This is the image I just received of the next issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited that I wrote an article for. I was told that if you get a new subscription by February 10th, this issue will come with your subscription.
To get 10% off your renewal or subscription on print issues, use promo code MQUSPECIAL to get a discount.
I was not all that familiar with this magazine because I was mistakenly under the impression that it was for long-arm machine quilters, but I found out it’s for all kinds of quilters, although it does lean more towards artquilts. After looking at a couple issues when I was at Festival last fall, I jumped on board and got a subscription. Hey, that’s the least I could do since Meander Publishing was the sponsor for my award at International Quilt Festival.
Oh, the joy of creating new work
I have a nice gap in my teaching schedule right now, and I have been using every spare minute in the studio. Knowing how precious and limited this time is, I pulled out a bunch of fabric culled from my acrylic inks class samples stack and went to work stamping with my hand carved rubber stamps, foam stamps and wood stamps from Coloricious. I also pulled out my thermofax screens so I could print some additional imagery on the fabric.
It was so much fun to make all this lovely printed faric. Have I told you how much I love working with acrylic inks? Ha ha, I know I have, but I can’t help talking about how cool I think they are.
Now here’s the really crazy thing, I felt compelled to cut my new fabric up and sew it back together again, like PATCHWORK!
Now, I never say never, but I really didn’t think I would sway from working whole cloth again, but what fun! I want to sew more pieces of fabric together!
As I looked though my fabrics, I realized I had a serious overload of fabrics in cool colors like blues and greens and very few warm yellows, oranges and pinks. So I needed to get back to work and make some more fabric.
When I work, I often like to make up little rules for myself. Like in this case, I start with a larger feature block in a cool color and then frame it with warm color strips that each have to be a different width from each other.
These rules aren’t set in stone, rules are always made to be broken in the creative process, but for me it gives me some structure and a place to begin when building a design without a set pattern.
My next plan was to fill the spaces between the blocks with cool colored fabrics, but as I started nudging the blocks together I saw it was just too much of a cacophony of color and the individual blocks were not only lost, they also became less interesting.
I realized there needs to be some neutral territory between the blocks. I haven’t quite decided what that’s going to be, but I’m playing with the idea of using a neutral gray or maybe a black and white shibori stripe. I know that’s still busy, but it separates the blocks from each other, and has visual interest.
I kind of like the way that looks, but it’s hard to tell until I lay out some more, black and white shibori fabric. I have another piece of fabric on a pvc pipe, painted with black acrylic ink drying right now.
By the way, I’ve been sewing all these blocks together on my new Bernina 770 QE.
When I was at Craft Napa, the folks over at Meissner’s Sewing in Sacramento had brought over brand new 770’s for students to use in the sewing classrooms. And it just so happens Meissner’s was also having an amazing sale on Bernina’s. This was right after I found out the bill to fix my dead 1630, had jumped to $700 with iffy long term results. That seemed like too much money to put into a 20 year old machine with a long out dated computer.
It was really wonderful having my mom at the show with me, because she could see what a great opportunity the offered price was and told me I could dip into my inheritance early and get the machine, since there was no way I could afford it. Oh my gosh, I’m so blessed to have such a great mom and that I get to spend time with her on a regular basis now, most of my adult life I have lived 400-2000 miles away.
Anyways, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this machine already and I only know how to do the simplest of basic things with it so far. The computer interface is fairly easy to learn, it’s not too loud and it’s making piecing a snap. I’m thrilled to have the extra inches of space to the right of the needle and I look forward to getting around to free-motion quilting on it too.
I’m teaching in Florida for the first time in April!
I’m so excited to tell you about a fantastic retreat opportunity. I’m teaching at the Focus on Fiber retreat in New Smyrna Beach April 12-14. We’ll have 3 full days to make gorgeous fabric and have lots of fun together.
You don’t need to have painting or drawing skills or previous experience painting, just a desire to try new things, play and create.
So dump the winter parkas and join me and the snow birds in warm sunny Florida to explore 10+ techniques with Acrylic Inks.
Here’s a few recent acrylic inks workshop samples to wet your appetite: