Thursday, December 15, 2011

I *Like* Glitter

The lids have come off the glitter jars.

When my children were younger they loved to make pancakes with my husband. Standing on a chair, their chubby toddler bellies sticking out, they particularly enjoyed that my husband would add a variety of sweeteners to the batter. While stirring (and testing) the ingredients one child famously said, with a Jack Nicholson kind of gleam in his eyes, "I LIKE sugar!!"

 And, at the risk of tainting my reputation as an artist, that's kind of how I feel about glitter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dyeing to Stitch DVD Winner!

Congratulations to Gina of Clay and Fiber - she is our lucky winner of Candy Glendening's DVD, Dyeing to Stitch!

If you didn't win, you can check out these blogs for other opportunities:

·         Friday, 11/11 –  Victoria Gertenbach of The Silly BooDilly­
·         Monday, 11/14 – Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River
·         Wednesday, 11/16 –  Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio
·         Friday, 11/18 – Melody Johnson of Fibermania
·         Monday, 11/21 – Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
·         Wednesday, 11/23 – Diane Doran of Ooh! Pretty Colors
·         Friday, 11/25 –  Vicki Welsh of  Field Trips in Fiber
·         Monday, 11/28/11 – Brenda Gael Smith of Serendipity and the Art of the Quilt
·         Wednesday, 11/30 – Amy Webb of Amy Lou Who Sews
·         Friday, 12/2 – Robin Ferrier of Simply Robin
·         Tuesday, 12/6 – Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
·         Thursday, 12/8  – Beth and the gang from Sew Mama Sew

Friday, November 25, 2011

Time to Sew! (and Craft)

1/24/12 Edited to Add:

This post has links to tutorials I've written. I'll add to the list as new tutorials are available - enjoy!

Updated 12/17/2013 - a new tutorial and an update to the stockings tutorial! Scroll to the bottom to see them.

Updated 11/6/2015 - Links have changed for projects on the Quilting Arts Website.

OK, it's Black Friday, and you're not going to see me at a mall. As the holidays approach my first instinct is not to figure out what I can buy, but what I can make. Luckily there are several people in my life (most notably my sister) who truly appreciate it when I make a gift for them.

I find myself perusing the internet to find holiday sewing and crafting ideas, and this year it occurred to me that I've never put the links to all the projects I've designed (that are available free) in one place. So here they are!

1. Junior Legal Pad Cover/Folio - also from Quilting Arts Gifts 2009/2010 and Quilting Arts TV Episode 805 - I've made this gift for a variety of people, and keep one in my purse at all times. The cover and flap provide just enough room for you to try out a little surface design or applique.

2. Personalized Tote - Shown on Quilting Arts TV Episode 810
I had a great time designing this little tote/purse using designs I created using Kaleidoscope Kreator . Of course you could use any fabric, commercial or of your own design, for the flap. On one of the samples I even went crazy and did some hand embroidery - uncharacteristic for me, but fun!

3. Esther's Tote - My basic, go to tote design. I've made it in a variety of fabrics, from sophisticated to girly, and get complements every time.

If you make any projects from these tutorials I'd love to see pictures of them!

So are you going to be sewing today, or shopping?

Happy sewing!

Updates: 12/5/12
4.  These are some cute mini-stockings that I designed for last year's Quilting Arts Gifts.

I love them as embellishments for gifts

I originally designed them to hang on a swag
Add numbers to the clothespins and use them as an advent calendar
Yesterday (12/4/12) this project was featured on Quilting Daily, so if you'd like to make your own mini-stockings, head *here* to get the directions. OR - head *here* to this downloadable version that was added to Quilting Arts TV projects on 12/17/2013.

5. Though not Christmasy, these water bottle slings make easy gifts, especially for kids (so they can carry their own!).

 They were originally in 101 Patchwork Projects + Quilts, but I also showed how to make them on Quilting Arts TV episode 910, and the directions are *here*. NOTE: As of 11/6/15 They do require you to log in to Quilting Arts to Access these directions.

6. If you're looking for more technique oriented info, there are many great articles available on the Machine Quilting Unlimited Web Extras! page. In particular, if you're interested in learning how to quilt feathers, check out the links to my article on feathers, as well as Judy Woodworth's.

7. Added 12/17/13  I'm never without my phone, so this project may very well be my favorite. It's a little cell phone holder with a pocket for carrying your I.D. or credit cards. Check it out *here*.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dyeing to Stitch DVD Giveaway!

I'm simply delighted that Candy Glendening asked me to be part of her DVD blog tour. As you may recall Candy filmed her DVD, Dyeing to Stitch, the day before I filmed my DVD in Cleveland in early September.
Candy sent me her DVD a few weeks ago and I watched it right away.  Candy is a very personable, high energy person, and I noticed immediately that her personality shines through in the DVD.
I've been dyeing fabric for about twenty years now, having learned how by reading various articles and books (and dyeing hundreds of yards of fabric). I was therefore quite happy when Candy's DVD taught me several new things, especially with regards to folding the fabric to achieve different patterning. I only wish that a DVD like this had been available when I first started dyeing fabric - she covers all the basics, and then keeps building on that foundation. As a fellow scientist I literally applauded when she explained the tests she did to figure out how to make her dyeing both consistent and easy - she's done all the work so that all you need to do is follow her directions to successfully dye fabric from the start.
So now for the really good part - I get to give away one of her DVDs! Just leave me a comment for a chance to win. If you follow my blog you'll get another chance. I'll draw a name bright and early Tuesday, November 29. (Please be sure that your email address is accessible from your comment, as I will be emailing the winner to get their snail mail address.)
If you just can't wait, the DVD is available on Candy's website, or from Interweave (where there's also a download available).

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour for additional chances to win:

·         Friday, 11/11 –  Victoria Gertenbach of The Silly BooDilly­
·         Monday, 11/14 – Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River
·         Wednesday, 11/16 –  Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio
·         Friday, 11/18 – Melody Johnson of Fibermania
·         Monday, 11/21 – Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
·         Wednesday, 11/23 – Diane Doran of Ooh! Pretty Colors
·         Friday, 11/25 –  Vicki Welsh of  Field Trips in Fiber
·         Monday, 11/28/11 – Brenda Gael Smith of Serendipity and the Art of the Quilt
·         Wednesday, 11/30 – Amy Webb of Amy Lou Who Sews
·         Friday, 12/2 – Robin Ferrier of Simply Robin
·         Tuesday, 12/6 – Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
·         Thursday, 12/8  – Beth and the gang from Sew Mama Sew

Friday, November 18, 2011

Branching Out - Again!

Turns out an old dog can learn new tricks. My Machine Quilting Unlimited column, Filler Finesse, is expanded in 2012 - 3 fills per issue instead of two, and an additional stitched out sample using all three fills in one composition. I've decided to use the "three fills in one" compositions to try out some techniques that I haven't really used before. Back in September I shared an experiment I made using thread painting - something new to me. For the March issue I tried something else.

I can't show you the whole sample, as that would give away the quilting fills, but wanted to focus on this flower. I've used fusible applique many times in the past, but generally satin stitch the edges down. In this sample I quilted the entire background first, then fused on the flowers. OK, not terribly exciting. However, the real departure for me was that I did not trace the flower parts at all. I looked at a bunch of crocus photographs, made some very rough sketches, then applied fusible web to my hand dyed fabrics. I then cut out all the applique pieces free hand, just looking at my little sketches. I think I could have done a little better with the shading of the fabrics, but for someone who has always done applique in a very preplanned and precise manner, I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Have you tried anything new lately?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Featured Artist

The concert at St. John's church was excellent, and here's a photo of me with my quilts.
Can you tell the photographer is taller than me ;) ?

I really enjoyed discussing my work with a variety of concert goers. Many thanks to my friend Debra for lending me the grid system and lights to hang my quilts.

In other news, check out Pokey's blog today!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Music & Art

Join me tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 at St. John's Episcopal Church, 9120 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, Maryland. The Orchestra of St. John's is having their inaugural concert of the season - The Splendor of Organ and Trumpet. I'll be there as the featured artist with several of my quilts.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Back From Houston

Still getting back in the swing of things after returning from the Houston Quilt Festival. There's been lots of real life happening, including the third family birthday in 15 days!

I had a wonderful time and met lots of talented artists. One of the highlights of the trip was spending time in the Machine Quilting Unlimited booth with Kit Robinson (managing editor) and Vicki Anderson (owner and publisher). We were so busy that I completely forgot to take any pictures! However, Vicki did interview me about my column, and here it is:

There's an MQUMag channel on youtube with lots of other interviews from the quilt festival, including one with Best of Show winner Sue McCarty - be sure and check those out.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Houston Quilt Festival 2011

I can't believe that in just two days I'll be heading to Houston for the International Quilt Festival. I don't have an hour by hour schedule, but I will absolutely be spending time in the Machine Quilting Unlimited booth, #204. I'm also hoping to attend the SAQA meet up at 5:30 on Thursday. I'll be at the show on Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday, so if you see me be sure and say hello!

This year I have a smallish quilt in the IQA show. It's a little more abstract than most of my recent pieces, and I had a great time making it. I was much freer with my construction techniques this time around, and added some paint to emphasize some of the vertical elements.And I really love those blues.
Jamestown, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

From our Halloween Archives ...

November/December Machine Quilting Unlimited

Last week I received my preview copy of the November/December issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. Wow! Look at this cover -

The cover image is just a taste of the wonderful photography inside. They always have lots of beautiful quilts, but this issue has even more than usual.

In addition to my Filler Finesse column, I also wrote an article about using decorative stitches for quilting. In it there are photos of quilts by Carol Ann Waugh, Cathy Jeffrey, Jane Sassaman, Karen Linduska, and Mary Vaneecke. They are all lovely quilts, and really helped to show the many effects that can be produced by various styles of decorative stitches - thanks ladies!
And speaking of MQU, I better go get my next filler article done before I leave for Houston later this week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Doodle All the Day

There's been a lot of buzz lately about sketchbooks amongst art quilters. I really enjoy checking out all the posts related to the sketchbook challenge. I admire all those artists who do journal, and love to see how their journaling eventually translates into other work.

Yesterday I received my copy of the latest SAQA Journal, and lo and behold there was even an article about sketchbooks/journals by Vivien Zepf.It made me feel much better! I don't journal, or even have a sketchbook. I use the computer as what I like to call my "virtual design wall". I do sketch out ideas occasionally, and have a folder full of sketches I've made over the years, but it's not something that I feel compelled to do. The one exception is when I'm considering new quilting designs (as in the actual stitching, not the overall quilt). Here are two pages of sketches, or doodles, that I made while thinking about upcoming "Filler Finesse" columns for Machine Quilting Unlimited.

OK, the number line at the top is not a potential quilting design - it was an illustration of negative numbers for my youngest son

 Designing quilting motifs or fillers for an article is an iterative process for me. I go back and forth between sketching, stitching, and then making a clean diagram in Illustrator. I skip the illustrator step if I'm working on a quilt and not writing an article.

So do you have a sketchbook or journal? How does it fit in to your design process?