

After I retired and moved to a new community I checked out organizations that I thought would be interesting. After a few misses, I discovered that my local traditional quilt guild was a wonderful tribe that helped me expand my skills and has given me the opportunity to make social connections.

My critique group is a small tribe of trusted friends who provide me with valuable feedback. Recently I helped lead an art quilt friendship group which allows me to share what I know and to learn from quilters who come from a traditional quilt background. This medium size tribe gives me the opportunity to connect with other quilters who think outside of the box.

In each of these groups I belong primarily because I found value in social interaction among people who share my passion for quilting.


A professional organization is a large tribe that  provides value to its’ members by promoting the an area of expertise or a discipline. Members of professional organizations get access to the latest information in their field. Most professional organizations have a conference where members outside a local community can network  and keep update with current trends. 

The primary role of a professional organization is not social.

SAQA is my professional tribe. It is large organization in which members gather in local and regional groups, online and at conferences. Like other professional organizations SAQA’s value to me is not social. It provides me with status as an art quilter and allows me to grow as a professional.

SAQA as an organization promotes the discipline of art quilting. It has a global network of artists who have the opportunity to be included in exhibitions traveling around the globe. Professional publications including a journal, exhibition catalogues and books document the growth of art quilts from craft to museum quality artwork.

As a member I can use SAQA resources to pitch a show to gallery or museum. I can network with local SAQA members to share strategies for promoting our work and creating opportunities for regional exhibitions. I have also participated in webinars, special interest groups and discussions where participants from all over the globe connect via teleconference.


My advice is belong to a tribe which supports your goal.  If your goal is to be an art quilter, don’t be afraid to make a leap into a professional tribe like SAQA. There is real value in going beyond your own local community.

Until next time….

SAQA  is the Studio Art Quilt Associates.

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 […]

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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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