Monday, August 30, 2010

Party to the Stars

I've been working on the binding and beading for "Party to the Stars". It's hard to find the time to do such tiny stitches for this type of binding. It needs to be stitched down with hidden stitches, matching thread, and less than 1/16 of a inch apart. I managed to finish it while watching the morning and evening news over the past week. Now on to the edge beading which is sewn on with double thread and each bead gone through twice so there is a total of 8 thread strands through each bead. Whew! So close to being finished.

I'm really liking the colors in this one and all of the dimensional layers.

Today I'm trying to quilt up some small quilts that I used Shiva sticks on last fall with my friend Stephanie Forsyth. I need some hand work when we go on our fishing vacation this week. The friends that we are going with are nice, but I need some creative stimulation even while on vacation.

One piece is quilted with mctavishing for most it. I'm thinking I should do some bobbin play on it also. The top needs some glitz and more interest. Just beads will not be the answer.

In the mail today, I was really flattered to get an invitation to participate in a winter quilt show of some of my art

quilts at the local art gallery, Art Beat. I've thought about it in the past and never followed up on it. Now to have the gallery owner to write me saying she would like to have the showing is

It is harder for a fiber artist to be accepted in the art community than a traditional artist.

Many look at what we do and feel it is a craft, hobby, or doesn't take a lot of skill or time. Let me say, BULL. I spend many hours on my pieces from the first concept to the final embellishment I add by hand. I put a big part of myself in every piece, and the best feeling is when I hear someone say they like what I've done at a show while I'm eavesdropping.

So the next time you see one of my quilts at a quilt show, I may be lurking around the corner of the drape.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Next Show Quilt Idea

About an hour ago, I had an idea for my next show quilt grow in my head. No better way to put it. Sorry!

I'm close to finishing the 3rd quilt in my "Party" series, and the idea for the next one grew out on an idea after watching the morning quilting shows on PBS. I envision pastel light batiks in a Dresden plate pattern with a light background layered that way I love to do, embellished with beads and crystals, of course. There may be some felt or other dimensional additions.

When I get these little epiphanies, I make a fast sketch and write down the layering and placement ideas very fast. That is the only blueprint I use for planning, but I do use it. The next step will be going to the stash and pulling likely fabrics to work with. If that doesn't satisfy me, a shopping I must go.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Going through some UFO's

I was finishing up the organization of new 3 drawer bins that I had purchased this week and I decided to open up a beading project that I started in 2008. I dropped it after I was accused of copying someone else's beading and teaching ideas, which was grossly untrue. I was never interested in teaching beading and was making my own beaded stuff and cuffs. I really enjoyed it at the time and felt really hurt by the accusation. I'm no longer friends with the accuser, but I am friendly. We now have an uncomfortable relationship.
As a result of the incident, I even fell back with my quilting for show, missing many opportunities to show the then current show quilt I had made that did go on to win several well placed national awards. Lesson learned that I need to be tougher, thicker skinned.
Today I brought out the beading UFO to look at it and admire what I had made so far. I'm excited again to finish it. The long strip is the base for the cuff and is the only thing that needs to be done. I'm not sure about the pendent as to if I'm going to string beads for a necklace or go with a corded choker. What do you think?
The beading UFO came to mind also because I stopped at the little bead store in Hayward WI where I live and I was impressed by her great selection. Hayward, WI has a population of 2000 and is 1 1/2 hours from any city of good size, so I'm feeling real lucky today with my treasures. This led to my organizing my sizable bead collection, and on and on.......
I'm actually procrastinating with the quilt on the frame that is half done. I better be a good girl and get to it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Writing with Shiva Sticks

After a long day of painting the guest bedroom, I am finally finished with it. Now the carpet is drying after a good cleaning with the carpet cleaner.
I'm teaching a class on Wednesday that is about how to use Shiva Sticks. We will be stenciling, rubbing, writing, and coloring. The picture is shiva writing on batiks that are ironed to freezer paper for stability. The writings will be cut up and used for future projects. When you try this keep in mind you will not be able to write small. Most of my lettering is about 2 inches tall, and my sticks were a bit tacky or gummy because of the humidity. It was about 85 today and I do not have air conditioning. I think on a cooler day or more towards the winter months, my sticks would be more solid and easier to use for writing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Inktense Experiment

Here is the finished piece from my experiment with the inktense watercolor pencils. Need I say, I am very pleased with the results? I tested the painted areas last night (late as in 3 am) an found them to be very stable and not prone to bleeding after being heat set.

I stitched and beaded until 3 am cause I was also watching a movie until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes it is hard to stop when you start on a project. Of course I felt a little fuzzy this morning.

I used a fuchsia and soft green for the big stitch X's and a tear drop bead for the background. The football shaped bead is a pearlized fluorescent that is I love. It brightens up the piece. This is the first time I've used the big X stitch. I was inspired yesterday after watching some of my Quilting Arts cd's again. If you haven't seen Quilting Arts on PBS, you are really missing out on the best art
quilting out there. Interweave Publications is the best in the biz.
Please let me know what you think out my little experiment. I'm planning to try more with other white whole cloth quilting samples I've made. This will be a good exercise to try all of the different color materials I've purchased and not used, plus I can play with background fillers for surface design.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inktense with a Trapunto Quilt

After a long day of painting a guest bedroom at my home, I went for a stress reliever. I pulled out my inktense colored pencils and colored an old teaching sample from a trapunto class I taught about 4 years ago.

After lightly coloring the quilted piece, I sprayed the entire piece with water.

I like how the ink migrated into the other colored areas, flaring out and mingling with the other colors.
When it is dry I will heat set it and consider mounting it on a canvas. It would be a great piece to embellish before mounting.
Has anyone out there in blog land
worked with inktense on their quilted pieces? I have a friend, Stephanie Forsyth, that told me about them. She has had good success using them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Tidbits from the Milwaukee Quilt Show

I did not do any interviews beyond writing down tidbits for some of the teachers I talked to or listened to at the show. Here is what I have.

Quilt book author of the "Thirty Something" series, Gayle Bong has a new book coming out the fall of 2010. Gayle has written many popular quilt books and patterns. Her website is .

These little snippets are from Dustin Farrell during his blacklight quilting show.

When he travels around demoing for Nolting, he doodles and comes up with his new freehand designs.
Dustin quilts with one hand, with the music very loud and fast paced.
He rarely uses the stitch regulator. This is because he uses the machine fast and the regulator can't keep up to him. He had the motor switched out to a faster one, but still prefers just speed.
He finds YLI Brights work best at higher speeds and shows the best for blacklights.
When he isn't quilting, he's hunting.

The website for Dusty and Stephanies quilt shop is

That is all I've got for you. The teachers were a bit tight and didn't mingle a bunch. Mindy Wylie Casperson, and Linda Theilfoldt were awesome and super friendly.

I think Dustin Farrell is the new Jamie Whallen at the moment. He and his wife are about their mid 30's and he was like the rock star of the show. The ladies were gushing all around him. He works a lot putting in very long hours and has a great work ethic.

OMHO and I'm stickin to it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quilt Machine Tattoos

I bought tattoo stickers for my longarm machine. I have a Gammill that I call "the beast". I love these designs because they reflect the quilter that I think I am. These little sweeties were designed by Dustin Farrell and can be purchased at . They were very easy to put on.

Back Home To Quilt

It's great to be back home from the show, however, who said it had to be so hot! It's nearly 100 for temp and of course the humidity has to be that also. Yuck.

I'm hiding in the basement for a few hours cleaning, organizing my new purchases of threads and rulers. Getting ready to load tomorrows quilt on the frame, and planning for the next one which is a blue and white. It screams for feathers, and curved crosshatching. Today, I wish I had airconditioning.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Some of the winners at the Milwaukee Machine Quilters Show

Best of Show- Bali Hai- Marilyn Badger
1st-Guided by Tools- Bali Hai- Marilyn Badger
Peoples Choice-Garden Orbs-Dustin Farrell
1st- Whole Cloth- Majestic Bugs- Irena Bluhm
1st- Applique- Floral Escapade- Lynn McCartney
1st- Art Pictoral- Guardian of the last garden- Ann Horton
1st- Whole Cloth Revisited- Indian Summer- Jan Hutchison
1st- Miniature Wholecloth- Vintage- Susan Webster
1st- Custom- Lea's Choice- Joanie Zeier Poole
1st- Computer Guided- Splendor Wholecloth- Kelly Gallagher Abbott
1st- Custom Revisited- Beauty from Within- Renae Haddadin
1st- Machine Embroidered- Roses are forever- Donna Poquette

This is the list of 1st place winner for the show. Beautiful quilts, though some of the category winners were puzzling. Two of the categories had specific guidelines saying that if the quilts entered didn't follow the guidelines they would be disqualified for placing. In those categories, the entry that didn't follow the rules won 1st place. That was very confusing. Miniature wholecloth was to have no extras such as embellishments or surface design added, and the winner had non matching thread and beads. The winner of the traditional wholecloth was also to have no extras but the winner was a painted quilt. They were to be plain, and the wholecloth revisited was allowed to have extras added. Too bad the judges didn't take that in to account. The others in those categories followed the guidelines.

This is my opinion and should be taken just as that. I did not have an entry in either of those categories.

It was a good show for a 1st year show. I plan to go again next year. See you there.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Creative day and evening at the Show!

I thought it would be cool to add a picture of an art quilt that I made a couple of years ago as a little eye candy while I write about the fun things I did today at the Milwaukee show.
Today I had a class with Myrna Ficken on background treatments for machine quilting. many of the things that were in the class were things that I had already mastered. It did give me chance to sketch and draw to elaborate on the things that I never make time for. I think I've got about 18 pages of drawings from this week. Feels great!
The other class that I had today was with a vendor who taught a screen print and inking class. My friend Joyce talked me into it and I'm glad she did. After feeling so so on some of the classes I've taken, this one was for pure fun.
Right now I'm listening to the teachers of the show on the karaoke outside in the gardens. Karen McTavish has taken the mike a couple of times, as has Sue Patten, Cathy Franks, etc. Who says quilters are dull? No way!
After yesterday's crappy wifi at the hotel, today it is great. Last night I deleted and pared down some things on my website and it took about 2 hours to delete about a dozen things.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday at the Quilt Show in Milwaukee

It's already Thursday and I've been in Milwaukee since Monday. I've taken 3 classes so far with 2 more for Friday. I've met new and old friends, chatted with great quilters and teachers, and watched as the Best of Show for the first year at this show was unveiled. The winner is "Bali Hai" by Marilyn Badger. I've seen this award winning quilt at other shows, and it is a stunner and consistant winner.

I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Mindy Wylie Casperson and Linda Theilfoldt, both are quilters that are of a caliber that we aspire to be.

Mindy is very witty and has a very fast paced teaching style full of lots of information. You leave her class feeling ready to take on the quilting world.

Linda is full of fun stories, entertaining, and comes to class with a teaching style that is relaxed which makes her students comfortabe and ready to learn.

I've thoroughly enjoyed both. So if they read this blog...stranger things have happened...I'm not sucking up, just sharing how I feel. Loved you both.

There have been the usual rock stars of the quilt world at the show, Pam Clark, Cathy Franks, Karen McTavish, Jamie Whallen, Dustin Farrell, etc. There are great quilts to see, and the classes are what machine quilters are after. Personally, I wish there were more challenging classes for the advanced quilter. Most of the classes this year are geared to the beginning and intermediate quilter.

I've bought lots of fun goodies such as, YLI glow threads, Superior So-Fine in some pastels that I didn't have, plastic templates for my longarm in stacking diamonds, ovals, leaves, and a nested circle set that can be used to do a faux spiral graph type design. This was shown to us by Dustin Farrell, and it became a must have item. I did by a great book by Irena Bluhm. If you don't know about her and take a peek at her over the top awesome quilts. The woman is unbelievable.

I also got new thread from Fil-Tech that has a high sheen like gold metallic thread, which I'm anxious to try. We also got a wine glass given to us from the quilt show. There are Tsukineko inks that I needed to round out my collection. I picked up a ceramic mechanical pencil that Marilyn Badger recommends, and I thought I had to have. There are the swag templates that I know I will use alot, and get this...I bought sticker tattoos for my longarm!!!! They are a triple flower medley, victorian quilting feather plume, and quilt or die. Can't wait to apply them.

That should hold you until I post again. Wish you were here.

My roommates have also taken a slew of classes and bought their little hearts out to support the vendors and our habits.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We're here in Milwaukee for the Milwakee Machine Quilt Show. We are signed up for classes and geared up for a great time with like minded quilters. I plan to interview some of them famous and wanting to be famous so keep a close eye on this blog and the blog for Fiber Nation.