Sunday, November 30, 2014

Teaching "Liberated Basics"

Detail of  "Fireworks over Millennium Park."

 "Fireworks over Millennium Park" is the quilt I will be using to teach "Liberated Basics."

In 2015 I will be teaching a series of classes I am calling "Liberated Basics." In this series of three classes I hope to address some of the elements of Liberated quilting. Liberated quilting is very improvisational quilting and a pattern is not needed. The only thing needed is thread, fabric and imagination. I will teach the techniques by  using my quilt, " Fireworks over Millennium Park" as an example for this class. This quilt was a semi-finalist in the 2013 American Quilters Society Show in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I will address how I created each of the elements of this quilt and will help the students in the class create their own one-of -a kind liberated quilts.  Quilters Square, a quilt shop in Lexington, Ky has graciously allowed me to use their shop to teach this series of classes. The shop will be providing the students with  a fat quarter pack of fabrics that "reads as solids."  I picked these fabrics because I think the end results will be fantastic. Some of  the fabrics in the fat quarter bundle include the line from Moda called Grunge. My goal is to inspire others to give liberated quilting a try. I will provide the students with my list of favorite inspirational quilt books. My favorite being books by Gwen Marston, the mother of Liberated quilting.  I have been quilting using elements of  this method for about five years and love the results.

Oh yes.... The classes are on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. January 10, February 14 and March 21. There is a price break if signing up for all three classes. You can sign up by calling Quilters Square.Call quilter's Square at 859 278-5010 to sign up. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Machine Quilting Tricks

I was most fortunate to get an opportunity to spend time at a recent retreat hosted by world famous quilting sisters Pat Holly and Sue Nickles. These two Michigan girls know how to home sewing machine quilt. It was five days packed with information, instruction and inspiration.

 I am not new to machine quilting. I received "sticker shock" back in 2005 and it was the cost of having quilts completed by a long arm quilter that sent me to my home sewing machine. Thus I began  to quilt my quilts on my sewing machine. I have many quilts that I quilted and I must say much of the knowledge I have received about this endeavor has come from talking to quilting friends, reading books and much trial and error. There are things like needle size, thread size and different types of batting that matter.

There are many books written about  machine quilting by many different quilt artists. But the ultimate learning experience for me was sitting down with the pros at my own sewing machine and learning what they have to teach.

I have been sewing on a Bernina 440 with a BSR stitch regulator since this machine first introduced into the market. The Holly girls are Bernina embassadors and are familiar with this invention. I call it the $1,000.00 foot . The Holly girls refer to the foot as "quilting with training wheels."  It is quite the electronic attachment that helps control stitch length while free motion quilting. During the retreat I learned to quilt without the BSR.  Basically it means to slow down and be more intentional about where the stitches are going.

I learned to mark a quilt and draw feather designs. Personally, I have never been big on marking a quilt. My free motion sometimes calls for  register marks to keep the size of the quilting even, but for the most part I just jump in and quilt. I'm glad I now have these skills to add to my quilting arsenal. And I am going to use some of the feather designs on a top that I have waiting to be quilted.

I will also be returning to the Holly Girls Retreat in 2015. What wonderful teachers and I want to add more to my quilt skills arsenal.

This is the detail work on my 18"x18" sampler from The First Holly Girls Retreat.