Sunday, November 6, 2016

Miniature Fabric postcards workshop

Miniature Fabric postcards workshop 
with Foothills Piecemakers Quilting Guild in Greenville, South Carolina.

The first week of November I had the privilege to teach a very fun quilting workshop in Greenville, South Carolina. Using postcards and photographs, many small art pieces were created, most with a very personal touch. Some were depicting scenery from travels and familiar places, both near and far. These small treasures take on a life of their own and soon become a little jewel with added stitching and embellishments. You could send these postcards in the mail, just make sure the stamp stays put!

All different sizes were made, some very small, around 6"x 8", and some were as big as 12" x 12". I love the variety from this workshop, and wish I could see them finished. To all the ladies in this workshop- a big thank you! I had a wonderful time!

Joanna's Light House

Gayle's Scottish coastline with castle

Rita's Beach and surfboard scene
Susan's Tuscan countryside
Martha's Landscape from Breward, NC
Nieves' beach scene from her nephew's honeymoon.
Nancy's beautiful stone wall.
Debbie's country barn at the foothills.
Pat's water bird in a beautiful river backdrop.
Mary's Forrest scene with an old wooden bridge.
Phyllis' river, mountain and waterfall.

Suzanne's round and dimensional rock.

Sandy's Mt Denali in Alaska.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring class at John C Campbell Folkschool

A beautiful week at John C Campbell Folkschool in Brasstown, NC.
It was more like summer last week at the school, lots of sun, warm temperatures and budding trees. Together with ladies from several states, we embarked on "Freeform Machine applique", creating a quilt from a favorite picture or drawing. Challenging, but so rewarding at the end of the week.
Below is the  results of lots of work and many hours of designing, cutting  and sewing.

Holly from Saint Helens, OR created her own drawing of her parents back yard, all with trees, flowers birds and my favorite; two squirrels. All the leaves are free cut, using various green  fabrics to create dimension.

If a squirrel can be cute, this one takes the price.
Most of the features here will be free form machine apppliqued to the background, and the whole piece quilted. A beautiful composition, and choice of fabrics.                                                                        

Penny, from Hayesville, NC, chose a picture of a wooden chair in the garden as her inspiration for her creation. Penny had the "largest" fabric collection of the group to play with, so it was fun to find the fabrics that was right for her quilt.

With the use of different values of the colors, she was able to create a very dimensional garden chair. The baskets and brick wall added to the depth. The floral elements and birds will be free form machine appliqued to the background and then quilting added for texture.

Jane, from Blairsville, GA, had a very special photo of her husband on their sailboat. There is a wonderful movement here, that she worked very hard to translate into fabric. I loved her excitment in using new materials together with fabrics, and many hours was spent creating the sail and boat on the water.

There are lots of details in this quilt, which is hard to see. Beautifully done. The background only needs fairly simple quilting to make the boat stand out.

Stefanie, from Forest, VA, brought a photo of the first house she and her husband had lived in, in Johnson City, TN. Part of the house was covered by a large tree, so many of the features where recalled from memory. The tree got "moved" a little to give a better view of the house. Stephanie had not quilted a whole lot, but created a stunning memory quilt this week.

Just love the country setting for Stephanie's house. It feels very real. She will finish the quilting in the background, and possibly add a border.

Jeanette, from Crossville, TN, had many great photos to choose from. She decided to work with this brilliant rooster. He certainly has an attitude! By the time Janette had the fabrics cut and fused, as well as  free form stitched, he was ready to get into trouble. The mountain background is the perfect containment for this bird. Machine quilting will add texture to the gravel and mountains. Border or no border will both be OK options for this one.

The coolest rooster in Brasstown!

We had a little fun with Jeanette's rooster, he just seemed to wander into many designs this week. He looked great in Holly's and  Penny's gardens.

Finally, the show and tell on Friday night. This is our opportunity to show all we have done and worked on for the week. The class had an impressive display at the Keith House. Thanks to all of you in this class, I had a super time and feel very fortunate  to be able to spend  a whole week with you  at this wonderful place.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Felted hat on a ball

Warming up to have a class at the Appalachian Arts   and Craft Center in Norris, Tennessee. The week before I was so lucky as to spend a week in New York. Erin is a great travel companion and got us to everything we wanted to see. Spending 4 days with my sister and her daughters was a treat to treasure for a long time. On the Brooklyn Bridge, very cold and very happy to be able to use a felted hat to keep our heads  warm.

Back in East Tennessee, where it was also very cold and snowy several women join me at the Center to create unique head pieces.

Start with a sticky ball, weigh out your choice of Merino wool, and cover the ball in thin layers. Several fun color combinations were used. No one made the same hat.

Next, you cover the ball with  panty hose stretched over the wool, to keep everything contains and controlled. Dip in warm soapy water, and bounce the ball. When you have pre-felt, the ball comes out and you can work the hat with your hands keeping it wet and warm.

A lot of rolling, folding and un-folding. The final stage is when you work the hat to fit your head and give it the shape and brim you want.  Needless to say that we had some wonderful surprises and individualized head adornments by the end of class time. I love to see the results. 

We jokingly call this the Robin Hood hat. The colors are so great for her. If she wants to she can shape it some more, for a more rounded look, but this shape suits her great.         
 Nancy is just so cute in this blue hat. She left a wide brim. If she want to she can just wet the hat and make the brim smaller, very easy to do with  felt.

This multi colored hat almost look like it was knitted first. Many colors was worked together in the top layer, and the blue inner layer shows up as a very nice brim. Love the texture in this one.

 Ila's multi red hat is the perfect fit for her. It is fun and unique just like her. Also great colors for her.
Teal is just a colors that looks good.  This is another good fit, with a very nice brim. Keep in mind that the size of the brim can vary, nothing has to be permanent on a felted hat. You can just wet it to re-shape it.

Ginger chose colors that was very  successful for her to wear. Fall colors has always been on my favorite list, but some women just looks very nice in them

Adonia is also fond of the fall colors, and they are so perfect for her. Her scarf is also felted with added curlies and crystal beads. Now she has a set to wear out.
Had to make one too, This is my demo hat, and all though I don't wear much red, I think this one will be used a lot. It fits a and feels so nice on my head. And it I don't like it anymore I can change it in a few minutes!

This was a super group of ladies. I hope they all will make more hats, and most of all have fun with felting. Hope to see them all again very soon!
(Ginger, Ila, Jane, LaDonna, Nancy, Adonia and Carla, Thank you for coming!)

 On a final note, New York is a very interesting place to go fabric shopping, so we did. Mood was just one of the many, many stores we visited. Many treasures were brought back to Maryville. Most of them silk that I plan to use for Nuno felting. Now I just need some time.

I guess we never expected to have this view from a hotel room,  but this was right outside our window on the 34th floor. The Empire State Building was lit up every night with different colors. Have to say, it made an impression on us.