Anticipating Kaffe’s Visit

Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Wales book cover

Goodness, where does the time go? We’ve had a hectic summer at Artistic Artifacts, resulting in blog neglect… and we’re also gearing up for what promises to be a busy autumn! As our customers know, we’re so excited to have been asked to host Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably as one of just five stops on their book tour — their first visit to the US since 2019. And since Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Wales, his 24th of the series, has just arrived in the shop, so I thought I’d share more on our plans here.

Kaffe has inspired people across the world with his colorful work in fabric, knitting, needlepoint, patchwork, painting and mosaic, and our long holiday weekend with he and Brandon will begin Friday, October 7 with Kaffe’s Color Inspiration Lecture (tickets still available) at 7:00 pm in Old Town Alexandria. Everyone who registers for the lecture will receive a copy of Quilts in Wales, and there will be an opportunity to have your book signed by Kaffe that evening!

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, VA

We’re thrilled to have booked the George Washington Masonic National Memorial for this exciting event — it’s a National Historic Landmark and listed on the United State government’s National Register of Historic Places. We’re sure Kaffe & Brandon will appreciate the history and architecture, and it’s across the street from our event hotel, the Hilton Alexandria Old Town (located at 1767 King Street — book your Kaffe Tour Hilton Hotel stay now.)

Artistic Artifacts will have a pop-up shop on site at the Memorial, with beautiful Kaffe Fassett Collective fabric and products such as his books, puzzles, branded notions (on the way), and more — we will even have our Kaffe Fassett Special Edition BERNINA models available for purchase that evening! (Learn more about them below.) Our two quilt design classes with Kaffe and Brandon sold out very quickly! Bubbly from Quilts in Wales with Kaffe Fassett & Brandon Mably will take place at Artistic Artifacts on Saturday, October 8, Mediterranean Hexagons from Quilts in Morocco on Sunday, October 9.

BERNINA Sit & Sew: Kaffe Fassett Hatbox Quilt

We’ll finish up our tour events with a Monday, October 10 BERNINA Sit & Sew: the Kaffe Fassett Hatbox Quilt. The project was specifically designed by Kaffe, showcasing his fabrics (pictured above is a 4-block version). This all supplies provided event will be led by our BERNINA Ambassador Kathy Lincoln and our Sit & Sew students will us the beautiful new Kaffe Special Edition models during class! There will be a short morning meet & greet appearance by Kaffe and Brandon — this BERNINA Sit & Sew is a great opportunity if you weren’t able to join their other classes: you’ll have the chance to wish them well as they depart for their next tour stop!

Limited edition BERNINA models from the collaboration with Kaffe Fassett

I attended BERNINA University 2022 last month and enjoyed the big announcement of his new partnership with BERNINA — everyone was abuzz with unveiling of these beautiful machines and to hear from Kaffe, who attended with Brandon. Visit our website to learn more about these limited edition models, available for pre-order and arriving this fall.

The new BERNINA 770 QEE PLUS Kaffe Edition and its free gifts with purchase bundle

Above, the new B770 QEE PLUS Kaffe Edition is equipped with the most advanced sewing and embroidery features,and will arrive with an exclusive free gifts package — an exclusive Kaffe Fassett fabric bundle set; a trolley in Kaffe Fassett design, dust cover in Kaffe Fassett design, and the Embroidery Module with Smart Drive Technology (SDT) that includes many decorative stitches which are exclusive to the Kaffe edition and were hand-drawn by him!

The BERNINA 475 QE Kaffe Edition

Made for makers, the B475 QE Kaffe Edition pictured above is BERNINA’s first completely colored Special Edition: a tribute to Kaffe’s art and an invitation to commit to the power of color! Despite its small size, it’s powerful enough to handle the thick layers of even your biggest quilts. Featuring exclusive Kaffe Fassett stitches and jumbo bobbin with 70% more thread, perfect precision is achieved with each stitch with speeds up to 900 stitches per minute.

We’ll have additional announcements about exciting Tour opportunities in our shop, so keep checking our newsletter and website for the latest updates. We often hear from our online customers that they’d love to visit the shop in person… if you’re one of them, naturally we think Kaffe’s visit is an ideal excuse to plan an autumn vacation to Alexandria, VA!

If you haven’t yet had the chance to visit the shop, or it has been awhile since you did, you can get a current look in my latest video tour! Please help Artistic Artifacts with the #JaftexVideoChallenge by liking and sharing this Facebook post — the winning store is the one whose video receives the most views at the end of August into very early September 2022.

Artistic Artifacts is located just minutes from the Nation’s Capitol, and both Alexandria and Washington DC offer you an abundance of history, architecture treasures, world class museums, sports, and arts activities, a perfect getaway for singles, families, quilt guilds and more. Visit Alexandria and Destination DC can help you arrange the perfect trip — we hope to see you!

Making Handmade Cards

Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts demonstrating how to add foil accents to handmade cards

This summer at the shop we’ve been sharing ideas for handmade gifts and décor for the holidays. Manufacturers ship their seasonal fabrics in the early summer, and we have some beautiful ones available for you! Their arrival was the catalyst for our “don’t get your tinsel in a tangle” attitude — beginning holiday projects during the summer and knowing your homemade gift list is taken care of already really reduces end of the year stress! Visit the Artistic Artifacts YouTube channel for these archived videos of our Saturday morning Facebook Live presentations, including my demonstration (pictured here) of using foil products and my Holiday Paper vintage paper collage pack and more to make mixed media cards.

A foiled card example and supplies from Artistic Artifacts

Along with new cards created this year, I’m sharing from past blog postings as we celebrate our Summer Start = Holiday Peace concept.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I often use gel printing plates to create layered backgrounds (see my post A Peek at Gel Plate Printing for more on monoprinting). The above includes stamped fabric strips layered atop block printed found paper.

Mixed media greeting cards using ephemera and more created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts
Detail of a mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Our Found Paper Collage Packs are full of themed paper ephemera for you — all original pages (not photocopied). I also make scans of many vintage items in my collections such as cabinet cards and other photographs, postcards and more, enabling me to use them more than once or resize them for projects. Greeting cards or Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are the perfect place to use up treasured scraps and bits. I used a scrap of a vintage handkerchief as the base/background for my elegant woman photograph and contrasted it with a trimmed piece from one of my fabric postcards. You can see the dimension added by the batting and machine quilting in this detail photo. Visit this blog post for my tutorial on making fabric postcards.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

New to our Found Paper Collage Packs is a vintage photo pack. Another favorite ephemera are antique ledger pages. I love combining fabric and paper scraps for these collages.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Above, I revisited the ephemera that inspired my Blue Fish Quilt.

Block printed cards created using wooden printing blocks and textile paints sold by Artistic Artifacts, accented with paper ephemera

Above, our wide variety of wooden printing blocks includes a variety holiday designs, including some really fun sets! Block prints combined with book text, sheet music and other found paper are collaged to make holiday cards.

Block printed cards with sketching created by Celia Middleton

Several years ago my niece Celia Middleton embellished her block prints with fun sketching details using her favorite pens and markers, then turned her artwork into handmade cards and tags!

Greeting cards by Judy Gula using woven fabric strips and Artist Trading Cards

Many of you know I got my start as a weaver and I often weave both fabric and paper strips into small compositions I adhere to cards. The cards above are from my December 2018 post Using ATCs on Greeting Cards.

Woven paper and ephemera greeting cards created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Above, these cards are examples from my Greeting Cards with Woven Paper post in December 2015. Both fabric and paper strips are satisfying to weave together. Or mix them! It’s so easy to accumulate remnants resulting from straightening ragged edge fabrics, trimming from wonky/improv piecing, strips left behind after using your paper cutter, etc.

The result from weaving together fabric strips

My fabric weaving instructions were originally shared in 2014 — that card post also included these are little mixed media collages, 4 in. x 6 in.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I was testing a set of blank Strathmore mixed media cards, using spray inks and stencils. I created backgrounds on the cards and after they dried, stamped over the inks with paints in a different color. Then I found my collection of retro sewing patterns and began cutting out and pasting figures and text from the cover packages.

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

Mixed media greeting card created by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts

I hope this post and the tutorial links give you some inspiration for your own handmade cards and collages!

Fragment Doll Raffle Benefitting India

TAP Fragment Dolls created by Artistic Artifacts that are being raffled off to benefit India

As previously shared here, the Fragment Dolls project in The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley inspired us to create these fun fabric dolls with Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) faces. You can now purchase your chance to win your choice, with 100% of our proceeds going to support our artisans in India struggling to survive the severe Covid-19 pandemic impacts.

Plea from India to support artisans who carve wooden printing blocks

The more chances you buy, the greater your chance to win! Please share this opportunity to own an art doll while contributing to a great cause. Our six winners will be randomly selected from entrants for each Fragment doll, and winners will be announced during our Facebook Live presentation on Saturday morning, July 10.

As I shared in our video reintroducing you to our finished dolls, and showing our new kits so you can make your own, the entire country of India is really suffering right now. The products we import help support many artisans whose livelihood has been severely impacted due to the pandemic and current crisis in their country. We are in contact with our distributors there, and our orders are helping them purchase food and necessities — even oxygen cylinders to save Covid-stricken family and community members! In addition to our raffle tickets, your orders of hand carved wooden printing blocks, handmade block printed fabrics, and handmade paper boxes and 100% cotton rag sheets create the demand that allows us to order restocking shipments from India, in turn employing these talented artisans.

Judy Gula Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Pictured above, Sheba was my first doll — purchase your chance to win her!

Judy Gula Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Jane was in progress when we last posted here, and I enjoyed completing her. Purchase your chance to win Jane!

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Above, Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts created Wanita (which is Indonesian for woman). Purchase your chance to win Wanita!

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Painter’s Muse is Chris’ second doll. Purchase your chance to win Painter’s Muse!

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Sharon McDonagh created a mermaid inspired doll. Purchase your chance to win Ocean Goddess!

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Sharon’s Soleil was her second doll. Purchase your chance to win Soleil!

Our new Fragment Doll Kits let you join in the fun and create your own! Each color-themed kit includes a sheet of Transfer Artist Paper (preprinted with faces), muslin, a variety of handpainted and/or hand dyed fabrics pieces, embellishing fabric such as hand dyed linens and trims, leaf vine ribbon, a scattering of beads and vintage buttons… and more!

Visit our YouTube channel for my video as I introduced these kits and reintroduced you to our dolls, sharing how desperate the need is in India and how grateful they are for the support from us.hank you for purchasing your chances and helping us support our global partners in India! You can also to learn more about TAP, Lesley’s book and how we created these Fragment Dolls in our previous Fragment Doll video.

Block printed fabrics available from Artistic Artifacts and photos of the intensive hand process by artisans in India.

TAP Fragment Dolls

Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts films a video sharing the Fragment Doll project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley
The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

We were happy to be a part of The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley Instagram book tour for — our ‘stop’ was Thursday, April 22! Visit our Instagram page for our video post of how this new guide inspired our latest Transfer Artist Paper projects! Commenters there were eligible to win a free ebook version of this Ultimate Guide, specific to the new TAP formulation with many new techniques and project ideas: our randomly selected winner was Gerri Congdon — congratulations Gerri!

There was a new prize drawing for each stop. The Transfer Artist Paper Instagram Book Tour participating artists were:

We were inspired by Lesley’s ‘Fragment Dolls’, one of the projects in the book. It was coincidental timing since our Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs) group (meeting via Zoom during the pandemic) had issued a Spirit Doll challenge — we’ll be sharing those results soon!

Judy Gula Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Above, my first doll. I used TAP to transfer the vintage photograph and lots of scraps, stitching and embellishments to complete her. Of course I dug out my beads and our leaf vine ribbon was perfect for her. I really enjoyed spending time with this project! I have another one in progress:

Judy Gula in progress Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

In our video I explain the vintage jewelry piece you see — I’ve glued it to a small piece of Ultra Suede, which will give me a surface I can stitch so I can add the brooch later by trimming and stitching. This is one of my favorite tricks to incorporate jewelry or found objects.

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Above, Chris Vinh of StitchesnQuilts shared her beautiful doll during our April 18 JAMs Zoom call. I was delighted to see that she had reduced a photograph of one of her batik panels by Mahyar to use as her face! Chris shows us that Eyelash Silk, one of the products by Painter’s Threads (formerly known as Tentakulum) makes perfect hair for an art doll! She also used the handpainted pearl cotton from Painter’s Threads for stitching and French knots on her Fragment doll.

Chris Vinh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Chris also enjoyed this project and created another gorgeous doll using hand dyed silk fabrics accented with her hand stitching — this time using Eleganza variegated perle cotton by WonderFil Specialty Threads. You can see a bit of a line in the face — she transferred her TAP onto silk, and the silk had a slub thread. Lesley makes the point in her book that the TAP is very sensitive and any bit of unevenness in your surface can show. I love it for the vintage feel it gives. In her IG book tour post, Liz Kettle even mentions trying to intentionally distress a TAP transfer to get that worn feel.

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

Sharon McDonagh of our shop was eager to explore TAP’s ability to take a variety of art media to add color, whether paint, inks, etc. She printed her TAP transfers out (remember, inkjet printers only) in just black and white, and then added color using her favorite product, Gelatos by Faber-Castell and loved the results! She also ‘dyed’ her mermaid’s cheesecloth wrap with Gelatos — visit our YouTube channel for her method and more in Using Gelatos. (Note Sharon’s doll was stitched but not turned due to its design; she painted the visible white edges with blue acrylic paint.)

Sharon McDonagh Fragment Doll, a project from The Ultimate Guide to Transfer Artist Paper by Lesley Riley

For her Sun doll, she transferred onto yellow cloth, and so just added a touch of orange Gelatos to the checks and the rays, with a blend of red. She loves uses small pieces of our Web Weave Ribbon for texture in fabric collage and mixed media.

Some of the supplies available at Artistic Artifacts used to create our Fragment Dolls

Our Fragment Dolls are all fabric, but TAP can be used on many substrates — Lesley’s new book includes instructions on transferring onto canvas, metal, mica and more. In addition to the book and TAP itself, we have so many wonderful supplies for fiber and mixed media art: our Inspiration packs full of hand-dyed fabrics, linens and trims, sari ribbon & yarn, specialty ribbons, WonderFil Specialty Threads Sue Spargo products for hand stitching (an Eleganza thread pack is pictured), buttons and more — our Fabric & Fiber Packages are a wonderful way to build your stash with a variety of textiles.

(Our video is also available on our YouTube channel.)

Creative Organizing

I’ve asked Cliff Wilson to share his tips on organization, which have made his creative experience more satisfying. We’re delighted that Cliff and his husband have become part of our Creative Minds family! — Judy

tiny flower brightening Cliff Wilson's sewing space

Guest post by Cliff Wilson

I have landed on the other side of the realization that life likely won’t be “normal” again this year. Being on the other side makes it a lot easier to figure out what you need to get through. One of the most valuable things for me is safeguarding my creative space. This isn’t a reference to square feet in a craft room, it is a view into empowering the creative mind to flourish. I found this empowerment through organization.

Before the pandemic, and buried deep in the back of the closet, was a simple sewing machine gathering dust. My husband and I both have several beginner quilts on our crafting resume, but it was far from a regular hobby. A month into being socially distant at home every day and we had not only dusted off that sewing machine but knocked out five baby quilts, finished several unfinished objects, and started to learn about an obsession with quilting fabric I didn’t know I had.

Cliff Wilson's Tula Pink Limited Edition BERNINA 770QE

Since that first month, we have added a Brother straight stitch machine, a unicorn of sewing with the BERNINA 770 QE Tula Pink edition (pictured above), and a BERNINA Q16 stationary longarm machine (below). A special shout out to Artistic Artifacts for their continued help and BERNINA inventory — a great relationship we never would have had without the pandemic. [Editor’s note, while the Tula Pink limited edition is sold out, you can learn more about the B770QE on the Artistic Artifacts website.]

Cliff Wilson's BERNINA Q16 and machine quilting example

With the new machines, we have created many more quilts and learned so many lessons. We have also found ourselves with a pretty healthy fabric hoard conservation practice. Most hobbies seem to be similar in that there are many things we “definitely need”…and that stuff can accumulate quickly!

All of these supplies quickly take up space and managing all the things can bring stress into the creative space. For me, I learned that if I didn’t have the ability to focus only on the creative and not also on a mess of supplies that it was a much more fulfilling experience. I am excited to share a bit of my approach to organization that has made my creative process enjoyable.

Fabric shelves with touches of whimsy in Cliff Wilson'e sewing space

Make it magical: Think of your favorite shops you visit to source supplies and how you feel when you are on the hunt for the next must-have supply. You get to decide how your creative space feels. I like to add funny items around the space that spark a bit of joy and keep things light.

Scissors on display on a jewelry stand repurposed by Cliff Wilson

You can also use things you may already have around the house as a sort of shop display. Take scissors for example — I love seeing scissors on display, so we repurposed a jewelry holder we already had and it became a magical scissor station!

Find your balance: Take the time to figure out how organized your creative stuff needs to be for you to maximize your creating time. I enjoy organizing, but I also know just the thought of organizing ignites stress in others. Make it work for you.

Beautiful fabric storage shelves from Cliff Wilson's sewing studio

Cliff Wilson uses comic book boards and fabric clips to keep his fabric stash neatly on display and easily accessible

An example of what brings me joy in the organization space is how we manage our fabric collection (pictured above). I like to see what we have and it feeds my inspiration. It is also a secret weapon when I need a little pick-me-up on those tough days. This spark happened when I read about using comic book boards similar to how fabric is wound around a cardboard bolt. I partner these with Pals Bolt Buddies and it easily provides a consistent process to have fabric on display and ready to be used.

There is a sort of internal alarm for me when the organization of something needs to be tweaked. A recent tweak was with how we store our machine quilting rulers. These are one of those hobby items that aren’t cheap, so they fall higher on my organization radar. Our machine quilting rulers are now organized within arms reach of the longarm and within protective envelopes with laminated labels (pictured below). Sometimes organization is a crafting process all on its own!

Cliff Wilson's machine quilting rulers are stored within protective envelopes with laminated labels

Make it easy to maintain: My creative spark can leave me as fast as it arrived. I have found that using totes helps me keep everything together for a project so I can easily put everything away. This helps keep my creating area ready for the next spark that comes along.

Cliff Wilson favors clear plastic totes to organize his current and planned projects

An added bonus is it makes things feel more organized with minimal effort! I am partial to these clear totes you can find at a certain store that pretty much only sells containers…and “container” may be in the company name 🙂

I hope you are all able to find the magic in your creative space this year and find joy in creating all the things. Stay safe!

Quilt featuring Tula Pink fabric being machine quilted on Cliff Wilson's Q16


Judy here again… thank you Cliff! I’m sure our readers will enjoy your ideas — you’ve got me inspired!