Staying Creative during a Pandemic!

This is Jane. Heidi, Sandra and I have been communicating about the retreat this September and we still feel hopeful. We will keep you in informed of any news we hear from Zephyr Conference Center. Lets keep fingers crossed and positive thoughts during these crazy times. We are still taking reservations, if you feel like holding your spot.

What strange times we are in! When I am told to stay home, with few other commitments to fill my day, what better excuse is there than to SEW. I have spent the last few years trying to catch up with projects and custom orders so having few distractions its good for me. Saying that, I am finding it hard mentally, to stay focused but I tell myself I have time, plenty of time.

California Poppies

Living through this pandemic is hard. But living here in Northern California I appreciate how lucky I am and we are not suffering as hard as many people around the globe. Lets appreciate what we have and quit complaining about hair and nail issues.

Now the weather has improved I have enjoyed the time I spend walking my neighborhood with my son James. He needs to log daily his PE requirements. We like to take photos, look for wildflowers and local wildlife.

 

Lupins by Jane Haworth

Lupines along the NID

I am lucky enough to live close to one of the NID (Nevada Irrigation District) canals and it makes the perfect three mile hike.

As I said I am using this time to catch up! I have some custom quilt orders from 2019 that needed completing!  I am down to finishing my last two. The two photos above were made using T shirts on both sides of the quilt.  I have avoided doing this in the past as I was concerned about the stretch when quilting and what kind of quilting pattern to use.

T shirt quilt by Jane Haworth

Completed queen sized T shirt quilt, Notre Dame University

Actually they both turned out amazing, very drapable and soft. I made the back a little larger, taped it to the floor before layering with the batting and quilt top. I then used many safety pins to hold the layers together. My stitching pattern was a large meander for the quilting and had no problems with stretch. I will definitely do this again.

Fabric collage pet portraits by Jane Haworth

Fabric Pet Portrait, Buddy the Labradoodle

The collage above was a commission I received from one of my Craft Napa students. She wanted me to make the collage and then I sent it to her to stitch and complete the quilt. My plan is to finish many of the pet portrait samples started as demos during class when I teach.

Sewing space or studio Jane Haworth

A lot going on in my quilt making studio

This is a photo of my sewing space right now! I am working on a T shirt quilt, have a couple of projects ready to quilt and also supplies for mask making everywhere!

This was another commission I recently received for a Beagle called Teddy. I am thinking a fun way to focus on my work (as I do have trouble with this) is to set aside a week just to work on a theme. This week has been to complete all the T shirt quilts! Next week is for pet collage and another week will just be free-motion quilting. And then of course there are old UFO’s!  I’ll let you know how it goes!!

facemarks by Jane Haworth

Fitted face masks April 2020

I have plenty of work I could work on but about 3 weeks ago into the mix came mask making! To begin with I wondered is there a real need for this. But after a few days it became clear that local healthcare workers needed our help. I had fabric I could use from my stash, my trusty Juki 2010Q and I was ready to help.

The first appeal came from a Pediatric doctor friend who needed face masks for colleagues and outpatients. So I made a couple of batches for her with the help of my sewing friends. Then my friend Annie, who hasn’t sewn since school, received a request for 300 masks for a local senior care service.  With little time it came down to us to make them. So with social distancing in mind we set up a small production line and banged out 200 masks in two days! The last 100 she did at home with contributions from other sewing friends.

Mask making April 2020

First day of Face mask making 100 masks

I must admit I was a little burned out after that but now it is hard to go a day without making a few masks while the need is still there. I emailed my neighborhood association and my husbands colleagues saying I would make masks for a small donation. I have enjoyed getting to know my neighbors and these monetary donations will allow me to fabric shop and replenish my stash when the time is right.

Honey-pot Design Jane Haworth

Inspired by the honey pot for a stitching design

I will just share a few of the projects I am working on.  This is a sketch for a hand stitching project I am just starting. I do enjoy hand stitching in the evening when I can hang out with the family, be creative and not fall asleep!

These are two projects I recently finished. The Kookaburra Bag is hand stitched onto felt and the Boho Bag is hand stitched on top of various fabrics that cover a flannel foundation. Both were patterns I bought at IQF Houston. Patterns by Wendy Williams for Flying Fish Kits

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This quilt (waiting to be stitched) are beetle designs that I started a year ago. I placed the bugs onto old linens and other unusual neutrals and when piecing them together I reversed the seams so I have the raw edges on the front. If you’ve ever tried this its harder than you think! This is a new series of collage designs that I will have available perhaps for a new class.

Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2019

Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2019

Here is a photo from last years Artistic Alchemy retreat and lets keep our finger crossed that we can all meet up again in September. We are still taking bookings for all the workshops and open studio. If you wish to send in a reservation form and deposit this will ‘hold your spot” I am imagining in September we will all be in need for some creative time and company.

My workshop this year 2020 is Mark-Making and Fabric Collage. Students will have the opportunity to spend at least a day playing with mono-printing, painting on fabric, carving and stamping and creating some one-of-a-kind fabrics to use in collage.

Lino Printing and mark making Jane Haworth

Lino Cutting and printmaking

Keep sewing, keep healthy and lets use this time to be creative.

Kicking off the New Year with Creativity

This is Jane and what better way to kick off the New Year than a few days away at the creative arts retreat ‘Craft Napa’  I am in Napa! This retreat was founded 5 years ago by Pokey Bolton. Pokey is founder of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines, and founding host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS. More recently she started Crafting a Life and the Craft Napa retreat.

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January 2019 Cruising by CIA at Copia in Napa with Lyric Kinard and Lynn Tubbe after a delicious lunch at the Oxbow Market.

Craft Napa celebrates the crafts of quilting, sewing, surface design, art journaling, and mixed media. It happens early January when we are all looking for a creative kickstart to the beginning of our year. The events location is at the Embassy Suites in Napa, CA and all the workshops, socializing and networking happens in the fountain courtyard around which the classrooms are arranged. Tentative dates for 2021 13-17th January

Jennifer Sampou.

Jennifer Sampou, fabric designer and quilter, and husband displaying her quilts during her lunchtime lecture.

Including the workshops Pokey organizes various events; a welcome dinner, wine blending, and a speakers luncheon. Last year we watched ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ with the inventor Tim Jenison who was present for Q & A afterwards. Then Friday night is always the Makers Market. This event, open to the public, includes tables from many of the teachers selling unique products and works of art, as well as the work and products of other local makers.

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Selling my handmade products at the Friday night Makers Market

I have attended Craft Napa for all five years since its inception in 2016 and highly recommend it. It can be pricy but I give myself an early Christmas present when I sign up in May or June. Sharing a room at the Embassy Suites with their breakfast included and their popular happy hour really helps to keep costs down.

This year I am taking two workshops by Joanne Sharpe and Pat Pauly as well as teaching two classes Pet Portraits and Beautiful Bovines. This year 2020 Craft Napa runs from January 15-19th and I will be there when this post goes out.

As part of my prep for my two classes I have been making samples to inspire my students to let them see the steps involved in fabric collage, hands-on . These samples are made using 8” x 10” photographs. The projects in this workshop are smaller and so hopefully students get finished or close to in the 6 hr class.

Ruby by Jane Haworth

Ruby, a sample of one of my cow patterns for the Beautiful Bovine workshop.

Once I’m home from Craft Napa I have two focuses; my upcoming workshop ‘Faces’ that I am teaching in Dubai at the end of February at the Dubai International quilt Show and then prep for the Artistic Alchemy 2020 Retreat announcement when registration opens  in early February

Over the Christmas break I got to play with surface design with my daughter Lucy. We painted, stamped, carved lino-blocks and generally had fun with fabric paints and fabrics.  Here are a few photos of what we made.

 

From this collection of fabrics I am going to use them in fabric collage. I really like the  layered look of collage on improv piecing. It a great way to use pieces and scraps of fabric you have already or have handmade yourself.

Succulents by Jane Haworth

Succulent Love Fabric Collage

I have started another project with my small sewing group, Sierra Sisters. We have decided to make a shared wearable piece of art. We all submitted a piece of clothing that will be cycled around the group giving us each a month to work on the piece by adding some appliqué, hand stitching or whatever takes your fancy. It will be fascinating to see how these pieces turn out near the end of the year. I hand-painted this apron dress that is pretty wacky to start off!

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Best wishes to all for a creative and inspiring 2020. I like to encourage people to drop fear and just create.  I will leave you with a photo from Serene Lakes taken around 9pm on News Years Eve. Its our tradition to head up the hill and as part of our New Year celebrations watch the fireworks on the Serene Lake.

New Years Eve 2019

View from Serene Lakes, CA on New Years Eve 2019

Keep enjoying the blog and in just a few weeks Artistic Alchemy will be announcing our workshops for the 2020 retreat. How exciting!

Summertime Fun and Inspiration

This is Jane. Its only a month into summer and I have been active; camping, backpacking, and living on a desert island! Now July is here I’m hoping to have more time to catch up with some sewing projects, prep for the Artistic Alchemy retreat in early September before I start teaching again in mid August .

Grouse Ridge by Jane Haworth

If you are still considering coming to the retreat I still have openings. My workshop Pet Portraits will cover making patterns for fabric collage, the technique itself, choices of fabrics and using value in collage. Please consider the workshop if you want to explore other kinds of art quilting. At the moment I am open to working with my students on other projects too, including making T-shirt quilts.

T shirt quilt by Jane Haworth

Consider working on a T-shirt quilt

When I’m not making art quilts I have an Etsy shop where I make custom T-shirt quilts. Quilters love or hate them! So if you have a project that you have been putting off, the retreat could be your chance to get it off the ground. Contact me if you have questions.

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Packing into Point Reyes

This travel journal quilt I was working on at last years retreat before my appearance on Quilting Arts TV. I just entered it into a SAQA exhibit called Stitching California and I am happy to say it was accepted. I know one of my students in my workshop this year wants to work on journal quilts.

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My recent trip to the Florida Keys with the Boy Scouts of America

I said I had been living on a desert island, actually off the Florida Keys. I was lucky enough to accompany my son and some other scouts from his troop for an outer island adventure on Big Munson Island. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that I thoroughly enjoyed but I will say it might not be for everyone! We were able to snorkel with a 300lb Goliath Grouper, go deep-sea fishing 25 miles out to sea, swim in 700ft water, canoe 12+ miles in Polynesian war canoes and live off the grid for 5 days.

 

With no phones aka cameras I took my sketch book and preserved my memories in that way. It was refreshing not to worry about capturing every new sight or event. Also having no sense of time was something I got used to but loved. We learned about sargassum! It was shocking to start with, we grew used to it but never loved it! This was especially true as our conservation project was gathering and moving it to be used as mulch. Look up the link and see how warming ocean temps and climate change are making this a real problem in our oceans and coastlines.

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Enchanted Hill

Before taking my break in June I was working on a couple of quilts to enter into juried exhibitions. This one ‘Enchanted Hill’, Hearst Castle I made for the Stitching California exhibit but unfortunately it didn’t make the cut. This quilt I painted as a whole cloth, glued on fabric appliqué details, free-motion quilted and hand stitched.

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Gentle Giant, Nubian Giraffe Calf

This quilt I recently finished for another exhibit called Better World which was juried and by invitation only. Unfortunately this didn’t make the cut either! It is hard to spend a lot of time working on these projects, when you are busy anyway, and not reap the rewards. I feel it happens to many quilters but I know I will enter them into other quilt shows so they can be seen.

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Detail of Gentle Giant

When it came to appliquéing the tail I decided to make it 3D. So the hairy end of the tail actually hangs loose from the quilt. Fun little detail that you need to see in person! I support the Giraffe Conservation Foundation GCF and as I did with my Melman (my large giraffe quilt) when I sell this one I will again donate half the proceeds to GCF.

 

Catching up on my travels! While camping in Bodega Bay we got to explore the town of Bodega, hike the coast to Goat Rock Beach, eat oysters and watch the local wildlife; actually otters not turtles but I loved that painting!

 

On our overnight backpacking trip to Island Lake on Grouse Ridge we enjoyed beautiful views, peace and quiet and a lot of snow!

King City Quilt Guild

Chicken Class with the quilters of King City

Before all my adventures I was teaching plenty of fabric collage classes including this one in King City. A place I had never visited before but really grew to love.

 

My pet portrait fabric collage class really is my most popular as it gives students a chance to work on something personal. Its just not another class sample! They learn the technique and hopefully will take it home, finish the quilt and maybe give as a gift to a loved one. Here are a few examples of works in progress.

 

And the “pet portrait” class does not have to be of a cat or dog

 

or in a realistic color sceme. I am really enjoying work “outside of the box” and mixing up my color choices in some of my newest projects.

Cow in progress

B for Bovine

I hope I have inspired you to start a new quilt project, look at trying a new technique or sign up for my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe this September 2-6th 2019. Contact us as space is still available in my workshop or with Heidi or in Open Studio. Our deadline has closed and full payments are now due but we would hate for you to miss out on the fun. And Lake Tahoe is beautiful in September.

Exploring Fun Fabric Collage

This is Jane Haworth and I want to talk about my passion for Fabric Collage. I have been spending my time over the last few weeks teaching collage, making collage and exploring what can be made using fabric collage.

Sasha by jane Haworth
Sasha the Alaskan Malamute

It seems to me that fabric collage is really “in” right now. I am a part of the Facebook group called Collage Quilter which has an impressive 14,700 members. Everyday I see quilts that fabric collager’s have made, works-in-progress where the maker is looking for some input on the design and first timers who are looking for advice or encouragement.

I first learned about fabric collage in 2003 from Susan Carlson. She was on an episode of Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson that I recorded. Susan was making a fish quilt. I went on to make many fish quilts and also make quilts from photos I took while on vacation in Hawaii.

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Hawaiian Church Hanelai Bay, north shore Kauai

Fabric Collage is a method of cutting small pieces of fabric and layering them either using a fusible product on the back or adhering them together using glue. I use the glue technique as I learned from Susan Carlson, actually Aleenes Tacky glue. The fabric pieces are simply cut and are therefore raw edge. Using the colors and the patterns in the fabric is the key to a successful quilt.

I will be teaching Fabric Collage at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat this September at Lake Tahoe and have openings if you are interested in learning this fun, versatile and forgiving technique.

 

This winter and spring I have taught in Yuma, Arizona, Sonora and Chico, CA and just returned home from Boerne, Texas. All these quilt guilds choose the Pet portrait workshop and I am always happy to see how well these students did in class. For most people its a total new technique that they embrace and the results were great.

2019-03-21 Pet Love Class Jane Haworth

Student work completed 1 month after class in Yuma,AZ

When approaching collage there are endless options for subject matter to choose. You can also buy patterns and kits. In these the design is laid out for you, then you just have to find the fabric from your stash. An easier option is a kit that speeds the process up as you are not hunting for that perfect fabric all the time. For a beginner either of these is good and once you start you will be seeing great subject matter all around you.

Fabric Collage Addiction I call it! And a great stash buster also! Part of my workshop is to teach people how to draw their own patterns. I have found ladies who can be so creative in their sewing but crumble when I put a pencil in their hand! I will show you it is not so hard and from the student photos of completed quilts I have been sent I am blown away by how successful these students are.

Pet portraits by Jane Haworth

Crash Helmet by Ginger Barnes

This lady also sent me photos of two more black dog collages that she has completed and she only took my class in Boerne, Texas, three weeks ago!

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This quilt of Mocha was made by Kelly Leith also from Boerne, Texas and don’t you just love how the dog is just loving herself!

Artistic Alchemy has a “big day out” coming up this Saturday. We will be presenting ourselves and our work at the American Sewing Guild’s Sacramento chapter meeting in Roseville, CA. Our presentation includes a fashion show. I have been figuring out ways to include collage on clothing, more specifically jean jackets and shirts. I have used some of my collage samples as a jumping off point. I have daisies, a seahorse and a toucan that are all now stitched onto jackets and a cross-stitch I found at the thrift store.

I got my daughter Lucy to model a couple of my finished jackets. Thanks Lucy!

DAISY BACK jacket by Jane Haworth

Black-eyed Susan’s on the back of this denim jacket

 

At the beginning of the month Artistic Alchemy were out “in the wild” at the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley. We were promoting the retreat at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Sept 2-6 and Sandra was the featured artist and had a fantastic display of all her work.

Artistic Alchemy

“In the Wild” Artistic Alchemy; Sandra Bruce, Jane Haworth, Mary Boalt and Heidi Emmett

Sandra Bruce display board

Pine tree’s Featured artist for 2019 Sandra Bruce

With all the rain we are having right now and snow in the mountains it hardly feels like summer is approaching! But in a couple of weeks my son will graduate from 8th grade and summer vacation will be here. I am looking forward to summer but have many classes to teach before I can think about relaxing by the pool and camping in the Sierras.

The workshops have been filling up for our retreat at the end of summer so look at both mine or Heidi’s workshops which have availability or there is always ‘open studio’ where  you get to work on your own projects. Although my workshop is pet portraits you are welcome to work on any subject matter in my fabric collage class.

Pet Portrait Jane Haworth

Custom quilt made for one of my Etsy clients. Don’t you love the bandana!

Fabric collage is an addiction that uses up your fabric scraps or maybe you are wanting to make a fabric quilt of your dearest pet. So if you want to join in the fun and see what the buzz is about contact me.

New Workshop Pet Portraits

This is Jane. I have decided to bring back, by popular demand, my workshop for 2019 Pet Portrait Fabric Collage. I get requests from students and people I meet at quilt guilds, “Where I can take your pet portrait class?” So having had little interest in the Travel Journal workshop I have decided at this early stage to change my workshop for the retreat this year. I hope this causes no confusion.

Cover of April/May 2019 Quilting Arts Jane Haworth

Purple version of Tilly by Jane Haworth

I am also especially excited to share the news that I will have a pet portrait article in the upcoming April/May 2019 edition of Quilting Arts magazine and they decided to use one of my quilts as the cover. I am a cover girl! This is beyond what I could have imagined. So if you are interested in making your own pet portrait or learning my technique for fabric collage check out the workshop page. Sign-ups are live and I know at least one class has a waiting list. Don’t forget we also have open studio where you get the experience of Artistic Alchemy but without being signed up for a specific workshop.

Love of Pets Jane Haworth

Nifty, a special Golden Labrador

In this workshop students learn to make their own patterns from photographs. Learn to use the value and patterns in fabric to your advantage, my fabric collage technique, free-motion quilting and how to finish the quilt. We will also spend time using mixed media to create our own fabrics using lino-cuts, gel prints and fabric painting. The retreat is spread over 5 days with evening entertainment and access to the classrooms at night. Nothing could be better than the Zephyr Point Lake Tahoe location, a beautiful tranquil setting and good food as a bonus.

Student work Craft Napa 2019

Life in 2019 continues to be busy for me, traveling and teaching and keeping on top of my memory quilt orders for my Etsy shop. The new year started with 4 nights at CraftNapa  where I took a class from Maria Shell and taught two classes. I have attended this event, organized by Pokey Bolton, for four years and this was my first year to be part of the faculty. I was very happy to join this creative and inspiring event with its wonderful array of talented teachers.

 

The 2300 series of Quilting Arts TV is airing on some regional TV stations and the DVD set is now available for purchase at The Quilting Company I received this DVD set in the mail and it took me over two weeks to pluck up the courage to watch myself! I had a local group of art quilters visiting, so we had a bit of a watch party.

The weather here in Northern California has been crazy this winter. As skiers we like to head to the Sierra Nevada mountains but most weekends its been snowing so much the freeway has been closed. Well that just leaves me more time to work on my sewing! We spent a weekend at Donner Summit and spent most of the time trapped inside clearing decks but we did have fun on a snowshoe hike in waist deep snow!

Snowshoeing Donner Summit

February 2019 Snow-shoeing adventures Donner Summit

My quilting took me to Yuma, Arizona to speak to and teach the Desert Lily Quilters. I stayed with a friend who moved there a year ago and so we had a great catch-up. I learned about “snow-birds” and adored all the adobe houses. During winter guild attendance is high. They meet every week and also everyone seems to belong to “small groups” for sewing, knitting and stitching get-togethers. This friendly guild embraced fabric collage and are well on their way to making some very successful pet portrait quilts.

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Coming up on May 18th Artistic Alchemy has been invited to an event in Roseville hosted by the American Sewing Guild. We will be doing demonstrations, presentations, and a fashion show. So when we have more details we will be sure to post them here on the blog. So if you are looking for a creative, inspiring get-a-way in September be sure to check out the workshop page and sign-up for one of the available classes. We are thinking this year attendance will be high and judging by the current registration trend it certainly looks like it.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Christmas the English Way

Christmas Dinner

This is Jane. In the UK Christmas is not over in a day. We start celebrating on Christmas Eve all the way through to the New Year. We have lived in California for 20 years now but still like to keep our English traditions especially around the Christmas holidays. Christmas dinner is eaten around 1-2pm, so you are done by 3pm ready for The Queen’s Speech and then a chance to nap while Wizard of Oz plays in the background. Dinner includes turkey, Paxo stuffing, bread sauce and not forgetting the crackers on the table. December 26th or Boxing Day is another public holiday and is the day to celebrate Christmas with friends or relatives. Its the time to serve leftovers; cold turkey and ham, take a walk, open more presents and chill out watching Christmas specials on the telly.

Boxing Day walk

With friends we took our Boxing Day walk, just a stroll down the local canal, before our early afternoon dinner, then games and a little celebratory glass of sherry.

Family time

Family photo time. When our kids and friends kids grow older together its fun for them and us to see them change. And of course as parents we never grow older or change!!

Perfect location Juki 2010Q

Its been 5 days now and I haven’t powered up my Juki 2010Q, “Julie”. I am actually itching to get back to finishing some projects but am giving myself a break. Recently we have had some wonderful sunsets and the location of my sewing machine in my new studio/workspace is perfect. No longer am I tucked away in the bedroom in the back of the house but at the front in the “formal lounge”

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I continue to teach my monthly Kids Sewing Class at Howells in Auburn. I have some very charming and enthusiastic girls that embrace all of the projects that I give them. November we made pajama pants and December Christmas stockings. I love the way they bring their own personalities into their projects.

Fabulous Fish Fabric Collage Jane Haworth

I have been working on planning and making samples for a couple of new classes I will teach in 2019. This one Fabulous Fish is a wall hanging version of Rainbow Fish, the king size raffle quilt I made in 2017 with the Foothill Quilt Guild. As a Pisces I feel these fish are something I fall back on and have been doodling and painting for 30+ years so its only natural I plan a workshop around them.

2018 was my busiest year so far for teaching and presenting at Quilt Guilds. I also taught my Love of Pets workshop at In-between Stitches in Livermore and am scheduled to teach it again in 2019. Look up my calendar to check up on dates for upcoming classes. These photos are from Livermore, students at work and students work! I’d also like to thank the following guilds for hosting me this year: Folsom Quilt and Fibre Guild, Country Crossroads Quilters of Modesto, Marin Needle Arts Guild, River City Quilt Guild, Foothill Quilt Guild, Santa Clara Valley Quilt, Diablo Valley Quilt Guild, Oroville Piecemakers Guild and In-between Stitches Livermore.

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My next engagement is one I am very excited about and that is to be on the faculty for Craft Napa 2019. I have attended this fun, creative retreat over the past 3 years taking classes from some incredible teachers. I am teaching Pet Portraits Fabric Collage and Succulent Love, draw, paint and collage succulents. These little dog collages are fabric postcards that will be auctioned off as a Stay Pawsitive fundraiser for Wags and Whiskers in Chico, CA

A couple of the highlights from 2018 was filming tv segments for the Quilting Arts TV show that will be coming out sometime in 2019 and meeting Susan Brubaker Knapp, the staff of Quilting Arts TV and the other quilt artists that recorded for that series. Then in November being part of the faculty at the International Quilt Festival and teaching 4 classes was tiring but wonderful.

Quilters L. Tahoe 2018 _6

And of course not forgetting my first experience of  joining Artistic Alchemy. Teaching and generally having a great time with staff and students at the 5th annual retreat at Zephyr Point was another highlight. With the New Year right around the corner I am putting plans together for my workshop for 2019 and encourage anyone interested to watch out as as we will be announcing workshops and sign-ups early in February.

Finally I like to make a summary of the work I have created over the year and some of my other achievements. I made 21 T-shirt quilts and 4 necktie quilts for my Etsy shop customers, 19 art quilts, won Best of Show with Bullseye x Nine at the Foothill Quilt Guild show, exhibited Melman, the Vulnerable Giraffe quilt at Sisters, Oregon and sold it, and also exhibited quilts juried into Road to California, PIQF and IQF Houston.

Thanks to all the students who have attended my classes and I plan to very soon start a newsletter for my website janehaworth.com.

Mary Boalt, Sandra Bruce, Heidi Emmett and I want thank all you supporters of Artistic Alchemy and wish everyone a Happy New Year for 2019. May it bring peace and creativity to you all.

 

Bullseye’s Blue Ribbon

Jane Haworth at California State Fair

1st place ribbon at the CA State Fair 2018

July was state fair month at Cal Expo in Sacramento. My husband and I went to visit the fair and see my quilt on display. Look at the size of that ribbon! I won first place in the medium/large art quilt category.  Wahoo!

I usually make one large quilt a year and for 2018 it was Bullseye x Nine. Here, I will tell you a little about the process behind making this quilt and its story up to this point. In summer 2017, I met up with Julie, one of my local t-shirt quilt customers so she could drop off shirts for her quilt. She had her 2 dogs with her so I took a few photos and this one was my favorite.

Bullseye for quilt by Jane Haworth

Perfect picture

I had been thinking about making a colorful quilt in Andy Warhol’s style and Bullseye’s face was the perfect subject. I cropped the dog’s face, posterized it in my photo software, and then used the image as my pattern. The face had three values; black, grey, and white which I translated into light, medium and dark fabrics. When it came time to choose my fabrics, I only needed three for each face and one for each background.

Bullseye in black and white

First block made

This was the first block I made. I had recently hand dyed many fat-quarter sized pieces of fabric and these turned out to be the ideal size for all the backgrounds. Next I had to decide upon the three colors for each face, and which background best suited them. I remember going around in circles trying to figure out color combinations and where to position them on the quilt!

Nine patch Andy Warhol style Jane Haworth

Figuring out the layout and the colors!

This is how it looked initially, but I decided I didn’t like the black and white image and so then had to make one more dog face. I usually don’t make pattern pieces in my quilting but for this one I made a pattern using freezer paper. When making each block I was able to reuse the same pattern pieces.

Close-up of free-motion quilting

Here you can see the stitching I did on the face.  I used three different colored threads; some to blend in and some as a contrast. The background I decided to stitch straight,  diagonal lines that formed a zig-zag between the blocks.

Best of Show ribbons

Best of Show 2018 Foothill Quilt Show

I won my first Best of Show at the Foothill Quilt Guild annual show in April. I was amazed! It was a fun show and I invited Julie, her husband, and their dogs. I think Bullseye was the star of the show especially when he posed next to the quilt.

Bullseye x Nine Jane Haworth

After this quilts recent appearance at the State Fair, I will be sending ‘Bullseye x Nine’ on to the International Quilt Festival in Houston in November. Looking forward to next year, despite mounting pressure, I have to come with an idea for my big quilt in 2019!

If you want to learn my raw edge fabric collage technique or want to make a quilt using a photo of your own pet check out my website for classes I am teaching. I have a couple of spots left in my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat at Zephyr Point in Tahoe this September. Fabric Collage Addiction is your opportunity to learn how to use a photo in fabric and even make that perfect pets eye. In fact, my fellow teachers, Mary and Heidi, have a couple of spaces also so check out the blog for more details. Come join us ladies for a fun and creative time!

Pet eyes by Jane Haworth

Pet Eyes made using fabric collage.

 

My Process of Making Fabric Collage

Hi    This is JANE HAWORTH  writing this weeks post 

Sometimes coming up with the idea for my next collage quilt is hard but other times I am awash with ideas. Then having enough time is my next problem! A couple of years ago I saw a documentary about giraffes and I was shocked to hear that their numbers are really low and giraffes are on the endangered species list. The BBC documentary was Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants and follows the work of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation

Giraffe image from Pixabay.com

Giraffe Image

I was inspired and needed to make a giraffe quilt. I found this image on Pixabay which is a copyright free resource for images. I printed it out as a full page and then had to decide how large to make the quilt. This time I wanted it big, and I mean really big. I always get that feeling when I see one of my quilts out in the wild, at a quilt show, that the quilt looked so much bigger at home. So instead of increasing the size by 3 times or 6 times I decided 10 times. I was now making my giraffe image about 90″ x 70″.

Giraffe by Jane Haworth

Giraffe Tongue

My usual method of making my pattern is to draw a grid on newsprint. I drew 10″ squares and then transposed the lines from the 1″ grid that covered my photograph.

I began work on the tongue and that was 12″ long. The fabrics I decided to use for the giraffe included many upholstery and furnishing fabrics, as well as linen, burlap and regular quilting fabrics I had in my stash. I was not thinking about the background at this stage.

 

 

Working on a large scale was hard. On my usual worktable the collage would be falling off any chance it had and keeping all my fabrics close had its challenges too. I first completed the head as a single unit and then I tackled the neck, that would lay behind the head and then be glued in place.

Completed giraffe head by Jane Haworth

Completed head laid out onto batting.

Once the giraffe was made I was very happy and had now to figure out the background. I cut a piece of batting to the approximate size of the completed quilt and using my family room floor laid it out with the giraffe in it place. I decided to go with green patterned fabrics that I been setting aside and these included hand-dyed and over-dyed, batiks, African fabrics and other pieces I again found in my stash.

Work in Progress by Jane Haworth

Using the floor space in my family room.

To complete this quilt I made up my backing and taped it down to the floor. Lay the batting over the top, positioned the giraffe it its spot and then lay out my background fabrics. These I cut to size and pieced together as I went making sure they tucked behind the giraffe. Eventually all the batting was covered and I could glue the giraffe in place. I took my iron and pressed it all while it still lay on the floor, finishing with safety pins to hold the three layers together.

IMG_7072Quilting by Jane Haworth

Quilting using my Janome 6500

To quilt all my quilts I use my regular sewing machine and this quilt was hard work I will admit. I think using the heavier upholstery fabrics and burlap made the quilt stiffer, harder to handle, fit under the machine and generally hard on my body. So I do remember working for only a hour or so at a time especially on those tricky parts in the center of the quilt.

Finished by Jane Haworth

Finished quilt at the FQG Show April 2017

My husband decided the giraffe needed to be called Melman after the giraffe in the movie ‘Madagascar’. So the quilt is named ‘Melman, The vulnerable Giraffe’. I decided if I sold the quilt I would donate half the money to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. It was juried into IQF Houston in 2017 but didn’t sell and this summer it will be at Sisters, Oregon for their outdoor quilt show on July 14 2018. So he’s still for sale!

Having explained my process of making a fabric collage art quilt I must say making a smaller quilt is easier, fun, less daunting, and easier on the body. So join me at my workshop Fabric Collage Addiction, if you can, September 3-7 2018 at Zephyr Point for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat.

Artistic Alchemy will be “out in the wild” this coming weekend, May 5 & 6 at the Pine Tree Quilt Show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. So come down and meet us, chat about the retreat, hear about our show special and see what ‘goodies’ we have for sale. Here are a few of the things I have been working on for that sale.

 

 

Lake Tahoe is beautiful in September so combine a trip to the mountains with sewing and play time. Check out the 4 workshops on offer from Mary, Heidi, Sandra and myself, or just work on your own projects. What could be better than taking a break from the heat and surrounding yourself with creativity.

A Word (or Two!) About Composition

Sandra Bruce posting today. I have had many people ask me in the course of teaching my technique “Material Matrix” about what makes a good photograph to turn into a quilt. I would like to do a brief “Show and Tell” using photographs from my own library of photos to illustrate a few points that I think are helpful, both in making quilts and just taking photos in general.

First, I feel strongly that scale is one of the most important elements of  good design. It’s OK to get CLOSE. Plopping your subject in the middle of your background with space all around can be pretty boring, especially if it’s dead center. (There are exceptions to this, however.) Getting close to your subject brings the viewer into your quilt or photo. Here’s an example below:  It’s nice and close, but the cropping is awkward, especially on the right, where his mouth gets chopped off.

: asleep floor:in red pjs4

What happens when we get even closer? Whoops!! Too close! Let’s try again.

: asleep floor:in red pjs 3 Perfect! This is now a great photo and would make a good quilt design. Nice balance of elements, a couple of diagonals lines (always good in a composition) and good values of light to dark.

: asleep floor:in red pj copy

Here’s a photo taken at Fort Ross State Park here in California. It’s a nice enough photo, but there isn’t much of a focal point, and your eye doesn’t know where to go first. The fort is too far away and the trees dominate the image.

10 2002_0221_114334AAThis is much better. The scale of each item has more variety, and the diagonal of the fence makes a nice complement to the vertical trees and brings you into the scene. With some tweaking this could make a nice quilt.15 2002_0221_114756AA

Flowers are such a popular subject for photographs and quilts. Here are 3 examples of nice compositions that have a lot going for them. Notice they’re fairly close up.IMG_4355IMG_0524_2

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The quilt I made called “Matteo and the Amaryllis” is a good example of cropping to get to the essence of the image. Here’s the original photo I took, and below it, the cropped version. I wanted to focus on his profile, and the flower. The background and hat are unimportant. Notice the tip of his nose on the flower in the cropped version is not dead center, it’s a better place for the focal point!IMG_5898

MP amaryllis cropped

 Here’s a photo of an old car that could be interesting in a quilt, but you have to use your imagination to think of how it might become a better composition. Off the top of my head, I would take out the bikes and the houses in the background, focusing on the car only, and change the car color to give more contrast between the grass and the car. What I’m getting at is that sometimes a photo needs work but has potential to become a good composition. Playing in Photoshop or even cutting out color copies to get what you want can make it work for you.

IMG_3748

Sometimes something as simple as changing the vantage point of the camera can make a better photo. Here I put the camera on the counter looking up at these pickle jars. Wouldn’t this make an interesting quilt?IMG_2879_2Lastly, here’s the photo I’m using for the quilt I just started, my son Matteo again, in black and white this time. I wanted to challenge myself to work in black, white and grey only. I love this photo for its simplicity, value changes, and how it captures his expression, which will be the biggest challenge.M quilt b:w ideaBe brave in taking photographs to use in quilts. Play around until you have what you want. Get close. A good quilt image starts with a good photo! All the photos in this post were taken by myself or Gary Pierazzi.

I hope you have gained a little something from this post. We all (Artistic Alchemy) appreciate hearing from you. We’re getting excited about our Zephyr Cove Retreat and I can’t wait to see what participants create! Have a good week, everyone.

 

Complicated and Intimidating? Definitely Not!

Image

Hello, I’m Sharon and this is my first blog post ever.  As you look at our group picture, you will see that I’m the one who isn’t wearing a sewn garment.  Actually, when we took this picture, Sandra said,  “Look, we’re all just about the same height.  Except Sharon.”

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I love to organize retreats, so I am very excited to be part of the Artistic Alchemy group! The energy and talent in this group is unparalleled. Each one of us has a unique style and can share a different perspective. It has also become a great friendship, and I feel fortunate to have Christine, Heidi and Sandra as personal and professional friends. I am so looking forward to our 2014 retreat at Zephyr Point.

My career has been in fire protection engineering. This is a discipline that requires precision and working within close tolerances. Even though the process requires precision, I must be able to communicate how the process is to be completed, and I must communicate that information clearly. So, when I started designing quilt patterns, that is the approach that I took. I wanted to design a unique quilt, but make the process uncomplicated and definitely not intimidatingI’m short and blonde – how difficult could I make things? I enjoy precision and precision piecing, and my patterns are designed to give you an extraordinary look.  One of the principles that I discovered early in my career was that if the project appeared daunting, start in a corner and work out.  If you take it a step at a time, all of a sudden it is no longer intimidating.

I have decided to teach two projects at the retreat this year:

I will be teaching FyreWyrks I, which is a contemporary Lone Star design.

Alves-1We will first break down the color placement so you can get your star to sparkle.”  Then we will build the components until, all of a sudden, you have a beautiful star. We will strip piece the star points, and I will show you how to block your points so they will easily fit together. The outer points are paper pieced. The pattern is also designed so that there are very few Y seams. Once your components are built, it all goes together flawlessly .

The second project that I will be teaching is my Anacortes pattern.

cdOne of the great things about this pattern is that I provide template sheets.

template sheetAll you need to do is pin the sheets to your fabric and cut on the lines. There is no need to cut individual templates, which can be extremely time-consuming. Color placement is key with this pattern. If you look at the  quilt you will see different patterns and shapes emerge.  We will work with color placement first.  Once you decide where you want your fabrics, the rest is simple. The templates are all designed to fit together easily. Once again, it is a matter of building the components.  With the exception of the border, this is a one block quilt.

I love fabric and I love color!!  Give yourself options and enjoy playing with fabric and color. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process.  You will walk away with a stunning quilt!

It has been a lot of fun writing this blog. I’ll catch up with you again in a few weeks. I’ve got a some new things in the works. You can sign up for my newsletter on my website. You can also go to my Engineered for Quilters Facebook page. I will be launching a new contest very soon.

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