Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fiberlandia in a Nutshell!

I am just getting back to my typical routines after a wonderful whirlwind trip to the annual SAQA conference in Portland, Oregon - appropriately titled Fiberlandia! The SAQA organization puts on a fabulous conference with workshops, speakers and hands on activities to satisfy our need to play and work with textiles while away from our studios! 

You know when you see the iconic Mt. Hood out of the plane's window it's time to get excited!

Coming from early spring in CT to this luscious green flying into Portland made my heart sing! 

I was excited for the vendor market. Here we are getting set up - yes all of this fabric traveled across the country! Marianne Williamson is getting a head start picking out some choice fabrics for one of her future designs!

I had 5 fun giveaways from products donated by some very exceptional artists: Lynn Krawczyk, Julie B. Booth, Lesley Riley, Terri Stegmiller and Deborah Boschert

Margaret Phillips from the CT. Chapter was on hand to help get the vendors set up!  

Portland artist Wendy Mamattah stopped by to say hello! Wendy and I connected over Facebook and have been cyber buddies for a while now. It was a delight to meet face to face! Please visit Wendy's Etsy shop to view her beautiful fabrics, patterns and other fun products! 

Here I am with the lovely Carole Staples who I had the pleasure of meeting at the 2014 conference in VA. Carole is not only a talented artist she is the SAQA rep for the Ohio chapter. I wanted to give Carole a shout out because she was dedicated enough to hit the gym while at the conference - very impressive!

OK - it's let loose time! 

Thursday evening Lyric Kinard hosted an ice breaker. She had us going around the room and eventually settling next to someone we didn't know who we had to create a self portrait of in about 10 minutes. It lead to some hilarious portraits... as you can see. The exercise allowed me to meet the wonderful Erika Close who will forever make me smile when I look at my blue faced, green haired portrait! Of course I will hang it in my studio! Sorry Erika but I am seriously the worst selfie taker of all times! 

Friday evening was the first ever MAKER SPACE event for SAQA. This was the brain child of Kate Themel and Martha Wolfe. I know it was a lot of coordination and planning leading up to the event and boy was it ever a great success! At this table we have Carol Ziogas owner of Kimonomomo Inc. who showed folks how to stitch in the traditional Sashiko manner. 

Betty Busby shared her approach to designing with paint sticks! Seeing artists use tools and techniques in a way most of use never thought to do was such an eye opener and a treat!  

President Kris Sazaki is sharing a laugh with Georgia French. Georgia brought multiple felting machines for folks to try. For those of use who hand felt seeing the machines quickly felting the roving was a bit mind boggling - it's kind of like seeing spray adhesive for the first time after hand basting a queen size quilt!  

Laura Jaszkowski shared her approach to creating miniature landscapes. Who knew what beautiful creations could be made using small scraps of fabric and limited time.

Nancy Turbitt put her own spin on using fabric markers. She had baskets of markers to share, a light box and lots of energy to help people get started on making beautiful art! 

Reconnecting with peeps met at last years conference was a highlight for me! Lottie Smith was one such friend who I can now reach out to the next time I'm in Oregon! 

Maria Shell came down from Alaska to be the keynote speaker on Saturday morning! Maria kept everyone engaged and motivated by her openness to share her experiences and her ability to connect with the group. I first "meet" Maria when her work was accepted into the Color Wheel of Emotions exhibition that I curated. Being able to meet Maria face to face at the conference was a bonus! 

Gerrie Congdon and I became acquainted when we were invited to join The Printed Fabric Bee group. We are a group of 12 professional fiber artists who create custom fabric collections each month for one chosen "Queen". In addition to creating a collection for the Queen we also include a piece the Queen gives away to some lucky person. This happens each month so follow along and enter to win your own fabric pack by visiting our blog

Lastly it was a treat to meet Hsin-Chen Lin face to face. Just like Maria I first "meet" Hsin-Chen through the Color Wheel of Emotions exhibition. In addition to being an internationally renowned fiber artist Hsin-Chen also founded the 
Taiwan Art Quilt Society.
At the conference Hsin-Chen participated on the International Panel. It was a delight hearing from artists around the globe discussing influences and trends of fiber art in their cultures. 
Thank you for taking the time to get to the end of this very long blog! I tired to self edit but truly the whole conference experience was such a great adventure I didn't want to leave anything out!
I look forward to 2016 when SAQA hosts in Philadelphia! 


  1. Wonderful review of a wonderful conference. It was great spending some time with you.

    1. Norma - it was a delight getting to spend time with you too! So glad we each got to visit with our sons' while out there - a definite bonus! I look forward to seeing you at the next CT SAQA meeting!

      Happy Creating!

  2. Looks like you had a great time! Someday I will make it to a meeting!

  3. Lovely synopsis of a wonderful and exciting weekend. It was so much fun meeting new people and I am happy to say that you are one.