Sunday, September 9, 2018

Quilt with oil paint stick embellishments gets washed

This quilt was made about 10 years ago. The design was inspired by an antique coverlet from the crazy patch era of quiltmaking.
Quilt embellished with Shiva oil paintsticks. 54" x 64"
The centers of the blocks were hand embellished using Shiva Artist's Paintstiks and rubbing plates. Remember when oil paint sticks came on the radar of the art quilters? I was there. Yep, I was experimenting with them.
Centers of the quilt blocks embellished with oil paintsticks and rubbing plates.
So instead of decorative hand embroidery stitches on the blocks of this crazy patch-inspired quilt, I decorated the blocks by hand with colorful iridescent oil paints.
Free-motion quilting using Mirage, a 30 wt. rayon thread.
I was also new to free-motion quilting and crushing on Mirage, a 30 wt. rayon thread, and Accent, a 12 wt. rayon thread from Wonderfil Specialty Threads. These variegated threads have gorgeous colorways. It was easy to show them off on the black sashing and solid batiks used in this quilt.
The color of the paintstiks before washing.

Last week, I decided to wash this quilt to see how the oil paints would hold up. 
The paintstick colors held up from washing.
They did just great! No noticeable loss of color saturation. The quilt was washed in cool water, gentle cycle on speed wash (yes, in the washing machine). As expected, the 100% cotton batting caused the typical fabric puckering, but that was about all that changed.
Detail: block embellished with oil paint sticks after washing.
I've used the Artist's Paintstiks for surface design on other fabric items. It's a fun process and there is an abundance of rubbing plates, textures, stencils and the like that you can use with them. Follow the directions for use, care and how to work with these oil paints on fabric. There is a time period you must wait for the oils to dissipate before washing... but it's much less than 10 years.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

I'm taking the September Textile Love Challenge

This summer, I joined the #100Days100blocks2018 Challenge. This was my first virtual stitch-along and I'm enjoying it. A recent Instagram post by a friend introduced me to the UK-based textile community, Seam Collective. Seam Collective is issuing their second September Textile Love Challenge. I decided to jump on board!
This is my Textile Love "Introduction" photo to my chaotic studio space with its
wild, uncontrollable yet colorful design wall. Only 2 WIPs on it today.
This is my "Introduction" post photo on Instagram, where the Challenge is hosted using hashtag #SeptTextileLove. I'm not experienced with selfies (nor do I like them much), so just take in the color in the background... or the lovely Art Gallery knit fabric I'm wearing. Be sure to follow me at veronica.fiberantics to see my responses to the SeptTextileLove daily prompts.
Daily prompt worksheet for the Seam Collective September Textile Love Challenge.
On the Seam blog, you can download a worksheet with the full month of daily prompts issued for the Challenge. Here's my worksheet amidst the Majestic batik scraps I'm using for the 100 Blocks Challenge. Yep, my cutting board looks much like my design wall.

I would like to use some of the Textile Love prompts on new work—or in-progress pieces that have stalled. But I'm OK with experiments and practice swatches. I believe that every piece you start doesn't need to be finished. Sometimes a piece serves a temporary purpose for experimentation, skill building, auditioning... or ya just need to busy your hands. If I don't used a prompt for doing hands-on work, it will motivate a search for inspiring photos from my archives. A revisit to inspiration from the past is a good thing, too.

September always reminds me of the end of summer, the saturated colors of Fall, going back to school, and the opportunity and possibilities for learning new things! This September Textile Love Challenge fits this so well.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

100 days 100 blocks progress

I saw a billboard last week that read, "Unplug to Recharge." Sounds like an oxymoron... but it has validity and it's darned good advice! So with that, I took a few hours last weekend to step away from the computer and retreat to the sewing machine.

With 77 blocks complete, I’m 3/4 of the way to completing the City Sampler blocks from the book, "100 Modern Quilt Blocks." These are Blocks 1 through 25.
Blocks 1-25. 100 Modern Quilt Blocks City Sampler quilt.
Made with Majestic Batiks.

Blocks 26 through 50.
Blocks 26-50. 100 Modern Quilt Blocks City Sampler quilt.
Made with Majestic Batiks.

And Blocks 51 through 75.
Blocks 51-75. 100 Modern Quilt Blocks City Sampler quilt.
Made with Majestic Batiks.
My stack of these 6-inch beauties is growing tall. It will be a fun exercise on the design wall once all 100 blocks are complete. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Trunk Show and Space quilt exhibit at Birdsong Quilting

"Mother Earth: Her Face Evolving"
by Christine Schramm Cetrulo. Celebrating the art of
quilting at Birdsong Quilting, Embroidery and Crafts.
There is a wonderful art quilt exhibit at Birdsong Quilting, Embroidery and Crafts, featuring the work of members of the Quilt Artists of Kentucky (QAK), an auxiliary group of the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society. The exhibit has several pieces from "Space: The Final Frontier Challenge" and other art quilts by members of the group.

While at the exhibit, I met Christine Schramm Cetrulo, a member of QAK. Christine was teaching a fabric painting class at Birdsong—introducing quilters and sewers to fun and exciting techniques for embellishing fabric. Here is one of Christine's quilts, "Mother Earth: Her Face Evolving" that is on display at the shop. Amazing work!

A Trunk Show: quilts and wearables
As part of the month-long celebration of quilting and quilt artistry at Birdsong Quilting, Shannon, the owner, asked if I would come and do a trunk show of my work. 

It was a pleasure to be included in the celebration and fun to share my quilts and wearables with the Kentucky quilters that came out to see my show and tell. It's been a while since I've shown "finished" pieces, so it was good to be able to show how the quilting adds to the design and composition of a piece. (We did a lot of looking at the quilt backs.)

Examples of the diversity of fabrics available at Birdsong:
ikats and yarn-dyed textured cottons from Diamond Textiles, knits from Art Gallery,
batiks from Majestic Batiks, and art panels from Frond Design Studios.

I had a sampling of quilts, guild Challenges, art quilts, free-motion quilting and apparel (jackets, blouses, knit tops and pants). A few of the attendees said that this was their first trunk show so I hope they got a good dose of inspiration and a broad range of possibilities and ideas for new projects.

My trunk show included examples of quilts and wearables.

The dialog with the attendees at my trunk show was lively. Their questions were thoughtful and inquisitive. Questions spanned a range of topics including: free-motion quilting, the whats and whys of bobbin thread, quilt facings, sewing machine needles, yarn-dyed vs. printed cotton fabrics, patterns for garment sewing, and the different fabrics—knits, canvas, rayon, etc.—that are now available to quilt shops from fabric manufacturers of quilting cottons. Birdsong Quilting has a great selection of fabrics for quilting as well as sewing. The store also offers classes and events to support these endeavors.

Quilting cottons, ikat, textured wovens, batiks, hand-dyed, shibori
can be used for wearables and garments
Thank you to Shannon for the kind invitation and to the staff at Birdsong that helped with the set-up and logistics of the trunk show.

If you are in Georgetown, KY (Lexington, KY area) in August, stop in to see the art quilt exhibit at Birdsong Quilting. Shop Birdsong's wonderful selection of fabrics, notions, books and supplies and take your next quilting or sewing project to another level... or out of this world!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Farmer's Wife goes EPP with Art Gallery Fabrics

There are a lot of stitch-alongs, sew-alongs, quilt-alongs (and knit-alongs, for that matter) available for makers. Some are hosted through local quilt shops, some through on-line sources. These programs help makers tackle a big project by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable bites. The latest program I've encountered is The Farmer's Wife.
The Farmer's Wife Sew-along with Paper Pieces and Art Gallery Fabrics.

Paper Pieces, a well-known creator of English Paper Piecing [EPP] products, has teamed up with Laurie Aaron Hird to re-create The Farmer's Wife sampler quilt using the English paper piecing technique. See the Say Hello to Farmer's Wife blog post for an introduction to the program.

The Farmer's Wife English Paper Piecing kits and instruction book.
The EPP paper templates are perforated and come with pieces for the sashing and cornerstone. The blocks are 6 inches and the book is needed for assembly instructions.
EPP paper templates include sashing and cornerstone templates.
So when each block is complete, you can assemble as you go if you choose.

Art Gallery Fabrics

Paper Pieces chose Art Gallery Fabrics Color Masters for a beautiful, 21st century colorwash version of a 1920s era sampler quilt. Color Masters by AGF come in 10-piece curated selections of either fat quarters or half-yard cuts. The Farmer's Wife sampler uses the fat quarter boxes (available through Paper Pieces or YLQS (your local quilt shop)). Paper Pieces has made it easy for the stitch-along participants by creating a color layout for the colorwash sampler. It's available on their website here.

Gnome Angel, your stitch-along hostess
Looking for additional support, tips and stitching camaraderie? Angie Wilson of the GnomeAngel blog is hosting The Farmer's Wife Stitch-along. There is also a Facebook page and Instrgram hashtag, #FW1920EPPSAL, for your virtual Show and Tell and prize eligibility.

Kick-off date: August 24
The official launch date for The Farmer's Wife stitch-along is August 24. EPP kits and Color Masters fabrics are available now so you can get a jump on planning a beautiful colorwash sampler. I'm told there will be a break for Thanksgiving and December holidays, so don't panic.

Are you in? EPP is portable, so you can take it with you and work on your blocks anywhere. You'll also enjoy reading the stories of the women across the country who were married to farmers in the 1920s. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

25 out of 100: The City Sampler blocks

These are the first 25 blocks of the 100 blocks of the City Sampler quilt. This sew-along—hosted by GnomeAngel—started July 7 (see my blog post here) and we are a quarter of the way through it... making steady progress.
Blocks 1 to 25 out of 100.

I do keep ahead of the Instagram post dates. Blocks 1 through 39 are in this pile. Closeups of each of my blocks are on my Instagram feed at veronica.fiberantics.
Blocks 1 through 39 for the City Sampler quilt.

It's been a delight to experiment with the various designs and color combinations from Majestic Batiks that I'm using for this sampler challenge. At first, I was following fabric and value placement shown in the required book, "100 Modern Quilt Blocks." Now, I come up with my own color and value placement and I'm finding this more interesting and engaging. It is a more mindful process for me. And because each block is a different pattern, I like the focus on making just a single block from that pattern.

One block at a time... the sampler continues...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A rippin' good Art Weave workshop with the Bulloch Hall Quilters

Christie with her Art Weave piece.
I knew it. I just knew it!

The Bulloch Hall Quilters were a lively, fun, out-of-the-box bunch of quilters that embraced the Art Weave technique. I had so much fun with them in my workshop last week.

As each student introduced herself—mostly for my benefit because they knew each other from the guild—it quickly became evident that this was a group of experienced and multi-disciplined quiltmakers.

Most of the women indicated they make all kinds of quilts—traditional, contemporary and art quilts. Some liked appliqué, there were some garment sewers, and one or two relative beginner quiltmakers in the group, but overall, they were self-proclaimed "eclectic" and "multi-faceted" quilters. One even traveled from South Carolina to take the workshop.

My kind of group!

Ideas for Art Weave
Art Weave is a fun, no-fuss, liberating technique. I was able to borrow two Art Weave pillows from my sweet MIL, so along with my two samples, I had several examples at the workshop of the potential this technique has to offer.
Art Weave examples.

Beginning the process
The ripping and stripping part is my favorite step in the process to watch!
Ms. P took to it like a pro!

Ellen is making strips for the violets.

It was great to have my friend and former business associate, Karen, in the workshop.

Janet (center) is the current guild President and Holly (standing, left)
was my hostess and did a great job preparing and packaging the class kits. 

Katy was a relatively new quilter but was fearless
with the Art Weave technique.

Here is Lisa, the previous guild President.

I'm always interested in why people choose to take a particular workshop, especially one that does not employ a "typical" quiltmaking technique. Common responses are:
  • I saw your sample and wanted to make this project.
  • I like to learn new things. I am a workshop junkie.
  • I like to work with and make things with fabric. 
  • I wanted to learn how to use these large, artistic, floral prints.

Adding to this list came the following insights from the Bulloch Hall Quilters. (I love these!)
  • The supply list was short!
  • I didn't have to bring my sewing machine to the class.
  • I didn't have to bring a rotary cutter or those large cutting mats.
Diane (left) and Ardie weaving.

Joan chose wider strips for her Art Weave iris.

Helga created her piece with multi-width strips.
I can't wait to see this one finished.
Ms. P weaving one of the iris prints.

When the workshop concluded, we were all treated to a lovely and tasty "Salad and Dessert" potluck lunch. (Great idea, Holly.) By the way, these women are talented cooks, too!

Art Weave workshop with the Bulloch Hall Quilters.

I appreciate the invitation to teach this workshop for the Bulloch Hall Quilters. I did a trunk show program for them in May, but their schedule could not accommodate a workshop at that time. Generally, this guild does not hold guild meetings or events during the summer, but they were flexible in working with my travel schedule and I am so happy they did.

A summer get-together making fabric art with friends was refreshing and energizing! I can't wait to see all their finished Art Weave pieces. Bulloch Hall Quilters: Please post pics of your projects on Facebook and Instagram with hashtags #artweave and #frondfabrics.  Follow me on IG at veronica.fiberantics.

Thanks again to Holly for coordinating the workshop and to her and her husband, Ken, for their gracious hospitality!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Art Weave with the Bulloch Hall Quilters

The wonderful quilters from the Bulloch Hall quilt guild have invited me to teach an Art Weave class for them next week. I did a trunk show for this guild in May and this time we'll be doing "hands on" rippin' and weavin' with fabric.
Art Weave class: making fabric art with large scale prints.

This is a fun and creative class and I know I'll have a blast with these quilters. I also get to hang out with my friend, Holly Anderson, a certified quilt appraiser, pattern writer and instructor. We always have great conversations about quilting and the textile industry when we're together.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

100 Days 100 Blocks: 15 day progress

Anyone else doing (or following) the 100 Days 100 Blocks 2018 Sew-Along? I'm making my 6" blocks with a variety of Majestic Batiks and I'm quite pleased with the results so far.
Progress on my City Sampler blocks.
The process has been fun and there's wonderful daily camaraderie out on Instagram (follow #100days100blocks2018) from other quilters participating in the 100-day project. The book that the sew-along is following starts out with blocks that have crosses.

Here are my first 9 blocks.
First 9 blocks from the book, "Tula Pink's City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks."

Getting to knooow you, getting to know all about... color
It has been great getting more familiar with the beautiful colors and designs that Majestic offers in their batiks. With each block, I challenge myself to audition different color and value options. It's been a good learning experience in working with the subtleties of color hues.
Auditioning and cutting batiks for my City Sampler quilt.

I'm seeing a colorwash quilt top in the future.
City Sampler 6" quilt blocks using Majestic batiks.

I'm veronica.fiberantics on Instagram. Be sure to follow along to see daily quilt block progress.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

100 days and 100 quilt blocks—can you do it?

Sew-alongs are excellent sources for motivation, inspiration and assistance for completing a project. A little peer-pressure and daily, weekly or monthly deadlines don't hurt, either, in keeping one "on task."
"Block 1" and "Block 2" out of 100 blocks.

I've decided to take part in the #100days100blocks2018 Sew-Along hosted by blogger, Angie Wilson, of There are tons of quilters from around the world engaging in this daily, 6-inch block-making activity from July 7 to October 14, 2018.

100 quilt blocks in 100 days?
Not that I need another project... but a recent Instagram "reminder" post from a new quilting friend, Angie, at Stitch Morgantown said that the First Day of #100days100blocks2018 was nearly upon us. I didn't analyze it or debate it with myself... I just jumped right in.

The guidelines and materials needed to participate are outlined on Gnome Angel's blog. So, outside of downloading the Kindle version of the book, "100 Modern Quilt Blocks" by Tula Pink (you need to the book to make the blocks), I had everything to get started. You probably do, too.
"Block 1" will finish at 6 inches.

My "100 Days 100 Blocks 2018" 3-point Plan
  • I'm using Majestic Batiks to make my blocks
  • I can "sew ahead" (as time permits) to keep up with daily #100days#100blocks2018 Instagram posts [I'm veronica.fiberantics on IG—come and follow me]
  • and... it's OK if I don't post daily... or maintain the pace... or finish all the blocks... 
The plan is to enjoy what fellow quilters post, send out supportive energy, and be inspired by everyone's creations.
Note: even though the title of the book has the word "modern" in front of the words "quilt blocks," it doesn't mean anything. Use your fabrics of choice and make a quilt that suits your tastes and speaks to your quilt-making vision. Check out the Instragram feed to see the variety!

For now, I'm having fun picking the colors to make these little 6" blocks. Cutting and sewing with the Majestic Batiks has been easy—especially with the little pieces used in these blocks. And, I have two quilt blocks more than I had yesterday.

Hey, to my blog stalker... have you ever done one of these kinds of sew-alongs?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Mindful patchwork with Bumbleberries blenders

Welcome July! It's gonna be a hot and humid Summer Sunday here. So, with a caffeine boost from my mug of Kaldi's Dog coffee [from Etcetera Coffeehouse], I'm headed to the studio for some mindful sewing today.
The disappearing 9-patch is as great pattern for mindful patchwork.
Fabrics are Bumbleberries blender [Lewis and Irene] and
a black/white print from Spices Fusion [Art Gallery Fabrics].

An assortment of colorful Bumbleberries fashion blenders from Lewis and Irene prompted a browse through their website's selection of pattern downloads where I found this one—the Sew Mindful Quiltthat uses the disappearing 9-patch technique.
Bumbleberries blenders from Lewis and Irene are the focal fabrics.
A black/white print from the Spices Fusion collection from Art Gallery
is the background.
The disappearing 9-patch is a cool technique! It's efficient, forgiving, is easy to piece and it has multiple layout possibilities. Here is an in-progress snapshot of the design wall with blocks in a straight set layout.
Disappearing 9-patch straight setting.
Or, you can set the blocks on point.
Disappearing 9-patch set on point.

My pile of fabrics earmarked for garment patterns is on the back burner while I do some mindful patchwork.
A navy pintuck from Diamond Textiles (left).
Yalke from M&S Textiles Australia (top right).
From the Aligned collection by Art Gallery Fabrics (bottom right).

On the web page for the Sew Mindful Quilt pattern are these words:

In our increasingly busy lives, full of noise and occupied thoughts, it's good to give your mind some "time out."... Time for reflection and to find a little peace.

A good idea indeed! I hope you find time today for this.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A sewing workshop with Linda Lee prompts looking at quilting cottons in a new way

Our quilt-making foremothers used fabric scraps from sewing clothes to make quilts. The clothing came first... then came the quilts. As quiltmakers, we naturally look at the cotton fabrics found in quilt shops from the viewpoint of making a quilt. But there are a lot of quilters who began sewing clothing—for themselves or for family—and ventured into quilting later. So, why don’t we look at those same bolts of cotton prints with a garment in mind? Good question! Let’s change that way of thinking.
Valencia Pants and Siena Shirt patterns from The Sewing Workshop.
Cotton fabrics from Diamond Textiles (left) and M&S Textiles Australia (center and right).
For Christmas, I received a wonderful gift from my husband. It was a workshop called “Exploring Fit, Fashion and Finish” with Linda Lee, owner of The Sewing Workshop. It was fabulous (the gift and the workshop)!
2018 Shakerag workshop with Linda Lee.
Not knowing exactly what might inspire me on this sewing adventure, I filled a suitcase with various fabrics—all cottons that can be found at most any quilt shop—packed my sewing machine, serger and a handful of matching threads and proceeded to the workshop... to explore garment possibilities under the guidance and tutelage of Linda Lee, a renowned sewing expert.

Overview of pants patterns available from The Sewing Workshop.
The Valencia Pants
My first goal, as was with many of the workshop attendees, was to fit a pant patten and make pair of pants. After Linda reviewed the features of all the pant patterns from The Sewing Workshop, I chose the Valencia Pants. It is a one-seam pant with a flat front and a partial elastic waistband. A good beginner pattern. My fabric choice was a yarn-dyed woven from Diamond Textiles.
Laying out the Valencia pants pattern.
I made the pants in one day and wore them the next.
Valencia pants. Yarn-dyed cotton from Diamond Textiles.

I added my must-have pockets with a contrast fabric piping detail. The pockets actually took longer to make than the pants themselves—really!
I drafted a pocket pattern for my Valencia pants.
A contrasting piping (Bush Camp yellow from M&S Textiles
The Siena Shirt
The next project for me was a top. In analyzing the schematic drawing for the Siena Shirt, this pattern lent itself to using either a single fabric or multiple, coordinating prints. My table mate, Alice, suggested combining these two prints from M&S Textiles Australia, Fire Dreaming (center front) and Plum and Bush Banana (front band, collar and side panels).
The Siena Shirt (from The Sewing Workshop) with fabrics from M&S Textiles Australia.
Here is a photo of the first try-on of my new Siena Shirt. The buttons and buttonholes need to be added and then it will be ready to wear. The fabric is soft and has good body and drape for this style of top.
First try-on of the Siena Shirt.

About The Sewing Workshop patterns

All of the workshop attendees created multiple garments during the workshop and I took home a few more of Linda's patterns for future projects. The patterns include tissue pattern pieces and construction instructions. Linda also did a trunk show for the class that gave ideas for additional modifications—lengthen/shorten, embellishments, fabric options, etc. A few of the things (and there are many more) I like best about The Sewing Workshop patterns are:

  • many of the garments can be made with either wovens or knits. This makes them very versatile.
  • many have multiple garments included in a single pattern envelop (pants and a coat, two different shirts, a sweater and a tank top). This makes them a great buy!
  • finishing details are included in the written instructions at the corresponding step of the construction process.
  • the patterns are sized and graded for "real" women. There were workshop participants of various sizes, shapes and maturity and several of them made pieces using the same pattern. The garments were appropriate, looked good and fit everyone.
Linda Lee (left) and workshop assistant, Diane Hall.
Take a spin on The Sewing Workshop website and think about using cotton quilting fabrics for clothing with these patterns. You might be surprised how nicely they work together. I've used fabrics from Diamond Textiles, M&S Textiles Australia and Art Gallery for garments, but there are others you might try.

Thank you to our talented, funny and generous instructor, Linda Lee, the workshop assistant, Diane Hall, and my fellow classmates for an inspiring, informative and enjoyable sewing workshop. My sewing machine, serger and a pile of quilting cottons are ready to go!

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