Archive for the ‘Interweave’ Category

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

Carol Taylor

I managed to finish up the two small quilts based on the work of Carol Taylor and her “arc-i-texture” style. The DVD is from Interweave, and they have some scrumptious ones to choose from. I learned a few things, particularly about couching, and I finally got my satin stitch to work. I do want to try one with printed fabrics, but I really like the pay of light on the silk pieces.

Here’s the first finished one, in greens for Shelby, one of the twin girls I have know for a long time.

The edges were finished by adding a facing all the way around. I also showed you last week the beginnings of the quilt for Brianne, the other twin.

It’s pretty darn bland at this point, and I was worried about how it would finish. I next did my satin stitch to couch down the pieces of silk.

Definitely looking better. I do like the effect of the satin stitch, with a King Tut variegated from Superior Threads. From here I started the couching. I found some fuzzy blue yarns to try, one of which I liked, and one of which I ripped out.

Once I got the hang of how to use the couching foot, I really liked adding the circles. I learned to trust the machine and the foot and not to pull.

Finally the finished product:

Still not totally pleased with it. It’s missing that certain spark, definitely in the picture. It looks better in person – you can’t see the rumpled silk. I used a regular binding on this one, because I felt the blues helped accent the main part of the design. But this is all part of The Process Pledge…writing about what I am doing and learning, and I did learn a lot. And I know the twins will love them.

This pic is a current shot of the bamboo leaves in progress. I started with those about three weeks ago, sandwiching the thread between sheets of Dissolve to create thread fabric. I started doing the free motion on the top, using a variety of different threads. Still have no idea how this is going to turn out. Hopefully I will have the completed piece next week – or at least the leaves, as I start back to school next Wednesday. We’ll have to see…

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Our Own Art Educations

Like so many of you, I am a regular reader of Robert Genn’s Twice Weekly Letter. This latest one looked at the traditional master-apprentice role in the arts, and I was particularly taken with some of the thoughts, especially since marbling has always followed this road. Apprentices worked with masters for years, learning and absorbing every trick and skills through watching – and later on by doing.

This made me think of how we get our own art educations, a topic near and dear for so many of us. I’m self-taught in virtually everything I have done artistically. I would hazard a guess that this is true for most of us baby boomer women. We were encouraged to go into paths that would support us or provide for families, with little thought as to what would make our hearts sing. As we’ve gotten older we have become more expressive.

Self taught. It seems to be fine in so many fields to say you are self-taught – tutored in life. But not in art. At least for me, I still feel intimidated when I see in a CV of someone in an art show all their schooling and formal coursework in the arts. My own art education early on consisted of a few art projects in elementary school and then a “class” as an elective in high school where we churned out particular projects. But nothing in creativity. Which ties in to a recent article in Newsweek on the dearth of creativity in modern classrooms and education.

I’m rambling, I know. But I’ve had to learn how to be creative, to break through the “OMG, what will it look like?” phase of making art. Would working with a master have helped this? I don’t know, but it probably wouldn’t have hurt any.

Who are our masters in the arts today? From whom do we study and learn? Enter the Internet, the cheap equalizer to getting an art education. The joke in our family always was that if my dad wanted to learn how to do something new, he would read a book. Well, I got that gene. I read everything I can get my hands on if it’s something I am really interested in. But that can get to be expensive, although still cheaper than a formal education or coursework.

The internet has opened up huge resources for us. I started on TV with Sewing with Nancy and Eleanor Burns and Kaye Woods. I picked up all kinds of hints – and reasons why something I was already doing (through guesswork) wasn’t working. Like many of us, I have taken workshops when I can afford it. Jennie Rayment and her muslin creations still stick in my mind – such possibilities for texture!

Just one of Jennie Rayment's books

The first professional workshop on marbling was with Galen Berry (over a year ago) and it was wonderful – lots of questions answered, problems solved, and energy renewed. We started to zoom ahead in our skills.

Galen Berry

Then I went to the School of Threadology with Superior Threads. Yes, I know I rave about their threads, but the professional education I received over the three days with Bob and Heather Purcell was priceless. My work has taken a dramatic turn for the better – and I don’t break thread anymore….

School Of Threadology

Now I’ve discovered Interweave and their dvds on quilting and other artistic endeavors. Better than a book because I can see things actually being done.

Interweave

I watched a leaf tutorial by Heidi Lund and already picked up a bunch of hints to try something totally new for my bamboo piece. Carol Taylor’s video on her Arc-i-Texture techniques had me making a new quilt last night to try out the ideas…and I must say I’m loving it! And Susan Brubaker Knapp’s video on machine quilting corrected a whole bunch of errors I have puzzled over.

Carol Taylor

Susan Brubaker Knapp

Heidi Lund

And of course we can’t forget YouTube. I have been devouring and studying very closely the wealth of marbling videos on line.

So my question to you is: What’s the best professional development you’ve ever attended – the one that has changed how you do your art? I want to know!

PS – all of these recommendations are unsolicited – they’re just stuff I have learned from and appreciate – nothing comes to me as a result of you checking these out! (OK, FCC – happy?)

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