Online Teaching and our In-person Retreat

This is Jane. For my blog post this month I am reflecting on what I like about teaching my collage classes. I’ve been thinking about how I have survived 2020 by teaching online and enjoyed the experience. But now, although I am still teaching via Zoom, I’m excited and looking forward to our Artistic Alchemy retreat in September .

Ready to teach Hens and Roosters via Zoom

 It seems a long time since I have gathered with quilters or traveled to visit a quilt guild. I have kept busy presenting and teaching classes to quilt guilds and taught at many online quilt shows. I think this platform is great for sharing information with students, demos are successful because students have the best front row seat and working from home they will not run short of supplies. Also I can set up the day before and be ready at my laptop 30 mins before class starts.

This may look like a crazy amount of fabric but its enough for this fabric collage of Ruby the Cow

I do miss cruising the classroom and chatting with my students, monitoring how their work is progressing and offering tips along the way. When I teach online its harder to see the progress they are making and with collage its tricky to pick the piece up to show on camera. But recently I have received photos via email of finished students work. It makes me feel happy that they have enjoyed the process and then spent their time working and completing the project.

When I am teaching I like to say to my students “Value = Contrast = Dimension”  These words are especially important when making collage and other art practices. I encourage students to” look” at their photo. If you spend 5 minutes really looking at what is going on in a photo your brain will see things that you do not expect. Sometimes when we work we make things as we think they are. By showing what is really going will result in a better and more successful design!

Looking at contrast in a photo

In the photo above I see contrast between the color families of the two types of succulent. I see contrast when looking into the shadows between the leaves of the succulents and I see contrast between what is in focus in the foreground against the blurriness of the background.

Ruby 24″ x 34″

To achieve this I encourage students to exaggerate what they see for a successful piece of work. Where you see the shadows or the areas that are layered this would be where you need to add your dark or black fabrics. For those light reflections or highlights, use your lightest fabrics even going to white or off white. The rest of the time we can use the medium value or our fun fabrics.

Enough of this lesson!

At the 2021 Artistic Alchemy retreat in Lake Tahoe, September 6-10th, I will be teaching collage quilting starting from a photo or you can use one of my patterns.

Little succulent designs in blue and white pots

We will spend time learning to make a pattern, choosing the right fabrics to use and then jumping into my technique for making fabric collage. If you are unfamiliar I don’t use pattern pieces or use fusible on the backs of the fabric but trace the shape onto the fabric and cut it out. It is a little more freeform with fewer rules. Resulting in a finished piece that is fun and unique. I don’t want students to stress over this process as its just “small bits of fabric!”

As well as the fabric collage in my workshop we will be spending the first day playing with surface design and mark making. I love to do this when the opportunity arises. What is better than using your own handmade textiles in your collage. 

Lino Cutting and printmaking

I like to use textural print fabrics in my collage and if I’ve made them myself that is even better. I use paints, fabric or acrylic paints and a number of simple tools to create unique patterns and textures. For my workshop there will be a small fee for materials. I will provide paints, a gel plate, fabrics and other materials. You will have the opportunity to paint on fabric, make your own stamps, lino-cuts, cyanotype prints and monoprints. 

Spring is on its way in my garden.

Now looking at this photo, and I am really looking, I’m thinking about mark-making and collage. I could paint some fabric to make those beautiful violet and lavender petals. Also the texture of the sepal leaves could be created using mono-prints and then there is the blurred background to consider!

So if you are considering attending our retreat this September the registration is already open. Go to the Workshop page on the blog and you will find out more info about the pricing etc if you click on the registration button. Remember priority for lake-front rooms is given to those who sign up first.

My latest recommendation

After my post back in November when I reviewed many of the books that I had read over 2020 this is one of my newest reads. I’m over half way through and am really enjoying the narrative and the rich descriptions in this book. I believe there are plans for a movie in the works.

Let’s hope as Spring arrives we are all more optimistic. We can savor the days when we will be able to socialize and have fun together at the retreat. Keep creative as Heidi, Sandra and myself continue to do.

Are You Ready? September 7th-11th, Artistic Alchemy Retreat #2

by Heidi Emmett

Last week my husband and I did our last volunteering for the summer at The Bear Necessities Gift Shop at Zephyr. And even though the paddle wheel boat makes three trips everyday from Zephyr Cove to Emerald Bay and back, I have to stop what I am doing and take a look. I never get tired of the views of beautiful Lake Tahoe. But, back home now and it’s time to get everything ready for Artistic Alchemy Retreat #2, on September 7th. DSC_0025

I was able to finish a new Whisper Blouse ahead of time for some shots at the waters’ edge. I am sooo excited! The tissue patterns are on the way!! No more taping all the pieces together (unless you want to). So in honor of those tissues (here’s hoping they come before the retreat), I had to make a new Whisper Blouse.

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Do I dare say, it’s my wildest one yet? Oh yes it is! I can’t wait to show you all what I have done to make it extra special.
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As the day at Zephyr and picture taking of new designs winds down, this is the last sunset shot you will have to look at until you too are up at Zephyr Point and can experience them for yourself!!

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Sandra, Christine, and I are working hard these last days before the retreat, to make each of our workshops something special. We can’t wait to meet you all in person.No more posts until September 18th. Please visit my blog: designsbyheidi.wordpress.com for information on a NEW pattern. Rafiki! (it means “friend” in Swahili).

We’ll see you soon for, creativity,fun, and friendships. Hugs, Heidi

Thanksgiving at Heidi’s House…

 

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Home made Cranberry Sauce. It’s the yummiest! The COLORS of the berries, AMAZING!

DSC_0345My Thanksgiving table is eclectic. I am using what I have and spending very little $ on any decorations, or if I do buy they must all serve dual purposes, just like my quilting/clothing techniques that I teach.

DSC_0318 What are these? My napkins of course. Years and years ago I made one dozen linen napkins (the perfect amount then), I now need one dozen more! That ain’t happenin’ so I go every other and mix them with vintage linen.

DSC_0322Jacquard paints are perfect. Collect leaves in early fall while still green. Paint the BACK side of the leaf with several colors and press it to the right side of the napkin. Heat set. DSC_0326

Tablecloths, look for bargains on washable home decorating fabrics. 54″ wide, perfect.

DSC_0338 DSC_0349For a unifying effect with all the eclectic, pinecones (from Zephyr Point of course), chargers under each plate, and loose fresh cranberries run the length of all the tables.

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I’m ready! Much to be thankful for this year! Hugs, Heidi

 

“Polished and Published”!

Artistic Alchemy. Here are some of our latest accomplishments in the publishing world. We are all honored to have been chosen to represent all these fine publications.

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Heidi Emmett: Modern Patchwork. The above issue is Spring 2014. In this issue Heidi has designed a unique, “Quilted Summer Backpack”.  She had fun using bungee cords for straps and using the “quilt as you go” method in the sewing of it.

Apr-May14cover_issue 68 Sandra Bruce: In this issue of Quilting Arts, March/April 2014, Sandra shows us her “Material Matrix” in a featured article. Many of her quilts are shown. Material Matrix, what an art inspired approach to quilt making.

Modern Patchwork cover for AA post

Christine Barnes: In this Winter issue 2013/2014 issue of Modern Patchwork, Christine has a project for a wall quilt titled “Urban Ombre”. It’s a stunning example of Christine’s use of color in her quilts.

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 Sharon Alves: This full sized quilt (only the center is visible, see Sharon’s website or one of her past posts here, for a full view) is aptly named: Fyrewrks I. Sharon’s quilts look intricate at first glance but, using her own paper-piecing method, go together easily. This quilt is featured in an article that Christine wrote in McCalls Quilting Magazine.

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More works from all of us are soon to be published. Come to Zephyr Point and enjoy the creative energy! We have a space waiting for YOU!