Monday, May 20, 2013

SAQA Meeting Demo

We had a lively regional SAQA meeting on May 18th, hosted by our terrific Reps, Deborah Stanley and Teresa Shippy.  I was among several artists asked to give a demo.  It indeed felt like a picnic atmosphere as members visited demo tables over the course of the day to learn more from each artist.  Linda Friedman demonstrated polymer clay stamps; Sherry Kleinman showed drawing techniques using water soluble pencils and crayons; Mary Beth Kile talked about her colorful egg pincushions.  Sherry and Kathy Nida also were on hand to sign copies of the Martha Sielman's fabulous book "People and Portraits", in which they are featured artists.

Linda A Miller talking about creative process
Photo by Deborah Stanley

meeting demo table discussion
Photo by Deborah Stanley

The subject of my demonstration was the use of shrinkage, with wool felt as batting, to enhance surface texture.  For several years I have been exploring this technique of washing/drying quilted fabric for my landscapes.  The resulting shrinkage produces an earthy three dimensional surface, which is heightened by the use of oil sticks, paint, embroidery and/or couching.  Since washing and drying on site were obviously not feasible, I provided samples showing stages.  This seemed to convey the process effectively.  Below are some examples of what was shown on Saturday.  And, visit my 2011 blog post  for related information.

Cotton with felt backing, quilted, not washed
Cotton with felt backing, quilted, not washed

orange purple quilted cotton with felt backing
Cotton with felt backing, quilted, washed, oil sticks added

detail multicolored quilt with applique, couching, embroidery
Detail: washed quilt appliqued, embellished with oil sticks, couching, embroidery

turquoise quilt detail with applique, embroidery
Detail: work in process with applique, embroidery, couching, oil sticks

Detail of Striated quilt in aqua tans orangewith couching, embroidery
Detail: Striated with couching and embroidery

Fluid Fissure 3 quilt in reds, yellows, turquoise line, with embroidery
Fluid Fissure 3 © 2012 Linda A. Miller  
Cotton-hand dye, silk, paint, oil sticks, applique, machine quilted, hand embroidered

The day proved to be an opportunity for many engaging conversations.  See more on the SAQA SoCal Blog.  Thank you to everyone for great questions!  Inspired by all that came my way, I trust that what I shared gave food for creative thought in return.  I am looking forward to doing a similar demo at the SAQA booth during the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach in August!

Realizing I have not documented this technique in real depth, stay tuned for future posts about more on the process.


  1. Sounds like a day full of fun and learning. I was blessed to have Sherry sign my book when we stayed together. Your post brought back the memory. Thanks!

    P.S. Like your quilt-first-add-later approach to landscapes. Do you build in certain percent for shrinkage?

    1. Oh yes, have to allow extra for shrinkage...have not fully calculated it. Only once did not not leave enough extra, and it shrank beyond what I expected!

  2. Wish I could have been there, Linda. Would have loved to see your samples in person.


    1. Wish you could have been there, too!


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