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Editor's QA picks for January!

28 Jan 2010

We're introducing a new feature to the Quilting Arts Community...

Every month I will be cruising the site, noting what people are posting in the galleries and forums, and essentially looking to see how you--our cherished members--are utilizing our community.
I will feature some of notable finds the last week of each month. Some of my picks might be helpful, some insightful or inspiring, and others downright humorous. I'll compile them into a single blog post, and award my #1 find something  extra special. What's the featured offering this month?

How about a copy of Lyric Kinard's book!


My picks for January 2010:

6. Newbie Jumps Right In

Ranchquilter is brand new to the Quilting Arts community, and right away she shared a few of her pieces including this quilt. I am intrigued by her approach for this piece.

She writes,"This is one of my first art quilts done in the spring of 2009.  I started with several photos of our longhorns, placed background fabric on a backing, stitched through a black and white photo of the longhorn, tore off the photo, then started placing fabric.  I then thread sketched the details.   Finally, I added batting and a backing and machine quilted, then put on a binding.  After looking at it for some time, I added some shadows with markers.  It is 8.5"x11"."




5. Sharing of an Ingenious Tip: Thrifty Stencil Material

Bhberman shared in the Photo Galleries a great use for those Avery Note Tabs you get at the office supply store.

BHBerman writes, "You may already know about this product but it is new to me. I received a sample of the AVERY NOTE TABS and realized the sturdy stiff repositionable plastic note tabs would make perfect stencil material. I cut this spiral stencil and applied it to this quilt with silver paint. You can wash it and reuse it and it doesn't lose its tacky back. I store them by sticking them to the side of my bookshelf. This one has been used many times and just washed. The quilt page  (9x11) is a solvent transfer of the crow , a la Lyric's Surface Design DVD, then darkened with fabric paint, covered with a dryer sheet printed with a scan of three feathers. I hand carved stamps, thanks you Lyric- from Speedy Carve and used pearl paint. The dryer sheet idea came from Natalya Aiken's DVD, Texture Transformation: Stich, Alter, Recycle. I LOVE the look of these printed dryer sheets. A tip from me: Buy the precut FLAT freezer sheets she recommends and avoid the printer jam headache."


4. Sage Stitching Advice in the Forums

Over in the forums, there are some veddy interesting discussions taking place. One such discussion was introduced by our beloved Quilting Arts assistant editor, Pippa Eccles. Fresh from Harvard University and settling into the professional realm of editing quilt publications, Pippa's been interested in improving her quilting skills...and wondered if a glass of wine before sitting at the sewing machine might smooth out her free-motion stitching

She got a number of impressive responses, but I was mightily amazed by the depth (and length) of CKQuilter's reply. Have a look in the original thread for her full response, but to highlight a few of her points, CKQuilter suggests:

* Remember to breathe. I find beginners often hold their breath until reaching the end of a line of quilting - and if you can learn to continue breathing at a normal rate while sewing, your stitches will look better (and you won't be as blue).

* After you are getting happier with the stitches on a straight line, you will want to start trying curves. An easy way to start with something that is familiar to you, is to write your name. you don't have to dot i's, or cross t's yet. just practice your name. Don't make the letters too small. Make them round. You can write it on the fabric first, but it is better if you just go for it.If your stitches are too long, your curves will not be round. Try and move your hands smoothly and at as consistent a speed as possible.

*When sewing a curve - try not to stop and adjust your hands while on the curve - it breaks the smoothness of the curved line.

*If you want a sharp point - that is when you want to stitch up to the point - hesitate (or stop and reposition your hands), and then resume sewing - this makes a sharp point. If you try and keep moving around the point, you will blunt it.

 *If you still have problems, remember to try and analyze what is wrong - change something and try again. reanalyze. It will teach you what to watch for.


3. Beautiful & Inspiring Work (#1) goes to...Butterfly! Inspired by  Maria Elkins' "Making Faces" workshop, Butterfly created these quilt colorful quilt portraits. I am delighted with Butterfly's work and that she has been sharing so much of her art with us!

(Go have a look at Butterfly's photo gallery by clicking on the image below.)

2. Beautiful & Inspiring Work (#2)

My second pick in the photo galleries goes to Arlee. I am a fan of Arlee's work, and love her intricate stitching and the ethereal, ghostly effect in this piece.

  Her accompanying poem:

 a ghost had sat, wherever ghosts sit,
in the dark and fust and silence, and silently
embroidered old letters
looked like they had run in the rain ---------
and patched and beaded holes, burnt and torn and worn,
she he? pulled laces from old trousseaus and
unstrung beads
unravelled threads with no form left, a whisper of the silk,

a memory of shine still in the twilight

sussuration of bone needle and tiny mouseclick stitch

"Ghost Writing" 18"w x 16"l, compost dyed cotton with appliqued vintage laces. Hand and machine embroidery, reverse applique, beading, faced holes  (pink for display background only)


#1. Humorous Cure for the Winter Blues

And the #1 pick for the month of January goes to someone who struck my funny bone. Since I have such a tough time with winter, I cleave to all things humorous. Feeling a little blue on a blustery, dark, and cold evening a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon this clip in the video galleries. It's a little bit ridiculous...and we are so thankful to.... drum roll... artl8dy for sharing it with us!

Meet Artl8dy and her frog puppet, "Poly Esther," showing us some fabric ATCs traded at a recent quilt show:

Artl8dy, I will be contacting you to award you your grand prize.


Until next month, I hope everyone continues to share your insights, artwork, and thoughts on all things art quilting. We wouldn't be a community without you, and we hope that you are enjoying your time here!


Featured Product

Surface Design Sampler Platter (DVD)

Availability: In Stock
Price: $19.95


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cousette wrote
on 31 Jan 2010 2:31 PM

Thank you so much, Pokey ! I'm delighted with your comments about my work !

I've been crazy about your magazine for 2 years now and it's the only one I read

completely ...and read again and again ! My daughter and I are organizing a textile tour on the Costa del Sol (south Spain) in may, we'll send you all information about it ! Come and see us here !

I'll go on sharing on the community where I found nice interesting friends .It allows me to realize what my work is considered like as I live far from the international quilt exhibitions.

on 1 Feb 2010 6:58 AM


I am always entertained and find something new to smile about or to try in my next art quilt when I wander through your blogs.

There are so many creative and intelligent artists in this world we share.

Have a great day. Thanks for the smiles

Mary Ann