The Beauty of Art Dolls

The National Institute of American Doll Artists, NIADA, founded in 1963 with the purpose of promoting the art of the original handmade doll, is hosting its annual Conference and Dollmaking School this week in Old Town Alexandria. Today (Saturday, July 23) and tomorrow there are events open to the public, including Artist Demos at Torpedo Factory Art Center and an Exhibition and Sale. We’ve welcomed some NIADA attendee shoppers this week, and in honor of their event, and our own class next month, Mermaid Art Doll with Leslie Brier, we wanted to share some art dolls that we have on display in the shop, have been made in our classes, or have been shared with us.

Mermaid Art Doll by Leslie Brier

Mixed media artist Leslie Brier’s Mermaid Art Doll class is suitable for both beginning and experienced doll artists. You’ll cover your own soft-bodied doll (Leslie has dolls you can purchase to use if need be) with your choice of a vintage or batik provided kit, plus your own treasures of fabrics, laces, embellishments and trims. See more of Leslie’s art dolls below.

The below mermaid art doll by Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula should be familar to many, as she graces our business card!

Mermaid art doll by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Art doll by Kathlyn J. Aviles

The above was created by Kathlyn J. Avila-Reyes. In 2009 we wrote about hosting an exhibit/sale of Kat’s work…take a look at the wonderful photos from then! Judy couldn’t resist adding the beauty pictured here to her own collection, and she has been a much-admired resident of the shop since then. Look at the amazing detail!

Detail, fiber/beaded art doll by Kathlyn J. Aviles

Earlier this year Kat held a very successful show at the Art League of Alexandria; over time her work has moved away from pure fiber to ceramics but remains absolutely stunning. Visit her website for to view her gallery.

Mary, Star of the Sea by Sharon McDonagh

The above is by Artistic Artifacts staffer Sharon McDonagh. She began with an unadorned store bought Santos figure and altered it from head to toe to become Mary, Star of the Sea (Ave Maris Stella).

Items used to create Mary, Star of the Sea by Sharon McDonagh

This was Sharon’s submission for a recent Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) challenge. Members each gathered 10 items in a paper bag, and the bags were randomly exchanged. Participants could use any mediums and techniques to create their resulting piece of art; the only rule was that at least some of each of the 10 items had to be used. The assortment (pictured right) Sharon received consisted of small sea shells, blue braid trim, blue feathery yarn, a magazine page altered with Citrasolv, translucent printed map tissue paper, blue handmade fiber paper, a piece of woven grass trim, an upholstery fabric sample, painted foil and a silver color Gelato.

Figurative work often results from classes we host here at the shop. In early May we welcomed Leighanna Light of Taos, New Mexico. Leighanna calls herself a “Thingmaker,” and oh, such beautiful things! One of the classes she taught was titled Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal, and one of the attendees was Linda Morgan, a member of JAMs who is known within the group for her amazing mixed media fiber and assemblage work:

Art dolls by Linda Morgan completed in Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal class with Leighanna Light

Above, Linda’s work from the Faux Etching class. Below, additional art dolls by Linda.

Mixed media assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

Mixed media assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

Below, Jello Mold dolls by Linda Morgan.

Jello mold assemblage art dolls by Linda Morgan

As promised, more art dolls from Leslie Brier, from the small, a multi-beaded figure pictured below…

Beaded art doll by Leslie Brier

…to the tall, Leslie’s “Machine Age Santos.”

Machine Age Santos by Leslie Brier

Mixed media art doll by Leslie Brier

Above, “Sugar” by Leslie Brier.

A student at this year’s Art & Soul Creative Retreat in Portland shared the below cloth doll with us: it made us happy to see what she had done with our Hand Dyed Fiber Collage Kits! Art & Soul Virginia Beach will take place this fall, September 26 – October 1. Take a look at the workshops available, which include a number of art doll classes.

Art doll created with Judy Gula's hand-dyed textiles by Art & Soul creative retreat student

Now go play with your dolls!

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts Store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

We’re beginning the job of packing up for Quilt Odyssey, which takes place July 21-24 at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center in Hershey, PA. Exhibits and the Merchants Mall are open to the public: Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00pm.

We’ve recently completed rearranging much of the shop, and are really happy with the changes. I thought I would share these with you today. One big one for us is pictured here: we moved the cutting table from the back of the store next to the register: much more efficient for our customers and staff!

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Above, the display wall that housed many of our mixed media supplies moved to the front of the shop. Below, many of the vintage paper packs Judy creates by theme, and Sandra Evertson’s wonderful Relics & Artifacts.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Above, samples from some of the many classes we hold here; below, patterns, notions and more.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Below, the gorgeous Tentakulum stitching threads and fibers.

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Below, the bookcase on the rear wall is the perfect place for the displaying the amazing results from the Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) box challenge (more about that in a previous blog post).

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

Rearranging the Artistic Artifacts store

The back wall serves as a wonderful gallery component, with sample quilts made with our batik panels, Batik Tambal exclusive batik and other fabric carried in the shop.

Block Printed Quilt-lets

I enjoy printing with my wooden printing blocks on fabric. I often print on small pieces of fabric using a motif, without an advance plan for how the pieces will be used.

When I saw what Jamie Fingel did for her Rebel Quilting (which I studied up on in order to take Jamie’s place at Portland Art & Soul), I thought that instead of using pieces of stenciled fabrics as Jamie does, I could instead use my block printed squares and rectangles.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

So I gathered up my stash of wooden block printed fabrics, a piece of felt, Misty Fuse, rotary cutter and mat and went to work straightening the edges of the printed fabrics.

After cutting a rectangular piece of felt, I applied Misty Fuse to the entire surface. My first attempt of fusing on a multitude of block prints and fabric strips resulted in lots of colors and patterns. Frankly, It was an ugly disaster! While I saved it as a reminder of what not to do, I’ve “conveniently” misplaced it to avoid the visual spreading out on the World Wide Web!

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Taking a deep breath I stepped back and tried to calm the arrangement down into something I’d be happy with. How to do that?

The big Aha! moment: limit the color palette of our quilt-lets By printing the wood block motifs in the same colors and by using a limited number of coordinating fabric in between the block prints.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Included in this post above are some of the art quilts I’ve made since that aha moment. These are the perfect size to experiment with some thread sketching and free-motion quilting. I “bind” the edges with a loose satin stitch all around to prevent unraveling and fraying.

Block printed art quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I’m also sharing some photos from our June 11 Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt as I taught students how to print and design their own version of these quilts.

Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

We all had a great time creating that day! As usual, we enjoyed ourselves so much we didn’t take nearly as many photos to share as we should have. Everyone walked away with wonderful pieces!

Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA
Student work, Woodblock Printed Collage Art Quilt class on June 11 at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

The 2016 Row By Row Experience Begins June 21!

2016rxrlogo

Artistic Artifacts has been participating in the Row by Row Experience for several years now, and its something we look forward to each summer, especially meeting so many new friends (and welcoming back treasured repeat customers) as they embark on their shopping expeditions.

The 2016 event is themed Home Sweet Home and opens this Tuesday, June 21! This event has steadily grown each year and thousands of quilt shops are involved: you can travel across the entire United States and Canada, and — new for 2016 —some locations in Europe!

The Row by Row Experience in-person shop hop focuses on each quilting business creating a full “row” that finishes to 9″ x 36″. Patterns for the row are distributed for free to any in-store visitor who requests one*. We recruited the talented Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts to design our row, and love what she’s done:

2016artisticartifacts_row

Paper-pieced houses and trees are sewn using a beautiful mix of Tim Holtz fabrics and our Australian Aborigine-Designed fabrics. The windows (blank here) can be filled in in a variety of ways and we will be sharing those as the summer progresses.

Cyndi will be teaching a new paper piecing class for us in October: keep checking our website for information, as it will be posted soon. Here’s a more detailed view of our 2016 row:

Detail, Artistic Artifacts' 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern, designed by Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts

Along with creating a row, most of the participating shops order a special fabric “license plate” for the event. The 2016 Artistic Artifacts plate reads Creative Finds.

Each state or province has a Facebook page (visit the Row by Row website for links) and participating shops post photos of their rows, license plates and submitted quilts (note that you don’t have to have a Facebook account set up to view these photos). Shops love to be creative with the theme each year, so check out the wide variety in how Home Sweet Home has been interpreted. (The Virginia state Facebook page includes Artistic Artifacts: www.facebook.com/VARowbyRowExperience.)

Each participating shop agrees to make a prize of 25 fat quarters of fabric available to the first person who turns in a completed quilt — not just a top, but quilted, bound, and labeled — using at least 8 different 2016 row patterns. This year we are seeing more shops creating their row to be used vertically rather than horizontally, which will add to the challenge of the finished quilts…it will be great to see the creativity of the participants!

You can travel and collect rows through September 6, 2016. Participants then have until October 31 to turn in a completed quilt for the prize. There are some speedy (and competitive) quilters out there, so be aware that most shops give away their prize fairly early in the summer!

We always ask our Row by Row customers to send us photos of their row, their quilt, their designs. Please do email us if you collect our row pattern and use it.

We hope to see many of you this summer!

* Please note: due to event rules, we cannot mail or email patterns: during the official timeframe of The Row by Row Experience, they are only available to in-person store visitors.

Artistic Artifacts at the Play Therapy Conference

Artistic Artifacts merchandise at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference

Artistic Artifacts is back this weekend with the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute, taking place this weekend (June 10-12) at the Crystal City Marriott. Highlighting the use of the Creative Arts, this is a continuing education opportunity for play therapists, arts educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors and more. The goals of the training institute are to introduce leading-edge play therapy strategies; explore best-practices in working with children and their families and demonstrate the value of integrating expressive arts and other approaches.

Artistic Artifacts merchandise at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference
Artistic Artifacts merchandise at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference
Selecting fabric to use in the creation of an ATC

Those that dedicate themselves to this rewarding work are usually artists themselves, so each year we bring in a sampling of our fiber and mixed media supplies for them, like the creative books, Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts (new designs coming this week in our enewsletter!) wooden printing blocks, Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plates and more in the photos above.

But we’re probably best known for setting up a creative workstation where attendees can create Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) while experimenting with various pens and ink pads, Gelatos, surface design techniques and more.

Lani Gerity Glanville is an artist/art therapist/writer/puppetmaker from Nova Scotia. She posted the image below on Facebook earlier this year, writing, “I’m working on the Zine for participants of my workshop at the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute.” Her class at the conference was titled: Master Class Visual Art Journaling for Teens & Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, Contained, a day long session to demonstrate to practitioners, “a way to present art journaling in your therapy groups or in individual work. We will be using simple office supplies and collage materials to create journals and then using a variety of ‘directives’ we will explore art journaling as a way of building strength, resiliency, and self-care.”

Collage art by Lani Gerity Glanville for Visual Art Journaling for Teens & Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, Contained at Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute

Collage art by Lani Gerity Glanville for Visual Art Journaling for Teens & Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, Contained at Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute

Lani has several beautiful websites! In writing about her preparation this class, she notes, “Over the past few years, I’ve been creating and posting morning pages every day on FaceBook and my blog, 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life. Here’s what I have learned so far.”

  • If you practice something every day, you get better at it.
  • If you practice something which encourages thought and reflection every day, you become more thoughtful.
  • If you practice something which makes you happy every day, you get happier every day.

This is certainly sound advice for anyone!

Making ATCs at the Play Therapy Training Institute conference

Above, an attendee at the conference uses a Pearl Pen to accent her ATC.

Also from Lani, we were also struck by this statement:

“As a student, I used to wonder why Edith Kramer, art therapy pioneer, repeatedly encouraged us to create art every day. She also encouraged us to keep a journal for things we were learning, for the ideas and questions that come to us. She suggested that these activities, if engaged in fully, would help us grow into our best selves, that we would be able to see our strengths and resilience unfold. There are a lot of intrinsic rewards built into utilizing our inner strengths, and nothing that promotes freedom, independence, and a sense of self worth better than the realization that we have the power to create our own inner satisfaction and intrinsic rewards.”

Left, creating ATCs at the Play Therapy Institute, right, close-up of ATC by Kelsey Grandy

Left, creating ATCs at the Play Therapy Institute, right, close-up of ATC by Kelsey Grandy, Artistic Artifacts volunteer.

Keep on creating art everyday!

Hello from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City!

Artistic Artifacts booth at Spring 2016 Quilt Market in Salt Lake City, UT

Artistic Artifacts presents during the Schoolhouse SeriesI’m at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City! Above is a view of one of the Artistic Artifacts’ booth walls, featuring our gorgeous Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik and a handpainted batik panel by Mahyar.

I was able to post some set-up shots on the Artistic Artifacts’s Facebook page, but once it all gets started, you simply get too busy to keep up… check out the show’s Instagram feed for some serious eye candy!

I was proud that my topic, Hand-Drawn Batik Panels was accepted for the International Quilt Market’s popular Schoolhouse Series! The Schoolhouse Series took place on Thursday, the day before Market opens, and  is a forum for manufacturers, publishers, and retailers to present new products, techniques, and books to quilt shop owners throughout the world.

 Mahyar Cats in the City art quilt by Christine Vinh

The above quilt by Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts was completed in time for me to use it at Market as an example of how our Batik Panels, handcrafted by many of Indonesia’s finest batik artists, can be used  in art or traditional quilts, or any form of fiber art. Because we’ve learned that many of our customers are afraid to cut into or sew the panel they’ve fallen in love with, I’ve scheduled Create a Batik Panel Art Quilt for Saturday, May 28. I need a few more registrants to ensure this class running, so I hope some of you will plan to join me!

Valori Wells’s booth at Spring Quilt Market 2016

Here’s a sneak peek of a beautiful new fabric line that Artistic Artifacts will be carrying…but we ALL have to wait until this fall to receive it. I fell instantly in love with Marks by acclaimed  quilter, author, fabric and pattern designer Valori Wells, collaborating with her mother Jean. Marks is her new line for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. which notes “the designs are a combination of their love of block printing and textiles.” Block printing…so no wonder I fell in love, right?

Marks fabrics in the Indigo colorway, designed by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

It’s going to be a tough wait! Below is Valori’s “Plus Mob” quilt.

Plus Mob quilt by Valori Wells at Spring Quilt Market 2016

A Look Inside My Leighanna Light Journal

Textured canvas journal made by Judy Gula in a class led by Leighanna Light.

We were happy to welcome the very talented Leighanna Light to Artistic Artifacts at the beginning of the month. Leighanna lives in Taos, New Mexico, but squeezed in a couple of classes with us before heading to a vacation on the Outer Banks. And we’re so glad she did! On Thursday, May 5 we held her Faux Etching/Surface Design on Metal class — Leighanna has developed a technique for creating an etched look to metal surfaces without the toxic chemicals, and the student work was spectacular…you will probably be seeing some featured here or on our Facebook page. Then on Friday and Saturday (May 6–7) she taught her “Lily’s Book,” which is subtitled Charming Canvas Book with Pockets. I took this class myself, and wow, what a treat!

Shared below is a gallery of pictures of many of my book’s pages. We all began with a large piece of gessoed canvas and then just had a great time with all of Leighanna’s surface design techniques. We used texture gels, gesso, plaster, molding paste and ink to create fabulous backgrounds and pages, added tabs, pockets, flaps, and more. Even as a student I couldn’t keep my own teaching hat off, so I pulled out wooden printing blocks for everyone to use, showed off using Paper Solvy to transfer photos, and more. It was an amazing two days and everyone’s books turned out full of gorgeous texture and color!

I’ve enjoyed adding to it post-class, adding special ephemera and bits. I included of fabrics and textiles I had rusted (Artistic Artifacts sells scrap packs of fabric I’ve rusted).

We hope to host Leighanna again, so keep your eye on our classes page…you won’t regret spending time with her!

Love My ATCs!

I love making and exchanging Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)! We begin each monthly Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) meeting with an ATC exchange, and it’s always fun to trade while at creative retreats like Art & Soul.

Display carousel of ATCs collected by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Customers visiting the shop have always enjoyed perusing my display, above.

Time for another ATC display carousel!

…and it was long past time for another! I should be embarrassed to show the above photo, right? 😊

Well, my new rack recently arrived, and I’m transferring my beloved ATCs to a proper home. I wanted to share several I’ve recently received, perfect for springtime:

Spring Bloom ATC, No. 8 of 15, by Sharon McDonagh

“Spring…Bloom!” was created by Sharon McDonagh, who used her beloved Gelatos as well as colored pencils, stamping and more, accenting with a flower shaped ‘jewel.’

ATC by Dawn Murray of Fife, Scotland

The above was made by Dawn Murray of Fife, Scotland! Dawn is a friend of Jocelyn Corderot, a member of JAMs, and visits the U.S. once a year or so, and we’ve been lucky enough to have her attend a meeting when the timing has coincided.

Bluejay ATC by Kathie Lostan

Back of Kathie Lostan's ATC

This above bluejay is a wonderful collage of found paper and several painting techniques by Kathie Lostan.

Kathie also used the Ink Bottle design of one of our rubber stamps designed specifically for the reverse side of ATCs. These stamps are available in a wide variety of styles (see more below) and are a great way to add some additional design to your ATCs and save you some time listing the card’s information.

While you can include as little or as much as you want, it’s usually suggested to include at least the following on the reverse of your cards: contact information (e.g., email, website, blog address); date of card creation; and edition number (e.g. 1 of 10).

Rubber stamps for the reverse of ATCs

Layering Paint for Depth and Interest

This weekend I’m teaching my “How Do I Use This?” Meets the Art Journal Page class. Most of the first day is taken up with creating the backgrounds on pages we will bind into a custom art journal, and one of the first points I emphasize is the need to work in layers in order to create depth, texture and visual interest.

The same concept is utilized in my A View to My Heart class (coming again this September), and I realized I hadn’t yet shared photos of the most recent session.

The focal point of this class are the Relics & Artifacts matte resin castings designed by the talented Sandra Evertson. (FYI, we’re awaiting a shipment of new designs of this gorgeous line: if you aren’t already receiving our weekly enewsletter, subscribe so you will get first notice of their arrival!)

Using found papers to collage the bases for our shrines

One way to ensure a layered look with depth is to begin with a collaged background. In the example above, found papers such as book text, map pages, sheet music and more are torn and added to a wooden base with matte medium.

Adding the first layers of paint

While we used a variety of paint in this class, everyone loved using the Silks Acrylic Glazes. These smooth paints contain mica for iridescence and are available in a wide variety of colors.

Silks Acrylic Glazes are translucent for beautiful layering effects

Because the Silks are translucent, our collaged backgrounds peek through. Silks layer beautifully with extra coats; one of their selling points is that you never get “mud” when painting one color atop another, even if they are opposites.

All Supplies/Full Kit Provided for A View to My Heart, an Artistic Artifacts class led by  Judy Gula

We added complementary and contrasting colors to add another layer and visual interest.

Students create a lovely shrine/altar using the beautiful Relics and Artifacts line of craft blanks by Sandra Evertson

Metallic paints help add interest to the dark brown paint

Several chose to add metallic color for highlights and to lighten dark colors.

Silks Acrylic Glazes include mica, giving them a wonderful iridescence

One of the wood plaques available had the ‘flaw’ of a large, dark knotty grain running along the edge (below photo). This student made it a part of her design, to great effect!

Taking advantage of a large, dark knotty grain running along the edge of the plaque to add a natural look

The Relics and Artifacts pieces take paint beautifully. No matter what color theme the students chose to work with, the results were gorgeous!

Relics and Artifacts pieces are easy to paint or embellish

To add metallic color or to highlight edges and design elements, we also used Inka Gold metallic rubs. Don’t let the name fool you: these are available in more than 20 colors!

Using Inka Gold metallic rubs to add color and highlights

After starting with a blue base layer (seen in the second photo of this post), my student Kelsey Grandy worked her way up to beautiful purple/violet tones by layering and blending her colors (photo below).

A gorgeous shade of purple created by layering several colors of Silks Acrylic Glazes

Adding layers continues right to the end of a project. Below, my student Joan Grandy wanted to use the rusted, flattened bottle cap (a sentimental object) in her shrine, but was going to leave it out as she thought it didn’t fit with the color scheme. I taught her that by adding the complement of blue, orange, in the form of a rust effect the balance she wanted would be achieved… and it would distress her elegant assemblage a bit so that the look of the cap wouldn’t be out of place. We made the rust even more authentic by using Rusty for Paper by Viva.

Finished art by Joan Grandy from A View to My Heart, an Artistic Artifacts class led by Judy Gula using the beautiful Relics and Artifacts line of craft blanks by Sandra Evertson

More finished student work. All different, and all wonderful!

Finished student work from A View to My Heart, an Artistic Artifacts class led by Judy Gula using the beautiful Relics and Artifacts line of craft blanks by Sandra Evertson

The below steampunk-inspired art is by Sharon McDonagh, who had left room for the stamped inscription and added more embellishments at home after the class.

from A View to My Heart, an Artistic Artifacts class led by Judy Gula using the beautiful Relics and Artifacts line of craft blanks by Sandra Evertson

Below, Kelsey Grandy’s finished art.

Finished art by Kelsey Grandy from A View to My Heart, an Artistic Artifacts class led by Judy Gula using the beautiful Relics and Artifacts line of craft blanks by Sandra Evertson

As noted, I’m going to be teaching A View to My Heart again on September 10 so I hope some of you can join me!

Batik Panel Art Quilt with Sari Silk Border

After too much time on the road and dealing with some computer/technical issues in the shop, I recently took a much needed day off to spend in my studio.

I was inspired to work with our new Multicolored Sari Silk Fat Quarter assortment packs from India (featured in our most recent enewsletter): 12 beautiful colors! I decided to combine them with a wonderful panel handpainted by Bambang Dharmo. Here is my work in progress.

In progress batik panel art quilt, bordered with sari silk, by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

My first step was to trim my panel, creating straight square edges. I admit I used to skip this step, trying to use up every beautiful bit of the handpainted fabric. But after a result where the sewn side of the panel aren’t straight, I learned my lesson.

I wondered how to best sew the silk to the cotton panel? My solution was to apply a lightweight one-sided fusible interfacing meant for clothing that I found in my stash. Once the silk had the fusible on it, it made sewing it to the cotton panel a breeze. I also found some small pieces of Dupioni silk in bright colors in my stash, so I also prepped them with the interfacing and added them to my sari silks.

I cut the stack of silks with a ruler and my rotary cutter into strips approximately 1½" wide by the 6" wide. I lined them up by color on my work table, and then I started sewing.

Sari silk strips, cut from fat quarters, in the midst of being chain-stitched for the quilt border

My method might not seem like the best one to some, but it removes the stress of fretting over which color to put next to each other: I chain piece. I take 2 pieces of silk (different colors, of course) and chain sew a bunch, Then I cut the chain apart and add a third piece of silk and chain again. I continue to do this until I have a strip approximately 4-6 strips wide.

Then I press all the seams in the same direction and lay them out again. Next I start matching up these 6 pieces to make them longer 44” long about, and then trimmed to 4”wide.

I decided to add a small piping to the panel using the Groovin’ Piping Trimming Tool. Once that was complete, I sewed the silk “piano keys” to the panel. I used my zipper foot to keep the piping tight.

Sewing a chain-pieced silk border to the batik quilt panel.

Sewing a chain-pieced silk border to the batik quilt panel. You can see the fusible interfacing on the back of the bright silk strips.

My sewing order was top and bottom and then the two sides. I thought briefly about mitering the corners, but decided to just go with the strips as is.

Ironing the reverse side toward the border

Because I wanted the piping to go toward the panel, not the border, I did find that I had to watch my ironing. The correct direction was controlled when ironing on the reverse side and toward the border rather than the panel (above).

Below, you can see the piping set off the panel. I will trim the strips and edges, layer batting and backing, and finish this quilt off on another studio sewing day.

Ironing carefully kept the piping facing the center batik panel