Indigo Dying with Debbie Maddy

I recently took a one-day class in Shibori dying with natural indigo, taught by Debbie Maddy. This was part of QuiltFest, put on in Jonesborough, TN, by Tennessee Quilts. It was a good time as usual, and I’ll post more about QuiltFest later.

Indigo Dye

Debbie Maddy–her Shibori dying class was excellent!

Debbie brought many beautiful examples of Shibori dying with her.

In addition to the class, she gave a lecture about her adventures with Shibori.  To hear her tell it, she became interested in Shibori and immediately signed herself and her husband up for a 10 day Shibori class in Japan!  I can’t even imagine!

She gave us an introduction to how indigo is used for dying in various places around the world, then showed us how to mix the dye vats and prepare the cloth.Indigo dye vat

As always, the most fun was seeing everyone’s fabrics drying on the line!Shibori dyed fabric

Here are a few more examples made by students.  I’m sorry to say I didn’t get their names.

When we got home, we had to neutralize the dye in a vinegar bath and then remove excess dye with pH neutral detergent in hot water.finishing indigo dyed pieces

And here are my finished pieces:indigo dye

More about Quiltfest in future!  Stay tuned 🙂

Some Tiny Blocks

My modern guild is making a charity quilt for QuiltCon 2019, and the requirements include a predetermined palate and blocks with pieces no larger than 1″ in at least one dimension.  The theme is “small piecing”.  Here is the palate:

At the last meeting, our guild had chunks of fabric about 8″ x 10″ cut for us to take home and make little blocks.  The blocks are going to be used to construct something else, so the only requirement is that they finish either 2″ or 3″ square.  I took these 3 colors:

And here are some little blocks I made.

The quilt has to be twin size, so it’s going to take a LOT of these babies!  It will be fun to see what other guilds do when QuiltCon comes around in February.

Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion about my choice of accent color for the shirting quilt.  There are two different blocks in the quilt that use the tiny accent squares, and I’ve decided to use orange for this one and rust for the other.  Here are a couple of the blocks with orange.  Those tiny orange squares finish 3/4″.  Eek!

I’ll keep you posted.

 

NC Quilt Symposium–Teachers’ Show

Here are some of my favorite quilts displayed by teachers at the recent North Carolina Quilt Symposium.  I wish I could have taken classes with all of them!

NC Quilt Symposium

Bending Star by Gyleen Fitzgerald

NCQS

Blooming Happy by Gyleen Fitzgerald

Quilt

Pursuit of Happiness by Gyleen Fitzgerald

Gyleen Fitzgerald

Jack and the Beanstalk by Gyleen Fitzgerald

NC Quilt Symposium

Even With Brown by Gyleen Fitzgerald

N C Quilt Symposium

Facets by Marge Tucker

Marge Tucker quilt

Hay Bales by Marge Tucker

Weeks Ringle, Bill Kerr

On the Dot by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle

Susan Cleveland

Flowered and Feathered Frenzy by Susan Cleveland

colorful quilt

Bouncin’ Trio by Susan Cleveland

There were many other beautiful teacher quilts–these are just some of my favorites.

Next week I’ll show some of the award-winning quilts made by attendees at the NCQS.

Using Those Lines

I recently took a class, with Rosalie Dace, focused on the use of lines in quilts. Coincidentally, I had a guild challenge to “make something” out of some fabric we had “modified” in a class at a previous guild meeting. distorted fabric 

Those are permanent wrinkles in the fabric, which is the desired modification.  I must say that everyone else’s wrinkles were in a more regular pattern–I had trouble with the technique.  However, the most frequent critique of my art quilts is that they should be “freer” with less predictable regularity, so this certainly is an “improvement” for me!

I got the piece built into a larger quilt square, layered with batting and backing, and started embellishing.  

Then I wondered what else to do with it:

The center piece is a fabric”jewel” made in the same guild workshop

I decided on more lines!  Here is the piece after adding more lines (sewn into the corners at irregular intervals!).

And I decided on multiple little beads instead of the big fabric “jewel”.  When we shared our creations at guild, I found that other people had also set their squares on point, and one woman had then incorporated hers into a bag!  Since the last thing I need is another art quilt, I think I will make this into a bag, too.  And I’m thinking of attaching a tassel to that fabric jewel and hanging that on the bag as well.  Stay tuned!

 

North Carolina Quilt Symposium–Rosalie Dace

I recently took a class at the annual North Carolina Quilt Symposium, which this year was held in Asheville, relatively close to where I live. The class was taught by Rosalie Dace, an art quilter who lives in South Africa.  The focus was on techniques for putting lines into quilts.  Since she is an art quilter, there were many techniques that wouldn’t be used in utility quilts, but it was fun to try them out anyway.

Here are a couple of Rosalie’s quilts that were on display at NCQS.

NC quilt symposium

Here and Now, by Rosalie Dace

Rosalie Dace

African Blues, by Rosalie Dace

You can see more on her website.

And here are the items I made in class with her.  The first is not intended to be a finished piece; it was just made to try out various techniques.

I doubt this next block will be part of a quilt any time soon, but it was fun to make.

Later on I’ll have pictures of quilts made by some of the other teachers.  When I saw them, I wished I had been able to take more than one class!

What to do? Please help!

Remember this fabric I was thrilled by?

I thought about how to use it for several weeks and finally decided on Turning Twenty Again. It’s an old pattern, but I’ve seen it made up in many different fabrics and it’s almost always spectacular and modern-looking.  The fabric I bought was 8 fat quarters, and Turning Twenty Again is a pattern developed for efficient use of fat quarters, so it seemed a good match.

I needed a little more fabric and found this dot in my stash–it had the same appearance of linen texture as the original fabric and I thought it went perfectly with the others.
The next question was what else to add. After auditioning several options, I decided on this cat fabric. The eyes are sort of of dots, too, and the color coordinated well. I made the blocks and put them on the design wall, and…Eek!  Is it too busy?  And when I see it overall, I do not like the tan fabric I added, even though it is similar to the beige-green that came with the fat quarter set!

I’ve had it on the design wall for a week trying to decide what to do. One option is to put the squares together with sashing and a border to kind of calm things down.  I auditioned a dark blue fabric and a turquoise fabric for that–both are Moda grunge, so they have the same linen-look texture.

Another option is to take the blocks apart in order to add these birds from the same collection, giving a greater variety of prints.  I think if I take it apart, I will remove the tan fabric I don’t like, so the birds could add variety AND get rid of the tan!
From there we go into the wild options. They are legion, and include the possibility of cutting the blocks randomly and inserting solid strips. Or I could replace some pieces with the birds and some with the turquoise grunge.

And of course there is the perennial option of putting it away for a month and then looking at it again to see what comes to mind.

Suggestions, anyone?

Quilts and Social Action: Another Opportunity

Have you heard of the San Jose (California) Museum of Quilts and Textiles? No? Well here you go:

Image courtesy of wikimedia commons. Here’s the attribution: By Daderot – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18332195

The museum is currently hosting a Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) exhibit entitled Guns: Loaded Conversations.  The exhibit is intended to spark thoughtful conversation about the history and culture of guns in our society.  I would hope the conversation could calm some of the hysteria on both sides of this difficult issue.

An Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

The pictures featured here are not of the current exhibition.  The museum did not respond to my request for photos that could be shared here, so these are from Wikimedia Commons.

The exhibit is to be followed by museum participation in a gun buy-back program sponsored by the museum and the San Jose police department.  For this unique buy-back, persons surrendering guns will receive not only money, but a quilt!

The museum needs donations of both quilts and money for this project.  The quilts can be any design or color, but should be lap size or larger.  They do not need to be either for or against gun control, just a regular quilt.  If you are interested in donating a quilt,  contact the museum.  I’m not sure about donating a quilt, but the museum looks worth a visit if I’m ever in California!

Hard Times in Publishing-World

This week I received notice from Meander Publishing that both Modern Quilts Unlimited and Machine Quilting Unlimited are to cease publication immediately. I am a little surprised, given the ever-increasing popularity of both machine quilting and modern quilting. The notice cites the “soft market” for magazines as well as the costs of producing a print magazine.

For me personally this is a disappointment, both because I have enjoyed reading Modern Quilts Unlimited and because the magazine has published several articles by me.  My most recent submission was to have been published in the upcoming July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited, but they will be returning the quilt to me instead.  The July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited will not be published at all, and the July issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited will be digital only.

The front page of the Meander Publishing website hasn’t caught up with the news as I write this, so I’m not sure how widely it is known.  I predict that this will leave a vacuum in the modern quilt magazine market that will be filled shortly by something from the Modern Quilt Guild.  Their agenda seems to be to own the definition of modern quilting, and a magazine would further that aim.

I expect this is disappointing to Vicki Anderson, the CEO and editor of the Meander Publishing magazines.  She has put a lot of effort (and probably money) into these publications.  I am sorry to see these magazines go.

What do you make of it?

Ironing Spray

I’m a big fan of Mary Ellen’s Best Press because it does a great job of getting out wrinkles and smoothing fabric without leaving flakes like starch can do. I recently tried Flatter and found that it works just as well.

I’m also a fan of Pinterest and recently found a recipe for “Quilter’s Moonshine” ironing spray. The original post, by Joanne Hubbard, gives the recipe here.  So off I went to the liquor store to buy the cheapest vodka I could find.  I guess if your quilt isn’t turning out you can drink your ironing spray 😀

Another ingredient in the Quilter’s Moonshine is liquid starch, so I went looking for that, as well.  Not, of course, at the liquor store.  The only starch I’ve seen in years was in a pressurized spray can, but sure enough, there was actual liquid starch in a spray bottle at the grocery store.  They also had powdered starch that had to be mixed with water, but I passed on that.

To my surprise, I found another ironing spray right there on the shelf in the grocery store!  I’ve tried it now and it works really well.  My only objection is that it has a strong scent.  Not unpleasant, but not something I really want to smell all day, either.

Finally the ingredients were assembled!  The recipe makes over a gallon, so I cut it in half.  I used a funnel to get it into the best empty spray bottles I found around the house, and voila!  Ironing spray!  It worked just fine and the faint scent was not a problem.

So check out the link to Joanne Hubbard’s blog and give it a try!

 

Classes Coming

I recently started teaching at A Stitch in Time in Franklin, NC. It’s as “local” as quilt shops get for me in this rural area, so I’m very happy to be able to teach there. It’s an excellent shop and I sort of have to work to avoid drooling on the fabric…well, you know what I mean 😉

So here is the quilt I will be teaching in July…

scrap quilt

Scrap quilt made with strips that finish 1″ wide

August…

“Red Pepper” is made from a quilt pattern entitled “Yellow Pepper”

And September…

modern quilt

Happy Squares, one of my original designs

Of course, while I was in the shop I got a little fabric!  This is a specially-printed piece from Hoffman California that has 8 coordinating fat quarters in a 2 yard cut!

There were other nice prints in the series, but I’m a fool for dots.  If you need some, too, you can order from A Stitch in Time (and no, I do not make any money from it; this site is non-commercial).

Have a great week!