Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

Creating Celebration Quilts Book CoverI love making quilts that celebrate something — events, milestones, the lives of lost loved ones, or even a special vacation. I relish the design decisions, the fabric choices, the execution, and the joy of seeing the quilt completed. I have made many, many celebration quilts. Some have been for myself, but mostly they have been for others.

I wrote Creating Celebration Quilts to help you design and create your own Celebration Quilts. Using the skills you have now, you can create quilts that are personal, meaningful, joyful, and healing. In my book, I have included four sections to help you through the process:

  1. The Celebration Quilt Worksheet will help you design your Celebration Quilt and offer you things to consider as you work through the process.
  2. A Closer Look follows five Celebration Quilts from concept to completion, including quilts made from a commercially available foundation piecing pattern, from a roll of precut strips, from a large collection of bow ties and a bulletin board full of quotes, from tee shirts and traditional nine-patch blocks, and from clothing and artifacts belonging to a spirited man I wish I’d met while he was still with us.
  3. The Celebration Quilt Toolbox contains tips and suggestions for taming difficult fabrics, using photographs, approaching the quilting, incorporating quilted words, constructing show-ready hanging sleeves, and adding complete and meaningful labels.
  4. The Celebration Quilts Gallery is filled with ideas and inspiration with examples of baby quilts, wedding and anniversary quilts, quilts that celebrate the lives of lost loved ones, and quilts that celebrate family, family traditions, birthdays, accomplishments, events, and travel.

When I teach Celebration Quilts as a class or workshop, I am always surprised and moved by the stories I hear. Often, the quilters I meet are planning quilts to honor family members and we talk about the linens, clothing, and collections that have been left behind. Sometimes quilts are planned to commemorate weddings, anniversaries, births, and graduations. I’d love to hear your stories…what do your quilts celebrate?

Leave a comment by Sunday, June 30, 2013, and you will be entered into a drawing for your choice of either a free copy of my book or a free consultation on a celebration quilt you’re planning or working on.

Creating Celebration Quilts is available on my website and at quilt shops everywhere.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Celebrate with Quilts!


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Recently, I received an intriguing e-mail from the folks who bring us the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I’m teaching there again this year and they were asking their teachers to send their top five tips for quilting or whatever our specialties are. Here’s what I sent them. You may see these tips on their website, but why wait?

  1. Technique counts! If the points are supposed to match, then take your time and make the points match. If you’re adding a traditional binding, take the few extra minutes to make sure your binding is full and tight with nicely mitered corners. And “Art Quilt” is not code for sloppy and haphazard – unless you are intentionally going for a sloppy and haphazard effect in your work. Whatever you’re doing, do it well.
  2. When you’re choosing fabric to represent something, think outside the box. For my Trees workshop, students often show up with fabric that has bark printed on it to use for tree trunks. While that may seem logical, the scale of these prints is almost always off. Instead, look at your stash and think color and feel. You may be really surprised by what works best!
  3. Use your thread! As quilters, we collect pretty thread and then stash it in boxes or line it up on shelves and racks for display. Why do we do that? Instead, go ahead and use it. They’ll make more!
  4. Be purposeful in your work. Sometimes we all need to throw together a quick quilt from a kit or our favorite fabrics, but it’s important to also make the time to create purposefully. Think through your decisions as you choose fabric, thread, paint. Are you adding those beads because they move the quilt forward or because you just took a beading class and everything suddenly looks like it needs a few beads? Do you really want that focal point in the absolute center of the quilt? Maybe you do, but you might want to consider the effect of that bull’s-eye before you commit to it. Be present in your work and consider what you are doing.
  5. Teach someone to quilt. Share your knowledge and your love of the art. Pay it forward. You may never know the good you’ve done, and that is perfectly fine.

If you’re going to the Quilt Festival in Houston, I hope to see you there. My trees class is Friday night and I’d love to see you at my lecture, The Anatomy of a Commission, on Thursday at 10am. And I’ll be in the Bernina booth on Saturday trying to create change in the world one gift bag at a time.

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Deadlines are amazing things. They force productivity — sometimes with great results and sometimes not.

I needed to finish this quilt by yesterday morning so that it could be part of the Mason Dixon Quilt Professionals’ Network (MDQPN) special exhibit “What We Do” for this year’s Road2CA. The exhibit is designed to showcase what each of the quilters in this group offers professionally. I offer a Trees workshop and pattern, and so I thought this would be a good place to show that.

It’s done. I’m not exceptionally proud of this quilt, but it’s done and off my list. Such is the power of deadlines.

I think if I had a chance to continue searching, I might have found a better, less distracting border fabric. I might also have found a better quilting thread color for the grey border. I might have added some surface design, augmented the snow, given more dimension to the trees. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. I’ll never know, though, because it’s done and out of my hands.
Vintage Revisited #6 in Process

Vintage Revisited #6 in Process

Now, I’m back to the Vintage Revisited #6. (Check the archives for more on the process for this one.) I’ve quilted leaves into the black borders and I’ve added the green vintage pieces to form a tire track. The green vintage fabric was still pretty icky, and so I stamped it with commercial and original stamps. I think it’s kind of ironic that the track interrupts the portrait the same way the vintage materials interrupt my normal process. It’s a fitting way to complete this series of six quilts.

Our MDQPN meeting yesterday was held at G Street Fabrics, where I was able to find the perfect spokes for the bike wheel. I can’t wait to add them and see how it turns out. I’m eager to finish this and turn it over to Mary to add to her collection. To see more Vintage Revisited quilts online or to see what shows will exhibit them, check out www.MaryWKerr.com.

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Have I mentioned that I love to teach?  Truly, I do.

Trees Workshop with the Richmond Quilt GuildHere’s a class picture from the workshop I taught this weekend for the Richmond Quilt Guild in Richmond, Virginia.  These ladies bravely wielded their rotary cutters without the aid of rulers to “draw” trees and then created their very own forests.  I am so proud of their work!

I created the original Trees quilt as a timed exercise.  TreesA very talented art quilt instructor, Judy House, challenged us to prepare the design and materials for a landscape quilt and then do the actual work in one hour.  Yes, one hour. 

 The trunks are pieced into the background, even though it looks as though it’s appliqued.  I believe this quilt is a perfect example of letting your fabric do the heavy lifting.  This design is more simplified than my original plan, but I also think it’s better. At the end of the hour, the center panel was pretty much done.

Trees hangs in my studio and reminds me to keep it simple.  In 2006, it brought home a second place ribbon from the New Jersey State Quilt Convention.   

To see more Trees workshop pictures, visit my website www.MoonlightingQuilts.com.  If your guild would like to learn to make their own Trees, contact me at Cyndi@MoonlightingQuilts.com

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