PAQA, The Professional Art Quilt Alliance was formed in January, 1993 by Barb Albrecht, Maureen Bardusk, Melody Johnson, Ruth Reyonlds, and Laura Wasilowski. All had been members of other quilt organizations but felt the need to develop a new group with specific aims for the innovative art quilt and art garment field:

  • Bring work and show work
  • Encourage new artists in the field
  • Network
  • Discuss professional issues
  • Share wisdom, experience and friendship

As part of this effort, it was decided to invite known art quilters and garment artists, and to have an open door policy for new members. It was also decided that there would be no hierarchy, nor business meetings, and the only dues would be to cover the cost of rent and website.

Numerous individuals in the group are renowned nationally and internationally for their art work, teaching and publications in the innovative art quilt and wearable art fields.

We have shared in events such as a Surface Design Contest, occasional program speakers, workshops with invited artists, exhibits of our work, a fashion show, a garage sale, and retreats scheduled for October and March. In April 2005, we sponsered Keiko Goke of Japan, Alyson Stanfield, art coach, in 2010; Jane Dunnewold, making art strategies, 2012; Jan Myers-Newbury, shibori techniques, 2013.

New and old members alike continue to be inspired by the work we show each other, and are encouraged in their efforts to grow and succeed as artists.


PAQA has held the following group exhibits:

  • Impressions
  • Illumination
  • Improvisation
  • Explorations
  • The Midwest
  • Art & Science Challenge
  • “I didn’t know art could be political!”
  • Water Challenge
  • Orchid Exhibit
  • PAQA Color
  • PAQA Post
  • Revisions
  • Small Works
  • The Fineline Show
  • Small Works II A & B