Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Some Extreme Embroidery and a Mini-Retreat

One of the students from the "Extreme Embroidery" workshop I taught to a group of LAFTA (Louisville Fiber and Textile Artists) members a couple of weeks ago sent me pictures of the work she has completed. I thought I'd share those with you. A couple of people asked to actually SEE some of the pins as my pictures of the workshop didn't get detailed enough for those to be seen. 
All of the students drew up the design for a pin they wanted to work on. This is the pin Marliese started in class. She finished it before the week was up. Since that time, she has finished another one.
This, too, is an original design. I hope I get to see some of the other pins (and more of Marliese's) or little pieces of art the other students finish, and I hope to share some more with you. This week has been a stretch of intense work for me and a friend of mine. Daren joined me and we each worked on our own projects in my studio. She had some deadline work to get finished along with a quilt of her own she wanted to piece. I took a few pics.
This is Daren working on a piece for an upcoming exhibit. She hand dyes ALL the fabric she works with. In this pic she is "testing" out fabrics for a design she has in mind.
This is what it looked like when she finished it. (Notice she changed the orientation of the work.) She brought this piece down to finish the facing and sew on a sleeve. She gave me permission to show it to you.
I'm STILL working on my small flag quilt. (I don't work NEARLY as fast as Daren!) I finished appliquéing the stars onto it, tore all the stabilizer off the back, and started working on the quilting design.
Of course, we spent a little time hitting a couple of my favorite eating places while she was here. We went the Schnitzelbank and to the Chicken Place. She (and I) enjoyed the German food and the friend chicken. Real life sets back in tomorrow. I have to go back to cooking, cleaning, laundry, babysitting, etc. I wonder when I'll get back to the flag.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Virtual Retreat #1 and #3

I am participating in two "virtual retreats" this weekend. The PUPs guild in Tennessee is having their first "virtual retreat," and the Patoka Valley Quilters Guild is having their third. I run the retreat for the Patoka Valley Guild and shared the idea with my friend who runs the Facebook page for the guild in TN.  It has been fortunate for me the two virtual retreats overlap. It is like getting dual credit!

If you don't know, a "virtual retreat" is a time set aside to sew/quilt/stitch etc. No one has to pack anything up or schlep anything anywhere. Everyone works from their own homes but keeps in touch through the guild's page on Facebook. We all try to get all our cleaning, laundry, cooking, running, etc. done BEFORE the retreat starts, so we have uninterrupted sewing time.

Some people took the opportunity to set up new sewing rooms, clean old ones, go through boxes and bags to organize sewing purchases, hand stitch, machine piece, machine quilt, cut out new projects, and finish old ones. Some participants from my Tennessee guild even posted video tours of their studios and sewing spaces. It was really fun to see where people work.

The retreats have been a nice way to "visit" with each other, and it gave many of us that little nudge we needed to get busy on something we had been putting off (or didn't have time to work on previously). My Tennessee guild has many more people who are active on Facebook than my Indiana guild and had many more participants. Those of us from the IN guild, though, that ARE actually playing along are having fun. (The Indiana retreat doesn't end until midnight on Monday; the Tennessee retreat ends today at 6 p.m.)

There is a call for entry for a show called Threads of Resistance. I have been mulling it over in my mind and have decided to work on a flag project during these "virtual retreats." I had to make a smaller version than I really wanted to because of the size requirements for the show, but I really like the way it turned out. I went ahead and made a small and large version of the flag. I don't have all the stars on them yet; I'll be working on that later. Did you know you can Google how big to make the stars in proportion to the flag you are making? My friend, Kathy, informed me of that. I have done the math for the small flag. I have to figure it out for the large one yet.

I had the "brilliant" idea to cut my Steam-a-Seam 2 into 8 1/2" X 11" sheets and run them through my printer to print the stars onto the fusible. It worked REALLY well. WAY better than having to trace the star 50 times for each flag! I used Word to make the stars and get the size I needed. (Using Word to create the stars was another great tidbit Kathy passed on to me.)
Now all I have to do is cut them all out, fuse them on, and sew around each one!
Here are the flags. I took a picture of them both together so you can see the size difference. (The big one is REALLY big--82" X 56". The small one is half that--41" X 28".) (I have a few stars on the small one to test to make sure they look okay.)
Now, I have to contemplate what I want to with the flags. I have some ideas, but I haven't made a decision yet. I'll let it percolate a bit longer before I have to decide. Whether I get the small flag finished in time for the exhibit or whether I get juried into the exhibit makes no difference to me at this point. I need a means of expression for the feelings I have about the current situation of our country.