Teaching and Quilt Shows

Springtime is quilt show season. Early April was the Foothill Quilt Guild show in Auburn, I entered 5 quilts. At the beginning of the year, I usually plan on making a large art quilt. Last year I made 'Melman, the Vulnerable Giraffe'. I entered him in this show and later he was juried into The World of Color Exhibit at IQF Houston. This year I made 'Bullseye X Nine'

 Bullseye X Nine

Bullseye X Nine

The story behind this quilt; I met a customer dropping off t-shirts for a quilt, at my local coffee shop and she had her two dogs with her. Since I am always looking for subjects for my pet portrait quilts, I have no pets of my own, I took photos. I loved this one of Bullseye with his great big black eye. I manipulated the photo into three values; black, white and grey which I had never done before.

 Bullseye cropped and altered

Bullseye cropped and altered

I made one 18" block for this quilt in black, white and grey. I made up pattern pieces with freezer paper so I could then make colored blocks. I made 3 more blocks thinking this would be a 4-patch quilt. It was looking good but I needed more. I had decided to use my own hand dyed fabrics in bright complementary colors and then used a commercial fabric colored in a darker color to use for the black areas. My choice now was to make a 9-patch so I had to make 5 more blocks. I was now on a bit of a tight timeline to get a photo of how the finished quilt would look to enter it into our show. Once these were done I laid the black and white one in the center of all the colored blocks and really it did't look right, so I had no choice but to make one more block!

 Bullseye on my design floor figuring out colors and layout.

Bullseye on my design floor figuring out colors and layout.

I hadn't realized how tricky it would be to figure out the dog and background colors in the correct layout. I seemed to go around in circles! Anyhow I figured it all out and got the quilt quilted and finished during the week before the show and guess what I won 'Best of Show!' That is the first time my work has been recognized at that level. I was truly happy and amazed.

Best of Show, Jane Haworth

Finally the highlight of the show for me and many others who were viewing the show was when Bullseye and his owners came to visit the show and the quilt.

Bullseye visiting the Bullseye quilt

Last weekend was the Pine Tree Quilt Guild show in Grass Valley. I did enter a couple of my quilts but spent most of the weekend hanging out with Artistic Alchemy as we were promoting our Tahoe retreat in September. We each had examples of our work and goodies for sale and we got 5 new sign-ups for the retreat too. 

IMG_1308.JPG

In April I taught two fabric collage classes for the River City Quilters Guild and the Santa Clara Valley Quilters Association. Both classes were maxed out and I was very impressed with what students achieved.  Here are some of the work in progress photos form those classes and in time as students send me photos of completed works I will show those photos too.

 Completed student work from Fish, Frogs and Reptiles Fabric Collage class

Completed student work from Fish, Frogs and Reptiles Fabric Collage class

If you wish to learn fabric collage from me look at my Calendar page to see details about the retreat and up coming classes and contact me. I will share details of my classes at IQF Houston and Craft Napa soon.

Loving Student Work

Its been a few weeks since I was teaching these classes and a couple of students have sent me photos of their completed projects. It is really gratifying for a teacher to see that completed work because you then know they enjoyed the workshop enough to spend time working on it and to complete that piece  and not add it to their pile of UFO's.

This was a pet portrait created by Joy of her cat. In the first photo you see how she had made her pattern and some of the work in progress made during the class. And then the second photo a couple of weeks later when she has finished the collage process, decided on her background and finished it with free motion quilting and some borders. I especially love the addition of the leaves.

This piece was from my Fish, Frogs and reptiles class and Penni decided she wanted to make the Triggerfish. You can see she had fun fussy cutting the butterflies and dragonfly in the first photo. Then in the finished one I love the small frog riding on the tail, the pink lips :)  and that she went to the extra effort of making all those small fish. They are perfect. She cleverly found a batik fabric to use as the water and then the addition of the spotted bubbles is so fun.

This is one of the Pet Portraits from the class I taught for Pinetree Quilt Guild in Grass Valley. This was a two day class when students had to spend the first half of the first day drawing their pattern from the photograph. Now in my 1-day Pet Portrait class we use a photocopied enlargement to work from. This lady did a great job and you can see how it changes once the free-motion quilting is added. A dramatic improvement when another element is used, texture and more detail.

The Pinetree Quilt Guild holds their annual quilt show the  weekend of May 5th and 6th at the Nevada County Fairgrounds and is always a wonderful show. The ladies from the class I taught are planning on exhibiting all the Pet Portraits together for a mini exhibit. I can't wait to see it. I will add a few photos of some of their work-in-progress here.

If this type of fabric collage speaks to you and you would love to learn the technique for an intuitive method for selecting and cutting your fabric, it looks like you need to join me for 4 days of Fabric Collage Addiction at Zephyr Point this Fall. Look up the Artistic Alchemy Blog for more details and see the fun teachers that you can hang out with Artistic Alchemy

Teaching In Northern California

I have recently been teaching to quilt guilds in Northern California. My travels have taken me to Folsom, Modesto and San Rafael. I am always happy to see the enthusiasm of the ladies to try something new. I hope they look at my colorful, non traditional quilts as inspiration to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. I tell them that fabric collage has few rules, you can't go too wrong and to embrace its freedom.

 Student work Red eyed Tree frog

Student work Red eyed Tree frog

One of the classes they chose were my Fish, frogs and reptiles. In this class I have a variety of patterns to choose from.  These patterns are line drawings enlarged to about a 20" size. Working this size means you are not cutting out tiny, tiny pieces but working at a reasonable size to learn the technique and make some progress on the project.

 Student work Chameleon in progress

Student work Chameleon in progress

I have a couple of easier patterns and these are my triggerfish and the seahorse. These hopefully will be completed in class. Depending how you wish to finish your quilt more detail can be added to the background. I did demonstrate how to free cut elements to add like sea grass, coral etc.

 Completed triggerfish almost ready to be quilted.

Completed triggerfish almost ready to be quilted.

Many of these patterns I draw are from photos I have taken either snorkeling in Hawaii or when my family visited Costa Rica on vacation. If you don't have your own photos or those a friend has taken looking for copyright free images is important.  Another good source for a pattern would be to enlarge line drawings from a coloring book. Here's a selection of more student work.

My class in San Rafael was teaching my newest class that is Love of Pets, pet portraits fabric collage. Instead of starting from scratch and drawing a pattern from a photograph students bring to class a black and white enlargement of the photo they wish to use. This is a good head start. I like the way everyones project is individual and something that they wish to make and have more connection to it that, than just using a pattern

 Australian Healer Dog 

Australian Healer Dog 

I love this ladies approach to fabric collage. Everyone has their own instinctive way of doing things whether its is very precise which takes time,  or a more liberal way of free cutting fabric. These portraits will take on more detail when they are free motion quilted.

This is a small selection of some of the works in progress from that days class. I think these students really caught the look of the pets form their photograph and adding the stars in the eyes of that first dog is classic. I did have two people work on birds; parrots and a blue jay.

 Arthur the Irish Wolfhound Mix

Arthur the Irish Wolfhound Mix

I do hope these projects get finished and I receive photos of completed  artwork. If you are interested at taking a fabric collage class from me I am teaching a 4 day retreat with Artistic Alchemy at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe in September and also will at IQF Houston in the fall. Look at my teaching schedule page for more details.