Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Magical Metal Altars at Create

Thursday I taught Magical Metal Altars to a full class with 20 students. This is a new class, kind of a larger modified version of the popular Fiesta Ornaments. What fun this was! 

I gave the students a wide range of options to create their altar; from using a template with everything predesigned by me to simple templates with various door and window shapes and imagery that could be used for reference and inspiration, to completely open ended templates allowing for total creative expression of painted imagery and embossed metal work.

I was amazed by the number of incredibly beautiful pieces that were made in this class.

Fantastic work done by everyone!

I think Create is a perfect name for this retreat, there was a lot of incredible work being done in so many class rooms. How difficult it must have been for students to decide what class to take when there were so many great options.

I want to give an extra thank you to all my wonderful students who chose to spend the day in my class.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Painting Fabric Class at the Create Retreat

The Create retreat got off to a wonderful start on Wednesday. My first class had 8 students, it's such a pleasure to have a class that small on occasion, teaching 25 (my usual number for festival) can be challenging, because I always like to give everyone individual attention along with the class demos.

These gals were focusing on making smooth gradations, looks like they are really getting the hang of it.

I think it is interesting how many students I have who tell me they have never painted before and then they do really great work. I like to think I have helped open new doors for them in their creative process and allowed them to recognize their potential is so much more than they realize.

This student brought photos of birds that she had taken at the Field museum in Chicago to paint.

My trusty assistant Nina came along to help and spend some time painting and drawing in class.

Karen Becker who painted the birds, just sent me this photo of her finished quilted painted birds, beautiful!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lots of creating, not a lot I can show

I have been working like crazy the last couple weeks prepping for a trip to Cleveland next monday for Quilting Arts TV.

I've been playing with lots of fun products and techniques, but you'll just have to watch for season 900 to find out what they'll be.

I still have one more segment to work out, but first I have to go teach a couple classes at Create today and tomorrow. I'll try and post pics soon but things are crazy busy, so it may be a few days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wonderful work inspired by a few of my classes and techniques

After taking my Heavy Metal Play Day class in St Paul last June Janet Hartje made this wonderful book to hold a variety of papers showcasing mixed media techniques.

Check out Janets blog to read more about the book and see some of the other cool stuff she's been creating! 

This week Marilyn Fischer, from Kentucky, shared this wonderful little tea bags on muslin quilt she made with her 94 year old mother who lives in Massachusetts. 

Marilyn's mother painted the tea bags, from a photo of Marilyn in her favorite hat and Marilyn did the quilting and mounting. They regularly share ideas over the computer and phone. Marilyn says "I LOVE the tea bags! They have it all.....look old, texture and I have always loved tea dyed fabric."

Thanks so much for sharing your work Janet and Marilyn!!!!!

Now, for some more inspiration, head over to Diana Trouts blog for a free 7 part mini watercolor workshop.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And the winner is....

Congratulations Andrea from Talking Horses Arts!

Please send me your email, so I can enroll you in Color Theory and have Interweave contact you for the DVD download.

Thank you everyone for the amazing feedback!
It was so hard knowing only one person could win when there were so many wonderful comments, I wanted you all to win!

I am overwhelmed by the number of people who are interested in Color Theory. As Jen said learning color theory would get her to "A.) break out of my color comfort zone, B.) understand why certain colors work well together and C.) understand value, hue, saturation, etc."

This is so true! Learning Color Theory will do that, as well as, help with mixing paint colors and fabric dyeing as Sally and Carol mentioned.

Because of your interest, I would like to make a special offer of 25% off enrollment in Color Theory now through the end of September.
Click here for more information.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Final day of the Hot Summer Giveaway

Make sure you stop by Melanie Testa's blog today for a chance to win her wonderful book and a download of her DVD.

These are all the other ArtSpark bloggers participating in the giveaway, so stop by and leave a comment if you haven't already.
Kelli Nina Perkins
Lyric Kinard

Be sure to stop by here Saturday to find out if you're the winner on my blog!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Hot Summer Blog Giveaway Continues

with a downloadable copy of my DVD Design, Paint & Stitch from Interweave and a free spot in my online Color Theory class!

My DVD is about making painted whole cloth art quilts, it covers: 
The design stage, how I use photo-editing software to manipulate and size the original design.  
The painting stage, the tools needed for painting; an in-depth review of the types and properties of paints, strategies for painting, using freezer-paper masks and painting backgrounds. 
Machine quilting a wholecloth quilt; from planning and marking to batting, basting, and free-motion quilting. 
Then several non-traditional binding options for art quilts are covered.

For a chance to win, please leave a comment, between now and the end of the giveaway: midnight Friday, August 19th, telling me what technique or class you would be most interested in learning from me. I'll announce the winner, chosen by random generator on Saturday August 20th, remember to stop back to see if you're a winner.

If you would like to take Painting Fabric for Wholecloth Quilts with me, there are still a few spots in my class at Create in Lisle, IL, next week, Wednesday, August 24th.

Now, so that no one feels like they are going away empty handed, I'm posting a tutorial on one of the binding techniques included in my dvd.

Making a couched binding.

Besides doing a faced binding, another way I like to finish artquilts is to couch twisted cords around the outside edge.  It's a simple, clean, but a little fancy, edge treatment.

After blocking and trimming the quilt, I lay out several yarns to audition them, choosing yarns that have similar colors to the painting.

The first thing I do to prevent any cut quilted threads from unraveling is do a straight stitch very close to the trimmed edge around the whole quilt. 

To add more of a gilded look befitting the renaissance theme of this quilt, I used a metallic gold thread and zig zag stitched around the edge of the quilt twice with a fairly tight stitch but not quite a satin stitch. Sometimes a dense satin stitch around the edge of a quilt can stretch it and make it ripple. I was not too concerned with making a solid gold edge around the quilt, just add some extra sparkle next to the couched cording. 

I attach the cords by holding them under the quilt and sew a few straight stitches to secure the yarns to the back side of the quilt. Using an open toe foot and monofilament in the top, and a coordinating thread in the bobbin, I hold the clockwise twisted yarns up against the outside edge of the quilt and zig zag over the twisted yarns and the edge of the quilt.

This is a slow process, because the yarns tend to get very twisted and tangled if you are not careful. I usually put a couple of the yarns in separate little baggies to try and keep them from rolling away and really making a mess. I start twisting the yarn clockwise down the first side of the quilt, working a few inches at a time, when I reach the corner, I twist the cords counter clockwise for the length of that side of the quilt. Then I twist them clockwise again on the next. Switching directions of the twist on each side, helps manage all the yarns and keep them from tangling up too much.

When I reach the beginning, I pull the yarns to the back and do some straight stitching over all the yarns to lock them in place and trim away the ends.

Ta da, a simple clean finish.

Next, head over to Kelli, Lyric and Melly's to see what they have in store for you!

Wed August 17 Kelli Nina Perkins 
Thurs August 18 Lyric Kinard 
Fri August 19 Melanie Testa 

PS If you haven't yet, you should also stop by

Monday, August 15, 2011

Surviving the Runway Long Beach: The Fascinator

Pokey's latest theme for Surviving the Runway, at International Quilt Festival, was inspired by the hats worn for formal occasions in Britain, such as the royal wedding, called a fascinator.

All the participants were given a flocked black fedora to fashion into a fascinating head piece.

The Tim Gunn's for the event were: Jane LaFazio, Leslie Jenisen, Jamie Fingal, yours truly and Pokey as Heidi Klum.

Some serious creating going on, the pressure's intense because the prizes for this event are great.

Everyone has such a great time, it's too bad we have to keep the music down, most of the vendors nearby seem to enjoy the event, they always come round with big smiles on their faces. But I guess there are a few that don't like the distraction at the end of the day. There have been some years when we were louder and people really had a blast.

The runners up, some how I missed getting pictures of the 2nd and 3rd place winners. I guess that was because I was busy passing out prizes.

The winner, modeling her fascinator and giving her acceptance speech.

The fascinator group shot

Jamie and Jane

Pokey and Leslie

Surviving the Runway is always the grand finale at Festival for me. It follows several intense days of teaching, I always run straight to the show floor after my last class finishes up on saturday. It marks the time when I can really let my hair down, relax and dance to some fun tunes.
Then follow this up with a good meal, libations and a lot of laughs, hanging out with great friends. It's the perfect way to wrap up the week and in the morning, fly home.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Have you seen these great deals?

It's hard to even think about Christmas and the holidays right now, but you know it will be here before you know it. Get a head start on some projects with this great deal from Interweave. After all you can't get much for under a buck these days.

Download Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts 2010 for 10¢ !
Quilting Arts in Stitches Volume 3

Interweave also has $5 off the digital emag In Stitches, that makes it only $9.97. Volume 3 is the issue with my article (including video) of sewing metal.

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MAC Download Now! - Red - Small

Oh and while you're at it make sure you stop by Gloria Hansen's blog for a chance to win a copy of her book Digital Essentials for FREE!


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