Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Quilting Arts TV

In April 2019, I had the opportunity to film a few segments for Quilting Arts TV. This opportunity was pure delight for me! I am a big fan of the show, and to have the opportunity to work with the folks in the quilting community was wonderful.

Working with Susan Brubaker Knapp and Vivika Hansen DeNegre was like spending time with rock stars. Their attention to detail and insight to the particulars in filming were amazing. The support staff team they have assembled is stellar. Thanks to Kathy, Katherine, Kristin, Jeannine as well as everyone behind the cameras and sound room. Sorry I did not get a chance to learn everyone’s names, but please understand that they all work together like a well-oiled rotary cutter. They made me feel like a star, taking care to feed me, iron my clothes, help organize my supplies, and make suggestions on my content and presentations.

Susan Brubaker Knapp and Sherri Lipman McCauley

I am looking forward to the airing of my segments in the 2400 and 2500 series this summer. I will be included in episodes 2403, 2405, and 2411. Topics I presented included flinging paint, painting with gestural motions, making improvisational blocks from painted scraps and adding color with the use of die cut appliques.

QATV set

I like to work extemporaneously and in the abstract. I love to apply paint on fabric, incorporating the two mediums into cohesive designs. I work in an improvisational mode, allowing the paint and fabric to dictate the direction of my artwork. Often, my artwork is pulled together with machine stitching, applique, hand embroidery and machine quilting.

I came upon paint flinging quite by accident. I was working on a piece using thickened dye, applying color with a syringe. After applying the dye, I hung my piece from the pot rack hanging from the ceiling in my kitchen to dry. As it hung, the color started to drip and move down the fabric. I liked the effect, and began to experiment with other tools for the application of color. I found that syringes, squeeze bottles and droppers each create a distinct line form.


I like immediate satisfaction, and might be a bit impatient regarding the time needed to batch and wash out dye, so I experimented with using paints. The results with the paints were outstanding, and so, my flinging shifted to using paint for my designs.

Teal Circle

After experimenting with gestural painting on fabric, I found that I really liked the serendipity of the paint landing on the fabric.  Each application is distinct, each gestural stroke creates something unique and abstract. I love the surprise and the mark of the paint on the fabric. After creating my painted pieces, I make a whole cloth quilt. I enhance the surface with colorful accents of paint and layer with a felt backing. Using a walking foot, I stitch the piece with gentle curves and add a few hand stitches for interest. The edges of the quilted piece are finished, a hanging sleeve is added and the piece is ready to be hung on the wall.

Branches Yellow

My improvisational piecing method began as an answer to the question-What do I make from these scraps of painted fabrics? Modifying my take on the traditional log cabin and courthouse steps, I constructed the blocks with non-traditional fabrics. The blocks were then pieced together with neutrals, creating a modern look with negative space. If you have a few scraps and pieces of fabric from previous paint or dye sessions, bring them out to your cutting mat and try a little improvisational piecing.

Black White Blue

Sometimes a whole cloth top of black and white needs a little color to bring out the design. This can be accomplished with quilted lines of a contrasting color or fusing on a raw edge applique. I especially like working with circles and spirals. I have been known to use a die cut machine to cut shapes out of fabric with fusible web on the back. This works well with cottons, silks and polyester sheer fabrics. Before you quilt your top, examine your design to determine where you want to add a pop of color. Audition a few shapes in different colors, select the appliques, fuse, layer and begin to machine quilt your masterpiece.

Lines #1, Lines #2, Lines #3

I thought preparing the necessary steps to demonstrate the process would be no big deal. BUT-after breaking down the steps, I realized how much work I needed to complete. Selecting quilts to showcase was a challenge as well. I wanted each segment to display the appropriate artwork in support of the process demonstrated on set.

Was it a lot of effort, anxiety, and fun? Oh yes! And, given the opportunity to do it again, I would commit to it in a New York minute!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Great Article about Art Cloth Network at ABIA

Airport posted a great article about art displayed at the Austin airport.

Left to right - 'Black White Blue' by Sherri Lipman McCauley and 'Inner Glow' by Russ Little

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Art Cloth Network-Color Affects Exhibit

Many thanks to the Art Cloth Network artists and exhibit committee members for working with me to get Color Affects displayed at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Due to the massive construction projects at the airport, the hanging of the exhibit was delayed for quite a while. The exhibit went up the first week in January and will be on display until the first week in May 2019. The Art, Music & Graphics Program Manager and her staff were wonderful to work with.

I had forgotten how many steps were involved in curating a show. Many boxes were shipped to my house. They needed to be stored, stacked and checked for return postage and condition. 

On hanging day, fourteen boxes with nineteen pieces of artwork were loaded into my car and driven to the airport. Upon arrival, I was met with multiple wheeled carts to load the boxes of artwork into the airport exhibit space.  My ID was verified, and I was able to be escorted behind the scenes to the room for setting up the exhibit. Together with the staff, we unpacked, verified, established exhibit layout and admired the incredible artwork. 

After a few hours, I was sent home with all the packing boxes, and the airport team was ready to hang the exhibit. The pieces are split between two galleries, behind glass panels. 

I have already gotten great feedback on the exhibit from a few friends who were traveling through Austin. If you are passing through the ABIA, I hope you will get a chance to check out the Color Affects Exhibit.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Quilt Visions 2018: Connections

So very honored to be included in Quilt Visions 2018: Connections at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego, California. The artwork was very inspirational and the museum staff delightful to work with. It was such a thrill to participate in the artists talk and to meet the other exhibiting artists. We turned the opening into a great family vacation, with my husband and daughters joining me in the festivities.

Sherri at Quilt Visions 2018: Connections
Natalie, Sherri and Mae

Branches Yellow, 2017, 52”x27” 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

San Antonio, Texas - SAQA Conference Review 2018

I attended the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) conference, TEXtiles, in San Antonio, Texas  early in April. What an inspirational time I had. I wanted to share some of the highlights with you. I served on the Special Events Committee, so I had some insight into the amount of planning and number of volunteer hours it took to pull this conference off.

It was exciting to be in a room of about two hundred people who ‘get me’, if you know what I mean. I sat with friends from Facebook in the flesh. I got to share meals with ‘rock stars’ of the art quilting world. I heard some informative and entertaining talks. It was a time to connect with like artists and to share our thoughts, techniques and experiences in an informal setting.

The hotel setting was on the Riverwalk and close to many historical sites. The conference included a variety of activities including, a cruise on the river, SAQA committee presentations on regional energy through local connections and upcoming 3D exhibitions. There were great breakout sessions from Miki Rodriguez (Design Rebel), Heather Grant (Best Practices for Professional Art Instructors), Lynne Koolish (Back to Basics-Design Basics, That Is), and Carole Staples (TEXtiles Gallery Talk). The Lightening Talks, 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide, were educational and entertaining. My talk on “Secrets of Painted Threads” was fun to put together, and a little intimidating to present.

During some of the free time, I toured a couple of the Mission sites and ate some great food!

The spotlight auction included over 200 donated pieces. The auction took in just over $22,000!   I managed to ‘win’ two pieces to add to my collection. Here’s a photo of the piece I donated -
“Orange Notes”, 2018, 8”x6”

I had a chance to attend the rep meeting and gain insight into being an effective SAQA rep for my Texas region and enjoy a couple meals with the SAQA board. I led a JAM (Juried Art Member) photo scavenger hunt with Susie Monday. In a breakout session I listened as Lynne Koolish discussed design elements. I heard Heather Grant share insight on proposing class offerings in the quilt world, and I sat in on a critique session with Judith Trager.

The keynote presentations from Meg Cox and Jane Dunnewold were a great way to end the conference.

Meg presented “Tips and Tricks for Giving Memorable Lectures Every Time”. She shared some personal stories and included five tips: 1. Open yourself up wide to the audience, 2. Be dramatic: good lectures are theatrical, 3. Humor is good: self-deprecating humor is better, 4. Practice! Practice! Practice! and 5. Stage fright is real: make it your friend.

Jane spoke about “Standing Tall: Artists as Stewards of Our World”. She presented the seven chakras and how we can apply them to nurturing our artists selves. Jane summed up the seven challenges with her personal seven-line phrase, which she considers her daily practice - 7. Stay in present time, 6. Seek only the Truth, 5. Surrender your will to God, 4. Love is the only true power, 3. Honor Thyself, 2. Honor one another, 1. All is One.

You can listen to her lecture here: “Standing Tall: Artists as Stewards of Our World”

The TEXtiles regional exhibit showed a great variety of Texas themed quilts. I had three pieces in the exhibit- 

"Triangled", 2016, 40"x40"

"Rescued Scraps", 2017, 24"x24"

"So It Flows", 2018, 48"x32"

Perks included a custom designed conference bag filled with fun items and a great printed program with all of the attendees’ email addresses. It was a great way to connect with old and new SAQA friends.

Future SAQA conference locations are:
San Jose, California – April 25-28, 2019
Toronto, Canada – March 19-22, 2020

If you are interested in more details on the conference, shoot me an email at sherri.L@mccauley.net.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Celebrating Fiber at the JGallery

I have curated a fiber show, “Celebrating Fibers”, for the Austin Fiber Artists(AFA). Please join AFA for the opening reception of ‘Celebrating Fiber’ at the JGallery, 7300 Hart Lane, Austin, Texas on Tuesday, December 5 from 7-8:30pm. The show runs from December 4, 2017-January 22, 2018. A number of SAQA members have work included in this show.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Visions 2017: Interpretations: Conversations

I had a great time as one of the selected artists at the Visions Art Museum for "Interpretations: Conversations" in San Diego, California. The show included a variety of incredible artwork. So proud to be included in this collection of talented artists!

Art Cloth Network was well represented with 
Sherri Lipman McCauley and Mary Vaneecke.

Mary Vaneecke with "Frozen in Time II".

 Sherri Lipman McCauley with "Layers of the Truth".