Changing Times. Embracing Technology!

This is Jane. My blog post this week will start from a message from us all.

 It is our utmost desire when having our retreats at Zephyr to give you the optimum experience….where you are able to learn, laugh, and enjoy the company of the other sewists in the beautiful setting of Lake Tahoe. We three, Jane, Heidi and Sandra have been in constant communication with Zephyr, and between ourselves, about the fate of the September retreat in light of the Covid virus. We want, more than anything, to be able to go forward there in safety and assurance of a positive experience for you all. When we were in discussion about this issue we came to the ultimate conclusion that we cannot assure these objectives. In many ways it is out of our hands and for that reason we are postponing our September retreat until 2021. Your safety and positive experience are our primary goals.
  
We know how disappointed you are, as are we, but you surely understand where we are coming from in postponing the retreat. Please email us for any questions you may have. This is unprecedented territory for us, and we pledge to be fair and equitable going forward. We want 2021 to be a fantastic year with a retreat that is the best yet.
Artistic Alchemy retreat Zephyr Point

Lake view from Zephyr Point

It makes us sad to have made this decision but I feel we can all now move forward and focus on the retreat for 2021. As a traveling quilt teacher I have just about written off 2020. I still have a few things on my calendar but I shall have to wait and see if they go ahead. As I said in my blog title, even I am now having to jump on the technology bandwagon, something a few weeks ago I just wasn’t interested in doing.

Mark-making and Collage Jane Haworth

Fabric Journal, one of the samples for Artistic Alchemy retreat

As for technology I recently presented my lecture ‘Living a Creative Life’ to the San Francisco Quilt Guild using Zoom! My Power Point lasted 30 minutes, followed by Q & A, and went down well, I believe!  We had 138 attendees and all stayed till the end. I will say I did miss the audience reactions and participation though.

Pet Portrait Fabric collage Jane Haworth

Precious

And I am now working on putting together an online class called Love of Pets Fabric Collage. This wasn’t something I had considered but as time goes on and reality sets in I know I won’t be teaching in person for a while. When I think about the opportunities that this opens up, its pretty good. Quilters from all around the country and world will have the chance to take my class.

Fabric Jane Haworth

Fabric selection ideas for Love of Pets online class

The good thing that has come out of this pandemic is reconnecting with family, and friends using either Messenger video groups, Instagram Live or Zoom. I come from a large family, all of them in the UK and for the first we have been catching up virtually. Pokey Bolton has a daily chat with quilters and artists on Instagram Live at 1pm pacific time and I was on with her a few weeks ago talking about this very subject, teaching cancellations and ways to move forward. Then lets not mention the funny glasses my close friend Ronnie and I found on Messenger video!

Hanging out on the porch May 2020

Porch time during lockdown

Staying at home I think is made easier by creating routines. I will work in the morning, have a family lunch and play Yahtzee on the iPad, listen to Pokey’s 1pm chat, work the afternoon till about 5 when its “Beer O’clock”. This is our family time for a beer on the porch and daily card game challenge! Our favorites are Wizard, Knaves and Phase 10.

Big Frank Jane Haworth

Big Frank 46″ x 69″

Now that I have had more time for sewing I will share what I’ve been working on over the last couple of months. With the deadline to enter the World of Beauty quilt competition at IQF Houston coming up, I decided to make a couple of large quilts. I always think a quilt needs to be big to look impressive hanging in a quilt show. So Big Frank was created! I’m pretty happy with him and am now working on Little Frank and perhaps pattern I can share.

Big Franks Eye Jane Haworth

Detail of the eye, approx 9” x 6”

Here is a detail of his eye and really I don’t think it looks as impressive close-up as you just see the different fabrics I included. Some are pretty random! When I started this quilt my intent to use scraps and those old fabrics I have but never use. Pretty much the ugly ones! I started with a grey, brown and blue palette but as the quilt grew I would get bored with using these same fabrics and so I’d look through my stash and grab a bunch in another color. So now as he progressed I added those greens, ochres and even pinks!

Notes of Hope Jane Haworth

Notes of Hope 81” x 61”

This is the other large quilt I have been working on and just finished.  I made it in response to the Mountain Art Quilters Spring challenge. The category that spoke to me was ‘Colors of Emotion’

Forestall Bridge

Small ‘messages of hope’ attached to the railings on the Foresthill Bridge, CA

The story behind this quilt. In 2018 I remember hearing on the news that a lady from Auburn, Brittney Hendricks, organized for volunteers to make ‘Notes of Hope’ that they attached to the railings on the Foresthill Bridge. This bridge is located just outside Auburn, CA is the highest bridge in California and fourth highest in the USA and has been the scene for 90 suicides since it was built in 1947. These ‘messages of hope’ attached to the bridge are an attempt to convince people that life continues to be worth living. I walked the bridge with my son James in the new year and took many photos.

These photos I printed onto fabric sheets and then Improv pieced everything together. Starting with the words, the dark black fabrics around them, included a small colorful border and then more black border. I will say it was a little tricky to square it up!

This little ‘Yorkie’ quilt is one of many samples started whilst demoing in the classes I teach. Having more time now I want to work on these. Once the collage was finished it was time to choose the background. I put these photos on my new Facebook group Fabric Collage School asking for opinions and although I love the busy background on the left I settled with the more restful blue one on the right. Its so fun to get peoples ideas and opinions while you are still working on something!

Dirty Machine Jane Haworth

Time to clean this machine!

After spending a month making masks, and sewing everyday I finally decided it was time to clean out my sewing machine. I have a Juki 2010Q which is a straight stitch semi-industrial machine and I love it. Its a workhorse. Everyday I oil my machine and clean out around the bobbin but it has this little hatch underneath that was last cleaned out around Christmas. I think it was time!

Now its time to get back to sewing, video taping my work in progress for my online class and entering my quilts into World of Beauty. Although sadly we won’t be holding our retreat I do want to devote some time to fabric play and mark-making and come up with some great samples for next time. Out of interest is anyone up for some kind of virtual Artistic Alchemy event?

 

Zephyr Point Here we Come!

Packing up for Zephyr Point

Getting my car packed for the Artistic Alchemy retreat

Its Jane here. Just a few more days until our 2019 retreat starts at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe and I have so much to do. Over the last two weeks I’ve been away teaching my Love of Pets Fabric Collage class in Santa Rosa, Sunnyvale and Livermore . Today I was finishing up a T-shirt quilt for a customer. With all this behind me I have a day or so to get focused and pack up for our 2019 retreat. I can’t tell you how excited we all are!

Early morning at Zephyr Point

Tranquility at Zephyr Point

Last year was my first year to attend the retreat. I just loved getting up early and walking down to the dock to drink my coffee and this is what I’m really looking forward to again.

I know Sandra, Heidi and Mary have been busy making unique, handcrafted items to put in their stores and these photos are some of the tea-towels and the unique collage bags I’ve been working on for mine. We hope the attendees will enjoy browsing our stores and picking up special pieces.

Artistic Alchemy attendees 2018

2018 Artistic Alchemy Attendees

Here we all are at last years retreat! Looks like we survived and don’t we all look happy and relaxed. Now its time for me to get back to my packing so I’m ready to head up the hill later this holiday weekend.

See you all soon 🙂

The SAQA Conference and Pine Tree Show!

by Sandra Bruce

I’m still coming down from the last few weeks…from Empty Spools, to a sewing retreat in San Juan Bautista, to the SAQA conference, to being Featured Quilter at the Pine Tree Quilt Show earlier this month. Throw in a little teaching….ALSO… there’s a quilt I’ve been working on but I can’t show it to you yet. I was invited to participate in a show and the rules prohibit me from showing the work until the quilts that are traveling are selected. But…..plenty else too chat about!

First…my Material Matrix workshop in Zephyr Point at our retreat is full, with one on the waiting list. Those of you who are in my class will be hearing from me in the next few days. Jane and Heidi still have space….hurry! There’s time to sign up!  🙂

The SAQA conference was in San Jose, CA this year so I had to go. If you don’t know, SAQA stands for Studio Art Quilts Associates. It is an international organization of art quilters and the annual conference is always in a different city in the world. I am a JAM member, which means Juried Artist Member. We are juried in with a portfolio and strive to be professionals in the art quilt world.

I drove down with my friend Trish Morris-Plise and we were both newbies, although there were lots of people there we knew or at least had met before. There were 200 in attendance, from as far away as Australia!

As soon as we walked in we spotted Heidi Emmett and Terry McFeeley…there was an area where artists were selling their wares, and Terry came to promote her product “Terial Magic”, along with Heidi’s help. There were lots of beautiful things to be sold in the afternoon that the art market was set up.

The main wonderful part about the conference was meeting and sharing with quilt artists from all over. To see old friends and make new ones. And take silly pictures! Here is Trish, myself and Jane Haworth. Jane and I both were presenters in the “Lightning Talk” segment of the conference, where we gave a 6-minute talk on a subject accompanied by 20 images that changed on the screen every 20 seconds. Jane was first (of 8) and I was last…my topic was “fear”, as it relates to being a quilt artist. I may turn it into a regular lecture on my circuit.

Here’s Pat Porter and Jan Soules…so many smiles and good karma spread around the room!

 

Mel Beach was in charge of the opening night’s entertainment, we played ice-breaking kind of games so we could get to know each other.

There was a fantastic lineup of speakers over the 4 days. They are all so diverse and had much to say. I think my favorite was the Social Justice Sewing Academy.

Their mission statement: ” Piecing together youth voices, textile art and community in a 21st century sewing circle”. There were 3 young people on the panel who spoke about their lives, and what the Academy meant to them. They had made quilts, and most of them had never held a sewing needle, much less made a quilt before! They go into high schools with their program, all over the country. They need volunteers to embroider, quilt, and donate fabric. I handed my card to them after their talk and as a result I have already quilted 6 pieces that they sent to me to finish. I wholeheartedly support this venture, it is a wonderful and constructive way for young people to be active in the art quilt community and speak out about causes they believe in. KUDOS! http://www.sjsacademy.com

I ran into Vivika Denegre at the conference, she is the editor of Quilting Arts Magazine and I met her last year when I was a guest on Quilting Arts TV. We hugged and she handed me a little paper bag. She explained that instead of distributing media at the conference, she made up miniature sewing “kits” to hand out, that consisted of small bits of fabric, a needle, and a couple lengths of thread. On the bag was this quote: “I believe that hand stitching is good for the soul. #makesomethingawesome.” This task was so much fun and helped me deal with the withdrawals I was having of not having sewing to do! Here’s what I made (it’s about 3″ across):
Thank goodness I ran into Marylee Drake who had a pair of little scissors, as I was using nail clippers to cut thread 🙂

A highlight of the conference was a tour in downtown San Jose, the first being the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

https://www.sjquiltmuseum.org

There was an exhibit of SAQA work, called “H2OH!”, about water, of course. There were several quilts that I liked very much, and in writing this post I noticed they all had circles in them…yes I do love circles. Here’s “Fishing” by Barbara Watler:

And another, by Linda Colsh, “Past is Present”…do you see the little figures in it?  

One more, by Liz Kuny, “Boiling Point”. So clever…212 degrees is the point where water boils, she she put 212 “O”s into the quilt.

We got a special tour of the back of the Quilt Museum, where I was fascinated by the storage methods of all the quilts they own.

Another stop at Works, a downtown gallery that had another SAQA exhibit. This was my favorite piece, by Carla Stehr, titled “Diatom 8”. (I really must be in love with circles!)

The afternoon did catch up with us…do we look a little tired? (well, I do!)

Towards the end of the conference there was an auction of small pieces made by SAQA members…it raised over $17,000 for SAQA! I’ll be sure to enter a piece next year.

At the very end was a Studio Tour of several local artists, one being Therese May, a longtime friend whom I credit for introducing me to the world of quilting, as she was my next door neighbor 35 years ago (lucky me!). Trish and I went to see Therese before the throngs began. I took this picture of Therese in front of her house where she hung one of her fabulous quilts.

Therese is a founding member of SAQA, and has greatly helped promote the art quilt world, to which we say, “thank you”!!!

Before I stop, a couple of quick words about the Pine Tree Quilt Show. Artistic Alchemy had our usual booth, where we got to talk to attendees and sell our wares, not to mention promote our Zephyr Retreat in September!

Being Featured Quilter I didn’t have any time to spend in our booth, but the other 3 carried on and it was a success :-). I enjoyed seeing most of my quilts up all together for the first time. My favorite part was talking to people, especially about my Matrix quilts.

Speaking of Matrix quilts, I just yesterday mailed a letter to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, telling her about the quilt I made of her, and I enclosed a photo of it. Fingers crossed that I hear back from her!

And if you are thinking about coming to Zephyr, remember…..

Bye for now!  I’ll be posting my new Matrix quilt after June 30th. 🙂

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.

hawaiichurch

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!

image1

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.

IMG_4082

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.

 

 

 

 

Autumn has Begun…

This is Jane Haworth and although it is now Autumn or Fall, the weather is just beginning to cooperate and it feels like its been some time since I was enjoying late summer at the retreat at Zephyr Point. It was my first year to visit and to be one of the teachers at this wonderful place. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t ever attended. The surroundings are beautiful, the weather perfect, the food wonderful as you don’t have to think about it, and being surrounded by all those creatives is very inspiring. I loved it and will be back next year, September 2-6 2019 with my fellow teachers; Heidi Emmett, Sandra Bruce and Mary Boalt.

 

These are some of the projects my students worked on whilst attending my Fabric Collage Addiction workshop. I love the variety of images they chose to work on and didn’t they do a great job.

My busy autumn began shortly after the retreat as I was heading to Ohio to tape my three segments for QATV, then off to visit family in England, I was teaching in Auburn and visited the PIQF quilt show in Santa Clara. I have now been preparing for my upcoming classes at IQF in Houston in just a few days time.  Not to mention keeping up with my Christmas orders for T-shirt and memory quilts for my Etsy shop. It is so hard to say no to customers who want a quilt made for a Christmas gift!

Quilting Arts TV recording series 2300

Susan Brusker Knapp host of QATV, Zeke and I

My time spent in Ohio was an amazing experience and taping went pretty smoothly and I’m happy to report I didn’t feel that nervous. I traveled out from Sacramento with Kris Sazaki and Deb Cashatt, the Pixeladies, what a laugh we had! From the variety of Uber drivers we met, the ribbing I got for scoring an upgrade on our flight and then exploring  and eating in Little Italy, Cleveland.

QATV series 2300

Before the taping at Quilting Arts TV

As I said I recorded three segments. This one is for my upcycled tote bags I make using left over food wrappers/bags and denim from old jeans for handles. Its funny I took 2 dresses I made over 10 years ago from plastic carrier bags that fitted the theme perfectly and so we put them on these 2 manikins as props for the background.

IMG_2510

I also got to work with Jeanine the Bernina rep who was lovely and helped me familiarize myself with the Bernini sewing machine. I don’t use one at home and here I used it in all three of my projects. I think this next series 2300 is out in the new year. QATV can be watched on PBS2 or if not you’ll have to buy or borrow the DVD set.

IMG_2652

I did get back to England for a week and was lucky to take my eldest daughter, Lucy who was between jobs! We traveled to Tiverton, Devon which is in the Westcountry, almost Poldark country, to stay with my family. It was also a girls weekend as I booked an Airbnb on a small deer farm, just a few miles from my mums house, where my daughter, sister-in-law, best friend and my niece all stayed together. We couldn’t avoid the rain so in this photo we are standing outside Exeter Cathedral on our shopping trip. Heres a few more shots of Devon and London.

 

I also got to do a presentation and teach my workshop, Love of Pets, to my own local guild, Foothill Quilters Guild here in Auburn. The first lecture I ever did was in 2014 and that was to the aforementioned guild and I must say this time I was far less nervous. It was a lot of fun sharing the progress of my work with friends. And here are some of the portraits they made in class.

Love of Pets workshop Jane Haworth

A sampler of some of the “works in progress” from Foothill Quilt Guild

This next photo is a quilt I recently made and is to be a special gift to someone.

Love of Pets Jane Haworth

A special Golden Labrador

In preparation for Houston my bags are not packed but my quilts are! I’m still working on some samples to take that I can demo on and then a bit more prep for my ‘Meet the Teachers’ presentation and Demo and then I will say I’m ready. I am very excited to meet all the new quilters and teachers but I know my schedule is going to be grueling especially with class start times of 8am ET!

 

Finally I still having openings in my Succulent class at Craft Napa in January 2019 so click on the link to read more details. This is a retreat I have attended for the last three years and again highly recommend. If you are interested in seeing where I am teaching before next years retreat look at my website and even read my blog to see what I’ve been up to.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy our wonderful Autumnal weather.

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.

Unraveling the Enigma of Chuck Close

by Sandra Bruce

All my students signed up thus far for the Zephyr workshop have sent me their photos to grid and I’m sure they are happily selecting fabrics to use. I do have a couple of spaces left, anyone who is a procrastinator and contemplating coming to Zephyr in September! We 4 welcome latecomers.

I wrote a blog post months ago about Chuck Close: his influence upon my Matrix technique and the 2 quilts I made of his image taken from a photograph by the photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni. The story of these quilts, “Chuck Close One” and “Chuck Close Two” (both 60″ by 70″) is a fragmented and ultimately puzzling one which I have not written much about, in part to protect the information I received about Chuck and his health. Suffice it to say, “Chuck Close One” is in the hands of Chuck Close himself, and “Chuck Close Two” I recently sent to Houston for the show in November. I entered it in the “Hands All Around” exhibit, which will travel internationally for a year and be seen by many people. The tops of these 2 quilts were made at the same time and look very much alike. I am thankful to Gorgoni for being the go-between to help me get the quilt to Chuck. I am glad he has it. Here they are side by side.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.48.46 PMDuring the first week of July I took a road trip with my son Matteo. His bike went in the back seat of my car. His emphasis was riding skate parks on his BMX, and I enjoyed being with him and occasionally hitting a fabric store or two, and visiting friends along the way. I knew there was an exhibit in Everett, WA of Chuck’s work and I wanted to be sure to catch it. Chuck grew up in Everett, and attended the junior college there before going onto University of Washington and eventually Yale. My friend Kathy, Matteo and I drove up to Everett to see the show at the Schack Art Center. The emphasis on the show was about his collaborations with other artists, and there were examples of the many techniques Chuck has used. I will say here that I apologize for the quality of these photos, taken with my aging cell phone. But you get the idea. I like this first picture, badly taken as it is, as you can see my reflection taking the photo and also Matteo’s silhouette on the other side of the room. It’s a piece of a lithograph, one process that Close has done repeatedly.

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Here’s another lithograph, an older one as you can see by how young Chuck looks. Each square has little hatch lines drawn in diagonally to create the “values”.IMG_0889

This one I had not seen before. It’s a portrait of his daughter done in many values of paper pulp “blobs”, that were made from a form that he had someone make for him. The form looked like a giant cookie cutter, and took the artist over 2 months to make. Here is the portrait and the form for the pulp.IMG_0903IMG_0905

So, check this out….his image of “Lucas”, which was a painting, made into a silk rug that was on the floor of the gallery. The sign next to it begged the question, “Is this fine art, and should it be on the floor or on the wall?”IMG_0890

There were a few pieces like this. The squares are filled with color, and the corners are left so you can see the paper beneath.IMG_0892IMG_0900

I wish I had taken more care to read the information on this one so I could share it with you. I had seen this before in another gallery. He painted his face, which you see at the base…..viewing it in the silver cylinder allows you to view it as he intended. I seem to recall from Art history classes years ago that there were artists during the Renaissance doing this technique. Amazing, isn’t it?IMG_0898

And yet another way of applying the paint in a grid. These round shapes were created by applying a felt circle to a stick and applying the paint with the felt. You can really see the texture and it’s easy to imagine him plopping those little circles on.IMG_0896

Phillip Glass, the musician, has been Chuck’s most repeated subject. Chuck really likes his features. It was interesting to see the same image both in tapestry form, and as a painting that Chuck created using his thumbprint to fill each square with a value of grey. Wonderful!IMG_0907IMG_0909

 

 

 

 
One more tapestry, reproduced from one of his self-portrait photographs.IMG_0899

Wednesday, while stuck in a horrible traffic situation on my way to Meet the Teachers in Pleasant Hill (Heidi, Christine and I were presenters and we made it, finally), I was checking emails on my phone and noticed that several friends had sent me a link to an article about Chuck Close written by Will S Hylton in the NYTimes. Having literally hours to wait going nowhere, to pass the time I read the article out loud to Heidi and Christine. This article (link below), is a beautifully written and tender while at the same time probing piece about Chuck and his work in the latter part of his life. In reading it things came to light about where Chuck has been, literally and figuratively, during the last year or so while I was working on the quilts and trying to get the one to him. I hope you will read the article, which, while quite long, is so worth the time.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/magazine/the-mysterious-metamorphosis-of-chuck-close.html?referer

Chuck, such an enigma, is fascinated by faces, which he paints and calls “heads”. I am fascinated by them too. And I am fascinated by Chuck Close.
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Artistic Alchemy Retreat, and on to Snohomish

by Sandra Bruce

 

Christine and Heidi have written posts about our wonderful 2015 Artistic Alchemy Retreat from last month, my turn to share photos! I had a 2-day break after the retreat, and after unpacking and packing again I headed up to Snohomish, WA to visit the Busy Bees Quilt Guild to do my presentation and workshop. I have friends along the way so decided to make a road trip out of it, visiting friends and hitting quilt shops, of course.

Here are some of my favorite pictures….first from the Zephyr Retreat, then from my trip north. At the very end is a surprise photo!

I hope these pictures will inspire you to join us next year! We already have several signups and can’t wait to start planning the 2016 retreat.

Waking up with coffee and this view of Lake Tahoe is a great way to start any day!
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Our assistant, Debbie, helped make things run smoothly.

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IMG_9612Here’s Mary Boalt, our Artist-In-Residence, in Heidi’s class project, the “Off the Grid Vest”. So cute!!!

 

IMG_9606Heidi, in her Whisper Blouse, giving her trunk show!

 

IMG_9635Christine’s trunk show, including quilts and vests!

 

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Jennifer, all the way from Ontario, Canada, working on her Matrix piece in my class, from a picture of her dog, Soda. I had 10 students and I enjoyed them all! Such a diversity of quilt subjects!

 

IMG_9576Joey working on her Matrix quilt, an industrious undertaking of the “world”, from a map.

 

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Ellen, with a beautiful image of a succulent plant, working across the width of her piece.

 

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Jan tackled the hardest parts of her image first, the eyes, in black and white.

 

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Debi worked on an image from her past, a Volkswagen Bug.

 

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Liz returned from last year to work on Jimmy, her dog. It was a pleasure to have her and Cheri back this year! Liz’s koi, coming along:

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Gina also did a face for her Matrix project, her daughter.

 

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Caryn’s kitty cat has 2 different colored eyes! Fun to piece!

 

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Rosemary’s bear…he came to life before our eyes!

 

IMG_9725During my evening presentation Trish showed her Matrix Self-portrait, inspired by mine. This is a fun picture of her, and the quilt.

 

IMG_9714A big thanks to everyone who came and helped make the 2015 retreat such a success! THANK YOU!



Moving north….

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A very quick stop at the Portland Art Museum…my favorite from all the exhibits was a collection of woodblock prints by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi from 1887. I loved them.

 

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Breakfast in Portland, at the Milk Glass Market. Look at this array of bread….

 

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Snohomish is a very sweet little town, northeast of Seattle. This quilt shop was a must see!

 

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Darlene, my very gracious hostess there, took my workshop and made sure everything went smoothly. She took very good care of me, and I very much enjoyed being with her book group one evening!

 

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Darlene and I took the ferry over to this charming town, Poulsbo, which boasted 2 quilt shops.

 

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At the end of my visit in Washington I visited another friend near Seattle, and we dined one special night in this restaurant in downtown Seattle, “Purple”. Check out the tower of wine being displayed!

 


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Nearby is Puyallup, WA, (which I can never pronounce correctly!) where this amazing quilt shop is. Thousands of bolts of batiks! Unbelievable!

Thanks to Kathy (both Kathys!), Darlene, and the ladies of Snohmish, WA for giving me a wonderful experience. Once home, I returned to the project that has consumed me all summer. Below is a photo of “Chuck Close One” which I have just completed. I will be showing more photos of it on this blog in the future, in addition to my Sandra Bruce Creative Facebook page, and my Flickr and Instagram accounts. But I wanted to show him here first, here he is! (60″ by 70″)

Chuck Close 1 full crop

I have many customer quilts in the queue to do, better get busy! Happy Fall!

🙂 Sandra

 

Road Trip

by Sandra Bruce

Greetings, and Happy November!

I had a fabulous 12-day trek in Oregon and Washington, sparked by teaching dates in Bend and Sunriver, Oregon. I decided to make it a road trip on either end, visiting friends I haven’t seen in a long time and combining the visits with my dates with the quilt guilds. Here’s a few pictures and memories of my 1,600 miles driven in 12 days!

My first peek at a snow-covered mountain, which I had to pull over and take a picture of….Mount Lassen. After many months of heat and dry weather here in Grass Valley it was such a pleasure to see this. A sure sign of Fall!

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My first stop was Portland, a long drive from Grass Valley (I was so glad to have books on CD to listen to on those long stretches). Portland is such a fun town, so much to look at, and so may cute shops and stores. And…the best salted caramel-ribbon ice cream I ever tasted!IMG_7835

Wouldn’t this make an interesting modern quilt design? Love the colors.

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On to northern Washington, where I visited a friend in Auburn, outside Seattle. We had wild weather (had to almost stop on the freeway for the rain) and went to as many quilt shops as we could!IMG_7864

IMG_7848IMG_7851IMG_7849Onward (and south again) to Bend, Oregon where I did my lecture and class for the Mount Bachelor Quilt Guild. The terrain definitely changed!IMG_7884

What a great group of ladies I had in my class, they could not have been more of a pleasure! Bend has beautiful facilities, and the workshop was held in one of the nicest I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in. Here’s a couple of shots from the Bend workshop and guild meeting that night.IMG_7888IMG_7897_2

My stay in Bend was over too soon…..the next morning I drove to Sunriver to do my lecture for the Mountain Meadow Quilters’ 9:30am meeting. Again, a beautiful setting. I so enjoy being in guild meetings, to see the workings of other guilds and especially Show and Tell! One day I want to make a “Dear Jane” quilt like this one, wow!!

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My afternoon was free, which of course means going to quilt shops in the area, and there are many! It is amazing how many quilters and quilt shops there are in the Sisters/Bend/Sunriver area.

Next day, the Sunriver workshop. Again, a nicer or more enthusiastic group of ladies could not be found.IMG_7916IMG_7911IMG_7304

I left Sunriver to head back to Portland to visit more friends before coming home. I stopped to take a picture of Mount Bachelor and the “Three Sisters”, which had had it’s first dusting of snow days before. Beautiful!IMG_7925

Back in Portland, I visited the Chinese Gardens for tea, and had a few fabulous meals, including one made with freshly picked chanterelles (picked by my hostess that morning). The best part was reconnecting with friends (and kitties).IMG_7946IMG_7947IMG_7954

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All in all, a wonderful trip, in which I became rejuvenated by students, quilts, quilt stores, friends, scenery, and the delicious opportunity to be alone in my car for all those miles. Thanks to all the Bend and Sunriver ladies who welcomed and pampered me, and my friends whom I care about and was so happy to see, and took such good care of me.

Back in Grass Valley, we had a rainy Halloween yesterday, cold and windy too, but we cannot complain about one drop of that precipitation! I am back to my long arm work, and am also working on a greeting card design in my lettering business. Fremont, CA this week, and Modesto, CA next week for Matrix lecture/workshops. Christine, Heidi and I are still working on the Zephyr dates for 2015, stay tuned. The holidays are around the corner!

Bye for now……..

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