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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

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!

 

Artistic Artifacts at Quilt Market 2016

Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal booth at the 2016 Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Texas

The largest “trade show” for fabric and quilting takes place each year, prior to the International Quilt Festival, which runs November 3–6 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. Above, the Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal booth this year!

We make a number of our unique products available at wholesale cost to retailers around the country: our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik and Textile Paints, hand-carved wooden printing blocks from India, handpainted batik artist panels and more! Encourage your local quilt shop to visit our website to learn more about our wholesale opportunities.

Artistic Artifacts creator Judy Gula chats with fabric designer Valori Wells at the 2016 Quilt Market

Above, Judy chats with fabric designer Valori Wells in her booth. We recently added Valori’s stunning Marks fabric collection to our secure online shop. (Bet plans are being made here to add even more of her beautiful designs!)

Artistic Artifacts will be in Booth #1047 for the Festival, so those of you lucky enough to attend, please plan to stop by to visit and shop!

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.

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

Color and Inspiration at MAQF

I’m on my way to Portland, Oregon for the first Art & Soul of 2016 as you read this. I left the Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal booth at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival (MAQF, February 25 – 28 in Hampton, VA)) in the good hands of my husband Dave, son Kyle and help from Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts and Kathy Lincoln. Chris Vinh (StitchesnQuilts) was a huge help to me packing, driving down, setting up the booth and working the first two days of the show. Thank you to all!

I never get to see as much of a quilt show as I’d like…Here I have shamelessly borrowed some photos from Artistic Artifacts friends and customers to give you a bit of a taste of the show here.

Nancy Hershberger quilt displayed at MAQF

The above stunner (detail below) is by Nancy Hershberger. Nancy is one of our long-time Creative Minds who has been working with Cyndi Souder, Moonlighting Quilts in one of her art quilting groups which meet monthly at Artistic Artifacts.

Detail, Nancy Hershberger quilt displayed at MAQF

Look at that amazing range of batik fabrics and how the colors are graduated!

U2 4ever by Catherine Etter displayed at MAQF

Catherine Etter of Powatan, VA has made the trip up to Artistic Artifacts several times over the years to attend our classes–we are honored she makes that effort! She created U2 4ever (pictured above) for an “Alphabet Soup Challenge” with her Colonial Piecemakers guild, having drawn the letter U.

Detail, U2 4ever by Catherine Etter displayed at MAQF

Catherine’s label reads, “Love this group and all their philanthropic efforts and global vision. And bonus round, their music rocks!!! Mixed media of course… ” Such amazing details and embellishments (see above) in this quilt!

Fledging by Catherine Etter displayed at MAQF

Catherine’s quilt Fledgling was created for the “Bring Hexy Back” Challenge with the Richmond Modern Quilt Guild. Her label reads: “Inspiration: in life, we all take flight. Being born, growing up, leaving home and nest, creating a new home, a new home with fledgings of your own. So spread your wings, take flight and simply soar. Embroidery, appliqué, bead accents.”

Detail, Fledging by Catherine Etter displayed at MAQF

Catherine: “my own personal brilliantly plumed Hexy takes flight, leaving a trail of hope, heart, dreams and creativity along my life’s journey.”

Detail, Fledging by Catherine Etter displayed at MAQF

And speaking of hexies…

Flower Power by Mary W. Kerr, quilted by Linda Jackson Thielfoldt and displayed at MAQF

Above is Mary W. Kerr’s Flower Power quilt, which won a ribbon for Best Use of Negative space. Mary is an American Quilt Society certified appraiser and the author of Recycled Hexie Quilts, among other titles. Mary’s beautiful work was quilted by Linda Jackson Thielfoldt.

Beauty's in the Cosmos by Susan Sladek displayed at MAQF

Above, “Beauty’s in the Cosmos” by Susan Sladek. So intricate, and a gorgeous use of so many different fabrics!

MAQF had as its theme “Sew Far, Sew Good,” a reflection on how the festival has progressed over its 27 years of existence. Entrants were asked to explain how far their quilt making journey has taken them and where they are today as artists, and gave entrants an opportunity to tell show-goers about the secret treasures hidden in their fabric stash!

This year they added modern quilting to its categories; entrants in were asked to draw inspiration from the Mid-Century Mod period of mid-20th century design and reflect their own exposures or from the work of artists such as Joan Miro, Piet Mondrian, Victor Vasarely, and Frank Stella. All accepted quilt entries for the show compete in Traditional, Innovative, Modern and Wall Quilt categories as well as for the “Best of Show” title. There is also a Wearable Art Competition on display at the show.

Artistic Artifacts’ Modern Squares Quilt Tutorial

Modern Squares Quilt designed and quilted by Christine Vinh for Arttistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal

One of the hits of our booth display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX was this stunning quilt, which was designed, pieced and quilted by Christine Vinh. Chris has a beautiful instinct for mixing colors and patterns, and combined fabrics from our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik collection with those from Frond Design to create both the above pictured quilt, and another version in cool colors.

Want to make your own? Here’s how!

Modern Squares Quilt Pattern

       Designed and quilted by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

This pattern is a modification of a free pattern by Erica Jackman of Kitchen Table Quilting named “Simply Styled Stacked Square Quilt.” For the Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal version, Chris reduced the measurements to 8-inch squares and 2-inch strips. She cut all material from yardage instead of using Jelly Rolls and Layer Cake sets (as Erica did).

The quilt is made up of 23 squares, using one large square and two pairs of strips for borders around each square.

The following are details to get you started: use our instructions for cutting (download a PDF of print instructions), and review Erica’s tutorial for sewing and placement.

Fabrics from Frond Design and our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik to create the Modern Squares Quilt

Fabric requirements for a lap quilt, approximately 56 inches x 64 inches:

  • 1 yard each of two (2) focus fabrics (as mentioned, we used fabrics from Frond Design and our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik)
  • 1 yard white
  • ½ yard of 6-8 fabrics
  • ½ yard fabric for binding
  • 2 yards fabric for backing

Cutting:

From the two focus fabrics and the white fabric, cut 2 (two) 8- inch strips and 2-4 (two to four) 2-inch strips the width of the fabric (WOF).

Cutting 2-inch strips the width of the fabric

Cut one of the 8 inch strips into 5 (five) 8-inch squares (below). From the second 8-inch strip, cut 2 (two) 8-inch squares, and then 4 (four) 2-inch strips from the remaining width of strip long.

modernsquare8in

From your assorted ½ yards of fabrics, cut 2-inch strips, or a combination of 8-inch strips cut into blocks and strips (as above). If you have chosen fabrics with stripes, cut the fabric with the stripes running the length of the strip.

Once cut, randomly select one 8-inch square and two sets of different fabric strips to create each block. Vary the selections so your blocks will all be different.

Sewing the Quilt Top:

Adding 2-inch strips to the sides of the 8-inch square

Erica chose to cut the strips for inner and outer borders around the square; Chris instead used her WOF strips, and trimmed them square to the block as she proceeded.

Sew two strips to top and bottom of a square, press, trim (above). Repeat the process of sewing the same fabric strip to the opposite sides, creating a square within a square. Repeat these steps for the second border (see below).

Modern Quilt Squares block completed

An assortment of completed Modern Quilt Squares blocks

Once all squares are sewn (assortment shown above), cut each square in half vertically (pictured below), and then in half again horizontally.

Cutting a completed Modern Quilt Squares block into halves vertically

With the horizontal cut, you will then have 4 (four) identical quadrants of your original square (pictured below).

Cutting the Modern Quilt Squares block horizontally for four identical blocks

Once all of the blocks are sewn and cut, the real fun begins! Lay out the blocks into a rectangle eight (8) columns wide by nine (9) rows tall using your design wall or open floor space (pictured below).

Designing the Modern Quilts Squares layout

Chris used a placement that used a selection of both the Frond fabric blocks and the Batik Tambal Exclusive fabric as “whole” squares, to feature the fabric. Carefully arranging the other quarter squares around these intact blocks is what gives the stacked illusion. You could also choose to be completely random without having any “whole” blocks. The design is all up to you!

Identifying and sorting your blocks and rows as you begin to sew

Once you have an arrangement you love, mark/sort your blocks (above) in whatever method you’d like so that your layout will be intact. Sew your rows together using a standard ¼-inch seam allowance.

The Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal sample is borderless, but you may add one or more borders if you desire.

Finishing:

Note that you will end up with some unused strips and small blocks. Erica suggests that these be pieced together to add interest to your backing fabric.

Once your top is layered with batting and backing fabric, machine or hand quilt as desired.

Use leftover fabric from the yardage to piece your binding, or you may choose to use a complementary fabric. Bind your quilt using your choice of techniques.

Welcoming Seth Apter to JAMs

I am on my way to Quilt Odyssey at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center in Hershey, PA. The show runs from July 23-26. If you are attending, come find Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal in the Merchants Mall…I’d love to say hi!

Mixed media artist, instructor and author Seth Apter joined Artistic Artifacts for its monthly JAMs meetingThis past Sunday I took a break from the prep and packing for this show to welcome many members of Judy’s Altered Minds for our monthly meeting. We postponed our planned Zen Doodling demo by member Niya Costley to August in order to welcome a surprise visitor, Seth Apter. Seth was in the area promoting his new stamp line and kindly made time to pay us a visit before heading back home to New York.

To prevent him from being trampled with our enthusiasm, we created a sign-in sheet so that we could one at a time shop his amazing new collection, including the sets Solar System, Faded Fragments, Pattern Play, Ink Spots, Cross Hatch and Lineups — these have just been added to our online shop too.

Seth Apter and Artistic Artifacts ownder Judy Gula at the monthly JAMs meeting

Seth was his usual charming self, holding court at the front of the group, and quietly sold his products while had our show & tell session. He requested his own views of everyone’s work and delighted all with his comments and anecdotes.

I was pretty happy to have my own show & tell item — too often this is not the case! I had finished my slow stitched quilt that features wooden printing block images…I showed this in progress in a previous blog posting. Click on the below image for a larger view.

Slow Stitch Outsider Art Quilt by Judy Gula -- click for larger view

Here is a detail view of one of my blocks:

Detail, Slow Stitch Outsider Art Quilt by Judy Gula

Ann showed off her adorable fox quilt (below). She noted that the pattern called for the fox body to be pieced from fabrics, but she thought when she had a fabric as wonderful as Tim Holtz’ Bouquet, there was no need — we all agreed!

Fox quilt by JAMs member Ann

We have an art journal round robin exchange going on within the group, and Kathie enjoyed creating the below page spread so much she made another version for her own personal journal.

Mermaid journal pages by JAMs member Kathie

Sally has been working on this art quilt (below) featuring her own rusted fabrics and materials for some time now, and showed it off in its finished shape. Reminiscent of some of Seth’s own work, don’t you think?

Rusted fabric art quilt by JAMs member Sally

Below are many of the members who were present for the meeting in a photo taken by Seth. If you live in Virginia, Maryland or DC, please join us for JAMs! For those who are too far away, do keep us in mind if a vacation, business trip or family business brings you nearby during the third Sunday of the month, plan to visit us for the meeting — all are welcome!

Some of the members of JAMs in a photo taken by Seth Apter

Encouraging Fiber Arts in the Next Generation

Girl Scout Troop #776 volunteers for the Fun with Fabric project

Girl Scout Troop #776 volunteers for the Fun with Fabric project. Organizer Celia Middleton is standing, top row, left.

My niece Celia Middleton from Girl Scout Troop #776 recently organized a free* quilting educational activity for her Girl Scout Silver Award, and I was proud to support her as a sponsor!

Celia’s Fun with Fabric – Make Your Own Mini Quilt activity took place on Sunday, May 31 at the 42nd Annual Quilter’s Unlimited Quilt Show in Chantilly, VA.

She developed this project so that participants began with creating a stamped fabric with wooden printing blocks, added batting and backing and then completed the “quiltlet” by hand stitching, which kept the three layers together. These little pieces of fiber art thus illustrated what a quilt is. This event was open to all ages, and all ages participated!

Instructions and illustrations created by Celia Middleton for her Fun with Fabric project

Celia had to organize and administer this project on her own, including documenting her hours of work related to the project, to begin achieving the levels needed to qualify for her Silver Award.

Advance work included an initial meeting with a quilt show representative, lots of practice of the techniques needed so that the steps could be taught, creating samples for display, developing signage and information/illustration boards (pictured above), preparing the supplies of fabric, batting, needles and thread (donated by Artistic Artifacts) and training her helpers, which included her younger sister, Layla.

Learning to block print

Learning to print with wooden printing blocks

Fun with Fabric at the Quilters Unlimited 2015 Quilt Show

A young show visitor displays her finished quiltlet

The pride of learning new creative skills shows as this young participant displays her finished quiltlet.

In addition to this educational activity, Celia is planning to make quilts and donate them to charity as part of her Silver Award project. She asked participants to donate wood block printed squares to be used in these quilts that she will sew. Celia also hosted a fundraiser for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital SHARE program. The SHARE (Share Her Annual Real Expenses) program helps pay for membership fees, camp and other Girl Scout activities. Celia collected $20 in donations from workshop participants and is planning to continue collecting donations for this worthwhile cause!

Ellen West and her committee co-chair Carla Lounsbury of the Annandale chapter of Quilter’s Unlimited were our quilt show liaisons and created a great space for the project. I hope you enjoy the photographs included here of the girls in action. I know they enjoyed welcoming many participants and teaching them the joys of quilting!

Girl Scout volunteers teaching hand stitching

The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who arrived wearing their uniforms on that Sunday were admitted to the show at no charge. We hope that the quilt show admin will consider allowing the Scouts in uniform free for all 3 days of the show. It is so important to encourage a love of traditional arts such as quilting in the next generation, and demonstrations like Celia’s and programs such as free or reduced admission to shows and events are steps to achieving that goal.

Girl Scout volunteers block printing

Girl Scout volunteers block printing. That's the Artistic Artifacts/Batik Tambal booth in the background. I had a birds-eye view of the action in the demonstration area!


All ages enjoyed the Fun with Fabric project

* Donations were accepted for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital SHARE family giving campaign.

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