Category Archives: Learning New Things!

Workshop fun day

Today was a guild workshop day, with Mary Hogan. Mary wrote the book String Quilt Style, but today’s workshop wasn’t about her great string techniques. Today was a free design play day and I loved it!

Many design classes teach the typical art school design definitions and use many of the same type of exercise. Very clear but can be dry at times. Mary gave us tasks and let us ‘free form design’…she wanted to enable us to express our own unique creativity.

I did not take pictures of what anyone else created. I didn’t even take pictures of everything I created! We were too busy MAKING stuff!!!

This was my first one. Then busy, busy, busy! The great variety and beauty was astonishing as the day went on and pieces were hung on the wall. We did our own thing, yes, but we looked and learned and discussed what we saw. We were able to think outside the box and get ideas from outside every else’s box, too!

These are my last pieces…a series because I used the same background fabric and palette of materials. I like it and that first one enough that they will be finished, not thrown in the box of class samples that just sit and gather dust!

This was such a wonderfully fun day. Thanks to Mary’s direction and instruction, we learned, laughed and had a great day!

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Filed under Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!, Non-traditional Quilts

Weavy Thing

My Knot Even Quilters group met today and we did a weavy thing. This was based on the project I taught at Blue Lake last summer, where a woven background was created on a frame and embellishments were then added to the piece.

The KEQ ladies wanted to give it a try and they brought a great deal of imagination to the effort. Mary Lee posted some pics on FB and I borrowed some of them, since I was busy weaving and forgot to get out my camera until late! It was a very quiet day, though. Apparently we can’t weave and talk a lot at the same time!

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Silk quilt and table runner from Sharon, made from a designer sample book, but I didn’t get pictures of that. We had another quilt for show and tell, that I did get a picture of, but we missed the message until we were told…

It has the word ‘baby’ on it so we thought it was a baby quilt, but it is supposed to be read as “O, baby” which could have a world of different meaning! It was beautiful and beautifully done!

I always have such a good time with this group of women. I think next time we are going to be doing another fusey thing…I love the technical descriptions we give to what we do!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!

Quick Start Quilting

Beginning practice for free motion quilting

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Learning how to extend a design in the fabric

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So much improvement in just 3 short hours! Great job, ladies!

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Filed under Learning New Things!, Quilting, Teaching Quilting, Thinking About Quilting!

Progress is being made

Taught Rule Breaking Quilts at Friendship Knot Quilt Guild today and thought I’d show you pictures of pieces from starts to almost finishes! There are a couple that I just did not get photos of, but sometimes people pull the pieces off the design wall to actually get them assembled and then I miss the opportunity!

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As often as I have taught this, I am always amazed at how different each piece is. Totally unique in both construction and the artistic expressions of each student. I’m so grateful that I get to do this!

Tomorrow is Quick Start Quilting and Monday is Your Design Here. Two more days of fantastic fun for me…and work, work, work for these women! I do hope they are having fun, too!

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Filed under Color, Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!, Non-traditional Quilts, Quilting, Teaching Quilting

Hidden Challenge

Creative Seasons is the name of an art group of which I am a member. We are having an interesting challenge right now, called Chinese Whispers. Similar to the old game of telephone, each group starts with a photo. We have enough people interested that we actually have several small groups, but we are all starting with the same photo.

We then create a quilted piece based on an aspect of the photo that appeals to us. The second person in that group then gets to see the finished first piece but NOT the original photo. Her piece is based on that first piece and then she shows her finished piece to the next person and so on. I’m not sure how many rounds we will do, but I’m sure that the final piece will be far removed from that original picture. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, while I’m working on my piece, we can’t show anyone! So what will I have to show you? Pieces parts, I guess! Nothing in the composition itself!

My cutting table was cleared and clean just a couple of days ago. Not so much now.

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Part of my interest in this challenge is that I want to use less opaque fabrics, such as organzas, so that’s where I’m starting. Spent the best part of an entire day adding texture to my chosen fabrics…simple twin-needle stitching, but lots of it.

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I had a minor moment of excitement when I found this piece that I had dyed a bright green. It should make a wonderful highlight color.

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Then came adding fusible and cutting into small strips…

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a large pile of little strips! I might be nuts before this project is done.

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However, I do want to do more intentional, thoughtful art and taking the time to place these strips exactly where I think they need to be is part of that process. I may or may not be able to show you more as I proceed with this project, until the end. You can imagine me, though, playing with a pile of organza strips and hoping I’m nowhere near a high wind!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Color, Designing Quilts, Fabric, Learning New Things!

Workshop projects?

Workshops are always a fun time for me. I sometimes take them because there is a specific technique I want to learn. I’m always curious about another teacher’s work process. And often, it is simply uninterrupted time dedicated to having fun.

The most recent one for me was from Joe Cunningham. I’ve certainly seen and admired his work for a long time but I didn’t check out his website in detail as I usually do for those with whom I am going to study. I always try to go in with an open mind and eager anticipation of learning and that attitude almost guarantees a fun time.

As we got into the class and he found out that I was already an improv piecer, he wasn’t sure that I would be learning anything. WRONG! Joe has a particular way of working that is quite different from mine.¬† That is exactly why I took the class! It was very challenging for me to work in the way he does and I truly loved the challenge.

Now, the piece I made still looks very much like my work.

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You can’t leave your style behind, but finding a different route to get there is wonderful. It adds to your toolbox and opens your eyes to ever more possibilities.

But Joe has a particular style, too, which uses lots of bias tape and that was part of what we are ready to explore.

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I am not sure if I will add bias to mine or not. I don’t want to make a piece that looks like I’m trying to imitate Joe, but I do like the idea of playing with the bias tape. I’m really torn. I have the same dilemna with a workshop project from another teacher. It looks so distinctly like her work right now, which was fine for learning the technique, but I want to make it mine now!

Of course, often workshop projects never get finished because they are just that–learning exercises. But for those that you do want to finish, what do you do? Go ahead with the style of the teacher, or absorb their techniques and make the project your own?

For me, right now, it’s bias or no bias……………..

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Filed under Contemporary, Designing Quilts, Learning New Things!

Couch potato time!

My immediate teaching and learning opportunities and obligations are fulfilled! I have a couple of weeks to relax before the next¬† class and then I’ll be on a vacation. I can feel myself slipping into lazier and lazier by the minute. However, when I get lazy, I am not idle. For me, it means that I have time to leisurely knit or embroider or sew without interruption and that is the greatest possible luxury.

My 1 Year of Stitches project was a little bit stalled. I keep stitching on it but I’m not liking it very much. I moved it to a separate page on this blog simply so that I can more easily see my progress on this year long project. I thought I was done with this piece of fabric

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but I added more circles to it and I’m going to fill it up some more. At some point I’ll call it done and start on something else, but it IS very nice to have something always at the ready when I have a few extra moments. You can see detail photos here if you are curious.

There is a big pile of stuff in the studio that needs sorting out and an even bigger pile that didn’t make it downstairs. This all needs to be sorted and re-packed for my next teaching adventure in a few weeks.

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That is, if I can motivate myself to get up off that couch!

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Filed under Handwork, Learning New Things!, Teaching