I just came home all inspired by a delightful few days at Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival where I had “Pendragon”. I put together some of my pictures from the show. Here is a link to the picture file: Smugmug/MAQF 17
I stayed a day longer than I usually do for this show and it gave me lots of time to see every quilt, take all four lectures I was interested in and see the Show and Tell that I usually miss. I also did a lot of shopping. Well, afterall, my 70th birthday will be this coming Friday on March 3rd, so I gave myself some presents…threads, new rulers (a set of circles and a set of ovals), and one of those spinning cutting mats among a few additional small items.
Pendragon did not place, but I believe it to be mostly because the theme of the show was modern quilting and that quilt has nothing to say that is even remotely modern quiltish. I still believe it is a ribbon worthy quilt, so we will see what it does in the future. I decided to see if they would include it anyway because I sort of consider MAQF my main show. It is within driving distance and I have relatives in the area, so going there is always a treat for me. I did get some nice comments from the judges:
Your original design effective in telling your story; Embroidery well executed; Piecing well done; Quilting motifs compliments the design; Quilt hangs flat and square; Back of quilt should be free of loose threads and lint” (note: I sticky rolled it and examined it with my big magnifying lamp when I packed it…lint may have happened on their end. That backing fabric I used was a little lint grabbing…not using that again).
A New Page Is Turned
Now, however, I am turning a page on my work. From here I am focusing on the quilt work itself, and on figuring out how to pass on what I have learned even as I maintain my studio artist status (not a lot of travel, a little teaching within driving distance, writing books and creating tutorials), rather than so much focus on the competition work. I will still enter shows, and still plan on making show quilts (they teach me a lot and give me a chance to stretch my work), but it’s an attitude and work flow adjustment in my studio that is on this nice new page in my life. You can see more about this in one of my past blogposts here.
There are lots of definitions of “antique”. The one I like the best for this discussion is “an object such as … a work of art that has a high value because of its considerable age.” Tomorrow (Friday, March 3rd), I will be 70 years old. I am a work (in progress) maybe even a “work of art” and have considerable age. I think every human being has high value…so there you are. I could probably be called “an antique” fabric artist. I feel physically great (have also lost some weight recently and hope to lose more) and I believe I am as mentally alert as ever (always a little daphy). Many of my ancestors lived well into their hundreds. I have a wonderful plan for my future and my kids are nearby. My studio is well stocked, and my fleet of machines is wonderful and in good working order. I’m excited about the future. Thank the good Lord and I hope you will continue to join me on my quilting journey.
One of the things I am going to begin on this blog post is a regular short tutorial (every week or month?). This week’s tutorial is answering a question I got a lot at the show…how I made the chain mail on my characters in Pendragon using Bernina v7. I haven’t yet gotten v8, but I suspect this would work there also.
Digitizing Chain Mail for Small Applique (Or using special fills to create what you want)
I wanted to make the characters’ chain mail shirts look right, and decided the best approach was to digitize the chain mail in my Bernina v7 software and embroider it in the hoop. This took me a while to discover how to do it. I think I spent two or three days on figuring this out, but I just did a chain mail heart shape and took snap pictures for this tutorial all in about three minutes. So I thought I’d share this with you in case you wanted to create something special with interesting fills and shapes. Using Bernina v7 software:
- Draw a closed shape…you can put the picture in the art canvas side and trace it on the embroidery side
- Right click on the object and bring up the Object Properties dialogue box.
- I had to turn my shirts upside down and move them around to get the wave fill to match where the parts of the wave needed to be to show the expansion and contraction of the chain…like a shirt on a beautifully muscled knight. 😀 I also gave each shirt their own color to help me figure out which belonged where when complete. I embroidered them all in Superior Fantastico 5169..a silvery variegated gray on black fabric. I cut them out close to the embroidery and glued them on with Roxanne basting glue and blanket stitched the edges in the same thread to give them a finish.
So there you are. I can see this method working for a wide variety of appliques and purposes. The software is so flexible, but finding out how to do something you want to do that is a little different can take time.
On Upcoming Events:
- For the month of May and a couple of weeks into June, G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland, is hosting an exhibit of my quilts. I will have one day where I will provide a walking lecture tour of my approximately 15 quilts that will be placed around the store. I’ll let you know when that is.
- In June, I will be providing a workshop on machine quilting at G Street.
- My quilt “Drawing Nigh” will be at AQS in Lancaster, PA, March 20-April 1. If you attend and see my quilt, let me know.
Sew happy everyone. Focus on your creative projects to have the most fun, put in your best effort, learn a little bit, and share, and don’t let it stress you out. I would really appreciate comments.