Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Has Risen!

Easter is a day of great significance. Enjoy this day with family and friends while considering that Christ died for us.

"He is not here... He has risen....."    Matthew 28:6

And definitely have some chocolate!!!!!   ;-)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A piece for the 2013 SAQA Auction

I finally got to work on some of my 'art' stuff after a week of traveling and contract / class material  preparations. It's all good though as you will see nice additions to my teaching schedule via the Patt's Calendar link on the left.  

 I made a trip to the post office this a.m. to send this little quilt off to an organizer with Studio Art Quilt Associates of which I am a member.  "Bird on a Wire" (a fused and stitched/quilted on stabilized linen piece) has been submitted for their 2013 fundraiser supporting the promotion/development of art quilting worldwide. S.A.Q.A. is a great organization with thousands of members. Click on photo for enlarged view.
Something ultimately around 400 small ( 12" square") quilts will be auctioned on line and and at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.  News at eleven as they say... It will probably be June before we see anything on line.  I'll try to keep tabs and post but you can learn details at  Everyone can become a member of SAQA... one needn't be a professional.   Check it out.  Tell 'em I sent ya!! ;-) 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Can You Believe The Talent????

 Sutter Creek student Joyce loves raising chickens and is a wealth of information about them.  Can you believe how well Joyce  represented this rooster. It looks darned realistic.  We've talked about her quilting plan...I can hardly wait to see it quilted!!!  Click on photos for enlarged view.
Victoria began this piece in my September class... This young woman (think shes' a sophomore this year) has so many talents I can't list them all.

Ginger's beloved kitty was a challenge but she didn't give up and achieved a good result.
Anelie Belden  (quilt teacher, author, and highly efficient class organizer) quickly took to this method. Don't you love her kitty?  (photo reference at top of pic. )
Linda exclaimed "I'm hooked!" Well, why not when she took to it this well, this quickly?  Background water is yet to be added, but this is a spectacular turtle.   I love what my class students create!!!
sadly.. I was too slow to capture pictures of all students work, but have told all classes, I'll post and brag any finished piece for which they send me a pic.  THANKS to all and especially to Anelie for making last weekend's class possible.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who needs a pattern?

A friend drew this shoe design intended for a collaboration project....  Had to rekindle my needle-turn appliqué skills to create this block... ' Love this red fabric.  Somehow it seemed to me the wearer of such a shoe might be a 'special' lady.

Kandy's Kitty

This is a true love of life for Kandy from the Sutter Creek Class.  You just want to pick this kitty up and cuddle her.  So fluffy and cute!!
Background added on a wet into wet watercolor style.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First Flying Dachshund I've Met

This work in progress by Kathy Schmidt from my Sutter Creek Class last weekend is just plain adorable. I can hardly wait to see the finished painting.
This puppy both makes me smile and giggle!!!!  Nice Kathy!

CiCi the 51 Chevy

What a lovely, nostalgic and artistic gesture Julie Hallquist of Colorado created when in my Fort Collins, Colo.  Painted Quilt Art Class last August , Julie carefully and realistically replicated her husbands other love... his beautiful 51 Chevy. I remember Julie payed such close attention, she even painted the colors of reflection in the front bumper. Julie says she stretched the quilted result on stretcher bars before proudly hanging in her hubby's office.  Way to go Julie.  What a great experience for me last August. Julie so beautifully represented the hood highlights.  Who would not be in love with a shiny red convertible?


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Digging For Gold

Where has she been?  I've been traveling teaching in California's original gold rush country in Sutter Creek , Ca.  What a great 2 days of classes on Pet Portraits.  Thank much to Analie Belden who organized this event.    Photos here are from student Robin Cohen  who  breeds/sells  dogs.. This is a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy she particularly liked. .. and why not.., he's adorable.   Day One includes work showing reference photo and Robin's inked piece...
Day Two.. I can almost feel his rippled skin.  Background is all thats left.   KUDOs to Robin. Great work.

I'll post more once I've unpacked!!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Unusual Source for Quilting

Now don't laugh.. too hard anyway... Reading the Newspaper just might help you with your portrait quilting.  I kid you not.  If this helps you, we better hope the paper rag papers don't disappear or at least the same image will be part of online papers.  Some popular papers use some internal software to translate  pictorial images of their reporters into a dot image matrix.  Check out the above two images clipped recently from a well known east coast financial paper.   Click on images for enlarged view.
The two above almost look like stitching. Cool!

The images below are from another west coast paper and seem less clear but still maybe helpful.  These  printed images began smaller  than those above so that may have something to do with results shown here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Let's Finish The Facing

Continuing from previous post, we're looking at the back side of the"to be faced quilt." I am working on my big board ironing board.  We will be completing the following steps on 2 sides opposite each other first ( I'll be doing the left and right sides of the quilt ).
This is kind of like taming a lion... ( not as scary) but you will work at this a bit. All worth it!
Click on any photo for enlarged view.
1) In this photo, I have dampened the backside edge of the quilt with clean water spray.

2) Next, I'm using my cotton setting  dry iron to roll the facing to the backing side and press hard to begin the training of that edge to curve to the back.  As I do this, I want to clearly see that straight line stitch previously done just 1/16' to the outer edge of the seamed on facing in previous posts. That stitch line should be straight and consistently visible along the edge.)  You won't get this completely dry with ironing.  Thats okay as you'll see.
3) On this just ironed/rolled edge, I pin at  the very edge of the quilt ( i.e. through that 1/8 inch seam inside) and also at the loose facing edge.
4) Let this air dry... It's like blocking the edges to create the memory of the crisp turn we are looking to have.   Here's the back view of right and left sides ' air drying' as well as what things look like from the front.
5)Once these 2 sides are air dried... It's time to prep for the hand stitch work.    What you are seeing here is a cutout of what would be excess fabric when the top and bottom sides are done later.
6)  These four pieces are throwaways.  7) Not shown is  removal of pins as I go as hand stitching is done.
Steps  1- 5 are repeated on the top and bottom.  Hand stitching is likewise done for these 2 sides. I do generally miter turn and stitch facing at the backside corners. 
The front view when done. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting Ready For The Face Off!

Continuing from Previous Post:   Effectively, I am preparing to add something looking like a pieced 2" border  so I have cut  2 inch strips and added to all 4 sides of the quilted piece. NOTE: I'm using a quarter inch foot but also note I'm sewing more like a 1/8" seam.
The result is pressed out flat as one would any seam addition.
The two pins below are pointing to the end result of our next 2 steps.  (I sometimes like to explain where we are going before we 'go'.. and a picture (as they say) is worth a thousand words.
These next two steps can be done in either order but  I am showing here first that I am straight stitching from the right side through a 1/4 turn under of the raw edge.  This edge will eventually be hand appliquéd/ sewn to the backing so a pre sewn edge is easier  to work with and better looking.

This  next step below is a critical piece to my thinking.  I am straight stitching appx 1/16" from the pressed out pieced edge that you might remember had about an 1/8 inch seam in the very first step above. This straight stitch line ( as seen on the horizontal just behind the pressure foot) will be extremely helpful in 2 ways: 1) stabilizing the quilt edges and 2) becoming a major visual tool when turning the facing fabric toward the backing.
Now we are ready for completing the facing next post.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Heading Toward The Finish Line

Before I begin the finishing process, I usually block my quilts (not shown) by dampening them, laying them flat on a pinable surface(eg. a big board ironing board for smaller quilts) or a solid but slightly soft surface ( like carpet covered with a clean bed sheet). Once dampened, and smooshed ( "technical term"..not really ) flat, the quilt is pinned along it's perimeter and allowed to air dry. Once dry and flat... as IS shown here, I measure and mark the intended edges of the piece. In this example, I again used a Frixion Pen and ruler for straight line marking. "Don't be afraid to eliminate some area (as in the top of the piece below) if it ultimately doesn't seem to add anything positive to the cause.. or also as in this case, it seems distracting.
Before I cut away any excess, I straight stitch along the drawn line. (I've done it free motion but you of course could use a different pressure foot even including a quilting foot. If you do this, consider whether you need reduce downward pressure on a pressure foot other than what I've done as free motion. Bottom line... Free motion works for me, and I don't have to change anything.) WHY DO THIS?: This stitching process will keep loose thread edges from popping up once the excess is cut away.
Notice, when I cut away... I do it just to the outer edge of the previously stitched line.
 Now we are ready to add the facing fabric which in this case will exactly match the backing. To be shown next post.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stamping and Signing

I used a traditional wood blocked rubber stamp to add musical score around one of the birdie  cloth postage stamps.  I left the music score  mostly unquilted to add interest/texture.

Now a repeat on how to sign your quilts.. I first used a fPilot Frixion pen and ruler to draw 2 lines as guides  for top and bottoms of letters.( available at Staples and some quilt shops)
With 40 wt thread, I carefully write each name forward, then trace backward .  Note... 'patt' has been completed both forward and backward. 'Blair' has been done forward and is starting backward. It seems to look much better with 2 passes of stitching one atop the previous. It also allows for minor corrections. Go slow!!!
Dry iron the Frixion pen markings so they disappear. ( I love magic!!!)

and it's done.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quilting For The Birds

Before the background quilting began... I did a very small invisible thread zigzg around the elements of the birds. Working with invisible thread generally means a significant lowering of tension on the top thread.I   I also used invisible in the bobbin too.  ( Wind slower than other threads to avoid stretching and minimize breakage.)  We are really close here and thus you can see the stitching not as easily seen in normal viewing.

I then chose a one of my favorite fillers ( I call it "wonk") that goes fairly quickly and easily supports  3 fundamental scroll shapes: square-like scrolls, rectangle-like scrolls, and the same idea on triangles.
The shape chosen depends on what you need to fill an area.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

View Free Episodes on The Quilt

Dear Quilting Friends

International Quilt Day is just around the corner, and as a featured artist on a past episode of The Quilt Show, ( I wanted to let you know about a gift that Alex and Ricky have put together for quilters around the world.  

Beginning on Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18, everyone who signs on to The Quilt Show will have free access to over 140 of their internet shows, including my episode #510.  You can watch the shows, check out the great tutorials, browse the gallery of over 19,900 member quilts, visit the forum for answers to the most burning quilt questions and lots, lots more. And if you missed my show, you can see it now.

You can also enter the TQS prize drawing with prizes from companies we know and love like Bernina, Gammill, Superior Threads, AccuQuilt, C&T Publishing, RJR Fabric, and Ricky and Alex will have gift baskets to give away too.  The grand prize is a new Bernina 550QE sewing machine!

I wanted to make you aware of this amazing event so you can take advantage of everything this exciting weekend has to offer without leaving home and all for free.

Don’t hesitate to share this information with your quilting friends, fellow guild members, social networking friends and local quilt shops so that they don’t miss out on this fun weekend.  And feel free to post an abbreviated version of the details on your Facebook page.  I want everyone to know about this amazing 3-day celebration of all things quilting.

So check in at on Friday, March 15, and enjoy the shows and exploring The Quilt Show website and all it has to offer!   I’d love to have you view my show, episode #510.

Patt ;-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

On a Blue Note- Birds On A Wire

I've been focused the last 2 days getting this piece finished.  It's done and will be on it's way shortly to a gallery exhibit in Fresno, Ca.  The Gallery= Studio 74 (  California Fiber Artists  exhibit on New Visions/New Horizons.. encouraged  out of ones own box work so I had some serious fun . The top was created and posted a couple weeks back but now it was quilt and finish time.
 Opens April 1 running through April 22 with a retail split on sales between artist and gallery.  More later but needed to finish this baby.  I photographed all steps in the quilting and finishing process of the last 2 days... I'll be posting with teaching points across the week. overall pic first
and a couple detail pics...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekend Planning for Classes.. 1 Brand New

I'm overloading a wee bit getting all the things done that are on the "TO DO" list.  But, they are all things I WANT to do.  I've spent 2 days creating requested proposals for late 2013/early 2014 shows that will include teaching.  Contracts aren't done, but think we will work things out. Stay tuned... I'll post when the ink dries!! ;-)
I'm excited about a brand  NEW class I've proposed for the later part of this year.... I had so much fun creating a personalized Father Christmas original for my English buddy Hilary Field, that I've figured out how to teach an equivalent class in a one day format.  A fairly small materials fee will offer students both their drawing and fabric piece with an original face ink painting of Father Christmas... i.e. ready to go to add extra FUN stuff customized for the future art quilt owner.  I can hardly wait to do this class.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Great Annapolis Quilt Guild

Well.. here they are... at least 1/2 of the room... I needed a wide angle lens to photograph the number of quilters in this room.  Left front in green is Robin... the AQG president  that runs a meeting with ease.   I completely enjoyed this guild. Committee chairs seem highly efficient in both their work and readout. It's always a heathy sign of a guild when the numbers of 'show and tell' presenters are significant.  THANKS Maryland!!!! Hope you are all getting lots of quilting done what with the storm that hit the day I left.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Enjoying Maryland

I had a wonderful day yesterday teaching portraits. My only personal regret... I wanted to spend more time with each student. BUT, what wonderful students they have been.  Tonight will be a guild meeting so today, my host Miki took me sightseeing to Annapolis to see such things as The Naval Academy (I wasn't allowed in ;-( ... I understand it was for general security... They hadn't been warned I was coming.  :-)  Beautiful brick streets in much of the city... Below... The William Paca House.. the home of a signer of the Declaration Of Independence.
A delightful visit to  St. Michaels preceded.  Quaint streets, docks, B and Bs, and homes abounded. I was fascinated with this restored 1912 Tug . Click on any photo for enlarged views of post photos.
The "shallop" below is a replica of Captain John Smiths 1608 small boat used in exploration of The Chesapeake Bay

We headed back to our car  and passed through alleyways with open views of charming backyards.  I spotted this stone sculpture enjoying an afternoon on a bench.  Good idea!!!
Heading home before the next eastern storm hits.