Salli McQuaid
Fabric/Surface Design   visit website


The need to create art is an integral part of my being; it pervades every aspect of my life. Although I have worked in most media, there is a constant facet of my art that involves fabric and and/or threads. In 2006 I discovered art quilts. The genre offered a rare technical challenge, and the materials were inspirational. Finished work contained a depth and warmth seldom achieved with other materials. The genre also offered the opportunity to gracefully work beyond the traditional “square” canvas.

In quilt art, I could express serious, political, humorous, rebellious, and cathartic issues. Design, balance, color, and texture were of primary importance, and detail offered supportive metaphors. After the initial graphic impact, I wanted viewers to make discoveries.This would extend the “life” of the composition.

!The work is machine-embellished with threads from a collection that dates back to the 1950’s. Machine thread work is hand driven. Machine computer embroideries are original or computer-manipulated. Throughout this process I stretch traditional blocks and techniques, re-defining them to achieve a smooth and complete composition. Free-form quilting (thread painting) is rendered spontaneously with a hand-driven long-arm machine.

!Besides standard threads, sparkling specialty threads provide extra visual movement. Delicate holographic and sliver threads achieve a sensitive quality. Tiny metallic braids, crystals, paint, digital photos, and/or other mixed media materials further express the themes. Although each art quilt theme contains realistic elements, the elements are unrealistic in proportion and shape. Yet they are combined smoothly and balanced well so that they portray an impossible reality, offering the viewer flights of imagination — hopefully, a transcendental experience.

Among the artists who have influenced my work are Josef Albers, Marc Chagall, Richard Diebenkorn, Hiroshige, Hokusai, Sara Moe, Ricky Tims, Hollis Chatelain, and Carol Bryer Fallert. 

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Contact Info

216 Whistling Duck Rd.
Walla Walla, WA 99362 US
Phone: 509-876-4016
Work Phone: 832-326-7957