Free-motion stitching detail, Penelope’s Art, 1995
Believe it or not, at one time I made pieced quilts. And soon discovered that I was no good at it. Then I discovered pictorial quilts made with fusing. Yipee! I also realized that free-motion machine stitching looked best on that type of quilt. So around 1993 I started to learn how to do free motion stitching on my sewing machine.
Free-motion stitching detail, Blue Chip Chair, 2005
About 10 years later, I finally perfected one stitch pattern, the MEMEME. Or so I thought. Sure my stitches were inconsistent in length and jumped all over the place. But the MEMEME was so usable on pictorial quilts with all those odd shapes and nooks and crannies.
Free- motion stitching detail, Color Chip Collage #6, 2015
About 20 years after first attaching a free-motion foot to my sewing machine, I’m still trying to figure it out. My friend Frieda says it’s practice, practice, practice. I say if I don’t see any improvement in the next 10 years, I’m giving up.
You need to check out Beck Goldsmith’s new book: The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color. It is beautiful!
Five Sisters by Laura Wasilowski
She was nice enough to mention one of my quilts in the book, Five Sisters. On page 23 she discusses fabrics that are Textured Solids. Oh my, what is that you ask? You’ll have to read the book!
No, I’ll give you a break. Becky says this about a textured solids in her book:
Textured solids look solid from a distance……Only as you get closer do you see the details…. Single-color, mottled hand-dyes and batiks are another kind of textured solid. They have a fluid visual texture without a distinctive pattern…..Art quilters often create amazing quilts by using solids and textured solids much as they would paint.
She also says I’m an “expert” at this. Who knew!
Jane Michalski hard at work in her studio.
It’s so enlightening to see how others make their art. Recently I visited Jane Michalski’s studio in Chicago. Jane makes beautiful encaustic art. Like us fabric fusers, Jane is fusing too, only with hot bees wax, resin, and pigment. Imagine working with a heat gun and electric skillet to create your art work. She is amazing and so is her art!
Hot wax and pigment ready to paint in Jane’s studio.
After a studio tour, Jane gave use an informative demonstration on how she makes her encaustic art. It was fascinating and a great learning experience. Thanks Jane for sharing your work with us! Check out Jane’s website here. Hint: if you click on the artwork you’ll see the next piece of art.
Jean Wells and Laura Wasilowski
Are you heading out to Sisters, Oregon, too? Sisters is the home of the largest outdoor quilt festival in the nation called Quilters Affair. It is also the location of the most fun I’ve ever had in Oregon. The whole thing began with Jean Wells.
Jean, a resident of Sisters and founder of the Quilter’s Affair, and her daughter Valori Wells Kennedy bring in quilt instructors from around the world to teach at this week long event. Here you see a couple of my buddies after a fine meal at Jean’s house last year.
Three Sisters Mountains on the horizon.
It is so wonderful to be in this beautiful setting near the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and to be with people who love what they do. Hope to see you there!
Moroccan Tiles (detail) by Laura O of Texas.
Here is more bobbin work from my friend Laura of Texas. Good heavens the woman is prolific! She made these tiles by using our Size 5 Pearl Cotton Thread and stitching on the wrong side of the fabric tiles. (You can learn more about how to use our hand-dyed thread here.)
Moroccan Tiles (30″ x 30″ by Laura O of Texas.
Laura joined the tiles together to make this stunning wall hanging for an exhibit at her local arts center. Isn’t it terrific? Thank you Laura for show us your beautiful art!
It’s true. You can teach an old dog new tricks!
My friend, Catherine Redford, has a new DVD class from Interweave called Modern Machine Quilting. I’ve watched it and learned so much about stitching parallel straight lines, undulating curves, spirals, serpentines, grids, and more.
Catherine Redford, an expert at stitching modern quilts.
With Catherine’s expert guidance, you’ll learn how to:
• Master the walking foot to create even, straight, and curved quilting designs
• Create gridded quilting patterns, including straight grids and plaids, all without
marking the quilt top
• Add texture and interest with perfect square and round spirals
• Finish your quilts with professional results.