Archive for the ‘Machine Quilting’ Category

International Quilt Festival #3: Machine Quilting Forum and a free afternoon

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Machine Quilting Forum 2018–here’s my station (the middle panel was blank as it was the de facto projector screen.  THANK YOU SO MUCH to Janome America and Greg Sanford for making sure I had a machine on which to demo!   LOVE MY JANOME!

The day began with “leisurely speed dating” for machine quilters at the Thursday morning Machine Quilting Forum.  For those who have never had the pleasure of attending, the 3-hour session begins with all the attendees sitting for the better part of an hour as the six instructors each got 8 minutes to introduce themselves and what they do.   Then, each of the teachers decamps to their station.  Attendees are assigned to one of six groups, one for each station.  For 15 minutes or so, the teacher gives his/her talk and/or demo, then the bell rings, and folks move to the next station until they’ve visited all six.  I absolutely love this session.  I remember before I started teaching they also used to have an Applique Forum and remember going “Oh I’d like to take a class from that teacher (or perhaps not),” learning HOW to PRESENT to a class (Karen Kay Buckley was so kind 15 or so years ago answering my questions before I bought my projector), and so on.  It’s also great for guilds wanting to book teachers–great preview!

The cast of happy quilters, with the teachers in the front row. If you look in the far back corner, that’s my spot

I talked about thread coloring and actually demonstrated machine quilting on this little piece which, if I get my act together, will be a SAQA or IQA donation next year.  It’s a rose hip:

Work in Progress–free-motion quilting demo and nesting threads

Then it was off to the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon and lecture by Pam Holland, then a (DRUM ROLL, sneak announcement here) taping a quick 3-minute promo with Ricky Tims because (SHRIEK check off the bucket list item) I’m going to be taping a segment for The Quilt Show in April!!!!   Should air sometime in the second half of next year!  Then a couple hours to see quilts, then dinner with friends.

Here I am, with thanks to the guard who took my picture, next to my Lilies of the Valley quilt.

I was absolutely enchanted with the portion of the Power of Women exhibit that was the 2 x 8 foot sheer panels of art cloth.  Here are the four sides.  Alas, instead of signage near the artwork, the info was in a binder on a table so I didn’t get details.   If you are one of the artists, please let me know which piece is yours and I’ll update this post.

Side 1

Side 2; I know the one on the far right is by Lyric Kinard.

Side 3

Side 4

This updated “traditional” quilt stopped me in my tracks…details in the second photo:

Then it was off to dinner with friends and fellow teachers Jenny K. Lyon, Deborah Boschert and Cindy Grisdela, at Ninfa’s on Navigation.  No Houston is complete with at least one (hopefully more) trip to Ninfa’s!

Preview of Lilies of the Valley at Festival!

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Thanks to my friend Jenny K. Lyon, I’ve got two pictures of my Lilies of the Valley quilt on display in Houston since she is attending International Quilt Market for the (Drum Roll Please!!!) debut of her first book, here, Free Motion Quilting, From Ordinary to Extraordinary.  It has literally just been released…can’t wait to see it at Festival!   Anyway,

Here’s a view of the Power of Women exhibit, which has three parts: the 36″ quilts, some 2×8 foot sheer art cloth banners, and in the background the 2×6 foot quilts of women to admire. I can’t wait to see the exhibits! My Lilies of the Valley is the center one…I had thought they were going to be way high up, so delighted folks will be able to see the quilting and details.  Photo by Jenny K. Lyon–Thank you Jenny!!!!

 

And a close up–Houston always does such a good job at hanging and “choosing neighbors”! And yes, my quilt IS for sale!  Photo by Jenny K. Lyon–Thank you Jenny!!!!

I get on the road to the airport at 7 am tomorrow, but won’t get to see any quilts until preview night on Wednesday.  So psyched for teaching and friends and quilts and art and friends!

Lupines: the quilting begins!

Sunday, 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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She persisted/Ocean quilt published in Quiltmania

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

My ocean quilt, She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea, was one of 16 quilts featured in an article on the 2018 Road to California shows (where it won a First Place art quilt ribbon no less). The other quilts in the article are all stupendous, so I am quite blown away and honored to be included.

Thank you so much Martha Sielman, Executive Director of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and Quiltmania! Martha emailed a couple days ago asking if I had seen my quilt, She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea, in Quiltmania. I had no clue and the nearest place that might (?) still have a copy of this issue is over an hour away. So Martha sent me her copy which I’ll now add to my groaning (lucky me!) shelf of published works. Sixteen quilts, all wonderful, widely ranging in style, were published from the Road to California 2018 show. I SO need to go see this show. Maybe I need to apply to teach! Thank you again, Martha!!!

Quiltmania, a French magazine that is also published in English and available in the US

Getting ready for the next quilt….the herald of summer in Maine

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

Before I can start in on the fusing and collaging process, I find that I now need to dye fabric specifically for a project.   While working on my Lilies of the Valley Quilt, I used up most of my good “summer” greens.   My next piece is for Explorations at the New England Quilt Museum (in Lowell, Mass.), a regional SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) show.  I’ve had several ideas I wanted to try for this piece, and really wanted to push myself to do something different and unexpected.  Unfortunately, those ideas are just not wanting to fit into the required vertical orientation and size required!   So I’m going to do a large piece on something I’ve been wanting to do for a while:  Maine’s lupines that bloom in late May and early June and herald the summer.

SAQA members from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont were invited to submit a body of work.  If selected, artists would then make a 30×50″ art quilt featuring a specific technique.  We were advised to submit several techniques, so I suggested dyeing, fused collage and machine quilting/threadwork.   I am delighted that I am one of 24 artists selected!  There will be two exhibits of 12 artists each.  We won’t know whether we will be in the Oct-Dec 2018 exhibit or the Jan-April 2019 exhibit until the works are completed and submitted August 1.  That means I need to work FAST!

I was chosen to showcase fused collage.  The exhibit is about techniques, with in depth information and supplementary materials.  From the acceptance letter:

In the exhibit, your piece will be accompanied by a number of items, including your artist statement, a brief bio, a photo of you in your studio, and materials which explain your technique. Each artist has a 20″ x 50″ area that they can use to explain their process. You can use process photos, sample pieces, written materials, even video presentations if you can figure out how to make it work.

But before I can fuse, I need the right COLORS to fuse.   Some years ago I made some cloth that I gave to my friend Kathy, who used it is a fabulous portrait of her granddaughter.   I thankfully kept notes of which dyes I used, and I call this combination “Kathy’s fabric.”  This time, I decided to make it not as dark—summer meadow greens instead of piney woods greens.

I start by dotting dye on, both navy and basic blue. I literally stick my latex-gloved fingers into the dye and daub it on. MANY classes with Carol Soderlund and many MANY yards of fabric and miles later, I can begin to predict what I will get because I tend to refer to my notes and books from the workshops, then go improv.

Then I add two or three yellows, because not just one will quite do what I want. Sometimes, I do a second cloth, as here, where I have actually mixed some greens instead of just doing yellow on blue.

For dye geeks, most of the time I prefer to paint dye onto cloth, then paint soda-ash/fixer solution on top, but this time I soda-soaked first, then daubed on the color.  When I want significant patterning, it’s soda-soak first.

The photo at the top of this post is the one which began with blue dots, then yellow, then greens.

Once I’ve gotten the color on, the fabric needs to batch so it moves under the table for several hours before washout, sometimes (as this time) overnight. Had to make some of my bright spring greens, too.

Then I decided to try to make a field with lupines in it, but blurry, to use as background at the top of the quilt.  I may have messed this one up…..

Sky at the top–good until I put some plastic over the top to batch it overnight. Apparently SOB there were stray dots of dye that didn’t get washed off properly last dyeing session. SOB.

This is what it looked like about six hours later. I like the way the dye is seeping up into the sky. This is when I covered it. SOB.  And most of those dots got covered up. 

This morning when uncovered. SOB. Random specks of pink in the sky. SOB. Will have to see after washout what remains.  Cover it up with tall lupines perhaps.  SOB.

I also decided to try ice dyeing for the first time, inspired by my friend Jim Vander Noot. I used a magazine holder because it was available to keep the fabric up out of the pooling, dripping dye (instead of a screen). Put another piece of cloth in the bottom of the tub to soak up the drips. I use pure dyes, not mixes which is more typical for ice dyeing, so I kinda winged it on this one. I sprinkled the dyes in the picture below on, then dribbled some yellow dye solution I had already mixed up as well.

Dyes sprinkled on.

Today I washed out….stuff in the washer now.  OH MY I am SOOOOOOO gonna do more ice dyeing…totally hooked!   Hope they look as spectacular washed and dried as they did rinsed out!

Stay tuned for an update.

And…gratuitous cat pic of the new kitten, Zabu (named after the Leapin’ lemur on Zoboomafu which the boys watched when they were little)

Sweetness, to be followed when awake by zooming and cavorting and wreaking kitty havoc.

#saqa, #fabriccollage, #artquilt,#artistsoninstagram, #fusedfabric

#saqaexplorations, #neqmexplorations, #saqa, #neqm, #saqamari

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