Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Irrepressible Robbi

Bonnie has done another wonderful interview, this time with Robbi Joy Eklow. You can see Robbi's engineer mind at work here as she shows how she squares up her huge quilts. Brilliant!

Friday, June 26, 2009

An evening bike ride

We heard some whoops and cheers around 6 tonight and looked out the window to see hundreds of people on bikes. They went rolling by for about 15 minutes. It was so fun seeing all the different kinds of bikes and other modes of wheeled transportation.
This was my favorite.

Sewing plastic bags

That's right, I am sewing plastic bags. I am putting kits together for my MIU Metal Magic workshop for Long Beach. In the kits I include 4 mini brads with all the other supplies. During my last workshop a few people lost a brad when opening the kit.
I looked to see if I had some little bags to put the brads in this time, but couldn't find any. My solution was to make little packets from a gallon size ziplock bag. I sewed two vertical divisions every two inches.
Put four brads in each section and sewed two horizontal divisions creating a grid of little packets.
I cut each packet apart with a rotary cutter. These do not need to be sturdy bags, since they will be placed in the kit and opened at the workshop.
It is surprising how many hours goes into preparing for a one hour workshop.
This afternoon, I pack up the kits.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Houston Quilt Festival

Look what just came in the mail, are you going?
I will be teaching two classes this year and you can find them listed in this part of the catalog.

Thursday is the Mixed Media Fabric class
and each student will get to choose one of these kits to work with.
here's an example of how one student used some of the fabric she made.

My other class is painting Whole Cloth Quilts on Saturday,

in this class we will cover a variety of painting techniques such as creating smooth gradations of color, glazing and adding fine details to work, with lots of tips for getting the best results from different types of paint.

Sure would be great to see you there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prepping for MIU

Next month I am going to International Quilt Festival Long Beach. I am so excited to check out the show, I haven't been to this one yet, and visit friends on the west coast. I will be teaching two workshops in Make It University, Fanciful Felted Fruits and Metal Magic.

If you really like stitching with colorful embroidery floss and working with felted wool or have never done it before, Fanciful Felted Fruits is a great little workshop, it will be friday afternoon at 4:30 (July 24th). You can check out some of the fun fruits that were made in my workshop last fall in Houston and these beautiful fruits made by Frieda Anderson and Laura Wasilowski.

I will be teaching Metal Magic on Saturday (July 25th) at 4pm. In this workshop we use Lesley Riley's transfer paper TAP, sewing, embossing and cutting aluminum metal with decorative scissors and painting grungeboard, to make a fun little wall hanging.

I will also be doing Open Studios, but I don't have the schedule for that yet. Open Studios is a great time to ask questions to the artists who are demonstrating their different techniques.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Busy with not much to show for it.

Isn't summer supposed to be that time when we pull out those lazy days "summer reading" books and lounge around sipping iced tea? Here in Chicago it is overcast and rainy, a little cool, and I have had too much to do. My son is taking a really great cultural anthropology class that has had me running all over the place. It is a wonderful class and I loved our visit to a mosque the other day but I am having a hard time keeping up with my work too.

Over the last two weeks, I have been painting some small pieces, two projects for a book by an author we all know and love (sorry, can't show you those) and another small metal quilt (detail above) that was requested by a friend 6 months ago. I will deliver it to her in person when I see her at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach next month.

I am combining a trip to visit family in Los Angeles with the IQF Long Beach show and will be doing Open Studios and Make It University. So if you go to the show be sure to come by and say hi, I will post more details as the dates get closer.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Beautiful Rusty Things in the Neighborhood

There seems to be a lot of copper and iron around Chicago. The metal work is so colorful, with the iron colored from golden ocher to almost aubergine and the copper taking on lovely green and turquoise patinas with some soft mauve tones as well. Even the concrete sidewalks become stained with color. I love these grids.

I was surprised when I stumbled upon this plaque on the wall of a building about 4 blocks down the street from where we live, it's funny I hadn't noticed it until recently.

I think the tree grates they put down a couple years ago were intended to rust because they were pretty orange from the time they went in and they just seem to get more colorful all the time.

And when you push the saturation up in Photoshop you get all kinds of pretty colors.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


In Chicago there are so many interesting colorful rusty metal and concrete things with such lovely aged patinas. I often forget to bring my camera along with me when walking, but yesterday Nina reminded me about using the cell phone, duh, why don't I think of these things, I guess that's why we have kids.

I like the way the aqua arches are echoed on my shoes.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Playing with TAP

TAP, Transfer Artist Paper, is a coated paper that you put in your computer printer and print images onto, then you can cut out the images and iron them onto another surface; fabric, paper etc.

One happy accident I had while transferring images to organza was that if you have fabric underneath the organza the transfer will be printed on the organza as well as the fabric (cotton in my case) underneath. This creates a nice 3D effect.

In the image above I ironed butterfly images onto white organza. The cotton fabric underneath had a piece of printed paper fused to it and was painted a light yellow. The two butterflies on the left were fused onto the organza on top of the cotton fabric. The butterfly on the right was fused on the organza over a different fabric, so that it is a transparent image overlaying the text.


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