Two Amazing Weeks

September has been a month of travel for me and also a month of firsts. Artistic Alchemy held their fifth annual retreat at Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe and it was my first year as one of the teachers. I then traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to record three segments for Quilting Arts TV with Susan Brubaker Knapp. As a long time subscriber to the Quilting Arts magazine it was amazing to be hanging out with the staff and other quilt artists.

 On set with Susan Brusker Knapp

On set with Susan Brusker Knapp

The Artistic Alchemy Retreat started on Labor Day. As all the traffic was heading home from Lake Tahoe we were driving east which was perfect. About 40 students attended the four classes, and the open studio option, spread fairly equally between the four teachers. Sandra Bruce had very eager students learning her Material Matrix technique, Mary Boalt inspired us all with the wonderful painted and stamped canvases her students made and Heidi Emmett encouraged her ladies to make numerous wearables in the upcycling part of the workshop. I was teaching Fabric Collage Addiction and my students created a varied collection of collages from patterns they made from their own photographs they brought to class.

 Fun times at the 2018 Artistic Alchemy Retreat

Fun times at the 2018 Artistic Alchemy Retreat

Having three and a half days was the perfect amount of time to work on one project continuously. I did a couple of demos each day, shared a selection of my work, answered many questions and encouraged students to try free motion quilting. After dinner every evening students gathered to hear the teachers spotlight whilst sharing of some of their work, student show and tell and raffle prizes. Luckily this year I was able to collect some giveaways from various individuals and companies that generously donated fabric etc for us to share.

 Lucky people and their giveaways

Lucky people and their giveaways

I want to thank…. Windham Fabrics, Marcia Derse, Uppercase magazine, Moda fabrics, Turtle Hand Batiks, The Warm Company, Terial Magic, Dharma Trading, Nancy’s Notions for generously sending gifts for our lucky attendees.

One of my favorite parts of this retreat was the location and the perfect weather. Early in the morning I would take a stroll to the dock to enjoy the lake and give myself a chance to wake up. Then a walk before dinner was a good opportunity to get some fresh air and stretch my legs after a day in class. The fact that all your meals were provided, food was good, plentiful and varied and you did not have to worry about washing up, was a great boost.

 Enjoying the beauty of Lake Tahoe

Enjoying the beauty of Lake Tahoe

My workshop this year was Fabric Collage Addiction and I just want to share some of the work of my eight students. At the retreat we can have up to 12 students, so these small class numbers allow for plenty of one-on-one time.

After 3 days at home I was then heading off to Cleveland, Ohio with a large suitcase and three projects in hand. I was to record three segments for Quilting Arts TV series 2300 and 2400 and was lucky to travel with the Pixeladies who were also recording on the same day.

 Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki

Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki

We arrived at the studio on Tuesday to get the lay of the land and meet the quilt artists recording that day. I took the opportunity to work with Jeanine from Bernina and set up the sewing machine for my 3 segments the following day. I was first on the line-up and so organized my first project, making upcycled tote bags from food wrappers, in the studio.

 Setting up my work before recording

Setting up my work before recording

Working with Susan Brubaker Knapp was like a dream come true and I surprised myself by not feeling nervous when recording began. I think figuring out the timing was the hardest thing but plenty of practicing at home helped me out there. I was pleasantly surprised when the segment filming wound up and I had covered everything I intended to.

 Setting up for my final project

Setting up for my final project

After my first taping I had a short break while Enid Gjelten Weichselbaum recorded her two segments, then I was back on. My second project was making travel journal quilts and finally fabric collage pet portraits. Having plenty of samples to talk about helped fill the time after I demonstrated my collage and did some free motion quilting. Finally it was lunchtime and I was able to relax. I throughly enjoyed my time and experience at QATV. What an amazing oppurtunity.

 Meeting new friends at QATV

Meeting new friends at QATV

Busy Summer and New Opportunities in the Fall

All summer I have been meaning to keep a bi-weekly practice of posting an update to my blog but here I am and summer feels like is nearly over. Now my son James is back in school I am hoping my work time will settle back into more of a routine. I love summer but family really comes first whether I plan that or not. Its been fun so I can't complain.

Here is a little update of what we did, what I did and some of the projects and adventures I am currently working on.

 Pelicans and Elephant Seals at San Simeon

Pelicans and Elephant Seals at San Simeon

Our vacation this year was a week in Cayucos in June where we helped Becky celebrate her graduation from Cal Poly. It was a wonderful time away with family and friends.

 Webber Lake from the Webber Hotel 1865

Webber Lake from the Webber Hotel 1865

We spent much of the summer either camping or back packing in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We visited Penner Lake, Middle Loch Levan, Meeks Bay at Lake Tahoe and Webber Lake. We got to spend time hiking, back packing, kayaking and swimming.

 Melman, The Vulnerable Giraffe.

Melman, The Vulnerable Giraffe.

In July I sent Melman up to Sisters in Oregon to be on display as part of their outdoor quilt show. A couple of weeks after the show I realized I had not received him back so I emailed as I thought perhaps he was lost in the mail. It did not cross my mind that he might have sold! The following day I received a check from Sisters and was shocked and quite sad, Melman would not be coming home! As I stated when this quilt was on show in Houston that I would donate half my proceeds to GCF the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and so I did :) I am thinking of making another giraffe quilt as another fund raiser.

 Succulent Love

Succulent Love

I have been spending a little time prepping for my Craft Napa classes in January 2019. This class Succulent Love will combine painting on fabric with some appliqué and fabric collage and free cutting fabric to make a finished covered canvas piece.

 Travel Journal Quilt for QATV

Travel Journal Quilt for QATV

Prep time this summer has been what I am trying to keep on top of for the Fall. My four classes at Houston IQF all have patterns, instructions and kits that I need to put together. I am teaching 'Fabric Collage Addiction' as part of Artistic Alchemy at Zephyr Point in Lake Tahoe in a couple of weeks. Most recently I found out I would be part of the season 2300 with Quilting Arts TV and so I am madly putting together the work for my three segments. Sometimes I feel there are not enough hours in the day but this is what happens when you are trying to expose your work to more people.

I have started my teaching cycle again with Northern Californian quilt guilds so my next post I will share some of the student work from my Love of Pets classes.

Summertime is Preparation Time

Summer is officially here in our house. My son James finished school yesterday so routine and regular sewing time is out. Luckily this year I don't have a backlog of orders from my Etsy shop, Quilts from Clothes Not sure if this is good or bad. I feel Etsy has changed over the last year or so, T-shirt quiltmaker shops have multiplied and I am getting less exposure. But happily this leaves me more time to prep for the upcoming retreat and classes I have in 2018 and 2019.

 Oliver the Doodle photo found on Instagram, permission granted for use of the image

Oliver the Doodle photo found on Instagram, permission granted for use of the image

First up September 3-7th at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe I will be joining Artistic Alchemy as their new teacher. We will be holding our 5th annual retreat for creative sewists. Look up the retreat here, I do still have a couple of spots in my workshop and am limited to 12 students. My workshop titled  Fabric Collage Addiction will give students plenty of time to work on a fabric collage project from a photograph. Feel free to contact me for more information.

Sunlit Sunflower Class IQF 2018

This week I have started work on preparations for my classes at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in November 2018. It is quite an honor to be a teacher here and I know I have a lot of work to get ready for this event. I will be teaching 4 classes and a sampler class over 4 days. For each of the classes I will be providing kits so students can learn the technique and the complete the project at home. Its a cut and paste collage class so no sewing is required. Class sign-ups aren't released till the middle of July but the list of teachers can be found here

 Rocking Roosters Class

Rocking Roosters Class

This class Rocking Roosters will be November 10 8-11am and the Sunlit Sunflowers class November 9 2-5pm. As you can see these are 3 hour classes! For each of my classes I will have  a choice of two patterns with all the fabric, interfacing and background fabric provided. All students need to bring are a good pair of scissors and glue.

The sample photos above (hover on the picture to see more) are from my Dazzling Dogs class November 7 8-5pm, and Leaping Lizards November 8 8-5pm, both 6 hr classes. These classes again will have a choice of two slightly larger and more detailed patterns.  These you will work on in class as well as learn about how to turn your own photos into patterns for collage quilts.

Heading into 2019 I will be one of the 16 teachers at Craft Napa January  2019. Registration for these classes has already opened up and I know some classes have already sold out. 

 Work in progress Succulent Love class Craft Napa 2019

Work in progress Succulent Love class Craft Napa 2019

The classes I will be teaching are Succulent Love January 13 9- 5pm. In this class students will explore drawing and painting succulents on paper and fabric and design patterns using succulents to make a fabric collage. I will be providing many of the materials, paints and hand-dyed fabrics to use for this workshop.

 8 x 10" Pet Portrait Samples

8 x 10" Pet Portrait Samples

Finally the Pet Faces class on January 12 9-5pm. Student's will be working on a small pet portrait collage working from an 8 x 10' photo enlargement of their favorite pet or other loved animal photograph. We will look at how best to make enlargements, scale, color and fabric choices and hopefully students will go home with a completed, stitched pet portrait.

Craft Napa is a fun-filled inspiring few days when you are surrounded other creatives, quilters, mixed media artists and not to mention Napa Valley, wineries and wonderful shopping opportunities. Friday night is the Craft market when many of the teachers and local vendors set up tables selling glorious one-of-kind items, fabric, books etc. This is not to be missed.

I hope this post has been inspiring and if you wish to attend any of these workshops/classes with me don't hesitate to contact me for more details or share this post with a friend who might also be interested. The pool is calling as California heats up for another hot summer but maybe after I go and "fiddle with some fabric" first