The Contemporary QuiltArt Association is a group of more than 100 Washington State artists bound by our relationship to thread and its role in textiles. Whether members focus individually on the design dimensions available in this medium or as a way that fiber arts can express life's vagaries, it comes back to a love of thread and how it binds layers together. As a group CQA is diverse in styles, media, and techniques. Members are not restricted by traditional definitions of quilting, but are driven to express thoughts and feelings, through the medium of quilting. Materials in the quilts can include any fabric, vinyl, cotton, plastic, silk, nails, linen, wood, rubber hoses, wool, feathers, zippers, beads, sequins, paint, yarn, and of course thread – cotton, silk, rayon, variegated, and metallic. CQA members' work ranges in size from postcard to several feet in width and height. The very act of quilting causes a two-dimensional piece to have depth, but many of our members further emphasize this by giving actual shape to the work, such as vessels and sculptures using quilting techniques. Color and surface design are likewise important to CQA artists who dye yardage, or paint, stencil, and print on materials to create special effects. Members also manipulate commercial or found fabrics in ways manufacturers would never imagine. Some work abstractly; some create representational images. Some use repeat blocks; some do not.

The only constant is that CQA members continue to expand the definition of the Art Quilt. Styles are always evolving as new materials and techniques become available. Members have ample opportunities to learn from each other through our monthly newsletter, our list server, and Showcase critiques, a regular feature of our meetings. Showcase is an invitation for members of the group to make constructive remarks concerning design, style, color, technique, and composition. This give-and-take is also a mentoring process for our less experienced members. Some individuals within CQA are nationally known and award winning artists. Some are new members who are clearly on the road to national recognition by "pushing the envelope." The CQA board and its members have grown and evolved over the years. As the quilt art movement continues to grow, CQA is excited and proud of its contributions to the public's awareness and understanding of this fine art form.

To see images of our members' work, go to the Members' Gallery and Exhibitions Gallery pages and click the thumbnail images to see full images and descriptions of each artist's work..