Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Join Me in Madison, WI

Puffs, Tucks and Pleats class
Sharon V. Rotz

Join me in Madison, WI for the Quilt Expo on September 8-10, 2011. This is a marvelous opportunity to meet quilters, take classes, view outstanding quilts, and learn fresh ideas during lectures with top quilting teachers.

I have the privilege of sharing with you through a class "Puffs, Tucks, and Pleats", full of ideas for adding three-dimensional details to your quilts. 

Looking for new ways to use your serger? Join me at a Stage Presentation as I demonstrate ideas for using your serger as a quilting tool. See quilts from my book "Serge and Merge Quilts" and new ideas that have popped up since publication.

We are not always ready to jump into making a large quilt. I have had so much fun making smaller projects and I would love to have the chance to share these with you. We will have fun digging into my trunk show of small quilts in my lecture "Not Bed Size".

It's not too late to be a part of the action. See you in Madison.

Look for me and stop and say "hi". I would love to have the opportunity to talk to you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

No, Not This Time!

Lizard Tails
25" x 39"
Sharon V. Rotz

In my last blog, I was commenting about choosing my quilting pattern based on the design of the fabric. This is often a fast and easy choice and, in this case, I do have a fun fabric design to follow. But, some quilts demand a different approach, no going with the flow here. These lizard tails have a mind of their own, and there will be no lizard trails on this quilt.

In Lizard Tails, the quilt blocks are simplified. There are no complicated paper piecing units nor intricate applique details to design around. This gives me the opportunity to add drama with my quilting. Complexity and excitement are created with flowing lines that cross the quilt top with no relationship to the blocks nor the fabric design. 

To me, this seemed the perfect choice to finishing my project. Would you have chosen differently?

If you have been following my previous blogs, you've seen this block before. Yes, it is the same one that I have used in my pattern "Branching Out". Did you recognize it?

As always, your comments are welcome.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Yes or No? Do You Follow the Flow?

I am over my stippling hurdle. I've chewed and chewed and swallowed my words as I slowly made my way stippling across the quilt. (Please take note of that lovely stippling on the right side of the photo.)

Now for quilting the next section. This brings up a new question.

Does your fabric dictate to you? Or, do you clamp down like a stubborn child and tell it "You're not the boss of me!"

Today the answer is "Yes, I will follow the flow." The print of this fabric has definitely captured my attention. Following the lines of the print with my quilting brings the fabric to life. 

Oh my, the advantages of going with the flow.  My quilting decision has been made (Isn't that always a hurdle to jump over?), there will be no quilting lines to mark and therefore no marks to have to remove (another high point) and in this case, it suits the fabric perfectly.

Do you tend to follow the flow or does your quilting go off in a new direction?

Just a note:  I would love to hear from you but I've heard that some people are having difficulty adding comments. Click here for another way to send me your thoughts. 

 To answer an e-mail: Yes, I will post a photo of this project when it is completed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Said I Would Never Do It Again

A few years ago, I had seen all the stippling I had ever wanted to see. As quilters learned to machine quilt, it seemed to be the most popular option. Or if quilters didn't want to or couldn't make a decision about the quilting, it became "just stipple it". (Most times they really meant just large meandering lines around the quilt.)

I said I would never stipple a quilt again. There were too many other options out there to try. I had just scratched the surface of all that could be done.

Today, I sat at my machine stippling, yes, stippling a section of my newest quilt. And, yes again, chewing on those words.

In this case, I felt it was the right thing to do. The quilting compressed this section highlighting some areas and adding a delightful texture to the light blue batik fabric.

Are you a fan of stippling or not? 

Have you ever fallen back and done a technique that you said you would not do again? 

Am I the only, lonely, one?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Many Pieces Come Together

Pieces, pieces, everywhere!

I seem to find a wealth of pieces for quilting projects, or do they find me? Start digging in boxes and out they pop. Where exactly do they come from? Well, I do recognize some of the fabrics, so I know they are from my quilting past but others, when did they come into my hands?

In the spirit of our "make-do with what we have" pioneer forefathers (probably, foremothers is more accurate), I decided to see what I could do to put together a quilt top.

It's true, there is isn't much common ground between squares cut 4" and red and white 16 square blocks that measure 12-1/4".  Then it was a matter of adding spacers in to fit.

Do you like jig-saw puzzles? Then, this would be a perfect fit for you. 

I've found the key to the puzzle is to put together what goes together easily. Isn't this the way we start those jig-saw puzzles?  Then its a matter of adding more pieces until we get it all to fit.

Yes, here it is together, I have a sense of accomplishment and feel a close connection to past quilters. I've found this free-spirited "make-do" quilt really warms my heart.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Small, Fast and Easy

Quilter's Tile - Butterflies
8" x 8"
Sharon V. Rotz

Under the guidance of my junior art critics, I used a piece of marbled fabric as a base for a drawing. By pressing the fabric to freezer paper, it becomes stiff enough to easily draw on it with a black Sharpie permanent marker.  There may be markers better suited to fabric but a Sharpie is in easy reach, draws well on fabric, and is perfect for a small, fun project.

With the marbled lines as inspiration, I let my imagination soar and drew free-style butterflies. I did do a bit of coloring with a fabric marker to highlight some areas. A colorful border made of scraps completed the edge. I layered and stitched the layers right sides together as I would a pillow. After turning, I closed the opening and machine quilted the piece. 

A small project that is fast and easy to complete encourages us to try new options. I previously just admired my marbled attempts but didn't use them.  Today, I pushed myself and had fun doing it. It will be easier tomorrow.

You can also see one of my Quilter's Tiles on The Art Quilt Blog. It is another small project starting with an original dyed fabric.  

Have a creative day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Two Things Learned from My Art Critics

This past week I've been learning valuable art lessons from two of my favorite art teachers. One has a vast five years of art expertise and the second is just in the beginner stage with just two years of knowledge. Both enlightened me with fresh inspiration and valuable critic.

The first thing I learned was that your art should tell a story. 

The artist should have a clear picture in his mind where he wants to go in his artwork. Here we are enjoying a party eating pepperoni pizza. Notice how happy we are as we celebrate the moment.

The subject matter, the pizza, claims the prestigious center of the drawing. And, we further draw attention to this important subject matter by leaning in and focusing our eyes on it.

The second thing that I learned was the importance of color.

Color should be used with wild abandon. Today the color was pink. Does it matter that we've never seen a pink dog before? Not at all. This is the artist's creative license freeing us from the constraints of real life. 

I will take these valuable lessons to heart and draw on them in my future work. 

Where have you learned your latest lessons?

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