Author Archives: elena

Quilts=Art=Quilts ’17, Part 3

And now for the award winners. I cannot even image how one would choose among this incredible collection of artwork but award jurist Marcia Young was charged with this impossible task. Here are the results…
The Shirley Hastedt Award: Red Jive and Blue Jive by Gerri Spilka…

The Catherine Hastedt Award for Hand Workmanship: Compaction & Drift by Shea Wilkinson… Sorry, I goofed and accidentally posted this one yesterday.

The Schweinfurth Award for Excellence: Tumbling by Naomi Velasquez, side angle detail below…

Juror’s Choice: Frameworks IV by Julia Graziano…

Juror’s Choice: Flying Geese- One Voice by Vicki Conley…

Juror’s Choice: Breakthrough by Elizabeth Busch…

Award for Surface Design: Griffith and Broadway by Marian Zielinski…

Third Prize: Container by Kathy Ford…

Second Prize: Infinity IV by Elena Stokes…oh, that’s me! I’m so honored!!!

So, I’ve been asked to talk about why I split the design into a diptych and its significance. What meaning was I trying to convey? Well, you all know the expression ‘What came first, the chicken or the egg’? Well, if the egg is the idea and the chicken is what grew up out of it, I’m afraid the chicken came first.
When I prepare for my next project, I cut and prep my batting, sort of like prepping a canvas for paint. I cut it to size, iron on a fusible to both sides, fuse fabric to the back, then pin it to my design wall. I had prepped a 72 inch wide piece of batting in contemplation of my next project when a challenge came up in my guild. I only participate in challenges like that if they can work into my body of work and this one did. It was a proposed exhibition in partnership with the Nurture Nature Center in Easton, Pa whose focus that year was Weather. That theme worked well with my body of work and I decided to build upon my Infinity series incorporating a feeling of Wind. The only catch was it could be no wider than 60 inches. So, I decided to cut 12 inches off my prepped batting. I figured it could be cut up into 12 inch squares for small work.
As I worked on the design, the tapering waves were very effective and beautiful but I realized the main swath of color seemed off because it came to a blunt end at the edge of the quilt. I felt like it needed to continue to a point. Then I looked at the discarded 12 inch section and thought ‘Why not? Try it. It’ll either look really stupid or really cool.’ Well, as you can see, it looks pretty cool. It’s an odd place for split but somehow it works visually and, as someone said at the QAQ reception, it looks mysterious.
Lots of layered meaning emerged as well – the sweeping horizon line signifying the unending process of transformation; the winds of change that shape our lives; seeds blowing to far-off fertile lands. I have a subtitle for it, Like Seeds to the Wind, but mostly it’s about my Infinity series.
And, that’s the story of how the chicken came first and the egg of ideas and meaning came afterwards.
First Prize: People of the Wind by Shin-hee Chin, detail of intense stitchwork below…

Best of Show: Ruins 1 by Leah Higgins…

Funny story here, above is Ruins 1 as it was displayed at the Schweinfurth opening reception. But, I saw that artist Leah Higgins’ post on Facebook announcing her Best of Show award and the picture she posted displayed it inverted, as I clumsily did below. The funny thing is, during the weekend I was in conversation with a fellow artist who said her work had been hung upside down. It seems the bottom sleeve intended for a secondary slat to weight the bottom was mistook for the top hanging sleeve. They didn’t notice the label at the bottom right to guide them as to what was top and bottom. Well, it seems that’s what must have happened here, I’m guessing. It’s a lesson for us all – be careful of those bottom sleeves, they might get your work hung upside down! Always supply instructions as to the top of quilt if you use a bottom sleeve.

By the way, I did let Leah know about the inversion of her work and she contacted the Schweinfurth Art Center.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures of the show but they really don’t do justice to the work. If you can get there, go see them in person!


Posted in Exhibitions, Infinity series

Quilts=Art=Quilts ’17, Part 2

In my second installment on the opening weekend of Quilts=Art=Quilts I will share some pieces in the show. I apologize in advance for the quality of the images, some are a little blurry. In fact, while I tried to get pictures of most the quilts, some turned out so blurry they’re unusable.
I’ll start with a few pieces inspired by water…


Below the Surface by Marianne Williamson is a beautiful example of her fascination with light and water.

Clapotis, another lovely watery piece, by Elisabeth Nacenta de la Croix.

Refresh III by Erika Carter captures the feel of water with hand painted silk. Detail below.

Out Beyond by Wen Redmond, her work is inspired by nature as she is drawn to water and trees. And, more trees…



Winter Woods by Kathy Ford.

Black Crows Blues by Helena Scheffer.


A little more water… Water, Earth 5 by Pat Pauly.

Mirage by Diane Melms.

Mourning After by Karen Hinkle is a photograph she took the morning after a fire burned down thirteen businesses in Garrettsville, OH. Another angle is below.

The Triangle Fire: Flightless Birds 1 and 2 by Helen Geglio based on the 1911 fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York.

This Land Was Our Land by Patty Zafred- Kennedy.

Looking for the Pattern That Connects by Paula Kovarik. Check out the detail of the front and from the back.

The Language of Color 9: The Color of Dissonance by The Pixeladies, Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki.

Compaction and Drift by Shea Wilkinson.

Strange Attractor 18 by Niraja Lorenz.

Terra Mundi by Ellen Wong. Apologies to Ellen for this blurry photo, the camera in my phone isn’t very good.
As you can see, it’s a very strong show and I haven’t even gotten to the award winners yet. I’m saving that for next time…


Posted in Exhibitions

Quilts=Art=Quilts ’17 – Part 1

This past weekend I went to the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, NY for the first time for the opening reception of Quilts=Art=Quilts. It was the first time my work was accepted into this prestigious exhibit and I was eager to see it. Out of 300 entries, 75 works by 65 artists were accepted and these are some exceptionally talented artists. So, I was deeply honored.
In this post, I will share some pictures of the overall exhibit so you can get a feel of the scope and scale of the venue. It’s a lovely venue, too, large and spacious. Donna Lamb and her staff did a beautiful job hanging the show.

I hope these give you a feeling of being there, especially if you aren’t able to go to the exhibit. But, I highly recommend going if you can. The exhibit runs through January 7, 2018.
I apologize for not giving attribution to the artists, there’s just too many in this post (though if you ask me in the comments about a particular piece, I would be happy to provide info). Later this week, I will post more pictures, individual shots and some detail shots with attribution. And, for the finale, I will post the award winners! So, stay tuned…



Posted in Exhibitions, Infinity series

2017 SAQA Benefit Auction

Benefit Auction starts Sept 15th!

As a member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, I’m happy to support their annual and ever popular Benefit Auction fundraiser which begins on September 15 and goes until October 8. Once again, I’m proud to be able to give back to this organization that has given so much support to artists like me and continues to work hard to promote quilt art. 368 members donated a small piece of art, 12 x 12 inches, which will be auctioned off in a reverse auction – bids start high and then drop each day. This year, I’ve donated a piece from my Horizon series again.
To find out more about how the auction works, visit click here. Check out each group to see the wonderful array of artworks available. My piece is in the third group which starts bidding on October 2. Don’t miss the Dream Collections curated by member artists. It’s a fun way to see the artwork through the lens of fantasy collections.


Posted in SAQA

Well, that’s THAT!

Last weekend was The Hunterdon Art Tour, otherwise known as THAT, the first county-wide artist tour of Hunterdon County, NJ. It’s almost a week later now and I’m still exhausted, but in a good way.
The weekend kicked off with a celebration benefit party and exhibit hosted by the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ. I was having such a good time I forgot to take pictures but I can tell you it was a huge success attended by almost 200 art lovers. The exhibit comprised one piece of artwork by all the artists, roughly 40 artists, on the tour and all for sale with a 50/50 split going to the artist and funding for next year’s THAT. Nine pieces sold! My piece Horizon IX wasn’t among them and is still available. hint, hint

Some artists opened their studios to the tour while others like myself (with a big slobbery dog) found local businesses to play host. My good friend Dr. Nancy Erb, holistic therapist and owner of Wellness Rocks! and the Awaken Health Center in Clinton, welcomed me and fellow artist, photographer Berendina Buist.

One of the center’s practitioners, Karen Schweiger, was there all weekend offering free hugs. And, what hugs they were! She’s a certified cuddle therapist. I had never heard of a cuddle therapist but I can tell you, she’s good. Everyone needs a hug. Have you had your hug today?
The center was a great space to display artwork, big rooms with lots of wall space for big art…

and small art…

And even smaller art…
Or long art…
Not to mention, wearable art…

This was an amazing start to our annual artist tour here in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. I must give a huge thank you to the organizers of the tour who worked so hard for over a year to pull this together, three cheers to Val Sivilli, Catherine Suttle, Kathleen Thompson and Jay Raymond. Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray!

Posted in Exhibitions, Infinity series, New Work

Springtime at Morpeth

It was a beautiful spring day for the Meet the Artists reception at Morpeth Contemporary this past weekend. Viewers were greeted by soft palettes and soft textiles of the three featured artists, Mare McClellan, Jim Henry and myself.




New Hope, PA artist Mare McClellan discusses her love of gardening and how it informs her work. On display are her paintings as well as her fiber sculptures.

Mare McClellan




Ever Abiding #7 by Mare McClellan

The gallery is large and bright, a modern space warmed up with salvaged hand-hewn beams installed by gallery owner Ruth Morpeth.


Morpeth Contemporary at 43 West Broad Street in Hopewell, NJ. The exhibit will run through April 23.
Posted in Exhibitions

THAT – The Hunterdon Art Tour

I am very proud to be participating in The first annual Hunterdon County Art Tour -THAT! Over forty artists are on the tour, bringing an amazing diversity of media, disciplines and backgrounds to explore.

It will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 6 – 7. My artwork and I will be in Clinton at Wellness Rocks, 28 Center Street, just up the street from the museum. The weekend will kick off with a FREE benefit exhibition and party on Friday evening, May 5 at the Hunterdon Art Museum.

Please be sure to mark you calendar for the May 5th opening event where all the artists will be together to meet you and talk about their work. Maps will soon be available. For more information, please visit THAT’s website – 

Posted in Exhibitions

Abstract and Geometric


Abstract and Geometric, another stunning book in Martha Sielman’s series on quilt art, has just been released this month and I am extremely fortunate to be among the artists selected for inclusion. As she explains in her introduction, Martha received over 1300 images in answer to her call for entry from 461 artists, the best of the best in the field. Profiles of 29 major artists and three galleries featuring 97 more fill this full-color feast for the eyes. I found many of my favorite artists as well as some whose work was new and very inspiring to me. Even if I weren’t in it, I would have to own this book! Yum.

Abstract and Geometric is available at

Posted in Published, SAQA

Small Wonders

For all you art lovers in the Easton, PA area, be sure to see my work at the Nurture Nature Center. This cash and carry salon-style exhibit is perfect for holiday shopping.

Shop Small! Shop Local! Buy Art!

small wonders

Posted in Exhibitions

Art Quilting Studio Magazine

Run, don’t walk to your nearest Barnes and Noble to pick the latest issue of Art Quilting Studio magazine. It is chock full of beautiful textile artwork by many talented artists and my work and I are honored to be among them.

elena stokes art-quilting-studio

elena stokes art-quilting-studio-2

elena stokes art-quilting-studio-4

In my article Infinity and Beyond, I share the backstory of my inspiration for my first series, which found me leaving my comfort zone of landscapes and driving me to abstraction. I offer up a few tips and techniques, too.

I must say, I’m very impressed with this magazine. It’s hefty and feels more like a book with mostly photos and well-written articles, and very few ads. I enjoy reading about the processes and inspirations of other artists and here I found some of the best artists working in textiles today.

Posted in Published

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