Quilt National reveal

One thing about the Quilt National show in Athens, Ohio: the artists have to have a lot of patience. Understand that we actually made the pieces sometime between October 2013 and October 2014. Then, after submission to the show, there is that long wait for the email that says you have been chosen as part of the exhibit, or, you have not.

As an accepted artist, you send in your quilt for final acceptance and photography in December.  Then, the longest 6 months in history starts its plodding way. From December to May you hold your breath and try not to say anything to anyone about the piece.

Getting ready to tell the story of my piece, Insomnia: His and Hers at the Quilt National opening. Gathered round me are some of the luminaries in the art quilt world. What could be better than this?

Getting ready to tell the story of my piece, Insomnia: His and Hers at the Quilt National opening. Gathered round me are some of the luminaries in the art quilt world. What could be better than this?

Finally the show comes around and the Dairy Barn hosts the artists and their friends and fans to see the results of the careful choices. I attended the show this weekend and had a great time talking with and meeting the artists, enjoying discussions about the pieces and their relevance to the art form, studying details and colorways, and standing awestruck before many of the accepted pieces. The show was beautiful, varied and thought-provoking.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is when the artists have the opportunity to talk about their piece for 2 minutes. It is a delightful gathering of fans, friends and luminaries. Betty Busby sent me this photo of me doing my talk during that session. I'm not sure what I said. I think the Dairy Barn is going to post the results of these short clips on You Tube so I will be able to figure out if I made a fool of myself or not.

So here is the reveal of the piece that was accepted to the show. Insomnia: His and Hers were conceived during a period of transition in my life. I had lost my mom, passed my business on to my friend Shannon and set up shop in my studio. I redefined reality for a while -- felt like a rabbit without a hole and couldn't sleep very well. The piece tries to channel that urgency, insecurity and subconscious into a landscape of conscious thought. It is a diptych made with two pillow shams that were given to me by a friend. The quilting is free-motion stitching with my Bernina machine. The two shams have a built up pillow forms behind them that mimic actual pillows.

Insomnia: His and Hers, ©2014 Paula Kovarik

Insomnia: Hers, ©2014 Paula Kovarik

Calming the static prior to sleep can be a journey into the unknown escorted by the imagined and replayed.

Insomnia: His, ©2014 Paula Kovarik

Earth Stories opening at the University of Central Missouri

The Studio Art Quilt Associates show, Earth Stories, opens today at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design, Warrensburg, Missouri, January 19 - February 28, 2015. The invitational show celebrates the stories of people or projects that enhance the planet, make a significant difference in restoring and/or protecting the environment, increase sustainability and otherwise improve the earth we all occupy. My piece, Stream of Consequences, honors the the work done by the Wolf River Conservancy.  There are many stories of hope across the globe. Both individuals and small groups are working on projects that, when added together, make a positive impact on increasing the quality of life on this planet.

Stream of Consequences, Paula Kovarik

Stream of Consequences, detail, Paula Kovarik

Twenty-four artists from around the world were chosen to interpret a story of their choice, in two quilts each (72x72 and 12x14 inches). In addition, the show includes journals written by each artist sharing the story of the creation of the quilt.

If you are anywhere near Warrensburg (east of Kansas City) take a moment to see this wonderful show.


Happy to announce that my piece Insomnia: His and Hers, has been accepted into Quilt National 2015. Can't post a photo of the finished pieces due to the rules of the show. The piece is made with two vintage pillow shams. It is the same piece that was rejected by Quilt Visions. Goes to show that it all depends on the judges.

Other news: I am proud of my two grandsons, who allowed me to use their incredible drawings to create a piece called Face Value. It recently won second place in the Wall Quilts - Other category at the LaConner Quilt Festival.

Face Value, detail, work-in-progress, Paula Kovarik

Face Value, detail, work-in-progress, Paula Kovarik

Parallel Lives goes public.

Poked at, primped, previewed and published, our Parallel Lives book makes its public debut on Blurb.com. It is a short story of the collaboration that Jean Holmgren and I have had for the past two years. This unique opportunity to create art together helped each of us to define our own paths. Any profits from the sale of the book will be used to support women in the arts.

here's a sampling of some of the pages:



this is not a quilt

Yet in many ways it is. This is a layout of the pages of the Parallel Lives book Jean and I are creating. We're like a dog with a bone on this thing. Collaboration brings insight, modifications, and sometimes even doubt. Happily, we have arrived at a solution that pleases us both. More to follow.