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Archive for the ‘Guild’ Category

Postcards in Farmington Valley, CT

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

This past week I was invited to lecture and teach in Simsbury and Avon, Connecticut, for the Farmington Valley Quilt Guild.  It was so much fun, and quite a large guild, too!  On Wednesday evening I presented a lecture, The Decorated Quilt: Beads, Embellishments and other Treasures, at the Eno Memorial Hall in Simsbury.  There were easily over a hundred women there in the HUGE hall. I was lodged at the Simsbury 1820 house (guess when it was built):

The Simsbury 1820 House

The Simsbury 1820 House

I’ll do a couple more posts about the trip, including pictures of the town, windows, and other cool fodder for quilts and design ideas!

I had sent down some of my postcards (made by me and received by me) and ATCs to help advertise the class:


The next day, at the beautiful, modern public library in Avon, CT, about twenty women joined my class on Fabric Postcards, which is a non-threatening introduction to art quilt techniques and making fabric postcards.


I set up next to the only flat, blank wall so I could do something new to me:  using the videocamera and digital projector to project what I was de monstrating onto the wall behind me.  This way, EVERYone in the class had a view as if they were sitting next to me (or on my lap!).  It took some getting used to… I’d forget to make sure my hands were in the range of the lens, so they got good at reminding me LOL…thanks ladies!  I think this will work, and I definitely got better as the class went along.

Each student had a spot at their own table, but we set up a workstation area for paint and another two for ironing.  The class included my “chunk and jigsaw” fusible applique method and using angelina, so that took place at the ironing stations.  I also taught painting techniques using textile paints (Jacquard opaque, Setacolor transparent, and Lumiere metallics) using direct application, stencils, and printing (with mats, bubble wrap, stamps) and Shiva paintsticks  in both direct application and rubbings.


The ladies were grand, I got to meet folks I’d only met before on line (hi Judy!  hi Vivika!), and learned from them…something that always happens when you teach!

Here’s a view of the program room where our class took place:


And here are a range of postcards–if yours is among them, drop me a comment and I’ll add your name to your card!

Easter eggs using sheer, fused fabrics

Easter eggs using sheer, fused fabrics--By Marie


Textile paints and Shiva Paintstiks

Textile paints and Shiva Paintstiks--by Diane


colorwash abstract under tulle

colorwash abstract under tulle--also by Karen


Her licence plate is "Outdoor"

Karin's license plate is "Outdoors"


An array by Betty

An array by Betty


I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and hope the students learned and enjoyed too!  Thanks to Judy R., co-program chair, for finding and inviting me and doing all the work her position with the guild entails, and thanks to all the ladies who took their time and talent to come to my class.

Thanks Betty for filling me in on who did what!

Teaching in Houston!!!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

A large envelope arrived from the International Quilt Festival folks in Houston yesterday; despite its size, I figured it had to be a sorry, no thanks.  WRONG!   I am teaching in Houston this coming Fall!!!!!!!!  I am elated beyond belief… it has been quite the effort to float down to be able to reach the keyboard LOL!

After I met yet another deadline I checked to see when applications were due…it was in six days!  So I quickly put together everything (I had last year asked on my blog for letters of recommendation and received several…thanks Betty, Jan, Mathea and Rebecca for your help!) and overnighted it ($16 well spent!) to Houston to make the deadline for certain.  Well, yesterday I received the results, and will have four days of teaching (I wanted 3 or 4):

Monday, October 12,
Fine Finishes (bindings and edge finishes)

Tuesday, October 13,
Machine Applique Three Ways
(the Blue Gingko pattern)

Wednesday, October 14
Tame Fiddly, Fussy Threads for Machine Quilting
(the More Machine Quilting class)

Thursday, October 15
Chunk and Jigsaw Fusible Applique–
total fun!  fabric postcards plus

    The classes will be in the Janome machine classroom (yeah!) except for the Wednesday class, which will be in the BabyLock classroom…better go find a BabyLock dealer and see how their machines are set up!

    I’ve set it up to do small kits for the classes, as that makes it a lot easier for both the students and teachers.  They get what they need that is unusual (they are asked to b ring their own fabric, batting, etc….usual items) like crisp interfacing, water soluble paper, fancy threads, that sort of thing.

    So, now I’m going to go eat breakfast (Irish oats and a banana) and float again!  THEN, after I finish a project to submit for consideration for the 2009 Quilting Arts Gifts issue (comes out before the holidays) and get that mailed off, I need to start getting my set-up done to use the video camera and digital projector in my teaching.  I actually signed up for a Jan Krentz workshop this may tho I pretty much never do traditional piecing any more just so I can watch how she teaches.  She’s coming to Maine in May at the invitation of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild, and I can’t wait!

    Hawaiian quilting with the Backroads Quilters

    Monday, November 3rd, 2008

    On Saturday, October 18th, I was fortunate to be able to teach Hawaiian Quilting by Machine to the Backroads Quilters in Gardiner, Maine.  The Backroads Quilters are a wonderful, active and experienced group of quilters.  Similar to my local chapter, the Coastal Quilters, Backroads is a chapter of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild, Maine’s state-wide guild (which rocks!).

    Taro, 6 inch block

    I taught my paper-snowflake variation on the theme of Hawaiian quilting.  It is easier on the hands when cutting, lets you get stems and narrow bits that are equal (or nearly) in size (if you do the traditional fold the cloth into eighths the stems can range from narrow to blobby), and–if you do fusible applique and satin stitch–gives you two blocks from one fused-up square of cloth.  For this class, I did up a new 6-inch block.  Students get two choices of small blocks, turtle or taro plant, plus they can also select one of the five designs from Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul–you can see that quilt here. Here is the taro block with two colors of satin stitching and assorted outlining stiches:

    I always love to see students take my patterns then reinterpret them in their own color choices.  The small blocks are offered because it allows a student to apply the adhesive web, cut the pattern, cut out the motifs, fuse and sew a block in one class.  Other students prefer to dive right in with a full size block, but often don’t get a lot of the satin stitching done during class because the larger blocks take more time to  pre

    pare and cut.  Here is a lot of eye candy!

    Ann’s block being cut out:

    Ann’s block, being cut

    and fused and ready for checking out thread choices:

    Ann’s Ulu / Breadfruit block

    Nena used a contrasting lavender thread for a nice bold outline on her taro block:

    Nena’s 6 inch taro block

    At first, this student wanted to use orange thread, but after doing several stitchouts, decided she liked the soft look of the navy.  By using the navy thread, she “popped” the small sprigged flowers in her print fabric and still gave a subtle framing to the edges of the pattern.  I LOVE this one! (OK..I love ALL of them….)

    Pineapple…the subtle navy stitching is PERFECT

    Here’s how that block looks straight on, before stitching–compare with the upper left pineapple in the photo above:

    Pineapple–the one with navy

    Another small taro block ready to be stitched…this is reverse applique.  I like to fuse dark on top of light so the lighter fabrics keep their light, clear tones.  Her other block has a navy taro leaf on the aqua print.

    Another small taro

    Sometimes busy prints can be challenging in Hawaiian quilts, but this one works so well… the Wedgwood  blue  thread picks up the lighter color in the print, yet provides a solid line to separate the print from the background.  AND she managed a few PERFECTLY mitered points!

    A great paisley turtle, a 6 inch block

    Another pineapple block…this is the reverse applique…the bright blue is fused onto the white:

    Blue-white pineapple

    Often variegated thread doesn’t work so well for satin stitching unless you WANT a really striped look.  But this thread, Blendables by YLI, is a heavy cotton with longer, and more gradually blended, color changes.  I really like how it stitched out:

    Taro with variegated thread

    I hope you enjoyed the class as much as I did!  Thanks to the ladies of Backroads Quilters, and to Ann and Nena who invited me up to teach and made all the arrangements.

    Maine Quilts 2008, the last post….

    Monday, August 11th, 2008

    During lunch break from class on that Friday, Jan and I went down to the show floor to see the quilts, and what ribbons I might have won …… teeeheee!   I got lucky this year, and received two first place blue ribbons and, drum roll please, my first ever Judges’ Choice from (usually traditional-loving) Lisa Erlandson (you’ll have to read to the bottom for more!)!  The first of my quilts that I ran across was Nourish; when I walked up all sorts of folks were looking at it closely (way cool!).

    Nourish with lotsa lookers

    Here’s me doing the “Vanna White pose” and explaining to some viewers how I did it….

    Me doing a Vanna

    The next aisle had a wonderful exhibit called A Sense of Place, the annual Art Quilts Maine challenge for the year.  This year there were many entries (some years there are not so many!), and they were all wonderful, and some outstanding.  Of course I loved Kathy and Kate’s!   Kathy’s features her signature bright colors and many beads….as always not one too many, not one too few:

    Kathy’s sense of Place quilt

    This detail shows more of her fine work:

    Kathy’s quilt, detail

    Kate outdid herself this year.  She went to Italy earlier this year, and was so inspired by Cinque Terra.  She took her time with this quilt (as an overextended mom, we all tend to rush!) and it shows in the quality of design and workmanship.  This may be the best machine quilting she’s done… I totally love the piece:

    Kate’s Cinque Terra quilt

    Anne Walker, the President (aka Queen) of AQM, made this stunning aerial view…. her work is always tops—I wouldn’t mind owning a piece like this one!  The blue binding on the bottom is inspired!:

    Anne Walker’s sense of place quilt

    Across the aisle, the Coastal Quilters challenge hung on the ugly burgundy drapes.  Inspired by the Frayed Edges 5×5 grid (seen here in an older blogpost, and here and here), the chapter chose a photo by Jan’s husband and photographer Dwight P. called Ropes and Buoys.  The challenge was to make a 10x 10 inch quilt using any technique.   Many went for realistic colors….weathered wood and rope and a bright buoy, but some of us went hog wild!

    CQ group challenge

    Mine are the two close-ups….last one on the 4th row, first one on the 5th row.

    I LOVED that some went traditional in their interpretation, and that others went totally wild.  What is astonishing is that some of the most traditional quilters who had never EVER made an art quilt did some of the most AMAZING piece….major kudos to Karen Martin and Leigh Smith for not only attempting the challenge, but excelling!

    Roxanne’s round robin

    This quilt was a round robin made by Roxanne Wells, Rebeccah Hokkanen, Susan Barry and Gail Galloway-Nicholson.   Despite serious medical challenges to them and / or their spouses for at least three of them, they did a wonderful job.  Alas, I somehow only got the picture of this one (not all four) of their challenge quilts.  Of course they are, all 4 of them, part of my awesome local Coastal Quilters chapter.  I’m so glad I’m here! What luck to find so many kindred souls.

    As promised, here is Rana O’Connor’s tiger….he is totally, completely amazing.  The tiger himself is ALL THREAD….and then appliqued onto the surface, which is a single batik. Everything else you see is thread–the snake, the tree, everything.  Can you tell she loves thread as much as I do?  Not surprisingly, he took a well-earned blue ribbon!  The quilt is fairly small, maybe 14 inches tall?

    Rana’s tiger

    Here are several quilts (and sorry, I’m too lazy and rushed to run upstairs and find the show brochure to add who made them… if you know tell me and I’ll update the post, which I’ll try to do later anyway) that I really liked…. first this awesome green NY Beauty:

    Green NY Beauty

    And this very Maine-ish quilt, complete with loose-flapping flags:

    Maine quilt

    No blog about the show would be complete without one of Jeanne-Marie Robinson’s quilts (she’s also in Coastal Quilters…grin!).  Almost always her quilts feature animals, and most often are brightly colored.  This one is softer, yet is one of my favorites….the handwork (all hand applique and quilting, and lots of embroidery) is stunning:

    Jeanne Marie’s porcupine

    This charming little quilt was made of one of those fabrics you’d think would turn out, well, a bit tacky, but it SO works, and the beading is just perfect.  I want to track down the maker (I have the info in my notes somewhere) and ask her if I may use it in my lecture on beading on quilts:

    Beaded winter quilt

    Last but not least, here I am doing another “Vanna” showing off my Judges’ choice ribbon for Naiads:

    Me with Naiads

    Quilter’s Home Magazine, OH MY! I’m IN it!

    Saturday, April 5th, 2008


    My copy of the May/June issue of Quilter’s Home Magazine arrived, and I’m IN it! Page 41, to be precise! Back in January, I received an e-mail from editor Mark Lipinski saying “YOU CALL ME tomorrow for an article on you. xoxom” Ya think I called? I sure did! I am totally and completely thrilled with the article, and still amazed that he asked *me* to be in the magazine! Here’s the cover of “my” issue:

    Quilter’s Home Cover–May/June 2008

    And… lookit the table of contents…. who ever woulda thought that I’d be in a national quilting mag’s table of contents, but there I am (if you click on the photo, they’ll pop up a bit larger, but you’ll need a real copy to be able to read it)!

    Quilter’s Home–Table of Contents

    Originally, I think the article was going to be one of his intermittent series of articles on things like the contents’ of famous (definitely not me) and not so (still probably not me, unless you drop the “so”) famous quilters purses, refrigerators and the like. This set was to be “Hometown Favorites.” Mark e-mailed a long list of questions, to which I replied by e-mail, and then helped him out by sending a CD of photos of various of these places. At least half of my (lengthy…sigh) replies made it into the article.

    THEN, while I’m out in California in February, I’m standing in the grocery store with my frail, wobbly 89-year old mom, when my cell phone rings. It’s MARK! He had been trying to reach me by e-mail, but I’d been off helping my sick mom get a root canal (we had just come from having it done no less), so hubby gave him my cell number. SO, with mom propped up on the grocery cart and the Novocaine wearing off, I’m doing an interview with Mark on my cell in the middle of Scottie’s Market in Terra Linda, California! Here’s the result:

    P.41 Quilter’s Home, May/June 2008

    I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored. And he used my photos! I’m still amazed that he asked me, and grateful that he did. One step at a time, I’m getting to pursue doing what I love for a career (tho it’s a long way from a full-time wage!), and I so appreciate the exposure for both me and my wonderful home town of Camden.

    Quilter’s Home has been out for about two years now, and they began subscription service (at long last!) at the end of last year— the magazine is truly a breath of fresh, sassy, quirky air in the world of quilting mags. So, this issue will be on newstands soon… go see what’s fun and new in quilting mags and see what a nice job Mark did… especially on page 41! And thanks again, Sarah