Meena Schaldenbrand is GAAQG May 2017 guest artist


Fiber artist Meena Schaldenbrand at GAAQG Quilt Day at Washtenaw Community College, March 18, 2017

by Linda Theil
April 2, 2017

FIber artist Meena Schaldenbrand will lecture on the topic of “Texting in Quilts” at the GAAQG Quilt Day meeting that will begin at 9 a.m. on May 20, 2017 at the Morris Lawrence Building, WCC in Ann Arbor.

Meena Schaldenbrand work showing use of sheers.

Schaldenbrand will also teach two one-day workshops: “Sheer Delight” on using sheer fabrics to provide texture and interest to fiber works on May 19, and “Creative Word Art Design” on adding text to quilts on May 21, 2017. Both workshops will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. Workshops are $60 for members, $80 for non-members; online registration is available.

Detail of work by Meena Schaldenbrand showing use of text.

GAAQG members are familiar with Schaldenbrand’s intricate artwork because she often shares new pieces during show-and-tell on Quilt Day.

“I love show-and tell,” Schaldenbrand said. “I challenge myself to have something to share since I love seeing everyone else’s work.”

Schaldenbrand exhibits widely

Schaldenbrand also shares her work nationally and internationally in many juried, and non-juried shows where she submits via the Internet.

Schaldenbrand said:

I love doing challenges and theme exhibits. One online challenge, Roots of Racism, began online [in 2000], and actually traveled for five years. It was also at the US embassy residence in Islamabad, Pakistan. My quilt [in that show], “Peeling Layers Back to Basics”, eventually was on exhibit at the Michigan State University museum after being hung there as part of another racism exhibit, and it now lives there in refrigerated drawers!

“Peeling Layers Back to Basics” by Meena Schaldenbrand, 2000, in permanent collection of Michigan State University Museum

“Peeling . . .” was published in a book titled, The Roots of Racism: Ignorance and Fear. And Exhibition of Contemporary American Quilts in the Residence of the United States Ambassador to Pakistan (Arts in Embassies Program, 2003)

Other exhibitions with Schaldenbrand work:

Schaldenbrand said:

I do online challenges constantly. My goal is to do theme quilts because I think it’s so interesting to see how everyone interprets the same theme. I focus on pieces less than a yard square, or I size by show requirements. I still do large quilts, but only a few during the year.

Resources for information about quilt shows and challenges:

Schaldenbrand says

GAAQG: Can you tell us a little about your background?

Schaldenbrand: I live in Plymouth, Michigan. I learned to sew in a convent in India where I lived until 1968 and have been in Michigan since 1969. I first joined the guild around 1990.

GAAQG: How would you describe your work?

Schaldenbrand: Art quilts, story quilts.

GAAQG: What is it about your process that keeps you excited about your work?

Schaldenbrand: I try new challenges, techniques, and materials with each quilt to help me stretch. I’ve learned to design on the computer and that’s where I start! I design all my quilts in Make the Cut program for my Cricut, ACS Eagle and KNK Force cutters. It’s easier than Photoshop. Then I let fabrics determine the final design.

GAAQG: Could you describe your studio?

Schaldenbrand: My studio began in a small bedroom upstairs. I eventually moved to a finished basement which has a lot more room. My sewing machines are in one area and my fabrics are sorted by colors in another room.

I also have my computer connected to my electronic cutter and I have several manual die cutters that I purchased at garage sales. I even have a small walk in closet for my trims and embellishments. I have built-in, and portable design-walls as I work on more than one project at a time.

GAAQG: Could you tell us about a highlight of your artistic career that you are most proud of?

Schaldenbrand: What I am most proud of is that I have persisted in a medium that I absolutely love! My quilts tell stories about my culture, milestones and life as well as that of many relatives and friends.

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This post was written by Linda Theil

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