Sunday, July 28, 2013

ATCs: Pasta

Rotini, capellini, penne rigate, farfalle? Mmmm... what's your favorite pasta? This month's ATC (Artist Trading Card) artists illustrated the theme, "Pasta," in the following clever, enticing and humorous ways. Mangia bene! (Good eats!)

"Bon Appetite" by Carlene J.
"Pasta... where it begins" by Karen D. 
"Pasta in Full Bloom" by Lisa H.
"Everybody Loves It" by Marilyn L.
"fusilli = corkscrew" by Veronica H. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Saturday with Edyta

Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.
I had the good fortune to be offered a ticket to the annual TVQA (Tennessee Valley Quilters Association) Assembly Day that was held this Saturday. Over 500 quilters from Tennessee, northern Alabama and northern Georgia gathered in Winchester, TN to attend the event and spend a quilt laden day with guest speaker, designer and author, Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.

Edyta's presentation, "Reasons for Quilting," was an inspirational and touching narrative of her introduction to quilting by her husband's mother and grandmother and her quilting journey that took her into designing quilts and fabrics, and authoring books that showcase her quilt patterns. Over 100 of her quilts accompanied her on stage as she told her story. Here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure.
Scrappy quilt from Edyta's collection.

She really likes scrap quilts!
Making quilts with others,,, reasons for quilting.

About a million half-square triangles from a patchwork swap.
A combination of scrappy patchwork stars with applique.
Edyta Sitar with one of her newest quilt designs.
Along with the delightful presentation by this acclaimed designer and author, I reconnected with old quilting friends and met a few new ones. Martha shared her photos from the open air quilt show in Sisters, Oregon. I enjoyed lunch with Debra and Gayle and ladies from their guild. Gayle was later sworn in as the new Secretary for the Association. Brenda, a quilter from Alabama and I exchanged stories about the quilt shops in Huntsville and found we had a mutual friend at Patches and Stitches.
4 Patch Posey quilt made with Bora Bora.
Shannon from Fabrics N Quilts had a stunning kaleidoscope quilt (4-Patch Stacked Posie pattern) made with Blank Quilting's Bora Bora collection. Notice the inner block borders and corner stones. She did a great job quilting it, too!
Detail of kaleidoscope 4-patch blocks.
Coral, from Sew Clever Fabric n More, reminded me about the upcoming "Christmas in July Shop Hop" (July 27 - August 3) in middle Tennessee. And I'll be joining Marita at The Quilters Path next Saturday, July 27, to teach my Intro to Free-Motion Quilting class.
The Rock Candy fat quarter bundles are going fast!
The vendor booths at Assembly Day were really buzzing, too. Look! The Rock Candy fat quarter bundles at The Quilters Path table were almost all gone!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why we like ATCs

Experimenting with Inktense
pencils and free-motion quilting.
A while back, I had a conversation with Cristy, a friend from my quilt guild, about my ATC (Artist Trading Card) swaps. Cristy and I both have an infatuation with surface design—oil paint sticks, foils, fabric dying, and more recently, Tsukineko inks—and wish we had more time to experiment with all the new products we encounter. 

During our discussion, I shared with her a few insights about why I think Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are the perfect project to try out cool new products and interesting techniques. Here are a few reasons:
  • ATCs have a small, finite format (2.5" x 3.5");
  • you make a limited quantity of cards;
  • you can work in a series, so can experiment with variations using a single product or technique;
  • the more ATCs you make, the more efficient you become;
  • there is a minimal time investment to have a completed project (no UFOs (UnFinished Objects));
  • you can use a variety of materials to make your cards (paper, fabric, pencils, ink, paint, thread, yarn, etc.);
  • any technique goes as long as you strive to do the best you can do;
  • the swaps have a deadline;
  • you get inspiration and ideas from the cards you receive in trade!
Aside from improving one's artistic skills, you gain knowledge about many subjects. My monthly FiberAntics ATC swaps, for example, have a theme. As I research topics that relate to the theme—famous authors, aphorisms, folklore, architecture—I learn about these topics. Sometimes, I just enjoy uncovering the trivia nuggets that reveal themselves through researching "Memorable lines for the movies" and "What did we do before we had ___?" It can be very fascinating traveling down paths I would not have considered otherwise. Search "ATCs" on this blog to see how participants interpreted past themes.

Before I wrap up this post, I must say that I've also learned a lot about problem-solving through participating in ATC swaps. Really, that's what creativity is after all—finding solutions to situations or answers to questions. Whether it's how to use a specific tool or medium, conquering the challenge of illustrating the theme, meeting the deadline, using a limited space (2.5" x 3.5") to communicate a message... I'm always rewarded with pride, and the satisfaction of solving a problem.

Any current or past ATC swap participants—feel free to add your insights/comments as well!

Artist Trading Cards... they fill a lot of needs. Try one on for size.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rounding the last corner

Quilting the borders of a Dresden plate quilt.
Ever have a quilt that you swear had 5... or even 6... corners?

You know, like when you're attaching binding by hand and you wrestle with that big Wad-O-Quilt in your lap each time you finish a section...

Or, you're quilting the borders of a large quilt and after each turn at a corner, you look ahead to see how much is left...

And, you've rounded Corner #3 and there are still two more corners to go? How could that be???

Although I am thoroughly enjoying quilting this quilt—and quite pleased with the results—I'm ready to pin it to the design wall and audition bindings.

This is a Dresden plate quilt made to feature fabrics from the Dahlia collection by Frances Newcombe of Belly Buttons Boutique. Actually, the lively butterfly print (that I chose for the border) is what inspired it.
Blank Quilting's Dahlia fabric collection in two colorways.
When I get finished, I'll tell you about my new favorite wide backingSparkle. The color I'm using on this one is called "java."
Detail of quilting on back.
Sparkle wide backing (color: java).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Getting a jump on [winter] holiday projects

The temperature is hitting the 90s, the days are long, hot and humid, and the July 4 holiday is this Thursday. Yes, most people are thinking about baseball games, pool parties, tall glasses of super-cold lemonade and fireworks. But for all you creative types—you quilters, sewers, and fabric divas—your minds have also fast forwarded to the Christmas holidays and the search for great gift and decoration ideas.
Winter placemat made with Christmas Joy panel print.
Many quilt shops are hosting Christmas in July events to provide inspiration and ideas for winter and holiday projects. Check YLS [your local shop] to see what they've got going. Christmas Joy from Blank Quilting is one fabric solution to the holiday quandary that I've been working with.
Eight different 10" blocks comprise the Christmas Joy panel.
This collection includes a panel with 8 charming holiday scenes, 4 coordinating prints featuring snowflakes and holly, and a focal fabric with Santa aboard a train traveling through a cozy, snow-covered village. I'm making placemats but there are plenty of possibilities with this fabric collection!
Free-motion machine quilting is easy to do on placemats.
This is the center of the first of four placemats made from the panel. For all you quilters that have recently taken my Intro to Free-motion Quilting class, placemats are great small projects that will give you some hands-on free-motion experience!

The 10" blocks from the panel would also make fun little pillows, chair seat pads, or pick your favorite scene and make a mini hanging for the front door. They could also be combined with pieced blocks for a cute lap quilt.
Use a coordinating fabric for the back for year-round use.
To make my placemats more versatile, I chose a black/white print (Honeybell 6599) for the back which coordinates with my black/white kitchen. This way, they are two-sided. The binding fabric is from the Starlet blender collection (color name: red), and complements the fabrics on both sides of the placemat. Attach the binding by machine and you'll be finished in no time.

So, does working with snow-themed fabrics make the temperature seem cooler? Hmmmm... What holiday projects and gifts are you working on?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...