Archive for the ‘Machine Quilting’ Category

I’m back, and I’ll be teaching at IQF Houston!

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Hi all…a quick note to let you know Eli and I are home from England, over 2000 photos later!  I promise I’ll share some but not ALL of the photos.  In the meantime, I wanted to share with you that I’m once again teaching in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  To find out about online enrollment, which is now open, click here or in the link in the sidebar to the left. Here’s what I’ll be teaching:

Monday, October 27, All Day Class #128:  Let’s Machine Quilt–an intro to machine quilting, all day class, machines provided

Let's Machine Quilt class sample

Let’s Machine Quilt class sample–Right click to view larger

Coral Free-motion Quilting Sample, Click to view larger

Coral Free-motion Quilting Sample, Click to view larger

Tuesday, October 28, Lecture #254:  How Did She Do That?  A lecture and digital presentation supplemented with in-the-cloth quilts sharing how I go from idea to image to quilt.  At 11:00, ending just in time to attend the Noon Luncheon.

SASmithAmaryllis1400Full

Wednesday, October 29, All Day Class #339:  Birch Pond Seasons, an introduction to fusible applique and art quilting.  This is a fusing and design/composition class with no sewing.  You can see the pattern (which is included in the kit fee along with MistyFuse) here.  You can see a class in progress on this blogpost, and at the bottom of this post which includes a lovely winter version. This is the third year in a row that IQF has booked this class for Wednesday–yeah!

Thursday, October 30, Morning Event #460:  Machine Quilting Forum (alas, already full), with four other machine quilters where we each give a presentation to the full group.  Then you have about 20 minutes for a quick demo or lecture with each of us–think of it as speed-dating for quilters.

Thursday and/or Friday:  one hour SMALL demo/kit/hand-on class in the Fiber-on-a-Whim booth!   Exact one-hour class (at one end of the booth) to be determined, but likely printing with thermofax screens.  Class fee will include fabric, paint, paint brush to use and use of my thermofax screen(s) to make some printed fabric to take home.  More details to come!

My episodes on Quilting Arts TV Series 1400!

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
Creativity, Inspiration, and Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, Clockwise from top left: Dog Walkies with Pigwidgeon (winter), Kiwi blossoms (garden), Eli home from camp (family), Poppy (garden), Notebook cover, On the set with Susan Brubaker Knapp, taping my Easy-peasy Inside-Out Bag

Creativity, Inspiration, and Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, Clockwise from top left: Dog Walkies with Pigwidgeon (winter), Kiwi blossoms (garden), Eli home from camp (family), Poppy (garden), Notebook cover, On the set with Susan Brubaker Knapp, taping my Easy-peasy Inside-Out Bag.  Click to view larger.

Series 1400 on Quilting Arts TV, now hosted by my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp, is about creativity and inspiration.  For me, inspiration can come from everywhere:  a glorious plant or view on my dog walkies with Pigwidgeon, ‘Widgeon himself, my family, an idea or a book, or something as utterly mundane as “I need a notebook cover”, or even a bag for all my watercolor stuff. I am so excited to get my copy of this series.  SOB–it’s not on PBS here in Maine on satellite (MPBN are you listening?), so I need to order.  You can too!  It is available either on DVD or as a download (episodes or the entire series) here.  Even better, if you link to the Interweave store from the button on the left sidebar, although the new series isn’t on discount, you can get a discount on some other items on the site. !    And last but certainly not least, visit editor Vivika Hansen DeNegre’s QA Blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a FREE  copy of the series!

Here's the cover of the upcoming Season 1400 for Quilting Arts TV!

Here’s the cover of the upcoming Season 1400 for Quilting Arts TV!

For today’s bloghop post, I thought I would share a lot of photos but not so much blather.  At the end of this post as well as here (the kick off day) you can find links to all the creative talented women who appear on the series, with many thanks to the creative talented women and men who are BEHIND the camera that make all this possible!

Thanks to Vivika DeNegre's post (she's Quilting Arts Editor), my dog walkies photos are now in the big time LOL!   Inspired by Gloria Hansen's butterfly photos, one day I took my good camera along with my phone and was able to get this shot of a butterfly on the clover alongside our driveway.  Inspiration is everywhere, including the most mundane of times and places--waiting for the dog to do you know what! Whoever came up with the idea of tethering yourself to animal waiting for it to do you know what???

Thanks to Vivika DeNegre’s post (she’s Quilting Arts Editor), my dog walkies photos are now in the big time LOL! Inspired by Gloria Hansen’s butterfly photos, one day I took my good camera along with my phone and was able to get this shot of a butterfly on the clover alongside our driveway. Inspiration is everywhere, including the most mundane of times and places–waiting for the dog to do you know what! Whoever came up with the idea of tethering yourself to animal waiting for it to do you know what???

And I'm always inspired by the landscape of Maine, the state that has become my soul's home.  From early summer mornings like this shot to the sunrises of winter and the sunsets of summer, the colors and lines and peace inspire me.  Makes me want to go play with cloth and dye!

And I’m always inspired by the landscape of Maine, the state that has become my soul’s home. From early summer mornings like this shot to the sunrises of winter and the sunsets of summer, the colors and lines and peace inspire me. Makes me want to go play with cloth and dye!

After nearly a decade using the same headshot, I decided it was time to be honest about the gray and the new glasses.   Here I'm with Widgeon--photos with him always relax me and make me laugh--so much better than posed.  And you can see my quilt, The Circle Dance, which is part of the exhibit and book Dare to Dance, An Artist's Interpretation of Joy (blogpost here).  Widgeon is joyful when he is fed!

After nearly a decade using the same headshot, I decided it was time to be honest about the gray and the new glasses. Here I’m with Widgeon–photos with him always relax me and make me laugh–so much better than posed. And you can see my quilt, The Circle Dance, which is part of the exhibit and book Dare to Dance, An Artist’s Interpretation of Joy (blogpost here). Widgeon is joyful when he is fed!

We all know trips can be inspiring, too.  Earlier this year I travelled to NY/CT to lecture, and got to spend a day with my friend Deirdre Abbotts.  We went in to the city and I spied this incredibly building.  Can't you see that as an applique quilt?  Reminds me of Jane Sassaman's work--and she's on this season too!

We all know trips can be inspiring, too. Earlier this year I travelled to NY/CT to lecture, and got to spend a day with my friend Deirdre Abbotts. We went in to the city and I spied this incredible building. Can’t you see that as an applique quilt? Reminds me of Jane Sassaman’s work–and she’s on this season too!

It's always fun to see behind the scenes, too.  Here are my three segments laid out in step-out sequence on trays, waiting for my turn to tape.  At the filming studios in Ohio.  I blogged about the taping here.

It’s always fun to see behind the scenes, too. Here are my three segments laid out in step-out sequence on trays, waiting for my turn to tape. At the filming studios in Ohio. I blogged about the taping here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Sometimes you just have to laugh!   We were trying to figure out where to hide the microphone for this episode, when I suggested pinning it to my bra strap.  The sound guy was only momentarily nonplussed, then started pinning as I stretched the strap.  Then, as Asst. Editor Kristine Lundblad was snapping photos, I blurted out, How am I going to explain to my husband that I just asked a total stranger to mess with my bra?   We all laughed!

Sometimes you just have to laugh! We were trying to figure out where to hide the microphone for this episode, when I suggested pinning it to my bra strap. The sound guy was only momentarily nonplussed, then started pinning as I stretched the strap. Then, as Asst. Editor Kristine Lundblad was snapping photos, I blurted out, How am I going to explain to my husband that I just asked a total stranger to mess with my bra? We all laughed!

One of the other fun things about this line of work is running in to familiar faces and friends in unusual places.  This is Lyric Kinard--does she not have the cutest, most infectious smile of anyone you know?

One of the other fun things about this line of work is running in to familiar faces and friends in unusual places. This is Lyric Kinard–does she not have the cutest, most infectious smile of anyone you know?

These are some of the bags you'll see on my Inside-Out bag segment (and ... hint hint... perhaps in print sometime soon too....more on that when I am allowed!)

These are some of the bags you’ll see on my Inside-Out bag segment for Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, Episode 1402 (and … hint hint… perhaps in print sometime soon too….more on that when I am allowed!)

Remember, you don’t have to wait for the episodes to air (mine are 1402, 1405 and 1408)–you can order the DVD or download the series or individual episodes here.   The way they are recorded, they should play on DVD players or computers around the world–yeah! And if you go to the Interweave store through the button to the left of this blogpost, you can get a discount!

Here’s the bloghop schedule, plus you can also read all about it on Quilting Arts Editor Vivika DeNegre’s blog here. Keep coming back here to click on the appropriate link for each day.

 

And because I can’t resist, one more of our beloved pug:

How can anyone NOT love a face that cute and pitiful?

How can anyone NOT love a face that cute and pitiful?

 

Quilting the Garden Workshop and Giveaway

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The Giveaway is now concluded. Any comments left after 12:13 pm today, July 19, will not be part of the drawing, but comments are still welcome!  The winner is Phyllis Carlyle, comment #36 (picked by an online random number generator)!  Congrats and THANK YOU to all!

Hey I need some advice!  I’m putting together a new workshop and/or class called Quilting the Garden (part of my Quilting the Good Life series). I need your help picking which colors and flower images to use for the class.  In thanks for your help, I’m offering a free copy of my Quilting Arts video workshop, Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork (read all about it here), for someone who answers some of my questions here on my blog (not Facebook).   I’ll choose a winner in a week’s time, on July 19th.  (See last paragraph for The Fine Print.)  Read on!

My questions for you, dear readers are these:

  • What color flowers do you think the majority of students would pick, including you?
  • Should I include the green-only hosta leaves?
  • Which individual images would you most want to do in a class?  Tell me your favorite three (use the names I have given to each such as Purple 2, Yellow 4, and so on). 
  • Would you want a complicated image as one of the options, such as Multi 1 below?
Purple, Multi and Green images

Purple, Multi and Green images:  four purple or purple and white Iris, a zinnia and hosta leaves.  Right Click on image to see it larger.

Some background information

Most students can either put together a top in a day class OR do some quilting in a day class, but not both.  And most guilds and shows won’t book multi-day workshops because students tend not to sign up for them.   I would dearly LOVE to teach 3-5 day workshops, but in the meantime I’m working on a one-day exercise which can be a standalone class also.

My solution to the “can’t do it all in a day” issue is this:  I will provide a kit for a modest fee including a photograph printed on cloth (from Spoonflower, my photos, about 8×10 or 12×10 printed size, or a tad larger) plus an 8 1/2 x 11 color photo, page protector, and possibly several color photos–one of each of the three options offered in the class.  The photos will come from the ones on this blogpost (or perhaps a different red, keep reading).  And what size is good?  is 8 x 10 too small, perhaps 10 x 12 or a bit bigger?  Or as large as 17 x 21 (which of course costs more to print)?

Dogwood, Water Lily, apricot Lily, closer view of apricot colored Lily

Pink Kousa Dogwood, Water Lily, apricot Lily, closer view of apricot colored Lily.  Right Click on image to see it larger.

For the class I want a relatively uncomplicated image that will allow students to learn to use thread colors to shade and paint and color their artwork.  By working on top of a photo, the imagery is provided.  They can then use my collage process, taught in my DVD (info here), to create their own imagery in cloth rather than using a photograph.  But they will, having taken this class, have learned the skill to interpret the photo into color and thread.  A multi-color flower may be best, but not many fit that bill.  The simplicity of a lily is perfect–only six petals!  Too many petals make it more complicated.  Would you want a complicated image as one of the options? Or should I keep all the images relatively simple?

Reds, alas I don't know the names of these glorious flowers (sending email to the Botanical Gardens horticulturalist).  Should I find a different truly RED flower?

Reds, alas I don’t know the names of these glorious flowers (sending email to the Botanical Gardens horticulturalist). Should I find a different truly RED flower, as these are burgundy and ladies who love red want REALLY red?  Right Click on image to see it larger.

In the red collage, photos 3 and 4 are intriguing, but probably not the best for this exercise, but I couldn’t resist including them.

Are whites too hard for thread selection?  Right click on collage to view larger.

Are whites too hard for thread selection? Right click on collage to view larger.

I’m also thinking that white flowers are not the best choice, but would like feedback.

Lots of yellows that I love.  The solution to the white question might be to choose the cream lily above.  The yellow rose will be one of my sample flowers--I'm working on another project for an article that involves this sample, so students may want to try this one.  Right click on the collage for a larger view.

Lots of yellows that I love. The solution to the white question might be to choose the cream lily above. The yellow rose will be one of my sample flowers–I’m working on another project for an article that involves this sample, so students may want to try this one. The coneflower photo may be too complicated for a classroom, especially the cone.  Right click on the collage for a larger view.

And:

A selection of  popular flowers, but the owner of the local gallery that has sold my work tells me orange doesn't sell, people don't like orange.  What do you think?  I think the lily would be a fabulous one for the exercise, but....

A selection of popular flowers, but the owner of the local gallery that has sold my work tells me orange doesn’t sell, people don’t like orange. What do you think? I think the lily would be a fabulous one for the purposes of the exercise, but….Right click on collage to view larger.

And there is the question of thread:

I use and teach using 40-wt poly thread, which shows up beautifully.  But some people prefer cotton, only cotton.  If students do not pre-order the photo, they won’t know what color they will get in class.  That means they would need to bring a LOT of thread:  for the orange lily above, for example, if at home I would use at least 3-4 shades of orange (pale to rust), yellow, yellow-green, and the background greens.  Is it better to kit the thread with the photo? Or allow students to bring their own, but perhaps be frustrated because they don’t have the right colors?   Me taking a thousand spools of various colors without requiring a purchase is, alas, not an option because I can’t afford to have so much money tied up in inventory.  So, what would you prefer from a class/teacher?

So tell me what you think:

  • What color flowers do you think the majority of students would pick, including you?
  • Should I include the green-only hosta leaves?
  • What is a comfortable size for you?  Is 8×10 too small? 
  • Which individual images would you most want to do in a class?  Tell me your favorite three (use the names I have given to each such as Purple 2, Yellow 4, and so on). 
  • Would you want a complicated image as one of the options? Or should I keep all the images relatively simple?
  • Should I include a thread as part of the kit?  Each one would probably need at least four shades of thread at $6-8 per spool of Superior 40-wt polyester plus a pre-wound bobbin of  blending fine thread, so that would be an additional $25-33 on top of a kit fee for the fabric and color photocopies of about $10-12.

If this class is a go, I will offer at most three flower options.  IF students register for the class 2 months in advance, they may write to me directly with their choice of flower and I will make sure they get their first choice for the workshop.  It takes that much time for me to order the fabric, have it printed, and shipped back to me and be ready in time for the class.  The remaining students would have to pick a color from what is available at the class.  That means they’d need to bring thread for multiple colors (at least four shades of each colors) if thread is not part of the kit.

THANKS!

The Fine  Print: 

  • Remember to comment by 8 a.m. Saturday, July 19th (US East Coast Time) for a chance at winning my DVD in thanks for your taking the time to read, think, and comment here on my blog!
  • If you are outside of the US, you may comment but I’d appreciate a little help with the postage–I’ll pay up to $5 in postage.
  • Comments must be here on my blog, not a feed reader or facebook!
  • Comments like “gee I’d love to win the DVD” won’t work–I’m really looking for feedback on the images and questions I asked.

 

Welcome Albus, the 15000!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
An old/new project

An old/new project

Quite a number of years ago, before I taught at my first national-level show, I had a rare opportunity in about 2007.   Dianne Hire, author, teacher, quilter, artist, gardener, lives nearby me here in Maine.   Alas, she hurt her back–badly–just a wrong move picking up a light stick.   And she was scheduled to teach at her favorite retreat in just a few days.  She needed someone to drive her and help schlep all the teacher stuff.  Luckily for me, my name came up as one of two folks who might be able to help her.  The other person couldn’t do it, so I finally got to meet Dianne (we have a mutual friend but had never met) and in the one week of summer where I could take a break from Paul and the boys and go.  So I drove her to Paul Smith’s College (!!! Yep, can you believe it, a college with that name in upstate NY near Lake Placid) and got to sit in and take all her classes.   I began this project back then, but never finished it though I always liked it.

Another bit of astounding good luck:  I’ve been affiliated with Janome America in their artists and teachers program for a decade now.  Can you believe it?  I can’t, but they seem to be happy with me and willing to keep me on.   I had never really wanted or liked the high end machines that do fancy embroidery software etc.  Then at International Quilt Festival in Houston last year I taught a class in a room with Janome’s new top of the line machine, the 15000.   WOWIE ZOWIE is it a BEAST!  And much easier to use with all sorts of cool features.   Even more astounding, Janome is lending me one!   Here it is, newly set up in my studio:

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, because the Janome 15000 is of course the great White Wizard, the most powerful wizard ever

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, because the Janome 15000 is of course the great White Wizard, the most powerful wizard ever

I decided to finish the quilt above (I won’t show the whole thing because Dianne is working on a book with the pattern) as my first project on the machine so I could get to learn the machine and make friends with it.  THEN I’ll move on to the Embroidery function learning curve!  Here are some close ups of the fantastic satin stitching I’ve achieved on this beauty!  I was able to taper (adjust) the width of the stitch as I stitched to get smooth thicks and thins in the satin stitched line.  WOOT!

Satin stitched, quilted, then the applique was outlined to make it pop.

Satin stitched, quilted, then the applique was outlined to make it pop. The large motif in the center is stitched in the ditch, but the motifs in on the right aren’t yet outlined.  It really makes a difference!

And my border design

And my border design.  Here, the motifs on the right are outlined, the ones on the left are not.  The ones on the left kinda ripple.  By outlining, you really define and refine the shape.  Getting the tension just perfect was a bit fiddly.  I have found that the more complicated the machine, the more delicate they are in their settings.  Once you get them set, they are perfection, but you really need to understand your machine, be patient, and get to learn and know the way the machine works.  So often I hear students say “my machine won’t do that.”  Most of the time, I regret to say, it is operator error–not taking the time to learn and be patient.  So I am telling myself just that and hoping for LOTS of time in the near future to get to do that learning!

MASSIVE thanks to Janome America for their continuing generosity with me.   I hope to be able to give back to them and make some awesome, award-worthy quilts on this beauteous wizard of a machine!

MQU: Getting rid of the ouch

Friday, June 20th, 2014
The new MQU issue.  Order at www.mqumag.com or find it at Barnes and Noble (among other places)

The new July/August 2014 MQU issue. Order at www.mqumag.com or find it at Barnes and Noble (among other places).  The Quilting Ergonomics article on the cover is mine! WOOT!

Editor Kit Robinson asked me, a while back, if I would like to do an article on ergonomics at your sit-down sewing machine, and I jumped at the chance.  I’m not a physician, and I start the article by saying that “no one size fits all,” so be sure to check with YOUR health practitioner, but I have learned some things that will make your life easier when you are quilting.  I talked about quilting aids in the last issue (which I apparently in my busy-ness forgot to blog about…coming soon!   Naughty Sarah!) and in this issue I talk about making your space work for you.

After all, if you are thinking “Ouch” or “oh my aching back and shoulders” you’re not thinking about where your next stitch goes.  So that’s what this article is all about!

Thumper decided to read the article while I had the camera out to take a picture.  Ahem.

Thumper decided to read the MQU ergonomics article while I had the camera out to take a picture. Ahem.

So for this article, I put on make-up, sucked in my gut, and got hubby to come down and click the shutter after I set up the tripod and lighting for all these photos–so now hubby is published as a photographer!   Thanks Paul and Kit for the byline for him!  It was much easier than using the timer and me trying to dash and get into position before the shutter tripped.  I’ve clearly got pictures of what NOT to do as well as what you should do.  Speaking of which, I really should get back to doing those crunches and stretching exercises!

Another big thrill was seeing as I flipped to my article that Brenda Gael Smith had an article on the hanging system used in Australia that has artists putting velcro on the backs of quilts to adhere to the rigid walls used there.  Helps the quilts hang beautifully!   So then I went to see what all was in the magazine, discovered there is a companion article about the Living Colour Textiles exhibit and one of the quilts included was mine!!!! (and yes, I still need to do that blogpost about dyeing the fabric and making this quilt…too many things to do, not enough time…it will come, I promise!).   Anyway, here’s that page–what a delightful, welcome surprise!

Living Colour Textiles exhibit curated by Brenda Gael Smith.

Living Colour Textiles exhibit curated by Brenda Gael Smith.  Amaryllis, bottom right, is my entry.  To see the exhibit, go to livingcolourtextiles.com/gallery.html 

Gotta run:  today is the last day of Eli’s sophomore year, and it is a busy one.  Exam this morning, memorial service for a cross country teammate who died of a brain tumor just days after receiving his diploma (thank heavens the school graduated him, he missed most of the school year); I’m planning on a LOT of kleenex.  After that there is a picnic at his house and the runners are going to run his practice course in his honor and memory (and I’m tearing up just thinking about it).  Then, finally, the delayed wrestling team potluck and awards.   Phew!  But we get to sleep in tomorrow.  More anon!