First House Complete! And a Winner

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Coming Home #1 by Laura Wasilowski

My first house quilt of 2015 is complete!

It was so great being in the studio for an uninterrupted week’s worth of art making that I am calling it Coming Home. And in celebration of have a full week of fun, I’m giving away a bag of fused fabric scraps to a lucky commenter from Friday. The winner is: Kara. Have fun Kara!

Want to Play? Free on Friday!

scraps3I’m not sure if scraps is a worthy name for this pile of lovely fused fabric bits. Let’s call them colorful chips of inspiration instead. For the past week I’ve been playing with these fused fabric scraps…er…. colorful chips of inspiration and been having way too much fun!

house6Here you see the first house quilt of 2015 in mid-construction. With those left over chips of fused color, it goes together rapidly and soon will be ready to stitch!

Want to play with my fabrics too? Then leave a comment today on the blog. You may win your own set of pre-fused fabric scraps…..er….colorful chips of inspiration!

Studio (Assembly Line ) Work

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Illinois Trees #16 (14″ x 14″) by Laura Wasilowski

This quilt has been in the works for a long time and finally it’s finished! It was stuck in my assembly line. Assembly line, you ask? Yes, here’s my method of creating small art pieces: make several fused quilt tops; add hand stitchery to them one by one over a series of weeks; and then quilt and bind them in one stint at the sewing machine. Like an assembly line, right?

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A detail of the hand stitching before the machine quilting is added.

Illinois Trees #16 was held up in the assembly line because it was used as an example of how to add a fused binding. For those of you in my Sketch It, Fuse It, Quilt It class, you’ll see it quickly being bound in the last lesson. Then it took 2 months to get the machine blanket stitch around the edge!

Tiny Homes – Guest Artist

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Tiny Home by Kay.

One of my favorite classes to teach is called Tiny Homes. This class includes collage building and lots of improvisation. Here you see Kay’s quilt made in recent workshop. Notice the collages on the ground all that glorious hand stitching. This is terrific, Kay!

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Stitch detail of Kay’s quilt.

I love it when my students send me photos of their completed work and I’d love to have you be one of my students! Join me at my next Tiny Homes class at the Denver National Quilt Festival. Can’t wait! Hope to see you there.

I Love a Good Book- Guest Artist

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Decadence by Amy Stewart Winsor

To rest my weary bones after a day in the studio I like to check out a good book. You may want to check out this new book too. It’s from Amy Stewart Winsor and is called Frazzled Fancies Quilts. Above is the quilt on the cover. Isn’t it fun? (Some of the block are hand stitched with my hand-dyed threads!)

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Home Fires by Amy Stewart Winsor

Frazzled Fancies Quilts has patterns for 6 quilts made from dressy and unusual fabrics. You can use family heirloom fabrics like wedding lace, dresses from your childhood, plus unusual materials like Easter basket grass and Tyvek envelopes. The hand embellishment and beading add to the texture and color too. Congratulations, Amy, on your new book!

On Being Creative

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This is what my fusing table looked like before I became creative.

You know what it’s like when you’re in creative gear right? You blank out everything else, concentrate on what you’re making, and may even forget to eat while making art. (Best diet ever!) That’s what I’m hoping to tap into this week.

Here’s how to set yourself up for creating new art work:

  • First, have a studio. This space is set aside just for creative endeavors. No need to clear away a table for dinner or shift artwork to prepare tax forms.  All your tools and materials are at hand.
  • The studio is quiet. There is no music playing, no texting on the phone, and no reading email. Silence reigns. Or, if you like music, music reigns. But no other distractions are allowed.
  • Guilt is banished from the studio. This is play time and nothing is allowed to interrupt, especially guilt. Feeling guilty about being a creative person is firmly shunted aside. As an artist, your “play” time is really your “work” time.
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This is what my fusing table looks like now.

What do you do to set the mood for creativity? Are you a silence or music lover? Later this week I hope to have something to show from the studio. But for now I’m off to play/work!