Monday, June 29, 2009

Road Trip - Part One

This road trip was prompted by the artist reception at the Juniper Art Gallery.

On the way...

I heard about a wonderful stitchery shop the Krazy Kat Fiberhouse in Tacoma Washington. If you are into thread like me, check it out! They have 1500 square feet displaying something like 15000 colors of thread. If you are into other fiber arts they have lots of stuff for Cross/Counted work, Crewel Work, Needlepoint, Lace-making, and Felting.

Right next door a bonus!

The Bead Factory has 5000 square feet of sheer bliss! They have thousands of types of beads from every part of the world, lots of beads, findings, tools & supplies. Everything from Czech glass to diamond strands. Lots of samples too!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jupiter Arts Center & Gallery Inaugural Exhibition - Update

I have been invited to participate in the Jupiter Arts Center & Gallery Inaugural Exhibition Invitation “The Wonderful World of Quilts & Textiles”.

The Grand Opening of a new Arts Center & Gallery in the Historic Downtown of Centralia with a survey exhibition features contemporary & traditional quilts and fiber sculptures. Plus a wine tasting & live music!

Inaugural Exhibition: June 27 – July 25, 2009
Date of Reception: June 27th, 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: 325 N. Tower Avenue, Centralia, WA 98531
Hours: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Wed. – Sat.
Contact person: Robert Tomlinson, Executive Director

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Storage Solutions

This is my thread shelf that holds most of my thread. Since the shelf hangs right across from my sewing machine, the threads are arranged by color because not only would I look for a particular thread color, but I think it is pretty to see it this way.

The shelf is two feet wide and forty inches high. The shelves are just far enough apart for a large spool of thread. From left to right; there is flat film polyester, metallics, polyester thread, machine embroidery thread and on the right; cotton machine embroidery thread. I love to use them all!


I do have an office with my computer and files. There is a large metal office cabinet that stores most of my paint and all of my embellishments!


My fabric is all stored behind closed doors away from dust and light. All I need to do is open the doors and I can easily see what I have. It is sorted by color and value. The stuff I dye is separate from the commercial fabric.


Check out the boxes on top of the fabric cabinets. All leftover bits are cut into the largest size possible, and stored by size. They are in boxes labeled on both ends. I long ago decided what sizes work for me and cut my scraps into these sizes. They are: squares 1 ½”, 2”, 2 ½”, 4 ½”, 5 ½”, 6 ½”. I do not cut as many strips because I found I do not use them a much: 1 ½”, 2”, 2 ½”strips. If you cut your scraps into usable sizes, decide which sizes work best for you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Utah Quilt Guild's Festival

Utah is a wonderful place to visit! So I am especially proud that I have been invited to teach at the Utah Quilt Guild's Festival in Layton: September 22-26, 2009. See you there!

Wednesday, September 23

Morning - Eye Candy Quilts
Quick, colorful and addictive, these stunning mini-quilts are so much fun to make they should be illegal! If instant gratification appeals, this is the class for you! Finished quilt will be about 2 ½ x 3 inches.

Afternoon - Beads are a blast!
Beads are a quick and easy – when you know their secrets! Learn to add pizzazz to any project the fun and easy way, with plenty of tips, techniques and design ideas.

Thursday, September 24

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

Luncheon Lecture - Quilt Toppings; Fun and Fancy Embellishments
Take your cr
eativity on a joyous rocket ride! Explore paint, foil, thread, crayons, buttons, ribbons and beads. Traditional and non-traditional quilters will learn tricks and shortcuts that make it easy.

Afternoon - Fantastic Fabric Foiling
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 non-traditional quilt and clothing makers.

Friday, September 25

All Day - The Decorative Thread Experience
Luscious new types of thread delight the eye but can intimidate the quilter! Steer your way through the ocean of choices with confidence and pleasure, letting Melody be your guide.

Saturday, September 26

All Day - Borders the Final Chapter
Add grace, spontaneity, sophistication or any effect you desire to your quilt. Harness the power of a cleverly designed border by solving the mystery of designing and sewing borders that work.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Labeling Quilts

I name my quilts so I add the title. And if there is any other interesting information I want to share, I'll add that too! This quilt quilt was donated to The Association of Pacific Northwest Quilters for their auction/fundraiser.

Every two years the produce QuiltFest, a juried and judged show in Seattle, Washington. There is a traveling exhibition of fifty quilts that travels the US and Canada. There is a unifying theme, this on was Basic Necessities. My piece titled a Touch of Red says it for me!

The basics:
Label Fabric Choices: Pre-washed (without fabric softener) white or muslin fabrics are suitable; 100% cotton fabrics are preferred. For a more coordinated look, a good choice would be light colored fabrics left over from your quilt.

Permanent Fabric Marking Pens: Fine point permanent fabric marking pens are colorfast and do not bleed. Pigma Micron® pens are a good choice. They can be found in many colors and sizes including felt tips. They are available at your local quilt shop, art supply, and stationery store or through many catalogs. Always test for color fastness.

Freezer Paper: Freezer paper is used to stabilize the fabric for writing. As a temporary bonding process, the plastic coated side will adhere to the fabric pieces when a dry iron, at 'cotton' setting, is applied. The plastic does not damage the fabric and peels off easily.

Light Box: A light box is very useful while tracing any design to use. If you do not have one, improvise, a brightly-lit window works well.

Ideas: Ideas for labels can come from anywhere. Look at fabric, newspapers, magazines, and postcards for ideas.

Getting Started: Start by making a pattern for your label on your computer. Play with the fonts, try word art. Just be sure your label includes, as a minimum; your name, city, state and year. • Note: Be sure to check the spelling.

You may wish to include other information such as the quilt name, the recipient's name, the occasion or the inspiration. Anything goes!

Next choose the fabric for your label of sufficient size for a generous seam allowance. Pieces left over from the quilt top make excellent coordinated labels.

Cut freezer paper the desired label size. Place the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric and iron at a 'cotton' setting, the fabric is then trimmed to approximately ½" larger than the freezer paper. The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric for drawing.

Now the fun begins! Place the fabric (with freezer paper) over the pattern on your window or light table and trace using permanent fabric pens or markers.

When you have finished inking the label, place fabric side down and press the ½" fabric edges over the freezer paper with your iron. This heat sets the ink and the pressed edge provides a guide for the appliqué. Remove the freezer paper and appliqué the label to the back of the quilt using an invisible stitch. You may choose to add the label before you quilt the quilt.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Decorative Thread Experience

Join me on Sunday August 30, 12:30 - 4:30 PM at QuiltWorks Northwest in Bellevue WA to play with thread!

Thread may have once been considered just a basic necessity of sewing, but happily it’s now available in so many luscious colors and types that it has become sheer pleasure to use. Steering your way through the sea of threads available can be a time consuming and somewhat daunting task. Melody will guide you through the learning process so your sewing will become fun and fancy. (Quilt Toppings; Fun and Fancy Embellishment Techniques, Breckling Press).

Machine quilting experience helpful, Technique: Sewing Machine required

Friday, June 5, 2009

Quilt Show

I get design inspiration from the variety of places I experience on my travels. I keep notebooks of photos, articles and ideas. They are sorted by category e.g. appliqué, piecing and inspiration. I wanted to try something new. I usually have a general plan in mind. Sometimes the finished piece doesn’t look like the one in my mind and this time it did.
Commercial and hand dyed fabrics, machine appliqué, machine quilting with many specialty threads.

For me, color expresses concepts and feelings. The sheer glory of color attracts me! There is wholeness, completeness about color that reaches my very being. My response in my work - a celebration, a dance, a song. An attempt to express the essence I experience.
Colored fabric, machine pieced and quilted makes this quilt.