Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Text on Textiles--Jane LaFazio

I just got back from my first Create workshop in Chicago (well, they call it that, but it really is located in Lisle, Illinois). The only class I took was Jane LaFazio's Text on Textiles class. I enjoyed it very much as text on textiles is right up my alley. I'd like to steer you to Jane's blog and website. Check out what she says about the class I took on her website here. Jane's take on Chicago Create is here.

Here are some of the pictures I took during my class. This first one is a picture of Jane showing us how she adds some color to the small fiber collages we were working on. You can see her class samples on the table.

This next picture is a sampling of some of the student work from the class. (Mine is the bottom right.) I don't think anyone got finished, but we did make a lot of progress toward a finished project. I know my piece has a lot of embellishment to be done yet, which would make it a good take-along project. I'm always looking for some needlework I can do while I travel.

I have some ideas about how I might use some of the techniques in my own work. My class project will be a good way for me to remember the techniques I learned in the class. For me, a successful workshop is one where I learn something I can actually use in the work I do. How about you? What does it take for you to feel like you got your money's worth from a class or workshop?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Terrific Tutorial Tuesday--A Day Late (EPP Tutorials)

I was surfing late on Tuesday evening and ran across a great series of tutorials on English Paper Piecing. I think it is always good to have some handwork ready for a trip of any kind, and English Paper Piecing is a good way to do this. The third entry in this series even has a pattern for an English Paper Piecing travel kit (and it is way cool). I haven't had a chance to make the travel kit, but I'm planning on making one. I'll blog about it when I do. Head on over to The Zen of Making and check out the hexie tutorials there. Let me know how you like them. Also, it is always nice to leave a comment on blogs you enjoy. Leave a comment on The Zen blog if you like the tutorials you find there. (I know from experience they are a lot of work to write!)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another View on Blocking a Quilt

If you are interested in another view on blocking, check out this blog post--Wavy Edges of Wall Quilts--over at Alison Schwabe's blog. Evidently, wavy quilt edges bother her as much as me. She thinks blocking is a waste of time (and I agree in a lot of cases). For wall quilts, especially those that might be displayed in humid regions, her suggestions make a lot of sense.

One of my good friends who was a LONG-time quilter used the "gathering stitch" method. I once had a quilt that had a really wavy border. Since she was the local quilt authority (as far as I was concerned), I asked her what I could do. She "made" me take off the binding and take some "gathering stitches" in the very far edges of the quilt. She had me pull the gathering stitches ever so slightly where the waves were the worst. When I reapplied my binding, I was SHOCKED at the amount of binding I had left over. I had gathered in SEVERAL inches of the quilt! The quilt was flat and I was pleased. (Thanks LaVerne!) You DO have to be careful not to gather so much on the edges, though, that you make the center of the quilt "puff" up. You might give this method a try if wavy edges are a problem for you.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Great Fiber Art in Southern Indiana

If you are close to southern Indiana (or making a trip in that direction) and are a fiber lover, you are in for a treat. Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists (LAFTA) has its annual juried group exhibition at The Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, Indiana, from July 26-October 5, 2013. For a more traditional view of quilts, visit the Patoka Valley Quilt Guild exhibit at the Krempp Gallery in Jasper, IN. That exhibit runs from August 2-August 29, 2013. See this blog post for more information on that exhibit.

Now...back to the LAFTA exhibit...LAFTA, founded in 1995, is an organization of local visual artists whose work encompasses many surface design and construction techniques. LAFTA members are a very diverse group who share a deep appreciation and passion for a wide range of fiber arts. To find out more about LAFTA (including how to join) visit their website: LAFTA.

The juror for this exhibit (Beverly Glascock) said, "The selected entries are the ones that I felt succeeded the most in showing the incredible range of innovation that exists in fiber and textile art today. They include examples of hand and machine embroidery; beading; netting; dyeing; and screen-printing; mixed collage and assemblage."

I had the chance to take a few pictures at the LAFTA exhibit and thought I'd post some for you to enjoy. You really need to see the exhibit in person!

This piece is called New York, New York and was made by Felice Sachs. It has a pieced background and includes photographs, photo-transfer, machine quilting, and fabric collage. Felice says, "The architecture, crush of people, jumble of sights and images of New York City are overwhelming at times and always visually exciting...I wanted to capture a sense of that energy and visual stimulation using fabrics, photographs, paint and stitches." I had the opportunity to see this piece in various stages along its path to being finished. It was such fun to see the development of the piece from the idea to a finished product. I love the colors and how "busy" the piece is. That "busyness" truly gives me the sense of being in New York where my senses are often overstimulated!

A Touch of the Sea, 2012, was made by Lisa Leigh Payne. It is made with embroidery gimp, felt, beads, and ribbon. She says, "My fascination with embroidery begins with the simplicity of the needle, thread, and cloth. Through my work, these familiar materials transform the cloth's surface into a complex and organic design." I love Leigh's work because of the colors, textures, and the hand work involved. I truly LOVE hand work and can appreciate the time and love that goes into each of Leigh's pieces.
If you'd like to see more of Leigh's work, she currently has a solo exhibit called "Touching Your Inner Peace" at the Wayside Christian Mission's Wayside Expressions Gallery. You can see a demonstration of how she works on Sunday, August 11, 2013, from 12-4 pm (Eastern time). There will be a reception on August 18 from 2-4 pm. The exhibition will be on display through September 3. The gallery is open Monday through Friday 11-1:30 or by appointment. Wayside Expressions Gallery is located in the Hotel Louisville, 120 West Broadway, SE Corner of 2nd and Broadway Streets in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, you can call the Wayside Christian Mission at 502-836-7661 or 502-584-3711.
Lisa Leigh Payne at the Wayside Expressions Gallery with her piece Tree of the Mother II.
Closeup of Tree of the Mother II.

This next piece is called Zion Sunset and was made by Marti Plager. It is made of cotton fabric which has been dyed, overdyed, and painted. She has also used flour paste and soy wax resist along with screen printing on the piece. The piece is machine quilted. Marti says, "I love to sew. The hum of my machine is like music as I bring to life the texture that I so love on the surface of the quilt. I derive great pleasure in exploring the variety of techniques that can turn white cotton fabric into color and pattern. Some of those explorations can be quite frustrating or lead to new ideas." This piece is already sold; so if you'd like to see it in person, you need to get on it!

This really is a good show, and the Carnegie is such a nice facility. Take in the exhibit if you get a chance. Make an afternoon of it; New Albany has some nice little restaurants and interesting shops to visit while you are in town.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Terrific Tutorial Tuesday--Blocking Your Quilt

While helping to hang our local quilt guild's show, I had a discussion with a couple of members about blocking quilts. A few of the quilts had not been blocked which made them very difficult to hang. Without blocking, the edges are very "wavy" and the borders are not even. Blocking a quilt is very important particularly if you are going to be hanging your work. It is extra important if there is very dense quilting or trapunto, because they both tend to distort the quilt and pull it out of square.

First, I want to steer you to a good tutorial by Sylvia Landman on the Quilt University site. I wanted to get this post up as soon as possible, because Quilt University is "closing;" I'm not sure how long this tutorial will be available. You might want to print it out for your personal use. Check it out here.

Second is a blocking tutorial by Leah Day. Her method is pretty much the same, but you get a little less detail. I DO like her idea about using insulation board as a surface for blocking since that is what I use for a design wall, and it would be easy for me. Take a look at it here.

Last, I'll share two sites that I think do a REALLY good job of showing you how to block a quilt. The first is by Ellen Lindner. One of the things l like about this tutorial is that she goes into pretty much detail about how she blocks quilts, and she shows you a couple of different ways to block. She also shows two quilts before and after blocking; the difference is amazing. You can check out Part I here and Part II here.

The second is by Tracey Pereira. She does a good job of explaining what blocking is and why it needs to be done. She also shares her blocking method, and a big plus--she has a free, 20-page "e-book" available on preparing your quilt for binding, determining how much binding you'll need, joining and folding the binding strips, sewing the binding to the quilt, joining the ends of the binding, and finishing the binding. Here blocking tutorial is here. The e-book is available here.

I hope you have enjoyed these tutorials. I know that I will use bits and pieces of the information from each one. Let me know if you think these will help you.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Patoka Valley Quilt Guild Exhibit at Krempp Gallery 2013

If you are a fiber lover, you are in luck. From August 2 through August 29, the Patoka Valley Quilt Guild has an exhibit at Krempp Gallery in Jasper, Indiana, and from July 29-October 5, 2013, Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists (LAFTA) hold their juried group exhibition at The Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, Indiana. (I'm excited to say I have pieces in both exhibits.) I'll be writing a post on the LAFTA exhibit once I have permission from the artists to use photos of their work in the blog post.

At the Krempp Gallery in Jasper, you will find an exhibit with a bit more traditional feel than the LAFTA exhibit. Quilts, ornaments, wall hangings, table runners, and more await you at this exhibit. Every other year in August, members of the Patoka Valley Quilt Guild display their work at Krempp. Here is a sampling of the exhibit (before the informational papers had been removed from the pieces) along with other pertinent information about the show.

Krempp Gallery Exhibits


Monday-Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Sunday: 12:00 - 3:00 pm

For more information contact the Visual Arts Coordinator


Date: August 02, 2013 - August 29, 2013

Reception: Thursday, August 8th, 5-8 pm (Eastern Time)

If you get a chance, stop in to see this show and let me know what you think.