Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Printing Class

We had a small but mighty thermofax printing class Saturday at Artistic Artifacts with students who tried some new (to us) things.  For 2 of them, it was their first time at the shop.  One works primarily on paper, so was interested in trying different paints & inks to see what works best.  Another did some printing on felt - it worked surprisingly well.  Here, the pine branch is printed in white on green felt.
Below are some samples of printing on paper.  It's important to try different types of ink and paint to see what works best.  Also different papers will have different absorbency.  Some of the textile paints will work just fine but there are also inks intended for printing on paper that are a bit thicker.

It's always stimulating to teach in the colorful, creative atmosphere of Artistic Artifacts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

VCQ Quarterly Meeting

Our March quarterly meeting was held this past Saturday in Kilmarnock, a town on the Northern Neck of Virginia.  VCQ meetings are hosted by local guilds and we travel all over the state.  It's been a great way to see parts of Virginia that I might not travel to otherwise.  Kilmarnock was a very welcoming town.  They had a welcome message on their town sign board, one local guild member hosted an afternoon tea at her home on Friday afternoon, and local merchants featured items that would appeal to quilters.
At this meeting we had 4 workshops plus a Come Quilt with Me group where people brought their own projects to work on.  The classes included chenille rug making, redwork, a Civil War cot quilt, and our new community service project, which is making comfort cushions for mastectomy patients.

Everyone had a great time and is eagerly anticipating our next event, our biannual Celebration, which is a 4-day retreat at the end of April at the beautiful Smith Mountain Lake 4-H center.  There are 9 teachers scheduled for a variety of workshops and a full roster of participants.  Looking forward to the fun and frivolity in store from the planning committee!

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Bag

I purchased a pattern about a year ago by Pink Sand Beach Designs, and cut out the pieces for it during quilt camp last summer, but didn't get a chance to sit down and sew it.  After being at the quilt show last week and seeing the pattern on display at multiple vendors, I decided it was time to sit down and make it.  (I really could have used it last week at the show!).  This bag is called the Barbados Bag.  It ends up about 9.5x11 inches, has multiple pockets (which I love) and is big enough for an iPad to fit inside.  When I bought the pattern, I was thinking of that use primarily, but now that it is done I know I will use it as a purse as well.  It is made with fusible fleece and decor bond interfacing so it is pretty sturdy.  The main body of the bag and 1 pocket have zippers so there is security for the most important stuff.
On the left is the pattern and on the right are the front and back sections during construction.  The spiral fabric is a purchased piece out of my stash; all the other fabrics I used are some of my hand dyes.  These were both snow dyes and ice dyes.
 Above is the front, with the zippered pocket and a second pocket where the pink ends.  There is another zipper on the top.
This is the back, which has 2 tall pockets; if you look closely you can see the double row of stitching.  The pattern company also sells the hardware used to attach the straps.  They could have just been sewn in without the hardware, but I chose to add it.  There are also 2 pockets on the inside.
And then to finish it off, I remembered I had these 2 great zipper pulls, purchased years ago!  See, there's a reason for all this stuff I accumulate; it does get used eventually!  I love the design of this bag, and the colors of the fabrics!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Colorful Leaves

Yesterday I mentioned that I took a class from Laura Wasilowski at MAQF.  She is a well known art quilter who does fusible applique with her own hand dyed fabrics.  Her quilts are embellished with lots of hand stitching, also using her own hand dyed threads.  The colors are bright and cheerful.  She is a fun (and entertaining) teacher and one of the founders of the Chicago School of Fusing.  (It must be noted here for those who don't know, the Chicago School is not an actual "school" in the brick and mortar sense.)  This was a no-stress class, no machine needed; just fuse, plan, cut, fuse.  Press on!
In the collage above you see the 2 fabrics provided as part of the kit with the wonder under fusible applied to the back; some free-form cutting practice; leaf doodles in preparation for making our big leaves; and Laura leading us in a song we were required to sing in order to "graduate" from the Chicago School of Fusing!
These are the 2 leaves I completed in class.  There is enough fabric to make 2 more, for a 4 block wall hanging.  I could also do just one more for a 3 block vertical piece. Or 4 vertical to use as a table runner.  Several possibilities.  Of course, these are just fused at this point.  Hand stitching and machine quilting will be added.  The great colors are what really make the designs pop.  Check out some of her other work at the link above.  I'll share my finished piece at some future date!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival

Last week I spent 4days at MAQF with my friend Elizabeth in Hampton, VA.  We make the annual trek for several reasons - to see the quilts, shop the vendors (even though we don't NEED anything), visit with quilting friends, and escape the cold and dreary winter for a few days.  Some years there are daffodils blooming and warm temps but not this year.  No matter - it's still good to immerse ourselves in color and creativity.  This year we also took a class with Laura Wasilowski (of the Chicago School of Fusing).  More on that tomorrow.  First some pics of the show and the all important purchases.
Clockwise from top left: It All Comes Around by Karlyn Lohrenz won Best Use of Color in the Innovative category; Quiet Moment by Pat Durbin; Sunrise Serenade by Diane Rusin Doran won a blue ribbon (but I neglected to get the category); the next is from a special exhibit called Color Wheel of Emotions by members of Studio Art Quilt Associates; last is Tileworks IIII by Mary Kay Price which won a Judge's Choice award.  As you might notice I am drawn to the innovative and art quilts, and color. There were many spectacular traditional quilts as well.
Now to the purchases, again from upper left: Cherrywood & batik fabrics, some whites & t-shirt for dyeing, embroidery threads, and beads; vintage knitting tool; newly purchased fabrics to be used with previously purchased pattern & silk; more fabric, bag pattern, Olfa circle cutter.  More projects to add to the list!