Sunday, April 27, 2014

ATCs: When not working, you'll find me...

Life goes faster and faster each day, so it seems. According to the American Time Use Survey [Bureau of Labor Statistics], the average working person spends somewhere between 6% to 18% of their day on leisure activities and doing "other" things. So when ATC (Artist Trading Card) artists were asked to depict the theme, "When not working, you'll find me…", this is how they responded.
" When not working, you'll find me …"
Linda Smith divides her time with various quilting related activities.
"When not working, I'm Sewing"
By Liz Armstrong
"What I do when I'm not working… I enjoy being a Mom, Grandmom,
stitching, quilting, baking, reading and the great outdoors."
By Sharon Griffith
"When not working, you'll find me packed and ready to go!"
By Karen Downer
"When not working, you'll find me at Books and Bach"
By Cathy Dillon
 This ATC is an interactive one.
"When not working, you'll find me opening the refrigerator."
By Bonnie Stevens
Inside of ATC by Bonnie Stevens.
This ATC artist spends much of her non-working time making ATCs. She searched her collection and shared several of her "oldies but goodies" with us.
"Sun" by Marilyn League
"Fun Dots" by Marilyn League
"UTQG Retreat 2006"
By Marilyn League 
"Cosmos" by Marilyn League
"When I'm not working, I'm dreaming about work."
(the brain never stops)
By Veronica Hofman-Ortega
I hope this finds you not working and doing something interesting and fun… like reading this blog and enjoying these fabulous Artist Trading Cards!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The baseball Easter egg... and other dye techniques

Here are the results of the 2014 Easter egg dyeing escapade. First up are the masking tape resist dyed eggs. Notice three of these are two colors. They were twice dyed.
Resist dyed Easter eggs.
Next are the solids, the two-toned, and an attempt at marbling (upper left green and lower left almost-white). This was not as successful as Ms. Stewart would lead you to believe. The half-and-half dipped are easier and more successful.
Solids, duotones and marbled eggs.
Then come the crayon resist Easter eggs. These have the greatest color and design potential: free-motion quilting patterns, feathers, a spiral and note the yellow baseball egg... front and center.
Crayon resist dyed eggs.
 Larry even printed out a picture of an official MLB Rawlings baseball as reference.
Rawlings reference for the baseball egg.
We don't do it "half way" at our house.
MLB baseball and its twin [by another momma chicken]—the baseball egg.
(Hey Jerry, I hope you liked the baseball egg!)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Break out the Big Box of 96!

Break out the Big Box of 96 crayons! It's coloring time again.

Prepping for the annual Easter egg coloring event.
The eggs are hard boiled.

The collection of egg dippers came out of the drawer.

Butter is softening for cookies.

I rummaged through my vast assortment of cookie cutters and pulled out the bunny, chick, lamb and egg.

Oh, and I found one cutter in the shape of a hexagon—well, just because I've had hexies on my mind.

We're looking forward to several free-motion egg designs, a little shibori dying, and the traditional—and always wildly popular—baseball egg.

Hope you're enjoying the season, too.

Cookie cutters.
I wonder if the hexagon cutter will be very efficient for cookie dough cutting… we'll see.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cassandra claims her improv quilt

The improv-pieced kitty quilts are being well-used and well-loved over at the Cat Clinic. I stopped in to pick up Lucy's 6-month preventative medicine and Cassandra (the shop kitty) was in her new box on the counter.
Cassandra on the turtle quilt.
Jennifer was quick to point out that Cassandra decided to claim the quilt with the turtles for her new box.
Cassandra's choice!
This kitty is not camera shy! After I took the first picture, she promptly got up, turned around, and took a seated pose. (Or maybe she was guarding her quilt.)
Kitty quilts at the Cat Clinic.
While tidying up my studio the other day, I found another batch of scraps purrrrr-fect for improv pieced kitty quilts. I'd also like to tackle making this kitty house.
Crocheted kitty house.
Crochet instructions are on Eilen Tein's blog.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Embroidery and quilting by hand

As a new quilter, I hand embroidered this penny square. It was from a guild program about Redwork and everyone exchanged a penny for a pre-drawn design on muslin.
Hand embroidered redwork rabbit penny square
Penny square rework design.
This piece is not that big (17.25" x 14.75") but I hand quilted it. Believe it, or not! Look at the cross hatching. There is also a rope braid quilted in the outside border. Aaah, I was so ambitious and nostalgic in those days.
Braided rope border pattern.
Does everyone go through that phase where they want to do traditional hand quilting on all their quilts? Or maybe it was the guild I was in. It had a lot of members who were third-, fourth- and maybe fifth-generation traditional [hand] quilters. I didn't have the patience (nor the history in my genes) to get that good at it, so I'm glad I found free-motion machine quilting and the quilt-it-by-hand phase quickly passed. I am much better with the machine.
Redwork rabbit. Hand quilted. 17-1/4" x 15-3/4"
My current guild, the Choo Choo Quilters, is dedicating this year's programs to handwork. I presented last month's program, "Quilting with Hexagons.The April program is about embroidery on quilts, so this little bunny has come out to play at a guild once again… and just in time for Easter, too.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Applique on a rainy day

Color was blooming at my recent Beginning Appliqué class. There's nothing like being inside working with fabric, thread and stitch when it's cloudy, cool and rainy outside.
Applique flowers by hand and by machine.
Everyone takes a class for a different reason. I had a couple brand new quilters who were jumping into whatever quilting technique class was available. They just want to learn, learn, learn.
Veronica Hofman-Ortega's teaching beginning appliqué by hand and machine.
Here I am telling students about composition possibilities
for their appliqué garden quilted piece.
Especially with appliqué—which can be accomplished using so many different methods—some students come to learn a different way of doing a technique. Having a variety of techniques in your quilting toolbox and at your disposal is very handy indeed.
applique students
Students in Beginning Applique class at Pins and Needles Quilt Shop.
Some students want to learn a hand method to complement their machine work. Sometimes we just enjoy the rhythm of hand stitching and the quiet times without the hum of a sewing machine.
Applique by machine.
And one sweet student said she was taking the class because I was the teacher. Oh, you dear, sweet lady, you are so kind! I hope the class and I lived up to your expectations.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Appliqué colorful Spring blooms that last year 'round

Want to enjoy a garden filled with bright, cheery Spring blooms without getting dirt under your fingernails? Here is a solution… Appliqué it!
applique flowers
Beginning Appliqué class: "Fantasy Garden"
This whimsical little quilt is a beginner level class project for my Beginning Appliqué class. I'll be teaching this class—both hand and machine methods—this coming Monday, April 7 at Pins and Needles Quilt ShopWon't you come out and join me in the garden?

Because if you don't have this in your yard…
Quince and forsythia blooms.
or these...
Daffodils and hyacinths. 
you can create and grow these lovelies! And they will bloom all year 'round… (I promise!)
applique flower class
Applique flowers will grow anywhere!
Use this lime Candy Dots backing fabric by Blank Quilting and your garden will always be green and perky.
free-motion quilting
Free-motion quilting (back view).
Candy Dots wide backing (color: lime) by Blank Quilting.
If you want to learn how to do free-motion quilting with your home sewing machine, check my class calendar for upcoming classes.
beginning appliqué quilting class
Beginning Applique class.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Big crowd at Heirloom Quilting workshop!

No foolin'! What a crowd we had at Hyderhangout yesterday (April 1) for the Heirloom Quilting by Machine mini-workshop! I was so busy meeting, greeting and teaching that I didn't have time to take any photos. Here is an heirloom work-in-progress for which I am now rejuvenated and inspired to get back to because of teaching this class.
Heirloom machine quilting using vintage linens and antique quilt blocks.
We had quite a few free-motion quilting newbies, so Susan, the shop owner, and I will be checking our calendars to schedule a full-day Intro to Free-motion Quilting class to get the beginners off on the right foot (literally and figuratively). Let Susan know that you are interested so we can accommodate as many students as possible.
Heirloom quilting (back view).
Thanks to everyone for coming out last night! You have recharged my engine and excitement for this technique!

Here is a link to one of the quilts, Pi E2 [Exponentially Embellished], that I brought for Show and Tell. Several of the students asked about threads and free-motion time for this quilt. They are provided in this post.
Detail: Pi E2 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Heirloom Quilting Superior U workshop

Have you tried heirloom machine quilting? I've learned so much from working on this little sample and preparing for a Superior University mini workshop that I'll be guest teaching at Hyderhangout this evening. 
Heirloom machine quilting with silk thread and wool batting.
I'll be talking about the ingredients used for Heirloom Machine Quilting—like silk thread and wool batting—what I've discovered through this fun little project, pointers for free-motion quilting and I'm bringing some of my quilts for Show and Tell. Susan at Hyderhangout mentioned there was one last-minute cancellation, so if you are interested in experimenting with a new free-motion quilting technique, contact her right away to snatch up that class kit! We'll have a fun group of quilters at the shop... hope to see you there.
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