A Long Weekend at High Altitudes

by Sandra Bruce

A quick hello and a few pics from my latest jaunt coming up!

This is the time of year that the 4 of us in Artistic Alchemy start getting into gear for our Zephyr workshop in September. My class is full now, and I’m starting to grid the photos for my students who will be making wonderful Matrix creations. I have 2 international students, and 2 from the East Coast this year. I’m getting excited to meet the newbies and greet people from past years too! I believe there are a few spaces left, in Jane and Heidi’s classes, they are wonderful teachers with so much to share, so don’t hesitate to sign up with one of them.

I taught a couple of weeks ago in Monument, Colorado, south of Denver near Colorado Springs with the Palmer Divide Guild. I have not meet a more enthusiastic bunch in this small but talented group of ladies. Thanks to them for a wonderful time!

Afterwards I stayed the weekend to visit with a friend of over 40 years that I have not seen in a long time. Over the long weekend we went to a street fair, met with friends, and had a great trip to both the Denver Art Museum (fabulous) and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden. What a wonderful collection of quilts. They had a special exhibit of Hollis Chatelain’s work, which unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph. It was named “Stories of West Africa”, and contained amazing images from Africa with very intense quilting. In the main hall is a collection of quilts from artists all over the country, including 2 made by good friends of mine who have been influences and inspirations to me: Therese May and Wendy Hill. I photographed theirs and a couple other of my favorites in the exhibit.

First, Therese May’s “Basket”, 1981. As the information on the wall stated, (on the off-chance that you do not know,) Therese is recognized as a guiding light in the art quilting world and began making art quilts in 1965. I love how Therese focuses on transformational healing, exploration, and creativity in the art making process. Her work is magical. I consider myself to be very lucky to have been her neighbor many years ago and would probably not be a quilter today if not for her. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world. Her website: http://www.theresemay.com
Next, a quilt by Wendy Hill, “Falling Into Liquid”, 2003. I became friends with Wendy many years ago when we lived in the same town and she belonged to my quilt guild. She has written many books for C&T Publishing, one of them about thread texturing. She asked me to make a quilt to go in her book and I was just getting out of the traditional quilt mode….permission to play with my sewing machine… what a concept it was to me! We stay in touch even though we’re in different states now, and I’m always intrigued by what she is up to quilt-wise. I was taken by something she said in the verbiage next to her quilt: “With art quilts, form takes precedence over function, but quilts as blankets are also a kind of canvas. If there is a line between art and craft, it is a difference built out of debate, not something tangible. The important thing is to do the work, just keep doing the work, and let the perspective that comes with reflection and the passage of time make sense of it all.”

Here are a few others of my favorite from the exhibit:

“Abstraction/Diffraction”, 1994, by Judith Tomlinson Trager

“Reflections #3”, 1998, by Patty Hawkins

“Tallahassee Lassie II and lll”, 1991, by Marilyn Dillard

“Desert Storm”, 1993, by Terrie Hancock Mangat

For now, I hope you are staying cool, today is the first day of summer. Keep creating!

Marcia Derse, Fabric Collection Fall 2018, What should I Do With It?

by Heidi Emmett

Here I am at the Marcia Derse booth at Quilt Market. I arrived at the precise moment she finished her little talk on her newest line of fabrics, “Art History:101″ So sad to miss it. But I was able to score 5″ squares of all 26 of her Art History collection. And later on, I was able to get one panel of the black(on the back wall to the left). Today, I’m going to focus on those 5” squares. Many of you might already know that I was asked to sign my book, Fashion Quilted Accessories, in the E.E. Schenck booth, at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon. Pop over to my blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com   to read more posts about Quilt Market.

Here they all are, out flat, and sort of lined up. There are two more, but I forgot them as I had them set aside. You’ll see them later. 

As with ANY collection of ANY designer, all the fabrics are meant to go together (this is to encourage us to buy more, not a problem for me).  Marcia’s fabric collections are so unique and visual, each piece a little gem. And I have found, as my collection  grows, each collection works with all her other previous groupings. Love that. I see a squirrel, and must follow it. After visiting for a few minutes with Marcia, I said goodbye and walked around the corner. I noticed the back of this ladies jacket. It’s a beautiful “little” modern quilt. I like that idea, so of course, I needed a picture. The “must do this someday” is now  on record.

“Upcycling” is a big part of my workshop for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point this September 3rd-7th.  There are just a few places left, so if you are thinking about it, now is the time to sign up. Below is just “touching the surface” for upcycling of a top.Yes, this is a great top as is, but I had to have a spark of color.

Sew, I took some random (truly, TRULY, don’t over think it, be brave, just pick!) pieces from that 5″ stack. I cut some into smaller pieces and pressed the edges under a tiny bit all the way around each piece. I always try to cut long and lean looking. The exception for ME is I want the “illusion” of a bust, hence a full 5″ square and sideways rectangle in the upper area. Hey, no laughing, it’s worth a try.

Here’s what I ended up with for the top, left section. 

I hate pins and poking, so it’s Elmer’s glue for me to hold the piece in place. I run a very small bead (and smear it) in the center of wrong side, about the size of a quarter. That’s it. One bit of glue on each piece. Let dry and edge stitch in place. 

Below is what NOT to do. And of course it’s the first one I stitched and smack dab in the front. I will remove the stitches and redo, but of course, I have a deadline. Good for you all to see that I’m not perfect. Ha, ha, ha.

I love, love, LOVE my new top. And the bleached out sections, while I did not do these on this store bought top, I have done it and will give you some do’s and don’t in the workshop (we wont actually do it though, not enough time).  I leave you with pictures of my Golden Chain Tree. It was the prettiest season EVER for this very s-l-o-w growing tree.

Have a great sewing weekend. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Whatever site you view THIS particular post on, Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com, OR, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  you will see the same post on both (I need more sewing time!)

Cleveland to Capitola

by Sandra Bruce

My suitcase has not been put away much in the last 2 months….it’s been a super busy time but filled with wonderful experiences and people. Before I get into my story, I will mention that I have ONE space left in my Material Matrix workshop for our Artistic Alchemy retreat this September. So….if you’ve been thinking about it now’s the time!

Cleveland was my destination in late April to be a guest on the Quilting Arts TV show, or QATV. Susan Brubaker Knapp, the host, invited me early in the year and I have been planning and practicing diligently my 3 segments. My 3 segments were: 1. Material Matrix, 2. How to Match A Binding to the Inside of a Quilt, and 3. How to Stitch Words with Your Home Machine. I have never been on TV before so I wanted to do a good job and leave my trepidations at home. My taping was on Thursday and I arrived late on Tuesday, so that I could practice Wednesday on the fancy new Bernina that I would be using in the taping. Also it was an opportunity to watch some of the other guests being taped which made me more relaxed when it was my turn. Here is the Bernina 570. Jeannine the Bernina rep helped me become comfortable with it. Talk about bells and whistles!!

    There is a TV screen in the lobby where we could watch what’s going on in the taping studio. Here is the screen, with Susan and guest Lesley Riley, smiling for the camera.

Susan’s website: http://www.bluemoonriver.com

I also got the chance to meet artist Susie Shie, with whom I share a dear mutual friend (Therese May)……it was wonderful meeting everyone. Here’s Susie with Lesley.

Susie’s site:  http://www.turtlemoon.com

Lesley’s site:   https://lesleyriley.com/?doing_wp_cron=1527819441.1061520576477050781250

When it’s time for your segment, all your “stuff” is carried onto the set, and a quick verbal run-through lets the crew know what you’re going to do/say. I had 12-1/2 minutes exactly to fill in each segment.

Jeannine came onto the set to make sure I was confident in my Bernina skills.

Then………bingo, show time!

I had to change clothes so that in each segment I was wearing something different, Susan too. My 3 segments may end up in 3 different episodes.

One last shot from the taping, of me with “Dame Lorraine” which was in the background. Thanks to Susan Brubaker Knapp, Vivika Negre, Kristine Lundblad  and the crew at KS Productions for everything! The episodes will be on TV in August, on PBS,  it is QATV Series 2200 to look for. I’ll post more when I have more information.

The following week was the Pine Tree Quilt Show and our Artistic Alchemy booth. It was great for the 4 of us to talk to attendees about Zephyr and sell wares.

Jane even brought her finished Material Matrix piece for me to see that she made in my workshop with her guild last year. Good job Jane!

A few days later, I left for Capitola, to take a workshop from the renown quilter, Rosalie Dace. She comes from South Africa to the US part of the year to teach. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a workshop from this wonderful artist. She did not disappoint. Going pretty far outside my box, at least considering what I have been doing for the last 6 years, we worked on abstract designs using paper concepts at the start, and incorporating contrast, color, line, mood, and value into our pieces. My favorite was this one.

The paper version made of torn paper: 

I brought some silk pieces that fit the bill, and adapting the paper shapes was not difficult.

Here’s my finished piece. Although working in paper first was not my “thing”, I can see the value of doing it, and was glad to be able to work outside my box as I had wished. Doing something different is always a valuable learning tool. Looks like I was in a “stripy” mood!

I learned from Rosalie, absorbing all I could, and enjoyed her and the Capitola ladies very much. Below: me, Lorie, Rosalie and Pat.

I’m headed next week to the Denver, CO area to teach, then to Southern California…… in July my pace slows down. I look forward to trying new techniques, working on my “Stitching Words” workshop and lecture, and enjoying summer.

Everyone loves their Pets

This is Jane Haworth and it seems like these days I have been making many pet face quilts. This year I have been teaching at more guilds in Northern California and my latest and most requested class is Pet Portraits. I started by teaching Faces as I was intrigued by how to recreate a human face in fabric collage but doing this is tricky. It is more fun for students to work from their own photos of their own pets.

poppy full

Poppy the Black Lab

This quilt I recently made for my veterinarian friend who wanted to hang it in the lobby area of her animal clinic. When I make a quilt like this I usually use a plain background so the details in the pets face are  not lost in what is happening around it. This green hand dyed fabric is perfect as it looks like Poppy is surrounded by grass.

Original Bulldog photo

From this one photo I have gone on to explore a variety of ways this image can be made in realistic colors and fanciful color ways.

So however you wish to make your pet portrait there are really no rules and as I tell my students as they work outside their comfort zones is “that nothing is wrong in quilting!”

So if all these images make you think I would like to try that and have a great photogenic pet that would make a great subject to work on in fabric, sign up for the Artistic Alchemy retreat in September. I do have some spaces left in my class and these 4 days will give you plenty of time to embrace the technique, work out of your comfort zone and be creative. By surrounding ourselves with the beauty of Lake Tahoe and other creatives how can we not be rejuvenated and productive at the same time. So look under workshops Jane Haworth for details. I know some students already have photos prepped to work on Pet portraits. Also look up my website Jane Haworth for more details of my work.

IMG_1730

This is an example of a students cat she made in my class in San Rafael.

The deadline to sign up for the Artistic Alchemy retreat is June 30th.  I am happy for you to share this page and encourage all your friends to join you.

Flyin’ On a Jet Plane to Portland, Oregon, for QUILT MARKET!

Hello everyone! When you read this I will already be in Portland getting ready for….

a book signing party at the E.E. Schenck booth! I was asked to be there to sign copies of Fashion Quilted Accessories, by Heidi Emmett (that’s me!) .  I have to tell you that I never, ever, thought I would be signing books at Quilt Market! It is held twice yearly for shop owners. It is a REALLY  BIG DEAL! People and businesses come from all over the world! It is AMAZING, BUSY, OVERWHELMING, and FUN! I’ll keep you posted  via Instagram and then tell you more via a post. 

Also, more news, Sparky Top is finished! Taa Daa! The tissue pieces arrived this past week. So, Sparky Top is also ready to show at Quilt Market. It too will be in the E.E. Schenck booth. Schenck is one of my distributors of my patterns and my book.

The week of May 28th, I will get Sparky Top onto Craftsy and into my Etsy store. If you want to purchase it directly from me, that’s fine too. A hard copy from me (all sizes includes  8-6x) will cost $16.00 (includes tax and shipping). Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com.

Perfect top for beginners and super sewists alike. Fast and easy. It is a blank canvas. Make it using all your favorite fabrics, even light weight knits. Here is a close up of the neckline trim and the front fabric (has cute little spiral circles (already sewn on. I did NOT do that myself). 

The one time it’s o.k. to press gathers (in the back) flat! There are so many gathers that the “flat” pressing allows for a smoother finished look.

The front and center back are made from a light weight, re-embroidered mesh  (acts like a knit). 

Some raw-edge stitching for a more decorative look (to cover a seam as I had run out of fabric). 

The next two Sparky Top samples are made from Double gauze scraps from Shannon Fabrics. You might see these on the Shannon Fabrics Blog in the near future. This fabric is a DREAM to sew!

 

The back shows that I really ran out of double gauze scraps. I found a re-embroidered cotton in my stash and had to add a little ruffle at the bottom because I didn’t have enough length. 

And the linen bits came from a skirt that I bought on the super sale rack at Stein Mart (love that store).  100% linen skirt I washed first to pre-shrink it. 

This is one of the side panels. I had so little to work with so major improve was going on. I could not follow ANY type of grain line, but it just adds to the charm. I would call this Upcycling, indeed. This is one of the things we will be doing in my workshop up at Zephyr. UPCYCLING! Oh yeah, what FUN! There are still a few spaces left in my workshop.

Maybe I’ll see YOU at Zephyr Point this year. I’ll tell you all about my adventures at Quilt Market when I get home. Take care and find a block of time to sew this weekend. It can be so relaxing and we all need some down time. Hugs, Heidi

It Was A Huge Success!

The wearable art pop up sale that I mentioned a few blogs ago was a great success. We had numerous customers from the email list as well as many women who were just passing through the library where it was held. A steady stream of customers all day long resulted in lighter loads on the return trip home.

I was amazed at the quality of workmanship in the art produced by these creative women. There was clothing, jewelry, felted silk scarves, bags and totes. This was the first time I had been exposed to the work of the Roseville group, Sew What. What talented ladies! The wearable art group that I attend is SWAG, Sierra Wearable Art Group. Together we make a great team.

Because it was so successful, we are plannng on a repeat performance sometime in early fall. If you couldn’t make it this last time, please sign up at the email address and get your name on the mailing list.

WeHaveArtToWear@gmail.com

There were some fantastic stories shared while we were there. Above is a picture of me with Doran, a woman I met while vacationing in Hawaii with my sister last January. Doran and my sister met each other years ago through a mutual friend. Since she lives in Stockton, I thought she might like an invitation to this event. Lo and behold, she arrived with a friend who lives across the street from Heidi!  And then we heard of another seller, who after visiting with one of the customers, realized they were cousins who live in the same neighborhood. Such a small world and a wonderful venue to discover each other. It was just such a delightful day.

Our day as Artistic Alchemy at the Pine Tree Quilt show was another success. We received 5 new sign ups for our Zephyr Retreat. Welcome ladies! We are dwindling down to just a few spaces left in the classes. If you are on the fence, here are some things to consider; there is NOTHING in the creative world as satisfying as being with like minded people. It’s as if you have found your tribe. Your creative juices will be quadrupled by spending time talking and sharing with them. And our show and tell in the evenings will blow your socks off. The weather is beautiful that time of year and the crowds have all gone home for the summer. You will leave with some projects and knowledge you didn’t have before. Perhaps you’re designing something for yourself or just getting ideas for gifts. What a great time to enjoy yourself, make new friends and learn a new technique.

Carry on creatively,

Mary