One thing that always surprises me is that when we require the finalists of any challenge to attach a quilt sleeve for hanging, we get numerous emails asking, "How do you make a quilt sleeve?" Or, "Exactly what kind of quilt sleeve do you want?"
To anyone who loves fabric and thread, making a handmade quilt is often the ultimate creative experience. The contemplative act of hand quilting-needle moving rhythmically over and under fabric-is a pleasure even for those who primarily rely on machine quilting enjoy.
It wasn't until I packed away all the Christmas decorations, swept up the crumbs from the goodies we'd been nibbling, and tidied the house for my mom's visit last weekend, that I realized: something was missing.
One thing I've learned, and that I love, about contemporary art quilting is that you can't really make a mistake. Everything that happens is grist for the creative mill and happy accidents often serve as "aha!" moments. On the other hand,
What does your studio look like right about now? If it's like mine, there are scraps of fused fabric here, wrapping and collage papers there, plus bits of ribbon, piles of magazines and catalogs, and, yes, I'll admit it, even some crumpled candy wrappers (Santa remembered my sweet tooth).
I've been enjoying the stories over on the QA community discussion board where members are sharing how they learned to sew. Everyone has their own unique story (some funny, some bittersweet) but most people seem to have learned to sew from: their mothers, their 8th-grade home ec class, or from a grandmother or family friend.
Last week while back in Massachusetts I picked up a few essential Christmas mementos to send to our new Colorado home. As I was packing them up at Quilting Arts headquarters, people gathered around to comment.
If I could sum up the way the world looks to me during the holiday season in one word, it would be "sparkle." Sparkle is are everywhere, from the moonlit snow that twinkles like diamond dust to the strings of Christmas lights up on the rooftops, to the flickering candles lit for Hanukkah and Advent.
I confess, I have made some unfortunate fabric choices in my time. Patterns that looked "vintage" in the store but "granny" when I got them home. Colors that caught my eye on the bolt but practically blinded me in the studio. Designs intended to take me outside my comfort zone. And did. And left me there, feeling utterly lost and completely uncomfortable.
I'll bet that if you're been a fiber or mixed-media artist for a while, then you've accumulated a rather large array of tools, gadgets, how-to books and the like. And I'm also willing to bet that, like me, you use only a handful of those items over and over again.
I may have mentioned a few weeks back that I found the perfect studio worktable. I scored a good price for it online and it looks great in our Colorado home. It's just the right height and width for spreading out and slicing up fabric. Just one problem: it's our dining table.
If you opened up your GPS or Google maps and did a search for the intersection of traditional and modern quilting, I bet the pin would drop right on top of Malka Dubrawsky. Malka has an amazing eye for taking basic patchwork quilt blocks and giving them a fresh and contemporary spin using color and freehand cutting and piecing.
We always want to capture what's new on the scene and of interest to you at the moment. But while machine stitching, hand stitching, surface design, embellishment and the other big topics of contemporary art quilting are always covered, the trends in those areas change.
Designer Kaffe Fassett has said he finds much of his inspiration for his palettes and patterns from books on ethnic textiles and his own worldwide travels."I follow women in the marketplace to get a look at the pattern on the edge of their skirts or the way they put a flower in their hair," he said in an interview for our Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine.
When I look at Kathy York's body of work, it's hard to believe she has only been making art quilts since 2003. Her award-winning quilts are easily recognizable for their bold and graphic styles, bright colors, and whimsical or humorous topics. I'm an especially big fan of her three-dimensional pieces.