Kay Kapps Cross and WonderFil Threaducation

Kay Kapps Cross conducting her WonderFil Specialty Threads Show & Tell at Artistic Artifacts
Spools of WonderFil thread, quilts and other projects awaiting the beginning of Show and Tell

Sometimes posting on your blog gets away from you…the last entry was about attending the WonderFil Education Summit in California to learn more about these magical threads, and finally posting again, we are STILL talking about WonderFil™ Specialty Threads!

Kay Kapps Cross (pictured above) is a certified WonderFil Threaducator, and we were delighted to welcome her to Artistic Artifacts on March 24-25 for our WonderFil Boutique official opening celebration. On Saturday, March 25, Kay held two show and tell sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to show off beautiful quilts and projects that featured all of the many WonderFilSpecialty Threads. Pictured right are Kay’s samples as she set up.

Nancy Karst is delighted to be one of the randomly drawn raffle winners!

These show and tell sessions were sponsored by WonderFil, who also provided us with product samples for our random raffle drawings. We had many excited winners, such as Nancy Karst pictured above, thanks to their generosity!

One of the most helpful aspects of her presentations was passing out an opened spool of each specialty thread. To be able to see and feel the weight and finish of the threads added immeasurably to everyone’s understanding.

Kay Kapps Cross demonstrates WonderFil Specialty Threads in the Artistic Artifacts BERNINA sewing machine studio

Kay also demonstrated many of the threads in use in our BERNINA showroom, including bobbin work!

Finding Your Voice Lecture/Class with Kay Capps Cross

Kay began her weekend with us on Friday, March 24 for Finding Your Voice, a lecture by WonderFil Threaducator Kay Capps Cross. She promised that “We will relax and learn ways to release our inner creativity and express ourselves through our quilts. Art quilts, experiments, free associations, or whatever we call our pieces, they are a window to what is inside of us. With a little confidence, our voice will be heard.”

Finding Your Voice Lecture/Class with Kay Capps Cross

Kay taught attendees to sort fabric scraps by color values, and then issued a variety of challenges. A wide array of art supplies were on hand to explore.

Cutting paper and fabric and using a variety of color tools during the Finding Your Voice lecture/class with Kay Capps Cross

Cutting paper and fabric and using a variety of color tools during the Finding Your Voice lecture/class with Kay Capps Cross

The last activity, which built upon all that came before, was to generate three possible sketched ideas for a quilt block (which could use any material or supply and didn’t have to be fabric) that illustrated your artistic voice.

Student sketches during Finding Your Voice with Kay Kapps Cross

Below, some finished quilt block as students found their voice.

Student blocks from  Finding Your Voice with Kay Kapps Cross

Visit the Artistic Artifacts website to view the wide variety of fiber and mixed media classes available and join us in finding your own voice! BERNINA mastery classes are on the way too!

Lines & Squares and more…

We have had the Stacked Squares Quilt Pattern, designed by Sarah Gustason, in the shop for some time, but had hesitated to add it to our online store. It calls for beautiful fabrics from Frond Design Studios that we no longer carry. (While we love ALL of the beautiful designs Frond comes up with, in order to be able to add new lines by them —or any other fabric manufacturer —we have to retire other favorites to make room.)

We decided to make up a sample using other striped fabric to show how well the pattern works with different fabric choices, and put Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts on the job. While Chris has an amazing talent for seeing a fabric’s potential and in mixing fabric lines, for this project she didn’t need to look far, deciding to experiment with the strong linear lines of the Barnboard line by Frond.

Materials to create a Stacked Squares art quilt

The pattern calls for one yard each of four fabrics to piece the top (plus additional for binding and backing) to create a 48 inch x 60 inch. quilt. Chris chose ½ yard of the following Barnboard colors: Afternoon, Autumn, Summer and Sunlight.

Chris Vinh sewing her Stacked Squares art quilt

Chris posted the above photo on Facebook, writing “Shop sample for Artistic Artifacts under the needle. Perfect combination: Bernina machine, WonderFil Mirage thread, and Frond Design Studio Fabrics fabric and pattern. Add a little music, and this girl is happy!”

Stacked Squares art quilt front by Chris Vinh

And she was even happier with the final result — above, her completed top, waiting for binding.The Barnboard is showcased beautifully with this pattern! Chris arranged her stacked squares to create a 30 inch square wall quilt or table topper. And from the 2 yards of fabric she began with, she had enough to piece a beautiful backing, making it reversible!

Stacked Squares art quilt back by Chris Vinh

To match and complement the various colors, Chris selected Mirage™ Color #27, Green/Honey/Red. Mirage is a 2-ply, 30wt rayon that’s randomly space dyed in variegated colors so that every spool unique. “The Mirage was perfect for this project,” Chris said, noting how far a spool will go…she “barely made a dent in her wound bobbin after free motion quilting.”

Chris has been on something of a “line” kick lately. It started when she wanted to give paper piecing a try. She selected the Sew and Fold on a Roll, Flying Geese & Braids and, while initially daunted by the concept, quickly realized how easy these gridded products are to use, giving you precise results.

Paper pieced braid quilt by Chris Vinh

She had some left over Australian Aborigine-Designed fabrics in her stash and put the above beauty together. It was such a perfect result that she decided to turn it into her entry for her quilt guild’s challenge. Chris is a member of the Arlington Chapter of Quilter’s UnlChris Vinh quilt label, Arlington QU Alphabet Challengeimited (QU), a large local guild that has 11 chapters throughout the Northern Virginia region.

Arlington QU often issues group challenges to its members, and this year members randomly drew a letter of the alphabet and are making an 18 in. x 18 in. quilt inspired by that letter. Chris drew the letter L, and realized this quilt was perfect: L is for Lines! (Pictured right, Chris’ quilt label.

The Alphabet Challenge quilts will hang together at QU’s 44th Annual Show, which takes place June 2-4, 2017 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. The QU Quilt Show is always well worth the trip!

Chris is also enjoying using her new paper piecing skills on her latest work in progress. As mentioned above, she is a whiz at pulling together beautifully coordinating or contrasting fabrics. There are quilters who stick to a particular fabric collection for inspiration, and then others who look for colors and designs that, as she puts it “plays well with others.”

Work in progess by Chris Vinh

Pictured above, a paper pieced braid that uses several fabrics from the new Figment line designed by Pam Goecke Dinndorf. This piece also has some choices from the Marks collection by Valori Wells, also available in our Modern Cottons section, and complementary Australian Aboriginal Designs.

Quilt top by Artistic Artifacts customer Laura Geiser

We also wanted to shared these, perfect for this post’s theme of lines and patterns! Recently one of our customers, Laura Geiser, brought the two beautiful quilt tops (pictured above and below) by the shop. She told us she had been really inspired by the Australian Aboriginal design fabrics we carry and our Paper Pieced Aussie Blocks quilt on display, as well as our variety of black and white prints. She was shopping for additional fabrics to create a third quilt in this series!

Quilt top by Artistic Artifacts customer Laura Geiser

Watch Artistic Artifacts Demo Techniques on Great Day Washington!

Artistic Artifacts is ready for its Great Day Washington taping

Demonstrating surface design techniquesMonday, January 30 was an exciting day for Artistic Artifacts as we appeared live on Great Day Washington, a local morning show on Washington DC’s WUSA*9 TV (CBS affiliate).

Lifestyle Correspondent Meaghan Mooney and her cameraman arrived early in the morning and ran four different “live hits” from 8:55 to 10 am. This amazing opportunity came about because they saw that our customers give us top ratings on Facebook and Yelp…what gratifying news to hear!

For those unable to watch live, we wanted to share the segments from the Great Day Washington portion of WUSA 9 website here.

Click to watch block printing and other surface design techniques

For the first segment — watch online now — Judy demonstrated block Printing on fabric and paper, using hand-carved wooden printing blocks and Artistic Artifacts’ own textile paints. (Join us this weekend for your own opportunity to experiment with this centuries old technique in Block Printing with Cyndi Souder.

The Artistic Artifacts line of Fluid Textile Paints were used for all surface design demonstrations

Additional surface design techniques were also showcased in this segment. Pictured below, Susan Gantz (left) is demonstrating monoprinting on a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate, while Sue Price of PG Fiber2Art is demonstrating Thermofax screen printing — join us February 18 for Printing with Thermofax Screens with PG Fiber2Art to learn how to create your own screen printed fabric.

Susan Gantz demonstrating monoprinting and Sue Price of PG Fiber2Art demonstrating Thermofax screen printing

Susan Gantz didn’t think she was a big metallic fan, but experimenting with the Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paint set of Silver, Gold and Copper while demonstrating (see some results below) has now changed her mind!

Monoprint by Susan Gantz in progress and completed

In the second segment, Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts, Ambassador for BERNINA, demonstrated foundation paper piecing to create quilt blocks using a BERNINA sewing machine — watch online now.

Click to watch Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts demonstrate paper piecing

Cyndi Souder shows Meaghan Mooney of WUSA9 a paper pieced block

The paper piecing technique offers complete accuracy: precise points and a visually complex design become easy to execute. Join us on Saturday, February 11 for Cyndi’s class Beginning Paper Piecing Row By Row. Above, Cyndi shows Great Day Washington Lifestyle Correspondent Meaghan Mooney (right) a completed block from our 2016 Row by Row Experience pattern kit.

Click to watch a discussion of, and examples of, mixed media and upcycled art

The third segment — watch online now — featured Judy talking about mixed media techniques and upcycling with members of Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs), a group that meets at Artistic Artifacts monthly. Judy began by showing off results from the JAMs Box Challenge conceived by Barb Boatman of Cut Sew Create studio (see more photos of the results in our past Facebook album), repurposing dimensional wood box frames formerly used on a display wall of automotive products.

Meahgan Mooney meeting Artistic Artfacts customers and members of JAMs

Members used these surfaces to create small artworks that incorporated products from Artistic Artifacts that they had in their stashes, and/or that they had purchased new. JAMs member Beth Richardson explained the sea turtle box she created, and viewers also get a chance to some of the pages of an art journal that Beverly Hilbert has created.

Click to watch a demonstration of hand-stitching on a batik panel and learn more about how they are created

The final demonstration was Christine Vinh of StitchesnQuilts discussing how batik panels are handcrafted in Indonesia as well as demonstrating hand-stitching on one by the popular batik artist Jakawatch online now.

Batik art panels at Artistic Artifacts

Christine Vinh and Suzanne LangsdorfAbove, our batik panel “station” set up for filming. Chris used Tulip needles, a selection of WonderFil Specialty Threads, and was inspired by Modern Hand Stitching by Ruth Chandler. This segment also includes a walk-through of the shop back to the BERNINA machine embroidery demonstration by Denise Reuter of Artistic Artifacts, who has several years experience as a manager and educator for BERNINA Sewing Machine USA. Artistic Artifacts is a new BERNINA dealer!

In her segment Chris wore her beautiful Schoolhouse Tunic, which was sewn for her by JAMs member Suzanne Langsdorf using Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik in Woodstock, Jam and fabric from a sarong imported from Indonesia. Pictured right, Chris preps for her filming with the caffeine boost of coffee while Suzanne teasingly waves to the camera.

And as if the “official” taping didn’t keep us all hopping enough Judy’s son Kyle also streamed video content live (archived below) on Facebook!

In this livestream “you can hear me talk about my latest artwork (at time mark 15:40 in the video) about my written meditation on forgiveness,” writes mixed media artist Wendy Sittner, pictured below, “when I got to participate in Artistic Artifacts’s appearance on WUSA9 Great Day Washington live with Meaghan Mooney. Owner Judy Vincentz Gula did amazing and Meaghan was so friendly and made us feel so comfortable on camera.”

"Wendy Sittner with her written meditation on forgiveness

For Artistic Artifacts, this really was a "Great Day" — we extend our deepest gratitude to WUSA9 for visiting our store and showcasing the fiber and mixed media talent and techniques of our creative minds!

Artistic Artifacts staff and customers during the Great Day Washington filming

Below, machine embroidery by Denise Reuter.

Always color outside the lines -- machine embroidery by Denise Reuter

Stitched Photo Quiltlets

Photo stitched quiltlets, a holiday gift to my son, nephew and nieces

A number of years ago I took a photo of my son Kyle with his cousins Meghan, Carleigh and Reid (my brother Scott’s children) during an ice skating outing, and it has always been a favorite of mine…and I always intended to use it in my art and share it with each of them. Now that they are all young adults, this past holiday season was finally the year!

My first step was to print the photograph out on EQ Printables Premium Cotton Lawn Inkjet Fabric. I fit two images per sheet. I then used Mistyfuse, my favorite fusible (so sheer and lightweight) to fuse the images to Pellon Heavyweight Stabilizer.

Emphasizing the children by stitching over the photo's background

Since I wanted the kids to be the focal point, I decided to stitch the background out using Fruitti™ by WonderFil, a 12 weight cotton thread. First, I stitched an outline of the group, and then I went back in and added freeform vertical lines to eliminate the distraction of the photo’s background. The thickness of the thread gave me the look I wanted, and I choose one of the more subtle of the variegated colors available to add additional interest without pulling attention away from these adorable kids.

Trimming corners to lessen bulk once turned

I created a small quilt to stitch my photos to, using the Pillowcase Turn method. You can download a free instructional PDF on this technique from Susan Brubaker Knapp’s website…she writes it’s “the fastest and easiest technique for finishing an art quilt.” Above, trimming the corners to lessen the bulk once the “pillowcase” is turned.

Small slit to enable the pillowcase turn method

Above, a small slit is necessary to enable the pillowcase turn method. My fabric label, shown at the bottom of this post, is fused on and hides it.

Satin stitching around the photo

For some of the quiltlets, I used a satin-stitch around the photo (above)…

Zig zag stitching around the photo

…for others, just a simple zig zag finish.

Pockets hold a dowel for hanging the quiltlet

I wanted to make it easy on the recipients to be able to hang these up for display, so I added triangle pockets to the back, which hold a lightweight dowel. As these are small and lightweight, they really can hang with just a pushpin! There are a lot of tutorials out there on this easy process — try this one.

I loved popped these in the mail this holiday season and imagining the smiles as they were unwrapped — grab a favorite photo of your own and turn it into an art quilt, for yourself or for others to display.

Using WonderFil Threads to Accent Block Prints

Block printed table runner bordered in Australian fabric, prebound

The center panel of my block printed table runner, pictured above pre-bound, began as a sample cloth. When I exhibit at quilt shows, I demo block printing (remember that this blog contains a Block Printing Introduction tutorial) and this length of fabric contains multiple prints accumulated over a show. I decided this was an ideal piece to continue with, challenging myself to work in a subdued palette.

I used an assortment of our beautiful, collectible wooden printing blocks, hand carved by artisans in India for this runner. Most the designs you see in use here are currently out of stock, but we have another shipment arriving any day now, so keep checking in with us!

GRABAROO’S® gloves and Konfetti™ threads by WonderFil

Above, using a pair of GRABAROO’S® gloves gives you extra grip when you are free-motion quilting — you will really feel a difference in handling and moving your quilt sandwich. Pictured center are the Konfetti™ threads I chose: from top to bottom, 101 Soft White, 905 Sterling Grey and 902 Medium Grey. Konfetti, one of the many specialty threads by WonderFil we now carry, is 3-ply, 50wt cotton low lint thread, ideal for use in free motion quilting and more. In the hopes of making my runner reversible, I used the Konfetti in both my top and bobbin thread. I loved the feel of it… very easy to use

Using the fabric pattern to guide free motion quilting

A simple way to freemotion quilt is to just follow the design printed on the fabric!

Block printed center bordered with Australian fabric

I used Bush Coconut Dreaming Brown by Audrey Martin for the borders. This is one of the amazing Australian Aboriginal fabrics we carry; the color combinations and authentic tribal designs are so inspiring!

Freemotion quilting with Konfetti thread by WonderFil

Above, a detail of stitching the design that was created by the wooden block print.

Block prints free motion stitched with Konfetti thread

Additional views. At this stage, all the thread needs to be pulled to the back and hidden yet.

Block prints free motion stitched with Konfetti thread

So, what do you think?

Sharing Some Peeks of Quilt Market/Quilt Festival

I am still catching up after being away for more than two weeks away for the Quilt Market and the International Quilt Festival, in Houston, TX. In order to get a blog post up for the first time in muchtoo long, I am shamelessly stealing from my Printed Fabric Bee buddy Lisa Chin!

Judy Gula presenting her Selling Hand Drawn Batik Artist Panels session in Houston, TX, photo by Lisa Chin

I last wrote from Market, the largest “trade show” for fabric and quilting (it’s not open ot the public), which takes place annually several days before the Quilt Festival. Lisa wrote that she “had the opportunity to attend a number of Schoolhouse presentations during market. These very short classes are designed to help store owners learn more about the products available, as well as how to use the products and share them with their customers.”

I taught a Schoolhouse, and Lisa took the photo of me pictured here during it, and wrote a blog posting that included it. My presentation is titled Selling Hand Drawn Batik Artist Panels. Most fabric stores carry commercial batik fabrics, which have long been popular with quilters and seamstresses. My presentation hopes to open shops up to selling one-of-a-kind batik artist panels as well. (Note: while this presentation was to industry, I also have a lecture and trunk show I present to guilds and art groups titled Batik Adventures.) At Artistic Artifacts we sell beautiful panels from ten different Indonesian artists, which are wonderful incorporated into unique quilts, home decor or mixed media art projects.

I’m so fortunate to have a local home to stay in during the duration of my trip to Houston. Several of my quilting buddies gather there too; fiber and mixed media artist Judi Hurwitt generously welcomes us in. (Remember Judi? She used my wooden printing blocks and fabric paint to transform an upholstered chair!

On a “play day” before everything began, I led the group in a fabric dyeing session. My ‘bible’ is Color by Accident by Ann Johnston…I swear by her low-water Immersion method. Here are Lisa’s quart canning jars full of luscious color steeping. I always love photos of this portion of the process! Visit Lisa’s blog for a shot of her finished fabrics, as well as photos of our Cyanotype sun-printing experiments.

Lisa Chin's dyed fabric setting in the sun

I could never get through a long trip like Houston without the help and support of friends and colleagues. Joining me at Judi’s beautiful home were Chis Vinh, Ruth Chandler and Liz Kettle. Chris was a godsend to me; sharing the driving duties to and from Houston, helping me with set-up and take-down (twice! If you exhibit in both shows as I do, you can’t leave your booth from Market up for Festival!) and staffing my booth. And Ruth and Liz had their own extensive schedules with teaching duties.


Lisa Chin demonstrating monoprinting techniques

We all came together for a “Take & Teach” sponsored by Rockland Industries. Artistic Artifacts sells its Roc-lon® Multi Purpose Cloth, Osnaburg 100% Cotton and Nature’s Way Muslin. Take & Teach sessions are 90-minutes long and take place each morning before the Market opens, led by current Market exhibitors about their product. Like my schoolhouse presentation, these sessions serve to let quilt and fabric shop owners know what can be done with a product. I demonstrated block printing and mono-printing on the various fabrics, using my wooden printing blocks and our new fluid textile paints. Lisa, pictured here, used stencils and found objects to explore additional monoprinting techniques. We hope we made some converts to this creative fun.

I have to say thank you to Lisa, for her lovely testimonial on her blog:

“[We] used some great new fabric paints from Artistic Artifacts. I bought the complete set to bring home after using them in class. They have a nice long open time, meaning they won’t dry too quickly on the gel plate, and they have a soft hand on the fabric! Two ideal attributes for fabric paint in my book!”

Since Lisa has been far more productive writing and taking photos than I have, here are links her blog posts relating to Quilt Market and Quilt Festival:

P.S. We’ve just finalized plans with Liz to visit Artistic Artifacts early next month: she’ll be teaching a Friday evening class on her beautiful Stitch Meditations, and a Sunday class on Magical Stitches. In between, Saturday, December 3, she’ll be joining us for our Annual Open House and Holiday Market. Stay tuned for a big announcement about a new venture then too!

 

Our Wide Stripes Quilt

Our enewsletter this week featured a free gift to subscribers, our Wide Stripes Batik Lap Quilt pattern — visit our Tutorials page to download your copy! (Don’t receive our enewsletter? Subscribe using the box to the right.)

Wide Stripes Batik Lap Quilt by Artistic Artifacts
Created and stitched by Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts, this design: fits in with any décor, from modern to traditional, and is quick and easy to put together — we love it!

Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik used in the Artistic Artifacts Wide Stripes quilt

This beauty was sewn using our Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik. Pictured right, top to bottom, are:

This pattern will be beautiful in whatever colors and patterns you love. But since one of Chris’ great gifts is the ability to pick amazing color and fabric combinations, enjoy the eye candy of the “bundles” she put together of Aborigine-designed fabrics from Australia as she was deciding on fabrics for our example.

Blue themed quartet of Australian Aborigine-designed fabrics

Above, left to right, Desert Rose Blue by Patricia Weeks; Fire Dreaming Blue by Janet Long; Untitled Blue by Nambooka and; Dropping Seeds Neutral by Roseanne Morton.

Red themed quartet of Australian Aborigine-designed fabrics

Above, top to bottom, Suklage Ash by Anna Pitjara; Fire Dreaming Red by Janet Long; Gathering Bush Tomatoes Ash by A. Nanagarri and Kangaroo in the Desert Rain Red by Judda.

Gold themed quartet of Australian Aborigine-designed fabrics

Above, top to bottom: Desert Rose Orange by Patricia Weeks; Wild Bush Honey Ant Mint by Audrey Martin Napanangka; Untitled Gold by Nambooka and Waterhole & Seeds Gold by Anna Pitjara.

To create a lap-size Wide Stripes quilt top requires just one yard each of four fabrics. We do list that if you instead choose 2½ yards of your chosen sashing/border fabric, you can complete a matching pieed backing for your quilt. Because you will have extra fabric left, including a pieced strip of your four fabrics remaining as you cut per our directions, you can create a backing so pretty your quilt is reversible! Look at the back of our sample:

Pieced backing of the Artistic Artifacts Wide Stripes Batik Quilt

Enjoy making your quilt in the colors and patterns you love best. (And we’d love it if you share photos of your work with us!)

Remember that in addition to our regular Facebook presence, we have set up Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds, a Facebook group that’s a virtual extension of Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs, which meets monthly in the shop). On Facebook group members — art quilters, collage artists, art journal keepers, surface design enthusiasts, paper crafters, assemblage & art doll artists, and more from all over the US and beyond — have a place to share ideas and projects with one another. Representing all levels of expertise, this is a online home for our Creative Minds to encourage and support like-minded friends. Join Us!

Using Triangles On A Roll to Speed Piecing

Half Square Triangles created with Triangles On A Roll paper

I am currently working on a semi-secret project, one that is requiring me to really stretch… Okay, I will actually confess that instead of a stretch this is a real JUMP out of my comfort zone!

I’m working with a size larger than 24" x 24", and I’m doing quilt piecework beyond my beloved log cabin strip construction! The crib quilt project that I am designing uses a handpainted batik panel by Mahyar as a focal point, and it has a very cool border design, similar to that pictured below, that I wanted to echo.

Batik detail on Mahyar batik panel

My first thought was using pieced Half Square Triangles (HST). I had heard good things about the Triangles On A Roll for piecing HSTs, and thought I would experiment with them. I began by purchasing sample rolls in couple different sizes and testing them with fabrics. There’s a free Craftsy Tutorial that is nicely illustrated with clear photos on how to use Triangles on a Roll to sew HSTs: so simple to use!

Spoiler Alert: I love this product so much I’ve added it to the Artistic Artifacts store! Shop all Triangles On A Roll products »

2½" finished block, using Triangles On A Roll ; each square tells you how wide to cut your fabric squares, as seen in this photograph.

Above, 2½" finished block, using two different fabrics. A great feature of the Triangles On A Roll papers
is that each one tells you how wide to cut your fabric squares, as you can see in this photograph.

The Triangles On A Roll blog had a post about how quick using these products can be. Nedra Sorensen of Triangles On a Roll decided to time herself in making 44 HSTs for a project. Her sewing time was 13 minutes; her cutting time 5 minutes; paper removal time 5 minutes; pressing time 5 minutes, and trimming off the bunny ears 2 minutes. A total of 30 minutes! Now, of course quilting’s not a race, but even for a beginner using this product, the time savings from cutting and piecing a HST the old-fashioned way is incredible. Plus, you are getting consistently precise, accurate results.

Woodstock batik by Batik Tambal sewn using Triangles On A Roll

Above, a fun result using Woodstock, 1969, an ombre batiks that is one of the dessigns created exclusively for us by Indonesian artisans. We just released a new Ferns pattern in six beautiful colorwayas!

Then, thinking of structure like the log cabin construction (see, I didn’t get too far away from my default mode!), I wanted to experiment with the contrast of light and dark fabrics:

HSTs sewn using Triangles On A Roll

The top HST in the above photo has had its “bunny ears” trimmed. Look at the accuracy of the piecing and the even seam allowances. Each of these rolls are 50 feet long, and the number of finished HSTs will vary with the size. For instance, the 3½" roll will make 540 HSTs!

Key points to remember when sewing HSTs with Triangles On A Roll:

  • Pin the paper to the top of two (2) pieces of fabric that are facing right sides together.
  • Shorten your stitch length on your sewing machine to make it easier to remove the paper after piecing. Triangles On A Roll recommends a 1.5 setting.
  • Sew on the dotted lines.
  • Cut on the solid lines.

So, once I had warmed up with several piecing sessions using different sizes and fabrics, my next step was to use HSTs in a project.

HSTs from two different Australian fabrics, sewn using Triangles On A Roll

Above, River Dreaming Red by Barbara Egan and Bush Coconut Dreaming Red by Audrey Martin, two Aborigine Designed Fabric that look great together.

Pillow top, designed using a handpainted batik panel by Ahmed and HSTs sewn using Triangles On A Roll

I used an Ahmed batik panel and cut it in half horizontally to make two coordinating pillows. After framing the panel in narrow strips, I enlarged the surface using my red and black HSTs on just two sides for an asymmetrical look.

Pillow top, designed using a handpainted batik panel by Ahmed and HSTs sewn using Triangles On A Roll

Above, the second pillow top (both are still in progress with the binding and the backing). One hint for you, watch the orientation of the triangles when you use them to wrap around a block (as I did here), rather than in a straight line.

Detail, free motion quilting, of pillow top, designed using a handpainted batik panel by Ahmed

A detail of my free motion quilting of the panel. Abstracts are fun, because anything goes!

So with my pillows essentially finished, I’m back to my original idea using the Mayhar Batik Art Panel…

Piecing with Triangles On A Roll paper

Half Square Triangles (HSTs) created with Triangles On A Roll paper

Triangles On A Roll products are definitely going to help me create a wonderful Mahyar crib quilt design!

Batik panel  by Mahyar, a focal point of an upcoming quilt project

Books as Inspiration vs. Prescription

Guest post by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

I pondered this “Inspiration vs. Prescription” idea one day when browsing through the new books at Artistic Artifacts. As artists — name your media — we probably use books for both inspiration and prescription.

  • Some books are just eye candy and must-haves for that reason alone.
  • Others teach new techniques and skills to add to our “tool box.”
  • There are those who select a book for the instructions to make a project just like the one the artist author shows in the book.
  • And then there are those books that make you wonder, “what if?”…

Kaffe Fassett's Brilliant Little Patchwork Cushions and Pillows

For me, one of the books that falls into the last category is Kaffe Fassett’s brilliant little patchwork cushions and pillows. With a subtitle of “20 patchwok projects using Kaffe Fassett fabrics,” my first thought was, since Artistic Artifacts doesn’t carry his fabrics, why carry the book?

But as I leafed through the pages, I was quickly inspired by the possibilities. Rather than recreate the patterns and fabric choices used in the many projects in the book, I started dreaming about how some of new fabrics in the shop would look instead.

I had already been playing with ideas for the She Sells designs from Frond Design Studios. Looking though the book, I decided that the “chrysanthemum cushion” might work well, as it uses a huge patterned fabric.

Selecting a stripes pattern was a no brainer — the Woodstock 1969 colorway of the Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik was perfect with the She Sells: Aqua I wanted to use. Add two of the Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik Fruit Sours patterns, in Tangerine and Blue Raspberry, and I had a match made in heaven!

I also decided I wanted to make a table runner, rather than the pillow called for in the book. I estimated my fabric requirements using the fabric guidelines in the book. I wanted to use the Blue Raspberry Fruit Sours batik as the back and binding, so I went with one yard there, and ½ yards of the other three fabrics.

Christine Vinh begins piecing a table runner, inspired by a Kaffe Fassett project

Using the cushion pattern as guidelines, I cut the fabrics. When sewing the shell and ombre stripes together, I added stripes at each end to extend the center panel to the desired length, then added the border. I machine quilted my runner with a variegated thread and finished it off with the binding. A fun and easy project completed in a few hours!

Variegated thread used to machine quilt Christine Vinh's table runner sewn from Frond Design Studios fabric and Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik

In the detail photo above, you can see how the variegated thread coordinated with the fabrics — I loved how it turned out.

Christine Vinh's table runner and the Kaffe Fassett project that inspired it

Above, a view of my completed runner and the inspiration pillow project from Kaffe’s book.

This project was so fun and easy to sew that now I’m imagining doing another one, with another She Sells colorway paired with one of the new Barnboard colorways, also from Frond Design Studios. Below, She Sells: Sand and Barnboard: Violet.

She Sells: Sand and Barnboard: Violet fabrics from Frond Design Studios, sold by Artistic Artifacts

Or perhaps She Sells: Ultramarine and Barnboard: Summer, below…

She Sells: Ultramarine and Barnboard: Summer fabrics from Frond Design Studios, sold by Artistic Artifacts

The Malachite pillow from Kaffe Fassestt’s brilliant little patchwork cushions and pillowsBack to Kaffe’s book, I also liked the pattern design used in the “malachite cushion” (pictured right). Kaffe noted that he wanted to play with the swirling lines and color variations of his Jupiter fabric by further cutting the fabric into triangles and piecing it back together.

As soon as I saw the recent addition to our Australian Aboriginal fabrics, River Dreaming by Barbara Egan, I loved the movement! I thought it would be interesting to see how the pattern changed by cutting and piecing it according to Kaffe’s instructions.

I selected the River Dreaming Black for the top and decided on Plum Seeds Red by Kathleen Pitjara as binding. I followed the instructions in the book — again, a quick and easy project. But while I love the finished pillow top (pictured below flat, without the pillow form), because of the overall swirls of the fabric, it is hard to see the quilt pattern.

River Dreaming Black fabric pieced into pillow by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

So. lesson learned! Next I tried using the River Dreaming White with the Black version, and played with my fabric choices and placement to get the look I wanted. Pictured below, this work in progress using the same pattern has a better ‘bang for the buck’ with the black and white triangles alternated.

River Dreaming Black and River Dreaming white fabrics pieced into pillow top by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

Both because I wasn’t afraid to ask the question, “what if…?” and because I gave myself permission to play and experiment, I’ll end up with another great graphic pillow.

Take some time and browse through the books for sale at Artistic Artifacts, or on your own book shelf, but with the focus of using the ideas of the author as a springboard for your own imagination. This is a good exercise to do with some of the earlier books you may have, where the fabric used for the samples is outdated. Visualize how the designs and techniques could be brought to life with some of the new and fun fabrics available today: swapping out calicos with modern cottons, for example.

In addition to the books in the shop, check out the book recommendations from members of Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs). Each fall we devote one meeting to sharing thoughts on favorite fiber and mixed media titles, both new publications and favorities from our past. Our ongoing list is a downloadable PDF published on our website.

And remember, we have a new Facebook group, Artistic Artifacts’ Creative Minds, a virtual extension of JAMs. On Facebook group members from all over— art quilters, collage artists, art journal keepers, surface design enthusiasts, paper crafters, assemblage & art doll artists, and more — have a place to share ideas and projects with one another. Come join us there and share your own projects and thoughts on Inspiration vs. Prescription!

To sum up:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match fabric lines and colors and textures.
  • Give yourself permission to play.
  • By giving yourself permission to ask “what if” and play, you will learn along the way… and most likely will be very pleased with your results!

Floral Block Printed Quilt-let

sewingleafstemquilt

When new wooden printing blocks arrive, I usually cannot resist adding one or more of the designs to my own personal collection. This piece is a result of my jumping to try out WB110 Leaves and Stem, a nicely sized and detailed rectangular block in a variety of colors.

Digging through my bin that stores my printed swatches, I found one of the Leaves and Stems prints and paired it with another print, a 4-up grid of WB344 Daisy Square Flower on a pink/green batik. Both had been printed with green textile paint and I knew I had the perfect complement in my stash: I chose a bright batik to sew these together with sashing and borders.

Using the pillow case construction method to complete quilt-let

There are several names for the technique I used to complete this quilt together: pillow case construction, escape hatch, knife edge: you end up with a traditional 3 layer quilt with no binding. Very easy to, and it creates a nice finish (here’s one explanation).

Using the pillow case construction method to complete quilt-let

Cut a slit very carefully in the back fabric and pull the right side out.

Cut a slit very carefully in the back fabric and pull the right side out

Once the quilt had been turned inside out and was pressed and ready for quilting, my next experiment was to try a heavier thread for my free motion quilting. This is more toward the 12 weight on the flowers and leaves. I carried the leaf motif down the side to join the flowers and the leaves.

Detail, free motion quilting

Completed block printed quilt-let by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Finished: one more quick quilt-let! I love the leaf stamp and look forward to using it again.

I’m Teaching Block Printing for The Fiber Art Connection!

As noted in our latest enewsletter, registration is now open for Session 2 of The Fiber Art Connection, with classes beginning September 1. Each of the six lesson is a two week long artist immersion, for a total 12 weeks as well as a bonus week.

The Fiber Art Connection is a fully-interactive online class platform that allows teachers and students to connect: participate in live calls and webinars as well as a private Facebook community and message boards. If you are unable to attend the live calls or webinars, no worries: everything is recorded, and will be accessible to registrants indefinitely.

The lineup for Session 2:

  • Desiree Habicht, Lesson 1, Old World Tiles: a wonderful introduction to using Acrylic inks on fabric that adds painting techniques, inks, netting and threads to create the look of old world tiles.
  • Lenore Crawford, Lesson 2, Gelling Crocuses & Crazy Colored Shoes: learn her technique to create beautiful, ultra realistic fiber art in a class offered exclusively to the students at the Fiber Art Connection — a method that allow you to cover almost anything with beautiful fabrics. Plus, her Crazy Colored Shoes, long requested by her students, is being offered for the first tim exclusively for the Fiber Art Connection
  • Lisa Chin, Lesson 3, Create your own Stamps for Fabric Design: learn how to carve rubber stamps using your own drawings (or copyright- free images) to customize hand dyed or commercial fabric. You will learn how to carve words and patterns and how layer stamps as well as discuss the best paints, inks and stamp pads to use on fabric.
  • Libby Williamson, Lesson 4, Stitch-Paint-Whimsy: enjoy two weeks of creative fun as Libby guides you through her free-motion stitching techniques, combing cloth and paper fibers and assorted mark-making techniques to create textural, brightly colored art.
  • Suzanne Connors, Lesson 5,Introduction to Eco-Printing: experience the magic and surprise of color that can be achieved with Eco-Printing (using plants to dye and print on fiber through contact printing methods). Learn how to choose and prepare plants for dyeing; to understand the print process on protein fibers; different techniques of folding, tying fabric, shibori and other types of resist as well as methods of constructing and cooking bundles.
  • Judy Gula, Lesson 6, Wooden Block Printing and More: learn to lock print on textiles using hand-carved wooden printing blocks. You will explore several different surface design techniques that will give each of your blocks a hand stamped or designed look.

The bonus week will be filled with projects, ideas, and helpful hints on a variety of topics. It is also an opportunity for you to submit your big questions at anytime during the week to any of the artists for an answer, as well as a closing celebration of all that was accomplished during the Session; to show off the projects that were made in class.