Saturday, October 31, 2015

One Cheeky Pumpkin

"Celebration Slices" pumpkin pattern,
paper pieced wall hanging.
Leftover 2.5" orange strips and scraps,

a fat quarter each of Crushed and Brushstrokes (purple) for background,

a stem of lime Splash,

an inner border of orange/black polka dots,

an outside border of Cheeky Pumpkins, and

a modified version of the Celebration Slices pattern.

Haven't decided whether to put a jack-o-lantern face on it or not.


Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A post-Halloween treat: Indulge in a quilting class

Intro to Free-motion Quilting class
After all the tricks and candy treats from Halloween, don't you deserve to treat yourself to something? Whenever I need a pick-me-up or a change of scenery for my brain, my "go-to treat" is a book, class or workshop—usually something stitching, fabric, art or tech related. Learning something new is always a treat for me.

So, if you're looking for a quilting class to exercise those brain (and stitching) muscles, my upcoming class schedule in November includes Intro to Free-motion Quilting (on your home sewing machine), and Circle in a Square,  a class on reverse appliqué.

An Intro to Free-motion Quilting class will be held at Sew Notions in Jasper, Tennessee, on Monday, November 2.

I'm also teaching Intro to Free-motion Quilting (Saturday, November 7) and Circle in a Square (Friday, November 13) is at Chattanooga Sewing in Chattanooga.
Circle in a Square reverse appliqué class

There is still time to sign up for these classes. You deserve a treat before we all get knee-deep into the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and other year-end festivities.

Take a break. 
And, treat yourself to a quilting class. I bring Show and Tell of my work to my free-motion class and the reverse appliqué is a fun time playing with pre-cut strips while learning a cool appliqué technique.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Layers: quilt as form" exhibit

"Layers: quilt as form" exhibit poster
outside Ball Hall at ETSU.
This past Thursday, I made a whirlwind four-hour drive from Knoxville to Johnson City and back to see the "Layers: Quilt as Form" exhibit at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The exhibit (on display through October 30) was curated by Patricia Mink, the head of the Fibers Program at ETSU's Art and Design department.

The impetus for me making this trip was to hear Joan Schulze present her lecture, "The Restless Explorer" at an evening reception on October 15. I took a workshop with Joan a few years ago at Shakerag that was fabulous. But once I tell you the full line-up of artists whose work is featured in this exhibit, your jaw will drop.

I spoke with Pat Mink, the show's curator, at the reception and expressed my awe of the work and the caliber of the artists that were included in the exhibit. "I made my Wish List," she explained, "and they all said, "Yes!""

"Layers: quilt as form" exhibit.
So, whose work is there?

If you are near the ETSU campus or can make a special trip this month, go and see this exhibit. The work is extraordinary and innovative. The digital technology juxtaposed with the hand techniques and hand stitching—while still reflecting on the traditional disciplines of stitched layers and quiltmaking—I found to be quite interesting and inspiring.
Limited edition program from the "Layers" exhibit.
About her presentation, Joan Schulze says, "I put together what I think is an interesting presentation that reflects how I work, where my inspiration comes from, share a few poems and illustrate what motivates me to keep going into the studio." She adds, "Hopefully the audience will come along for the ride and take home something that may inform or inspire."

Gee whiz… after seeing this exhibit, I have an in-progress guild Challenge piece that I'm thinking about bagging and starting again from scratch...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Learning "chain piecing by hand" at Paper Pieces

JoAnne demonstrates chain piecing
with English paper piecing.
You don't have to be quilting or piecing very long before your hear the term or learn "chain piecing" and realize how efficient your block assembly can be using this technique. For the newbie quilter out there, chain piecing is when you sew your fabric units together by continuously feeding the pieces under the presser foot and [chain] sewing without cutting the thread between units. Here is a video.

But did you ever consider chain piecing when doing hand work? Duh. I hadn't. It's such a simple concept, it's brilliant!

So last month when I was at Paper Pieces in Paducah, JoAnne, the shopkeeper, gave a group of quilters a demo on English paper piecing with hexagons and I learned this cool tip. You know us quilters, we like those tips and short-cuts to make the process easier. Can I get a whoop whoop???

Everyone in the group got a "starter kit" of English paper piecing hexagons and 7 fabric squares. Paper Pieces partnered with Blank Quilting on these sampler kits and Blank provided fabrics. You can see the warning on the package in the photo: "Warning: Addictive and Contagious!"
Chain piecing hexagons by hand.
What a time-saver this is when making hexies by hand! With these little 1" hexies that we got in a sample kit, you can get 3… maybe 4... hexies paper pieced without having to start a new thread or tie off. Just make a back stitch to secure and keep on going. Let those little babies dangle and keep on cruising. Here is some of the fun we had.
English paper piecing demonstration.
Working up those hexies!
Lily, the dog who lives at Paper Pieces, makes friends with anyone who will pay her some attention.
Lily makes friends with visitors to Paper Pieces.
Lily watches for visitors coming up the front walk.
Lily watches for visitors.
Thank you to JoAnne, Jess and Cathy at Paper Pieces for your hospitality and another great visit! Seems I'm making a habit of visiting this place every time I'm in Paducah. [Here is a previous post.] EPP (English paper piecing) paraphernalia, quilt samples, books, inspiration and a big friendly dog. Hey, what's not to like??
Paper Pieces, Paducah, KY
Here is the EPP gang on the front porch of Paper Pieces.
Quilting friends at Paper Pieces, Paducah, KY.
And this is my finished English paper pieced hexie flower. I'll have to find a special project for it.
English paper piecing hexagon flower.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Quilting on your home sewing machine: Yes, you can!

Free-motion machine quilting and
Big Stitch hand quilting.
Do you free-motion quilt? This little pouch has free-motion machine quilting as well as Big Stitch hand quilting. They complement each other, don't you think?

Free-motion quilting is therapeutic for me and I quilt all my quilts—big and small—on a home sewing machine.

Would you like to learn to free-motion quilt on your home machine?

I am teaching my Intro to Free-motion Quilting classes in October, November and early December in several Tennessee and Georgia quilt shops and sewing centers. Check my class schedule and contact the shops to reserve your space. This Saturday, I'll be teaching at Pins and Needles quilt shop.

Not to worry, my Intro to Free-motion Quilting class is a beginner class! No prior machine quilting experience is necessary. I give lots of free-motion information, tips, demos and we also talk about inspiration for quilting designs (I bring show and tell). And you'll do this on your home sewing machine. Yes, you can do it!

Last Saturday, I attended the Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild meeting and guild members, Gerry and Camille, showed quilts they quilted on their home sewing machine. These quilts were not small wall hangings. They were good sized lap quilts! Way to go, ladies.

You can absolutely do free-motion quilting (and straight line quilting) on your home sewing machine! Join me for an upcoming class and I'll teach you. And, here's Tim Latimer's blog post and a video on Big Stitch if you want to add a little Slow Stitching to the mix. Quilt on!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

ATCs: Art Deco

"Art Deco" by Diane Pineschi
Every period in history is reflected in its art. Art Deco—taking its name from the 1925 expo held in Paris, the L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernesis an eclectic style that reflected the industrialization, sophistication and technology of the time (1920s - 1940s).

Art Deco was the theme for the September FiberAntics Artist Trading Card [ATC] swap. In these ATCs you'll find the geometric, symmetrical and ornamental characteristics of the style depicted in architecture, fashion and literature. The style of Art Deco is still emulated today.

"Art Deco" by Karen Downer 
"Art Deco in Chicago 1933"
by Liz Armstrong
"Deco Calling" by Patti Moreland

"Art Deco Chicago Style"
by Cathy Dillon

"Better Living through Modern Chemistry Art Deco Style"
by Marilyn League

"Art Deco" by Sharon Griffith

"A little Art Deco quilting design"
by Bonnie Stevens

"Art Deco jewelry" by Debbie Joyner
"Art Deco" by Judy Parton

"Art Deco" by Dawn Spagna
"Art Deco" by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
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