Archive for February, 2009

I’m blogging here in Hampton, Virginia, at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. This is a Mancuso show, which means the show is organized and well-run, and everyone knows what to expect. Well, everyone except the vendors.

The quilters expected beautiful quilts, and we weren’t disappointed. But the vendors had to have doubts when they set up their wares in preparation for the thousands of quilters who attend this show each year. After an informal survey, I’m happy to report that the quilting economy seems to be fine. Fabric is selling. Patterns and books are selling. Threads, trims, and embellishments are selling. I even visited with a quilter who bought a longarm machine!

Sure, we’re watching our pennies. But we’re also quilters. We’re buying what we need to continue making the quilts that comfort others. We’re buying the fabric and kits that make our own hearts sing. We’re generating positive energy and we’re putting it out into the universe. At least for the duration of this show, we’re not dwelling on the bad news from the outside. We’re thankful to be here, thankful to be quilters, and thankful to be part of this community. If only the rest of the world’s challenges could be addressed so simply.


Left to right: Doris, Dian, Kathy, Mary, and Cyndi


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Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur
Lesley Riley’s New Book

When I started this blog, I never really thought about doing reviews, but Lesley Riley’s new book has made me to want to share.  Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur is the book I would have asked for if I had really thought about it. My friend Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts has been talking about Lutradur for a while and I’ve been reading about it on the pages of Quilting Arts magazine. In fact, Laura Cater-Woods talked about it in class last year. Well, hearing about it wasn’t enough; I wanted to know more.

That’s where Lesley’s new book comes in.  She starts out by telling you about Lutradur — what it is, how it’s made, and why it’s so special. Then she describes 27 things you can do with Lutradur from adding color and pattern (think of the fun things you can do with paint, inks, and dyes), screening and printing, glueing and fusing, needle felting, and even using heat to cut and distort it.

After the techniques, Lesley shares a broad array of projects made by a variety of fiber artists. There’s a project for every taste and temperament, incorporating the techniques in the earlier section of the book. Want to stamp and stencil? It’s in there. Want to create three-dimensional objects with Lutradur? It’s in there. It’s all in there. I can’t wait to try some of these wonderful ideas.

And she makes a suggestion that I really appreciate: she says to pick a new technique for which you already have the tools and try it on one of the pieces of Lutradur included in the back of the book. Yup! The book includes one sheet each of two different weights of Lutradur. And so once you’ve bought the book, you can actually play with the Lutradur without any additional purchases.

Even with the Lutradur in the book, you’ll eventually want more. I recommend visiting Artistic Artifacts’ website for either the 70g- or 100g-weight fiber. To buy the book, visit the Favorite Things page on my website and follow the link. The book is also available from Artistic Artifacts (in person in Alexandria, VA, or online) and the Quilt Patch in Fairfax, VA.

Have some fun with this new mystery fiber. And send me pictures of what you do! I’d love to see it.

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