I just returned from the Quilt Market trade show in Houston, and my head is buzzing with ideas. There was so much to see: so many colorful booths filled with the latest fabrics, embellishments, and tools for quilt making.
Did you ever have one of those quilts that was almost finished, but just needed a little something? A little sparkle, a little more texture, a little oomph to catch the eye? Chances are, what the quilt needed was some embellishment.
I'd love to tell you that I am already working on my handmade holiday gifts, but honestly, it's not happening. I do like to give gifts with handmade elements like quilting and embroidery, but this year, I'll have to streamline those efforts if I'm going to get it all done.
Every Tuesday, the teams from Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors, and Stitch magazines gather in the common area of our office space for show and tell. Each week, we ooh and aah over projects big and small-from handmade quilts to encaustic experiments to toss pillow covers.
My living room sofa could use a few new pillows, which means I'm headed to the studio. I love making throw pillows, because they are easy sewing projects I can use to try out stitching designs and techniques.
Hand sewing is the foundation of needlecraft, and quilting is no exception. But trust art quilters to take needlework and turn it on its head!
Being on set when we taped the most recent Quilting Arts WorkshopTM videos was a real education. Not only did I learn how the videos are taped (very efficiently!), but I also picked up lots of tips for quilting and fabric art.
I have made bed and lap quilts, holiday table runners, and other large-scale quilted gifts and décor. But more often I make small quilted gifts that come together quickly with the sewing machine and my abundance of fabric scraps.
I may have mentioned that binding a quilt is my least favorite part of the quilt-making process. But I've realized that if I'm going to reduce the number of UFOs in my studio, I'm going to have to learn how to bind a quilt in a way that I enjoy.
Every time I think I that I am too busy to make any art, I come across an artist who has found a way to fit fiber art into her day—even if it is just a bit of hand sewing.
Idle hands were frowned upon in my house when I was growing up. There was always something to do. If I wanted to watch TV (and I wanted to watch TV!), I had to be doing something productive at the same time. So I would sit down with either knitting or embroidery, and watch to my heart's content.
I often look at someone's art and wonder who inspired them to quilt, embroider, and stitch. Did they start by hand sewing or go straight to the machine?
Fiber artist Deborah Boschert and I share a love of hand embroidery. Although hand embroidery stitches are often associated with antique and vintage textiles, Deborah uses classic embroidery stitches to add interest and texture to her contemporary quilts and fabric collages.
You know I'm passionate about my pets; I'm particularly taken at the moment with the newest addition to my menagerie, Clarence.
Sometimes I think I'm finished with a quilt. I've surface designed it, free-motion stitched it, maybe even appliquéd it. But it still looks a little flat. It needs a little . . . something.