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  • Starting Something New for the New Year

    Last year I started to teach classes at Montavilla Sewing Center in Gresham. It’s a nice location for me from the standpoint of proximity to where I live but also to fill a blank spot on my teaching map and open up an area where I was previously unrepresented. As of January, I am starting my Journal Quilt classes there. These are ongoing monthly standalone classes that focus on artistic techniques the in many cases go beyond the methods you might usually find in a more traditional quilting class.

    In The Art Journal Quilt classes we explore techniques such as embellishment, fabric manipulation, fabric dyeing and painting and in some cases, the lesson might involve a different creative approach to design. The projects are small – usually the size of a sheet of paper. Why the small size? This is so you can explore the technique on an experimental project before committing to a larger, more expensive and more time consuming quilt and work out the logistics plus see if it’s something you really want to pursue on a larger scale. As a bonus, many of the students actually complete the project and we all know how satisfying it is to check those UFOs off your list.

    Shell Dreams #1. A woven textures panel embellished with seashells and pebbles and textured quilting

    In our January class we will play with weaving curvy strips of different fabrics into panels that can be a standalone composition or used as a background for embellishment as I have done with my sample Shell Dreams, or an applique focal point as a couple of my students did in a previous class.

     

    The fabrics do not need to be 100% cotton and in fact, you can get interesting texture variations by combining different fabrics such as silk or satin with rough fabrics like corduroy and linen.

    These 3 hour classes at Montavilla Sewing Center in Gresham will take place the first Wednesday of each month from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Come join me to explore just what you can do with fabric and your sewing machine.

    Ardie’s Tribal Mask Applique on a woven textures background
    Joy’s Tribal Mask Applique over woven textures background

     


  • Half-Square Triangle Exchange

    Do You like Half-Square Triangles? I LOVE Half-Square Triangles, there are so many things you can do with them. I started my obsession with HSTs about 20 years ago when a friend was discarding the ‘ears’ she had cut off from the corners of some Melon Patch blocks. “Don’t toss them”, I said, “I can use them” – and so it began. That first project which is still ongoing, involves HSTs that are painstakingly pieced the old fashioned way – along the bias edge and the resulting half-square triangle trimmed and squared to 1 5/8″. Why that bizarre size? Because it was the largest size unit I could get out of those pieces. Would I do this again – NO WAY!

    That being said, I’ve made too many of these blocks to quit now, I’m going to make enough of these to do something really spectacular and from then on go for more regular sizes; this is what I’m making with my ditzy little half-square triangles:

    My ‘ditzy’ half-square triangle project, you can see from the cutting mat that the basic ‘raw’ block measures slightly less than four square inches

    I also like ‘Scrappy’, I’ve never met a scrap I didn’t like (OK I do toss some of them) but I love the challenge of what I can do with what most people would throw away, consider me a born recycler.

    Now, onto my latest news, I am participating in a Half-Square Triangle exchange with Steve Lennert (formerly of One World Fabrics and a member of my small quilt group). He has launched an online Half-Square Triangle exchange and it might not be too late for you to get on board if you are interested in this exchange. Don’t worry – no weird sizes here, he has thorough instructions to use Triangles on a Roll™ or pre-printed cheater triangle templates to guarantee that all the half-square triangles are consistent in size and accuracy and ‘finish’ at 2″. Visit his blog for more details and to contact him to participate.


  • Something to Crow About

    OK gentle readers, the proverbial ‘cat’ is out of the bag. I am proud to announce that I have now joined the ranks of fabric designers with a new line of fabrics produced by Northcott to be featured at Fall Market in Houston at the end of this month.

    Northcott approached me this past spring about using some of my quilt designs to produce printed panels with some coordinating textures and supporting fabrics by Linda Ludovico to create the line we are calling Maplewood inspired by one of my Garden Window quilts. Those of you who know me well have been aware of this but for my general followers, I have had to keep a bit mum about this until Northcott was ready to present the new line on their website, this has been a bit hard to do as I’ve been so excited about it. You can view the collection at Norhtcott’s Maplewood page along with some stunning quilt patterns made by their pattern designers utilizing the fabric line.

    Several of the local quilt shops where I teach are already planning to pick up some of the fabric and have even asked if I might come do an autographing the fabric panel event, I will keep you posted if we do that.

    The Garden Windows quilt that has been reproduced for this is my latest one ‘Clothed in Crimson’ and  I’m posting a picture of it here; if you visit Norcott’s page you can see the lovely reproduction they have created of it, I am truly amazed how well it has turned out. Meanwhile, I have self published a pattern for the quilt, which is available at a couple of the local quilt shops – A Common Thread and Pioneer Quilts, these are also shops where you should be able to find my fabric very soon.

    'Clothed in Crimson' my quilt that has been reproduced as a printed panel by Northcott Fabrics.
    ‘Clothed in Crimson’ my quilt that has been reproduced as a printed panel by Northcott Fabrics.