Another Experiment

In one of my modern guilds, several of our members have volunteered to teach techniques we want to try out.  Some of these may be more “art quilt” than strictly “modern quilt”, but what matters is that the members want to learn the technique, not how it could be classified.

pencils fabric use

One member who does some fantastic art quilts is going to teach us how to use colored pencils intended for fabric.  At the last meeting, she suggested that we get a head start by making a palette of the pencils we have so we won’t be wondering how the color will turn out when we do her project.  I had this grid-print fabric from another project, so I used it for my sampler

fabric pencils color

After reading an article in Quilting Arts about how to use pencils on fabric, I got some textile medium to try  textile mediumTo make the sampler above, I brushed a thin layer of fabric medium on the square, then applied pencil. The color went on smoothly while the textile medium was damp.

I haven’t yet tested how colorfast it may be.  The woman who will be doing the program applied her pencils directly to the fabric (without textile medium), then brushed with water.  The colors had a lovely watercolor-like appearance as they bled a little into each other.  I presume the textile medium will hold the color and prevent that bleeding.  That would be good for things where precise placement is needed, but of course sometimes fuzzy edges might look better.  More to come!

Fabric Postcards Again

I’ve been blogging about the monthly challenges and programs at my modern guild, hoping it will be helpful to some of you who need challenge or program ideas. Here’s a recent one: we made fabric postcards.

I gave out pieces of Peltex 71F cut 4″ x 6″ to use as the stabilizer and backing for the cards.  I gave no further guidance, though I did bring an example to pass around.

fabric postcard

Here is the example

I probably should have provided a handout with some basic instructions, since we have members with quite variable skills, as do most guilds.  Anyway, here are some of the postcards people made.  As you can see, they varied in technique quite a bit, and all were fun.

fabric postcard

Kim’s clever Bee Kind postcard–she paper pieced the bee!

Somebody had some cute quilt lady fabric and put a nice frame around it

Coffee is always popular, and the fusible broderie perse worked well

Somebody else stitched elaborate designs like Zentangles on hers

Bev made a bird with a nest of torn strips and beads sewn on for eggs

Mine was titled “A Different UFO”. I’ve had that UFO button a long time!

Quilt Alliance Contest 2017

After 3 weeks and 3 quilts, here is the one I finally finished for the 2017 Quilt Alliance contest. The first two quilts were OK, but I like this one best, so off it goes.

quilt alliance contest

For Quilt Alliance contest 2017, 16″ x 16″

The contest theme this year is “voices”. As I made this little maze, I thought of college students in their world of endless possibilities, talking all night about the meaning of life. I thought the bright colors and the maze were a good representation of that.

Cherrywood Fabrics

Detail of the quilt for the 2017 Quilt Alliance contest

The fabric is Cherrywood hand dyes, except for the bright yellow, which is a batik.  I presume it is obvious that I cut everything with scissors and improvised the piecing as I went along.  I quilted it on my Bernina, using lightweight medium grey thread to lend texture without showing too much.

Next week: a quilt to use as a wedding guest book.  Thanks for visiting!

A Practice Piece

So, while I was on a Jane-Sassaman-fabric kick, I got this piece to use for practice.

Sassaman fabric

Flower Fiesta by Jane Sassaman

And I cut it up into triangles and made this top.  This was just for practice, so I sewed it together all the way and added borders of another Sassaman fabric.

one block wonder quilt

This practice quilt is 54″ square

I think I like the print borders better than the solid black I was trying out on the “real” Sassaman quilt I blogged about last week.  This practice one is about 54″ square.

Meanwhile, my friend Jean suggested I look at quilts by Bruce Seeds.  He doesn’t distribute the blocks randomly as suggested in the One Block Wonder books, he uses them to make a big design (from all the blocks with fancy little designs).  Check out his quilts here:  BruceSeeds.com.  They are terrific!  He has used little strips of fabric to outline parts of quilts, as I was thinking about doing. And he’s obviously used more than one fabric in some quilts.  I’m definitely going to study his quilts more before I decide on a final design for mine.

Thanks to Jean for the great suggestion!

Threads of Resistance

My friend Claire made me aware of Threads of Resistance, “a juried exhibition of work created to protest the Trump administration’s actions and policies”. I usually avoid politics here, since this is a blog about quilting.  But I am very concerned about some of the Trump administration’s plans, so I’m making an exception.  Here is my quilt, the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab, because it’s un-American to exclude immigrants based on religion.

Threads of Resistance quilt

The Statue of Liberty stands for freedom, including freedom of religion.

As always, I learned a lot doing this.  First, there are a TON of public domain pictures out there.  I finally found a couple showing the Statue from the perspective I wanted, and sort of improvised from there.  Second, it IS possible to find verdigris-color fabric, and it’s easier than I thought because everyone seems to have a different idea about just what shade “verdigris” is.

I drew my design on a big piece of paper then traced it onto the verdigris fabric.  I quilted the rays on the background, then cut out the statue and horizon pieces and fused them to the background.  I consulted one of Sue Bleiweiss’ books about how to do the black outline, but ended up not using her method because I was too far down my own road before I consulted the book!  I would like to say I think a project through thoroughly before beginning, but the truth is that often I have no idea how I’m going to do something until I’m doing it!Threads of Resistance quilt

I outlined most of my drawn lines with black thread, but then had to go back over the lines in the face with marker to make them stand out.  One final lesson:  Kona cotton was a poor choice for fusible applique; the weave is much too loose. I had to fray-check the edges even after I fused them, and then had to go back and trim some “whiskers” even after I had satin stitched the edges.  From now on I’m sticking to Michael Miller Cotton Couture, which is a much finer weave (similar to the hand of the batik here, which gave me no trouble with fused applique).

If you’d like to make a quilt to submit for the Threads of Resistance exhibit, which is juried, click on the highlighted name and it will take you to the link you need.  And if you disagree with my politics, please do not take offense–allowing differences is what America is all about.

 

Which Permanent Markers for Quilts?

I’m making a quilt to be used as a wedding “guest registry” by a friend. It will be a “couch quilt” after the wedding, used for naps, watching TV, etc., so it will be washed. This led me to wonder what type pen the guests should use to sign.

Although a laundry pen would seem obvious, I ruled that out because it can be difficult to get it to move smoothly over fabric. That left Sharpies and Pigma pens as the primary contenders, and both are available in a variety of colors, which is nice.

pens for use on quilts

The Contenders

I’ve heard pros and cons regarding both, and when I asked a vendor at a show for suggestions, she expressed shock that I might use a Sharpie.  I have to admit that I had doubts when I first read Mark Lipinski’s remark about using Sharpies to “fix” a quilt, years ago.  However, I’ve tried them since and they’ve worked out fine.  Mind you, I’m not concerned about archival quality, I’m concerned about the ease of use of the pen and how well the signatures will hold up to washing.

Since I had both types of pen on hand, I made a couple of little quilt sandwiches, one with poly batting and one with cotton batting.  I was concerned that either or both types of batting might absorb the ink and transfer it to the other side.

Permanent marker for quilt

After Washing and Drying

Yes, these are the “after” pictures.  Both inks were essentially unchanged after washing and drying in cold water on the delicate cycle.  The pigma pen had a broader tip, so the mark showed up better both before and after washing.  Neither pen bled significantly during writing, and neither soaked through the batting into the backing.

Because Sharpies are easier to find, I’ll probably use those for guests to sign the quilt. And I’ll show the quilt to be used as a guest registry in a later post.

Anybody out there have suggestions for permanent markers to be used on quilts?

Pamela Wiley Quilts in Savannah

While in Savannah for QuiltCon, my husband and I happened on an exhibit of quilts by Pamela Wiley, a professor emerita of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).  I’m sorry I missed her class at QuiltCon, but the exhibition of her quilts was terrific!

SCAD, Pamela Wiley quilt

As Above So Below, by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley’s quilts are stretched tight and framed, so that when we looked in from the street we were not sure at first whether we were looking at paintings or quilts.  Once in the gallery, it was apparent that these were real quilts.

Pamela Wiley quilts

Mineralogie by Pamela Wiley

Little information was given about the materials used; each label simply listed “stitched cotton”.  However, the stitching was used to distort the cotton, not just in the usual way by making raised and depressed areas with stitching and batting, but also by slightly moving printed lines so that the surface appeared warped.

Pamela Wiley art quilt

Detail of Outside In, by Pamela Wiley

Stitching was used to add layers of color and to distort commercially printed fabric in ways that fooled the eye.

art quilt, Pamela Wiley quilt

Outside In by Pamela Wiley

I took a number of pictures, with permission of the guard for the exhibit.  If you want more, there is an article about her work in what I call “art school language” here, and many pictures of details of her quilts on Instagram here.  I’ll be looking for quilt shows where she may teach in the future!

Pamela Wiley quilt

Houndstooth Hurdy Gurdy by Pamela Wiley

art quilt, Pamela Wiley

Detail of Houndstooth Hurdy Gurdy by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley quilt

Detail of Houndstooth Hurdy Gurdy by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley art quilt

detail of Holding Space by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley

Holding Space by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley art quilt

Full Circle by Pamela Wiley

art quilt

Detail of Full Circle by Pamela Wiley

Pamela Wiley

Detail of Full Circle by Pamela Wiley

Oh, and if you aren’t already intimidated, let me tell you that all these quilts were dated 2016!!!

Finished! In 2016

First, the Christmas tree picture with fireplace was at the Grove Park Inn, in Asheville, N.C. That fireplace is big enough for a man to stand up in. Hopefully when there’s no fire.

And now, the 2016 finishes.

Asheville Quilt Show

Scan Me, a quilt made to promote safer sex.

improvisational quilt

Cherrywood Toss won a blue ribbon.

art quilt, gwen marston

Refrigerator quilt inspired by Gwen Marston. Bev Manus came up with the idea for refrigerator quilts.

modern sampler

My Modern Sampler Quilt

improvisational quilt

“Gwen Visits the Farm” is the quilt I made for the Quilt Alliance contest this year

Quilted Adventure

Roxie bag made as part of Quilted Adventure online retreat

Loes Hinse blouse

Blouse from a Loes Hinse pattern, in Cherrywood fabrics

Tumbling Blocks

Tumbling Blocks placemats, made in class with Karen Combs

Sweetpea Pod pattern review

These Sweetpea Pod bags were so fun that I made a LOT of them!

And, of course, the quilts for Ronald McDonald House:

Happy new year, and may you have a great year of quilts in 2017!

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show 2016

One of my local guilds had their biennial show recently, so of course I have many pictures of the quilts.  This is an opportunity to display the best needlework of many of our local quilters.

I’m starting with ten of the most elaborate ones.  The quality of the pictures is limited by both the lighting in the hall and the arrangement of quilts in 3-sided cul-de-sacs, the way it is done at AQS as well.  However, it is obvious that a lot of work went into these!Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild, Pamela McBride

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild, Sandra Sneed

I’ve always meant to make one of these!

Smoky Mountain quilt Guild, Linda Hallatt

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild show, Karen Burney

Though it is traditional, this is one of my favorites!

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild, Frances Owl-SmithSmoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show 2016

Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show

Love the houses and trees!

Smoky Mountain Quilt GuildSmoky Mountain Quilt Guild ShowI’ll have more pictures from this show at a later date 🙂

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12 Favorites: Chattanooga Quilt Week

I was lucky enough to attend the AQS show in Chattanooga last week, so I’m sharing some of my favorites with you.  These are not meant to be representative of the show and they certainly do not represent the award-winners much.  They are my personal choices.

But first, I must tell you that before I even went to the show I stopped at Spool, a great quilt shop in Chattanooga, to get my “Where’s the Penis?” button to wear to the show.  This is to protest recent AQS censorship.  I won’t repeat the ridiculous tale; if you don’t know about it you can read about it here, and read an even better analysis of the situation here.

The show was in the Chattanooga Trade Center, a nice facility with a carpet that would have been a good quilt design.  Click on the photos to see bigger images.

In the show itself, I was struck by the dearth of truly traditional quilts. This traditional design was one of my favorites, but it is a small art quilt done as part of a challenge to make something in the spirit of the artist Grandma Moses.

Quilt by Yuko Miyashita of Japan, in response to a challenge to represent Grandma Moses

Quilt by Yuko Miyashita of Japan, in response to a challenge to represent the work of Grandma Moses

The great majority of the quilts were what I would classify as “art quilts” in that they had almost no possible function beyond the decorative. Sure, you COULD use that 18 inch square quilt as a table topper, but it seems unlikely.

The SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) had an exhibit, as usual, and I admired many of their quilts, including this one:

Towers of Babble, by Pam RuBert

Towers of Babble, by Pam RuBert

Another exhibit of art quilts included this one by Laura Wasilowski, whose work I admire:

Lacking Gravity, by Laura Wasilowski

Lacking Gravity, by Laura Wasilowski

This quilt, from the same display of art quilts, also caught my eye:

Hot Flash 2, by Nancy Woods

Hot Flash 2 by Nancy Woods

There were a number of fun quilts displayed as the result of a challenge to use nontraditional materials, but this was my favorite.

Noth your Grandmother's Drunkard's Path, by Barbara Barber

Not your Grandmother’s Drunkard’s Path, by Barbara Barber

Note how she has used tufts of batting to represent foam:

Detail of Not Your Grandmother's Drunkard's Path by Barbara Barber

Detail of Not Your Grandmother’s Drunkard’s Path by Barbara Barber

Here are some of my favorites from various categories in the main contest.

Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Detail of Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Detail of Between the Lines by Wilma Moss

Modern Wedding Rings by Gabrielle Paquin (of France)

Modern Wedding Rings by Gabrielle Paquin (of France)

Mid-Century Modern by Jerriann Massey

Mid-Century Modern by Jerriann Massey

Rockslide by Karen Duling

Rockslide by Karen Duling

Autumn Gold by Lori Schloesser

Autumn Gold by Lori Schloesser

Carpathian Mountain Sunset by Cathy Geier

Carpathian Mountain Sunset by Cathy Geier

And finally, a quilt that was so popular at the Vermont Quilt Festival that I had trouble getting a picture of it.  It is still spectacular, but didn’t even get an Honorable Mention in Chattanooga.

Judgment of Osiris by Georgia Spalding Pierce

Judgment of Osiris by Georgia Spalding Pierce

This last quilt is bed size, though not especially traditional.  So where were the traditional quilts?

There were a few beautifully done whole cloth quilts, but otherwise I though even the bed-sized quilts often showed the influence of the modern aesthetic.  I know very well that there are many fine traditional quilters still working, but I suspect they have given up on AQS shows.  What do you think?  Do you ever enter AQS shows?

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