Saturday, December 31, 2011

Things were humming along and then...snap!


Isn't it ironic that my free-motion presser foot breaks at strength?! LOL

Well as frustrating as that is I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised, this machine is over 20 years old and it is my favorite so it gets a lot of use. Luckily I found a replacement online pretty quick and have ordered a new foot.


I've been stitching the cups first, adding strong black lines to echo the illustration style of the vintage anatomical heart engraving and using monofilament across the rest of the cup to secure the fabric but not add as much visual texture.


Happy New Year!!!
I am definitely ready for a new one, things have got to start getting better!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pre order Quilting Arts TV Series 900

Earlier this fall, I taped three segments for Quilting Arts TV series 900:

For the first one I demonstrate a variety of techniques for discharging fabric using two less toxic products; Color Remover by RIT and DeCorourant. I show a couple shibori type methods with the RIT product and use freezer paper stencils, stamping and printing with thermofax screens with DeColourant. The two articles I have in the most recent Quilting Arts magazine and the Feb 2012 issue cover these products and techniques.

On the second segment I demonstrate machine quilting the Christmas tree skirt I designed for last years Quilting Arts Gifts issue and this coincides with some of the information I covered in the article on machine quilting in the October issue of Quilting Arts.

And in the last segment I paint with acrylic inks on cotton fabric (April QA issue), demonstrating layering color, stamping, creating a watercolor look and drawing with acrylic ink in quill pens.

Quilting Arts TV Series 900 - Pre Order now

Featured artists include: Charlotte Angotti, Margaret Applin, Ana Buzzalino, Diane Rusin Doran, Jamie Fingal, Debra Gabel, Candy Glendening, Helen Gregory, Laura Heine, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Heather Jones, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Barbara Olsen, Judy Coates Perez, Pat Sloan, Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero, Sarah Vedeler, Elin Waterston, and Terry White.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


May your holiday be blessed with good food on the table and loved ones around you. I raise a toast to you good friend, that your life be filled with peace, love and happiness. I am so grateful for all the wonderful friends I have met teaching and online from around the world, my life is richer from the experience. Namaste!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Swedish Magazine Interview



Last September 11th, I met with the editor of the Swedish Quilting magazine Rikstacket for an interview. The streets of downtown Chicago were unusually quiet on that somber 10 year anniversary, but the sun was shining and it was a lovely warm day. We met at the Art Institute for lunch and chatted about my work process, the differences between teaching in the US and Europe, exhibiting work and life.

It was fun to receive a copy of the magazine this week, not being able to read a word of it, lol, but enjoying the wonderful quality of the photos and printing and getting a taste of the European quilt world.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Best of Quilting Arts

 I just received my copy of the Best of Quilting Arts and was thrilled to see my art on the back cover!

This book is really a nice compilation of articles from the first 10 years of Quilting Arts magazine. I am so happy my article about using teabags and other paper ephemera with fabric to make small wall hangings was included in this wonderful book that is filled great techniques and big beautiful photos of lots of gorgeous artwork.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Are you going to International Quilt Festival Cincinnati?

This will be my first time teaching at IQA's newest location. I've never been to Cincinnati and am looking forward to spending a long weekend there this spring. Hopefully I'll still be in Chicago then and can make a road trip out of it instead of fly (so I can bring more stuff, lol).

If you'd like to take a class with me at festival I'll be teaching:

Tea & Ephemera  Thursday, April 12th

Color Theory,  Friday, April 13th

Heavy Metal Play Day,  Saturday, April 14th

Each of these classes are process based with lots of time to experiment and try out new techniques and media with minimal supply lists. Check out the catalog and sign up now!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Interested in a cool new online class option?



STITCHED is a collection of 20 online video workshops by 20 talented fabric artists. Students have access to all 20 workshops and can choose to view and work on the projects any time of the day, any day of the week. Registration opened Dec 1 and the workshops kick off on Jan 1 and run through June 1. Registration is only $89. 

My friend Deborah Boschert is teaching a workshop titled, "Branches, Buds and Blossoms: A Botanical Fabric Collage." She includes videos on selecting fabrics, adding surface design, composing and improvisational hand embroidery. Click on her name for more info about her workshop.

My friend Kelli Nina Perkins is also teaching a workshop on her fabulous Rolling Pin Sampler. 

This looks like a great opportunity to try out a lot of different techniques for one great flat fee. Check it out!


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

New color removing article in Quilting Arts magazine

I wanted to let you know I have a new article in the December/January issue of Quilting Arts magazine about discharging fabric with an inexpensive and easy use product from Rit. I began experimenting with it and found a new method of using the product with shibori and had great results with hand dyes and commercial fabrics.

It's the first of a two part series of articles on removing color from fabric. The next article using DeColourant will be in the February/March issue.

These articles coincide with the segment I taped for Quilting Arts TV series 900, that should be airing soon.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Painting Canvas


This week I had a need to paint so I pulled out a big piece of canvas, threw a layer of gesso on it and  drew a big octopus. Indigo's always telling me I should paint on canvas more.


I painted the octopus body with acrylic inks.


and painted the water and seaweed with regular acrylic paints. The water is actually more of a teal blue but the camera seems to have a hard time getting that color.

I love the golden orange and teal blue colors together, opposites on the color wheel, they really make the image pop.



I knew it needed more patterning of some kind, so Indigo suggested I make it a blue ring octopus. Which seemed perfect, because I needed some more dark values to balance the dark the eyes.


Now I need to get back to less fun and creative work, filling out class proposals, contracts, etc., but as things move along I'll post more photos.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

8 of Cups progress

I am finally getting some time to work on my latest piece. I decided I want the quilting to have less loft and dimension and instead have more stitched illustrative details, so I am using wool felt instead of batting. Luckily I had a big piece of yellow felt that a friend gave me during a recent purging that was just the right size.

I placed a layer of Mistyfuse between the felt and the painted top and did the same with the back. I wouldn't do this with batting because the fusible web penetrates the batting, glueing both the top and back together reducing the loft of the batting, but for this project that is not a problem.

For the back I used left over fabrics that had mistyfuse already adhered to them from the Agave quilt I made several years ago. I don't do fusible applique very often so the fabrics have just been sitting on the shelf not getting used.

For the quilting on the cups, I am using back thread in an illustrative way, using it to create more visual dimension that looks more like drawn lines.


That's it so far, I don't think I will make very fast progress on this piece right now. I have a very busy couple of months ahead of me, not only with the holidays, but I need to start clearing out possessions and get my place ready to put on the market in January. I am planning to move back to California in the spring. I need to stop living in the limbo I've been in the last three years and take my life back and that begins with moving and getting my divorce finalized. Never thought I'd be starting my life over at this age, but hey if it doesn't kill ya, it will make you stronger right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A day out with my sister

Over the weekend my sister Deb came to visit me from Maine for Thanksgiving. With finances being so tight we haven't seen each other in 2 years, but a month ago we were able to find a flight on JetBlue for $80 roundtrip from Boston to Chicago to split, so this holiday has even more to be thankful for.

On Sunday we headed over to my favorite local gallery Packer Schopf to see the closing of Brian Dettmers exhibit of incredible carved books. The bonus was getting to meet artist Kathy Halper who also has an exhibit in the gallery this month.


I love Kathy's work, she does stitched drawings that explore the lives of teens in social media. Her images come from sometimes disturbing and often very humorous posts on facebook dealing with sex, drugs and the loss of privacy and innocence. Her work is so timely and relevant and perfectly executed in neutral colored floss on linen.


After the gallery, we walked over to my favorite coffee shop La Colombe, but had to stop at this dumpster when we saw it's public service message

Mmmmm hot coffee on a cold afternoon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Experimental Letters!


Check out Lisa Engelbrecht's tutorial on Experimental Letters. I love the retro look these initial letters have. Very fun, I'm going to have to try making some of these.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kelli's posted a new sparkly holiday tutorial

Make a Whimsical Spool Garland that you can repurpose after the holidays. Plus, sign up to win a copy of the Quilting Arts Workshop dvd "Stitch Imagery: From Photo to Fabric Fun," a leather bound journal, fantastic paper packs and more! Hop on over for another day of ArtSpark.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Folk Art Inspired Ornament


What you're going to need


4" square Walnut Hollow aluminum and cardboard from package
embossing tool
ribbon for hanging
red paint
paint brush
decorative craft scissors
paper scissors
hole punch
E-6000 glue or similar adhesive
Adirondack alcohol inks and blending solution (optional)

Click on the heart image to open a full size jpg on another web page. Drag image onto your desktop and print heart design so that it fits on a  4" square (on point, measure on the diagonal).  Trace outline onto the 4" cardboard square that came in the aluminum package. Cut it out and paint it red on both sides. Punch a small hole for the hanging ribbon in the top.



Center line drawing over the 4" metal square and trace the small heart, this will lightly emboss the heart on the metal.


Using decorative edge craft scissors cut just outside the embossed line.


Glue metal heart to cardboard with E-6000 or similar strong multipurpose adhesive, it may need 24 hours to dry completely. Then emboss decorative designs on the metal, I prefer using a nylon tipped tool for this.


Draw the design of your choice on the paper heart, place over the metal and trace the design so that it transfers to the metal.


Go over the lines with the embossing tool to add more depth to the design and add more decorative details.


You could stop here with a silver embossed design or add color with Adirondack Alcohol inks.

Use Alcohol blending solution instead of water to lighten colors, rehydrate the inks on your palette (because they dry very quickly) and clean your brush between colors.



Thread ribbon through the hole and tie it for hanging.


Tomorrow be sure to see Kelli Nina Perkins Whimsical Spool Garland, you know it's going to be fun and colorful!

Check out all these other great tutorials:

November 9:: Jane LaFazio Sketch & Stitch Gift Bags   
November 10: Lyric Kinard Glitter, Glisten, Glimmer: Beaded Snowflake Ornament
November 11: Tracie Lyn Huskamp Christmas Cardinal Ornament
November 13: Traci Bunkers Moldable Foam Stamps 
November 14: Melanie Testa Zipper Pouch
November 15: Judy Coates Perez Folk Art Inspired Ornament 
November 16: Kelli Nina Perkins Whimsical Spool Garland  
November. 17: Lisa Engelbrecht Experimental Lettering
November 18: Jill Berry Geo Papers and Projects
November 19: Gloria Hansen Resizing a Digital Image the Easy Way
November 20: Diana Trout Japanese-Style Fabric Wrap (Furoshiko)

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