Will I See You Here?

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Spring Blooms #6 by Laura Wasilowski

If you are in the great state of Texas, please stop in and see me at the Artfabrik booth at the Dallas Quilt Show. You’ll find a bunch of hand-dyed fabrics and threads and small quilts like this one for sale. When I’m not in the booth (#338) they are letting me give lectures where I get to tell stories and sing. Hope y’all can make it!

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!

What to Do with Cheesecloth

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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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Quiet? I Think Not!

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See us at booth #914 in Houston.

Some of you may be wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately. You’ve seen fewer blog posts and not many projects underway. This may be the problem: the International Quilt Festival in Houston TX next week.

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Hand-dyed silk for the Artfabrik booth.

Preparing for this show is very time consuming. I have fabric and thread to dye for our Artfabrik/Friestyle booth at the show (#914) and I’m preparing to teach 3 classes there too. Add that to my fall teaching schedule and there is just no time to tend to things like blogs or housework. (Like I would do housework anyway!)

But I’m happy to say all the fabric for the booth is shipped. Most of the class kit preparations is complete and I can now focus on fun. Hope to see you there!

Rejection: A 12 Step Program for You

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Songbird #5 by Laura Wasilowski (REJECTED!)

Two decades ago I made a list of how to deal with rejection when entering quilt shows. And to this day I still get the dreaded rejection letter. REJECTED I tell you! But do I feel rejected? No! I am as happy as a little bird flying home for the night. How did I get this optimistic point of view? I follow this 12 -Step Rejection Recovery Program:

1. Burn the rejection notice.  Rip it up into tiny little pieces and light a match.  As the bad news goes up in flames chant, “There are no bad quilts, just bad eyesight.”

2. Have a day of mourning.  Drape the quilt in black ribbons and remember the good times: cutting the fabric, fusing the little pieces together, and binding the quilt while watching soap operas.  Those were the days.

3. Have a good cry.  Use newly purchased fabric from your local quilt shop to dry your tears.

4. Get a tattoo.  My friend Frieda’s tattoo says, “I love my quilts!”  Make sure to get large type so you can still read it at age 90.

5. Document the entry fees as charitable donations on your tax forms.  Consider yourself a patron of the arts and get a refund as well.

6. Write a tune of lament like my song “Everybody Gets Rejected Sometime”.  I like a song you can dance to or at least shake you fists.

7. Eat chocolate.  The smell of baking brownies always calms me down.  Once I eat a pan-full of gooey chocolate goodies, hurtful memories are completely erased.

8. Complain to your friends.  There is nothing like a good rant to cheer you up.  Make audacious claims of incompetence in the quilt judging system, the crazier the better.

9. Consider a new occupation.  I, for instance, pursued my dream to be a rocket scientist.  Then I realized I was on the wrong trajectory and returned to earth.

10. Buy the quilt show.  If you own the quilt show you can have your quilts on display any time.  Award yourself prizes.

11. Hang the rejected quilt in a prominent spot in your home. Kiss it every morning, pat it on the binding, and tell it how pretty it is.

12. Make a new quilt.  Make something cheerful and colorful like this Songbird returning home. And just like a little bird in flight, you too will be happy.