I Could Say, “Gone Fishin”……

IMG_1121….we are busy getting ready for our 2016 retreat that begins Monday! We won’t be fishing, though….we’ll be stitching, quilting, cutting, printing, creating marvelous things and having a wonderful time!

Keep up with our week on our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

We’ll see ya soon with lots of pictures and tales of our week at Zephyr.

Till then, Happy September!!

Judy Coates-Perez Inspiration

by Sandra Bruce

A couple of days ago all 4 of us AA-ers were fortunate to be together taking a workshop by Judy Coats-Perez. My head is still reeling with all the fabulous techniques we learned and spending the day with Judy.

But first, Judy came to the Pine Tree Quilt Guild the night before to give us her very interesting presentation. She had a few of her quilts hanging, which I photographed with my phone, not doing them justice! I encourage you to look her up and view then online. Here is my favorite, “Primordial Sea”. I love the sea creatures and flora of the ocean! It is painted on silk and very expertly quilted. Here’s a photo and closeup:



Wow! And here’s another one, “Moon Garden”, which I remember seeing at PIQF a few years ago. It is black paint on white fabric, with some doosey quilting, which shows up on the back almost like another quilt altogether.IMG_0762 IMG_0763Yowza! We knew after her presentation that we were in for a fun-filled and informative day, and we were not disappointed.

Next morning, we 4 shared a table and our supplies with each other. I started out with this simple piece of fabric.IMG_0766The first technique was Thermofax images screened onto the fabric with fabric-friendly paint. Then, images either hand-drawn or copied from a printer onto tea-bag paper….yes, you read correctly! IMG_0767

The collage-ish part started here. Finding what Judy calls “ephemera”, bits of paper to add in, using all kinds of paper including cocktail napkins, ticket stubs, pattern paper, to name a few.


Here’s Judy doing a demo on how to paint on top of the teabag images, that have been affixed to the fabric with medium.


Here’s my finished piece, ready for quilting, can’t wait!


Here’s Christine, working on her piece.


Heidi, photographing hers.


Mary, with her finished piece, she’s happy! I think I need to give her my “paint splatter” rubber stamp!


Here’s 2 of Judy’s pieces. Love them! The second one was made from pieces she cut out of samples from classes, that she assembled, stitched together, and painted over again, with the bird image.


At the end of the day we laid them out on the floor to look at each other’s work. Every one was different and filled with wonderful images and such a variety of creative ideas. Happy day for us, indeed!DSC_0040

Hard to believe it’s June already…….the spaces for Zephyr signups are filling up! Please consider coming to take a workshop from one of us, we guarantee a very creative-filled week with others who will inspire you. It is one of the highlights of my year. I have 2 spots left, and will be teaching polymer next year so now is the time for a Matrix experience. I would be truly happy for you to sign up for any of the workshops….Mary’s, Heidi’s, Christine’s, or mine. Check out the workshop descriptions in this blog for more info! Whether you are interested in color, wearable art, fabric manipulation/painting or my Matrix technique, there is something for you. We also welcome Independent Study ladies who want to work on their own projects in a beautiful, peaceful location with other like-minded sewists and artists.

For now, I’m signing off, time to work on my latest Matrix quilt. I hope you enjoyed looking at Judy’s work and our endeavors in her workshop.

Artist in Residence

by Christine, Sandra, and Heidi

We are delighted to announce that Mary Boalt, wearable artist and textile designer, will be our Artist in Residence at this year’s retreat. The three of us have been enjoying Mary’s work as members of the Sierra Wearable Art Group for some time, and when we thought about inviting a guest artist, she was it!

Mary has been creating on fabric using different techniques and media since the early 80s. She paints, stencils, stamps, spatters, outlines, and stitches on a variety of fabrics, including canvas. (She refers to her surface design on canvas  as “graffiti.”)  Mary has sold her pieces and taught workshops regionally, and her work has appeared in Belle Armoire and Quilting Arts, the prestigious art-quilt magazine. Her self-portrait for Quilting Arts traveled the U.S. for a year, and she’ll tell us more about it when she speaks briefly at one of our evening sessions. Take a look at some of her amazing work:

This bag began as a piece of plain canvas, which Mary painted and decorated using Lumiere and craft paint. Note the rivet trim.DSC_0201To achieve clean edges, Mary masks off areas with painter’s tape. The white letters on the back of the bag, below, were made using an Asian-style alphabet stencil from Diane Ericson, a well-known wearable artist.

DSC_0199Mary uses markers to outline stamped and stenciled shapes. The maze-like motif in the second image below is a circle cut from a piece of wide ribbon and overstitched with metallic thread.

DSC_0207DSC_0206Oh yes, let’s do Paris! Three stencils were used to make this simple sophisticated bag. DSC_0194 DSC_0193 DSC_0195 This delightful vest has it all—painting, stamping, stenciling, masking, and foiling.DSC_0187For the closure, Mary stacked a copper-colored button on top of the black button that goes with the triangular piece.

DSC_0188Black trim with metal loops runs down the back of the vest.DSC_0189DSC_0192Below are clutches made from scraps of the first bag shown, and the vest above. Mary typically creates pieces of fabric that are larger than needed so she’ll have “leftovers.” The red-orange clutch below fits into its larger parent bag. DSC_0210 This piece, above the door in her studio, says it all:DSC_0184You’ll be able to see Mary in action during the two days she spends with us, and you’ll have the opportunity to buy one of her painted and decorated canvases to make your own graffiti bag. What the three us love about Mary’s pieces is her spontaneous, elegant style. Once you see what she creates—and how she creates it—we know you’ll love her work too!