Tuesday, March 21, 2017

QuiltWEEK in Lancaster PA March 29 - April 1, 2017

I will be teaching at QuiltWEEK in Lancaster PA  March 29 - April 1, 2017. Here are the classes! Sin up NOW!

Beads are a BLAST!
Day: Saturday, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Heritage Ballroom D

Beads are a fun addition to many quilts and garments. Come learn how to use beads. Learn what to look for when you shop, how to sew those little beads that add so much to your designs. Melody will share with you design ideas, handling tips, and sewing techniques.

Fantastic Fabric Foiling
Day: Friday, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Susquehanna Board Room
(Kit Fee)

Bring your projects to life with instant glitz and shine. Foiling on fabric is easy, fun, and permanent. This informative hands-on workshop is for both traditional and nontraditional quilt and clothing makers.

Joining the Blocks: Quilt-As-You-Go Style
Day: Wednesday, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Conestoga AB    Sold Out

Learn to join prequilted blocks using several innovative techniques. Go home ready to make larger machine quilted quilts without all the work of trying to get it into your machine. The Quilt-As-You-Go method allows for more detailed quilting using a standard sewing machine since you’re only quilting a small section at a time.

Paint Stick Magic
Day: Wednesday, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Susquehanna Board Room
(Kit Fee)

Make elegant fabric with the look of airbrushing! Paint sticks applied to silk or cotton are simple, fun, and permanent. This revealing hands-on workshop is for both quilt and clothing makers.

Quilt Toppings   the Lecture
Day: Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Heritage Ballroom C

WANTED! Quilters seeking new ways to express their creativity. This lecture taps into the strong 
emerging trend toward embellishment of quilt surfaces. Paint, foil, paint sticks, thread, crayons, buttons, ribbons and beads are all fun, easy ways to add that final design element to traditional and nontraditional quilts. Supplies are not required for a lecture, although you may want to bring a pen and paper to take notes.

Super Fast Binding and Piping

Sold Out

Day: Thursday, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Federal AB

Is binding the quilt your least favorite part? Tired of humdrum finishes? Come and learn piping and binding techniques to make your quilts stand out in a crowd. In class you will be making samples of finishing methods to take home and use on your own quilts. Bindings will never be boring again!


A Quick Trip to the Pike Place Market

The Market is a special community within the heart of Seattle’s downtown. More than the city’s beloved public market, Pike Place Market is a vibrant neighborhood comprised of hundreds of farmers, craftspeople, small businesses and residents. Each group is an important and vital makeup of the Pike Place Neighborhood.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I love straight line quilting so much I wrote a book

I love straight line quilting, it works so well on so many quilts, and it’s so easy! The possible

combinations of straight lines are endless. I love it so much I wrote a book
Stitching Through the Layers; The Art and Elegance of Straight Line Stitching.  

You will need a walking or even feed foot: The purpose of these feet is to feed all the layers at the same time, this makes machine quilting smoother and pucker-free. I think of them as feed dogs (those teeth under the needle) for the top. If your machine did not come with a walking foot, you will need to purchase one. To help reduce any shifting of the layers, check to see if your machine will allow you to reduce the presser foot pressure.

Start in the center and work out to the edges as much as possible. If you’re simply doing vertical or horizontal lines over the entire surface of the quilt, sew the first line down the center and work your way out to the right.

Marking quilts has never worked very well for me. But there’s tape. I have it in sizes from 1/4" up to 3". You can lay sizes next to each other to make whatever distance you choose between your lines. I will use any masking or painters tape that I need. I know that many people just use painters tape, and the low tack can be important, but I think that it is more important to have a tape color that contrasts well with the quilt. It is easier to see when you're quilting. The trick to “tape” is to NEVER leave it on your quilt over night. With tape, a walking foot and your imagination, you're set to go.

The first step is to place the first piece of tape. Small quilts are easy, for a large quilt setting that first line can be tricky. I use my longest ruler which is 24” long and move it only 12” at a time, that way half of the ruler in still on the old line. Making sure that first placement is straight is important because all the lines will build off of that first one. I lay my tape where I want it, and take out any of the basting pins that are in the way.

If I was going to do a row of straight lines I would reposition my tape along the stitching line and sew again repeating the process across the quilt. You will have to replace the tape eventually when it isn't sticky enough to maintain a line.

I like the accuracy of sewing with the needle right next to the tape, but sometimes I sew on the tape. I don’t seem to mind removing an occasional bit of sewn tape with tweezers. If stitching on the tape bothers you, consider positioning your walking foot next to the tape.

Remember to sew on both sides of the tape before you remove it!

For perfect half inch spacing use the outside edge of the walking foot. If your sewing machine allows you to adjust the needle position, using it gives more variety without any extra effort. I often use a combination of tape and the edge of the walking foot!

Don’t stress with the process, remember to breath! I like the look of lines that aren’t perfect. I do try to keep them from looking too messy. Depending on how densely you quilt it can be time quite consuming (take breaks! You don’t have to finish quilting all at one time!). The end results are wonderful. Have fun playing with straight lines! 

Check out these other great artists!

Win a copy of my book! Post on my blog why you quilt in three words or less! Be sure to include contact info, and I will mail the winner an autographed copy! Winner will be chosen on Sunday March 26th.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

What is the best way to spend National Quilting Day? At a quilt show of course!

National Quilting Day is observed annually on the third Saturday in March.  It is a day that is celebrated around the country with special quilting shows, classes, open museums and much more.  This is a day to appreciate and to recognize quilt makers, along with all of their long labor, love and skill that goes into the making of each quilt.

Quilters Anonymous 36th Annual Quilt Show
"All Quilts Wild and Wonderful"
March 17-19, 2017
Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA
Saturday, March 18th: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, March 19th: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Quilt Show in Green for St Patricks Day

St. Patrick's Day is a festive holiday celebrated on March 17 by people of many nationalities and religions who often know little about the history of St. Patrick or the holiday's symbols. Most people are aware that the holiday originated in Ireland and that Patrick was Irish. They also may know that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and choose to wear green clothes on the holiday in order not to be pinched.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Inspiration - A Trip Through Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware is a luxury brand in the home furnishings marketplace offering furniture, lighting, textiles, bathware, d├ęcor, outdoor and garden. They specialize in timeless, updated classics and authentic reproductions provide a unique point of view and an unmatched combination of inspired design, high quality and un-paralleled value.
 My trip through the Seattle store was quite a surprise.

 If you go, be sure to visit the roof deck.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Quilt Show - A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods
Dimensions: 47” H X 70” W

This piece is an expression of my sense of wonder at the interactions between natural things. Color, form and decorative pattern translate moving grasses, filtered light through autumn leaves and the striking shapes of trees into a celebration of nature.

Hand appliqued, machine pieced and quilted using cotton fabric and specialty threads. Machine quilting was a joy, an exploration in texturing the surface and using the thread as another design element.