Saturday, January 31, 2015

Angle Improv: an unscripted technique

Looking for a fabric adventure with a package of 2.5" pre-cut strips?
Student quilt top made from Sumatra batik pre-cut strips [by Blank Quilting]
 in the Angle Improv class.
Join me for the Angle Improv class on Saturday, February 7 at Hyderhangout (423) 715-2908, and see what you can do with a package of 2.5" pre-cut strips and some scraps! The quilt top shown here was made with Sumatra batik Fabrications by Blank Quilting Corp. and scraps from this quilter's stash. What could be easier and more fun?
The "project"" (and I use the term loosely) for this class is free-form, unscripted, and the technique is very liberating. See what fun students had in a previous class here. It's improv! As Drew Carey might say, "the measurements are made up and the points don't count."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On the road to Springfield with Free-motion Quilting

Intro to Free-motion Quilting class
at The Fabric Shop in Springfield, TN
I'm elated that so many people are interested in learning to free-motion quilt lately. Whether quilters are threading a hand quilting needle, using the walking foot, or dropping the feed dogs to do the free-motion thread dance (like me!), it means that lots of lovely quilt tops are getting finished… so these quilts can be enjoyed!

Last Saturday, we celebrated National Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day by visiting our local shops, purchasing fabrics or gadgets for new projects, or taking a class. A huge Thank You goes out to our beloved, hard-working quilt shop owners for keeping us inspired with unique new fabric collections, encouraging our creativity, and offering classes so we can learn new techniques, improve our skills and share our passion for quiltmaking with each other.

This Saturday, January 31, I'll again be sharing my love for free-motion quilting in Springfield, TN at The Fabric Shop. Donna Sandidge, the shop's owner, had an overflowing response to a charity quilt sew-a-thon last weekend for Visit YLQS Day. She is following it up with my Intro to Free-motion Quilting class this Saturday. Back-to-back quilting Saturdays—what a blast!

There are a few seats available in the class, so call the shop immediately (615) 382-5600 or leave a message on The Fabric Shop's Facebook page so they can get your kit ready.

Here is a peek of what I'm bringing for Show and Tell.
Free-motion quilting on a home sewing machine.

"Sidewalk Surprise" detail of machine quilting.
Free-motion quilting, "Radiant Triangles."
"Pi E2" detail of free-motion quilting.
So, if you want to see this quilting up close, come on out to The Fabric Shop in northern Tennessee for some free-motion quilting fun! I've got lots of information and inspiration to share.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reverse Appliqué with Circle in a Square

Despite the frosty weather, my 3-day visit with the quilters in Huntsville at Huntsville Sew and Vac was absolutely delightful. I'm still astounded that so many of the students completed the table runner project from the "Circle in a Square" reverse appliqué class. Several of them even used this project in the afternoon class to work on free-motion background filler designs in my new "Fillers, Spillers and Thrillers" class. They are super productive quilters!
Terri (left) and Gisele with their reverse appliqué blocks.
Ginger (left) and Diane completed multiple blocks for their table runners.
The "Circle in a Square" pattern [by my friend Janice Pope of Anything But Boring] is perfect for using the pre-cut strip packages like Fabrications from Blank Quilting Corp. Here are the students making blocks from their strip sets.
Cutting blocks from the strip sets. Teamwork!
At the ironing stations, the reverse appliqué blocks are pressed prior to machine stitching.
Pressing the appliqué blocks.
Reverse applique Circle in a Square block using the Pretty in Pink
Fabrications strip set by Blank Quilting Corp.
Reverse applique Circle in a Square block using the Skidoodles
Fabrications strip set by Blank Quilting Corp..
Once these quilters mastered the reverse appliqué technique with the first block, they were off and running!
Reverse appliqué class, "Circle in a Square"
at Huntsville Sew and Vac.
Several experimented with multiple appliqué layers, asymmetrical layouts, different shapes and creative patchwork.
Trying different appliqué shapes.
Here are Denise, Maureen and Susan with their completed "Circle in a Square" table runners.
Circle in a Square class projects. From left: Denise, Maureen and Susan. 
Great job!

Friday, January 23, 2015

National Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day

Local Quilt Shop DaySaturday, January 24, is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day. Will you be visiting yours? I do hope so!

Support YLS [your local shop(s)] and vote with your dollars for these small businesses. Click here for 10 reasons to shop locally.

I'll be spending Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day teaching Intro to Free-Motion Quilting to a group of quilters at Hyderhangout Quilt Fabric and More in Cleveland, TN.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Free-motion quilting class, Saturday in Cleveland, TN

Intro to Free-motion Quilting class.
Beginner level—no free-motion experience necessary!
After a fabulous 2 days of quilting with the Huntsville quilters [more details and pics to come], I'll be teaching my Intro to Free-motion Quilting on a home sewing machine again this Saturday, January 24 at Hyderhangout Quilt Fabric and More in Cleveland, TN.

We had a packed classroom last year when I taught at this shop and the students came away with inspiration, confidence and new free-motion designs they wanted to try... and a confirmation that there are indeed NO Quilt Police!

So, what about it?

Would you like to learn how to do quilt something like this...
Free-motion quilting using a domestic sewing machine.
 or get some tips on how to quilt this?
Free-motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine.
Contact Susan at (423) 715-2908 to reserve a spot (if there are any left).
Free-motion quilted feather design.
Then, I'll be back at Hyderhangout on February 7 for a liberating and fun piecing technique class. I'm teaching Angle Improv where "the measurements are made up and the points don't count." While you're at it, sign up for a double-header!
Angle Improv class, February 7, 2015.
Where the measurements are made up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Teaching quilting classes in Huntsville this weekend

My friends at Huntsville Sew and Vac have invited me back to teach for two days! I had a great time last year hanging out with a delightful group of quilters, Donna the owner, and her terrific staff.

This weekend, January 16 - 17, I'll be teaching 3 quilting classes: "Intro to Free-motion Quilting" on a domestic machine, "Circle in a Square" reverse appliqué table runner, and my newest class, "Fillers, Spillers and Thrillers."

If you live nearby or you'll be in the Huntsville area, give them a call (256) 536-3757 and join us for a class or two—or three. Check their web site for a special class bundle price.
"Fillers, Spillers and Thrillers"
free-motion quilting class.
We'll be dropping the feed dogs and putting the pedal to the metal with lots of free-motion quilting. 
 Get ready to do some stitching!
And bring your sketchbook—drawing and designing will be happening in the Fillers class.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Free-motion quilting: A Peppered Feather

"Peppered Feather" 18" x 24"
Made with Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory
for StudioE Fabrics.
Hey there, Quilters! Have you tried Peppered Cottons? This is a line of shot cottons, designed by quilting icon, Pepper Cory, for StudioE Fabrics. It's one of the new fabric lines I'm representing and I wanted to get my hands on some yardage to try free-motion quilting with it. I used a few Peppered Cottons in my guild Challenge piece, Blue Rhino Moon, and was pleased with the result. Now here is my free-motion foray with them.

The dark green is Jungle 29 and the red violet square is Magenta 42. The other fabrics are from Blank Quilting Corp's Splash and Crushed blender lines with a piece of Watermark from StudioE. The red binding is Fusion Illusion [Blank Quilting]. See how they all play well together?

If you're not familiar with the term, shot cottons are 100% cotton fabrics that are woven with 2 different colors of threads—one color for the warp, and another color for the weft. The weft thread is on the shuttle with is "shot" through the shed [the opening between the threads on the loom] as the textile is woven.

These fabrics have a chambray, somewhat iridescent look to them. From a distance, they look like solids, but up close they have more richness and spice and aren't flat like solids. Here is a blog post by Pepper, the designer, with info and tips. A PDF for download provided by StudioE is here.
Detail of free-motion quilting.
The 50 wt. cotton thread [Aurifil] used for the free-motoin background fills melds beautifully with the shot cottons.
Detail of free-motion quilting.
The aqua thread used for the feather is a new (to me) cotton thread by Floriani. It is a variegated 40 wt 3-ply cotton (color Oceanic). I needed something to contrast the dark green background. The Peppered Cottons provided a luscious background to set off the contrasting color of the thread.
Floriani 40 wt cotton (aqua) and
Aurifil 50 wt cotton quilting threads.
The backing fabric is a small piece of Candy Dots 108" [Blank Quilting Corp.] and Botton Line [Superior Threads] 60 wt. thread is what I used in the bobbin. Yes, I did change the bobbin thread colors.
View of quilting on the back.
You may be familiar with other shot cottons on the market. Westminster makes a line designed by the ever-talented Kaffe Fassett—and we all know Kaffe's fabulous color sense! Quilters will notice that the Peppered Cottons have an equivalent weight to the quilting cottons which they are used to. The Westminster shots have slightly more drape and a finer/thinner hand.
"Peppered Feather"
18" x 24"
I'm working on another piece that combines Peppered Cottons and a black/white charm square collection from Blank Quilting. All the fabrics have the same weight and drape. This makes piecing easy and very manageable.
In-progress: quilting cottons and Peppered Cottons combined.
The Peppered Cottons collection has 50 basic colors and a whole line of "fancies" that include stripes, a small check and a jumbo plaid in lush color combinations. If you want a geometric, modern or masculine vibe for a quilt or home dec project, give these a try!
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