Welcome to the online gallery for the 2017 ~ The Skin We Are In~

This project was created to honor those who take the bold step to celebrate the human form in all of it’s amazing variations as well as subject matter that rarely gets its time in the sun due to some people’s more delicate sensabilites.

That said, this hanging does feature nudity so if that is not your cup of chai then it is best you do not proceed any further.

A big thank you to all the artists who have sent in their work. I could not have done it without you!

Depending on your browser settings you will either click the arrows to scroll through each artist’s images or click on the image and then continue clicking to see all that they shared with us. In some instances you can double click to make the image bigger to see more detail -dependant on file size.

Artist Sara Mika

My artistic process most often begins as a reaction to something I’ve seen, heard, or read. Such things unconsciously trigger my mind to make correlations that beg to be expressed visually. Needle and thread are then put to the task of bringing these ideas to life. You will repeatedly find text in my artwork relating to my sources of inspiration. I make art quilts usually ranging in size from 4” x 6” to 10” x 10” that are mounted to canvas for hanging. To begin, I lightly pencil sketch on a blank piece of white cotton fabric. I use brightly colored textile paint to construct my imagery, then heat set it with an iron. I add quilt batting and a backing material, then machine stitch the outline of my design in black thread. Further stitching is added by machine and by hand to enhance and embellish each piece. I work slowly and my lines are clean, precise, and controlled as sewing, especially by hand, is not a practice easily rushed. It’s a very intimate and tactile undertaking. I’m drawn to its repetitive motion as it gives my mind opportunity to wander and I’ve fallen in love with the way it gives heart and soul to my imaginings.

Sexuality, reproduction, body image and the emotions of the human experience are frequently represented in my work. The female nude, along with fish and pie, are a few of the symbols I use to express feminine energy. I’m greatly influenced by the illustration art found in children’s picture books and the classic storylines of fairy tales are sometimes in my designs. While my pieces seem fun and childlike, they often contain mature themes and content. I’m at ease in my skin and I strive to live unfiltered, giving my mind free rein to interpret the world as it will, unabashed by social confines and constraints. Being able to work comfortably in this mindset is a gift I’m thankful for every day.

Additional information on Sara Mika can be found at:

Web:  www.mockpiestudio.com

Etsy:  www.mockpiestudio.etsy.com

Blog:  www.mockpiestudio.blogspot.com

Artist:  Virginia Greaves


Canaries are special creatures for miners. They represent the life and the light of every miner that goes down into the mine. Held in cages, their death is a sign that oxygen has diminished and the miners’ lives are at risk. It is through this lens of the canary as a totem that I have created this self-portrait. On the outside, a placid expression covers every difficulty, but the vines are tightening and their thorns are sharp. The discord of the outside world threatens to strangle the life of the artist, but the canary is present as a lifeline of inspiration and hope.

Artist: Jo Malham

My art reflects my outllook on life; it is not governed by rules or limitations.  Freedom to experiment has led me in many creative directions. but my passion is Textiles using Digital Imagery.

Inspiration is drawn from life’s experiences.  Once I  find an inspirational subject matter, I explore and immerse myself into the topic and the piece is born.

This work, ‘The Skin We Are In’, has grown from a photo of my own artwork. It was then computer manipulated until it become a reflection of the subject I was seeking. Commercially printed onto fabric and worked with various hand / machine sewing and various textile methods.

Materials Used:
Digital image
Trilobal fabric
Digital photography
Image manipulation
Hand and machine quilting
Threads machine sewn onto Disolvable fabric

Artist: Neroli Henderson


140.55 x 90.5 cm

Giclée pint (own photograph) on silk, quilted with ultra fine 100wt thread, metal foil. Sginle, double and triple batting (trapunto).

No matter the darkness, if you look hard enough you will always find a glimmer of light looking over your shoulder.


Giclée print on silk (own photograph), quilting with ultra fine 100wt threads, machine embroidery and transfer foil.

We often stay in situations long after we should leave at our own peril. Be it a relationship, job or other the resulting drama created of our own reluctance to move on paralyses us, detracts from our own ability to help those around us and strangles our own self confidence and happiness. We hold ourselves bound.

Artist: Laurie Ceesay

Boom Chick A Boom

I have been creating portrait quilts of fashionable women for years and have occasionally shown cleavage but wanted to explore nudity. I deplore art censorship and this challenge seemed justified.  Twenty five years ago I made Eleanor Peace Bailey doll patterns. She created 3D boobs which were fiberfill stuffed and a nipple was stitched in place. I used this technique on this project. I used Derwent Inktense ink pencils to create the breast details. I was inspired Las Vegas showgirls, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro’s Carvinal, belling dancing costumes and Carmen Miranda’s headpiece and excessive jewelry. This quilt is laden with embellishments such as trims, lame tulle, mini Christmas ornaments, rhinestones, a silk flower, actual earrings, repurposed necklaces, Mardi Gras beads, fruit shaped beads, rick rack, fabric paint and 3 colors of glitter nail polish.

Artist: Patty Kennedy-Zafred

Back At It
21.5”H x 25.5”W
Hand dyed fabric, acetate, layering; machine pieced and quilted.
30”H x 27”W
Photo transfer on fabric; fusing; machine pieced and quilted.

As a storyteller, Patricia Kennedy-Zafred creates thought provoking narratives using fabric, dyes, silkscreens, and ink to develop a visual dialogue with the viewer.  The interpretation of each piece is conceived through the lens of individual experiences, memories, or perspectives.  Her quilts marry a lifelong fascination with photography, history, and stitch, often reflecting faces of pride and dignity, sometimes under challenging circumstances.  Educated in journalism and photography, her making of art has been a prolonged exercise in trial and error, self-teaching and study.  The stories expressed, whether historical or personal, reflect upon our diverse American experience, possibly reminding the viewer of someone or something they may have forgotten, compelling them to linger, just a moment longer.

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred has been telling stories through the medium of textiles and art quilts for over twenty years.  Her prize winning work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been published in books and magazines throughout her career, most recently Artistry in Fiber (Schiffer Publishing, 2017).

Artist: Amy Dame

amy dame combines art and craft to create pieces that express the experiences, beliefs and political convictions that guide their life as a queer femme, as a genderqueer person, as someone with invisible disabilities.

A child of the canadian prairies who grew up on the west coast, leaving them with a fierce love of contradictions and contrasts, amy is inspired by words and imagery not generally expressed in traditional fibre work, believing that the act of illustrating our stories in the time consuming mediums of embroidery and quilting reflects and respects the true value of our collective experiences.

amy was a founding executive member of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild in Vancouver, BC, Canada and remained on their board for 6 years. amy is now enjoying a break from executive duties, in hopes that more quilting will follow!

Title: The Femme and the Bearded Lady
Dimensions: 42? x 66?
Medium: free motion quilting, whole cloth
Materials: cotton thread, cotton fabric, cotton batting
life size quilted portrait commissioned for the 2014 National Queer Arts Festival exhibition, Second Helpings, San Francisco
Full Artist Statement: https://amydame.ca/2015/04/28/the-femme-and-the-bearded-lady/
Title: Red Lips Selfie
Dimensions: 15”x20”
Medium: free motion quilting
Materials: cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting, acrylic paint
Date: 2014
Title: Small Joys: Buzz, Cock and Plug
Dimensions: series of 3 pieces mounted in 4” hoops
Medium: foundation paper piecing
Materials: cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting
Date: December 2016
Exhibited: Stitch Fetish 5, February 2017, Los Angeles
Title: Bum Love
Dimensions: 18”x16”
Medium: free motion quilting
Materials: cotton fabric, cotton thread, cotton batting, synthetic fishnet stockings
Date: December 2015
Exhibited: Stitch Fetish 4, February 2016, Los Angeles
Title: Tender Memories
Dimensions: 25” x 24”
Medium: improv patchwork, free motion quilting
Materials: synthetic lace, cotton fabric, cotton and polyester thread, cotton batting
Date: 2013
This quilt is a homage to the kind of bruises that we like to get – the kind you discover the next morning and think fondly about what caused them to appear, and go about your day with some extra spring in your step. The FMQ includes secret words that are all sounds made when the bruises were received – including mmm, yes, and please! The quilting is purposely heavy so that the words are mostly hidden. The quilt is constructed of improv HSTs, trimmed both on and off centre, to create an abstract bruise similar to a hickey.
(Showing this quilt at my monthly guild meeting resulted in a friend’s pre-teen learning what a hickey was….)

Artist: Paula Entin

Paula Entin is a fiber artist and former librarian. Drawing inspiration from odd corners of the universe, she creates original art quilts inspired by her life, her surroundings, and odd phrases and titles from books.  Her website is www.fibersong.com, which has primarily original designs in fiberart, both framed and unframed.

As people age, they often start having ridiculous conversations about their bodies and appearance.  The grey appears, gravity wins, and suddenly things aren’t the same. Our cabin in the woods is so far off the beaten path that we have the opportunity to jump into the brook and then lie in the sun completely nude. It is the most delicious feeling, a bit naughty, but a freedom and a connection to nature that is indeed powerful.

Artist: Léonie Hartley Hoover

For the past 2 1/2 years I have been following the plight of a Japanese sculptor and mangaka ( Manga comic artist) , Megumi Igarashi.  She is known by the pseudonym ” Rokudenashiko” which roughly translates to ” good for nothing girl” .

Ms Igarashi created many art works based on her vagina ( or manko as it’s called in Japan) and in 2014 was arrested twice on obscenity charges. In July of that year, Ms Igarashi was arrested for the alleged violation of Japanese

obscenity laws for e-mailing  3D scanner  data of her vulva in to people who supported her crowdfunding campaign to build a vagina kayak.

She has been mistreated, vilified, and ostracized in her native country and a lot of her work was conviscated by the police.  Currently she has taken her appeal to the high court in Japan with a verdict expected in April 2017. Thousands of people world-wide have been supporting and encouraging ” Rokudenashiko” and are aghast at the archaic laws still held in Japan and her ill treatment. The art world in particular is watching her trial with great interest, as a positive outcome for her, could be earth shaking for Japanese society.

In Japan the male penis ( chinko) is deified while the female vagina/vulva ( manko) is hidden and it is frowned upon to say the word ” manko” out loud .  Ms Igarashi created a little ” pop” item she calls a  manko-chan ( translates into

” Miss Pussy”)  which she has made into figurines, stuffed animals, costumes and a manga comic book.  I admire her strength of character and determination and her ability to flash a radiant smile and keep her sense of humour in spite of difficult times. She is an inspiration to many and I decided to step out of my own comfort zone for a while and create this work of art with her in mind.

In creating the piece ” Manko for Rokudenashiko ” , I have included a little Manko-chan.  Rokudenashiko  mentioned in an interview that the little clitorial area on her manko-chan reminded her of a sort of chakra or third eye, so I created a

sacral chakra ( 6 petals) and placed a lovely piece of Czech glass lampwork in the centre of it. On each side of it are two crane beads – the bird of happiness, hope and healing during challenging times.  Above the chakra,  I created a piece of kanzashi,

in silk ribbon. Kanzashi is a traditional Japanese handcraft, usually floral and worn in women’s hair. In earlier times, it was worn as a charm against evil spirits .

The hand dyed fabric base was created by two San Francisco artists and in spite of the brilliant colours, I found it to be rather sensual in design. I created the vagina/vulva from silk shibori ribbon that I manipulated into shape over some thick hand made felt to give it dimension. it comes complete with clit ring and tiny feline at the bottom. The centre labia lips are created from dyed polymer clay. I then wrapped cotton cord with silk chenille to surround the shibori ribbon and that was again surrounded by a beaded coil made on cotton cord. You often hear flower references made when one speaks of female anatomy so I made delicate dyed silk petals to complete the feminine outer edge.   I thought a hint of fallopian tubes should be included and I created them with beads and

ultra suede flower buds.  I very much wanted the piece to be oval in shape and that presented several technical difficulties along the way.  I ended up mounting the piece instead of letting it hang free fall.

About the Artist:  Léonie Hartley-Hoover is a Canadian fibre artist with an extensive background in beadwork, needlework and costuming.  She has won many prestigious awards for her beadwork and excellence in design in hand stitching over the years and has extensive teaching experience with individual classes, guild classes and workshops. Leonies’s art has been exhibited in travelling shows, galleries , museums and trade shows throughout Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA and  is housed in private collections worldwide.

Artist: Molli Sparkles

Title: Don’t Be a Dick

Size: 51” x 75″

Materials: Shimmer fabric by Jennifer Sampou, and approximately forty white tone-on-tone fabrics for the scrappy background.

Quilting: Completed by me on my domestic machine.

Originally, this quilt was created as a response to the occupation of the Oregon Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a local militia group, and the social media response of sending the militia group supplies shaped like penises. This was a humorous attempt to call out their dick-like behaviour.

During this quilt’s construction, the controversy surrounding Kathy Nida’s quilt at the AQS Grand Rapids show exploded. While not directly related, it spurred me to finish this quilt, asking the question, “Why are audiences so offended by a penis?”

Humour allows for critical commentary, which I hope to express through quilt making.

Artist: Joni Seidenstein

This is a small art quilt about 9X12 inches representing the female reproductive anatomy. I thought it made sense to make the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus sparkly since that’s where some of the magic happens. This was made at the request of a friend who works with pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Materials used: cotton: fabrics threads and batting, metallic threads, and angelina.

Artist: Jeanne Holtzman

During my 30 plus years virtually nose to clitoris practicing women’s health, I spent innumerable hours trying to convince women that their genitals were not toxic waste dumps or misshapen lumps of ugly flesh requiring plastic surgery. Now that I am sewing instead of practicing medicine, I sought a new way to celebrate women’s bodies. Thus, Vulvabration!!! I hoped to portray a sparkly yet unabashedly clinically accurate representation of what is so often erroneously referred to as the vagina, in a playful and exuberant setting. Is it a party balloon? Is it a sombrero? Viva la Vulva!

Artist: Joyce Leahy
As an ardent opponent of censorship, I read Kathy Nida’s account of the American Quilter’s Society pulling her artworks from their exhibit with anger and frustration. The idea that AQS was so lacking in courage that one complaint from an immature individual would be enough to get a serious artist’s works removed from an exhibit is inconceivable and, in this political climate, intolerable. The art world is not a place for sissies. If the AQS is unable to stand up to a bully, it will find that fewer and fewer artists will be willing to submit their works.

I am grateful to BadAss Quilters for providing a place for art quilters to exhibit works containing bolder content without fear of censorship. The Skin We Are In exhibit inspired me to recreate in quilt form the best-known male nude in art history, “David” by Michaelangelo Buonarroti. I have titled this 37-1/4″ X 19-1/4″ work “Sorry, Signor Buonarroti, Your Work Does Not Meet AQS Standards.” Unlike Kathy Nuda’s work, this quilt DOES depict a penis. Go on, complain about it. I dare you!

“Sorry, Signor Buonarroti, Your Work Does Not Meet AQS Standards”
37-1/4″ X 19-1/4″

Artist: Robert Tucker

Founding Fathers Entry for “ The Skin We Are In ” I decided to create a phallic piece in Home Spun fabric. I wanted the quilt to be cozy. Something to snuggle up to. Being an artist in many disciplines, I have found quilting to bridge many things. One of the bridges is the sex-centric history of quilting. It has certainly been dominated by women. But, I am a man and there are now many men who find great pleasure in this discipline. I think it is a discipline and much more. For myself the essence of quilting lies in the fabric, the twists and turns, the folds, the threading, the surprises as patterns abut one another. One of the best things about art is the freedom it provides. Censorship and art don’t work well together. Quilting can be many things from functional bedding to fine art. I see no reason to hinder any imagery. As in all art, if you don’t like it just walk on by. I call this piece Founding Fathers because they fought great battles to insure freedom. I am fighting a small battle here but it is in keeping with theirs. In a way we are their progeny…And where does that start? Robert Tucker roberttuckerart.com

Artists: Lisa Covey & Olivia Stoddard

Quilt designed, planned and made by Lisa Covey, northern NY state. Fabric painting and shading on skin by Olivia Stoddard, also Northern NYS.

started with an airplane’s nose art, Art Deco, then appliquéd. The upside down boat flag (burgee) means “out of alcohol, bring some”.

Olivia painted the woman’s face into my image. I took creative license on “perking up” certain parts of my anatomy ?

I also quilted some symbols in the background ~