Machine Applique for Fabric Artists– Saturday Sept 22

Next Saturday, the 22nd of September, at G Street Fabrics sewing machine center, I will be presenting a six hour workshop from 11 am to 5 pm.  This workshop is the first of a 3 part Fabric Arts techniques that are designed to present all the techniques I use in creating my basic fabric art show quilts (minus surface design and embellishment).  The other two parts will be October 6th and October 20th.  It’s going to be fun.

Anyway,this first workshop presents multiple machine applique techniques for multiple uses, and discusses how to decide which of these techniques work best where.  To do this, I designed a simple fun little top piece and provide a complete kit so the student can start right away learning and not spend time in prep work.

I will also show some of my show quilts that used these techniques and give instructions and demos along the way.

Canterbury Knight

So I am all ready.  I have all the kits made, I have the video equipment for my demos, and I am excited.  Hope to see you there!  If you aren’t there, please send a little prayer and good thoughts for me that it will go really well for all of us and everyone will have fun.

Sew happy everyone!  Play with some applique and make something fun.

Fall Fabric Art Workshops

I am excited about my upcoming workshops I will be teaching at G Street Fabrics in Rockville this fall.  If you are in the area, please sign up and come.  I understand there are still a few spaces.  These three six hour workshops provide the basic techniques I use in building and quilting most of my wall art quilts.  There will only be eight students with each workshop, to give me time to be available for each student and answer questions.

September 22, 11am to 5pm.  Fabric Art Workshop 1: Applique Techniques to make a top ready for quilting.

Kits for the workshops are available for purchase that includes everything the students need for the projects that will enable everyone to complete or nearly complete each project.  For the applique workshop, the leaves, birds, and dog or cat are all precut with fusible on the back. The student gets to put it all together like he or she wants and different edge finishes are taught as well as how one might choose which finish is discussed.  Threads, needles, and other supplies are included as well as the handouts.

The two quilting classes also have kits of premarked sandwiches with everything one needs to plunge right in and start quilting.

October 6, 11 am to 5 pm:  This is the project for Fabric Arts Workshop II: Quilting with feed dogs up.  Kit has premarked sandwich, thread, a needle, and handouts.

The students will learn there are many interesting results that can be obtained with their feed dogs up.  Of course, a walking foot would always be helpful, but will not be required for this class.  It’s a small 20 x 20 sandwich.

 

October 20, 11am to 5pm, Fabric Arts Workshop III:  Free motion organic quilting.  The Kit for the free motion quilting project is a lightly marked sandwich, with a leaf applique ready to start the class.,  It also includes thread, a needle, and handouts.

Sew I don’t address how to square up and bind a quilt, but I do provide references as to where you can get that information.  There is another part of my work that is also not included and that is surface design and embellishment.  However, I started my art quilt career just using the techniques covered here, and learned how to bind off the internet.  I am considering how I might do a workshop in surface design and embellishment, but not sure I’ll do it yet.  I do provide a bit of information on how you can pull together a design for such projects in the course of the workshops.

Come join me.  There are 8 slots per class and some have already been filled, but if you hurry you might get in.  Contact G Street Fabrics  and ask for the Sewing machine department.

Meanwhile, I’ll go back to making kits…LOL

 

 

Surface Design, Texture, and Embellishment

I love adding surface design, texture, beads, artistic thread work, yarns, and other types of embellishments to my wall quilts.  I think these things, when well done, can take them to a different dimension turning what may be an already nice pictorial/art piece that would be acceptable for someone’s wall to a treasure of a piece that makes the viewer want to stand and look at it for a long time or makes them happy every time they pass by it.

“Well-done” in this case by no means implies perfect, symmetrical, or formal, but it does mean interesting, the right amount, beautiful, technically  good, or just plain fun.  Sew this is what I strive for, although I suspect I will still be trying to make these things work as I see them in my mind’s eye to the last day of my quilting/fabric art life (which I plan on doing for the rest of my life).  But that’s one of the many things that makes playing in my studio so much fun.  Here are a few examples of such work.

detail from one of my deep space quilts with Angelina Fibers and hot fix crystals over a lightly painted background.

 

I learned early on that I needed to draw some guide lines for the direction of the stitching or I’d get them to be blowing around in different directions. Since the water in this quilt is going to look very calm and reflective, it didn’t make since to have the Spanish moss blowing around much. Here you see some of my marks. Also note that I had to break the stitching on several clumps so it looked like the limb is further toward the back from the viewer.

I painted these borders to go along with the vintage panel in the middle.

Sew this week I bought a needle punch attachment for use on my little Bernina 350.  I particularly like the way this little machine, which I purchased to have a machine to carry along with me to classes and other events needing a machine, is rapidly becoming an essential in my studio too.  It will be my “embellisher” now and I also have found it makes wonderful bobbin work with specialty thicker threadsm and makes perfect piecing possible.  I am kind of excited about this.  I plan on making interesting bits on some of my pictorial quilts, like steam clouds coming out of a steam locomotive, tree barks, fluffly little animals, and other interesting textural areas.  I just got a package of wool roving in a variety of natural colors to try it out with.  I also think I will get some other things that work this way…ribbons, sheer fabric pieces, ????

Sew happy everyone!  Try a little embellishing if you haven’t yet and if you send me photos I will post them if you don’t mind.  Send to BettyJo@bjfabricartistcom

Happy New Year and Planning for a Great 2018

 

Happy New Year everyone!  I really want to thank those of you who read my blog for sticking with me this year.  I am planning on doing more how-tos, reviews, and showing progress on my quilts this year.  I am expecting and declaring that 2018 will be one of the best from start to finish for me, my family, and all my friends. 

I have a lot of fun planned for 2018 and I want to share the quilting/sewing part of it with my readers.  I’m putting this in a list format and we’ll talk more about these over the next few months.

Two Quilt Shows I’m planning to attend.  Will you be there?

  • Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival 22 Feb-27 Feb.  I’m hopeful of having my current quilt in this show.  I’m also hoping one of my friends will be accompanying me.
  • International Quilt Festival in Houston, Nov 7-11.  Again, I am working on a quilt for this show.  We’ll see if I make it on time.  But I also am planning on entering Pendragon in this show.

Classes/Workshops I’m Developing…Not sure where or even if these will happen, but I’ll let you know along the way:

  • Basic free motion quilting for the new sit-down quilter
  • (Intermediate) Organic Free Motion and Other Quilting
  • A Demo-Lecture on Surface Design and Embellishment for Fabric Art
  • Machine Applique…Multiple Methods and When to Use Each One
  • Make a Quilted Bag

Books already started I hope to finish:

  • Quilting for Fabric Art
  • Machine Applique…Multiple Methods and When to Use Each One
  • Surface Design and Embellishment for Fabric Art

And most importantly quilts I am making or hope to make in 2018:

  • The one for MAQF (it’s a secret until after the judging, then I will blog about it)
  • Bayou quilt based on Joel Christopher Paynes artwork I bought the right for one quilt
  • A fourth, and possibly fifth, deep space quilt.  I hope to get the fourth one made for MQX East to celebrate its space theme
  • I have a bunch more show quilts, so we will see what I manage to make beyond the three above.
  • Several utility quilts, including one for my own bed and periodically make up a fast charity quilt.
  • I have dropped two sizes in 2017, still have a long ways to go, but I need to make a few nice new clothing items for me.

Sew Happy in the New Year Everyone!  May your dreams be met, your life be full of love, and your year fun and simply lovely!

By the way, I need some funds to help me keep my dreams for 2018 going, so I am hoping to sell several of my quilts this year to finance my attending the Houston show and keep me in stitches (LOL) and make room in my house for more.  You can see which ones on my website gallery…just scroll over the quilt and you can see the price and size.  Contact me if you are interested in one and maybe we can work something out that suits your budget.  I’ve instituted a lay away plan for the quilts.

 

 

What a Fun Week!

Wow!  This has been a full week.  First of all, I heard my quilt Pendragon had won something at AQS Paducah.  It turned out it is Third Place in Small Wall Embellishment category.  Now, it started out Honorable Mention but the first place winner moved up to one of the top big-money prizes…and it is a beautiful quilt…sew Pendragon moved up to Third Place, which is totally delightful.

Photo at AQS Fall Paducah with ribbon by Mary Owens.

Then I heard that Drawing Nigh had won Honorable Mention in small wall quilts at Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (PNQE).

Drawing Nigh at PNQE with Ribbon. Photo by Lisa Calle.

I have to say, I really liked the judging at PNQE this year.  Some of my favorite quilts by some of my quilty friends won top honors.  Including Deb Levy’s Atomic Synergy, which was Best of Show,

Deb Levy’s Atomic Synergy at PNQE with ribbon. I’m not quite sure who took this picture.

 

and Lisa Calle’s A Silver Lining, which won Best Wall Quilt.

Lisa Calle’s A Silver Lining. Picture by Lisa Calle

Upcoming:  Sew Pendragon will also be at AQS Des Moines, Oct 4-7, in case you are going and want to see it.  I also have Spiral Galaxy Number 3 that will be at MQX Midwest in Springfield, Illinois Sept 27-30.  Right now, I’m working on a new show quilt, a vest and matching tote bag for me, and my books.  I also feel I need to get going on a couple of new quilts because I have plans and they have deadlines.

But amid all this delightful news about my own work, my son David’s new book The Merrimack Event, is bouncing around the top 500 of Amazon Kindles overall books and is currently about 50th in the overall Science Fiction on Amazon.  It looks to be a winner!  If you haven’t gotten yours yet you can find it here by clicking on the picture:

The Merrimack Event

Or you can wait another week or two and get a print copy, which isn’t out yet, but I’ll let you know about it.

Now that things might be getting back to normal this coming week, I will try and talk next weekend about how to take a piece of art you like and turn it, or something that inspires you from it, into a wall art quilt…or something else more fun.

Sew happy everyone!  May you have some delightful times in your own life.  Blessings!

Fall and Winter Sewing Time

It’s time!  After nearly four years since I retired from a serious government job to become a full time fabric artist, and with even a couple of years before that since I bought or made any current kind of work-a-day clothing, I must do something.  My clothes are a little too big, are fraying around the bottoms of the sleeves and the fabric is thinning.  They are still comfortable, however, and I don’t have to brief any high level officials, travel to a foreign country, or appear in office garb, and that’s probably why I haven’t paid too much attention until now.  But I’m planning on going to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Festival in mid September and will be staying with a friend who retired to PA while I’m there.  I am also planning to provide some quilting lectures and demos in the area in the next several months, and I DO go to church or shopping or a show occasionally. 🙂   So the clothing situation needs addressing, or is that “a dressing”.

MCall's 7391...I like this one. It looks like it would make a great work shirt.

MCall’s 7391…I like this one. It looks like it would make a great work shirt.

I looked around for things to buy.  They are expensive and don’t fit well, since I’m built like an overweight ape with long arms and torso and short legs.  LOL.  The fabric does not appeal to the fabric snob in me.  Sew it’s time to sew.  I went through my fashion fabrics and patterns stash yesterday…spent the whole day at it.  I found enough fabrics for fall and winter to clothe me for the foreseeable future.  I also have the interfacing, linings, zippers, buttons, etc.

This one is also my kind of style...McCall's 7365...but I also need something less tailored and open to additions of applique or other embellishments.

This one is also my kind of style…McCall’s 7365…but I also need something less tailored and open to additions of applique or other embellishments.

And again, I like this shirt...can you see a pattern here? Butterick 6376

And again, I like this shirt…can you see a pattern here? Butterick 6376

Now I don’t want to stop forward progress on my current quilt and book projects either, so I am planning on slipping in the sewing of a new garment every so often across the rest of this year, and probably throughout next year.  Summer is just as bad, but I’m concentrating on fall and winter and four season tops for now.  Fortunately, I do have a nice supply of jeans in good shape, so for workaday I just have to concentrate on shirts and nice tops that will also work for quilt shows and demos.  I also want to make up at least one of my fabulous pieces of wool into a nicely tailored slacks suit (I don’t wear skirts anymore), and one of my four pieces of coating into a new overcoat.  Then I also want to make a couple of bags.  It’s going to be fun, but I’m beginning to think I need a clone or two.  Afterall, my studio would probably work for three sewing people.  LOL.

Well, I know I said I don't wear skirts anymore...but if they cover the legs....I might make an exception. :D

Well, I know I said I don’t wear skirts anymore…but if they cover the legs….I might make an exception. 😀  This jacket might look good with slacks.  Would that shock the early twentieth century folks?         Butterick 6337

Sew happy everyone!  Make yourself a garment every now and again, even if it is just a simple piece, before your wardrobe gets into urgent need like mine.  You know you need it.

 

Finishing Projects That Produce Happy Moments

Yesterday my son David A. Tatum released his third novel, which is really the second book in his ongoing “The Law of Swords” fantasy series In Forgery Divided.  I’m a proud mom and happy reader.  It is currently available at Amazon for Kindle ereaders and will show up over the next few days in other formats.  In about three or four weeks, his print version will be available from Amazon.  His books are beautifully written and well researched (yes, writing a fantasy novel requires research on history and other points…history of building, roads, clothes, food, and on and on).  They have been well edited.  So take some time out and read his books.

In Forgery Divided cover

I, too, am about to complete a long-term project–my Waiting…2 quilt (I’m considering what to name it now).

I love the actual quilting of a quilt.  It reminds me of reading an exciting book by a favorite author in which I really want to know what happens next, read as much as I can find time for, and feel just a little let down when I finish the book because there isn’t anymore of the story.  I’ve gotten the sky and sea quilted, except for adding the Angelina Fiber wave crashes and sprays.  I have completed quilting the woman and the little girl, and gotten the  cliffs done.  Sew I’m thinking I will finish in the next day or two.

It is a wonderful blessing that we are both able to do these things.  It is my hope and prayer that David’s books will sell well. This is his chosen career.  He has no other, and his books are wonderful. It is my hope and prayer that my quilts will be well received at shows, in the quilting and art communities, and elsewhere.  This is my chosen retirement career.  We both work to bring joy, refreshment of mind and spirit, and just plain fun to others.  David works to bring money to support himself, too.  So I would sew appreciate your prayers for our success, and your buying of his books.

Sew happy everyone.  May your projects be happily finished and bring happiness to you and others.

Waiting…2: Quilting Plans

I have made big progress on my Waiting…2 quilt (I really need to get a new name for this quilt).  The top is complete, I have sandwiched it and begun the quilting. A friend of mine asked me if I have a plan for quilting it.  Well, I didn’t then, but I do now.  Here is a drawing of them. I think I am better with the sewing needle than I am at drawing them out, but I think you can get the idea.

quilting designs for this landscape quilt are meant to highlight the natural look of the cliffs, the sky, and the ocean.

quilting designs for this landscape quilt are meant to highlight the natural look of the cliffs, the sky, and the ocean.

Sew happy everyone! I have to get back to quilting, because this quilt has a deadline, so this is a very short blog post.  Have a wonderful week!