Sunday, November 9, 2014

Jane Burch Cochran - Art Quilter

Hi KY and TN SAQA! In case you don't know her and her work, let me introduce you to one of our artists, Jane Burch Cochran. Jane lives in Rabbit Hash, KY. That is in the north of KY on the Ohio River and if you look across it you are looking at Rising Sun, Indiana. She was trained as a painter and started making small bead and fabric collages in 1978. She made her first large quilt in 1985 and says she has been “completely obsessed with making art quilts since then –quilts both large and small but always for the wall." Cochran's distinctive, heavily embellished quilts are represented in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery, the University of Kentucky Art Museum, the Kentucky History Center, and the National Quilt Museum as well as in numerous corporate and private collections. She completed her largest quilt to date, Crossing to Freedom—a 7 foot high x 10 foot wide commission for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati—in June 2004.

Crossing To Freedom    7'x10'

As with many of her quilts, Jane incorporated a personal item in this quilt: a button she wore when she marched along with 10,000 other people and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Frankfurt, KY in 1964. She worked almost daily for ninth months to complete this quilt.
Jane says,"Once I had more time to spend on my work, instead of making more quilts, I made quilts that took more time. I love doing labor-intensive artwork –it is an odyssey. In my art quilts, I try to combine my art training in painting, my love of fabric, and the tradition of American quilting. I unconsciously combine the loose, free feeling of abstract painting with the time consuming and controlled techniques of sewing and beading."

Jane may work for months on a quilt and if she feels it is not working, she does not give up on it. Rather than taking it apart, she "fixes it." Her patience and vision keep her going and also lots of embellishments and paint. Her work owes a lot to the style of Victorian crazy quilts and Native American beadwork. She also uses cast off gloves in her quilts. This trend began when people started giving her gloves and she could not resist incorporating them into her work.

One of her very moving and intriguing quilts is entitled, "Last Suppers.
She says, "In most prisons in the United States, a prisoner who is about to be executed is allowed to make a final meal request. The meal is usually served the night before the execution. This is a strange and haunting ritual but perhaps these people are the only ones who know what their last meal will be. I have selected twelve meals that were requested."

Last Suppers  66"x 69"
Last Suppers Detail

Last Suppers Detail

On her process, Jane says, "I use strip piecing to make my patchwork. I do not measure but just start cutting and sewing strips usually in combinations of three strips. I then cut these apart into smaller pieces and just keep sewing and adding until it grows into large enough patches to use. I love to create the patchwork. It's like making lots of small paintings. I then appliqué the patchwork and other pieces to a background using bugle beads or seed beads." Jane summers in Montana and due to limited space there, she has started making smaller works too. Her new series, "Faces" can be seen on Bob Shaw's website

Jane is currently putting together a one woman show and she also has a quilt in a show in Oulu, Finland next summer.  You can see more of her work at her website
And in case you missed the SAQA Journal for Winter 2013, go to and check out the great featured artist section they had on Jane in there.

Monday, October 13, 2014

21st Annual Rose Center Quilt Show

The Rose Center Quilt Show is still going until the end of this week in Morristown, TN and it is a great show. This is a show that is open to all and it has cash prizes. So put it on your calendar for next year. You can read about the Rose Center Quilt Guild at
I really enjoyed this quilt entitled "Midnight" by Susie Hunter.She has incorporated some interesting decorative machine stitches.

Another interesting quilt was Barbara Wood's "American Pride." The colors are bright and slightly different in that its a clear departure from the traditional red, white and blue but you feel no less patriotic.
The next quilt from Barbara Webster is a real departure from her usual large "photo print" quilts with their ultra realism and she says it took quite a while for her to finish it. Sorry the picture is not the best, that's my fault.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
I love the color combinations in Carol Snapp's "Snappy Squares."
The next quilt was hard to photograph too, as it was deep in the interior of the "quilt forest" and it is sunshine and shade also. In fact, this quilt by Donna Japp is called "Sunshine and Shadows," and I love the subtle watercolor effects.

"Garden Stepping Stones," also caught my eye with its bright, clean colors. It is by Fay Andrews.
Hope you enjoy this quick tour of the show. I would love to hear from you about what you are working on and any events happening in your area.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September Happenings

If you are near Dandridge, TN, don't miss the Taste of Nations event in downtown Dandridge on Friday September 12 from 5 - 9 pm. Its a crazy annual event and I will be at the Steamer Trunk at 103 West Meeting Street talking about SAQA and showing some art quilts from 5 - 7. There will be beverages, cuisine and music, at least some of which will represent countries around the globe. 

Foothills Quilters Guild is having their 13th annual quilt show on September 19 from 10 - 5 and September 20 from 10 - 4 at the New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, TN located at 703 W. Broadway. They have a gift boutique, door prizes, demonstrations, antique quilts and admission is just $5. For more information visit them at

The Rose Center Quilt Guild has its annual show starting today September 7 through Friday October 17 at 442 West 2nd North Street in Morristown, TN. The Rose Center itself is a beautiful old building, a historical treasure. They are open M-F, 9-5 and Sat. 10-2. The show is great and you will enjoy seeing the Rose Center also. 

And of course there is the fabulous AQS show in Chattanooga this month! Don't miss it!

I hope to hear from you concerning events, shows, happenings or whatever in your area of KY or TN and I want to see what you are working on so we can post it on the blogsite. I am working on a couple of quilts right now and doing some practice doodles on squares of fabrics and so I'll share one with you here.  Have a great week!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014 Benefit Auction

SAQA’s signature fundraising event starts Sept 15!
This is your chance to own beautiful, unique art quilts by some of the world’s finest artists. Plus, your purchases help increase the recognition for art quilts and the artists who make them while supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach. Thanks to our donors and bidders in 2013, the Benefit Auction raised over $65,000.
See the Benefit Quilts

SAQA members were invited to select 6 of their favorite benefit quilts an curate them as "dream collections." The selections are really beautiful.
See The Dream Collections

Look at your own benefit quilt or quilts sent in by friends at this link:
Artist List and Quilt Details

Let us share our KY and TN quilts in the Benefit Auction. Let me know about your benefit quilt and I will post it here on our blog so we can all enjoy it and see our region's work.

 "Life in Our Family" by Sharon Buck

Thursday, August 7, 2014

News From West TN

I think it will be fun and help us get to know each other a little in our wide spaced region if we can share some of what we are doing. I hope to get lots more information from you all soon so we can share our stories here on our blog spot. I am excited to share with you Paula Kovarik's beautiful quilt images from the SAQA "Earth Stories" show. She is a JAM of SAQA and lives in Memphis. These are her quilts "Stream of Consequences" both of which were created for this show.
Here is the summary from the SAQA site:

 Juror: Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, Managing curator: Leni Levenson Wiener

 There are many stories of hope across the globe. Both individuals and small groups are working on projects that, when added together, make a positive impact on increasing the quality of life on this planet. Earth Stories celebrates the stories of people or projects that enhance the planet, make a significant difference in restoring and/or protecting the environment, increase sustainability and otherwise improve the earth we all occupy. Twenty-four artists from around the world were chosen to interpret a "story" of their choice, in two quilts each (72x72 and 12x14 inches).

Here is Paula's artist statement: It comes from the country, courses through the suburbs, and wraps around the city of Memphis. The Wolf River, a small spring fed river of 90 miles, is one of the great arterial systems of the Mississippi River and all the life that it nurtures. As it flows, it filters, it floods, it captures and distributes. It is a filament that takes everything that flows downhill and sends it forward. It is the meandering collector of last resort for runoff, sprawl, industry and agriculture. Efforts to control it, channel it, or deny its value nearly led to its ruin—until it gained an advocate. Since 1985, The Wolf River Conservancy has protected and defended the river in the face of development and abuse. The group has cast the Wolf as a community treasure that physically weaves the region together. They know full well its vital function and spectacular potential. They understand it is a pattern that connects.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Co-Rep for our Region

Hello from your new co-representative for Kentucky Tennessee SAQA region. My name is Sharon Buck and I live in east TN. I am excited about being your representative but scared to death too hoping that I can do a great job for you. SAQA offers us so many resources, I want us to try to take advantage of as many of them as we can. I will be sending out newsletters and I hope you will email me with all your news about shows in your area, great places you love to find fabric, art you are doing, your blog or website, or anything pertaining to our art quilt world. It will be fun to get to know everyone and find out more about what you are doing. I have not used this blogger page before so I will have to figure things out as I go along. I do have a website and blog myself with weebly, and invite all to stop by for a visit!