Archive for the ‘Machine Quilting’ Category

SAQA Food for Thought Exhibit online!

Monday, April 6th, 2015

To coincide with the debut of the Food for Thought Exhibit ( blogpost coming soon), Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) has published an online slideshow of the exhibit!   The exhibit opens a multi-year run at the National Quilt Museum in  Paducah, Kentucky, and runs from April 10 to July 8.

Insalata, (c) 2014  Sarah Ann Smith.  Premieres next week at the Food for Thought exhibit at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, USA.

Insalata, (c) 2014 Sarah Ann Smith. Premieres next week at the Food for Thought exhibit at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, USA.

If you love the slideshow, you can also buy the catalog, which is beautifully done.  I’ll blog about that later this month!

An Embroidered Tote for Janome

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

As many of my loyal readers know, I sew on a Janome.  I have been incredibly fortunate to be a part of their artists and teachers loan program for an embarrassingly, blissfully long time.  THANK YOU, JANOME AMERICA (and yes, I’m shouting!)  As part of this program, I gladly and happily make things which they can use, whether it is a banner for their booth (and also used in their adverts!), a project used online, asking to teach in Janome classrooms at big shows, you  name it.  This season, I have been using a (gasp, gulp!) top of the line 15000 embroidery and quilting machine.  Links for a free tutorial on this caddy are at the end of this post.

Embroidered Caddy for Janome America.  The sewing machine is a built-in design on the top of the line Janome 15000.

Embroidered Caddy for Janome America. The sewing machine is a built-in design on the top of the line Janome 15000.  Right Click to see larger.  Thanks to Jean S.  I know now this design was created by Jill Buckley, who has fun stuff on her blog here.  Nice to meet you Jill!

Embroidery you say?   Well, I never would have thought that *I* would fall in love with machine embroidery–the pre-programmed kind, but I have.   I’ve got a project for fall that will be awesome using one of Lonni Rossi’s designs built into the machine.  But for spring, I have made that lovely little tote!  It is 4×8 inches (footprint), 5 inches tall.   I used two embroidery designs that are included on the machine along with the initials that are one of several included alphabets (see photo below for the other side).

One of the things that most surprised me is how easy the interface is with the software.  I’m not very patient with that sort of computer-ish stuff (and after all, these machines are really computers that sew).  This was SO EASY to size, position, all of it.  Even *I* could do it using the manual–no classes needed!  And utterly cool:  there is an iPad app that allows you to do stuff elsewhere in the house. With the iPad and your 15000 sharing your wifi network, you can view the progress of the stitch-out so you know if you need to go to your sewing machine and change thread colors or insert a full bobbin.  Totally cool!

FREE TUTORIAL!

Best of all, this project has just been featured on Janome’s blog where you can find a link to free instructions!   Today you can see my project here as a featured project.  Scroll down their blog to April 1 for a blogpost  on it.  Or go straight to the project, here.  At the bottom of that post is a link to download a PDF of my full instructions.

Here’s a view of the other side and the end:

Side two:  the Heart is also an included design, the font is called "Galant" and is also included on the machine.  It was surprisingly easy to create the design on the machine.  And if you happen to be my BFF living on SJI with the initials MZJ, yep--this is a sneak peek at part of your birthday present!  Red is the theme this year.....

Side two: the Heart is also an included design, the font is called “Galant” and is also included on the machine. It was surprisingly easy to create the design on the machine. And if you happen to be my BFF living on SJI with the initials MZJ, yep–this is a sneak peek at part of your birthday present! Red is the theme this year…..Right click to see larger.

End view of the caddy.  I used one of the built-in decorative stitches on the handle.

End view of the caddy. I used one of the built-in decorative stitches on the handle.

Thank you again, Janome, for years of support.  Your fabulous machines make it possible for me to do what I do!

Quilting the Garden: Thread Coloring the Flower

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

In my last post, I told you about my new series of workshops.  Click here  (or scroll down) to read the previous post.  The first workshop, From Photo to Flower Collage, can be a one or two-day workshop.  This time, it will be two-days (click here for more information, there are just a couple spots left).  The second workshop, ThreadColoring the Flower (click here) is booked this time as a one-day class.

The Pink Water Lily from my ThreadColoring the Flower workshop.

The Pink Water Lily from my ThreadColoring the Flower workshop.  www.SarahAnnSmith.com (c) 2015

The water lily photo for the workshop. Photo (c) SarahAnnSmith

The water lily photo for the workshop. Photo (c) SarahAnnSmith

The Close up of the wild Day Lily, also used in the workshop. (c) Sarah Ann Smith.  PS:  Sorry about all the watermarking and copyright notices--after the incident where someone created derivative copies of my work, I'm being even more  diligent about marking stuff.  So sad to have to do this!

The Close up of the wild Day Lily, also used in the workshop. (c) Sarah Ann Smith. PS: Sorry about all the watermarking and copyright notices–after the incident where someone created derivative copies of my work, I’m being even more diligent about marking stuff. So sad to have to do this!

Again, students begin with a choice of two images:  the pink water lily or the orange day lily.  This time, however, students choose in advance which flower, because I provide them with a photo printed onto cotton sateen (done at Spoonflower).  Why?  You know how you go to a workshop, and are lucky if you get the top done in time to begin quilting at the end of the day?  I wanted students to have the entire day to learn how to use and blend the thread so that they learn the process.  If they begin with the image already on the cloth, they can get straight to the thread-coloring without worrying about “messing up” the top on which they worked so hard.

Along with the approx.  11 x 14 inch photo-on-fabric, the kit includes five spools of Superior Threads 40-wt. trilobal polyester thread for quilting the flower (students need to provide their own greens or purchase additional–I wanted to keep the cost of the kit down by requiring only the threads needed for the flower), and stabilizer to help prevent distortion from the dense stitching.  We’ll talk about tension, needles, stabilizing for dense thread-work and more.  However, if students wish, after working a bit on the photo-on-fabric, they are welcome to switch over and start quilting their collaged flower (if they were in the Photo to Flower Collage workshop, of course).

Detail of the Pink Water Lily shows the dense stitching.

Detail of the Pink Water Lily shows the dense stitching.

For my Water Lily quilt, I took a second photo, cut it up, and used it as a frame for the small quilt.  The Day Lily is simply quilted and aced, as are most of my art quilts, with no border.

Quilted DayLily.

Quilted DayLily.

I’m so psyched about the trip to North Carolina–I’ll get to meet internet friends who are taking the class, and spend THREE DAYS with some of them, plus visit Program Chair Debby Harwell, whom I met in a dyeing workshop with Carol Soderlund (at ProChem in Massachusetts) lo these many years ago.  This is gonna be a blast!  I can’t wait to share what the students do.  Now, I just need to figure out how to take photos and blog from my ipad!

Quilting the Garden–NEW Workshops! Photo to Flower Collage

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

I am SO excited to share with you the first of two new workshops that will debut with the Charlotte (NC) Quilters Guild next week!   The first workshop, From Photo to Flower Collage, can be a one or two-day workshop.  This time, it will be two-days (click here for more information, there are just a couple spots left).  The second workshop, ThreadColoring the Flower (click here) is booked this time as a one-day class.

Orange Daylily collage in batik, part of the Photo to Flower Collage / Quilting the Garden workshop

Orange Daylily collage in batik, part of the Photo to Flower Collage / Quilting the Garden workshop

I designed these workshops so that a guild can book what will work for their guild:  a single day or a two-day  workshop for either of the two.  With a little added content, the workshop can be expanded to a full five days allowing students to really work in depth, with one-on-one assistance, to create their own collaged and thread-colored art quilt.  I’ll post in detail about the ThreadColoring workshop in two days.

The students learn how to see value (light and dark) and how to translate the imagery in a  photo into their own working pattern.  I provide two photos, the day lily (taken by the roadside near my home) and the water lily (taken by me at the Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor) for the Day 1 class project, which will finish about  9 x 12 inches:

The water lily photo for the workshop. Photo (c) SarahAnnSmith

The water lily photo for the workshop. Photo (c) SarahAnnSmith

The Close up of the wild Day Lily, also used in the workshop. (c) Sarah Ann Smith.  PS:  Sorry about all the watermarking and copyright notices--after the incident where someone created derivative copies of my work, I'm being even more  diligent about marking stuff.  So sad to have to do this!

The Close up of the wild Day Lily, also used in the workshop. (c) Sarah Ann Smith. PS: Sorry about all the watermarking and copyright notices–after the incident where someone created derivative copies of my work, I’m being even more diligent about marking stuff. So sad to have to do this!

When I created the class sample, I wanted to do one in fabrics students can get, such as the batiks in the example above.  However, I also wanted to try the image using only hand-dyes.  This next sample is just that.  I used one of my thermofax screens, Squiggles (available here at Fiber on a Whim) and textile paint to create the green on green background on my own hand-dyed fabric.

Another verion of the daylily, made exclusively with my own hand-dyes and thermofax screened hand-dye.

Another verion of the day lily, made exclusively with my own hand-dyes and thermofax screened hand-dye.

And no, I don’t know which one I like most!

Here is the water lily, made from both commercial batiks and my own hand-dyes:

Pink Water Lily (c) SarahAnnSmith

Pink Water Lily (c) SarahAnnSmith

The second day in this workshop, students will bring their own photos (or use my second photo), select one, and create their own larger art quilt.  I’m so excited to be able to teach my collage process and help folks learn to see and create their own artwork by understanding some of the basic elements and principles of design with strong composition, lighting, and fabric selection.

 

 

Taro and Florida

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Jeepers…talk about busy!  I can always tell when I’m slamming busy because the blog is neglected more than usual!  Well, I’ve got lots to share once I can find time to process the photos and then write!   It is the end of high school wrestling season, and tomorrow Eli is headed to the State tournament in Fryeburg.   Send “wrestle your best” thoughts and “NO INJURY” thoughts!  I’ll keep you posted.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, (my pattern) Taro block

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, (my pattern) Taro block.  Click to see larger.

In between waiting for practices to end and going to meets, I’ve been working on class samples for my new series of workshops called Quilting the Garden.  These will debut in North Carolina (Charlotte Quilters Guild) in April when I travel there to teach.  I’ll share those soon.   And I’m teaching Hawaiian Quilting by Machine in Florida.  However my two main quilts that I take are in the 500 Traditional Treasures exhibit and I won’t have them to take to the class…erk!   So I decided I needed to take the one sample I have, but make some new pieces.  So Tuesday I cut out the designs, yesterday I did the stitching, and today I quilted one of two.  I’m HAPPY!

(c) Sarah Ann Smith; fused applique, satin stitched.

(c) Sarah Ann Smith; fused applique, satin stitched.

The design is the positive and negative (you get both from one square of fabric) Taro block from my pattern Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul.  We needed new Euro square pillow shams–the ones I’ve been using I had appliqued during the first Gulf War, and they look it–tattered!   So I took the 18 inch block, added borders, and presto!

(c) Sarah Ann Smith.  The blocks at the top stage.  These colors make me happy!

(c) Sarah Ann Smith. The blocks at the top stage. These colors make me happy!

I hope the students like these!  I FINALLY managed to video myself on my iPhone with some technique stuff for the class.  Now need to upload that and get the videos into my Keynote presentations for the class.  And order supplies to be shipped.  And finish the samples for the April Workshop.  And the remainder of the wrestling season.  And begin a quilt that is due in April.  SO excited to begin that one–I may disappear for a while again!  OK, gotta run.  That’s it for tonight!