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“It’s Time to Fly” Art Quilt

Butterfly stitch meditation art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that 2018 is a creative year for you!

Detail, Butterfly stitch meditation art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I try to fit in little creative time every week. Sometimes it’s just moments. If I get lucky, it’s part of a day. And then there are times when I just sort and refold some of my fabric, or even simply admire and pet it — that counts too!

When I have moments of time, I work on my version of Liz Kettle’s stitch meditations, detailed in a previous blog post. The art quilt I’m featuring here began with one of my larger stitch meditations.

I had found a vintage tablecloth that featured cutwork embroidered butterflies, which I Indigo dyed. Cutting out the butterfly to use for a stitch meditation, I simply echoed its wings and antennae using Sue Spargo Eleganza #5, solid perle cotton in Orange Crush and a running stitch.

I stitched the butterfly to a square of the “fly” printed cotton. (Notice that I included the printed selvedge in the quilt!) While this particular fabric is currently sold out, you might like Flutter by Jennifer Sampou from the same line.

Detail, Butterfly stitch meditation art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Interest was added with the little squares of orange hand-dyed cottons topped with irregular triangles of a printed Italian silk Jacquard. These accents were stitched ‘in flight’ with the butterfly.

I decided to finish it with a 2-inch wide border of Folklife-Parang, Rainbow from the Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik line, and then bound it with a circle patterned Kaffe Fassett fabric I found in my stash (also the backing fabric).

If you are local, you can join me at Artistic Artifacts on January 18 as Artistic Artifacts hosts another opportunity to create Stitch Meditations, this time as the inaugural class in our new Hand Stitch Third Thursday series. Hope to see you!

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Folded Fabric Tree

Folded fabric tree by Julie Middleton of Artistic Artifacts
Art Gallery Fabrics fabric tree project

My sister Julie Middleton made the above pictured Folded Fabric Tree. She was inspired by the Holiday Decorating 101- Decorate like a Pro post earlier this month on the Art Gallery Fabric blog.

It included 6 free patterns and ideas for holiday decorating — although the Divided Organizer Caddy project is a great year round idea! Julie fell in love with #4, the fabric Christmas tree (Art Gallery version pictured right).

Blog author Meli wrote, “Wanna take a break from sewing? Try making a fabric Christmas tree by following this fun folding and pinning method. I love how professional all the folded clean edges look. Add your tree to the center of your table to make the most darling centerpiece!” View their easy video tutorial below.

We love the beautiful modern cottons by Art Gallery Fabrics — you can see our in-store quilt using many of the colors of their Squared Elements line in the background of the above photo. Julie used a variety of fabrics (detail pictured below), including selections from our Black and White Fabrics section — including Australian Aborigine designed prints and our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik such as Folklife-Paisley Leaves Mystic.

Detail, Folded fabric tree by Julie Middleton of Artistic Artifacts

Instead of creating a star, Julie topped her tree with a vintage spool of thread. This might be a fun project to do as a group as you gather with friends and family this holiday season — many hands would make light work of cutting and folding the fabric squares to create the tree. You can match any decor and vary the size: how about a grouping of trees gracing your mantel or tabletop?

Art Gallery Fabrics is also offering a free download of cute gift tags inspired by some of their fabric collections for those doing last minute gift wrapping.

Happy Holidays to all!

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Artistic Artifacts’ Holiday Stockings

In preparation for our annual Open House weekend, held on December 1-3, the staff of Artistic Artifacts decided to make Christmas stockings (which were stuffed with product) to go to the winners of a random drawing. We planned to use the same pattern for consistency but to each use different fabrics or techniques to showcase different Artistic Artifacts products.

Judy Gula’s completed holiday stocking

Above, Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula challenged herself to just use scraps from her stash — predominately Australian Aborgine-designed prints, with some fun modern cottons mixed in.

Below, Judy’s sister Julie Middleton used traditional red and green colors, but twisted tradition by using our own Batik Tambal Exclusive Batiks.

Julie Middleton’s completed holiday stocking

Below, Julie made her stocking reversible by concentrating her patchwork to a specific color. She used Velvet Rick Rack to embellish the cuff — a perfect finishing touch!

Julie Middleton’s completed holiday stocking, reverse side

Chris Vinh’s completed holiday stocking

Above, Chris Vinh used Effervescence Border, Fiesta for her stocking. She used the contrasting border design portion of the fabric for her cuff and thought she might add some hand-stitching… but the exuberant print and colors on their own were so beautiful she decided she was done!

Denise Reuter’s completed holiday stocking

Above, Denise Reuter selected a cool color palette and used a variety of fabrics: our batiks, Australian, bits of Tim Holtz and Frond Design Studios fabrics. Her stocking is another that can hang in either direction, as both sides are beautiful. The wonderful blue faux fur cuff was a lucky find amongst the materials on the “free table” featured at each JAMs (Judy’s Altered Minds) meeting — our next is Sunday, December 17.

Detail, Denise Reuter’s completed holiday stocking

Of course, our in-house BERNINA expert couldn’t consider her stocking done until she had added beautiful machine embroidery — detail pictured above. She used a built-in snowflake design and hooped it on the B790, using WonderFil’s Spotlite metallic thread in 8831 Ice Blue.

Sharon McDonagh’s completed holiday stocking
The Artistic Artifacts holiday stocking template

Above, Sharon McDonagh decided to represent the mixed media side of the business. She created a paper-cloth base of tissue over muslin, colored with Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paints and Gelatos and Wooden Printing Blocks accents.

How We Did It

We found a Christmas Stocking Pattern & “How To” on the Stitchin’ Post blog from an online search.. After printing out the template pages and taping it together, we felt it was too large for our needs, so we cut some off from the top of the stocking, and also shortened the toe by tracing a round tin a couple inches in and correcting the edges.

We then transferred our new shape onto chipboard (pictured above right) to make it more durable for multiple tracings.

Chris Vinh sewing in progress

Although our original pattern link contained a how-to, Chris discovered this Christmas Stocking Tutorial on the FabricWorm site and used it since it included instructions for incorporating a cuff. As the first one to complete her stocking, everyone else followed suit.

Chris Vinh creating stocking cuff and lining

Above, Chris used Pomegranate Squared Elements for her lining — a beautiful contrast to her base fabric.

Sharon McDonagh’s paper cloth base drying

Above, Sharon began with a piece of Nature’s Way™ UNBLEACHED by Roc-lon® muslin and layered printed tissue and papers such as those found in our Found Paper & Collage Packs — book text, sheet music, maps, etc. You can download a PDF tutorial Making Fabric from Paper by Beryl Taylor from the Cloth Paper Scissors blog for complete how-to’s — the article appeared in the very first issue of the magazine.

Sharon McDonagh adding paint, block printing and Gelatos to her paper cloth

Above, Sharon layering color and block prints onto the paper cloth. Below left, she adds the seam allowance to the reverse of her paper cloth. While it stitches easily, she attached her cuff section as a separate element. Below right, she uses the Uni-ball Signo Broad Gel Pen in white to add embellishing to her cuff block print. If you register for Noir Magic — Lettering, Flora and Fauna with theresa mARTin, you will learn how critical a tool this pen is!

Marking paper cloth

We hope these ideas have inspired all of you to create your own! Our lucky winners, randomly drawn were Ann Kuipers, Sharon Rosenblatt, Judy Seitz, Susan Stelow and Ursula Yeo. Congratulations, ladies!

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Support the Shop Small Movement

Show your love for Artistic Artifacts by visiting on Small Business Saturday, November 25

This November 25, we want to share Small Business Saturday® with you! Small Business Saturday® is an annual shopping tradition celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country, the Shop Small movement was founded by American Express in 2010.

Shop Small® with us — grab a friend or family member and come by Artistic Artifacts between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm on the big day. As a Thanksgiving weekend expression of gratitude to our customers, visitors can enjoy a store-wide 15% discount on products (some exceptions apply). We have plenty of wonderful gift selections for your favorite creative friends and family as the holiday season approaches! Fill out a wish list (on paper in the shop or online) and let us know who we should contact to drop the hint for your OWN perfect present!

Artistic Artifacts is getting ready to kick off the 2017 Holiday season!

Artistic Artifacts is preparing for the 2017 Holiday season—join us for Small Business Saturday on November 25!

We invite you to come relax and hang out at the shop — getting away from the mall crowds and/or extended family — and get yourself in a positive frame of mind for the upcoming holiday season. We will have door prizes, all the makings and instruction on creating a Stitch Meditation, plus a 1:00 pm presentation by Janette Coffee of Essentially Holistic (see more below).

Recently completed Stitch Meditations by Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution

Previous hand-stitching or embroidery experience is not necessary to create a beautiful Stitch Meditation, and we will have plenty of fabrics, threads and embellishing scraps on hand for you to play with! The Stitch Meditations pictured here are some of the recent creations of Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution (watch a video by Liz on her website) who created this amazing practice. You can also learn more about Stitch Meditations and view many additional examples in our own previous blog posting.

Whether as a reaction against the big-box madness of “Black Friday” or simply to show support, many embrace Small Business Saturday as a holiday shopping tradition. If you are not close enough to visit Artistic Artifacts yourself, please visit your own local small businesses (whether exploring new ventures or your hometown favorite), dine at a local non-chain restaurant, and more. You can help get the word out about this important “think big, shop small” movement by using #shopsmall on Facebook and all your social networks.

Artistic Artifacts is one of the 706,626 small businesses in operation across Virginia. Small businesses make up 99.50% of all the businesses in the state! (Statistics based on data from the Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profiles; “Small Business” is defined as a firm employing fewer than 500 employees.)

From local restaurants to the paint store down the street, small businesses have created major impacts across all communities and help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant. Invite your friends and family to join you: Shop Small and show your love for your favorite places. Because when small businesses succeed, we all do.

Introduction to Essential Oils

An essentials oils introduction will be presented at Artistic Artifacts on Saturday, November 25

Artistic Artifacts will be the site of a 1:00 pm presentation by Janette Coffee of Essentially Holistic, discussing döTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils. Janette promises “Essential Oils are safe and affordable and can help with everything from difficulty sleeping and stress, to chronic pain and digestive issues. If you want to learn how to use a natural remedy to achieve your best health, this is the right place!”

From döTerra: When you choose döTERRA, you are choosing essential oils gently and carefully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. Each döTERRA essential oil is also carefully and thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize the superior quality standard for naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade doTERRA essential oils.

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Artistic Artifacts Row By Row Variations

Stitched table runner by Chris Vinh, a 2017 Artistic Artifacts Row by Row Experience pattern variation

The “hibernation” period for this year’s Row by Row Experience is now over … and our 2017 Row by Row kits are available for purchase online! The Artistic Artifacts Pinwheels In Motion row kits are available in five different colorways of our Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik! To mark this time, we wanted to share some fun Row by Row adaptations with you.

The official rules for the event each summer requires creating a quilt with 8 different row patterns in it to win, but our row alone works just beautifully!

The back of Sue Lee's 2017 Row by Row Experience quilt, featuring the Artistic Artifacts row.

Pictured above, one side of the quilt that won our prize for the first completed (quilted, bound, and labeled). Sue Lee extended our row in length and used it on the back of her quilt, making it reversible. After initially purchasing her kit in July, she returned the next day for more fabric — Shapes-Pinwheels, Fuchsia and Color Sponge Solid: Berry —to create the row extension and to create her quilt’s binding. We loved how just the single row created such a modern look.

Detail of hand stitched table runner by Chris Vinh, a 2017 Artistic Artifacts Row by Row Experience pattern variation

DPictured at the top of this blog post, and in detail above, is a table runner that used one row kit. This was designed and hand-stitched by Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts. Our row was originally presented with the “flaps” pressed open and stitched down in that position, but for this runner, Chris folded and stitched them down. She embellished runner with lots of gorgeous hand-stitching, using a variety of Tentakulum Painter’s Threads hand-dyed fibers. Tentakulum products are available in a wide range of colors, so both matching and contrasting your fabric is easy.

Quilt using multiple 2017 Artistic Artifacts Row by Row Experience row patterns by Chris Vinh

Chris also made a quilt using several of our rows stitched together (above). For this project Chris chose to swap out the Pinwheels fabric for Shapes-Eyes in Harvest, and paired it with Color Sponge Solid: Flame.

Detail, Quilt using multiple 2017 Artistic Artifacts Row by Row Experience row patterns by Chris Vinh

She also used Terial Magic™ a non-aerosol fabric stabilizing spray when creating this quilt, so that her open flaps hold their dimensional structure. Originally created for use in creating dimensional fabric flowers, this product can replace many stabilizers and fusibles for quilters and embroiderers. Terial Magic keeps fraying in check for all kinds of fiber and mixed media art, and will be the focus of the November session of our How Do I… evening demonstrations. For more information, visit our previously published product review.

All Artistic Artifacts 2017 Row by Row kits include the June Tailor® Charming Circles Ruler (to easily cut accurate circles), a piece of Avalon Bleached Muslin for background, Mistyfuse® lightweight fusible and a sample spool of WonderFil 50 wt sewing thread, either Konfetti™ or Tutti. As these examples show, swapping out our original white background for black creates a dramatic contrast.

Artistic Artifacts makes a practice of keeping its Row by Row Experience patterns free rather than selling them. Download our 2017 Row by Row Experience pattern* (or any previous years’) from our website for your personal use. We’d love for you to share your project with us!

* All patterns are copyright Artistic Artifacts, all rights reserved; it is not permitted to copy or transfer the pattern in any format.

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