Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Acrylic Inks class!!!

I'm excited to tell you about a new class I'm teaching

10 Textile Techniques using acrylic inks! 

I'll be teaching it at Shake Rag Alley School of Arts & Crafts in Mineral Point Wisconsin April 22. This is going to be one of those classes filled with experimenting and learning multiple ways to apply ink to fabric.

One of the things we are going to do is explore a number of different ways to create texture.

We'll explore mark making with different kinds of stamps 
and drawing with the inks using calligraphy and ruling pens.

We'll explore layering imagery with color and marks

We'll be cutting masks with freezer paper.
And painting in a watercolor style.
This class is going to packed with lots of tips and ideas of ways you can work with these versatile inks on fabric. If you'd like more info and want to join me in an action packed day of ink exploration check out the Shake Rag Alley class info. I'd love to see you there!

If you would like to see two step by step blog posts about my making art quilts using acrylic inks you can click on the links for 8 of Cups and Black and Bloom All Over.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hectic days, an old artquilt gets a face lift and spring fever.

I've had so much going on the last couple weeks it's been hard to sit down and write. Between my recent travels, I sold two quilts to a friend/collector who's moving to England and sent my daughter Indigo off on a last minute month long trip to help her get set up in her new place.

Getting Indigo off was an adventure in itself with procuring an expedited passport. Because of her less than traditional upbringing, moving many times over the years, being homeschooled for half that time and working as an artist/photographer herself, she's pretty much off the grid and having a hispanic last name probably didn't help. Her passport was stalled 3 times for requests for more information and identification. The most outlandish information requested was whether her mother had prenatal care and when the appointments were. Really?!?! Who the heck remembers that after 22 years!

When my friend asked me to show her what was available, I knew I had two quilts that would resonate with her. She has been going through a difficult divorce along the same time line as me and we have shared a lot over the last few years. So I felt like she needed to see 3 of Swords.

This quilt is about feeling torn open and raw (with exposed painted red batting) from betrayal and loss but finding peace while working through the pain and creating something beautiful from it.

The other quilt, Joan of Arc, hasn't seen the light of day in many years. I made it in 1999 after going through a breast cancer scare and lumpectomy that thankfully turned out to be benign. The style of this quilt seemed like a good fit for the historic town she was moving to and she was coincidentally dealing with a questionable mammogram the week I showed it to her.

This quilt is pieced and appliqued with painted and hand dyed fabric. I felt that before I could pass it on it needed a little more work, so I put a new back on it to help it structurally to hang better and added more quilting in several areas, near the sun, moon, flames and most importantly the horse.

I had a lot of fun adding ornate decorative quilting stitches to the horse, thinking about all the carved stonework in the gothic architecture of England.

I am happy these two pieces have found such a perfect new home.

Now I'm having a hard time sitting at the computer when I really want to be outside enjoying the beautiful unseasonably warm weather we are having. Who could imagine Chicago would be 80° in March!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Taping Quilting Arts TV

I've just returned from an overnight trip to Cleveland to tape a segment for Quilting Arts TV with Pokey.

I arrived tuesday afternoon and was thrilled to get together with my friends Deborah Boschert and Jane Davila for a long chatty dinner.

Deborah and I in the green room. Deborah taped 3 segments and even though it was her first time you would never have known it, she was fantastic.

It was great seeing Quilting Arts editor Helen and Pokey.

Ellen Anne Eddy hanging out in the green room with Patsy from of the staff of Beachwood Studios. Ellen has the funniest dry sense of humor, her segments were a hoot! and fascinating too. She demonstrates how she does all her amazing thread work.
a few details of Ellens work

Ellen is so little, but then again I'm pretty tall. Here we are with Michele Muska from Simplicity. 
Last but not least, the wonderful Jeanne Delpit, where would we be without her warm hearted spirit and expertise with Berninas!

Another fun trip, but I could have done with out all the turbulence on the flights!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Fun Metal Workshop and a Rough Drive Home

On thursday, I drove 85 miles to Rockford, IL to give two lectures and teach Heavy Metal Play Day. I don't teach locally very often so it was really nice to drive instead of dealing with the hassles of flying. There was lots of fun experimenting with different embossing techniques on silver and colored aluminum, and heavier weight copper, as well as playing with various ways for adding color with alcohol inks and markers.

Great work, huh?

We wrapped the class up a little early since a storm was coming. What a shock to walk outside and see close to 4 inches of heavy wet snow already on my car and strong winds blowing huge fluffy snow flakes.
I was anxious to get back to Chicago to meet a friend who was back for a few days from England for dinner. The roads were AWFUL! The 6 miles to the freeway may have been the worst, being very slippery, neither plowed or salted and the wind caked the snow on my rear and side windows so thick I couldn't see well enough to change lanes. I had been hoping to get gas before leaving since it was 40 cents cheaper a gallon than in the city, but I didn't want to even try.

The freeway was treacherously slick, I passed 4 accidents within 5 miles, including this jack knived truck that was lucky enough to stop before hitting head on traffic across the divide. I called home a few times to check on the weather in Chicago, where it was still warm enough to have rain instead of snow. I was never so happy to make it to the rainy outskirts of Chicago's bumper to bumper evening traffic. It took almost 3 hours to go 85 stressful miles!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

I got such a special delivery today!

a surprise package from Havel's Sewing! Havel's makes some of the best scissors on the planet. I first tried a pair of these on the set of Quilting Arts TV, they are a sponsor of the show and supply scissors to use on set. The package came with a nice note saying they're a gift for taping on the show (next week).

 It's so nice they come with covers, so you don't stab yourself grabbing them out of your tote bag, because they are SHARP.

 I'm really looking forward to using these curved ones, so I can snip threads extra close.

What makes these scissors so razor sharp is this tiny serrated edge. They are fantastic for cutting sheers and silks, slicing right through them without snagging or pulling.

Now I'm on my way to give two lectures for the Sinnissippi Quilt Guild today and teach a metal workshop on Friday.


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