Archive for the ‘Teaching / Classes’ Category

Becoming a rose hip

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Off and on for the past couple of weeks I have been dyeing fabric, drawing or photoshopping images to make thermofax screens, and finally working on collaging the background for the rose hip, the large (36″ square) version. To those of you have landed here from my new newsletter, thank you! To those of you who don’t know about my new newsletter, please go here to the home page and sign up! I will write about mid-month and will never share your info!

When I last checked in with you, I was just getting to this stage–finishing the rose hip on a flat surface.
The next step was dyeing some greens. Kinda looks like pond scum, eh?

While I was at it, I used up the leftover dye for some autumn-y leaf colors for a future project.
Some of the fabrics turned out great–alas, most of these didn’t work for this piece. AND I got smart…I am now adding tags with the pure dyes used in each piece so I have a clue if I ever want to make them again.

Next, working on thermofax screens. This is the photo of a chicken at the Common Ground Fair last September–as soon as I saw the strong light and dark I thought “Thermofax screen!”
And here it is after photoshopping. It made a fabulous fabric, very dark tone on tone, that I’ve used in the background. Alas, I forgot tot akee pics before I cut it up!
I also wanted to make a texture similar to Rugosa rose leaves, so this is my initial sketch, which became a screen.
I tend to work in batches, so while I was making those screens, I made several others. That one on the right, the feathers, is about 20 inches long! The snow is for another future quilt.

These are the transparent paints I mixed, with a little black, to use for the rugosa texture on the rose leaves.
Here’s one of the leaves…..
And the two large leaves, in place. The long one on the left is about 18 inches long. Alas, after looking at it this morning, I have decided those two leaves are too dark and have to go. Back to the dye pots once this post and my newsletter are done! I’ll use the fabric for something else eventually.
LOVED the batik but knew ordering it that it was too high contrast for my process. A little Dye-Na-Flow and ProSilk textile paints fixed that easily: overpaint in green!
And where I am now. I want the quilt to be dramatic, but it feels to dark overall. The smaller version has brighter green leaves and I’ve decided I need to dye something that is midway between the medium-light hand-dyes on my shelf and the dark green used here. Or use some fabric Lisa Walton gave me years ago…I think her bits of green are just right, especially once I add some texture.

So that’s about it for now….thanks for surfing in, share the post, and let others know about the newsletter. I’d love to ramp up my teaching again, and the best way to do that is by showing my work and getting the word out there. Now, off to make cookies for the guys roofing the house in freezing weather, then down to the studio.

Sarah on The Quilt Show!

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Yep, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year because I’ll be able to tick off a Bucket List item: in early April I’ll tape an episode of The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson! Here’s a preview I taped with Ricky while I was teaching at International Quilt Festival 2018 in Houston last November. I’m so psyched–gosh they made my work look SO GOOD!

Interview with Ricky Tims about my upcoming visit to TheQuiltShow.com . I’ll tape the episode in April and it will air later in 2019, I’m guessing towards late summer or fall (August to November for those not in the northern hemisphere). If you’d like to get my monthly newsletter, sign up on my home page, here.

 We haven’t finalized the topics yet so can’t share what it will be, but it’s bound to be something along the lines of art quilts, painting, fusing and/or quilting. I know I can’t fit in everything, but I hope to inspire you and maybe even generate some teaching jobs. If your group or show is interested, please contact me using the contact page on my website. And if you’d like to follow this blog, please click on one of the options to subscribe in the sidebar to the left.

And OMG: SEE YOU ON THE QUILT SHOW! Yep, I’m shouting in delight!  Thank you Ricky, Alex, Justin and John–can’t wait, and some quilty friends will be there for taping too…SQUEEEE!

International Quilt Festival #4: Fine Finishes (to be retitled to Bindings and Piping and Facings, Oh My!)

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

Bindings and Pipings and Facings, Oh My! class in Houston 2018:  Truth in teaching: this is usually what my teacher’s table looks like: a hot mess!

I LOVE teaching this class!  I LOVE that EVERYONE gets how to achieve a perfect mitered corner no matter what width your binding!  I LOVE showing students how to use Susan K. Cleveland’s Piping Hot Binding tool–students come into class thinking “I’ll try it but don’t think I’ll ever use it” and leave with the tool in hand planning how they CAN use it because it rocks!   Then I teach my perfect facings for art quilts which by the way is also how you can do perfect prairie point “bindings” etc.   I LOVE that this class has something for everyone:  traditional, modern, art, contemporary, whatever you do, it works.   I also LOVED that this class more than any I have ever taught immediately embraced the idea of taking notes ON their class samples:  that way the notes don’t get lost, what you need to remember about how YOU sew and what to do to improve is right there on the sample.

YES! They got it! Put the notes ON the sample to remember how to get is JUST right!

One older quilter in the class was BEAMING when she left–she was so delighted as she had never done a corner, let alone a piped corner, this good. I think I will remember her smile forever–THIS is why I teach this class!

Doesn’t the pink bandana fabric look great as piping?

More notes, during the “perfect corners” part of the class in the morning

Midday/right after lunch we get to the piping (do the precise and time-consuming stuff first). LOVE Susan K. Cleveland’s Piping Hot Bindings tool. Available here.  It may be available at larger online sites, but I like buying things direct from the creator–Susan’s website is Pieces be With You (in the link).  I wrote my own instructions for the class handouts (without looking at Susan’s), but her more in depth instructions are worth every penny!   

The best part of Festival is FRIENDS–Linda Cooper

The absolute BEST PART of International Quilt Festival is FRIENDS!   Over the summer I learned that Linda, a BFF from my life on San Juan Island, would have a quilt in a special exhibit and was coming to Festival.  On Tuesday she showed up at my classroom door at lunch break with her friend from SJI.   They decided on the spot to take my Bindings class on Friday, their last full day at Festival (pitter patter, tear in my eye)!   It was like the intervening 14 years since I left the island evaporated.

She and Barbara managed to get the stuff to make the quilt sandwiches (class prep) and amongst the three of us came up with the requisite thread, scissors, rotary cutters, etc. to use.

Class….the lunchtime lull.  Thank you Kathy Spier for being my “Teacher’s Pet”—so much fun, met Suzy Webster when she took one of my classes a couple years ago.  This year her mom took Bindings, and we all had lunch together!   Like I said, the BEST PART of Festival is friends, old ones and making new ones!

Time permitting, we even get into some fun alternative edge treatments…couched yarn is perfect for postcards and small works

And miraculously, I remembered Linda and I needed to get a photo before she packed up for the day!

Old friends reunited!

 

 

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!

International Quilt Festival #2: Collage the Garden, Wednesday and Preview night

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

First off, Happy US Thanksgiving to one all around the world–this was written ahead and scheduled to post because (a) not everyone is in the US and (b) sometimes we need some R&R from the feasting and festivities!

My second full day at International Quilt Festival 2018 I got to teach one of my “Quilting the Garden” workshops, Collage the Garden.  Along with Thread-Coloring the Garden, the two classes can be combined into a two-to-five day workshop–any guilds or retreats out there interested????   My students were, of course, brilliant!    They had a choice of either the tiger lily or water lily in the class–I love when students take my patterns and projects and completely make them their own.   Like yesterday’s post, I’ll have TONS of pictures including some from Preview night on the show floor. Taught students how to pattern, how to use my favorite Mistyfuse, how to get the fabric to do some of the work for you!

These are the two class samples…you can see how well the students did!  One had a *very* hard time letting go from the traditional quilty-applique “thou must do it thus and so exactly” but she finally threw caution to the winds and did a great job–so proud of her!

and here you can see the actual student work:

Way to go!

Learning how to pattern

fabulous fabric choice….let the fabric do a bunch of the work for you. The placements of the darks is spot on.

and the water lily–love how she went deeper darker in the center with reference photo right there to guide her choices

students hard at play!

an ochre/yellow version

Flower nearly complete

And auditioning a background

Another great fabric choice, and love how the trees fabric changes once cut up and placed into the background

WOW!

The students were wonderful—LOVED having a FULL Class…the collective energy helped everyone!

Then there was preview night…drum roll:  gotta love that little red dot indicating my Autumn on Blueberry Lane sold…AND it was hanging next to my dear friend Deborah Boschert’s ladders and trees quilt, which ALSO sold!

Mine on left, Deborah Boshert’s ladders on right…and both sold!

Love it when I spot someone looking closely at my work, this time it is the Pink Oyster Mushrooms quilt

And part of the Power of Women exhibit….my Lilies of the valley is on the bottom tier on the right side. LOVED this particular part of the exhibit!

I’ll be back with more on Festival 2018 in the coming days!