12 women commit to creating 12 works of art in 12 months, each piece measuring 12“x12“. Multiply that by 3 different groups participating, and you have 26 amazing individuals with 26 different perspectives.
I am so excited (and proud) to be a part of this exhibit!
I spent today helping with the set up for this exhibition. It is a truly impressive collection of work. If you live in the Northern California area, this is one show you should make time to visit. The Opening Celebration will be this Sunday, Dec. 3, but the show will be up through the month of December.
So, exactly what is The Power of 12? In my case, it was an opportunity to explore a different technique or idea each month for a year. The commitment forced me to be accountable, to take it seriously, but most of all, to allow myself to “play” each month on a small, doable scale.
This year long project is sponsored by Textile Dream Studios. Sue Fox and Jo Magaraci have done an incredible job of curating this exhibit, and for that matter, sharing their creative energy and motivation over an entire year of motivational meetings! Those monthly meetings offer a great opportunity to develop a solid Art/Maker Practice. Participants have chosen to explore new materials or techniques, develop work in a series, and even delve into “uncharted territory”.
The philosophy behind the 12×12 Challenge is the belief that each of us has the inherent ability to create a vibrant and satisfying Art/Maker Life for ourselves. We believe that individuals have the power to uncover their own creative paths, and that by immersing oneself in an environment which promotes both self-reflection and personal determination, interesting results will follow.
And those interesting results are being celebrated this month. I hope you can join us. If you are not local, stay tuned to my Instagram account, patifried, and I will be sharing photos of the opening celebration and some of the amazing work on display.
Have a good week!
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.
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.
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.
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.
And here are a few peeks of the student works.
Terri Carpenter, longarm quilter of Hello Stitch, played with some improvisational clamshells.
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!
Laura’s table mate, Linda Lambert worked on this whimsical little project. Here’s the cheery piece Alex Anderson was working on.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
I hope you enjoyed these beauties as much as I did. Thank you, members of the The Creative Fiber Artists. Your work is beautiful!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
A few weeks back, I traveled to my home town in Iowa to attend an annual fundraiser for my old high school. I get to spend 2 full days of quilting with talented quilters from my hometown. It is always fun and I love going! We usually offer a quick and easy project as a demo, including a few technique tips. This year, the goal was to create a holiday project, and tackling the subject of perfect points, mitered corners, machine quilting and bindings. Soooo. . .
We showcased this holiday table topper. It was super easy and fun to make. I thought I would share it with you – just in case you needed to pull a quick holiday project out of your stash in the next few weeks.
I started with a great tutorial by Sewn Up/Teresa Down Under for a Disappearing Pinwheel Block. You can see the post and video here: Disappearing Pinwheel by Sewn Up, along with her beautiful sampler quilt and 11 variations created with simple little block!
Now the magic happens – cut the pinwheel block into 9 equal sections, creating 9 smaller blocks.
Repeat with the other three blocks.
Switch, flip and rotate a few small blocks and watch those large pinwheels disappear!
Awesome, right? Let’s try another layout. . .
Since I am partial to the Churn Dash Block, this was the layout I chose. Each block measured 11″ unfinished.
I added a 5 1/2″ border with mitered corners to frame it out. In one short afternoon, I created a 30″ table topper for the holidays. Wow!
This would be a great project for a table runner, placemats or an entire quilt. Here is one of the projects that was made at Quiltfest by a student. Same fabric line, but played with a little differently. I love the contrasts!
Here’s a look at some of the other wonderful projects that were worked on over the weekend. So many great quilts!
For our Bay Area readers – The new Bay Quilts quilt shop in Richmond, is having a meet the teachers event on Saturday, December 3 from 1-3. If you haven’t checked out this beautiful new shop, this is a great opportunity. Darci Read and I will be there chatting about the classes we are scheduled to teach in 2017. Stop by and say hello! There is also a wonderful 12 x 12 gallery show that will be on display at the shop. Be sure to check out The Power of 12 quilt show, that will be up through the end of the year.
And now – the Giveaway winner from last week’s post goes to Nance of idreamofquilting.com. Nance shared a simple, but really great tip:
“I always spray the top of the fabric and then flip it over and iron from the back. That way I don’t get any starch flakes on the top of the fabrics.”
There were lots of other great tips on ironing, so if you missed that post, take a moment and scroll through the comment sections. Thanks everyone!