Zen and the Art of Quilting

marymzenAt the end of each class I teach my students are reminded to send me photos of their completed projects. And here is a beautiful example by Mary. Mary attended my Zen Doodle Quilts class at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts near Cedarburg WI recently. Her hand embroidery is lovely and she really did a great job of adding machine quilting to finish it up. Thanks for sharing your work Mary!

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The Big Sort

studio6This is my studio….. on a good day. Note how the well organized quilts are, rolled up on tubes and stacked in a cupboard alphabetically. Or not. Lets be honest. Most often I just throw them in the cupboard to the get them out of the way. And then when it comes time to prepare them for an exhibit I can’t find them and tear my hair out. 

Guess it’s time for the Big Sort.

quiltsforexhibitAfter 2 hours of quilt wrangling, I’ve sorted out the ones to set aside for the exhibit Natural Born Quilters. Famous quilters Emily Parson and Frieda Anderson and infamous quilter, myself, are having this special exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. So glad I found them all!

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Wool Stitching Class Anyone?

woolandthreadDid you know that I am a peripatetic teacher? Yes, and soon my travels will take me to Daytona FL for the AQS Show. Let the packing begin! Here you see the wool and threads that are part of the kit for my Free-Stitched Wool Embroidery class.

woolbird18Each student gets all the necessary items needed to make something like this charming bird with “Birdsonality”. They will design their own work fort he wool fabric and determine their own stitches. Can’t wait to see what they make!

Spring: Fact or Fiction?

grantwood

Young Corn (1931) by Grant Wood at the Art Institute of Chicago

Here is Illinois the weather has been unusually sunny, warm, and very Spring-like. Now as a hardy mid-westerner I know this can not last. But as an optimist, I can image it lasting forever. And that is why I love this painting by Grant Wood called Young Corn. It is a lovely ode to the promise of the greening of Spring.

greenfabricWhich leads me to collecting this set of green fabrics. It’s time to construct something fresh with lots of green fields and the promise of Spring. Wonder what it will be.

In Search of Purple

purpledyeI dye fabric with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes and rely upon consistent dye formulas made by the manufacturers. But if they no longer make a certain dye color or change the formula, then my colorways must change too.

spiceroad

The famous Spice Road.

That is what happened with a purple dye that I used for years dyeing such wonderful colorways as Avocado Squash, Black Orchid, and the famous Spice Road. The search for a replacement purple is on meaning that my threads and fabric colorways will change slightly. Stay tuned. I’ll try to update the colorways in the Artfabrik Store as soon as I can.

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What to Do with Cheesecloth

smallworld7

Small World #7   by Laura Wasilowski

One of the more unusual things I dye is cheesecloth. Lately I’ve been dyeing it for the April IQF Chicago and AQS Paducah shows. You may well ask “how do you use this loosely woven fabric in your fused art work, Laura?” Thank you for asking. I use it for texture. Here you see it as the sun in the sky. Don’t you love that checkered texture?

Here’s how to prepare cheesecloth for fusing:

cheesecloth11. Apply fusible web to one layer of the cheesecloth. I recommend Misty Fuse, a light weight fusible web that won’t clog up the gaps in the cheesecloth with glue as much as other fusible webs. Use parchment paper to transfer the glue to the fabric.

cheesecloth22. After the fabric cools, remove the parchment paper. Place the fabric back on the parchment paper and fold and squish the cheesecloth as much as you want.

cheesecloth33. Apply another piece of parchment paper to the top of the fabric so it is in a sandwich of paper. Fuse the folds in place using a hot iron.

cheesecloth44. After it cools remove the papers from the cheesecloth. cheesecloth5a5. Cut the cheesecloth into shapes or place the whole piece onto another fabric background. Cover it with parchment paper and fuse into place. Isn’t that texture terrific?

You can see all the colors we have in stock at the shows. Give it a try!

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