Bill Volkening's New York Beauty Quilts. Ooooh! Aaaah!

In September, I was honored to be able to teach at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.  Although I only live about an hour and a half away, this was my first visit to the museum. (I know, I'm a lazy, lazy girl!)  The museum was lovely!  Our classroom was one of the small galleries, so we were surrounded by inspiring quilts while we sewed.  How fun is that?!

These ladies got a lot of great work done in class!

During a break, I was able to peak in at the exhibition, Collecting New York Beauty Quilts: Bill Volckening’s Passion.  I'm pretty sure that show was put there just for me!  I loved it!  Below are some of my favorites.

Pacific International Quilt Festival 2014

I breezed through PIQF this year.  Somehow, I did it in under 2 hours!  Here are a few of my favorites.

To see the quilts in more detail, just click on the image above!

New Pattern! Pennant Bunting Advent Calendar

Yay! Just in time for Christmas, I have a new pattern available! I originally made a few sets of these advent calendars to sell on my Etsy shop a few years ago, and got so many requests for directions that I decided to publish the pattern. Each of the pennants is a fully lined, button enclosed pouch and can be stuffed with little presents or treats to help count down the days until Christmas.  Make your own beautiful, heirloom advent calendar!

The best part of the pattern is that you don't have to wait for it in the mail - it's a digital download!

If you're not a DIY kind of person, I do have a couple of sets available this year, and you can find them in my Etsy shop.

Learning: Bojagi with Youngmin Lee

Last month, I took a Bojagi class with Youngmin Lee at the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  While the description and photos of the workshop that were posted online were a bit lacking, I was sure I would regret missing this class - and I was so right!  Of course, I didn't quite think through how I would be able to drive through notorious Bay Area traffic (made infinitely worse by a BART strike) to arrive at the class location 65 miles from my house first thing in the morning on a school day, so I was very tardy and missed the first 45 minutes of class.  I caught up quickly, though! 

You can get an idea of the stiffness of the cloth from this photo.

All of the stitching is done by hand.
This is as far as I got in a 6 hour class.  Not a very fast process!

Bojagi is a form of Korean patchwork that uses flat-felled seams to create a fully reversible square of cloth, traditionally used for a variety of things such as gift wrapping, covering food, and clothing storage.  Just do a google image search to see how wonderful and different they can be!  I was also able to work with a textile that I have never handled before called ramie, which is one of the oldest known cloth materials and is plant based.  According to Youngmin, ramie can be much more expensive than silk!

Youngmin Lee's beautiful patchwork.

As well as teaching us her stitching techniques which are made up of the tiniest stitches you can imagine, she also shared some of her work with us.  My pictures don't do them justice - they should be seen in person to be truly appreciated, but you can see more of her work on her website!

This was my favorite piece, all done in black ramie.

Can you even see those tiny hand stitches?

She has a DVD out teaching her techniques and it looks like a great resource.  You can also see more of her amazing, tiny hand stitches!

Back to School

It's that time of year again.  Time to think about school supplies (so fun!) and how to pack a healthy, yet edible school lunch (not fun at all).  But, don't let this September be all about the kids!  Get your own learnin'!  I'll be teaching two classes in the Bay Area this September.  The first class will be at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles on Sunday, September 22nd.  There's a great show going on at the museum through October 27th, showcasing the amazing collection of Bill Volckening's New York Beauty quilts. Sigh, I do love a New York Beauty, and I love Bill Volckening's blog, so  I can't wait to see the show!  (I was a little obsessed with making NYB's a few years ago.  I have to thank Karen K. Stone for that!)

The second class I'll be teaching is in Oakland on September 29th, at my favorite local quilt store (my lqs, for those in the know!), A Verb for Keeping Warm.   They have the coolest, most eclectic collection of quilting fabric around!

I promise, I won't rap anyone's knuckles with my ruler...unless you leave your rotary cutter open...So, come and learn some new skills!

Class Alert!

I'll be teaching a one day workshop on Improvisational Quilting at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland on Sunday, June 23rd.

Improvisational Split Log Cabin Quilt Class

Cutting, sewing, chatting, and cupcakes right next door!  What could be better?  Click here to register.

Making: An Improv Double Wedding Ring Quilt

This is one of the things I've been working on lately.

Laying out the blocks.

 I decided that I needed to try making a double wedding ring...improvisationally.  One of my main inspirations was this quilt by Emma Hall from Eli Leon's collection.  I love the story behind this quilt, which you can read here.  It kinda sums up exactly how I feel about quilting.

Emma Hall, Double Wedding Ring c. 1948

Although I used a plastic template for the basis of my pattern, I had to do a bit of drafting as well.  It was fun!

Drafting the double wedding ring.

For the fabric arcs, I used a variety of old denim, tribal batiks, Japanese wovens, and hand-dyed indigo.  The middle sections are made of vintage linen and a couple of gorgeous, organic, hand-woven striped fabrics from India, called Khadi which I have been drooling over at my local shop, A Verb for Keeping Warm.

This is how far I've gotten.  I have this vision of striped, mitered border, but haven't dreamt up a way to do that yet.  Any ideas?

P.S. If you live in the SF Bay Area, I'll be teaching an improvisational quilting class this Sunday!  I promise, it will be fun!  You could make a whole day of it, by taking the indigo resist dyeing workshop first, and then the quilting class after!

Learning: Strips and Triangles and Geometry - Oh, My!

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to take a workshop with Rita Hutchens through one of our local guilds, EBHQ.  I've been a fan of Rita's geometrical work since I saw her on Simply Quilts and she made magic happen from strips of fabric sewn into tubes.  I used some of her techniques on a quilt I started work on last summer (but haven't shown any pictures of yet!) and wanted to learn more, so I was excited to sign up for the workshop.
Rita showing us how she creates Tube magic!

It was a full day of sewing, with some bits of math and geometry thrown in, and I was exhausted by the end of it! Good thing I had an extra-large latte keeping me company.

By sewing fabric strips together and cutting them into the correct angles, you end up with so many different (and fun!) shapes.

Here's what I made.  I love how the Licorice Fizz fabric pops against the solids.

I'm so glad she's worked out the equations for me, and I'll be referring back to my hand-outs often.  There is NO WAY I would have had the ability or the patience to figure this stuff out!

These are some fun shapes that Rita made using her technique.
One of Rita's quilts. All of these pieces started as strip sets!
If you can't take one of her workshops, you can still learn her techniques by purchasing her books or patterns from her Etsy shop, and watching her YouTube channel.

Learning: Back in the classroom!

I have been taking a bit of a break from teaching quilting over the past year.  I've been busy acquiring some new sewing machines and some new skills.

The longarm that took over my living room in April.
The turquoise beauty that I couldn't live without.
My latest acquisition, a vintage Yamato serger. She's scary fast!
I've even taken a few classes myself!

I went to MQX in Portland and took TONS of classes from some great longarm quilters, like Claudia Pfeil (above), Gina Perkes and Karen McTavish.
I took an improvisation workshop by Sherri Lynn Wood with other Modern Quilt Guild members from around the Bay area.
But, now I'm back in the classroom!  I will be teaching my Improvisational Basketweave quilt pattern this upcoming Sunday (Feb. 24 & March 3) at A Verb for Keeping Warm from 1-3 pm.  If you live in the area and have been wanting to try quilting without using rulers OR rules, sign up!  If you can't get here, don't fret.  I've published the pattern over on Craftsy.  It's not quite as fun as meeting a bunch of great people and chatting while you sew, but it's the best I can do until some genius invents teleportation!

Stitch Modern!

I've been having so much fun organizing all of the events for Stitch Modern that I forgot to drop in here and tell you about them! 

We had our Opening Reception last Saturday at the beautiful Piedmont Center for the Arts and I had a great time!  There were people who drove up all the way from Santa Cruz and ladies who left a quilt retreat in Napa, just to drive down and attend the show - not to mention all of the families, friends, and members of the community who came by!

Stitch Modern opening reception
That's me on the left and a quilt by the amazing Dan Rouse in the background
The food was amazing, visiting with friends was really fun, and I won't even tell you how many bottles of wine were emptied!

Here's my quilt, Happiness
 Okay, the opening was exciting, but the best parts of the show are still to come!  We have a bunch of different events planned that will take place while the show is up.  If you live in the SF Bay Area - COME!

Feb 5 (TONIGHT!): Lecture: Modern Improv Quilting and Process by Sherri Lynn Wood 7-8:30, Piedmont Center for the Arts, $5 entry fee. There will be door prizes!

 Feb 9: Textile Design Panel Discussion and Q&A, featuring Ellen Heck, Pati Fried, Sandy Klop, Jennifer Moore, Carol Van Zandt and moderated by Kim Andersson 12:30-1:30, Piedmont Center for the Arts

 Feb 10: Family Activity Day including quilting and design demos 12:00-2:30, Piedmont Center for the Arts

 Feb 13: Lecture: Threads of Transition, Patterns of Change: Rabari Appliquéd Textiles of India a lecture by Kristine Vejar 7-8:30, **To be held at A Verb for Keeping Warm**

 Feb 16: Sew SaturDay with East Bay Modern Quilt Guild 12-3, Piedmont Center for the Arts

If you can't make it out to see the show in person, you can see some pictures on the Stitch Modern Flickr group.

Getting Ready for Stitch Modern

I hang out with this great group of people who call themselves the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild.  Last year, we decided to have a little show where we could hang up our quilts and show our friends and family just how cool we are. We called the show, Stitch Modern.

Stitch Modern 2012
Everyone had lots of fun, so, we've decided to do it again!  Of course, even though we have had the past year to prepare, we all function much better under pressure, so we're still putting the finishing touches on the schedule...and on our quilts!  I just pulled mine off the longarm, so it still needs binding, and a proper photo shoot, but I'll give you a sneak peek.

My quilt for #StitchModern is finally on the frame!

The Stitch Modern opening will be on Saturday, February 2nd from 6 until 9.  If you live anywhere within driving distance, get there!  It's going to be a great time and the quilts are going to be amazing! (Don't believe me?  You can see pictures of some of the early entries on our Flickr page, as well as see all the fun we had last year.)

*Just a little post-script, because I don't want to make anyone jealous or anything, but congratulations to Margaret who won the Craft-A-Day book!  You'll be getting it soon, Margaret!!

Creativity Every Day in 2013? Yes!

Oooh!  I'm so excited to have the PERFECT give-away for the beginning of a new year! Craft-A-Day by Sarah Goldschadt makes it easy to work a little creative endeavor into every day.

The book is broken up into weekly themes, with a different activity for each day.

There's hexagon week, (for you hexie lovers!), gnome week, and triangle week, to name just three of my favorites.

To win a copy of the book, just leave a note below telling me your creative resolution for 2013.  Mine is to devote at least one day a week to making work just to please myself.  I'm pretty sure I made that same promise to myself last year, but this year I mean it!

Here's wishing you a creative and productive 2013!

**Unfortunately, do the the weight of the book, this give-away is only open to US residents.  Please make sure that an e-mail address is associated with your comment so that I can contact you if you win the book!  The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, January 4th.