ETCETERA - Threads of quilting artist/writer's life released in book of poems


Kimberly L. Jackson, a reporter with The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., wrote in an online article in 2008 that 27.7 million people make up a growing subculture for the old-fashioned pursuit of quilting. That may be why this column and our newspaper recently featured the works of several local quilting artists.

The cool part is the pursuit may have been our grandmothers' hobby, but it's taken on a hipness as some quilters stray from standard patterns into ad lib expressions as creative as anything their minds can concoct.

"Modern quilters might be as likely to design patterns online and meet in chat rooms as to start up an old-fashioned quilting bee," Kimberly added.

And along comes Walla Wallan Salli Randall McQuaid, who not only "paints" quilting pictures with riots of colored, patterned fabric, but writes poems too. She's combined her interests into a slim tome, "Naked: Quilted Confessions of a Renegade Artist." It's illustrated by color photos of her quilts, which were shot by Mike McQuaid.

"To work in a genre typically identified as 'craft' and elevate it to the level of art is an innovation in itself," she said on her website, "I work in the 'art quilt' medium, which in the 21st century is achieving some validation. Relentlessly, I manipulate, twist, wrangle and exploit fabric, threads, computers and complex sewing machines. I constantly explore traditional techniques and make them my own."

Just as her works are multi-faceted, so is her training and work experience, from a bachelor's in art and creative writing, a master's in art, plus photography training, web design and quilting workshops and editing and writing jobs. Her creative process in one piece, "Hurricane Ike," involved photographing a landscape, morphing it and then embroidering it, joining hundreds of fabric pieces and then haphazardly stitching the layers of the quilt with disjointed stitches and a variety of threads to capture the storm's volatility.

She was featured in the U-B Marquee on July 7 in an article by U-B reporter Carrie Chicken.

Friend of 37 years Loie Johnson of Palo Alto, Calif, writes in the book's preface that "Stitched with witty repartee, vibrant colors, original patterns, tracks of texture, threads of wisdom, and exquisite technique; the quilts are informed by life's play and struggle. These combine to project longing, joy, sadness, serenity and most always, survival over hardship. In short, Salli's art and poetry are the fabric of life, both literally and figuratively."

Salli's book is available at for $14.95, or if bought through Studio Art Quilt Associates Bookstore, a copy personally signed by the author and photographer will be provided. The publisher is Tranquil Press, Charleston, SC, USA, 2011. See for more details.


Washington State University students from this area earned undergraduate degrees following the spring 2011 semester.

Honors earned by students are listed as follows: summa cum laude for a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or better, magna cum laude for a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.70 but less than 3.90 and cum laude for a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 but less than 3.70.

Burbank: Jordon G. Gregory, bachelor's psychology, cum laude; Markus Scott Melton, bachelor's in civil engineering; Kara Rae Rucker, bachelor's in business administration, magna cum laude; Joshua James Taylor, bachelor's in computer engineering, cum laude.

College Place: Nereida Garcia, bachelor's in social sciences (general studies-social sciences); Katie Rose Gladden, bachelor's in speech and hearing sciences; Kaori Lynn Graybeal, bachelor's in bioengineering, summa cum laude; Ana L. Herrera, bachelor's in hospitality business management; Rudy Mercado Ortega, bachelor's in social sciences (general studies-social sciences); Lana Alexa Slusar, bachelor's in business administration; Paul V. Slusar, bachelor's in business administration, magna cum laude; Scott A. Wagner, bachelor's in business administration, cum laude.

Dayton: Rosalie Anne Dalke-Warner, undergraduate certificate in organic agriculture, bachelor's in social sciences (general studies-social sciences); Lacy May Nichols, bachelor's in education, cum laude.

Pomeroy: Dorothy Jean Gates, bachelor's in social sciences (general studies-social sciences), magna cum laude; Todd Curtis Keatts, bachelor's in nursing, summa cum laude; Scott Lewis Williams, bachelor's in business administration.

Prescott: Gregorio Guillen, bachelor's in business administration, magna cum laude.

Touchet: Nathan D. Davin, bachelor's in civil engineering.

Walla Walla: Joseph A. Ballinger, bachelor's in nursing, cum laude; Samuel Robert Boettcher, bachelor's in communication, cum laude; Bramwell J. Brizendine, bachelor's in humanities (general studies-social sciences), magna cum laude; Margaret Lynn Chia, bachelor's in fine arts; Zachary James Ebding, bachelor's in history; Kelsey Elizabeth Grossman, bachelor's in hospitality business management; Darcy Michele Hall, bachelor's in history; Bruce R. Hallowell, bachelor's in business administration, cum laude; Tyler John Ketelsen, bachelor's in economic sciences; Casey Alan Knowles, bachelor's in social sciences; Whitney Suzanne Kyger, bachelor's in mathematics; Julianna Rodriguez, bachelor's in social sciences (general studies-social sciences); Ricky Charles White, bachelor's in digital technology and culture.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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