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Hari Agung Floral Batik Panel Quilts

One of my favorite ways to put together a fast, but beautiful, art quilt is to start with a handcrafted batik panel and add one of more border strips log cabin style. This one just needs the binding.

Small red floral batik panel by Hari Agung bordered with Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik

To complement this gorgeous red floral panel by Hari Agung, I used two fabrics from our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik fabric line: top and left is Fruit Sours, Green Apple, and bottom/right is Fronds, Mocha.

Detail, Small red floral batik panel by Hari Agung bordered with Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik

I machine quilted the borders with simple angled straight lines, and the center panel with a free-form meander.

French knots accenting the flower centers of the Hari Agung batik panel

Above, I accented the flower centers with French knots. I love using a variegated thread like our beautiful Eleganza from the Sue Spargo Collection by WonderFil Specialty Threads for French knots: you end up with different colors without changing threads!

I used a medium size Hari Agung panel for this next quilt in progress.

Medium Hari Agung floral panel art quilt ready for quilting and then binding

This one is framed with simple log cabin-style nested borders, including Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik in Connections, Red and the Crosshatch Gold from the Marks by Valori Wells collection, a gorgeous modern cotton. The next step is to add quilting using the BERNINA Q20 sit down machine and then bind it.

Detail, medium Hari Agung floral panel art quilt ready for quilting and then binding

This simple construction technique — batik panel framed by log cabin strips —is easy enough for beginning quilters, but impressive: get started on your own version!

WonderFil Threaducation!

Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula is enjoying her time in sunny California at the WonderFil Education Center Summit…

Judy Gula, owner of Artistic Artifacts, participating in the WonderFil Specialty Threads Education Summit

…as is perhaps obvious from the big smile on her face in the photo above! It was taken by her friend Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution, another attendee at the Summit. Liz (pictured below), a certified “Threaducator” with WonderFil, will be visiting Artistic Artifacts in June for her 4-day creative retreat, Stitch Journeys. Suitable for beginners, attendees gain mastery of their sewing machine and develop the confidence to tackle any kind of specialty thread and tame their tension fears as they create a sample fabric workbook that serves as a permanent, creative reference tool. This is her only time teaching on the East Coast this year, so if you can, plan your vacation around traveling to Virginia and attending!

Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution participating in the WonderFil Specialty Threads Education Summit

Judy and Liz are collaborating in the development of an upcoming Threaducation Center class.

Handpainted batik panel by Rusli, enhanced with machine quilting and thread painting using both Konfetti™ and Tutti™ threads by WonderFil

They used a handpainted batik panel by Rusli, which is enhanced with machine quilting and thread painting using both Konfetti™ and Tutti™ threads by WonderFil. Konfetti and Tutti are both 50wt, 3ply 100% long staple Egyptian cotton threads that are double-gassed (burning off the lint from the thread two times) and mercerized to create a soft, clean, and lustrous finish.

Handpainted batik panel by Rusli, enhanced with machine quilting and thread painting using Konfetti™ thread by WonderFil

Additional detail views above and below.

Handpainted batik panel by Rusli, enhanced with machine quilting and thread painting using Tutti™ thread by WonderFil

Below is Judy’s favorite thread sampler, posted on the Artistic Artifacts Facebook page. When she returns we’ll have to get the details from her!

Judy Gula's favorite WonderFil thread sampler

More Threaducation going on…

The WonderFil Specialty Threads Education Summit

But you know fiber artists…even after a full day of studying, they are still up for more fun! You can see Liz and Judy, plus Bernadette Kent and Alicia Campbell in the background of this selfie taken by Libby Williamson of Blue Denim Design at The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens in Orange, CA.

Fiber artists having fun at the Blue Denim Studio at The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens in Orange, CA

They were busy having fun with block printing and thermofax printing on fabric. Judy never misses the opportunity to share her love of wooden printing blocks!

Those of you close to Artistic Artifacts can further your own Threaducation! Join us on Friday, March 24 for Finding Your Voice, a lecture by WonderFil Threaducator Kay Capps Cross. She promises 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.”

Kay Kapps Cross quilt stitched with WonderFil Specialty Threads

And on Saturday, March 25, we are delighted that Kay (who quilted the above beauty as she demonstrated various WonderFil threads during the recent AQS show) will be sharing her knowledge during our exciting WonderFil Boutique Show & Tell event. Sponsored by WonderFil™ Specialty Threads, we will hold two complimentary seatings, morning and afternoon, of this inspiring and informational session. Get inspired with samples of threadwork and demos using the many specialty threads by WonderFil! Reservations are required as seating is limited, so don’t delay and claim your spot!

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.

Pretty Little Bits….

Diane Herbort teaching Baubles, Dangles & Beads  at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

Diane Herbort is visiting Artistic Artifacts (standing, above), teaching her Baubles, Dangles & Beads class. As she unpacked her supplies and samples setting up for class, we couldn’t help but snap a few quick photos of her artful bits and pieces.

Diane Herbort supplies for her Baubles, Dangles & Beads class

From her website: “Traditional needle arts, always considered ‘women’s arts,’ are important to me, both as a source of inspiration and as skills that I can use and adapt to tell my story. I think of my quilts and collages as being sister artworks. They are all assembled from the same things: textiles, paper, embellishments and memories.”

Diane Herbort supplies for her Baubles, Dangles & Beads class

“Being an unreformed collector, I gather bits and pieces that help me touch the past. Old postcards, buttons and bits of lace often become a part of my art. Other times, I simply need to have them around me. They possess a sense of age and mystery, of stories grasped only in fragmentary form, that I hope my work also holds.”

Stitched and embellished heart detail from a quilt by Diane Herbort

Diane will be teaching similar methods in her Crazy Techniques class on Saturday, October 8: “Start a small quilt or evening bag while exploring the ins and outs of crazy quilting. This versatile technique lends itself to a wide range of fabrics, plain or fancy…If you enjoy enriching the surface, machine or hand embroidery, beading and just about any other type of embellishment are all possibilities.“ Join us if you can!

Retro fabric panel beaded and embellished by Diane Herbort
Hand-stitched and embellished cases by Diane Herbort

Diane posts beautiful inspiration photos on her website each week, writing wonderful prose about each. Visit and enjoy!

Detail, embellished art quilt by Diane Herbort

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!

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