Embroidery Workshop with Debby Schnabel

2017-09-22 14.29.58
Close up of Debbie Schnabel’s freeform embroidery.
The annual event, Quilting in the Garden, was held a few weeks back. Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA. hosts this wonderful quilt show. If you have followed our blog for a while, you know that we have covered many of the past shows. It is a gorgeous venue of quilts hanging in majestic oak trees at a beautiful nursery, filled with fall festivities.

2017-09-22 14.39.34
Quilting in The Garden, 2017.
Quilting in the Garden also hosts classes the week before the show, with some truly talented quilt teachers. This year, Laura and I (along with a few of our quilty friends), were fortunate enough to take a hand embroidery workshop with the very talented Debby Schnabel.

2017-09-22 14.31.32

Let’s just digest that for a moment. An embroidery class, with a talented teacher, filled with classmates that were our quilty friends, doing handwork, at a quilt show venue, in a beautiful nursery, that just happens to be filled with massive old oak trees – on a gorgeous fall day.

Got that? Needless to say it was wonderful.

2017-09-22 14.29.21
Debbie Schnabel’s creative threadwork.
Here is a peek at some of Debby’s intricate work. You can see more of her work on her website at https://debbyschnabel.com.2017-09-22 12.35.13

2017-09-22 12.35.13-2

2017-09-22 14.30.25

2017-09-22 14.30.19

2017-09-22 12.42.51-1_preview

And here are a few peeks of the student works.

terri embroidery sampleTerri Carpenter, longarm quilter of Hello Stitch,  played with some improvisational clamshells.

Karen M sample

My table mate and good friend, Karen McArdle, took her project on a plane ride the next week, finished it up, and gave it as a gift! Lucky recipient!

Linda Lambert embroidery

Laura’s table mate, Linda Lambert worked on this whimsical little project.Alex Anderson sample Here’s the cheery piece Alex Anderson was working on.

File Nov 01

I decided to play with paisley’s and background texture. My 1st paisley was a bit lopsided, but I figured it out on the second one!

IMG_0707

Laura made this sweet vine and berries piece. She was so inspired that she pulled out some of her favorite embroidery books. Any of these look familiar?2017-10-12-15-35-03

Some times you just need a bit of inspiration to look at an old favorite craft in a new light. Something you did 10 years ago may take on a whole new look with what you are inclined to do today. I know it really got the ideas flowing for me! I can’t wait to incorporate this in a new project!

Hope this inspires you to pick up a needle and thread and do a bit of play yourself!

pati.jpg

Advertisements

Summer Retreat

Since I generally sew alone in my quiet little space, an occasional getaway of quilting with a group of creative people can be especially energizing.  Not only can the experience be extremely fun and relaxing, but can also provide the needed  time to work on projects and share ideas. While I was away at the same retreat Pati wrote about in her last post, I had the opportunity to work on a quilt for my new grandson. My daughter requested that I make a fox quilt for him. How could I possibly say no when she showed me Fancy Fox by Elizabeth Hartman.

Here is my baby version of this design. This was a perfect retreat project, both fun and easy to make. It will be machine quilted with a pinkie backing, just perfect and snuggly for our new little guy. Thank you, Elizabeth for this adorable pattern.

Fancy Fox pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

Since this post is short and sweet, I will share with you some eye candy from Quilt 2017 by the San Francisco Quilt Guild. Please click here to see the images on The Plaid Portico, taken by Carol van Zandt. There are 3 separate posts so you will want to take time to enjoy them all.

Hope you all all enjoying a relaxing and creative summer. Until next time,

 

 

 

Getting Back on Track

I am sure you have noticed that we have not been posting on a regular basis for quite some time here at See How We Sew. Sometimes, life just has a way of taking you on a different course. Laura, Darci and I have all been experiencing this lately, each enjoying happy, new adventures, and simply taking a break on the social media platform for a bit. All is good, and the positive side is that this has allowed for a lot of interesting new topics to share with you this summer!

Laura and I attended a retreat a few weeks ago with a group of wonderful quilters. It was in a very peaceful, serene setting in the Sierra foothills. It was nice to have time to just sew. No deadlines, no stress, just 4 lovely days of sewing and creating. Laura took some beautiful photos of the property, while she was on her morning walks.

It would be hard to not be inspired while in this setting.

There was a beautiful quartet of quilts hanging in one of the conference rooms. A gift from the Foothill Quilters Guild, in Auburn, CA.  The design, concept and workmanship was just stunning. I wanted to share them with you.

Earth, Air, Fire and Water – Created by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr.

Adapted from an original card design by Sr. Paulette Kirchensteiner H.M.

Earth by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Earth
Air by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Air
Fire by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Fire
Water by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Water

 

 

 

 

 

Earth by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Earth
Earth by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Earth, close-up
Air by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Air
Air by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Air, close-up
Fire by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Fire
Fire by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Fire, close-up
Water by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Water
Water by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Water, close-up

What a wonderful series of work, and the perfect location for them to be viewed in.

In our next post, Laura will share what she worked on during our retreat. It was so much fun watching this project go together!

Have a great week!

 

Uncommon Threads – Part II

As promised in my last post, Uncommon Threads – Part I

Here is part II of the art quilt exhibit, Uncommon Threads. Grab your cup of tea and get ready for your Wednesdayinspiration!

Yosemite Falls by Vicki DeMeter

 

White Daisy by Mary Beth Branca

 

Uehara Garden by Mary Anne Fitzgerald

 

Zen Bird by Suzi Dillinger

 

Turbulence by Margaret Winter

 

Sunset by Margaret Winter

 

Not Everything is Black and White by Mary Beth Branca

 

Of Space and Time by Mary Anne Fitzgerald

 

Portal of Yesterday by Virginia Standley

 

Sea Turtle by Suzi Dillinger

 

Stele Tears from Mardin by Ileana Soto

 

Double Delight by Margaret Winter

 

In the Garden by Mary Beth Branca

 

Ice Flower by Sue Harris

 

Heaven on Earth by Linda Pawlowicz

 

Habitat Under Fire by Ileana Soto

 

Grounded Angels by Linda Pawlowicz

 

Giant City in the Fall by Suzi Dillinger

 

Bliss by Pat Eyler

 

34 Pinecrest Ave. by Sue Harris

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these beauties as much as I did. Thank you, members of the The Creative Fiber Artists. Your work is beautiful!

 

Uncommon Threads – Finding Inspiration in a Recent Art Quilt Exhibit

A few weeks ago, I met friends for lunch and had the opportunity to see their wonderful works on display at the Village Theater & Art Gallery in Danville, Ca. They were part of an exhibition called Uncommon Thread,  whick featured unique art quilts created by a local quilting group, The Creative Fiber Artists. The quilts covered a wide range of topics and were interpreted in creative and imaginative ways. It was a great show.

I have become extremely interested in art quilting lately. This was an opportunity for me to enjoy a variety of mixed media and textile explorations which step out of the mainstream quilting style. I loved the show so much, that I took photos to share with our readers! I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. I, for one, am filing this under inspirational ideas!

 

Kadinsky in the Kitchen Study by Cyndy Rymer

 

Complimentary Colors by Pat Eyler

 

Aquatic Splendor by Vicki Demeter

 

Aquatic Splendor, close up by Vicki DeMeter

 

Asian Influence by Mary Beth Branca

 

Asian Influence close up by Mary Beth Branca

 

Circles, Circles, Circles by Sue Harris

 

Do Purple Cows Give Purple Milk? by Lynne Douglas

 

Enchanting Ella by Lynne Douglas

 

Global Alert, Artic Melt by Ileana Soto

 

Global Alert, Artic Melt close up by Ileana Soto

 

Gorgeous Gerty by Lynne Douglas

 

House of Whimsy by Pat Eyler

 

It’s 5 O’Clock by Virginia Standley

 

Lynne Douglas, The Great Escape

 

Lynne Douglas, The Great Escape, close up

 

Majestic Mt. Diable by Cyndy Rymer

 

Boundless Energy by Margaret Winter

 

Dancing in the Breeze by Margaret Winter

 

Dancing in the Breeze by Margaret Winter

 

Purple Haze by Cyndy Rymer

 

Rose Revisited by Vicki DeMeter

 

Rose Revisited, close up by Vicki DeMeter

 

Springtime in Vermont by Lynne Douglas

 

Thoughts of Japan, close up by Virginia Standley

 

Pretty awesome work, right? Stop in again on Wednesday and I will share the 2nd half of the quilts in this show.

Have a great week!

 

Designing with 20-Degree Fabric Wedges

Hi everyone! I just re-read Pati’s previous post (BTW don’t you just love her new work?!) and noticed in her last sentence  that she is curious as to what Darci and I have been up to. So, Pati, to answer your question, I will share with you and all of our readers what’s up here in Laura’s studio. I chuckle as I write this, as currently “my studio” is a very small section of my living space. Things have shifted a bit since the kids have moved back in with us. Let’s leave this for another discussion. All is well . . .it’s just an adjustment. I love having them here!

A few months ago I purchased a Kafffe Fassett Collective Fall 2016 20 piece Sweet Design Roll. The 6″ wide strips were the  perfect size for cutting fabric wedges with my new 20-degree wedge ruler.

 

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-12-36-12-pm

My new class, 20-Degrees of Fabric play inspired me to make some new class samples.  Here’s the (almost) end result.

newwedgequilt

I say almost because, as you can see, I have not yet filled in the centers of the pieced hexagons. The obvious choice might be to appliqué circles. Instead, I decided to try cutting and fusing leaves from these beautiful fabrics, Maple Stream by Westminster Fibers.

leaves

I fused a green one to the hexagon in the upper right-hand corner just to see if I liked the look. The interesting thing is, my students saw it as a marijuana leaf! How funny, I didn’t see it. Oh well, I’m in California and decided I’m going to use them anyway. They are maple leaves . . . and I love them : )

While teaching the construction of this quilt,  I had an opportunity to discuss one of my favorite topics, grain line. Here’s a little tip that will help not only with this design but any other pattern that uses equilateral triangles (all sides being the same). The triangles are arranged as shown below and then joined together in horizontal rows.

straight-grain

Tip: In an equilateral triangle, there will be two sides cut on the bias and one side cut on the straight grain of the fabric. To prevent the rows from bowing and stretching, it is important to always place the side with the straight grain of the fabric even with the outer edge of the row (top or bottom). The other two sides of the triangle which contain the bias edges (lots of stretch) are in the center rather than along the outer edges. This is a simple detail but can save lots of grief during construction.

Thank  you all for your patience in announcing the winners of the fabric bundles from the giveaway in my last post. I will notify the following readers shortly to get shipping information.

Shirley Schmeyer – Batiks

Carol N – Benartex collection

Sandy A in St. Louis – French General

Until next time, happy creating everyone!

Laura Signature

 

 

 

Hitting the Reset Button at Craft Napa

It is a rainy, rainy week in Northern California. I see rainy days as a great time to hunker down, do some organizing, planning, scheduling, and catching up. That’s the agenda for my day. January is my wrap up month for unfinished projects. February finds me excited to plan out all the projects and ideas that have been brewing in my mind! On that subject, I thought I would share some of my creative goals for the upcoming year with you.

The short list: journaling, sketching and exploring ideas.

The long list: This one is a bit tougher. I am hoping to stop dragging my feet on a few big projects. Working on a book idea, entering more exhibits and getting more focused on lectures and workshops. Maybe if I put this out to the social media world, it will pressure me to make it happen!

One of my projects for the year has already began. I joined a group last September that would commit me to producing a 12″ x 12″ piece each month for 12 months. As a supportive group, we meet, we talk, and we encourage each other. I am so glad that I joined, but have not exactly been thrilled with my work after the first few months. My plan was to explore new techniques, textures, and alternative ways to manipulate fabric. All to be used later in larger pieces. To be honest, I haven’t been as worried about the finished 12 x 12 pieces, as much as where the explorations would lead me. As I said, things haven’t gone quite as well as I had planned, so I felt like I needed to hit the reset button.

So, I went off to Craft Napa 2017. (If you are not familiar with this event, I did a write up on this event last year, In Search of My Creative Spark.) It was perfect timing for me. I look at Craft Napa as an opportunity to explore new techniques in a week of creative play. I took some awesome classes this year and am now busy applying them to my 12 x 12’s, with much more success!

2017-02-09-17-31

My first workshop was with Jenny Lyon and machine quilting. It was a great class for me. I have taken many classes on machine quilting in the past, but the machines we used in the workshop were very similar to my new Bernina that I bought last year. This was a great chance to ask lots of questions, try some new stitches, and really get comfortable with the whole process. Jenny is a wonderful teacher. It was a great day.

2017-02-09-16-23

 

The next two days I spent with Judy Coates Perez. This brought a lot of “aha” moments for me! I had done a lot of fabric printing in college, and had wanted to be a fabric designer at one point in my life. But, this was the first time that I thought about taking advantage of these processes to create original work. Wow! It was so much fun!
2017-02-09-16

I even brought along some vintage lace to play with. I dyed the lace, then placed it on fabric to dry. I might have to go back and play with this idea a bit more.

After painting, stamping, scrunching and swirling for two days, I came home with some amazing, original fabrics that I can’t wait to cut up and sew back together! To be able to mix my own colors and create my own patterns was really eye opening to me. It is a great way for me to bring my love for drawing and painting into my quilts. I am so excited to get started. I have already bought a lot of the supplies and am planning to spend this year creating fabric to incorporate into my work.

2017-02-09-17

The big plus in all of this? I immediately started cutting up my samples and incorporating them into my 12 x 12 projects. They are now beginning to emerge into what I had envisioned. Thank you Judy Coates Perez, for opening my eyes to a whole arena that I have not explored since college. I think I am going to have a busy year full of exciting new projects!

Levanto, Italy

I have a mix of hand dyed fabric, along with a few solids and “Grunge”. I love the way the hand dyed fabric have a luminous glow to them.

Cinqueterra, Italy

Murano, Italy

Burano, Italy

As for other projects? I see more work playing with selvedges. I love the striated, line work that can comes from this technique. I have been playing with some images from a beautiful botanical book that my son gave me a few years ago. Who knows where this will lead.

2017-02-09-17

2017-02-09-17-35

I am also intrigued by pairing modern design elements to traditional and classic prints. I have been sketching out ways to get back to my Civil War reproductions, but in a more contemporary aesthetic.

I think it’s going to be a great year for me, creatively. As long as I don’t allow myself to get wrapped up in what I can and can’t do. Just do it! In my world, if I forever remind myself that it is the journey, not the end result, I am always happier with my finished product. And that, my friends, is what I love to share with you, the readers and my students! Enjoy the process and you will enjoy the end result.

I hope that you find inspiration in my plans for 2017. I wonder what Laura and Darci are up to?

Pati

 

 

A Look Back at a Year of Quilts

In past years, January has always been my catch up month. Not this year! I have been in a whirlwind since I shouted “Happy New Year!” a few weeks back. I have been on both a quilt retreat and an art retreat, met and spoke with 2 wonderful guilds at their monthly meetings, and then jumped on a plane to Mexico. As you are reading this, I am hoping to be causally sipping a margarita on a warm and sandy beach. Aaaah! Writing this post gives me a chance to reflect on the past year, and draw a few plans and goals together for me in 2017.

2016 was quite a year for me, with many firsts. I started the year out with a few days at Craft Napa 2016. I used the time to dig in to my creative side. I made a conscious effort to map out what was important to me, and permit myself to say no to anything that I had not enjoyed in the past year.

It was a great decision and made for a year of inspiration and adventures. I followed politics closer than I ever had before. I began speaking and teaching workshops to guilds. I was honored to be invited as the featured artist at a guild quilt show. I spent an inspirational month travelling in Italy. I made many new friends and reconnected with old friends. All in all, it was a glorious year. It is interesting for me to consider how my design work was influenced by my escapades.

give-me-liberty
Give Me Liberty

 

Give Me Liberty - close up
Give Me Liberty – close up

 

Finding My Way
Finding My Way

 

conversation-in-color
A Conversation in Color – Achoo! pattern

 

holiday-workshop-sample-beauty-shot
Holiday Table Topper – Workshop Sample

 

tweaking-tradition-close-up
Tweaking Traditions – Workshop Sample

 

safe-with-kaffe
Continuous Braid – Workshop Sample

This last quilt is an interactive quilt, designed to be a quilt version of the Subway Therapy Wall created in New York City. It is a work in progress.

Wall of Words
Wall of Words

Fabric “post its” are being added every day by friends, family (or anyone that wants to contribute) and will eventually cover the entire quilt. Heartfelt and positive thoughts, quotes and comments have become the overlying theme of this project. I have a stack of notes to add when I return home. If it gets too full, I will simply make another wall!

Wall of Words - close up
Wall of Words – close up


2017 is off to a great start in my little quilty world. I can’t wait to share those adventures with you! See you soon!

Pati

My year of quilts: 2016

I can hardly believe that it’s 2017. And that it’s almost February! Sometimes I feel like life has a fast forward button and things go by in a blink.

I found a few themes when looking through the work I did in 2016. One is that I didn’t finish very many quilts! The other is that one quilt commanded most of my time, and it was worth every minute I spent on it. I’ve always been a big fan of applique, but never liked the time it took to needle-turn applique. I still am sitting on one needle-turn project that I started 2 years ago on my honeymoon!

Enter the Dutch Darlings quilt pattern from Cristy Creates. I had seen it pop up on Instagram a few times and when she called for pattern testers I had to reach out.

dutchdarlings

I just love how it turned out. Here’s a closeup of the quilting: I did this on the longarm and loved playing with the negative space.

closeup_dd

Here’s my Meadow quilt (with a terrible photo) that finally got finished in 2016 also. This one lives at my mom’s house now. She saw it and loved it so I sent it home with her. I took the Meadow Quilt class from Lizzy House when I first moved to the Bay Area 4 years ago, and it sat in a little pile for years. Good thing quilting is not a sprint!

meadow

After all of the work on patterned quilts, I had to cleanse my pallet with a little improv. This first one is called Flower in a Square and I posted about it in on Darci Sews if you want to head over and read about it.

flowerinasquare

This purple quilt is the last finish of 2016 for me, and I challenged myself with this one. Purple is one of those colors that just doesn’t pull me, but I ended up with a lot of it in my solid stash so I gave it a go.

purple

I really like how the quilting on this one turned out. I tried to move out of the lines made by the piecing and make the quilting improv-style also. I like where it ended up, but think I could have pushed it a little further.

close_2

close_1

I’m sure I missed a few, and I also quilted lots of quilts for other people this year, so this just a sample of what I worked on last year. One of the goals I have this year is to document my finishes more! Joining the See How We Sew ladies surely will help with that. I’d love to hear about your 2017 quilty goals. What’s inspiring you?

Here’s to a prolific 2017!

darci