Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finally… new work begun

It has been almost two months since I’ve done any substantial work on my art. I’ve been consumed with helping my father transition into a retirement center. But on Friday, I’ll be demonstrating how I use thread sketching to bring my painted fabric pieces to life at the opening of the “Animal House” exhibition at Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries. I have seven pieces in this exhibition.

I needed to have a piece to stitch on for the demo, so I got started tonight on a piece I’ve been wanting to do since I got home from teaching in the Netherlands in April. I was seeking some way to thank my fabulous host, Lya Geven, and her husband. They were so wonderful to me. Lya set up all of my teaching, drove me all over the country for sight-seeing, and helped in every conceivable way. Since they are cat lovers with four feline companions, I thought it would be perfect to make small pieces of each of their four cats. First up is Friso, a very affectionate black-and-white male cat they sometimes call “Mr. Love Machine.”

Lya and Wil’s cat, Friso
I did the line drawing (at the top of this post) tonight, and tomorrow, I hope to find time to start painting him onto fabric. The line drawing is not a sketch; it merely captures the important details and broad areas of color and shading. I will put it behind my PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton fabric and use these guides – and the color photograph – when I paint. It will be fairly small, since I want to do their three other cats, too, and I’d like to finish them sometime this year! I’ll post photos of this project as I work. 

If you live in the Charlotte area, come and see me stitch on this piece this Friday evening during the Artists’ Reception. The event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m.; my demonstration starts at 7 p.m. You can read more about this Art Walk event, and the exhibition, on my post here.

65 Union Street South, Concord, NC
Cabarrus Arts Council

Win a copy of Kay Mackenzie’s new book

Hey! Love appliqué and want to win a great book? Today is your day! I have a copy of Kay Mackenzie’s new book, Scrap-Appliqué Playground: Turn Quilting Scraps into Fun Appliqué Fabrics to give away, courtesy of Martingale and That Patchwork Place.  

Kay has published numerous books and patterns, and you can see them all here. She started out as a hand appliquér, but now embraces machine appliqué methods, too. Kay blogs about applique at Her website is

If you’re like me, you have a big basket of scraps you can’t bear to throw away. In this book, Kay teaches you how to piece or fuse those treasured scraps together to make “fabric compositions” for applique pieces. Her methods, clearly explained and accompanied by color diagrams, include methods for fabric strips, for bits and pieces, crazy patch, and others. Then she shows you how to prepare your applique pieces, using “turn and press,” freezer paper templates, fusible interfacing, fusible-web templates, and bias-covered edges methods.

“Thank You, Teacher”
After that, Kay gives several methods for stitching the appliqué down using edge stitch or blanket stitch. All of the stitching in the book is done by machine, but if you prefer hand appliqué (like me) there’s no reason you can’t do it that way, too.
“Flower Patch”
You can practice all of Kay’s techniques by making one of eight sweet projects. Each includes step-by-step instructions, complete materials lists, and color diagrams.  

If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment after this post by 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 13. Make sure to leave an e-mail address or other way for me to reach you if you win. I’ll pull one name at random. Martingale is generously providing the book, and they will ship it to you. Sorry, this give-away is only for readers in the U.S. or Canada. 

Please note that your comment might not appear right away; I had to start moderating/approving comments after I got hit with a lot of Japanese porn spam!

Don’t forget that you have four more chances to win this book later this week:
Wednesday, June 13 • Erin Russek’s One Piece at a Time
Thursday, June 14 • Holly Mabutas’ Sprinkles of Thought
Friday, June 15 • SewCalGal
Saturday, June 16 • Kay Mackenzie, All About Appliqué

WE HAVE A WINNER! Joanna from New England has won the book. Thanks, everyone!