Posts Tagged ‘SAQA’

Winter Meadow lo res

This is another product of the screen printing class I took. I made three passes with the screen: the translucent blue shadows and tracks, a tan color of the weeds, and a darker colors of some of the weeds, as an accent.  Then I heavily hand embroidered the piece. I am excited about this one.  The view of our meadow in the snow is special to me.

Martha Ressler

Winter Meadow

Art Quilt

9 x 12″



Purple Thought lo res

This one is an abstraction of the same hills as Day 1 & 2. I wanted to make one in false color, so chose purple and yellows.

Martha Ressler

Purple Thought

Art Quilt

16 x 20″

I signed up for Leslie Saeta’s 30 for 30 challenge which she is holding in February this year.

I’m tweaking the challenge a little.

Since the challenge is meant to be 30 painting in 30 days, But I’m making Art Quilts. So that’s a big fat tweak right there.

And I’m going away for a chunk of February, so I started making my quilts for the challenge this month, in January.

My theme is to do work I need to get done! Not too sexy I guess. I have a one person show in June, for which I’ll need about 14 pieces. I want them all to be new — made in 2018.

And I’m entering work in two jazz themed shows in April. So I want to get that work done too.

Our first art fair is in May this year, so I’ll want to make a number of small pieces for that. So here is some work in progress. Stay tuned!  I’ll be posting every day in February.Work in progress Jan 18

My piece entitled “Body Count” was accepted into the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) exhibition Guns: A Loaded Conversation.

I had just started watching “Game of Thrones,” and was quite shocked by the callous beheading of Ned near the beginning of the famed series.

As the episodes unfolded, I became more inured to the violence, while at the same time enthralled by the excellent writing and acting.

About that time, I noticed the many piles of discarded action figures at the flea market I frequent. The violent life they’d led as toys ended them in a graveyard of sorts.

The two thoughts began to come together, and ended up as “Body Count.” It is about how our hearts become hardened to violence through constant exposure to it.

I altered the out-of-action figures (sawed, cut, painted  .  .  .) and sewed them onto a substrate of rusted vintage feed bags. I added other stitching and found objects.



Or a week, more accurately.

Here’s a round up of some of what I’ve done this week, after our final art fair of the year last weekend.

I responded to Studio Art Quilt Associates call for Juried Artist members to submit a piece to Art Quilt Quarterly on the subject matter of grief.  I submitted “Dreamers Quilt.” A woman and girl walk through a dreamy landscape.  The girl goes on alone. “No Deportations” is stamped on the surface.

Dreamers Quilt

I made nine new Hot Spots for the Store at GoggleWorks Art Center.  They let me know that they were almost out.  I really appreciate their help with keeping up with my inventory.  The black ones seem to be going well, so I made all nine in black. Four feature the Michael Miller fabric “the dysfunctional family,” which is always popular.

9 Hot Spots

I was pleasantly surprised to open the Weekend section of the Reading Eagle today and see Steel Mills at Night from the Layers in Common show  at Awesome Dawgs on the Exhibits page. The show consists of art quilts by me and photographs by Jay Ressler.

Reading Eagle Weekend

Hm, what else? I took a number of items to Arts Barn in Schuylkill Haven, as they are beefing up their inventory for holiday shopping and special events. Here are a few of them.

What’s Your Sign? 18 x 27 framed. I limited myself to the signs on our dead end street that ends at the foot of the mountain, and made a fantasy landscape from them. Interestingly enough, Jay Ressler has presented a wintertime photo of that same school bus, currently decomposing in someone’s back yard. He calls it No School Today. (haha)

Whats Your Sign 16.5 x 25.25 smaller

Dogwood and Old Lace, 7 x 9 framed. A delicate piece with hand embroidery on a sun print of found objects and a dogwood blossom.

Dogwood and old lace

A Glance at the Past II, 18 x 17 framed. A beautiful building across the street from my studio in Pittsburgh caught my attention. I eliminated the surrounding buildings in the row, so we can see the hills beyond. There are echoes of the past with the blast furnace in the distance, some row houses, and a sweet face from another century peaks through the window. (Note: I’ve toned down those lavender hills since this picture was taken.  Much better!)

A Glance at the Past II small

I took my entry to the Berks Art Alliance member show to the Highlands. It is Summer’s End, 27 x 21 framed. This art quilt was inspired by a Jay Ressler photographic composition, The Sunflower King. A goldfinch has lost his bright summer hue. He sits atop a dried up sunflower, which bends to the inevitable approach of autumn.

summers end small

And last but not least I finished up another class at the Salvation Army store in Hamburg. “Collage Quilting.” It was an experiment, and not completely successful. There was too great a learning curve for people who hadn’t made art quilts before.  No one quite completed their piece. Next time maybe a simpler, art quilts for beginners.  I still like the wrinkle of being able to use their cast off donations.

The Studio Art Quilt Associates annual silent auction is an opportunity for collectors to find new artists, and add to their collection of established art quilters.  All the work is in, and we are counting down until the Sept 15 bidding begins.

To find my quilt, for example, enter “Ressler” in the search bar. This year, 370 SAQA members donated 12 x 12″ art quilts to the auction. Last year the auction raised nearly 80K to aid SAQA’s exhibition and outreach programs.

The dates are September 15 through October 8, 2017.

Here is my piece: Perilous.

Perilous smaller


I sent in my piece for the SAQA Trunk show in time for the deadline.  It is, somehow, the first time I’ve participated in this great concept.

My piece is called “Of Trees and History.” It’s an “out take” from a piece that was a study for “The Secrets It has Kept,” inspired by my visit to the 500 year old Angel Oak in South Carolina. I color shifted: orange for green on the tree, and turquoise for the trunk color.

This small section thus become an abstract.  It really was the best part of the original piece.  Sometimes that is what you need to do!  Cut it up.

SAQA ( Studio Art Quilts Associates) organizes members to submit small (10 x 7”) art quilts.  They will be mounted on a 12 x 9” backing board and sealed inside a clear envelope. The artist’s location, artwork title, statement and information about techniques and materials will be on the back.

There are about 400 pieces in the Trunk show, and they are then divided into groups to travel.

Our Pennsylvania chapter of SAQA reserved the Trunk Show last year for one of our meetings.  It was so much fun to lay them all and look at each one – so very different in style and technique. And yes, they did arrive in a real trunk!

This year’s Trunk Show will premiere at the 2017 SAQA Conference, which will be held at the end of April in Lincoln, NE. After that, it will travel to venues both in and out of the United States for up to 3 years.

You can make reservations for the 2017 Trunk Show, available in May, by contacting William Reker at  I think the cost is about $50.

I’m thinking about how to bring it to Reading, PA in the coming year.

SAQA Trunk Show