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!

Judy’s Sacred Threads 2019 Quilt: Joy In Things Remembered

Artistic Artifacts is a proud sponsor of Sacred Threads, a biennial quilt show that opens on Thursday, July 11 and continues through July 28, 2019 in Herndon, VA. There were a record number of quilts submitted for consideration this year, and Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula was pleased to have her beautiful mixed media quilt “Joy in Things Remembered” juried in for this year’s exhibit. While she is currently in Italy teaching her creative retreat, we wanted to share some of the gorgeous details of her special quilt! Below, she points out some of her quilt’s elements during a presentation for Judy’s Altered Minds (JAMs)**.

Artistic Artifacts owner Judy Gula with her 2019 Sacred Threads submission

Readers of this blog and those who know Judy know her love of vintage items: photographs and other ephemera, textiles, embellishments such as millinery flowers and more, and she used all that and more for “Joy in Things Remembered.” Below, her focal point vintage portrait was given an ethereal quality by scanning it, printing it once on EQ Printables Premium Cotton Lawn Inkjet Fabric and then topping it with a print on ExtravOrganza.

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

From Judy’s Spotlight interview with Create Whimsy: What inspires you? Are there recurring themes in your work? Do you do series work? How does that affect your approach?

“I am excited and inspired by materials. My true love is vintage textiles. So I am the orphan collector – I love photos, textiles, clothing pieces that tell a story of an older time. People bring me their treasured family textiles when no one wants them because they know that I love and cherish them. Why did they have their photo taken that day, what did they do, was the family loving?

“I have been known to incorporate 3-D items within my quilts to help tell the story including vintage jewelry, framed photos, keys, charms and beads. I will also hand dye vintage textiles and use them in my work.”

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

Flanking the portrait, vintage buttons and beads are some of Judy’s favorite embellishments. You can also see the detail in fabric that Judy rust-dyed to include in this quilt.

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

Judy loves to dye vintage linens and use them in her art. There are always several tucked into her hand-dyed Inspiration Packs.

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

Her embellished elements could serve as small art quilts themselves! Below, we love her use of ephemera as an embellishment.

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

Below, Judy couldn’t bear to cut this amazing vintage textile…

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

…so she didn’t, gathering it into a swag!

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

You can see in the full-scale photo at the beginning and end of this post that Judy created a truly amazing rust print from a large iron bracket. The wonderful dark tones set off this tiny vintage photo surrounded by lace.

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

Judy’s sister Julie has very clear memories of playing with the vintage fan pictured below.

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

We hope you’ve enjoyed this close up view of Judy’s beautiful art! (Judy’s son Kyle Gula took the wonderfully detailed photos.) We encourage those of you who can to make time to visit Sacred Threads — we can promise you it is a quilt show like no other!

**JAMs normally meets on the third Sunday of the month at Artistic Artifacts. Note that JAMs will not meet in July 2019, in order that members can volunteer for Sacred Threads, and that our August meeting will also shift because of Seth Apter’s classes.

Below, Joy in Things Remembered, mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula. View larger image of quilt »

Detail of Joy in Things Remembered, a mixed media art quilt by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts that will appear in Sacred Threads 2019

As Seen at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

Artistic Artifacts booth at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival 2019

We always enjoy the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival — relatively close to home, and so many of our customers and guild members make the trip down. We received a lot of comments and compliments on my book Colorful Batik Panel Quilts and all the samples and products we had with us: thank you! While we love being busy in the booth (pictured above), of course we hope to have a few moments free to enjoy the quilts!

We were blown away by the hand appliqué work of Barbara G. Buchanan!

Mary Down Under No. 2, hand appliqued by Barbara G. Buchanan, machine quilted by Maria O'Haver

Above, Mary Down Under No. 2. Barbara’s entry read: “This is the second quilt of a triptych using four of 25 blocks from the original red and green Baltimore Album style Mary Mannakee quilt made in Montgomery County, MD, 1850-1851. The original is in the DAR Museum, Washington, DC. Australian Aboriginal designs are the focus fabrics. I designed the border using motifs from the original Mary’s border. I also used batiks and other fabrics as needed. I used window templates to preview the [Aborigine-designed] fabrics to get just the right design element. This was crucial, as these fabrics are a challenge to use, but so rewarding when you realize that they will work. It just takes a little more effort.”

Mary Down Under No. 3, hand appliqued by Barbara G. Buchanan, machine quilted by Maria O'Haver
Detail of Barbara G. Buchanan's quilt

Above, Mary Down Under No. 3. We’ve never seen Australian Aboriginal fabric used in this way! Both quilts are 50 in. square and were expertly machine quilted by Maria O’Haver. In this detail photo you can see the care in which Barbara framed the fabrics’ pattern to enhance her applique pieces, as well as the lavish quilting by Maria to enhance it all. Barbara noted that she requested her triptych quilts be quilted“ as if they were cousins versus sisters.” She also noted that her husband Loren Buchanan provided design assistance!

We were pleased to see that we knew several winners, customers, students and teachers who are a part of our robust class program. Nancy Hershberger submitted Ghost Solder 1918, a 30 in. square wall quilt that was inspired by the poppy fields of Belgium — and it was awarded a blue ribbon for Best Sewing Machine Workmanship. Nancy is a big fan of our Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paints, and used them in this quilt!

Ghost Soldier 1918 by Nancy Hershberger

Cindy Grisdela won Best Use of Color for her quilt Confetti, pictured below, created in her trademark artful improv style.

Confetti by Cindy Grisdela
Roy Mitchell, Jr., instructor for The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) quilting program (photo courtesy DJJ Facebook page)

Last year while at Mid-Atlantic we shared in this blog post how much we enjoyed the special exhibit We Are Somebody, and learning more about Roy Mitchell, Jr. (pictured here center; his students’ identities are protected) and his quilting students, young men incarcerated at The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center. Please read it if you have not yet — their story is so inspirational! The DJJ quilting program is believed to be the only class of its type in a male juvenile corrections setting in the U.S. It teaches the skills involved — planning, design, measuring, geometry, sewing — and also critical life skills such as goal-setting, patience, frustration management, public speaking, and the value of precision.

A Thyme to Slant from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

This year they were again featured, with “All About Us” the theme of their special exhibit. We’re delighted to share our photographs of some of these quilts, known for their amazing uses of color and design, as well as stellar workmanship! Above, A Thyme to Slant.

Lotty Dotty from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

Lotty Dotty.

Crescent Moon from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

Crescent Moon.

It’s a Batik Thang from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

It’s a Batik Thang.

No Place Like Home from the We Are Somebody special exhibit

No Place Like Home.

Artistic Artifacts South

It’s tough for a small business when more than one opportunity arrives at a time. We’ve happily relied on Chris Vinh to help Artistic Artifacts be in two places at the same time in the past, and she’s just come through for us once again!

On the Road for Artistic Artifacts

Guest post by Christine Vinh, StitchesnQuilts

This summer, I was fortunate to represent Artistic Artifacts at two events hosted by the Asheville Quilt Guild. In June, we were invited to be a vendor at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium and most recently we were at the Asheville Quilt Show. The guild members at both events exhibited their Southern hospitality and welcomed us warmly.

The Artistic Artifacts booth at the Asheville Quilt Show

Photo: The Artistic Artifacts booth at the Asheville Quilt Show.

For me, it was a bit of a homecoming as I was born in Asheville and my folks moved back to the area when I was in college. Hanging out for two weekends gave me time to visit some favorite spots with friends and family as well as to make new friends. Even better was to have Barb Boatman, one of the Creative Minds who had taught at Artistic Artifacts and participated in a number of local artisan events at Del Ray Artisans, work the booth with me for both events. Barb retired to Hendersonville, NC this year and, in addition to helping with sales, she was welcomed into the quilting community by the folks we met.

The North Carolina Quilt Symposium, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that was formed after the first North Carolina Quilt Symposium in Raleigh in 1979 The purpose is to promote and perpetuate the art of quilting through regularly sponsored symposia within the state of North Carolina and to sponsor other projects designed to preserve, continue, and advance this art form. The Symposium is held in different areas across the state each year, and next year’s event is scheduled for May 2–5, 2019 at Lake Junaluska in Western NC. The event in Asheville had a roster of instructors and a display of award winning quilts from guild members.

Susan Cleveland quilt “Seven Ringie Dingies”

Photo: Susan Cleveland quilt “Seven Ringie Dingies.” Susan uses WonderFil Specialty Threads in her quilts and likes InvisaFil for her applique and stitch in the ditch quilting. Susan has also worked with WonderFil to create namesake color-themed packs of Spagetti 12 wt 100% Long Staple Egyptian Cotton thread.

“Even with Brown,” quilt by Gyleen Fitzgerald

Photo: “Even with Brown” by Gyleen Fitzgerald, author of Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilts and creator of the Pineapple Tool.

Chihuly at Biltmore, the first art exhibition in the estate’s historic gardens

Photo: Chihuly at Biltmore, the first art exhibition in the estate’s historic gardens. Biltmore is one of Asheville’s most recognized attractions.

The Asheville Quilt Show is put on annually by the Asheville Quilt Guild. It is a juried show and open to all quilters and included over 350 quilts in addition to vendors, silent auction, demonstrations and lectures. You can find this year’s winners on the guild website. Barb and I were kept busy all three days. The photograph at the top of this post was taken after we set up; you can see the beautiful Artistic Artifacts version of Step Into Christmas quilt, created by Dudley Shugart.

We met lots of loyal fans of Artistic Artifacts as well as introduced the shop to many new customers.

Quilting author and television host Georgia Bonesteel with Barb Boatman

Photo: Barb Boatman, right, discussing her own style of quilting using strips of aluminum cans woven with fabric to Georgia Bonesteel, author of numerous books, host of The Lap Quilting series on television and producer of the documentary The Great American Quilt Revival. Georgia had work on exhibit and was volunteering as a guild member.

“The Unexpected Visitor Goes Walkabout” quilt by Jane Butckovitz

Photo: “The Unexpected Visitor Goes Walkabout” by Jane Butckovitz. Her description stated, “I read a book on Japanese quilts saying they have an unexpected visitor somewhere. There is one in this quilt, mixed with Australian Aboriginal fabrics.” Can you find it?

Detail, “The Unexpected Visitor Goes Walkabout” quilt by Jane Butckovitz

We spotted it! A block featured Effervescence by Amelia Caruso (center left ring).

“Jazz Festival Backup Singers” quilt by O.V. Brantley

Photo: “Jazz Festival Backup Singers” by O.V. Brantley, Atlanta, GA. An original design with beautiful batiks and African Fabric.

To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia

Ikat from the "To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia" exhibit at the he Freer|Sackler

I was able to run into the Washington DC one rainy afternoon and find a parking space close to the Freer|Sackler. Unheard of!

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery — together, the Freer|Sackler, are the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art. These galleries are under-appreciated among the more well-known giants such as the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum etc. But it was my destination for this visit because they had a wonderful exhibit featuring ikats from Central Asia.

To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia is a feast for the eyes. Within the exhibit there is documentation about Uzbekistan and the Fergana Valley creating the world’s most beautiful silk ikats. I will have to agree!

As a weaver in my previous art life, I can tell you it is pure magic to see these Warp and Weft Ikat in silk. I would have enjoyed seeing a loom set up — a missed opportunity by the curators in my opinion. In the gallery below (click to see larger versions) I’m sharing some of the photos I took, both of the textiles as well as garments, with meaning both couture and cultural.

To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia is on exhibit at the Freer Gallery of Art until July 29, 2018, and there are some wonderful entertainment and educational events planned in conjunction with it. If you are local, or visiting the Washington DC area for a summer trip, please take some time to visit.