Friday, January 15, 2010

Thread Sketching 101, Lesson One: Focus on Color

"A New Box"

My first column on thread sketching is in the February/March 2010 issue of Quilting Arts magazine, which is hitting mailboxes now. Throughout 2010, I’ll be writing about using thread to add color, dimension, texture, line, pattern and movement to the surface of an art quilt. The first installment focuses on adding color with thread.

Thread sketching is something I discuss in my Quilting Arts Workshop DVD, “Master Machine Quilting: Free-motion Stitching and Thread Sketching,” but in the column, I’ll go provide lots more tips, go into more detail, and teach readers how to get great results through exercises and practice.

When I was a kid, I always loved getting a new box of crayons. Preferably the giant 96-count box with the built-in sharpener. I loved the look, smell and feel of those perfectly sharpened, waxy crayons. Pristine, before you had to tear the paper down. I’d take them all out and rearrange them in a spectrum. So when I wanted to demonstrate how much you could do with thread alone, crayons immediately came to mind.

Quilting Arts will be offering my “A New Box” design (above) as an online extra. It’s a great way to practice your thread-sketching skills. I don’t see it on the website yet; I’ll update this post with a link when I do.

Tote Tuesday: I’m on board!

An online friend, Peggy Schroder, has asked me to participate in Tote Tuesday, and despite my fairly substantial obligations and deadlines right now, I just had to say yes. Have you heard about Tote Tuesday yet? It is the latest fundraising idea from an extraordinary woman and artist, Virginia Spiegel, who has raised nearly $200,000 for the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. If Virginia can do all that, and if Peggy can organize filling the tote, then I can certainly contribute a small item!

Here’s the information on Virginia’s blog:

ToteTuesday, a Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, will open Tuesday, February 2 and continue through March. It’s a fundraiser AND a showcase for everything that is fun and creative about the fiber arts.

ToteTuesday will feature themed totes filled with unique, beautiful, and inspiring items from the worlds of fiber arts, knitting, art quilting, mixed media and surface design.

You can expect totes offering original artwork, autographed books, hand-dyed fabrics, discharged, rust-dyed and painted fabrics, beads, gorgeous yarns, handmade journals, fun and useful materials/tools for mixed-media and surface design, certificates for online classes and much, much more.

Themed totes will include either a nifty purple Relay For Life (the ACS’s biggest grassroots fundraiser) tote or a custom-made one.

There will be an auction from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Tuesday with a required opening bid with additional bids requested in $10 increments. There will also be a Go for the Gold! price if you can’t wait to own the tote AND want to be a champion supporter of the ACS.
I’ll be contributing an item for a tote bag called “Have a Heart” that Peggy is sponsoring. She is sponsoring four tote bags in all (wow!) and the “Have a Heart” one is the first of hers. It will be auctioned off in February, before Valentine’s Day.

A list of the 24 themed totes now in progress are listed on Virginia’s website. The auction of the totes will take place Tuesdays in February and March on Virginia's blog.

One hundred percent of the funds raised by ToteTuesday will be donated directly to the American Cancer Society.

Want to know more about Virginia Spiegel? Pokey Bolton, editor of Quilting Arts magazine, has a great new interview with Virginia on her blog.

Note: The Tote Tuesday logo was designed by Jeanelle McCall.