Teaching at IQF Houston — Fine Finishes, an Album of Techniques, MQForum

August 7th, 2018

YES, I’ll teach you how to get perfect miters that match your seam measurement, no matter what it is, without having to measure! Today I’ll talk about my Fine Finishes workshop, #525 from 9-5 on Friday, November 9th, at International Quilt Festival Houston.  Link to register is here and at the bottom of this post.

This class is all about what to do with the edges of your quilt…and not just straight edges:  curves, inside points, sharp angles, facings not just bindings.  Using techniques adapted from high end garment construction, you’ll achieve precise results, perfect corners, perfect miters, without measuring your seam allowance!

You’ll learn about all of these and, depending on how fast you work, make at least four samples, maybe more. In Houston, it is class #525 on Friday.

 

Fine Finishes has proved a perennial favorite –sign up soon!  If the PERFECT bias binding hasn’t happened for you, or the PERFECT facing for an art quilt, one that doesn’t roll and bulge, you need this class.  Have you ever considered piping?  Time consuming, but OH MY what a wonder!  So worth it … try these and more as time permits.

Last but not least–and it usually fills up fast–is the Machine Quilting Forum on Thursday morning.   Think of it as not-so-speedy dating for machine quilters.  We meet in one of the large “ballrooms” at the convention center. The first hour is an introduction to the presenters (I think there are six of us, or maybe seven, this year):  each teacher gets a few minutes to share about 7 slides representing who they are as quilters.  Then the participants break up into six (or seven) groups.  Each group goes to a certain teacher, then after 20 minutes (15 presentation, 5 Q&A) a bell rings and the participants move to the next teacher.  This is a fabulous way to learn a lot in a short time, get a great idea of a teacher’s style teaching, see if you want to take a class with them or have them come teach for your guild.

Registration is OPEN for classes for International Quilt Festival Houston 2018, including my four classes.  For more info on the other workshops, my first class, Birch Pond Season,  is covered here.  Collage the Garden, one of my newest classes and proving to be one of the most popular, is covered here.

Teaching at IQF Houston 2018: Collage the Garden

August 3rd, 2018

Interested in trying your hand at art quilts? Not sure where to start? This class has proved a perennial favorite at IQF Houston (and elsewhere)–sign up soon!

Yes, registration is OPEN for classes for International Quilt Festival Houston 2018, including my four classes.  I’ll recap my four classes (well, three full day classes and the Machine Quilting Forum). My first class, Birch Pond Season,  is already covered here.  Today, I’ll share about Collage the Garden, one of my newest classes and proving to be one of the most popular.  I hope to see some of you in it!

This workshop is all about how I –and now YOU– can create imagery from a photograph to create your own fused, collaged art quilt.  In Houston, this workshop is offered as a one-day class.  I’ll provide photos to teach you how to use a photo to map out your shapes and values, then you will start (and maybe finish?) creating the pink water lily or the orange tiger lily.  For this outing in Houston, you will be bringing and fusing up your own fabrics (or bring them pre-fused–I prefer Mistyfuse and will have it available in class–it has the lightest weight and softest hand of any of the fusibles).  This is a no-sewing class, but we will talk about how to quilt your fused artwork when you get home.

Collage the Garden: I’ll teach you “how did she do that” so that you can create your own art from your own photos

Detail of the Pink Water Lily

Here’s the Tiger Lily option fused in batiks

And the tiger lily done in hand-dyes….it’s the same but different. What fabrics will you choose?

You can see the supply list here.

Click on this link to sign up for Class 339 and spend Wednesday playing with me!   Class ends at five–just in time for IQA member preview opening at 5 (and general public preview at 7).

In other venues, a guild can book this workshop over to two or three days to allow students to bring in their own photographs and begin work on their own artwork with Sarah to help guide them.  The workshop can be booked in conjunction with Quilting the Garden:  Thread-Coloring the Flower to create a three-to-five day workshop.

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SAQA Auction 1: Five Circles and a Line

August 2nd, 2018

The season is coming soon for the SAQA / Studio Art Quilt Associates annual fundraising auction:  bidding begins September 15th.  To learn more about the auction, go here. For my first collection, I chose Five Circles and a Line.

 

Lune Rouge by Gerrie Congdon. This quilt just about jumped off the screen at me. Although I have never been an abstracts person, I have always loved circles. The hand stitching and combination of red-orange and blue is wonderful!

Susan Else is a master at what she does and her stellar work always goes quickly. “Chorus” reminded me of what I called the “Sleepy Hollow dog bark” growing up. Each evening, around 9:30 to 10 pm, a dog would start barking in our little valley called Sleepy Hollow (in San Anselmo, California). The next dog would hear, then the next. Pretty soon, dogs all up and down Butterfield Road would be barking–I’d open the car windows and listen as I went home.

Lorraine Roy’s tree quilts have inspired me for years. Her series of tree rings with imagery is inspiring and it is all I can do NOT to copy they general idea!

Judith Content, best known for her shibori dyeing and kimono-shaped art quilts, is having fun here with these 3-D chocolate truffles.

Again, I’m not much of an abstract person, but I love the motion and spontaneity in Sherri Lipman McCauley’s piece Subtle Circles. The careful use of blue and black/gray in different weight lines and values (light/dark) is just right.

And I had to add Sarah Entsminger’s perfect line–her recent work has really spoken to me. I love the simplicity and perfection, the minimalism with lots of quilting, the careful use of dyed fabric with ideal placement of value and line…just SWOON!

Stay tuned for a few more collections in the coming weeks.  Which pieces would you bid on, budget permitting?   If I ever win a Mega-Millions (which would of course require me to buy a ticket or two first), I vow here and now to buy a couple SAQA Auction pieces each year!   As it is, I save my pennies and every couple of years hope one of the ones I want most lasts until I can afford it!

 

Lupines: the quilting begins!

July 22nd, 2018

Ever so slightly ahead of schedule, I have begun quilting on the Lupines. Luckily (and one reason I chose this imagery) this will be easy quilting.  And yes, once again, I LOVE MY BERNINA Q20.  Crazy expensive and worth Every. Single. Penny.   Lots and LOTS of pennies.

This morning I finished basting the Lupines quilt.  I decided to try something I haven’t done before:  a double batt.   I definitely wanted to use wool, but I haven’t been able to find a source for my favorite Matilda’s Own Wool-poly blend batt in the US recently, and I’m hoarding my last batt.   So I used  Quilters’ Dream Wool which is much fluffier; I fused my top to that.

BUT I was concerned about distortion because of the fluffiness–it just didn’t feel like it would hang well and be stable.  Dreamy (pun intended) in a bed, lap or snuggle quilt, but by itself on a densely quilted wall quilt?  Not so much.  So I took the only cotton batting I had, Quilters Dream Select, and layered that underneath the wool.  If I had had Request, the thinnest, I would have used that instead.  Finally, spray basted the backing and safety pinned intermittently.  I am using up long lengths of print fabric in my stash when they suit the quilt–time to move them along.  Will have to dye something to match for facings and hanging sleeve.

I also selected thread yesterday afternoon and this morning.

When I choose thread for a quilt, I “test drive” it by drizzling on the surface. If it works, it goes in the shallow box. I probably won’t use all of these, but will use most of them–about half the solid greens and almost all of the rest. And I added a medium purple this morning and will likely not use the dark purple in the box at all.

Things I have learned so far:

  • Painting a nonwoven is a good thing.  But if that nonwoven is Pellon 65 heavyweight interfacing, it is somewhat like using construction paper.  Will do the non woven thing again, but will look for something softer yet still dense (so no shadow through).
  • Mistyfuse is by far my fusible of choice.  But it behaves differently on the interfacing than it does on cloth.  If I fuse this particular interfacing again, I will use TWO layers of Mistyfuse–it is plenty fine and easy to stitch, and it will help this painted interfacing stick better–see photo.

Because of the difference (in porosity maybe?) between fabric and interfacing, my fusible isn’t sticking quite as well as usual. So I have re-fused various spots, and in a couple of cases tucked snippets of Mistyfuse under the stubborn lifting petals. I found, luckily, that if I am careful I can still quilt those lifting petals because the interfacing doesn’t wobble around like fabric.

And to my astonishment, I quilted almost five of the six purple lupines today.  I have a couple of the tops where I will use pale lilac or cream unstitched as of this evening, but I am definitely farther along than I thought I would be.

Quilting in progress…done on the right, not done on the left. Using just one purple thread to stitch down the petals/quilt down the petals is working out OK despite the value changes from petal to petal.

That means the “after Eli goes back to college” period may be less frantic than I had feared. YIPPEE!  Barring catastrophe, I will be one and able to take photos and submit then ON TIME.  Stay tuned!

 

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An app to practice color with your camera (on your phone!)

July 22nd, 2018

My Quilting Arts Article, August-September 2018, on using your camera–in the case of this article, the one on my PHONE…nothing fancy!

Hi everyone!   The answer is yes, people ARE reading my article in Quilting Arts.  The even better news is that a few have contacted me because they had trouble finding the Pantone app (both Apple and Android).  Luckily I have been able to help; UPDATE:  I added some “how to” at the end of this post with step by step instructions on saving/exporting the palette. I use the PANTONE Studio app, which looks like this (purple is the color of the year, it was a different color last year):

PANTONE Studio app as it displays on my phone — I use just the “Images” function. My app was free, but there are in-app purchases that I haven’t tried.

Apparently in the time between writing the article and the publication date of the issue, the color selection app from Pantone has changed/changed how it pops up in the App Store.   Sigh.   So here’s what I know as of July 22nd, 2018:
PANTONE Studio is the app that is on my iPhone, and it definitely still works. There are in-app purchase options, but I only use the Images part of it to play around.  For iPhone users, if using just “Pantone” in the search box doesn’t bring it up, try “PANTONE Studio.”  That worked on my phone and for one inquirer.  She said:

“Thank you for responding, I was getting no appropriate listing on either my iPad or iPhone. Once you sent the correct title, I did a Google search and was able to download the app through their web site. I am anxious to try it. Interestingly, doing a “Pantone” search in the App Store today still doesn’t list Pantone Studio on either device. I don’t know why this is happening here, but you may want to just tuck that info away if any of your students are having a similar problem.  Thank you, Marsha”

Thank you! Marsha–you’re just helped a bunch of people by asking and sharing that info!
Another inquirer yesterday was having issues finding the app for her Android device.  After sharing the above with her, she wrote:
Found it in Google Play (Android). It’s called myPantone but is not published by Pantone itself. It does cost $7.99 and you have to download another app Color True (free) but I am having so much fun. Thanks.

Picking colors on the app: you get to move the dots around to generate a palette. It is fun to watch the colors change, and how the phone “averages” the pixels under the dot to create a color.  And yes, this was done months ago when I was writing the article.

Once you have selected the colors, you can generate a palette and then export it to your photos album/folder.

The bottom line:  I expect there are various “color picker” apps out there.  Try what you can find–you don’t necessarily need to have exact Pantone colors with color codes for the purpose here.

MOST IMPORTANT:  trust your eye!   You will learn and grasp color more quickly than you realize.  When in doubt, go with what your eye and instinct/gut tell you.  The artwork you produce is YOUR artwork, not that of the app designers.  And HAVE FUN!

UPDATE:  Thanks to an inquiry from Janice N., I’m adding this info:

Question:  Downloaded the app. Am I correct that there is no way to access photos from the phone and no way to save the photo with the color analysis.

Answer: Yes, you can access your own photos and then you can export it to your photo album.  Open the app.  Click on images.  Up at the very top, in the white bar, if you tap that it will give you a drop-down menu.  Mine says “Recently Added,” but I can click that and it allows me to choose from FB, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., All  Photos, Favorites, etc.  Just tap whatever one you want, and then choose a photo from that.

Once you have selected your colors/moved the dots around, there is an export icon at the top…looks like a box with an arrow pointing up.  Tap that.  A new menu appears.  You can save it as a Palette or Share.  A window then appears that says “Select Item to Share.”  Click the circle/dot (in my case in the lower right).  Then click Share on the bottom.  An iOS menu pops up that allows you to save it to iCloud Photo Sharing, Save the images, Save to Files, AirDrop to your computer or whatever.  Tap whichever one you want and presto!   I share my PicStitch collages to Instagram often (more on that app in a few days). 

HTH…if not clear, ask again.  I may add this to the blogpost…is your question and my reply ok to share with you?

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