21 March 2015

International Quilting Weekend and a chance to win!

In honor of International Quilting Weekend, March 20-22, 2015, TheQuilt Show, the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will open all of its shows from the first nine series-- shows 100-1513 --for the entire weekend. This means that, for three special days, everyone will have the chance to view over 200 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE. 

This year's sponsors are contributing over $5000 in prizes, including the Grand Prize, a BERNINA 550 QE.  Other prizes you have a chance to win are:

         Innova – Have your quilt professionally quilted ($500 value)          Superior Threads – five $100 gift certificates          RJR Fabrics – a Delicious Selection of RJR Fabrics          AccuQuilt – GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter          Missouri Star Quilt Company – $500 in Quilter’s Cash plus signed copies of Volume 1 of Block Magazine and Man Sewing Swag

As you may already know, I appeared as the featured artist on TQS in show 208. If you didn't have the opportunity to see this show the first time around, now you'll have the chance to see it—and so many other terrific shows—at no cost in this unprecedented three-day offer.
I hope that you'll share this information with all of your quilting friends. It's a fantastic opportunity to enjoy three days of learning and fun without leaving your home…all for free.Enjoy the shows, and thanks for helping to spread the word!

I had a fantastic time in Colorado taping the episode I appeared in and meeting Alex and Ricky. I shared a lot of information about the principles and elements of design from the first book that Elin and I wrote, and lots of the art quilts that were in it. The experience was wonderful - even the bear I saw outside the hotel at 4 AM!
Link to TQS website landing page:  http://thequiltshow.com/international-quilting-weekend

09 February 2015

New Classes for Spring!

I'm SO excited to release a new class schedule for spring! I have new classes, including one with my friend Susan Murray of Finished with Style, who has a studio across the hall from me at the NEST Arts Factory. She does some wicked cool decorative finishing techniques that look spectacular on fabric (or paper!) with materials that fabric surface designers don't usually use. New toys and new tools to play with!

You can find more details and sign up for the workshops on my workshop page here. Class sizes are limited so you'll want to hurry to save your spot!

There are several printing workshops - Simple Screen Printing and Four-Color Block Printing, plus an in-depth Intro to Image Transfers. If class is being held on a day that isn't convenient for you, think about setting up a custom class. With a minimum of 4 students, I can arrange a workshop on a day that you're available, so find a group of friends and have a fabulous day of art, creativity, and learning.

04 February 2015

Fun with Carrots + a Giveaway!

A few weeks back I reviewed a new book by Julie Booth, Fabric Printing at Home. Today I am back with a fun project from the book and a chance for you to win a copy of Fabric Printing at Home.

On page 53 I found an intriguing idea called Carrots Three Ways. I grabbed a carrot from the fridge, gathered some supplies, and got to work on one of the techniques.

For this project you need a firm carrot (preferably one that's got a section with an even diameter), a knife, and corn cob holders or bamboo skewers. Then you'll need some paint and a dauber or foam brush, and a surface to print on (fabric or paper).

Cut a section of the carrot that's as even in diameter as possible. This will result in a more even print. Eat the ends of the carrot or feed them to your bunny or guinea pig (optional).

Using the knife, cut designs into the carrot. The designs can be complicated or simple, regular or irregular. Have fun experimenting with this part! The cuts don't need to be very deep but leave a little bit of room between cuts for stability. Julie recommends peeling the carrot first for a smoother surface but I forgot that step in my excitement.

Insert the corn cob holders or pieces of bamboo skewers in the ends of the carrot to act as handles.

Dab on some paint and roll the carrot onto fabric or paper. It helps to have a cushy surface to print on, and it helps to print the first inking onto a scrap to test the amount of paint you've applied and to "prime" the surface of the carrot.

Fun with veggies! This has definite possibilities and I can't wait to try a whole bag of carrots with different designs cut into each one. Before I get started though I think I need to find the vegetable peeler and the corn cob holders…

There are SO many cool ideas just like this in Fabric Printing at Home! If you would like to win your own copy, please leave a comment below by the end of the day on Friday, February 13. Make sure to include your email address so I can contact you for your mailing address.

The blog tour continues tomorrow on Carol Eaton's blog, and the full schedule is below. There are 14 (fourteen!) chances to win a copy of Julie's lovely book, one at each blog stop on the tour. Julie has wonderful tutorials and additional giveaways on her blog each day of the tour, so don't forget to head over there every day.

February 2: Lisa Chin
February 3: Lynn Krawczyk
February 4: Jane Davila
February 5: Carol R. Eaton
February 6: Judy Gula
February 7: Susan Purney Mark
February 8: Teri Lucas
February 9: Jennifer Coyne Qudeen
February 10: Deborah Boschert
February 11: Lynda Heines
February 12: Cheryl Sleboda
February 13: Terri Stegmiller
February 14: Jackie Lams

29 January 2015

1 day + 100 artists + 100 patrons = $10,000 to fight cancer

I am delighted to be an invited artist for "The 100" to be held next Wednesday, February 4, 2015. The goal for this fiber fundraiser for the American Cancer Society is to raise $10,000 in one day. Just 100 people will have a chance to purchase a randomly selected artwork for only $100! 

See all the details on the Fiberart for a Cause website. See a selection of the artwork available on the FFAC Pinterest board.

I'm sure you will want to be one of the very exclusive 100 patrons who will be randomly assigned artwork from an extraordinary line-up of international fiber artists.

Fiberart For A Cause has already raised $240,000 through the generosity of fiber artists and patrons.

The artwork that I am contributing to this very worthy cause is one of my Bird:Houses - the Apostle Bird. As a patron, you have a chance of receiving this piece.

The FIberart for a Cause fundraiser is one that is near to my heart. I am asked to donate my work to a lot of causes over the course of a year and this is the only one that I say yes to instantly, without hesitation. Virginia Spiegel is a remarkable woman who has made a remarkable contribution to the fight against cancer with her imaginative and highly successful fundraisers.

In honor of my brother-in-law, Juan, who we lost way too early to leukemia.

21 January 2015

More Artist Trading Blocks

As promised in this post about my own Artist Trading Blocks, here is a link to the post of my mentorship group, Fiberart Northeast, blog and all of the Artist Trading Blocks they've made so far. What an amazingly talented and creative group of women I am lucky enough to lead!

Here are a couple of previews, but head over to the FANE blog for the rest.

Carole Hoffman

Paula West

Christine Wilhelm

10 January 2015

New series - IKEA Hacks

I've always been interested in design - from endlessly rearranging my room as a teenager to building my own furniture, from renovating and decorating the homes we've lived in to helping my daughter decorate her first apartment. I read a myriad of design blogs and voraciously study architecture and industrial and interior design. I apply design principles and color theory to my own interiors, those of family and friends, and to retail spaces that I've designed (more on that coming soon!)

One of the best ways to make an original statement in your home is to customize, or "hack", an existing piece of furniture or accessory. I was discussing this with some of my studio mates at the NEST, Tracey Anderson and Susan Murray of Finished with Style, and we decided to challenge each other to hack something each month and show the results on our blogs.

Conveniently there's an IKEA about 15 minutes from the NEST. For our first month's challenge, we chose the ubiquitous Lack table - which enables us to employ a rhyme for January - Hack a Lack! We won't be able to keep the poetry going for the remainder of the year, so don't get your hopes up, ha!

Check back at the end of the month to see all three Lack Hacks and see some quick tutorials. We'll be announcing which item will be hacked at the beginning of each month and then showing the results at the end of each month. We're intentionally keeping the cost of each item low, with most being under $20 - the Lack table is under $10!

Have you hacked anything IKEA? I'd love to see them!

09 January 2015

Artist Trading Blocks

One of my mentorship groups, FiberArt Northeast (otherwise known as FANE) has been meeting monthly since 2006. Among many other things, I am constantly challenging the members with fun art projects, some for exhibition and some just to stretch creative muscles. Over the holiday break I offered them a quick little project that I had read about on the Gelli Arts blog, Artist Trading Blocks. A number of years ago Artist Trading Cards burst onto the scene. The size of baseball cards (2.5" x 3.5") the ATCs are a great way to collect and trade small pieces of art with others.

The artist trading block is a three-dimensional interpretation of this idea. The Gelli Arts blog suggests using 4" x 4" posts cut into 4" cubes for the blocks, but once I realized that I needed over 30 of these and I discovered how very much each one would weigh, I quickly dropped the size suggestion and tried to find a smaller, lighter weight alternative.

I wandered around the lumber department of Home Depot until I came upon what they call "square dowels", oddly, since aren't dowels by their very definition round? Lumber is weird, my friends, 2 x 4s are not 2" or 4", and dowels are apparently not always round. Anyway, the square dowels are 1.75" on a side and 36" long so I bought two. Using Carlos' chop saw I was able to cut each dowel up into 19 blocks, ending with 38 total. Some members took 1 and others took 2 so they would have one to trade. I took two so I could trade as well.

What a blast! Nifty little six-sided collages! Three dimensional accessible art! A great way to slide into the new year art wise.

One block is covered with different whites and off whites to start. I added pieces of an old book, an embossed paper Ganesha, colored art papers, a postage stamp, and then I stamped some letters, numbers, a word, and a chop over the papers.

The other block is a mixture of papers and fabrics, with other papers, a fortune cookie fortune, and more stamped letters, numbers, and words added. This block is in much brighter colors than the first.

I can't wait to see what everyone else has made and I'll be sure to report back. So what do you think? Will ATBs become a thing? Do you have a yen to make one (or three) now?