Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I have so much good news to share with everyone. My cup is truly overflowing these days. It has been such a great year. 

Stars Motel, Chicago
© 2011 Lisa Kijak
47 x 35 inches
Raw edge applique, machine quilted
Commercial and hand dyed cotton fabrics

Stars Motel, Chicago will be a part of Quilt Visions 2012 BRAINSTORMS opening this weekend in San Diego. I am thrilled to be a part of this outstanding international exhibit. 40 works were chosen from 394 entrants and represent some of the finest in design and technique from around the world. The opening reception is on Saturday, October 20, 5-7pm. On Sunday the artists will speak about their work in the morning during a guided tour at 11am. There will also be a moderated panel discussion "the Artistic Journey" with 4 of the artists (Linda Colsh, Mary Pal, Terri Shinn and Charlotte Ziebarth) in the afternoon at 2pm. I will be at the opening and will join the other artists for the Artist Walk and Talk on Sunday. If you are in the area, please come by. I would love to see you. 

I am also pleased to announce that El Cortez, Las Vegas has been juried into Quilt National 2013. Major celebrating has been taking place this week. Getting into Visions and QN back to back is a dream come true. I am beyond thrilled. Unfortunately, I cannot share the image of my final piece, there are very strict guidelines about images for the show, so you will just have to wait until after the opening in May 2013. Congratulations to all of the artists! I cannot wait to meet everyone at the opening in Athens, Ohio. 

And finally, my most exciting news

I would like to introduce our baby, Maya, welcomed into the world September 13, 2012. She joins our family through open adoption. We will forever be grateful to her birth parents, J. and J., for picking us and entrusting us to be Maya’s parents. This joy would not be possible without them. We are over the moon and so in love!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2012 SAQA Online Benefit Auction

I am a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a great organization that aims to promote art quilts through exhibitions, education and publication. They are an invaluable resource to me.  I have been inspired through my connection to other artists and have benefited from the work SAQA does to educate museums, galleries and collectors about the importance of textile art. 

Each year, SAQA holds an online benefit auction to raise funds to support exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs.This year, almost 400 quilts were donated, including one of mine. Here is a sneak peek video of how my piece was constructed.


The online auction will begin on September 10, 2012 at 2pm EST. The 12x12 inch donated works this year are outstanding. Here are a few of my favorites:  
Rainy Monday, 9AM  
Commercial cotton, no batting.  Raw-edge machine appliqué

The Secret  Linda Colsh  Cotton fabrics printed, painted and dyed by the artist.
Reflections 4
Cotton, organdy, cheese cloth; screen printing, painting, sanding, collage, hand- and machine quilting.
Sizing Up  
Cheesecloth sculpted with PVA adhesive, appliqued to painted buckram.
Entheos Deidre Adams Machine stitched, hand painted with metallic and non-metallic paints; mounted on canvas and stretcher bars.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Red and Yellow

I love the combination of red and yellow together. So eye catching.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What are you watching?

People often ask about how I work in the studio—do listen to music, catch up on NPR, watch TV, or enjoy the beautiful silence that can only be appreciated when you have a moment away from your toddler?  While the privacy and silence cannot be overrated—closing the door, taking a deep breath and combining my moment of sanity with some art is VERY fulfilling—I do my best work when I have something going on in the background, be it music or a movie.  

In the studio, I have a TV mounted on the wall on an articulated arm. This allows me to turn the TV to face me when I am working. The screen lines up just over the top of my sewing machine so that I don’t have to strain to see it. I also have wireless headphones which have made it possible to listen to music or hear movie dialog in the studio while everyone is sleeping, something that makes me immensely happy.

While we don’t have cable in the house (long story), we do have Netflix and Hulu.  I get my mileage out of both of them. Right now I am obsessed with art documentaries. Love love love them. I have my Netflix queue filled with them.

This past week I watched Rape of Europa. I found it absolutely captivating and can’t recommend it enough. Seeing images of the Louvre stripped bare of paintings and Michelangelo’s David bricked up to protect it from bombing and looting were eye-opening. Here is a description from the documentary website:

The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and the Second World War.

In a journey through seven countries, the film takes the audience into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought back with an extraordinary effort to safeguard, rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures.

Make sure you watch it.

Of course with this one crossed off of my list I am on the look out for a new documentary. Any recommendations? What are your favorites?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Back to work

After seeing the RITUALS exhibit last week and attending the festival, I couldn’t wait to get back to the studio to start working again. I am at the beginning stages with a new piece and I am consumed by it. I want to work on it every spare minute of the day and night. This is a good thing. When things are going right, I can’t spend enough time in the studio. I stay up late. I think about my work when I am driving. I talk about it incessantly. Of course when it is not quite working I can procrastinate with the best of them. I want to avoid the studio at all costs. This has been something I have been working on over the past year. Even when I am struggling, I force myself to go “do the work anyway”. I know that eventually I will figure things out. I just need to put in the effort and that means getting into the studio. 

But today, things are going well and I have reached a point where I am in the groove. I am past the early stuff that I don’t enjoy as much—setting up my workspace, washing fabrics, creating patterns for important elements, and establishing the foundation. Today I am sewing, and it is exciting to see things develop. As I start sewing, I get to see if my fabric choices are really coming together. I see what needs tweaking. I stab myself a thousand times on straight pins. And I relish every minute.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I am excited to announce that Neon Coffee, Los Angeles will be a part of Rituals, a special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA July 26-29, 2012. This juried invitational curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison (Dinner at Eight Artists), invited artists to interpret the Rituals theme:

“An exchange between friends. A handshake. A kiss before bedtime. The artist at work. A sun salutation. The wave before boarding a school bus. A song, a word, a meditation. A habit, a custom. The traditional toast at a gathering. A rite of passage. The sacred moments of the ordinary. Rituals: What are yours?”


Neon Coffee, Los Angeles
© 2012 Lisa Kijak
60 x 24 inches
Raw edge applique, machine quilted
Commerically printed and hand dyed cotton fabrics

Artist Statement
An unlit sign, calling to the masses each morning to begin their daily ritual. The same drink, at the same time, ordered from the same place every day.

You can read about the inspiration behind all 42 quilts in this exhibition and get to know a little more about each artist on the exhibit blog. You can find my profile here.

The show will also travel to International Quilt Festival in Houston in the fall, November 1-4, 2012. 

Rituals’ sponsor for the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach is Moore’s Sewing Centers and Havel’s Sewing for the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Neon Coffee, Los Angeles

I completed this piece last week as an entry into a juried invitational. I am really pleased with how it turned out. If it is accepted into the exhibit, it will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach. It hangs in my studio right now and I have to admit, I will miss it a little if it gets into the exhibit. But being in the invitational would be really exciting and I hope it will be included.

Neon Coffee, Los Angeles
© 2012 Lisa Kijak
60 x 24 inches