Friday, July 29, 2011

ATC Movie trivia winner

Congratulations to Judith for being the first to answer Bonnie's ATC Movie Challenge correctly! The movie was 1955 Academy award winner, "Picnic." The prize from Bonnie is a Lazy Girl bag and a piece of hand-dyed fabric for your stash. The bag is so cute, Bonnie! I love the tape measure fabric. Thanks for a fun Challenge!
Lazy Girl bag and hand-dyed fabric, compliments of ATC artist, Bonnie.
ATC themes for upcoming swaps are posted here, and ATC guidelines are here. Leave a comment if you want to participate and join in the fun.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ATCs: Memorable lines from the Movies, and a Challenge

What is your movie genre of choice? Do you have a favorite movie heartthrob? Maybe these memorable lines from the movies—depicted here in Artist Trading Cards—will remind you of some silver screen classics. Can you guess the movie and the character who said theses lines?
Left: "Shaken, not stirred."
Right: "Play Misty for me."
Left: "Help me, Cecile!"
Right: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."
The ATC artist who created the ATC below has issued a Challenge. The first person to correctly identify who said the line and in what movie, will receive a gift from her. Leave a comment below if you want to take a guess.
Above: "A well's a hole in the ground, Howard."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Applique quilt and class

New applique quilt class.
This quilt design has been in the works for a long time. I designed the appliqué blocks several years ago and was motivated to finish the design of the quilt because several of my Beginning Quilting students requested a class on appliqué.

So, here it is... an appliqué garden with mix and match fantasy flowers.

I'll be teaching this class, "How does your Appliqué Garden grow?" on September 19 and again on October 25 at Chattanooga Sewing. The technique I use can be done by hand or by machine. The flowers are detailed with a bit of hand embroidery as I like the mix of hand and machine stitching.

I tested Superior Threads new So Fine #30 (formerly Brytes) polyester thread on this quilt. It appears mostly in the borders as a background fill. I was curious about this thread's performance so I used a color that blended with the fabrics.  This thread comes in 50 solid colors. I got a small selection of colors and took advantage of the introductory sale price (which I think goes through the end of this month, if you're interested). I used a 90/14 quilting needle (Superior recommends #100/16 topstitch) and Bottom Line in the bobbin. The threads worked like a champ. I'll be looking for a future project on which to use this thread as more of a focal point to really let it sing.

If you want to give appliqué a try, join me in class and see how your applique garden grows.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New class: Make a T-shirt Treasures Quilt

We all have them—commemorative T-shirts from vacations, sports, concerts, etc. that we no longer wear but can't bear to toss. Here's a way to preserve those precious memories and de-clutter your closets at the same time: make a T-shirt quilt!
T-shirt Treasures quilt class.
I'll be teaching a class on how to make a quilt from T-shirts called, "T-shirt Treasures Quilt," in August at Chattanooga Sewing Machines. Contact them to sign up. T-shirt quilts make great birthday, graduation and Christmas gifts.
"If Life gives you T-shirts, make a Quilt!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making a label for a nameless quilt

When I visited the Crazy Quilters guild earlier this month for my Visual Language of Quilting presentation, I brought along this quilt as part of my trunk show. (It has lots of quilted feather designs on it.) However, I noticed it did not have a label because it was still without a name. Having a captive audience of experienced quilters and creative thinkers, I asked for assistance on giving this pretty quilt a name.
Here are their suggestions: Pansies out Pat's Window, Asian Feathers and Flowers, Forest Pansy, Purple Pansies for Pat, Feathers for Pat, Fancy Pansies for Pat, Pansies at Pat's Window, Pansies in the Grass with Diamonds, Pansies Four, Pretty Pansies for Pat, A Rich Relationship, Pansies on Point, Feathers, Flowers and Fun, Box of Pansies, Pat's Poppin' Poppies, Flower Beds, A Walk through Pat's Garden. Other suggestions include: Flowering Treasures, Happy Pansies, Flower Boxes, and Birthday Bouquet.

Thanks, Crazy Quilters, for your wonderful ideas and suggestions! I will press the owner of this quilt to make the final decision... and I'll get that label attached. After all, I should practice what I preach: "Document your quilts! Make and attach a label."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Innovative Piecing program

Innovative Piecing program with the
Choo Choo Quilters. Monday, July 18.
Two fellow guild members and I will be doing a program on Innovative Piecing tomorrow evening for our guild, the Choo Choo Quilters. Visitors are welcome at the guild meetings. Join us at 6:30 pm. if you can.

This is another lesson in our year-long Inspirational Quilting program.

Great inspiration, ideas and projects using innovative piecing techniques can be found in these books.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Visual Language of Quilting presentation

What a great turn out at the Crazy Quilters quilt guild meeting today! Nearly 30 members were in attendance for my presentation, "The Visual Language of Quilting" and free-motion quilting demonstration.
My quilt angels, Sharon and Vicky, assisted with my trunk show.
Here there are with my quilt, "Break free. Take flight."
In the presentation, I discussed the various roles the quilting plays and how it contributes to the telling of the quilt's story. The quilt above, "Break Free. Take Flight," is a good illustration of the quilting (a bird cage from which the bird has escaped) taking a leading role in the composition. Below, "Sedona Desert Rose," has a more traditional flavor in style, fabric and color choices and the quilting motifs follow suit.

Here is Vicky modeling my hand dyed quilted vest with origami roses. Her pretty salmon colored blouse is the perfect complement.
Along with the trunk show, the Crazy Quilters guild asked for a demonstration on free-motion quilting. During the demo, we had a great discussion about threads, thread weight and fiber content, needles, and machine tension.
I use Machingers quilting gloves when I free-motion quilt.
I brought an example of machine trapunto along for the trunk show. I'm developing a class on this technique and hope to be offering it soon.
Machine trapunto.
The members of this guild are prolific quilters. Nearly everyone had one or more quilts for their meeting Show and Tell. I was particularly impressed with their charity quilt contributions. There were at least 12 to 15 quilts turned in for Project Linus and several mini quilts for a neonatal unit of a local hospital. See a slide show here.

Thank you, Crazy Quilters, for the invitation to speak at your guild. And to Karen and Linda for taking the photos. I spent a delightful morning with a warm and talented group of quilters.
Crazy Quilters quilt guild—July meeting.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Presentation at Crazy Quilters guild

I've been invited to present "The Visual Language of Quilting" at the Crazy Quilters quilt guild tomorrow. This stack of 15+ quilts is going along for the trunk show. Boy, fabric is heavy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Floral inspiration and using a viewfinder

In an earlier post, I wrote about using a viewfinder in the design workshop I attended at Shakerag. Someone asked me about the viewfinder, so I thought I'd share more about the design process and using a viewfinder.

For one our design exercises, the inspiration source was floral. There are many varieties of wild flowers that grow on the campus where the workshop was held, so finding a source was easy.

For this exercise, we could use any drawing or painting materials including colored pencils, pastels, markers, acrylics, watercolors, etc. to capture the essence or some aspect of the source. We worked on large sheets of drawing and watercolor paper. I did some contour drawings and color studies with colored pencils, pastels and watercolor paints.

Contour drawings and sketches.

From these drawings, we used a 1-inch square viewfinder to find and isolate an interesting portion.
Using the 1-inch viewfinder.

This mini composition was then enlarged and refined. We learned how to configure a repeat so the design could be woven or printed on fabric.

Pattern from a floral inspiration.
This is Jeannie's design from her floral inspiration. I love the boldness and graphic appearance, and the movement created by the diagonal lines. This would make a stunning fabric print for quilting cottons, as well as home dec, apparel or accessories. Quilters—what do you think?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Na-na naaah naah... goodbye (to the mess)

We got our street widened yesterday! After over 2 months, the trucks finally picked up the brush, limbs and tree trunks that lined the street after the April 27 tornado.
Brush and trees after the wake of the tornado.
Crew and trucks cleared away the piles.

On an earlier walk with the dogs, I found beautiful and inspiring patterns in the cross sections of many of the sawed tree trunks.

The shade and beautiful greenery provided by these big trees is greatly missed in our neighborhood.
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