Review of Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy DVD Workshop with Lyric Kinard

April 29th, 2015

Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy DVD with Lyric KinardI was happy to be asked to review the latest DVD from talented fiber artist Lyric Kinard, who is sponsoring a blog hop around the release of her latest DVD, Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy.

Artistic Artifacts participated in the Row by Row experience last year (and will do so again for 2015), and our row design for 2014 used Thermofax screens designed by Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson of PG Fiber2Art to create blocks that were combined with wonky strip piecing. I really wish we had Lyric’s DVD then!

I appreciate that Lyric does not assume that everyone knows what a Thermofax screen is and how it is created. It always seemed so mysterious, as if you needed a secret password to be granted access or otherwise you would never know how to print with Thermofax screens. During Row by Row we met so many customers who were very curious about the process, but intimidated. When we demonstrated screen printing techniques with the PG Fiber2Art Thermofax screens used in our row, they were amazed! I can’t help but imagine how impressed they would be watching this new DVD.

Thermofax 101 gives you a thorough education about the entire process, explaining it so well. As seen in other DVDs produced by Lyric, you feel that you are having a personal workshop in her studio. Very friendly and real! I love that she dropped paint on her fabric and then told us how she would hide it!

Supplies used during Thermofax Printing with PG Fiber2Art class April 25, 2015 at Artistic Artifacts

Supplies used during Thermofax Printing with PG Fiber2Art class April 25, 2015 at Artistic Artifacts

Lyric begins by demystifying Thermofax screens and production, and then moves onto creating successful imagery for Thermofax screens. I found this portion very interesting, and can’t wait to create my own imagery for custom screens.

Next the DVD moves onto actually printing with Thermofax screens using paint, discharge or foil adhesive. Lyric includes discussions about why to use fabric paint, squeegee and other tools, and the important information about the care of screens. I can appreciate Lyric explaining the differences between the two sides of the screen… I can tell you from experience that I have had to toss a few screens out due to not cleaning or drying them correctly! We have a Use and Care of Thermofax Screens web page (compiled by PG Fiber2Art) and include links to some of Lyric’s instructional YouTube videos.

The last section is about designing your cloth. This includes great color theory and layout information for any level of fiber artist as well as helpful suggestions on pattern movement and color choices. I found it interesting how Lyric played off the different types of paint —transparent versus opaque — in the layers of pattern, and her use of extender mediums.

Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson of PG Fiber2Art teach Thermofax printing at Artistic Artifacts on April 25, 2015

Luckily for Artistic Artifacts, we offer fiber and mixed media classes at the shop and regularly schedule Thermofax Printing (most recently on Saturday, April 25; the photos here are from that class) with Susan and Elizabeth of PG Fiber2Art, who will be the blog hop authors on Friday, May 1st (see below). Their next class with us is on Saturday, June 6, Turn Your Photos into Thermofax Screens.

Win a Copy of Lyric’s DVD!

Win your own copy of Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy by Lyric Kinard! Simply leave me a comment on this posting answering the following question: What imagery would you reproduce for your own custom Thermofax screen? We will post the winner by the close of business on Monday, May 4, so check back with us then.

You can see what other art quilters and fiber artists (including Jane Dávila, who is on the faculty with me at the Quilters Unlimited 42nd Annual Quilt Show the end of May) participating in this blog hop are saying about the Thermofax 101 DVD by visiting the links below.

Everyone listed here is giving away a copy of the DVD, courtesy of Lyric herself, so visit and comment on each blog to increase your chances of winning! (Don’t want to leave it up to fate? Purchase your copy of the DVD today!)

Visit YouTube for a quick tour of the DVD by Lyric herself.

Student working during Thermofax Printing with PG Fiber2Art class April 25, 2015 at Artistic Artifacts

Student working during Thermofax Printing with PG Fiber2Art class April 25, 2015 at Artistic Artifacts

About Lyric: Lyric Montgomery Kinard is the author of the book Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises and has written extensively for Quilting Arts magazine, appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has two previous DVD Workshops, Surface Design Sampler Platter, and Bead It Like You Mean It. She was recognized for her talents as the 2011 International Association of Professional Quilters Teacher of the Year. As an artist, author, and educator she transforms cloth into art in her studio and timid spirits into confident creatives in the classroom.

My MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media Submission — Deadline this Weekend!

April 22nd, 2015

Two Men on a Bench art quilt by Judy Gula -- click for large view

As previously mentioned, next month MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media, a collaboration between Artistic Artifacts and Del Ray Artisans Gallery, takes place. This juried exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, May 1st and closes May 31. The exhibit promises to “shake up” the imagination and explore the mixed media art movement!

During this month-long exhibit Del Ray Artisans and Artistic Artifacts are also offering workshops and classes for anyone interested in mixed media. Visit our website for a full list!

The deadline to submit artwork is quickly approaching:

  • Artwork (created by combining two or more mediums) submissions/drop-off/receiving takes place Sunday, April 26 and Monday, April 27 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Artists are responsible for drop-off/pick-up arrangements; remember your completed entry form.
  • All work must be original (no reproductions) and not previously exhibited in a Del Ray Artisans show.
  • Artists may submit up to 3 pieces of artwork. Entry fee is $5 per piece for Del Ray Artisans Members and $10 per piece for Non-Members. Entry fees are non-refundable. Insurance for any artwork is the responsibility of the artist.
  • Your art must be ready to hang or display with wire and screw eyes, mounting and/or display stand, framed, matted, or with edges finished.
  • Artwork that is not accepted for this exhibit can be picked up Tuesday April 28 & Wednesday, April 29 from 6:00-8:00 pm.

I am serving as a Curator along with Karen Schmitz, a contemporary painter, mixed media and monotype artist. As a former Del Ray Artisans Gallery Director, she has curated numerous exhibits and events. The MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media juror is Rosalie Lamanna, owner of Beads Ltd in Alexandria and a very talented quilter, jewelry artist and much more.

But in addition to my curator role, of course I want to enter a piece in the show as well. I selected the one pictured at the beginning of this post (click on the photo for a larger view).

You have heard me say, many a time, that I love vintage textiles… and you know I try to incorporate them into my artwork as often as I can, especially combined with vintage photos. Those I am also very fond of!

Detail, Two Men on a Bench art quilt by Judy GulaThis mixed media art quilt began with an amazing vintage photo of two men; I’d love to claim them, but they are not my ancestors… but dapper all the same. I loved their pose on a bench, and the rolling painted landscape background.

Detail, Two Men on a Bench art quilt by Judy GulaI scanned the photo into my computer and printed it on a sheet of EQ Printables Premium Cotton Lawn Inkjet Fabric, added a border and stitching. The layer below the photo is another quilt, over which I added a piece of vintage lace. I sewed the bordered photo to this, and I originally thought I was only going to add a sleeve. But I wasn’t happy with the results. So, as I often advise, I sat on it for awhile to puzzle out a solution.

By luck I found a vintage suitcase that included an interior divider that turned out to be perfect! Antique collectors might cringe, but I cut the divider right out of that suitcase with a packing knife, leaving the raw, cut edge intact.

While I was at first surprised to see the brass rod on the suitcase divider, I found it perfect to hang vintage items and bits of ephemera; things I thought my gentlemen might have in their pockets.

Before mounting the assemblage to the suitcase divider, I added the bone buttons and bits of blue lace. I attached the quilt to the divider at the same time I hand stitched the rust trim to the quilt.

Detail, Two Men on a Bench art quilt by Judy GulaI have a few days yet…I still have to figure out how to hang this piece in time to submit to the show. As noted above, all submissions must be ready to hang or mount. Del Ray Artisans has prepared Artwork Presentation and Submission Guidelines to help you ensure that your work is neatly finshed and properly prepared for display. If your work is well-executed but poorly presented, it risks rejection as unprofessional.

Del Ray Artisans Gallery is located at 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, VA.If you are accepted as an artist, you volunteer as a gallery host and/or volunteer with postcard distribution, set-up, hanging, opening/closing receptions and/or take down.

Get inspiration by going to the Facebook page: MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media.

Download the MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media Call for Entry PDF »

Quilt Projects Completed at Retreat

April 15th, 2015

For the first time in far too many years, I treated myself to some time away from work this past weekend to attend the retreat my quilting guild (the Burke chapter of Quilter’s Unlimited of Northern Virginia) plans each year. I went with a number of projects in mind, and was delighted to finish quite a lot!

One of Judy Gula's completed Black & White & Bold All Over art quilts

I began with the task of finishing off some of the arts quilts that were used to demonstrate steps with when teaching recently at Art & Soul Portland. I am happy to announce that I will be teaching this Black & White & Bold All Over class, as well as my Vintage Hankie Quilt, at this year’s Quilter’s Unlimited Annual Quilt Show, taking place May 29-31 in Chantilly, VA (classes start Thursday, May 28). I’m delighted to be joining nationally known teachers Jane Dávila,
Dominique Ehrmann,
Gyleen Fitzgerald and
Cyndi Souder as the faculty for a really exciting lineup of classes.

An aside to my readers from out of town: this is really a show worth traveling for! In addition to the amazing slate of classes planned (open to all), you will see more than 400 quilts, plus the entire FiberBeatles art quilts collection will be on display in a special exhibit, and there is wonderful shopping from top vendors from around the country. Visitors consistently rate it one of the best quilt shows on the East Coast, so I hope you will join us!

After finishing the free motion stitching, I went to work on long-planned projects that used batik panels from our Batik Tambal line. Here I will be showing you some work from renowned batik artist Mahyar, has a very specific color and design aesthetic.

When I work with Indonesian batik panels, my go-to arrangement is to use complementary batik fabrics and create several strip borders. There are several reasons for this:

  • First: I prefer simple clean lines, simple borders or log cabin construction.
  • Second: I do not have a wide knowledge of quilt block construction- I never learned traditional quilting and thus can’t pull off several blocks the same size.
  • And while I sometimes think that my borders should be more complex (including pieced blocks or the like), but in these instances it’s important is to direct attention to the artistry in the panel.

Working with panels by Mahyar is one of those times where simple is better. All told I created three different quilt tops using different Mahyar panels, and in the coming weeks I will show you each and how I finished them.

Selecting fabrics to use with the Mahyar batik panel

My first step is to pull fabrics that I think will enhance the panel. I always advise pulling more than you think you will need or use, and to vary the light and darks.

Batik panel by Mahyer

Above, this is the first panel that I chose to work with. I thought this panel would make a great housewarming gift. I can think of several other ways to use this, maybe even in a traditional house block? This time, I chose to cut it up.

Batik panel by Mahyer, cut for use in a quilt

And that was difficult to do! (It may have taken me the longest amount of time all retreat!) Now what?

Working in strips, Mayher panel quilt

Above, I began working with the three pieces as individual blocks that I would eventually sew back together. Below, my first attempt at piecing it all together.

First version, Mahyer panel art quilt by Judy Gula

This was my first “Finished” pause. There is a lot of color and pattern in this, but the panels are not the focus. Usually I do not “unsew,” but this time I did, removing the blue border. I reduced the size of the orange and white fabric down the near middle (I measured, because I did not want that strip to be in the exact center) and the turquoise on the left.

Revised version, Mahyer panel art quilt by Judy Gula

Above, can you see the difference after the trimming? I see the panel details again that were lost in the top option. And it’s a good thing I like this one better, because I cut the fabric! There was no going back.

This is as far as I have gotten at the moment, my plan is to free motion stitch it, including a repeat of the tree pattern out into the blue border.

By challenging myself, I hope to challenge you to create using panels and a new way.

Check back for additional blog postings to see how these progress! And plan to visit the QU Show!

Plus, a reminder to anyone who is local or who will be in the area this Sunday: it’s our monthly JAMs meeting. Kathie Barrus will be giving a presentation/demo on PanPastels, and in addition to our usual ATC exchange it is our quarterly art paper doll exchange. And for all of us who have bought entire packages of decorative napkins to use one for collage, bring in your extras…we’ll have a one-to-one exchange where you can go home with a new stash while passing your duplicates along! Our group is open to anyone interested — please use to contact us about your interest, or to RSVP for each monthly meeting.

Mola Inspired Fabric for The Printed Fabric Bee

April 8th, 2015

Mola inspired fabric by Judy Gula

Recently I posted about trying to catch up with my colleagues at The Printed Fabric Bee…and I’m still trying! This group of 12 surface design enthusiasts designates one member each month to serve as the “Queen Bee,” who gets to select a theme and colors for her fabric collection. The result is an original and eclectic collection of fabrics for the Queen, but also to one lucky blog reader, who will win a collection of 6-inch squares of the handcrafted fabrics!

This month the Queen was Julie Booth, and her theme was Molas, a textile art form that I really love. We have a few vintage molas available for purchase in the shop, and pictured at the end of this posting is a mola art quilt I made.

Julie writes, “I’m attracted to the symmetry, the contrast and bright colors and also the playfulness and mastery of the technique.” Her requirements were red, black and other bright mola colors.

I began with an orangey-coral solid fabric, and in addition to the red and black, I selected a bright blue to contrast with my base fabric. I used the TCW399 Switchback stencil from The Crafter’s Workshop for the pattern, as I thought it evoked the look and feel of molas, a layered, reverse applique technique was developed by the Kuna Indians.

Detail, mola-inspired fabric designed by Judy Gula

I usually apply fabric paint through a stencil with a sponge and a pouncing motion, but for this fabric I used a brush to create my alternating rows of color. You can see several spots where I didn’t have the crisp control I was hoping for. At first this upset me, but then I started viewing it as indicative of the handmade nature of molas. They are never perfectly straight and even; they have the quirks of the fabric and the stitching that give them their charm.

Left, a vintage Mola from Artistic Artifacts, right, fabric designed by Judy Gula

Left, a vintage Mola from Artistic Artifacts, right, fabric designed by Judy Gula

Julie is the author of Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects and an incredibly talented surface design artist. We will be welcoming her back to Artistic Artifacts with her 2-Day Fabric Printing at Home: A Kitchen Sampler workshop, taking place on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19. I can personally vouch for this amazing experience! We all learned so much and had so much fun learning Julie’s surface design techniques. Don’t miss this class!

Enter to Win!

For your chance to win the 6-inch square collection of fabrics, leave a comment on Julie’s blog posting, or do so at The Printed Fabric Bee blog. Your comment must be posted by midnight Eastern USA time on April 14th to leave your comment (I love hearing from you, but to win, your comment must be on either of those two blogs, not mine). Julie will be choosing a winner on Wednesday, April 15. As she pointed out, that will really be cheering news on Tax Day!

Fish Mola Art Quilt by Judy Gula

Free Spring Ephemera Downloads

April 1st, 2015

As a celebration of the coming Easter holiday, and the arrival of spring, I wanted to offer my friends and customers these ephemera downloads to use in your fiber and mixed media projects.

To download, click on the image to bring up its full-size version, then right-click (or click and hold on a Mac) and save the high resolution JPG to your computer.

Taylor's Premium Cologne trade advertising card — click for full size download

Taylor's Premium Cologne trade advertising card — click for full size download

The Woolson's Spice Company's Easter Greeting trade advertising card — click for full size download

The Woolson's Spice Company's Easter Greeting trade advertising card — click for full size download

These are selections from my large — and ever-growing — collection of vintage postcards and advertising trade cards. When I come across beautiful examples at estate and yard sales, I just can’t resist them!

As those of you who know my work are aware, I love to print these vintage images onto fabric and build an art quilt around them, or create fabric postcards or Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I print my image straight onto fabric using products designed for use with your home printer, or use Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) to transfer onto Lutradur, and then match it up with new or vintage fabric, trims and embellishments, and start stitching!

If you are traveling for spring break or to visit family or friends this weekend, I wish you safe travels and warm spring weather. (With the kind of winter we’ve had, which has hung on so long here on the East Coast), that last is no guarantee, I know!)

About Advertising Trade Cards

The following is excerpted from “Brief History of Trade Cards” by Ben Crane from The Trade Card Place. The invention and popularization of color lithography meant that advertising trade cards became plentiful and by the 1880s, they had become a dominant method of advertising products and services. “A trip to the store usually brought back some of these attractive, brightly colored cards to be pasted into a scrapbook… Some of the products most heavily advertised by trade cards were in the categories of: medicine, food, tobacco, clothing, household, sewing, stoves, and farm. The popularity of trade cards peaked around 1890, and then almost completely faded by the early 1900s when other forms of advertising in color, such as magazines, became more cost effective.”

Catching Up with the Queen Bees

March 25th, 2015

As per last week’s blog posting, I have been running around the country, and to even write this meant sitting down for a break from packing for the Empire Guild show in New York City this weekend! With all that travel, keeping up with the monthly assignments from Printed Fabric Bee (a collaboration of professional textiles artists printing fabric collections for each other) has been difficult at best. Each month a member of the “Hive” chooses a theme, making her the “Queen Bee,” and we all create a piece of fabric based on her choices.

I’m so fortunate that the other members of the Bee have been so understanding. While I was at Art and Soul in Portland, Oregon, Liz Kettle taught a mono printing class using Gelli Plates as one of the tools. Ruth Chandler was kind enough to mind the store for me during lunch so that I could print while the students were out of the classroom. Included here are two of the fabrics that I owe the bee.

The February theme was Petroglyphs, selected by Queen Bee Lynda Heines. She first fell in love with this type of art a few years ago when she vacationed with her husband in the Southwest. She requested fabrics in turquoise and orange.

Petroglyph theme fabric by Judy Gula

This Petroglyph theme was the most difficult for me…someone purchased the last of the skeleton fish wooden printing block I had had my eye on, so then I felt I could not come up with anything. Finally I picked up our Primitive Horse. I used a brayer to mix several brown shades of textile paint to coverthe Gelli Arts™ Gel Printing Plate, then I stamped on the paint with the horse block, which removed most of the paint and left a negative image. I repeated this several times to create a large cloth.

That alone was pretty boring, so I added scribbles of blue paint with a syringe. I need some more pratice with that method, as I kept ending up with too much paint. The orangey-red is a Nautilus shell stamp.

detail, Petroglyph theme fabric by Judy Gula

Close up (above) it looks a little better. I am not 100% happy with this fabric, but sometimes, you just have to call a project done. I do think the horse evokes Petroglyph carvings, and the varying texture of the browns seems like a cave or cliff wall.

Printed Fabric Bee member Carol R. Eaton has a few days left in her reign as the Queen Bee for March, and noted that it was easy for her to decide on a theme. “Nature is my biggest influence when dyeing fabrics and designing wall art,” she writes. “The colors, textures, smells and sounds are unique and endless. I was imagining what a view of the forest floor would be from the vantage point of a bird or maybe a squirrel leaping from branch to branch in the tall trees.” Carol did not offer color suggestions gave each of us free range to interpret her Forest Floor theme.

Forest Floor theme fabric by Judy Gula

This one came easier to me, and I’m happier with the final result too (complete fabric above). The background was created by brayering on several shades of green textile paint to a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate. I pressed a swatch of textured wallpaper to create the gridded background, which is visible in the below view.

Forest Floor theme fabric by Judy Gula

The next layer was created using the 4 Ferns (TCW414) stencil from The Crafters Workshop two ways. First, I placed it onto the Gelli Plate and brayered paint over it. The stencil was then lifted off, and I rubbed the excess paint coating the stencil onto the fabric. Then the fabric was placed onto the gelli plate and brayered to pick up the fern images left by the stencil. So the stencil was used both positively and negatively…plus you don’t waste paint! This photo shows those options.

Fern stencil used as a positive and negative image

The extra pops of color and bit of brown added with a brayer. Another detail shot is below; all together I love how the layers look like the plant and leaf strewn ground you find underneath trees.

Detail, Forest Floor fabric by Judy Gula

‘Tis the Season

March 18th, 2015

Tis the Season… We normally associate this headline with the November/December holiday season. But this season is the Season of Quilt Shows. And like the holidays, we enjoy the happy, excited energy of shows… but (also like the holidays) it can lead to exhaustion!

Australian Aborigine-Designed fabric for sale by Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal

I am frequently asked how many shows per year that Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal exhibit at, and I am never really sure. I guess I could count them… but maybe I don’t want to know?

Those of us who take our businesses on the road really appreciate those of you who come prepared to shop. It makes the difficult work and long hours worth the travel. Fortunately, I have many customers who are very aware of what it takes for a business to participate in shows around the country. If you haven’t thought too much about this subject, may I share?

The first show of the year for us is Road to California in Ontario California in January. I should really begin ordering and pulling product 3 weeks before the show. (I can tell you it never happens.) Ten days before the show, the pallet needs to ship to California from us inVirginia for it to arrive on time. The cost to ship the pallet is $1.00 per pound. I try to ship just 500 lbs, but usually it weighs in at approximately 700 lbs.

The Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal booth at Mid-Atlantic Quilt FestivalWe fly out the day before the set up day, which is a day to set up our booth, usually a 10 x 20 booth. Depending on the show, that size booth can cost between $1,000 –$2,000. The Road to California Show is four days long; most quilt shows run three or four days. The show ends on Sunday, then we have to repack the unsold product and supplies used in the booth onto the pallet and ship back to Virginia. Monday morning we fly back to Virginia, always with some product carried in our luggage. The following week when the pallet arrives back, it’s time to unpack and put the store back together.

The end of February we went through the entire laborious process again for the 26th Annual Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, VA, only this time we also had to prepare and ship a pallet of materials and supplies to Portland , OR for Art & Soul.

And since Hampton had a record 8 inches of snow the first day of the show, I ended up putting on my taxicab hat on… I made six runs from the hotel to the Convention Center to ferry determined attendees when shuttle bus didn’t show up. (Happy to help out, but I had to laugh at the number who assumed I was the official hotel shuttle driver!)

I left Hampton, flew to Portland, and without an extra minute to adjust to the new time zone, began assembling a satellite store in the hotel. Art & Soul

Empire Quilt Guild 2015 Show logoBarely recovered from that, at the end of this month I’m attending the Empire Quilt Guild show in New York City: Urban Inspirations Quilt Show, Under a New Star. This will be the first time I have been a vendor for this show; the original owner of Batik Tambal, Trish Hodge, was a vendor there often, so I am looking forward to continuing the tradition.. The show will be held at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT, which was my dream school!),
right in the heart of the city, 7th Avenue at 28th Street.

If you are close to the city, or lucky enough to plan a trip, it should be a great experience. Paula Nadelstern, whose quilts have been featured internationally, will moderate a panel of experts on Collecting Quilts: How and Why. The show will also feature Barbara Brackman, the renowned and well-loved author of the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, who will discuss the ebb and flow of block patterns, how and why they rise and fade in popularity over time.

The quilt show craziness continues for most businesses until November, with the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Why do we do it? Some days I am not sure! But then the show opens and excited, creative, friendly, wonderful people show up and the day is wonderful!

To end, I would like to offer the following ettiquette for those attending quilt and craft shows.

Quilt/Craft Show DO’s

  • DO bring your patterns, ideas, and fabrics to coordinate with.
  • DO, bring your open mind, creativity and sense of adventure and be willing to listen to new ideas.
  • DO, use some of the space in your tote to bring “show and tell” projects you’ve made using products and materials that you’ve purchased from vendor at previous shows.. I know I love to see what you have created with the materials and supplies that I have gathered for you!
  • DO come by and let me know that you read our newsletter and blog, and that it is helpful!
  • DO come by and let me know that you are a current customer, whether shopping in person in Alexandria, or virtually online..
  • DO, ask before taking any photos of samples on display in a booth. I am usually happy to oblige when it is my own work, but please ask, as I do have other artists’ samples on hand. Know, and respect, that many companies restrict photography of their patterns, which is only fair as they are protected by copyright.

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival attendees

Rebel Quilting at Art & Soul Portland

March 11th, 2015

As you know each year I set up as a “satellite” on-site store for the Art & Soul events that take place in Portland, Oregon and Virginia Beach, VA. I’ve just returned from Portland…and don’t mind admitting I’m tired, as I went there straight from the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival!

Doing two events back to back involves a lot of prep work, packing, travel…it does wear on you! This year in addition to manning the Art & Soul store, I taught Rebel Quilting with Stencils & Fabric, which was a lot of fun…and also served as a great energizer, being around all that creativity and everyone’s passion for their art!

Judy Gula teaching Rebel Quilting at Art & Soul in Portland, OR

The challenge for me was that this class had been originally created by Jamie Fingal, and so when I stepped in, I had to come up with a way to make the class and product my own, while still retaining enough of her work that the students who had registered expecting it would still be happy. I had so much fun I hope to be able to offer this class again!

Student sewing during Rebel Quilting at Art & Soul in Portland, OR

BERNINA USA provided a classroom of machines for Art & Soul… Modern Domestic, a BERNINA Excellence dealer in Portland, Oregon was on hand to set up the classroom and to demonstrate the machines. Art & Soul has focused on increasing the number of fabric and fiber art classes and arranged this sponsored classroom; a wonderful perk for students, as they didn’t have to worry about not owning a sewing machine, or the fuss of traveling with it. (Juki America will be furnishing the sewing machines for Art & Soul in Virginia Beach, VA.)

Student work in progress, Rebel Quilting at Art & Soul in Portland, OR

Shown throughout this posting are a few photos that were taken during the class. You can see everyone ended up with great work!

Student work, Rebel Quilting at Art & Soul in Portland, OR

The results from a class differ for everyone…not just in terms of each student’s talent and personal aesthetic, but in stages of completion. Are you one of those people who always feel like they are the slowest in a class? Or the one who never fails to walk out the door with a completed project? Somewhere in the middle? Able to enjoy your own experience without comparing it to the other people in the class, or secretly feel some stress and competitiveness?

Student work, Rebel Quilting at Art & Soul in Portland, OR

In the classes we hold at Artistic Artifacts, there is always a range. Sometimes a class is more geared toward teaching a technique, such as the this past weekend’s Gelli Printing with Susan Gantz, and next month’s Printing with Thermofax Screens with PG Fiber2Art; in both of those examples you will leave with plenty of prints and swatches for your stash but not necessarily a finished piece of art. (Although many prints end up so beautiful all they would need is a frame or stitching, and yes, they’re done!)

Other classes, such as this past weekend’s Machine-Age Santos with Leslie Brier and her class this weekend, Vintage Beaded Floral Pendant, are project-based, and you are to walk away with a finished product. Or, one that is at least close, and you have learned the skills and techniques necessary to finish it.

Cards by Beverly Hilbert created in Seth Apter’s 52 Card Pickup class

Pictured above are some of the cards Beverly Hilbert, long-time member of JAMs, created in Seth Apter’s 52 Card Pickup class in January. On the left is an example of the cards as she left class…tons of color, texture and background stenciling, but no collaging. The other two, and the examples below, are examples of the continual collage work she has done on them since. (View larger to examine these in more detail.)

Cards by Beverly Hilbert created in Seth Apter’s 52 Card Pickup class

P.S. The next edition of Art & Soul will be in Kansas City, MO, at The Elms Hotel, beginning April 27 and running through May 1. Founder Glenny Moir has assembled the usual roster of talented instructors, including (for the first time) our friend Seth Apter! And this fall you can attend in Virginia Beach, VA at Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, September 28 – October 4, 2015. If you have never treated yourself to a creative retreat, make 2015 the year you do…it is a wonderful way to learn new techniques, meet new people who share your passion, and nuture your soul.

Bali Fish: Recycled Hexie Quilt

March 4th, 2015

Recycled Hexie Quilts: Using Vintage Hexagons in Today’s Quilts

Anyone who knows me knows my love of vintage quilts and textiles…and for repurposing those vintage pieces that might otherwise be discarded or forgotten. One of our greatest champions for both vintage and repurposing is Mary W. Kerr, author of A Quilt Block Challenge: Vintage Revisited, A Quilted Memory, Dare to Dance, Cutting Edge Art Quilts and now her latest, Recycled Hexie Quilts: Using Vintage Hexagons in Today’s Quilts, which we featured in today’s Artistic Artifacts enewsletter.

Mary, an American Quilt Society certified appraiser and an award winning quilter (visit her website to learn more), excels at merging her love of all things vintage with the freedom of expression of art quilts. I have been happy to have participated in serveral of Mary’s projects, and even had some of my quilts published in her books. While at the 26th Annual Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival February 26-March 1 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, VA, we were thrilled to have one of Mary’s quilts in our booth: Bali Fish, pictured below. What a wonderful example of how our batik panels can be combined with other fabrics, designs and traditions!

Bali Fish by Mary Kerr, machine quilted by Shannon Shirley

From Recycled Hexie Quilts: “Bali Fish combines a contemporary batik fish panel with fragments of a mosaic top from the last quarter of the nineteenth century. This partial top was gifted to me in segments, as there was extensive damage in several areas of the textile. After the piece was quilted, I added eyelash trim for a pop of color and to soften the transition between the panel and mosaic top.”

Bali Fish was beautifully machine quilted by Shannon Shirley (see detail below).

Detail, Bali Fish by Mary Kerr, machine quilted by Shannon Shirley

MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media Exhibit Coming this May!

February 25th, 2015

I’m really pleased to formally announce an upcoming collaboration with Del Ray Artisans Gallery: MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media. This juried exhibit will take place May 1-31, 2015 at Del Ray Artisans Gallery, located at 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, VA. Download the Call for Entry PDF »

Combine two or more mediums and shake up your imagination! Mixed media compositions can convey visuals that are quirky, abstract, political, environmental and social. Use paint, wood, fabric, metal, found objects, items from nature and more to create:

Del Ray Artisans Gallery logo

  • Altered Books
  • Art Quilts
  • Assemblages
  • Collages
  • Dolls
  • Fiber Art
  • Jewelry
  • Sculpture
  • Shadowboxes
  • and beyond!

My MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media Co-Curator is Karen Schmitz, a contemporary painter, mixed media and monotype artist. As a former Del Ray Artisans Gallery Director, she has curated numerous exhibits and events. The MIX: Adventures in Mixed Media juror is Rosalie Lamanna, owner of Beads Ltd in Alexandria and a very talented quilter, jewelry artist and much more.

This show is open to any area artist who is interested (some shows at the Gallery are for members only), and we hope to see a lot of submissions from Artistic Artifacts customers and friends, especially from our wonderful Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) members! Artists may submit up to three (3) pieces of work for consideration. The (non-refundable) entry fee is $5 per piece for Del Ray Artisans Members
and $10 per piece for Non-Members.

Visit the Del Ray Artisans Artwork Presentation and Submission Guidelines page for useful guidelines to ensure that your work is neatly finshed and properly prepared for display. Your art must be ready to hang or display with wire and screw eyes, mounting and/or display stand, framed, matted, or with edges finished. If your work is well-executed but poorly presented, it risks rejection as unprofessional.

This exhibit will also be featuring the MIX Marketplace, where participating artists can sell Art-to-Go (selected artworks that can be purchased and taken home immediately by the buyer). Visit the Del Ray Artisans Art-to-Go Marketplace page for details on what type of art is accepted for Art-to-Go, and presentation requirements. The following fees apply:

  • For art priced at $1–$30, the fee is $2 for 5 pieces (10 item limit)
  • For art priced at $31–$70, the fee is $1 each (5 item limit)
  • For art priced at $71 and over, the fee is $2 each (5 item limit)

Start brainstorming your submissions for this exciting exhibit opportunity!

Del Ray Artisans is a nonprofit organization (founded in 1992) with the mission of promoting art for the benefit of artists and the community. It strives to support new and emerging artists and artisans; to develop and foster community based arts activities, events and organizations; to develop and promote the arts as a resource for community outreach and to make more available and accessible to the general public the full range of creative expression and artistic endeavors in the visual, performing and applied arts.