Mini-Exhibition of 12 x 12’s to be shown at Smiling Turtle ArtSpot

Attention all Nebraska regional SAQA members:

We are planning to have a limited exhibition of our 12 x 12 auction pieces at the Smiling Turtle ArtSpot, March 21 and 22. 

In order to participate, all quilts must arrive at the Smiling Turtle by 5 pm, March 20th.

If you are not able to make the deadline or do not wish to participate, but would like to include your work with the group’s for shipping to SAQA, deliver your piece to the Smiling Turtle by 6pm, March 26th. 

1.  Fully Labeled per SAQA requirements (here or previous post)
2.  Business card or Title Card (for exhibition only) – Artist Name and Title
3.  $1 for postage
4.  If they are including a slat, the slat MUST have their name on it so it can stay paired with the correct piece.

SAQA 12 x 12 auction piece update

Information below comes from SAQA:

Benefit Auction Donation (Form Instructions)

Please review the information below before completing the Auction Donation Form as we have added some important changes for 2015.

New for 2015:

  • ALL Benefit Auction quilts will be available for $1,000 each on September 18 as part of a Diamond Day promotion. This early bidding window will remain in effect until September 21 at 1:30pm EDT.
  • The final auction price has been increased to $100 (from $75).
  • During the Holiday Sale, quilts will be sold for $75 in the SAQA Store (ends December 31st).
  • New options for unsold quilts (after the SAQA Holiday Sale is complete). Please make the appropriate selection on your form.
  1. Quilt is returned to the artist
  2. Quilt is sent to another artist as part of the Art Swap program
  3. Quilt is kept by SAQA (to save return postage costs)



  • Donations MUST be 12” x 12”. All embellishments and/or hanging methods must be within the 12” x 12” size. Only ONE work per artist will be accepted.
  • All artwork donated must be ready to hang. Quilts should have a sleeve (at least 2 inches) for hanging. Slats are optional, but appreciated by the collector.
  • Artwork on stretcher bars will be accepted but may not be any larger than 12” x 12” after mounting and should be no deeper than 1 inch (2.5 cm) after mounting. Artwork on stretchers must have hooks and wire attached for hanging. Mounted work will not be considered for display at the International Quilt Festival(s) because of hanging restrictions.
  • All donations must have a label on the back, with the title (or “untitled”) and artist’s name clearly written.


Early Bird Deadline: April 1, 2014.
The Early Bird DEADLINE of April 1st will make your donation eligible to be included in the Benefit Auction promotional brochures.

Final Deadline: June 1, 2014.
Quilts must be received by this date. Donated quilts will then be separated into four sets – three sets for the online auction and one set for the Houston auction (a special committee selects the Houston quilts).

If you email a jpg, it must be good quality: evenly lit, in focus, no smaller than the preferred size of 800 x 800 pixels, with the background edited to pure white or cropped close to the edges of the square — a white wall is not the same thing! Do not crop the edges of your quilt. Include your name, the title and email directly to

Images will not be posted to the website until artwork is received.


Once you complete the online submission form, you will receive a confirmation email. Print this email out and include it with your shipment. If you didn’t receive an email (check your Spam folders), contact to ensure that your form went through.

Ship to:

Gale Oppenheim-Pietrzak
12 Conchas Loop
Santa Fe, NM 87508

Please use tissue paper or bubble wrap to protect your work in shipping. Packing should not include scented garbage bags, peanuts, confetti, shredded paper, scented plastic or padded envelopes filled with linty fuzz – all these things make a mess when opening the package. And the confetti and fuzzy stuff sticks to the quilts.

Mail your donation with a tracking number, or enclose a stamped and addressed postcard to let you know it arrived. The auction coordinator will NOT email donors when work arrives (except for international donations).

If you are in the US, the fastest (generally only 2-3 days) and cheapest way to send your donation is by USPS Priority Mail. You can send it at a discount by using Click-n-Ship, a free online service of USPS at

International donations should be sent early enough to arrive by the deadline, including time to clear Customs. Be advised that it can take up to 3 weeks for boxes to clear customs.

All quilts must be received by the June 1st deadline! 

SAQA Regional Meeting, Sunday, February 22, 1-4

SAQA Nebraska Quarterly Meeting
Date: Sunday February 22, 2015
Time:  1:00 pm- 4:00 pm
Location: Peg Pennell’s home (contact Peg or Shea for address)
Topic:  Finishing Techniques – Three members will cover different finishing techniques.
Cynthia Levis – faced edges
Elaine Jones – finishing circular pieces
Peg Pennell – stretched on wooden framework
Also discussed will be the SAQA 12” x 12” auction pieces.  We hope you are working on yours (or at least thinking about it!).  Plans are under way to display them as a group and then send them all together to SAQA National as we did last year.   Our region raised over $1900 for SAQA last year with our auction pieces!
We hope you have all checked out the regional call for entry for “Deeply Rooted”.  If you haven’t please do, it is a wonderful opportunity to show your work!  You will find the entry on the SAQA website.  Click the “Members” tab and select “SAQA Calls for Entry”.  It is located in the Regional section.
As always, bring any Kudos and show and tell you would like to share.
We will hope for good weather that weekend!


Member Spotlight: Elaine Jones

Elaine Jones
Elaine Jones

Meet Elaine: 

Elaine is a native Nebraskan, strongly influenced by growing up on a family dairy farm where she enjoyed all animals, birds, plants and the beauty of nature. Dreaming of being an artist as a child was not a practical idea. The lessons came from parents who survived the economic hardships of depression, drought and World War II through hard work; rural life included being a jack of all trades and hands-on skills.

First sewing experiences included escaping outdoors from 4-H projects and the unpopular scratching of initials on her mother’s black sewing machine. She enjoyed practical sewing applications during her lifetime with family clothing, drapery and upholstery (including using her 1959 Singer for both carpeting and upholstering an English sports car that she drag raced to break an existing record in K Stock). Retirement offered fresh and new challenges. The goal was to learn to quilt, to saturate her family with quilts before she died. And then, at the tender age of seventy she discovered Fiber Art.

Fiber Art brings the opportunity to again entertain the childhood dream of being an artist. Ideas involve her life experiences and appreciation of nature, graphic art and texture. The options for texture include not just fabrics, thread, buttons and beads, but also, wood, wire, paint, ink, drawings, photos and objects.

Elaine lives in West Omaha with enough ideas to saturate family (and friends) with quilts AND Fiber Art.

Woodpecker on a Tree
Although the woodpecker was done as the focus, people ask about the tree done with coconut shell beads and fabrics.
Drawings of the hummingbird and photos of the flowers were sent to Spoonflower and printed on fabric.
Arizona Mandala
Arizona Mandala
A unique piece of Arizona wood and fabric create a circle with embellishments including bamboo, wood beads, copper, turquoise and a peacock feather.







Wonky House
Wonky House now in the Architexture travelling exhibit currently being shown at AccuQuilt in Omaha, NE through March 26.
Peacock Feather  Black thread over colored sateen  and Angelina fibers create this peacock feather.
Peacock Feather
Black thread over colored sateen and Angelina fibers create this peacock feather.


“Architexture” exhibition calendar 2015

Congratulations to the exhibition committee headed by Cynthia Levis and assisted by Paulette Peters and Jo Drueke on a great opening for Architexture!
Thanks to all the participating artists that attended, and those that could not, for sharing your fabulous work!  The gallery is large enough to hang approximately half of the exhibition’s pieces, so we can look forward to seeing the entire show at other venues.  The selections were made by the Accuquilt staff, with one piece from each participating artist on display.
This was a great start for the two year run of this show.  I hope you will all take the time to view it at Accuquilt, where it will be through March 26th.
The 2015 currently scheduled venues are:
West Nebraska Center,  Scottsbluff NE. May 1-31 2015
Norfolk Arts Center, Norfolk NE. July 2- August 27, 2015
Beatrice Library, Beatrice NE. September 1- October 30, 2015

“Architexture” opening reception, Saturday, January 10 at Accuquilt

The opening reception for the Architexture show is Saturday, January 10th, 1-5 pm.

Here are the details:


8843 S 137th Circle

Omaha, NE 68138


Tour Times

Monday–Friday at 10 A.M. and 2 P.M.

Closed weekends and major holidays (our opening is the only weekend viewing time!)

FREE Admission for all visitors

Dates: Opening reception January 10, 2015, 1-5pm

Show runs from January 10 – March 26, 2015

Tour Hours:  Monday – Friday tours at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

You need to call a day in advance to make reservation for a tour.  Call the front desk at 402-934-1110.

Participating artists:

Joanne Alberda

Rhonda Baldwin

Shelly Burge

Jo Drueke

Dorothy Heidemann-Nelson

Elaine Jones

Debi Kibbee

Cynthia Levis

Aimee Mahan

Peg Pennell

Dori Settles

Dianne Duncan Thomas

Shea Wilkinson

Roberta Willet


Reminder: Delivery Instructions for “Architexture”

The deadline for getting your entered art work turned in for the Architexture show is fast approaching!  A few things to remember:

Artwork must be to Cynthia Levis by Jan 1, 2015

Cynthia Levis

5910 South 88th

Lincoln, NE 68526

We realize that some of you have entered more than one piece, but due to the nature of this exhibition, each artwork must be individually boxed in it’s own container!!  As some of the venues are not as large, each piece may not be shown at every venue, so each work must be safely wrapped in it’s own, closed package!!

This can be a box or a tube, remembering that it cannot be more than 2″ larger than your piece.  ALL wrappings and your container should be marked with your name.

Some ideas for your package are:

A shipping tube if your piece is small can be rolled.  It is genearlly best to roll the piece around something inside the tube, such as a roll of batting covered with muslin or a smaller carboard tube, again covered with muslin to protect the work.  Then cover the work with a piece of muslin and a plastic bag, to protect for any unforseen occurances of water….Heaven forbid!!! And put it in the tube.  There are different reasons to wrap with the right side out or in.  Here are some thoughts on that- if it has embellishments that might be damaged, perhaps wrong side out is better, but if it can be rolled right side out the corners will tend to curl towards the wall rather than out when the piece is unrolled.

Make a box to custom fit your work. Roll and wrap your work as above and measure the package. Cut a piece of cardboard large enough to create a box that will be “cozy” but not too tight for the piece.  It is usually easier to pre-fold the cardboard, perhaps scoring the folds.  Use sturdy packing tape to secure the box.  One idea is to permanently close one end and make a “cap” for the other end that will fit over, like a shoe box.  This can be taped in place and easily reused for each venue.

If your piece must be flat, create a box that is large enough for your piece but only deep enough to accomodate the work with little to spare so it will not shift and bunch when moved about. It is best to enclose the work in plastic in this type box as well.

Mark all your packaging with a water proof marker that will not rub off on anything!!!!

Hopefully this will be helpful to you in packaging your piece!

Peg will be picking up artwork at The Smiling Turtle on Friday December 12th.  If you want her to deliver your work to Cynthia, have it there by noon that day!!!

If you do not have it at the Smiling Turtle by noon on Friday December 12th, it will your responsibility to get it to Cynthia.

Any questions, contact Peg at

Thanks for entering your work, it looks like we will have a wonderful show!

Shea and Peg

Prospectus for Regional SAQA Exhibit, “Deeply Rooted”

Look out for updates  which will include the call for entry for our regional, four state collaborative SAQA exhibit beginning October 2015 in Des Moines.

The exhibit is called “Deeply Rooted”. What does it mean to be deeply rooted, to be uprooted and to put down one’s roots again? What nourishes us in good times and bad? How do we find strength after the storms of life have left? How does our connection to nature, community and spirituality support us? The exhibit “Deeply Rooted” explores the meaning of connection. The theme of being deeply rooted may be interpreted by the artist in abstract or realistic ways.

The first venue will be at the AQS QuiltWeek.  The exhibit will give SAQA artists from Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin an excellent opportunity to showcase their art. QuiltWeek is seen by over 15,000 visitors every year. Approximately 30 works of art will be chosen for the exhibit.


Member Spotlight: Cynthia Levis

cynthia levis photo

Meet Cynthia:

Cynthia Levis is a fiber artist from Lincoln, Nebraska. Her work has been shown in exhibitions across the country and she is a member of Noyes Gallery where she sells her work, including commissions. Cynthia is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Fiber Works and American Quilter’s Society. She is a non-certified Quilt Judge and co-curator for the SAQA Architexture exhibition. Cynthia likes to use vibrant colors and intense quilting which can be seen in many of her art quilts.

Artist Statement:

Embroidery and cross-stitch was the beginning of my work with fiber. The “famous” Home Economics class in junior high school was the beginning of my sewing. I did make my share of traditional quilts throughout the years. During the last decade or so, I have focused my work on Art Quilts. I am not focused in one area of study. Instead, I make quilts based on an aspect that catches my eye with a strong design. I do enjoy surface design. I enjoy trying many different applications on fabric. I find Art Quilting feeds my creative soul.

Mini Portfolio


Nebraska Region Studio Art Quilt Associates Blog


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