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!

 

Winner Announced

craftsyset11Thank you all for visiting my blog and leaving comments in the past few days. I love hearing from you! The winner of the green batik fabric (perfect for a stylized landscape like the one above) is: Linda G.  Congratulations Linda and may you enjoy that green batik fabric everyone wanted!

Free on Friday- Batik!

We all make choices. Some good. Some not so good. But here’s an important choice I talk about in my new Craftsy Class: what fabric to use.

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Use fabrics where the color goes all the way through.

If you’re making a fused art quilt, pick a fabric where the color goes all the way through the fabric. In raw edge fusing, you see the edges of the fabric. Some printed fabrics are white on the back and when you cut this fabric you’ll see a white edge around each shape you cut. That’s why I stick to hand-dyed or batik or more solid looking fabrics.

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Love that batik fabric with my hand-dyed fabrics.

And that’s why I’m giving away piece of green batik fabric today on my blog. This is the same fabric used in the project quilt for Sketch It, Fuse It, Quilt It Leave a comment and you may be the lucky winner!

What You Need is a Pattern

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You are given a pattern for the landscape quilt in my new Craftsy Class,Sketch It, Fuse It, Quilt It.

You know me, I’m an improviser when it comes to making small little art quilts. No pattern needed; no clue what I’m making. But when it comes to working large, I like a pattern.

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The Craftsy set. Doesn’t the camera look like it’s checking out my sketchbook?

So in my new Craftsy Class, Sketch It, Fuse It, Quilt It I show you how to enlarge your little sketch into a pattern and work large. And just like living large, there’s a whole lot more going on when you make a big art quilt. Here’s why I like a pattern for big quilts:

  • By measuring off the pattern, it helps you estimate how much fabric is needed for the design.
  • You can easily transfer the pattern shapes to fused fabric with the handy dandy Pattern Transfer technique unique to fusing.
  • It helps with alignment and placement of the various collages created for the design.
  • You can use the pattern over and over again or adapt it to new designs.
  • There are probably some other reasons. But I can’t think of anything but living large right now.

 

It Starts with a Sketch

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On the Craftsy set.

Here I am looking cheerful on the Craftsy set. Deceptive, isn’t it? Beneath that ton of makeup, my heart is pounding like a timpani at the grand finale. There are 3 cameras staring at me. And I am about to draw a sketch for a stylized landscape.

sketchbookAfter I take a breath, I launch into my talk about sketching and demo the sketch process. In my new Craftsy Class, Sketch It, Fuse It, Quilt It I explain it all. But for now here’s why you need a sketch when you start your next quilt design:

  • A sketch records ideas. Think of it as your visual memory, a way to document design ideas and file them before they escape to the Land of I Forgot.
  • A sketch helps you plan and rework designs. Paper and pencil are an inexpensive way to test variations of your design idea thus saving time and fabric when you make the art.
  • A sketch can be enlarged and made into a pattern for your design. It gives you all the information you need for placement, scale, and size for the composition.
  • And finally, doodling in your sketchbook is a soothing way to pass the time. It allows you to stay in touch with your creative side while the timpani player looks for his mallets.