Merry Christmas all!
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas all!
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sew I have put on my inner Edna Mode and am tailoring myself an overcoat as my regular readers already know. I used to do quite a bit of tailoring and know serious tailoring techniques, but it has been quite a few years since I’ve done this kind of work. So I’m slow, and get distracted, and have to look things up in my old notes because they don’t really include these high-end techniques in most patterns of the day. It’s worth it though. The results provide good fit, hang beautifully, and last and last.
Today I just finished the outer shell of my overcoat and am moving on to the lining, which also includes the fur collar. At least I was able to try it on and it seems to be fitting okay, though it is kind of hard to tell without the lining and all. I know, I should have made a muslin fitting first, but I didn’t. I did do extensive measuring and adjusting. I really love this pattern, and I’m making it in almost the exact same fabrics shown on the cover. Of course, I am a rather large woman, so it won’t look quite like this, and I changed the sleeves a little and shortened it to knee length because I didn’t have enough fabric for this version. Still, it’s going to be quite nice I think.
The very nice wool fabric from my long-held stash is, nevertheless, quite loosely woven almost like a hand-woven piece, and requires fully finished edges despite the fact that the seams will be hidden within the lining. I’m lining it in a beautiful red crepe back satin and I have a wonderful faux fur for the collar that I bought years ago at G Street Fabrics from their remainder table. Even as a small piece like that it was expensive then, but I have had it long enough that I consider it free…LOL. I might make this pattern in another color in a long length with these interesting sleeves next year if this one turns out well since I still have a fair amount of the most beautiful black faux fur for the collar.
I don’t know why I’ve been so distracted on this project, so I haven’t sewn steadily on it every day like I normally do in such a case. Still, I am making progress. My “deadline” I set for myself is Thanksgiving.
What has distracted me, you might ask. Among other things I am working out a new workshop to teach at G Street Fabrics next spring for sit-down quilting with rulers using Bernina’s basic sit down ruler set. My problem with this is the rulers are really basic and limiting, but I have learned I can add lines to them with Sharpie markers and later remove them with alcoholic swabs…(thank you Bethanne Nemesh for that tip). This opens up many new possibilities. I want to do something other than a set of rectangles to fill in standard looking designs for the class project. I haven’t yet come up with a quilting pattern design I want to make into the workshop project, but I will eventually. Then I will have to make one or more samplers and write a handout to go with it.
In the process I have been developing some templates to print out and use as quilting design frameworks. I have managed to get my printer to use the biggest paper it is supposed to use…13 x 19 inch paper…and make these framework templates to fit on two sheets. They are 16″ x 16″ and should work well as a basis for a 20 x 20 inch sampler.
In every printer there is a small amount of distortion, and so keeping the number of sheets down is very helpful in something like this. That’s why I don’t think printing it in standard letter size sheets that need to be taped together works as well. After printing them out and taping them together I tape them to the table and put a piece of tracing paper over them to work out some designs, while making notes so I can remember what I did (Thank you Lisa Calle for introducing me to this technique). It has taken a good amount of time so far since I have made several of these framework templates. I was thinking of eventually having these frameworks made into stencils for people to use in a similar way, but I haven’t yet decided what to do about that.
Additionally, I am working hard on finishing my Ten Skill-Building Projects for Bernina v7 design software book. I plan to also write another similar book for Bernina v8 software. I’ve also been working on working out some aspects of how I will approach my next show quilt, and new ideas keep rolling in, so I make notes in hopes of capturing the concepts as they fly by.
All of this is why I haven’t yet finished my overcoat. LOL.
Sew happy everyone! May you all live in God’s safety and happiness in this troubled time.
Today I completed teaching the second in a series of Fabric Art Workshops that cover my basic techniques for creating quilted fabric art. So far I have addressed my multiple techniques for machine applique and today I covered quilting with feed dogs up. This gives the new quilter a chance to get used to handling a small quilt and learn how much you can do with the feed dogs engages. On October 27th I am going to finish the three part series with Organic free motion quilting. This is not formal feathery quilting, but rather how to approach quilting in a way that adds texture and enhances the design…often of pictorial quilts and the like.
This series sets up a nicely finished piece, but it does not include several things I also use…ruler work and the real biggy, which is surface design and embellishment. So while I was there they asked me to run this series again next spring, and I agreed. We also talked about how I might cover the missing elements…ruler work as well as surface design & embellishment. So I will be developing some new workshops to go with the first three. IF, therefore, someone wants to have the techniques to make quilted fabric art (and even use the techniques for more traditional quilting), they will be started down that path. Once they learn the techniques they can fly, as Bob Ross once said. I am also mulling around in the back of my mind the possibility ofoffering these to quilt shows close enough to drive to from here (Ashburn, Virginia) and other shops.
I may not do that other than a possible local business or two because I don’t want to get so busy with these that I don’t have time to spend a lot of time making new art in my studio, because I am, after-all, basically a studio artist. It is my biggest joy. I do find I like teaching also, though. I just don’t want to have the art overwhelmed by the teaching. It is fun, however, to think of providing this whole series of what may work out to be five or six classes. I want to do what I can to keep this sport alive and growing.
Sew there is more to come. I have also been encouraged to complete my book on Bernina V7 design software, even though v8 is already out, because there are still people using v7. It is almost finished and might actually be ready for the editor in a matter of a couple of weaks. We’ll see. And then I am well over half-way through my techniques for fabric arts book. I think I need a super power…Zap! This is finished…that is finished…hahahaha
Exciting times…I want to start a new show quilt. Tee hee
Sew happy everyone!..Teach someone to sew or quilt…your next door neighbor, your best friend, your grandson, your granddaughter, your dog….lol. I love having you along on this great adventure!
Creating art with fabric and thread, plus some surface design and embellishments provides us with an infinite horizon. No matter where we are with our creative expression and techniques, we can always get better. Design and creative possibilities are nearly limitless in today’s sewing and quilting world. So much can be done with even the most basic equipment (as long as it is in good working order). It’s so exciting!
I think I must be a little bit crazy because I see inspiration everywhere. Sometimes I have so many ideas in my mind about what to try next that I have a hard time focusing in on a project, and then just as I almost have figured out how I will do my next project, I see a new inspirational technique or design. I have to rein myself in and focus…LOL.
I have also realized that I am basically a magpie. . I love love love sparkly, shiny designs, but then I also am fascinating with what I can do to make interesting looks and near three dimensional art quilts (I think of it as 2 1/2 Dimension) Recently I have been thinking about what I can do with Bernina v7 design software. This software has so many interesting techniques that go so far beyond simple embroidery designs. So I have been spending considerable time thinking about and working on designs that might end up being my next show quilt. Oh look, there’s another neat idea!!!!
In the meantime, I am making an overcoat. I got the outer fabric cut out, but still have the fur collar (from a gorgeous piece of black faux fur), the lining, and interfacing to go. I also am continuing the making of my applique bed quilt for my own bed. I have completed the large middle block and six of the twelve little blocks.
Life in my studio is fun, and I’m sew excited about this brand new sewing and quilting season. If you are in the area, maybe we can work out a play date to sew together sometime this fall. What are you working on?
Don’t forget…I am teaching a workshop next Saturday at G Street Fabrics in Rockville on quilting with feed dogs up for fabric art. In this class you will learn how you can do some very interesting quilting in place of or to work with free motion quilting.
Sew happy everyone! Wishing you a wonderful fall and winter sewing season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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?
Classes/Workshops I’m Developing…Not sure where or even if these will happen, but I’ll let you know along the way:
Books already started I hope to finish:
And most importantly quilts I am making or hope to make in 2018:
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.
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.
Then I heard that Drawing Nigh had won Honorable Mention in small wall quilts at Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (PNQE).
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,
and Lisa Calle’s A Silver Lining, which won Best Wall Quilt.
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:
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!
To all my readers…Merry merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year too. May you have a warm and wonderful time. I will see you in 2017!