On the Inside of an AK SAQA Meeting

Last year Amy Meissner and I agreed to be the new Co-Reps for the Alaska region of SAQA. I bet most of you know this, but SAQA is short for Studio Art Quilt Associates. It is a professional organization whose primary purpose is to share art quilting with the universe. (Those are my words.)

We didn’t really know what we were getting into, but former Co-Reps Gail Ramsay and Diane Melms promised to hold our hands, so we said yes.

In the past, the AK SAQA group met quarterly and in the evening. I rarely attended the meetings because the timing didn’t work for our family.

Last year, after the AK SAQA ART CLOTH NORTH exhibition at the Blue-Hollomon Gallery here in Anchorage, we all picked up our art work and had coffee.

Maria Shell AK SAQA Meeting January 2016We had so much fun, we decided to a monthly daytime coffee meeting. These meetings have been the best. Face to face time once a month is really connecting us all to each other.

This week we had our January meeting. There was lots of discussion about advertising for the upcoming ART CLOTH NORTH II which opens in February. Diane Melms put in hours and hours of work moving this show forward.

Maria Shell AK SAQA Meeting January 2016What do you think? Black?

Maria Shell AK SAQA Meeting January 2016Or White?

Maria Shell AK SAQA Meeting January 2016Diane also made a poster version with us and our quilts.

Maria Shell AK SAQA Meeting January 2016We all volunteered to hang posters and mail postcards. Within 48 hours, Cat Larrea had sent the Alaska Dispatch a press release and we were officially advertised in town. How cool is that?

Alaska DispatchNext up was a lengthy discussion about hanging systems.

Maria Shell AK SAQA MeetingAfter that, we had a most excellent show and tell. Carrie Payne shared her latest work. She is making winter quilts this winter.

http://www.believemagic.com/journal/Today, while picking up my sewing machine from its annual check up, I also saw a great display of her work and patterns at Seams Like Home.

http://www.akseams.comNancy Sopp had a great piece to share from taking my Modern Broderie Perse class.

http://mariashell.comGail Ramsey shared a bed quilt she recently made. Many of us agreed that we often get going in the studio by creating utility quilts.

Maria Shell AK SAQA Meeting Jan Wallace joined us from Soldotna, Alaska. This photo does not do her beautiful handmade tunic justice.

Maria Shell AK SAQA MeetingJan has also been exploring some ideas inspired by modern quilts. Yes, those circles are stitched.

Maria Shell AK SAQA MeetingMaria Shell AK SAQA MeetingNew member Kate BeeBe (welcome Kate!) shared recent handwork she completed while on the road traveling.

Maria Shell AK SAQA MeetingFaye Stiehm had a great small piece for the group to admire. Faye is on the bottom, her quilt is on the top.

Maria Shell AK SAQA MeetingI don’t know if you noticed or not, but this group is smiling in almost every photo. What I really love is that we are working as team trying to get things done.

If you are in town, I hope you will join us for the opening of ART CLOTH NORTH at the Blue-Hollomon Gallery for our First Friday Opening on February 5th from 5PM- 8PM.

Or join us for coffee. Our February meeting is scheduled for Tuesday February 9th from 10AM -12PM at the Kaladi Brothers on Brayton. We will be in the meeting room with Nixon.

We had a lovely snow yesterday. We are blanketed in white. This photo was taken at high noon today, so you can see what our light is like this time of year.

http://kaladi.com/locations_brayton.cfmTomorrow–January 15th–is my 50th birthday. I’ve got a big project planned for the entire year. If you are interested in finding out more about this adventure, stop by my website tomorrow. Look for a header called Project Every Day. Not first thing in the morning, because I won’t be ready. But you know, check in a little bit later, and I’ll tell you all about it.

I’d  love to hear what all of you have done to celebrate BIG birthdays.

This entry was published on January 14, 2016 at 5:22 PM. It’s filed under Just Plain Stories, News And Events, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “On the Inside of an AK SAQA Meeting

  1. Karen Friedrichs on said:

    Ah yessssss…..the birthday that starts a new decade in life! I will do that also later this year but I wish you a wonderful birthday tomorrow and may it be filled with many fun surprises! I look forward to meeting you next month at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association and will be taking your class also.

  2. Gail Naylor on said:


    Happy Birthday! This from a novice quilter in KS you once knew as a debate and extemp coach! Love you!


  3. Hope you have a very happy birthday, MariaLove and Hugs..Sue

  4. Your photos and descriptions did justice to the wonderful meeting. Thanks for all your work, Maria, and Happy Birthday!

  5. Happy birthday!! Can hardly wait to see what your big year project is. When I turned 50, I had a wonderful surprise birthday. Coincidentally, I also started my big weight loss in that birthday year. Best present ever.

  6. Pam Rocco on said:

    Many happy returns, Maria (not of your fiftieth, since that would make you 100 at your next birthday). Alaska at this time of year looks like a tonalist painting, but in blue instead of sepia. Enjoy the unusual light while it lasts, as well as being with your family on your special day.

  7. Maria – you blog continually amazes me! And a 50th birthday! Have a great one! I know this next half a century will kick your forst one’s butt! Cowabunga!

  8. Happy birthday Maria! I love the idea of starting your year-long project on your birthday. I’m excited to see what you have planned, and I know it will be an awesome and fun trip to watch unfold on your blog.

  9. Happy birthday, Maria! I am happy to have you as my friend!

  10. Your blog is the first email I read when it arrives. Yours and Abby Glassenberg’s. Happy birthday. Eat cake and drink. Fifty is the beginning of the really good part.

  11. kathy anso on said:

    Hiya Maria, I’ve been an invisible reader of your blog for around a year. I turned 50 during 2015. I live with my elderly father who said No, he didn’t want extra people staying on our farm for my birthday, please hold it elsewhere. So I invited my peeps to a quiet beach without many amenities at the end of an hour’s winding road. Strangely enough only three hardy souls came but we had a great weekend.

  12. Happy Birthday! Looking forward to checking out the work at the gallery!

  13. Happy 50th, Maria. You’re just a couple of weeks older than me. For months, I’ve been trying to decide upon how to mark the end of my 50th year and haven’t quite decided yet. I like what you’ve done. It is a challenge that can be rewarding on several levels.

    I love your blog. I think I need to travel to Alaska before the next 50 years are finished.

  14. Happy (very belated) birthday!

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