I’ve admired Candy’s gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics, and her lovely, loose free-motion motifs, since I met her on the set of “Quilting Arts TV” a few years ago. (If you want to learn Candy’s dyeing techniques, make sure to check out her first Quilting Arts Workshop, “Dyeing to Stitch: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Colorful Fabric Art.”) She takes her hand-dyed fabrics and makes lots of usable projects like tote bags, baskets, iPad cases, and sketchbook covers. (Many of them have been featured in Quilting Arts and Quilting Arts Gifts magazines.)
If you are a new, or hesitant, free-motion quilter, the technique Candy demonstrates in her new Workshop is a great place to start learning. Why? Well, Candy believes in stitching so that the hand of a human being is evident; she doesn’t want her stitching to look too perfect or mechanical. She likes the sense of movement created by the repeated lines, and stresses that these sketches look better if they are slightly imperfect.
Candy spends a lot of time demonstrating how she stitches her motifs – birds, vessels, and botanicals – while she talks through what she is thinking about as she stitches. This is very valuable for the beginner free-motion stitcher, because she shares tips, as well as practical advice about when to snip your threads, how fast to move your needle and your hands, and how to visualize the motif you are creating.
In one of the chapters, she shows photos she’s taken of botanical subjects, and talks about how she closely observes what she sees before stitching it.
Then she shows you how to assemble these stitched motif pages into a beautiful sketchbook where you can preserve your motifs. Just as artists work in sketchbooks as a way of developing ideas and working through problems before they begin a major piece of art, Candy uses her stitched sketchbooks to preserve motifs, see what works and what doesn’t, and determine if the thread and fabric colors play well together. Then she goes on to use her motifs in other projects.
While Candy doesn’t mention this, I think one of these sketchbooks would be a beautiful gift that could be personalized for your favorite gardener, teacher, or bride and groom.
Candy is very enthusiastic and supportive, and offers great advice to make beginners feel at ease: “The freedom that you feel once you are secure in your subject matter and secure in your free-motion sketching skills gives you that flow you really need to get … fluid lines. Definitely don’t think that you are going to be perfect the first time around. You need to sketch, sketch, sketch.”
Win a DVD of Candy’s workshop and a botanical motif that Candy stitched. 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 March 26. Make sure you leave me your e-mail address, or some way to reach you. And check back on March 27 to see if you’ve won. Make sure you visit the other bloggers listed at the end of this post for more chances to win. On the last day of the blog hop, Candy is giving away a DVD copy of her workshop, as well as all the fabric to make a sketchbook in the Autumn Splendor palette!
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! Susan Isaacson has won this give-away. Thanks for reading, everyone!
Candy’s Blog Tour
Wednesday, 3/12 – Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber (entries end 3/24)
Friday, 3/14 – Diane Doran of Ooh! Pretty Colors
Monday, 3/17 – Victoria Gertenbach of The Silly BooDilly
Wednesday, 3/19 – Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River
Friday, 3/21 – Beth & Kristen of Sew Mama Sew
Monday 3/24 – Melody Johnson of Fibermania
Wednesday, 3/26 – Candy Glendening of Candied Fabrics