Monday, June 9, 2014

Blog Hop! “Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter”


Welcome to the first stop on the blog hop celebrating Cheryl Sleboda’s brand new Quilting Arts Workshop! It’s called “Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter: Smocking, Pintucks, Gathers & More.” The 76-minute workshop is available in both DVD and digital download.

Cheryl is a fiber artist who loves to manipulate fabric; she also has found cool ways to light up her work with LED lights. She uses heirloom dimensional fabric manipulations like smocking, pleating, or tucking; and cutting-edge technology like LEDs, microprocessors, or circuitry to create unique fabric art.



I first met Cheryl last year on the set of Quilting Arts TV, and then again this March, when I was hosting for the first time. Cheryl works in the comic book industry, where she attends lots of Comic Cons (short for Comic Conventions) and meets some pretty interesting characters. For fun, she makes innovative fabric art.  


“As art quilters we tend to want to add volume to our work, by adding embellishments and other surface design techniques,” says Cheryl. “These are just more techniques in that arsenal for quilters to use. All of the techniques in garment and heirloom sewing are usable to bring a different dimension to your work, and I love that.”

I have to admit that these techniques were all completely new – and mysterious and somewhat intimidating – to me. But by the end of watching Cheryl’s DVD, I felt certain that I could do them successfully. 

In the first section, Cheryl introduces viewers to the materials needed for the techniques. She’s developed a special grid called the Heirloom Smocking Template (available on her Etsy shop) to help sewers draw a smocking grid more quickly. She discusses fabrics and threads, rulers and templates, hand needles, pins, and feet. 


The next section is about smocking with grids. Cheryl demonstrates “North American or Canadian smocking” techniques, where she draws grids (using her special tool or regular rulers), then marks patterns and hand stitches them, sometimes pulling in the fabric, and sometimes knotting it to stop it from pulling up. This creates fabulous texture on the other side (the right side) of the fabric. She shows samples of basketweave, arrowhead, and serpentine smocking. Here’s her basketweave smocking:

finished_piece

Next, Cheryl covers sewing in circles. She draws patterns of circles on fabric, then hand stitches in a running stitch around each one, pulls it up and knots it to create five variations: puff, petal, pancake, pompom or pucker. These make beautifully textured and dimensional patterns.

In the fourth section – Gathers, Puffs and Flowers – she demonstrates how to adjust tension and stitch length to create gathering effects that makes the fabric scrunch up.  Gathering along a long strip (hemmed on one side) and rolling to create a rosette. She goes on to explore pleats and pintucks in the next two sections. Creating pintucks was a mystery to me, but Cheryl clearly demonstrates how to select and use pintuck feet. They come in different widths, and you have to select the correct size of double (or “twin”) needle to match the foot. She shows you how to use cording to stuff a pintuck.

At the end, Cheryl
talks about how to approach sewing these dimensional pieces into a quilt. This requires explanation because the techniques pucker and draw up the fabric, so it has to be stitched down and squared up before it is trimmed. Then she uses some of her beautiful work to demonstrate how to use the dimensional, textured pieces you can create with the techniques from her DVD. They include blocks for quilts, garments, samplers, pillows and entire quilts. 

The techniques in this Quilting Arts Workshop were completely new to me. I feel like I’ve learned some new tricks to put into my repertoire; they just might show up in future projects! Cheryl is a great teacher. Her calm, step-by-step approach makes these techniques easy for anyone to learn.



You can buy Cheryl’s new DVD, her “sewing skull” merchandise – t-shirts, tape measures, mugs – as well as her Heirloom Smocking Template and other goodies, on her Etsy shop. From the Quilting Daily Shop, you can purchase a copy of the DVD for $24.99 here, or a digital download for $19.99 here

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Here are all the stops on the blog hop. Come along and post comments for a chance to win fun stuff!
June 9 - Susan Brubaker Knapp - http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
June 10 - Maddie Kertay - http://www.badassquilterssociety.com/
June 11 - Faith Jones - http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com/
June 12 - Lynn Krawczyk - http://smudgedtextilesstudio.com/blog/
June 13 - Julie Creus - http://www.latodera.com/blog
June 16 - Catherine Redford - http://catherineredford.com/
June 17 - Megan Dougherty - http://thebitchystitcher.com/
June 18 - Pokey Bolton - http://pokeysponderings.com/
June 19 - Jamie Fingal - http://www.jamiefingaldesigns.com/
June 20 - Cheryl Sleboda - http://muppin.com/wordpress/index.php/blog/

GIVEAWAY!
Win one of Cheryl’s Heirloom Smocking Templates and a copy of my newest DVD, “Fabulous Finishes: Seven Techniques for Binding, Facing, Framing & Hanging a Quilt”!
Leave a comment after this post and tell me a little bit about why you’d like to win. I’ll draw one winner at random at 6 p.m. Eastern time on June 20. Make sure you leave me your e-mail address, or some way to reach you. And check back on June 20 to see if you’ve won. Make sure you visit the other bloggers listed above for more chances to win. (Sorry; my giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.) 

Note: If your comment does not show up right away, please don’t freak out. Please post only one comment. I now have to moderate/approve all comments, because I was getting a ton of Japanese porn spammers leaving comments on my blog! 

We have a winner! BeckyPB won. Thanks for reading, everyone. 

39 comments:

  1. Japanese Porn? Whoa!
    It would be fun to try these new techniques and add them to my toolbox of techniques.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Oyveyquilts@yahoo.com

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  2. Awesome! Congrats to Cheryl, I love sporting my skull and cross needle t-shirt! :)

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  3. Would love to win!! Love your blog and thank you so much for offering such a great gift! Dotti

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  4. I love all things quilty and sewing! This looks like something I would like to try. Thanks for giveaway opportunity. I enjoy your blog and your talent.

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  5. Congratulations, your techniques are amazing
    I have always wanted to learn to do basket weave and smocking . The Dvd would be perfect for learning. Susan your Dvd fabulous finishes I would really love that . With Quilting so much to learn never enough time, with the Dvd's it would be as if I have you both at home with me . Even though I live in Sydney Australia.

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    1. So sorry, Helen! My give-away is limited to my US readers only, due to the very high postage to ship abroad. :-(

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  6. Congratulations, your techniques are amazing
    I have always wanted to learn to do basket weave and smocking . The Dvd would be perfect for learning. Susan your Dvd fabulous finishes I would really love that . With Quilting so much to learn never enough time, with the Dvd's it would be as if I have you both at home with me . Even though I live in Sydney Australia.

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  7. Love seeing these tried and true techniques making it to the Quilting World.

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  8. My grandmother made pillows like the ones you showed. I always loved the look of them. It would be great to know how to make them. 24Tangent "at" gmail "dot" com

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  9. I would love to learn some new stitching techniques!

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  10. Whoa…Cheryl's techniques are fabulous. It's always great to have some fresh ideas for finishing quilts.

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  11. I smocked 30 yr. old GD baby clothes, wonder if it is like riding a bike? Would LOVE to see Cheryl's 21st century manipulations of fabric!

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  12. I am really intrigued. It's hard to find local resources where I live to learn these things, and I have been looking to learn them any way I can. Thanks for the chance!

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  13. Oh this is very exciting. I have not done any smocking in over 10 years. Thanks sew much Susan for the info

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  14. Over the years doing lots of garment sewing I have tried some of these techniques, but I have never thought of using them in quilts. How cool!

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  15. I've been wanting to add texture to quilts lately, this is awesome!

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  16. I saw her on QA show. She is extremely talented!! I really loved the lights on the quilts :) This is a must have DVD for sure!

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  17. I absolutely the look of texture on garments and quilts. I would love to learn more about how to achieve it. Thanks for this great blog post!

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  18. Saw you on Quilting Arts a few weeks ago. Love the projects!

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  19. My mom did smocking when I was young. I would love to learn how and include it in some of my sewing crafts.

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  20. I would love to learn how to add dimension to my quilt blocks.

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  21. Just returning to fiber arts after many years away - would love some new inspiration. Think the blend of old and new is so very exciting.

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  22. Did some smocking back when my daughter was very young, Would love to learn new techniques

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  23. Oooh, pick me, pick me! I would really like to explore these techniques and incorporate them into my fibre art. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  24. My post got messed up, I tried to edit but didn't work. I wanted to say hoe much I liked the smocking example. Had a friend who had an old fashioned shocking machine.

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  25. I love watching Cheryl on Quilting Arts Tv..I would so love the DVD.....I remember doing some of these techniques with my grandma..so fun to use in a art quilt...

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  26. I've been "out of the loop" for awhile due to a couple of orthopedic reconstructive surgeries (post car accident) and I'm slowly getting back to my fiber art. I saw Cheryl's episodes on Quilting Arts and I loved her techniques - those LED lights were very cool! Susan, congratulations as the new host for Quilting Arts! I always watch so I can't wait for the new episodes to begin next month. I would love to win these DVD's anytime, but right now learning new techniques would definitely be a good motivator as I am getting back into my fiber art work. Thanks so much for the opportunity! becky.pottsbaker@gmail.com

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  27. I haven't done heirloom sewing (Martha Pullen style)since my daughter was little. You've rekindled my passion for the lovely hand stitching involved. Thanks for a chance to win. Normajean Brevik seasew@yahoo.com

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  28. I'm such a fan and have your Point, Click Quilt Book and one of your DVDs already! Would love to add this to my collection1 I'm so glad I finally got to meet you at the St. Cloud Quilt show! You have inspired me! juliethompson3@hotmail.com

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  29. I would love to win these two items. I have six grandchildren and five of them are girls! Girls need to have garments with heirloom stitches! I also love art quilts, and I have a plethora of unfinished art quilts that need to be hung/given away! I am a fan of your technique, and wish that a visit from you would be included! Congrats on your newest gig, and thanks for sharing!

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  30. My first grandchild is on the way and it would be lovely to practice & learn these techniques in an heirloom quilt. Thank you sew much for this chance to win! back2loghome@yahoo.com

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  31. I Love seeing texture and dimension on quilting projects, these techniques look Wonderful!!!
    Joyhughes1@verizon.net

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  32. I'm always looking for new techniques, and would love to try Cheryl's techniques. I also really need to learn new, alternative binding and finishing techniques and would love to win your DVD. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  33. I'm interested in making art quilts so I'm trying to learn all kinds of new methods! Plus being on a very limited budget I need to win all the books, dvds, tools, etc. that I can.

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  34. Yes, I would love to win!!!! Always wanting to learn new ways of finishing a quilt!!! And hanging!! I am tired of picking some of my quilts off the hooks they are currently on!!!!

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  35. I would love to try heirloom techniques! And then adding one of your DVD would be great!

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  36. I never win anything but I will try again. Sigh. Just love your work. Wish you were passing that gorgeous jacket around!!!

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  37. Oh, forgot to mention - tomorrow is my birthday!!!

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  38. cool! I love Cheryl's infectious smile and her techniques I have seen on QATV!

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