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Never underestimate the inspiration caused by a group project

December 20th, 2020

Art should be like a holiday: something to give a man the opportunity to see things differently and to change his point of view. -Paul Klee, painter (18 Dec 1879-1940) 

So I’m part of Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild, one of two local groups. This chapter, part of the MQG (Modern Quilt Guild) is the smaller of the two and is almost completely comprised of members of Coastal Quilters (the other group) which is part of the statewide Pine Tree Quilt Guild (Maine is the Pine Tree state). For once, I decided to participate in a round robin sort of thing. This year, the group opted to have each person do a block for ONE member of the group, doing it every other month or so.

Let me tell you I was stumped. I started by pulling fabrics.

Other than the sky fabric which I purchased because I didn’t have the right color or the time to dye something to order, I used only my own hand-dyes, above.

This past month was Becca’s turn. At first her prompt had me totally baffled: Paul Klee – Swiss/German Artist 1879-1940, use solids/read as solids, and she quoted several bits about his style and inspiration:

  • Klee … greatly admired the art of children who seemed free to create free of models or previous examples. In his own work, Klee often strove to achieve a similar untutored simplicity, using the intense colors inspired by an early trip to North Africa and by line drawing in the unstudied manner of everyday craftsman.
  • Klee suggests that color, shape and the faintest suggestion of a subject are enough to powerfully recreate in the eye of the viewer the actual feeling of repose the artist experienced in the original landscape.

Once I started pulling fabrics, though, I got excited. I googled Paul Klee…well first I googled Klimt and it didn’t seem to jive, then Becca corrected my mental jump from Klee to Klimt and things made more sense. I thought this quilt looked like good imagery for improv piecing:

Paul Klee’s Castle and Sun

I started with the pointy roofed houses and made two sets, then did some strips. I made my castle wall darker and shorter than his, but opted to have two towers reminiscent of the ones here. I used a few pops of the brighter yellow and ochre and the light green and the bright blue scattered hither and yon as in the original. I really liked the odd jigs at the top so left it up to Becca to leave them or trim.

At about 24 x 27 inches, it is a rather large “block,” but only took me a couple days to put together. There may be something to this improv stuff! Anyway, I had a ton of fun and am energized to dive into dyeing fabric and new work in January once the holidays are done. Hope you’ve enjoyed!

Perfect Pattern Weights free pattern!

December 9th, 2020

These just-perfect sized pattern weights, 3″ on a side, are not only just the thing for YOUR sewing room, but they make quick and easy gifts for anyone you know who sews!

PerfectPatternWeights by SarahAnnSmith.com
Can you tell how much FUN I had? Lookit the doggie as a Halloween Ghost (top row) and the goofy Space Alien (center right) and those fantastic Garden Pindots (middle and lower rows)! See free PDF for pattern and Michael Miller Fabrics fabric details.

Early in my year as a Michael Miller Fabrics Brand Ambassador for 2020, I decided to use some Marbles (MMF Basic collection) for a much-wished-for set of pattern weights. Most patterns on the internet were way too big–at least 4″ on a side. I wanted mine smaller, to fit into smaller areas. As I made them I thought what fun it would be to remember this year by using fabrics from each collection and project that I made in more weights. It’s now December, and here’s what I have….FUN! Even better, Here is a FREE Printable PDF so you can make your own. The printable version duplicates what comes next:

Here’s the hotlink again to the printable PDF.

And some new info: My cousin said the rice filled ones can be popped into the microwave (briefly!) and make nice handwarmer’s, and a friend said she uses a combination of fiberfill for soft outside and buckshot for the center to add the heft that you need for a pattern weight.

ENJOY and stay safe–here’s to hoping next year at this time we’ll be like to something approaching normalcy with COVID controlled, almost everyone vaccinated, and holidays celebrated with a LOT OF HUGS!

Sarah’s Machine Quilting Forum II video–ends Dec. 12

December 6th, 2020

Now Registered participants ONLY can SEE it … CLEARLY!

If you were enrolled in the Virtual Quilt Festival’s second Machine Quilting Forum on Saturday, you know there were serious transmission issues with my presentation that made the video just yucky. TOTAL BUMMERS, but now TOTAL JOY! Thanks to the hard working folks in the Education Department (who should have been taking today off) you can SEE the video through December 12th. After that, like Cinderella’s pumpkin, it disappears. To access it, follow the following steps:

Registered participants ONLY can follow these instructions – 

—Go to My Schedule (be sure to select the Saturday, Dec 5 schedule)

—Click on the class – 320 Machine Quilting Forum II

—A new page will open with the description of the class, recording link, faculty links, and attachments

—Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the PDF attachment and the link to “Sarah Ann’s Video” to watch the YouTube video

Here are some screen shots. They drew attention to the video by adding a text message in RED font in the class description.

Then this will open up on the next page. My friend Jenny K. Lyon prepared a PDF with links to her stuff, I prepared one for my stuff and the questions I received, and I was able to upload my presentation as an “Unlisted” video on my YouTube channel. The only way to access it is through your “My Schedule” portal. I promise, the video quality is VASTLY better!

Special thanks to Suzanne Hyland, head of the Education Department, who checked email on Sunday when she should have been taking a nap to recover from the frenetic pace she kept up for weeks to direct and pull off this debut event. MASSIVE THANKS to everyone at Quilts Inc. and, for me particularly, in the Education Department. I took three classes, attended three lectures, and would do it again–both present and attend–in a nano-second! Please let Quilts, Inc., the people who bring you International Quilt Festival Houston (and more) that you want MORE!

Teaching at Virtual Quilt Festival, the IQF answer to COVID!!!!

November 25th, 2020

I’ll be one of the five panelists in the Machine Quilting Forum on Saturday, December 5. You can still sign up! Here’s a link to the “Saturday” page. If we weren’t able to go to Houston this year, this is a spiffy alternative! There is a link at the top of the page to enroll. The price for forums, lectures and classes is astonishingly reasonable…. I’ve signed up to be a student too!

I do believe Quilts Inc, the folks that bring you the International Quilt Festival every year (except this one due to COVID) have come up with a better version of the online quilt festival: forums, lectures and Master Classes. The longest are 2 hours, a length of time that gives you TONS of content at a reasonable price in a time length that is manageable online.

I’m actually taking FIVE things: three lectures and two classes. Even better, TWO of them are at the same time … but it’s not a conflict! You don’t even need Hermione Granger’s Time Turner (Harry Potter geek reference), because most of the events are recorded and available for one week! So I can take a class and a lecture that overlap, yet be able to watch BOTH! I’m so stoked… things I’ve never been able to do because in Houston there are classes to teach all day and exhibits and people to see during each and every break.

Anyway, I’d love for you to join me for the Machine Quilting Forum–I’m also excited because for the first time I’ll be able to hear the OTHER teachers just like all the participants! See you in “Virtual Houston”!

Learn with Sarah, online and in person

September 2nd, 2020

My video about my online and in person teaching debuted this evening at Global Quilt Connection, an amazing resource that allows you to meet the teachers. I hope you’ll enjoy it and think of having me teach for you, online and in person. There are five sessions, and the day following each of the five, ALL of the presentations are available to view at your convenience. Find the links here.

Full details on my workshops are available here, and a sample contract with price info is there too.

I am in awe of the teachers who presented tonight at Global Quilt Connection. I’m thrilled that so many teachers have moved online because now *I* can take classes that have heretofore not been available to me. Hope you enjoy my video! Do write if you are interested… I can customize classes, break a full day into to half-day sessions and more.