It's time for Project Quilting's eigth season! It's a three month on-line event that challenges participants to create a quilt in one week, with a week off in between. You can participate in as few or as many as you like. Participants are automatically entered into random prize drawings and at the end of the season there will be grand prizes awarded to all participants, with one entry per challenge quilt, so the more challenges you enter, the better your chances.
The schedule for 2017 is:
Challenge 1: January 1
Challenge 2: January 15
Challenge 3: January 29
Challenge 4: February 12
Challenge 5: February 26
Challenge 6: March 11
Each challenge is posted at noon CDT and due exactly one week later at noon CDT.
Here's a post with some tips about how to participate.
"Oranges & Plums," 38" x 56", handmade by Pam Geisel, Dec. 2016
For the month of December the Island Batik Ambassador's are celebrating the "Season of Giving" by making quilts to be donated to a charity or cause of our choice. I made this lap/throw-sized quilt using some multi-colored and purple 10" x 10" squares that came with our last fabric shipment and I added some oranges from a few other collections.
I am donating this quilt to to an annual event that raises funds for the Antioch School, a private elementary school in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The school encourages children to pursue their innate curiosity. Children are our future and not all learn by traditional methods. Their fund raising event is on Sat., Mar. 4, 2017 and this quilt will be a part of their silent auction.
This month the Island Batik Ambassador's are making pieces that fit the theme "Winter Wonderland." I made this blue table runner this month using Island Batik fabrics from the Frost collection, although the dark blue inner border is from the Jewels and Gems Collection: Lapis Lazuli from last year. You can click on the photo below for a closer look.
My last show of the year this year is Art & Soul, which features over 30 exceptional artists who “put their souls into making art.” The show is this Sat., Nov. 19 from 10 am-5 pm. It will be in the Mills Lawn School Gym, 200 S. Walnut St. in Yellow Springs, just one block from the Xenia Ave. There's plenty of free parking in town and also in the lot behind the school.
There is a $4 admission fee, a portion of which will go to the Yellow Springs Schools and the Yellow Springs Police Coat Fund.
Me and my Juki with "Lavender Diamonds," photographed by Bill Franz
Two years ago I was contacted by photographer Bill Franz. He'd recently retired from his job and wanted to take photos of artists in their studios. I'd just finished my large art quilt "Lavender Diamonds" and he thought that would be a good back drop.
He sent me an electronic copy of the photo and said I could use it however I wanted, so it's now on my website, Etsy page, and my avatar for many places.
This month he is having an exhibit titled "Behind the Scenes" of his photos of artists in their studios at the K12 and TEJAS Gallery and he invited myself and several other artists to participate by including a few pieces of our own artwork.
They are having a reception this Fri., Nov. 11 from 6:30-10:30 during their annual "Art Off" Fundraiser. Tickets for the event are $50 per person or $75 per couple and include food, drinks, music, performers, art demonstrations, silent and live auctions, and a live painting competition.
The Visual Arts Center of Preble County (Ohio) recently got a grant that allowed them to get eight sewing machines so now they can offer sewing workshops and classes. The machines arrived on Friday, Oct. 28 and the next day I taught a workshop on making quilted postcards.
Then yesterday, Nov. 5, I taught a 6-hour workshop on making a small art quilt. We covered piecing, using fusibles, machine raw-edge applique, couching yarn, and making a facing (knife edge) binding.
Here we are (I'm on the right) with our "Summer Barn" art quilts. They seemed to have a lot of fun and we were all grateful to Island Batik who donated the fabric that we used.
The Arts Center is also currently hosting an fiber exhibit featuring myself, Irene Friedman, and Sharon Shute. The exhibit runs through Nov. 25.
My guest artist is Bette Kelley, who creates both exquisite embroidery pieces but also makes jewelry.
The event is Sat. & Sun., Oct. 15 & 16, from 11am-5 pm. Click here for an interactive map of studio locations. Printed brochures will also be available at the studios, and also in downtown Yellow Springs.
Last month I was working on bookmarks. I pulled out the red and orange Island Batik fabrics from the Lavish collection, then I added the light purple from the Desert Rose collection. As I was doing the mindless cutting of many strips of fabric, I was also thinking about the upcoming Island Batik Ambassador challenges when it occurred to me that I could use these same strips of fabric for the parts of a pumpkin!
I used the dark purple from the Desert Rose collection for the background and a purple with orange on it from the same collection for the border.
Because the 1" strips were pieced and then raw edge appliqued to the background I decided to finish them off with by couching a red cord on top of the raw edges. I added the brown stem last to cover the ends of the cord.
This quilt started out as a quick sketch of an area that would be created like a fabric mosaic (the black part), with lines that rippled out from it. I had the color scheme right away. I did add the triangles to the sketch, but they were a secondary thought.
The next step was to sort through my fabric and decide which ones to use. Since it was mainly just red and black, the decision was pretty easy.
This is the fabric and yarn audition. I had a large piece of maroon fabric and I cut squares of red fabrics that were very similar in color because I wanted the viewer to have to look close to see where the fabric changed. It was at this stage that I decided to add the pop of yellow on one side of the red squares.
For the audition I used a piece of black fabric to represent the fabric mosaic. I thought I wanted to use some red satin on either side of the black but after I took this photo, I decided I didn't want to do that. I did like the way the rippling yarn was going to look.
This is the piece basted. I used black batting, which shows around the edges.
Here the red squares and yellow pops were fused to the background, there are also two pieces of red sheer that are just pinned down at this point.
The black fabric had small pieces of black, brown, gray, and even very small maroon pieces on it. It does not yet have the gold thread laying on it or the tulle on top, which is the next step before sewing it down to the background. I will cover that raw edge with the black yarn.
I quilted it with black thread echoing the black fabric mosaic's shape with the lines spaced 1/4" apart. Then I added the yarn on top of the quilted lines, starting at the edge of the black fabric mosaic and then doubling which line they covered (the first was 1 line away, then 2, then 4, etc).
My Juki sewing machine with the very large throat area is currently out of commission, so I had to use my inexpensive back-up machine. It doesn't have a walking foot, a stitch regulator, or much in the way of free motion capabilities, and sometimes when I take my foot off of the petal, it keeps going. It was a challenge but I'm actually proud that I was able to create this quilt on this machine (although I don't really want to do it again!)
Both the black triangles and the red triangles (on the black fabric mosaic) were added last. They have a red silk ribbon going over them at the middle point and that is sewn down, but the edges aren't sewn down. There is also a piece of dark purple/brown taffeta that was positioned below these triangles and it is also only sewn down in the middle (vertically).
Here's a close up of the black fabric mosaic with the gold thread under the tulle. That was quilted randomly. There are a few yellow/gold glass beads hand sewn on top. There is a knife-edge binding.
As always you can click on the photos to see them larger.
Village Artisans is located at 100 Corry St. in Yellow Springs. The show runs through Nov. 6 and is open M-Th from 11a-5p, F-Sa from 11a-6p, and Su from noon-5p. There will be a reception on Fri., Oct. 14 from 6-9p, during the Yellow Springs Fall Art Stroll.
I found it very satisfying last month when I was able to use up the leftover fabric pieces from "Depth" to create other projects, that I was inspired to find a way to use up some of the leftover pieces from when I made "Flight" back in June.
So I made a table runner that was similar and also two 6 x 6 mini canvases using Island Batik fabrics from the pre-cut California Creamery jelly roll, and the blues and purples from the Wind & Sea colletcion, the Desert Rose collection, and the Sweet Pea collection.
Here's a closer look at the finished pieces:
"Mini Flight" is similar to the larger Flight and the table runner, but with 14 blues or purples. Each strip is only half an inch high. Here's a photo of it in progress:
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"Island Colors" uses the same fabrics but instead has 28 squares of blue and purple fabrics that are half an inch square with the half inch cream strips above and below.
Here's a photo of it in progress:
To get those tiny pieces to line up easily (and not have them disappear down the hole the needle goes into), I fused them to a piece of fusible innerfacing, folded it in half lengthwise and sewed the scant quarter inch seam the whole way down. Then I folded where the fabrics met and sewed those down with a scant quarter inch seam.
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"Delightful Daisy" uses background pieces leftover from "Psychadelic Pumpkin" but the eight petals are each a different piece of the California Creamery jelly roll. Because the cream colors are so light I fused the pieces to a piece of white fabric so the orange and reds wouldn't show through.
No in progress photo, but here's a close-up:
The petals are raw edge applique and there's a piece of green thread couched down for the stem (the same yarn that I used for the sea plants in "In Search of the Yellow Submarine.") An antique goldish button was sewn in the middle of the flower.
From left: "Three Pines," "Berries & Wine," and "Flight" table runners made by Pam Geisel, Sept. 2016
This month the Island Batik Ambassador's are making pieces that fit the theme "Bountiful Table Runners." I made three table runners this month using Island Batik fabrics. Two of these might look a little familiar as they are based on previous projects that I've made using Island Batik fabrics.
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"Three Pines" is based on the 6" x 6" mini that I did for "Christmas in July" except that it has an inner border the same color as the tree trunks, and an outer border.
The fabric in the outer border is kind of a water-color style with purple, blue and gold and has images of forest animals including moose, deer, elk, and wolves. I used fabrics from the from the Holiday Happenings collection,
There was an additional collection that the Island Batik Ambassador's received, titled "Landscapes." With the addition of a half yard of a nice, deep, Island Batik black fabric, I made "Branches." I didn't want to use small pieces of them because I was concerned that they wouldn't have the same effect.
I cut the 3.5" x 44" of the blue, green and brown fabrics, and seven 2.5" x 44" strips of the black fabric. I wasn't planning on making it 44" tall but since that's how long the fabric was I decided to just use the whole length.
I laid the strips on my sewing table and they took up so much room I had to move my sewing machine off of it!
I added thin black strips at angles on top of the colored fabrics. I used some fusible bias tape to save time, then I pieced the strips and the colored pieces together.
I used a black batting for the first time and the only tricky part was that it was the same color as the black fabric and sometimes hard to see where the fabric ended and the extra batting began!
I quilted stitch-in-the-ditch with black thread along the black edges and also across the thin black strips (since they were just fused down and not exactly permanently attached). Then I added a faced binding.
I really like the contrast of the colored fabric with the black. I looks like stained glass to me.
As always, you can click on any of the photos to see them larger.