Happy Friday everyone! The project I shared in Tuesday’s post was so much fun to make, I think there are a few more ideas brewing in my head. I love making Halloween-themed projects year-round. It’s never the wrong time to work on something for Halloween–at least in my opinion.
Many of my closest friends are also obsessed with Halloween and I’ve partnered with one of them, Pam, to start our Etsy Store, Zombies and Posies. I drew a mascot logo and we named her Zweena –it means beautiful woman, which is perfect for a zombie don’t you think???
Zweena items are still in development; so be sure to add Zombies and Posies to your “favorite” list on Etsy, to follow her as she grows.
Pam and I are both interested in paper arts and have quite a paper stash! We love to make tags, cards, books, collages . . . the list goes on and on and what better way to share our creations and support our paper habit than to sell our stuff on Etsy, right? So far we are just starting out and getting our store stocked with items. Here is a peek of what we have in the shop.
Be sure to check often–there are new items listed every week. We appreciate you visiting our shop! Thank You! –Kim Buteau
I am happy to introduce our guest this week, Kim Buteau. I have known Kim for a few years now. Come to think of it, I believe it was in a class I taught on a Halloween project that I first met Kim. Little did I know what a Halloween fanatic she was! Kim loves, loves, loves, Halloween!!! But her talents run far deeper than spiders and cobwebs. Here is a little more that I know about this creative gal.
Kim started rubber stamping and paper arts in 1990 and then began quilting in 1998. She has always been drawn to bright colors. Each time I see her, she is busy working up a new project in her happy color palette, sometimes paper, sometimes fabric . Her sense of humor tends to peek through her work which I think lands somewhere between whimsical and urban. I am so excited to say she is now sharing these creations in her new Etsy store, ZombieandPosies. But more about that later. Welcome Kim! What have you been working on? – Pati
Hello all in the blog world. I am happy to be the guest blogger for the week here on See How We Sew. My name is Kim and I love Halloween, paper arts, and quilting! When my friend Pati Fried told me about the Quilt-Along, I just had to do something with the theme; but applique just isn’t my thing. So I decided to do something with paper and make it a Halloween theme.
I used a pine frame mirror I bought at Ikea years ago. I painted it with lime green sparkle paint and then used a darker crackle green paint over the top.
I die cut circles and leaves from Halloween themed scrapbook paper and made the flowers. Then I distressed the edges with black ink.
Loving Halloween and paper arts has led me to start an Etsy Store called ZombiesandPosies. Join me on Friday and I will show you more of my Halloween creations and a bit about the shop mascot, Zweena Zombie! Link to Etsy Store: ZombiesandPosies.
See you Friday! – Kim Buteau
Christine Barnes joins us again today to share her thoughts on the role of color and value in creating the illusion of depth and layering in quilts. Click here if you missed Part 1.
The adage is a bit overstated, but it’s true: We think first of color when planning a quilt, but value is often what makes a quilt successful, or not. In my second guest post, I’d like to show how this basic concept works in my quilts, and encourage you to consider it when working on your own quilt designs.
A bit of background: I majored in design at UC Davis, and I took a color class, but honestly, all I remember was painting a gray scale and making a color wheel out of construction paper. A few years later, when Sunset Books asked me to write a chapter on color for a decorating book, I had a full-blown panic attack. I recovered enough to call my uncle, a Mendocino artist who taught color for years. With intensive instruction from him, I learned not only about color, but that a “good color sense” is more about practice than talent. Fast forward to 2014, sixteen books later (four quilt books and twelve books for Sunset), and I am happily immersed in all things color and quilts.
Teaching workshops has taught me even more about color, especially the importance of value, the lightness or darkness of color.
Value has two important roles in quilt design: First, it creates a sense of depth. In piecing/patchwork, light values generally recede and dark values advance. The exception is appliqué, where shapes are applied to the surface. What’s on top will probably advance visually, no matter what the value. There are other exceptions, especially in the realm of art quilts.
Second, in a pieced quilt, value establishes the design. You read a dark star on a light background as a star shape because of the contrast in values. If the star and background fabrics were the same value, you’d never see the star.
Enough theory! Here are some quilts in which value does some of the work.
This early quilt, “Puss in the Corner on the Courthouse Steps,” shows how value establishes the design of a block and creates different planes of color. Light- and dark-value pieces make the sixteen-patch blocks read. The blocks advance because the strips surrounding them (blue-violet and orange) are darker in value than the striped background squares. True, the design plays a big part in creating the layered look, but the use of value is just as important. This quilt was inspired by Terry Atkinson’s “Tile Tango.”
“Brushed Metal” is an example of luster, the illusion of light sweeping across the surface. (See my previous post for two other lustrous quilts.) The easiest way to achieve this effect is with ombrés, fabrics that gradate in color and/or value. Here I oriented Serenity ombré strips so the light-value ends are on opposite edges of the blocks. Rather than a wash of light in one direction, the effect is more like light and energy flowing in both directions. Together, the three groups of fabrics—ombrés, Kaffe Fassett stripes, and Marcia Derse prints—are darker than the light-value sashing, making the blocks appear suspended.
Another example of value creating depth is this four-block mock-up, “Colors of Kauai.” Bright Gelato ombrés and multicolored prints from the Kaffe Fassett Collective advance against the open pattern and preponderance of white in the background fabric. (I love and use ombrés so much that I carry them in my website Store. Talk about temptation!)
Shifting gears to a nonrepresentational quilt, “Earthscape,” I thought about value with every piece of fabric I considered. The upper areas are lighter in value, making them seem distant, while the lower areas read as foreground because they are darker. (The design lines of the fabrics also suggest foreground.) Elin Noble’s hand-painted fabrics are the real gems here—I call them “investment fabrics” because they are magical wherever you use them.
In “Transparent Squares” the illusion of see-through color is all about value. For each block I used lighter and darker values of roughly the same colors (a light blue-green and a darker blue-green, for example). And I attempted to gather light-value fabrics with the same degree of lightness, and dark-value fabrics with the same degree of darkness. I call the effect in this quilt “layered transparency.” Check out my quilt “Galaxy,” which is an example of parent/child transparency, in the Gallery on my site. Value plays a big part in parent/child transparency, too. (The term, which describes the effect perfectly, was coined by Judi Warren Blaydon.)
And finally, here’s my latest quilt, “Swizzle Sticks,” so named for the narrow strips I inserted in each block. Again, the sashing is lighter, but in this quilt I wanted to link the blocks using another graphic element. The small four-patches did the trick, anchoring and connecting the blocks. From a distance I also see single diagonal chains that slip beneath the blocks.
Thank you, thank you for allowing me to share my quilts and thoughts on color. Please check out my website, where you can browse the Gallery and Store (books, patterns, fabrics), sign up for “Christine’s Color Connection” (a newsletter on color), follow me on Facebook and Pinterest, and access my series of color lessons on the Classrooms page of “The Quilt Show.” If you see me in the future—at a workshop, guild meeting, or quilt show—please say hello. And for your next quilt, make value “do all of the work”—and you take all of the credit!
Here’s yet another generous giveaway from our lovely guest blogger. Simply post a comment by end of day August 25th for a chance to win one of Christine’s color wheels and four fat quarters of Marcia Derse fabric.
Congratulations to Deborah M. the winner of all the goodies from Christine’s first post.
Until next time, happy creating!
Hello readers. We are pleased to welcome our guest blogger this week, Christine Barnes. Christine is a passionate quilter who is an expert in the area of color. You may remember reading about her in one of our earlier posts. Click here to take another look at some of the work she shared with us in the past. This week she gives us an update of the exciting adventures in her life as well as some new quilts. Please welcome Christine.
It’s a pleasure and an honor to be a guest blogger for See How We Sew! Many thanks to Laura for the invitation. I’ll be doing two posts this week, about the group I’m a part of, Artistic Alchemy, and about my life as an author, designer, and teacher of color for quilters.
Today, it’s all about AA. No, not that AA, but rather a team of three designers—myself, Sandra Bruce, and Heidi Emmett. More than a year ago we began work on our first Artistic Alchemy retreat at Zephyr Point, South Lake Tahoe, which takes place September 2–5, 2014. It’s been a great experience, with lots of laughter and learning, and we’re eager to welcome our students in a few weeks. You can read all about it on our blog. It’s not too late to sign up for the retreat. If you’ve never been to Zephyr, you’re missing one of the most magical spots on the lake, a real favorite with quilters. We’re already planning another retreat for September 2015.
Artistic Alchemy is a diverse group: I specialize in color, Sandra creates dynamic gridded quilts, and Heidi combines fiber and fabric techniques in her imaginative quilts and wearable art.
I’ll have more to say about my color career in my next post, but here are two quilts I’ll be teaching in my workshop, “Luminosity and Luster: Playing with Color and Light.” An understanding of three simple color concepts makes it possible to achieve both luminosity and luster. However, the easiest way to suggest luster, the illusion of light striking the surface and bouncing off, is with ombrés, fabrics that gradate in color, value, or both.
The blocks in my “Lustrous Squares” quilt use the full width of colorful Gelato ombrés to imply a sweep of light, from the upper right to the lower left. I had so much fun pairing the ombrés with wonderful prints from Kaffe Fassett—they’re a natural together.
For “Urban Ombrés,” which appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Modern Patchwork, I used a Gelato gray ombré in combination with richly colored Gradations ombrés and Marcia Derse prints. (All fabrics except the black-and-white will be available as kits at the retreat.) Again, orienting the gray ombré strips with the lighter ends in the upper right of each block and the darker ends in the lower left suggests the diagonal flow of light. Check out my website for more quilts with ombrés, and my books, patterns, and fabrics. My work has also appeared in American Patchwork & Quilting, American Quilter, and McCall’s Quilting You can also access my series of color lessons on The Quilt Show; see the home page of my website for details.
Sandra Bruce brings a successful career as an illustrator and letterer to her creative quilting life. Artist Chuck Close was the inspiration for her Material Matrix method, which uses 2-inch finished squares to create graphic quilt designs. Here’s her latest piece, a portrait of her son, Matteo. It just won a blue ribbon and Best of Division at our county fair.
I was with Sandra when she showed her self-portrait, below, at NCQC last year. There was a collective gasp from the audience, and one woman shouted, “It’s her!” Since then she’s been a teacher in high demand. Sandra also has a thriving long-arm quilting business, has designed fabric using Spoonflower, and creates polymer clay jewelry and buttons. See more of her work on her website.
You may recall Jennifer’s previous post that mentions Sandra Bruce and Spoonflower.
An article on Sandra appeared in the April 2014 issue of Quilting Arts. She’s teaching her Material Matrix method at the retreat, based on a photo chosen by each student.
Heidi Emmett owned a full-service fabric store for 15 years, had a successful decorating business, and has taught sewing and other needle arts extensively. She admits that she wants to “do it all,” and she has so many skills and so much creativity that I can’t keep up! She’s teaching “Art to Wear, Art on the Wall” at the retreat, where students will learn an array of original techniques that can be applied to quilts and wearables. Heidi’s motto is “It has to be fun!” so you know her students will have a great time. Below are two versions of her “Skinny Vest” and a closeup.
Many thanks to SHWS for allowing me to introduce you to Artistic Alchemy and my colleagues. You might also like to follow our AA blog, where we take turns writing about the things that inspire us, sharing our creative processes, and showing our latest work. After all, the definition of the word alchemy is “the power or process of transforming individual elements into something special.” Isn’t that what we do when we make a quilt, embellish a garment, or fashion anything from fiber and fabric? Come join in our creative adventure!
Please join us again on Friday for Christine’s post on the role of color and value in creating the illusion of depth and layering in quilts.
Oh, and before I forget, these three lovely ladies are offering a wonderful giveaway for one lucky reader. Simply post a comment by end of day August 21st for a chance to win a polymer-clay art button from Sandra, a vest pattern from Heidi, and four fat quarters of ombrés from Christine. Wow, thanks ladies!
Congratulations to Tabitha Keener, the winner of one of Lori Lott’s new patterns.
Patricia Belyea, a self proclaimed Japanophile, imports vintage yukata cottons. Patricia is the owner of Okan Arts, a design studio and micro quilt shop, in her home in Seattle, Washington.
As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, Yukata – The Summer Kimono of Japan , I met Patrica while she was traveling in the San Francisco Bay Area for lectures and workshops. I was not only fascinated with her incredible collection of hand dyed fabrics, I was also inspired to see how she showcased these very special fabrics into the artisan quilts she creates.
Patricia took some time out of her busy travel schedule to answer a few questions that I thought would interest our readers and to share her beautiful work.
What was it that initially attracted you to these fabrics? I’ve always been a “treasure hunter” when it comes to fabrics. At first, my quilts were made from fabrics found in free boxes at quilting meetings. I’ve also looked for unusual and super-cheap fabrics by the tablecloth section at Goodwill stores. And I’ve bought some vintage fabric on eBay. Once I started to visit Japan regularly, I looked for quilting fabric there.
Once I discovered vintage hand-dyed yukata cottons, I was hooked. They are so easy to love—good quality cotton that’s a perfect weight for quilting, gorgeous hand-dyed colors, and wonderful patterns. I find the colors and designs inspire my artisan quilt compositions.
How has your involvement with yukata cottons changed your outlook on the Japanese and their culture? Before I ever bought a bolt of yukata cotton, I had been to Japan twice and hosted three Japanese home-stay students. So I already had a real interest in all things Japanese.
Getting involved with yukata cottons and quilting has changed the focus of my trips to Japan. Now I seek out textile-related experiences—visiting indigo masters, wandering around flea markets, looking for small shops with vintage fabrics, going to museums, and anything else that touches on my interest in Japanese handicrafts, especially textiles.
What do you see for the future of Okan Arts? My petite cottage business called Okan Arts is synonymous with me! I’m a one-woman enterprise who just keeps dreaming up more things to do.
Right now I’m working on a quilting book that combines yukata cottons and commercial solids in improvisational designs.
I just wrote an article for GenerationQ magazine entitled “A Quilter’s Guide to Visiting Japan.” (Look for it in the November/December issue.) I feel a calling to encourage others to visit Japan so I’m putting together a new Japan Travel section on my website as a resource for individual travelers.
As I’m out of town a lot this summer, I set up a pop-up shop with all my inventory in my local quilting store—The Quilting Loft in Seattle. Making my yukata cottons more accessible has been a good move as shoppers can only visit my home-based shop by appointment–I may do that again as I travel so much. – Patricia Belyea.
Aren’t her quilts amazing? Patricia also enjoys hand-quilting her quilts to add to the artisan feel. Being a big fan of Big Stitch hand quilting, I was immediately drawn to her thread work. She uses colorful pearl cotton to create interesting shapes and line work. I loved seeing her perspective on applying this technique to the large scale prints and large open spaces of the yukata designs.
Thank you, Patricia, for a sharing this unique niche in our wonderful world of quilting. It is always fun to see how personal passions can merge with one’s creative interests.
I love hearing success stories of people who find a passion and turn it into a business. I have known Lori Lott for years, but recently had the opportunity of collaborating with her while working on my book, QQQ3. She is a talented stylist and assisted our photographer with room settings. This positive working relationship lead us (Diana McClun and myself) to seek her help again with our book signing party. Lori is extremely organized and brought our vision into fruition. I couldn’t resist asking Lori to consider being the “day of” person for our recent wedding. Fortunately for all of us, she agreed and everything ran smoothly with her behind-the-scenes guidance.
Lori is a also an avid quilter and teaches classes at local quilt shops. Her line of patterns attracted Clothworks Fabrics to her work. Please let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Lori and share some of her work with you.
Lori started sewing at age 9 while in 4-H. This gave her a foundation for sewing. During this time she was encouraged to model her garments. Walking in front of judges was nerve racking for a 10-year ld girl, says Lori, but it gave her the confidence to keep sewing and hone her skills in clothing construction. She later earned a degree in Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). She initially worked in the fashion industry and later moved in to Visual Merchandising.
Lori came to quilting through a friend in 2000. Creating her own designs is what inspired her to continue learning about quilting. Although she says it wasn’t an overnight process, she felt she was truly hooked after working with her local community of quilters and being exposed to their amazing work.
Lori was recently approached by Clothworks and her Heartstrings pattern will be featured in one of their new “All My Heart” fabric line by Iron Orchid designs. Click here to view the fabric collection.
When I asked Lori what style of quilt she enjoys making, she told me that her favorite quilts to make are those with traditional piecing using contemporary fabrics. She loves machine piecing and the symmetry that goes into each block that then translates into a finished quilt top. Lori feels that piecing is like solving a puzzle using fabric. “In the end it all has to fit together like a beautiful mosaic. There is gratification in the end result. There is also a Zen quality about piecing. It causes me to focus with my two favorite things: fabric and my sewing machine.”
Lori’s pattern company is called Uptown Girl Quilts and her patterns are sold on her website. Here are just a few of her designs. Click here to view her full line of patterns. She says she gets her inspiration from many different avenues. Color and shape are the two biggest factors for her. Color dictates emotion for her while she is designing a new quilt. shape and form are the next elements that drive her designs. Here are just a few.
Lori says: “I routinely walk my dachshund Lola every morning after we have coffee and toast. It is the highlight of my day (and Lola’s too!). I love clothes and fashion and wish I was a Design apprentice for a haute couture house in Paris like Yves St. Laurent or Givenchy. If I wasn’t a quilt designer I would be an architect, a professional golfer, or fragrance designer. The three love’s of my life are Robert, Andrew and Brian, my family.”
Lori is offering one of her new patterns to a lucky reader. Simply tell us what you would do if not making quilts – astronaut, doctor, scientist? Submit comments by end of day August 14th. The winner will be announced on August 19th.
As always, thanks for stopping in. Hope you are all enjoying a restful summer. Until next time . . .
Hello dear readers! Gwen Marston is always a hit when we feature her at See How We Sew. Today we’ll take a look at more quilts from her latest AQS title, Minimal Quiltmaking, and revisit past posts about Gwen written by our blogging sister Darra. Gwen and Darra have been both friends and collaborators for years. In fact, Darra’s skilled editorial hand can be experienced in a number of Gwen’s quilting books. Keep scrolling to find the name of the lucky winner of Minimal Quiltmaking.
Darra gave us a peek into Gwen’s creative process back in February of this year in The Latest from that Amazing Quilter Gwen Marston.
And, before that in 2012, Working in a Series Gwen Marston and 37 Sketches.
And the winner is, Kathy in Florida–Congratulations! Many thanks to Gwen Marston for her continuing support of See How We Sew. Perhaps she’ll return for a visit soon?!? I hope so!
Final thoughts from Jennifer: I’m taken by Gwen’s works of quilted art. Can’t you just see these painting-sized quilts adorning the walls of a modern art museum? What if we started a grassroots movement to persuade our fine arts venues to open their galleries to our textile arts? Just a thought . . . we’ve got our Studio Art Quilters and any number of other art quilt groups. Time to come out of the shadows and into the limelight with the rest of the artsy crowd!
We’ve got a special treat today at SHWS: Gwen Marston is in the house! Yup, she’s going to review her latest and greatest quilting title, Minimal Quiltmaking. Sure, it’s unorthodox having an author write her own book review, but why not? She’s Gwen Marston and she’s super fabulous! Scroll to the end of the post for giveaway details–here’s a hint: enter to win a copy of her new title.
Hello everyone! I’ve been invited to write a review of my new book Minimal Quiltmaking so let me say right upfront: it’s going to be very favorable!
It’s always a thrill when I get to see a just-off-the-press copy of my latest book for the first time. In the case of my most recent book, Minimal Quiltmaking (AQS Publishing, 2014), I couldn’t have been more pleased. Reviewers are calling it “beautiful” and I have to agree.
I’ve always been the “less is more” girl, preferring straightforward, uncluttered design so keeping it simple, aka minimal, is my natural default setting. This book includes both examples of my early minimal work and more recent pieces as well. It also includes the exciting work of twenty-two contemporary quilters (some are also quilt teachers) from across the country. I was so very pleased to be able to include their work in my book because it adds an indispensable flavor that makes it all the more tasty.
The book (95 pages, $24.95) has lots of full-page color pictures of the quilts and is packed with design and construction tips on how you can make your own original quilts without patterns using my “liberated”, intuitive, free-pieced methods. So, let me show you some of the quilts in my new book.
Discovering Lancaster Country Amish quilts in the early 80’s set me off on a virtual tangent of making quilts in that style as a way to understand the Amish sense of design and use of color. It also taught me the value of working with solid fabrics, which I’ve continued to do to this day.
ONE PATCH, made in 1990, was the first in a series of thirteen minimal quilts, all shown in the book, inspired by the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928).
I have a chapter about Hard-Edge Quilts, inspired by a California art movement from the 1960’s called “hard-edge painting”. MINIMAL COMPOSITION is in that chapter.
I talk about the process of designing minimal quilts, how to apply the principles of minimal art to create your own distinctive work, and give suggestions on where to find inspiration for working in this style.
And to whet your appetite, here is a small sampling of the stunning quilts made by made by contributing quilt artists included in the book.
SPLIT CHERRY, by Marjorie Tucker, from Boston, Mass, and MINIMAL PURPLE, made by Kristin Shields, from Bend, Oregon, are both contemporary quilt artists and teachers who have their own style and definitely know what they are doing.
Giveaway Details Here!
Leave a comment by Thursday afternoon, June 19, answering the question: What’s your quilting pleasure: less is more or more is more? I’ll announce the winner of an autographed copy of Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston in the Friday post. We’ll also take a look a more quilts from Gwen’s new title and revisit retired blogging sister Darra’s past posts on Gwen’s quilting style.