Look at This! Stencil Sensations Coming to Tahoe!

by HEIDI EMMETT Welcome everyone! Before I get started on my stencil segment, a little housekeeping. If you haven’t made your final payment for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2021, we need it ASAP. Thank you. Contact your teacher if you have any questions.

I was just at Lake Tahoe. It’s down about 3 1/2 ft. and affords amazing view of rocks.


LISTEN UP!
Patty Park will be at Our Artistic Alchemy Retreat in September (Open Studio), and something new–bringing stencils with her.  Patty has been lamenting about the restrictive nature of commercial stencils for years. After some research, she purchased a Scan and Cut CM350 by Brother in 2018, and hasn’t looked back.  With the ScanNCut, stencils can be created, modified, re-sized and cut from any size up to 12″ X 24”.  Patty searched out Vendors from far and wide. India, Japan, New York, and Uzbekistan to name a few. With commercial-use permission, Patty is able to re-work, re-size almost any design for the perfect stencil for clothing and home decor.  There will be samples on display and a hands-on demo.  These designs are ALL LIMITED STOCK right now. Patty has binders filled with great stencils in various sizes for you to choose.  Everything from Contemporary to Art Deco, Asian, Word Fonts, Abstract Shapes, and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of them.  

These are the “masks” from the stencil below. Isn’t that cool! AND they are both included in the stencil package. I don’t know of any stencils available today that include masks.

Patty said “home decor.” Oh my gosh, How about pillows, edges on drapes, orrr…. a border on a linen tablecloth. In the corner of a linen dinner napkin. Acckkk…so MANY ideas…!

I’ve started some projects using Patty’s stencils. Calling this “Bubbles.” It is a prototype made with orange card stock.

Bring some of your favorite “paints and supplies” to the retreat and fabric too, so you can try out your newly purchased stencils.

After a little embroidery/hand quilting, I’m turning my “Bubbles” into a Sparky Top (one of my “Art to Wear patterns”).

Sparky Top “Art to Wear” sewing pattern will be available in my “store” at the Artistic Alchemy retreat.

Getting started using one of Patty’s custom made stencils. I’m layering the color on with Paintsticks. I am really enjoying using Paintsticks as the designs created with them remain soft and pliable (they almost look printed).

Enjoying some “slow stitching” out on the deck of our cabin at Zephyr Point. Turning this piece into a tote bag. I will bring it to the retreat.

Enjoy one of my latest sunset shots. Taken from the deck of Cabin 8, Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. June 20, 2021, 8:25p.m.

Can’t wait to see you all September 6-10th, for our Artistic Alchemy Retreat, 2021. Hugs, Heidi

Balancing Summer with Quilting.

This is Jane. Summer is here and I have been thinking about how to combine my quilting business with taking time off. Whilst running a quilting business from home it is too easy to spend all your time working and not taking a break. My sewing space is located at the front of the house, so its very easy to slip in and get sewing! My high school aged son is still home so I want to do fun things with him this summer. We are currently planning a couple of road-trips so really when I’m not traveling I can work. It’s about finding the right balance.

Camping at Long Lake June 12th 2021 Photo by James Haworth

Since Covid I have received many custom orders from customers around the USA. They send me t-shirts or neckties to make into quilts. Although I am trying to cut down on this type of work it still flows in. Ideally I would love to have more time to spend developing new ideas for quilts, playing with fabric and making new work to enter into exhibitions or quilt shows. Writing this I am sure that is what many of us crave.

Playtime with my Gelli-plate and leaves

Part of my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat this year is a day of mark-making. I plan on spending time this summer exploring the various mediums and techniques I will teach at Zephyr. I think it’s all about having the materials at hand and inspiration to kick start your creativity. One of the materials I will provide will be gelli-plates so we can explore how they can be used. In the photo above I gathered leaves to print in layers.

This small quilt is the 12″ x 12″ donation piece I submitted to the SAQA Benefit Auction that happens in September every year. This piece I called ‘Keep Calm and Sloth On’ I have been meaning to make a large sloth quilt but “have no time!” and so at least I started with this small piece. It does include a lot of messy stitching, hand stitching and unusual materials. I used leaves I had leftover from a 2011 reptile quilt, some silk necktie off-cuts and threadwork I made using ‘solvy’, a dissolvable interfacing.

Inspiration photo for a new quilt

Often I will look at Pixabay.com for copyright free images for subjects that I aren’t able to take myself. Otherwise I will look over my own photo library for ideas. This picture I took at my neighbors house while letting out her dog. I love the contrast in colors and textures. This would be a great image for a fabric collage.

KitKat keeping during our hot spell.

In the same way this photo would be good for a fabric collage. I would probably crop it a bit. Again there are nice contrasting textures and lines and then the focal point KitKat, my cat. If you wish to start your own fabric collage of any subject or my favorite topic; pets and animals, think about signing up for my workshop at Zephyr Point. It will be my last year teaching here but I am looking forward to attending at a later date when I can work on a project like this.

I do love making quilts for customers using their saved clothes or ties. It is meaningful for them to preserve those memories especially of loved ones that are no longer around. For the first photo I made three of these lap quilts for three sons from their dads old polo, flannel and button-up shirts. I still have a pile of fabric left that I intend on making a surprise quilt for the lady (mom) who sent them to me. The middle quilt is a king-size necktie quilt that I am still working on and the last a t-shirt quilt made from a husbands collection of old rock music shirts.

Long Lake near Royal Gorge, CA

We recently spent a lovely weekend camping, hiking and backpacking with family and friends. It was a time to enjoy nature, friendship and life returning to normal. This spot is just an hours drive up I80 from our home into the Sierra Nevada mountains near Donner Summit. The hike is just over 1/2 a mile so we were able to take in extra supplies that normally when backpacking you couldn’t take! From our camping area we had amazing views of Devils Peak and could relax by this cold body of water.

I have spent this last year teaching online classes for the Mancuso’s at their various online quilt shows. This was the last workshop I taught called Big-Eyed Chameleon Fabric Collage. These photos include the inspiration photo, my sample and student work by Gayle. I love what she did and I think hers is better than mine. Hopefully that’s a sign of a good teacher! I have just a couple of online classes on my calendar and I believe as the Mancuso shows happen in-person they will still continue to host a portion of the show online, as requested.

My set up for the Road to California online event in May.

Although I do enjoy teaching online and students are able to get a great view, use their whole stash and favorite sewing machine etc it will be great to meet in person again. On Saturday I am teaching to a local guild which will be my first time in about 16 months. I hope i’m not too rusty!

My first in-person gathering was at the Carson Valley Quilt Guild in May. I got to speak at their guild meeting and share my quilts. I was very happy to see so many members brought in their animal quilts that they made after signing up for my on-demand class. In 2020 my workshop Love of Pets was cancelled so the guild signed up as a group and took the class online. The link is here Love of Pets

Demonstrating mono-printing using Botanicals.

It was a nice break this week to gather with the Mountain Art Quilters for an outside meeting in a members beautiful backyard. This was our first in-person meeting and was a chance to breath, relax and enjoy time with other creatives. This reminds me of that feeling I get when at Lake Tahoe at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. I love the quiet of the lake early in the morning, the buzz in the dining hall when you chose new friends to meet and sit with. Heidi says they have a new chef so thats something to look forward to! Seeing what people are working on and how creative they can be is always inspirational.

Thanks for following along with my post this month and if you are interested in the retreat there is still time, so reach out to Heidi, Sandra or myself with any questions.

Artistic Alchemy 2021- Here’s Something You Won’t Want to Miss!

by Heidi Emmett

If you have considered coming to one of our retreats before, but delayed for one reason or another, thinking one day you would, THIS IS THE YEAR!

From the left Heidi Emmett, Jane Haworth, and Sandra Bruce.

If you have had a desire to take a workshop from Jane Haworth or Sandra Bruce, THIS IS THE YEAR TO DO IT! 2021 will be the last time Jane and Sandra’s “in person” workshops will be available through the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Heidi Emmett is at the retreat as acting liaison for the whole retreat as well as being in Open Studio.

Both Jane and Sandra are teachers in demand; don’t miss this opportunity to have one-on-one attention and guidance from these two pros.

For more information on pricing of workshops which include all food and lodging, go to the registration page (on the home page).

This year marks our 7th year of Artistic Alchemy Retreats with workshops. Many wonderful memories have been created along the way. What’s better than time spent with amazing creative people and of course all the new friends we have made on this journey. We are making all efforts and planning for this retreat to be as good or better than previous ones. From short evening programs, to giveaways, show and tell, and “break out sessions”, we aim to please.

Ladies, this doesn’t mean that Artistic Alchemy Retreats are ending, just the “in person” workshops. We are already pondering ideas for 2022.  If given the opportunity for a 2022 Open Studio Artistic Alchemy Retreat, would you want to attend?

Here are a few pictures of Jane’s workshop.

Jane Haworth has a fresh approach to teaching fabric collage to create fabulous pet or animal portraits.
Start with your favorite picture of your pet. Awww…that’s a good dog.
Jane offers some very fun ways of “mark making.” Check out her complete workshop description on the home page under workshops Jane Haworth.

Open Studio is another choice. Read on.

Linda is one of THEE MOST productive people in Open Studio that I have ever seen. We still have spaces left. I, Heidi Emmett, will be your facilitator for your Open Studio experience should you choose that.
This is a great time to work on whatever you want to. Sew, and sew some more. Take a walk. Do your own yoga on the dock and of course, MORE sewing. Make new friends all with sewing creativity galore. Whether you want to sew “Art to Wear”, Quilts, hand stitching,or jewelry making, it’s all up to you. Everyone will have a six foot table of their own to use and plenty of irons and ironing boards are available.

Sandra Bruce teaches Material Matrix. Check out some of her students work from past Artistic Alchemy Retreats.

A Material Matrix quilt, “Josaphine”, by student France Courteau.

This student is showing great progress. Check out Sandra’s workshop particulars. On the home page, open the drop down menu labeled, “Workshops.”
Another of Sandra’s students transferring details for fabric placement.

For pricing on the workshops, which include all food and lodging, go to the registration page.

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To the right in the picture are 3 stories of rooms reserved for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. And it’s just steps to the outside lawn, and to the conference rooms where we hold the workshops, the dining room (Zephyr hired a NEW chef) and the shore of Lake Tahoe. You will never find a more reasonably priced venue than Zephyr Point anywhere else on Lake Tahoe.
There are always special goodies to purchase.

Don’t miss a single sunset this year, September 6-10th.

There are still a few spaces left in Jane and Sandra’s workshops and Open Studio. So don’t delay- SIGN UP NOW! Make this year, 2021, YOUR YEAR to get away, relax, learn something new, enjoy the views, and be with friends, in person. Any questions you might have, don’t hesitate to email any of us: Sandra Bruce, sandrabruce@pacbell.net, Jane Haworth, janehhaworth@gmail.com, Heidi Emmett, hmemmett@gmail.com. Let’s all get CREATIVE at Lake Tahoe this year!

Five New projects.

This is Jane

I am coming to you from an unseasonably hot Spring in California. How I know this? Its because daily I check on our current temperatures as I have started making a Temperature Quilt. If you have never heard about these do a google search and you will find many examples. It was something started by members of the Modern Quilt Guild and they will be having an exhibition of Temperature Quilts at the next Quiltcon in February 2022.

Chosen fabrics sorted for my temperature quilt.

Project 1. Temperature Quilt

I started by figuring out the range of temperatures at my home over the year. Using one fabric per 3 degrees seemed right, so from my stash, I chose about 20 fabrics to use. I also decided to use the Drunkards Path block and made them 4”. Now each day either taking data from our weather station or Weather Underground online I choose the correct fabric for the high and low temps of that day. Getting the right data has been my biggest issue but now I have settled into it. I just have to remember to make one block each day.

I did decide to add data for rain days or nights by using grey through black fabrics. So far we have just had one rain day since I started on April 1st. This will fun to see the progression of this quilt and how many days of rain!

SJSA Quilt of Rememberance

Project 2. Social Justice Sewing Academy Quilt

As a volunteer for the SJSA I was asked to make a Quilt Of Remembrance for a family in Minnesota. The person being memorialized was Matthew Tuhkanen, a dad of five kids who lost has life by law enforcement. I was given some photos to print onto fabric and details of his kids names, favorite colors and activities he liked.

As I had no clothing to work with I started by printing the photos and photos referencing his hobbies. His favorite colors were blue and grey and I pulled orange from the basketball reference. I gathered my fabrics and began making smaller blocks and rows using Maria Shell’s book Improv Patchwork. You will see in the photos my progression as the quilt came together on my “design floor”. I think the quilt was colorful and will be a wonderful memorial for the family. Here is their email.

Making memory quilts is special to me, I think that is why I make so many Quilts from Clothes.

Purple version of Tilly by Jane Haworth

Project 3. Pet Portraits

Finding time to work on my pet portrait collage quilts is hard when I am working on making custom quilts and teaching online. Recently I got a customer order form a man who had watched me on Quilting Arts TV and wanted to buy the purple and yellow Tilly Quilt. This quilt was used on the cover of the Quilting Arts magazine so I couldn’t sell it! I am now in the process of making another one. It’s fun to make it again and since I don’t have all the same fabrics it will be slightly different.

 Anyone wanting to sign up for my Mark-making and Fabric Collage workshop at the Zephyr retreat in September is welcome to bring a photo of their pet or favorite animal and work on that. We start by making the pattern, choosing fabrics and then working on the collage. It really is an addictive and freeing technique. I have plenty of space available in the workshop and I’m looking forward to getting away to Lake Tahoe in September.

Gathering pieces for my Vignettes Quilt

Project 4. Vignettes Quilt

I am a member of the MQG Modern Quilt Guild and have never yet attended a show but this year as it was online I did sign up for a workshop. I really enjoy improv piecing so the class I found was taught by Heidi Parkes and was called a Vignettes Quilt. Th idea was to make a quilt focusing on using the Elements of Art, the Postmodern Principles of Art and Art Vocabulary. This meant we had to include line, shape, color, texture, value, space, form, economy, appropriation, text, representation, gazing, obsessive, juxtaposition and more. 

It was perfect for me as I was able to use many of those saved textiles, quilt blocks, clothes and fabrics that I already have. Heidi Parkes hand-quilts all her quilts and I am proud to say I stitched half and hand stitched half.

Pieces of my Life Vignettes Quilt

I love this quilt and am already planning a couple more.

A few examples of my hand painted wildflower cards.

Project 5. Watercolour Painting

Finally my last project to share is watercolor painting. I tried to do the 100 day project by doing a small painting a day but only lasted about 5 days! I have all my supplies out and have been drawn to paint some of the wildflowers in my yard this Spring. We have lovely lupines, blue dicks, fairy lanterns and more. I did challenge myself to paint some of these using my non-dominant hand which takes away some of the fear. This would be my excuse if it didn’t look so good! Actually I was quite pleased with them. I am now working on making these with fabric or including them in my quilting.

Work-in-progress Wildflower table runner!

I hope I have inspired you to try a new project or have a go at a non-dominate hand painting. And don’t forget to sign up for the retreat if you haven’t done so already. Having had my vaccine I am excited to get away and share my time with other creative friends.

Happy Friday

by Sandra Bruce

Happy Friday, everyone! The sun is shining and everything is blooming (achoo!!) I sure hope we get more rain before summer hits. My household is fully vaccinated now, so we celebrated by “going down the hill” (to Sacramento) for a fun day of shopping. In one day we managed Costco, JoAnn’s, Trader Joe’s, Ikea, and Target. To be back in the world! Life’s little (big!) pleasures.

Quick update: the Empty Spools registration is up and running, my workshop is in Session 4, if you are interested.

I want to show you a quilt made by one of my past Zephyr students, France. She came 2 years ago from Canada to work on an image of her dog, Josephine. She recently sent me a photo of the finished piece which I share here…..great job, France!

“Josaphine”, by France Courteau

In my last post I had just started a Matrix quilt of 2 budgies. The background was black in the photo. As it was progressing I felt like the black was…just too much, and not sure what to do. Take off a row? Here you see it in progress:

A blob of black, what to do? The solution was to “unsew” a bit, and insert a few blue pieces. It makes all the difference. Here’s the finished piece, “Beau and Bella”.

My next Matrix piece will be 2 macaws, in my continuation of the bird series I’m doing. But meanwhile…just to shake things up, I like to switch gears once in a while. I have a huge amount of batiks given to me by a friend, so I made 25 blocks of a wonky log cabin which I will make into a quilt. Wonky log cabin blocks are so easy and satisfying.

Meanwhile I continue with my longarm business. I get such an array of quilts to do. I so admire those who have the patience to do paper piecing. This customer makes big ones, they are always perfectly sewn, and not a speck of paper left on the back. How does she do it???

So…I realized recently that I’ve been doing long arming in my little studio downtown for 10 years, it’s unbelievable that that much time has passed. I wanted to do something to spark up my studio space. I’ve had the same 4 quilts hanging on the wall behind my longarm most of that 10 years, and I’m pretty tired of looking at them. Hmmm…maybe a new quilt where I can use up some scraps? What if I made a quilt that is the length of my machine? I was inspired by “MadgeMakes”, whom I follow on Instagram, by this quilt she had posted:

I really liked this idea. Similar to my “Color Dance” quilt I liked the concept of showing a rainbow scheme of colors. Without missing a beat I took the wonky batik blocks off my display wall and pulled out my yellows.

I made a quick sketch and decided to make 13 10-inch by 40 inch panels using the color wheel as my guide. I pulled out Cristine Barnes’ color wheel just to keep me on the straight and narrow, and to have a quick reference for opposites, which I inserted here and there for sparkle.

It’s going to end up being 40″ by 135″, and will just fit on my longarm 😉 It was super fun to watch it grow. I had to overlap the panels on my design wall for the sake of space.

By the time I do my next post I will show you the finished piece on my wall, I hope! In the meantime, I’ll start on my Macaw quilt. Keep on sewing, everyone. And don’t forget to take a look at our offerings for the Fall Retreat at Zephyr in September. I have 3 spaces left in my class 😉

Kaffe and Kaffe and MORE Kaffe Fassett!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Welcome to my blog post this week. Our Fantastic Artistic Alchemy retreat is still many months away and because of that, time is on our side for a “BEST EVER” event at Zephyr.

HUGE news up at the Zephyr Conference Center is the arrival of Chef Aaron! Laura(head of conferences) told me that their very first group for the 2021 season has had a fabulous week at Zephyr and go home today, April 16th. Two of the BEST things for this group was A. They actually all met and had a super time (a very large quilting group by the way) and B. Chef Aaron fixed fabulous food. Healthful and quality choices all around. Whoo hoo! I put in a word for all of us from our past experiences with the food that Chef Aaron is a very welcome addition.

Moving forward, lets all spend some time with Kaffe Fassett. Read on. And SIGN UP TODAY! And tell your friends too.

To sign up go to this link.

I “upcycled” this Coach bag 5 years ago. It had sad looking split leather on the bottom so I covered it with Kaffe fabric.
Using my Whisper Blouse pattern, I used ALL Kaffe striped fabrics for this one.
The back piece is a double needled topstitched Kaffe stripe with little squares attached here and there.
Here is the pattern cover for Whisper Blouse. Please visit my Etsy shop to see more of my Art to Wear patterns. My moniker for Etsy is: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns
And there I am with the man himself. Yes, I was a “groupie” wearing his fabric. I loved what he said to me. He signed my book, looked up and said, “My someone really likes my stripes.”
I could never wear this apron when it was finished. I don’t know why. Maybe a little over the top with the flower and all. So I sold it. Someone was very happy to purchase it I was told(I sold it at our local quilt show). Another Kaffe groupie perhaps.
A close up of the double needled Kaffe fabric and a cute little “Mini” Tuffett pincushion all in Kaffe stripes. It has adorable glass feet aka small drawer pulls.
A portion of my Kaffe (WOW I really have a love of his stripes don’t I) “Rods and Reels” pillow.
I made these pillows as a project for the now defunct “Stitches” magazine. The jean pocket is the back of the pillow.
Getting ready to make some fiber jewelry with this Kaffe fabric that’s called “Shirtings.”

I will be planting my vegetable garden this weekend. This is the first time EVER that I am planting before Mother’s Day. The weather has been mighty fine of late, perfect for digging in the dirt. The creative project above will be on pause until I get the veggies and the flowers all planted. Until next time, Hugs, Heidi

Launching into Spring

This is Jane

Spring is here and I just got back from a short Spring break excursion on the Mendocino Coast. During Covid times options to get away have been limited but we have managed a few camping trips and this time we were not disappointed.

Russian Gulch State Park

Booking tent camping at this time of year can be like Russian roulette but we were lucky to go during a warm and (more importantly) a dry spell. It was cold in the evenings and during the night but by taking along our new Solo Stove for our campfire, it was super efficient and really kept us warm in the evenings. During the day we got the opportunity to explore the coastline between Fort Bragg and Mendocino. We loved the rugged beauty, especially as it had been 20 years since our last visit.

We stayed near Caspar at Jug Handle Creek Farm and I booked our camping through the Hipcamp website. It was a great experience and location. We could walk to Jug Handle Beach and to the Ecological Staircase hike. This hike took us through various terrains including redwood forests up to the Pygmy forest, which was a total surprise.

Hiking on the Mendocino Headlands in our masks.
http://www.foothillquilters.org/2021quiltshow.html

My local quilt guild, Foothill Quilters Guild, just opened their virtual quilt show. It is online for the whole of April. As we cancelled the show last year and it was not going to happen this year we decided to hold it online. Check it out at the link above. It’s easy to navigate with quilts to look at in various categories. Don’t forget to vote for your favorites! Also support the Vendors that have special events, discount codes and links to their websites. If you click on Artistic Alchemy here or on the vendor page you can see our new Promo video. Heidi, Sandra and I had a lot of fun, and laughs, chatting about the upcoming retreat.

Heidi, Sandra and myself at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe

We are all getting excited about the retreat this September. Enrollment continues to grow for Sandra’s matrix class, my mark-making and collage workshop and especially for Open Studio that Heidi is going to lead. We are also excited to introduce evening breakout sessions for small groups and small projects. You’ll be able to sign up for those at check-in. Also remember if you are thinking of joining us we do assign lake-view rooms on a first-come, first serve basis.

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Coming this Spring I am launching some NEW online workshops. If you wish to take the Red-eyed Tree Frog workshop that will be on May 23rd, as part of the Road@Home May event. The Big-eyed Chameleon and my popular Sunflower workshop will be part of the Mancuso’s CREATE event held in early June. Registration has just opened for both of these online events so check them out.

I continue to keep busy with memory quilts that I custom make but when I get the chance I am trying to carve out time for “my work”. This small piece was an experiment using Lesley Riley TAP paper for the nest, a handprinted bird, free-motion stitching and some hand stitching.

‘Spring’ my SAQA Spotlight Auction donation

If you are thinking about joining me for my workshop at our retreat this year my plan is to have a full day playing with paints, inks, printing and generally making our own fabrics. Then we will get into the collage technique. Either using a photo or one of my patterns. I will guide you through the process from creating an enlarged pattern, making the collage to stitching and finishing the piece.

Choice of two sunflower patterns for Fabric Collage

I do have a couple of spots in a small group, online workshop I am hosting on April 21st 1-4pm PST. It is using my Sunflower Fabric Collage patterns. If you are interested contact me and I will give you more details.

Last summer I put together my Love of Pets Workshop as an on-demand, online class on Coursecraft and it has been very successful. I have a few more classes in the works including this baby giraffe collage pattern. I like to support the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and donated half the proceeds when I sold ‘Melman, the Vulnerable Giraffe’ quilt to support this cause. I plan on doing something similar with this pattern. Stay tuned for sneak peeks of the other workshops!

So after my short break I am slowly getting back into the swing of my work and sewing. I have my 1st vaccine on Sunday and pretty soon I will be back in-person talking and teaching to guilds which is exciting. So until next time, remember to check out our new Promo Video on the home page, ‘Stay Creative’ and Happy Easter.

Rainy/Snowy Days

by Sandra Bruce

As I sit at my computer writing this post I can hear the rain outside which is a happy sound, for sure. This is the time of year for us to get the bulk of our precipitation. Since my last post we have had a couple of snowfalls and some much needed rain as well. We need more, but whatever we get is appreciated.

My Matrix online course continues to be popular. I’m getting photos now of the finished course project from students, and even photos of Matrix quilts that have been made as further work. Here’s one that came my way, by Judy B, of poppies….good job, Judy! (she OK’d my sharing)

Anyone who missed my post about my online course in Matrix and is interested, you can view it here:

https://coursecraft.net/courses/z93eK

So far this year I have made 3 Matrix quilts, with a 4th in the works. I’ve been making smaller pieces which, obviously, go faster than the bigger ones…which I’ve been wanting to do. First I made a “commemorative” quilt for a friend who lost her dog Hoochie last year. I didn’t want her to know I was making it so I had to work with a photo of Hoochie that I took a couple of years ago. I would have chosen a different image had I been able to, but I made the one I had work with my process. I mailed it to her in Colorado and she is so happy to have it.

Hoochie had very soulful eyes, that I knew I couldn’t get just right by piecing, so I used ProFab paint to make the eyes just right. Sweet Hoochie!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am teaching at Empty Spools in March 2022, and I had to quickly produce a class project. I started out with a wonderful image of a pelican, only to come to the conclusion about 2 days work into it, that it was a bit too challenging for that purpose. So I put it aside and turned my attention to another image, of a seagull. I named him “Seamus”, and here is the finished piece. I think it will work nicely for Empty Spools. I love his feet 😉

In executing the eye area, I could not resist using a piece of fabric that had the word “bird” on it. After finishing I realized it was too prominent and took away from his eye….so I got out my Profab and painted a fairly transparent layer of white over it, just enough to kick it back a little bit. It’s fun to use fabrics that contain words. The eye is painted over the fabric in yellow with black definition around it. The painting was done after piecing but before quilting.

Here’s the back:

After finishing Seamus I brought the pelican back out to finish. I named him “Petey”. The image is all pieced, with the exception of his eye, the purple in his upper beak, and a bit of yellow in his wing. I used to think painting on my quilts was “cheating”, but it really allows me to create a bit of detail that otherwise would be too difficult to do by piecing. Believe me, I piece every possible place I can, so I have convinced myself that it’s OK to use a speck or two of paint. My work continues to evolve and this is just part of that process. Here is Petey:

And the back:

After doing 2 bird quilts and enjoying it so much I decided to continue and do a few more “smallish” quilts of other birds. Now I’m doing a pair of budgies, such little cuties they are! Here’s the photo I’m using:

I remember seeing a photo of my dad right after I was born, with me in his lap and a budgie sitting on the frame of his glasses. He would like this quilt.

Other birds waiting in the wings on my desktop are: macaws, puffins, toucans, and cockatoos. Oh, and I’m hoping for a good photo of flamingoes, one of the most interesting birds there are. I’ve got my eye out. I’ve had great luck with Pixabay, a site where you can find royalty-free images to use. Jane turned me on to that great site! I want a mama and baby flamingo.

That’s all for now….I’ll sign off here and wish everyone a productive and safe end of Winter. After having both my vaccine shots I’m breathing sighs of relief, as I know many are. I’m keeping positive that by September we will all be vaccinated and life will be truly be getting back to normal. Gathering at Zephyr with other sewing-sisters will be so gratifying! Check out our page on “Workshops” if you’re thinking of joining us, we’d love to have you. As of this writing I have 4 spaces left in my workshop.

Bye for now!

So What Are We Thinking Regarding, “Break out Sessions?”

by HEIDI EMMETT

Hello everyone. While I am taking a break from teaching a “workshop” this upcoming Artistic Alchemy Retreat, I really want to teach techniques in “breakout sessions” during the evenings. Here are some of our thoughts on them so far:

It looks like Jane will teach one (she’ll talk about it at some point), Sandra said not this year, and Heidi, possibly one a night starting Tuesday evening.

  1. We have decided they will be about 1-1 1/2 hours long.
  2. They will be hand work only (maybe some stitching by machine that can be done later).
  3. Each session will come with a (mostly) complete kit to work with.
  4. Basic sewing supplies as in, scissors, pins, thimble, etc. you would bring to the session.
  5. 10 kits for each session more than likely, a more doable size of class for all concerned.
  6. Bring your favorite refreshment and sit, sip, and stitch!
  7. Pricing/signups, all the little details will be posted probably in June maybe even July.
  8. The following pictures are IDEAS that I am THINKING ABOUT. That’s all. Just IDEAS.
You can most certainly bring your latest knitting or crocheting project to do on your own time. I think this lady and/or gentleman got a little carried away with their project.Ha, ha. It’s really the cutest picture and I had to include it (found it on pinterest).
Let’s make a really unique scarf?
Fiber jewelry maybe.
More fiber jewelry.
Fiber jewelry with a mixture of WHAT??? Rubber tire innertubes.
Ribbon yarn, ya gotta love it for fiber jewelry.
Hmmm…Fiber jewelry with beads, wire, and ribbon yarn.
This is a possibility, but wait those are machine stitched. Keeping it as a possible, thinking, I’m thinking.
This is a possibility from my book. My book is called “Fashion Quilted Accessories” Hmmm…again, there is that machine stitching.
Orrr….I can show you what I do with tiny fabric pieces. This one could really work!
The colors are so vibrant in this picture, I just had to include it. These are all Kaffe Fassett stripes. Hmmm…I could include a piece of double needle stitched fabric in the kit and do some handwork on the little squares to hold in place. Thinking, thinking……
I have a really super technique to create these fabric twisted pieces. These are bracelets.

Do you see my dilemma? Soooo MANY IDEAS. In the coming few months I will be testing them all out and others too. My motto in picking them out is: “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done! Hugs, Heidi