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Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

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Recent blog posts

I have used washable glue to create designs on a traditional printing screen and directly on fabric so I figured, hey this should work. And it does! Just a word of caution don't let the glue dry in the screen. It may not all wash out...I didn't test it. 

I still have some testing and experimenting to do on this process....like how long can you leave the glue in before it becomes permanent. I will let you know as soon as I have time to play mad mixed media scientist. 

The circles screen I used is one of my favorites! I created it from a photo I took of rusty old bed springs. 

 

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Today's pairing with thermofax screens is Water Soluble Wax Pastels. I use the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Water soluble ones but other brands should work very similarly. I am sorry I don't have a link for these but you can purchase them from most art supply stores. The larger ones are harder to find and I am not sure they are even made currently as I haven't seen them in years.  They are not inexpensive but they do last a long time. 

 
With these crayons you use textile or matte medium to dissolve the crayon as you pull it through the screen. I can't remember exactly where I first learned this process but it might have been in a magazine article by Susie Monday. Have fun and send me photos of what you create so I can share the love. 
 
I have some new screen designs waiting to be finalized and hope to have them up soon in the Thermofax store. 
 
 
 
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Posted by on in Thermofax Screen Printing

Welcome to another edition of Thermofax Thursday!

Sometimes you need something more glamorous than glitter, something that is more luscious, more seductive, more grand....you need FOIL!

Why, yes, you can use foil on fabric as well as paper

Foil comes in the usual gold, silver and copper but it also comes in fuschia and chartruse and orange and oil slick and so many variations....it will make you swoon.

Check out my video lesson on using foil with Thermofax screens. 

 

Here are two great places to purchase foil on-line:

Artistic Artifacts

Laura Murray Designs

Find your favorite Thermofax Screen and start foiling!

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blue glitter snowflake thermofax 1 of 1
Some things just call for glitter....even if you aren't a glitter girl normally. This week's video shows how to use gel medium through the thermofax screen so you can apply fine makeup grade glitter for super blingy imagery. While I used our Snowflake screen, you can use any screen you love. I think the feather screen in silver would be fabulous...gonna have to go do that today. 
 
Ignore the beginning of the video where I say it is September! LOL While I filmed it in September, chaos quickly ensued and I have just had time to post it now. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Thermofax Thursday: Discharge Paste

I love the subtle surface design effects you can get with discharge paste. There are lots of ways to use it and we have some tips in the FREE Fabric Embellishing book study Ruth Chandler and I have created. NOTE: Fabric Embellishing is being re-released this fall so if you don't have a copy yet you will be able to get one. 

You never know what result you will get with discharge paste. It depends on the base color of the fabric so it is often a surprise. I have a black that discharged to a beautiful blue. 

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Welcome to Thermofax Thursdays!

In this blog series I will be showing as many techniques, tips and experiments with Thermofax Screens as I can come up with. Not every Thursday will be a Thermofax Thursday however! I am not sure I can come up with that many techniques. Hope you enjoy the series and if you have a question you want answered just ask! 

I love comments too...helps me know I am not taking to myself all the time. :-)

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Posted by on in Thread

I am a big fan of stabilizers.

stabilizer cabinet 1 of 1

 

They are crucial anytime you want to add stitch to fabric as an embellishment but I often get a blank look when I talk about them in class or at a party. Ok, so I haven’t been asked about stabilizers at any parties recently but I am not good at party small talk so I would really love someone to ask about them as we eat canapes.   

Stabilizers are like a great foundation garment. They give support in all the right places. They aren’t usually needed when you are piecing two fabrics together but if you want to add stitch details on a fabric they will save your sanity.

The most common question I get is what stabilizer to use and when. Of course that is an ‘it depends’ answer…depends on what you are doing, what fabric you are using and if it can stay in or needs to be removed from the final project.

One of my pet peeves is when directions or supply lists indicate you should use Pellon or Vilene stabilizer. I could just scream!!  That is like writing ‘use meat’ in a recipe. What kind of meat? Beef, chicken, elk, sea bass, goat? You will get very different results if you aren’t using the right one.

Don’t make me guess. Tell me exactly what type of stabilizer I need!!

A stabilizer’s main purpose is to add stability to fabrics…the fusible aspect of any stabilizer is simply to make it easier to apply the stabilizer to the fabric. Extra stability allows you to add dense stitching without distorting the fabric. The more stitches you want to add to the fabric the heavier a stabilizer you need.

stabilizer images for blog post 2 of 2

There are about a bazillion different stabilizers on the market and a little time getting to know them will serve you well.  You don’t need to know them all. That would take quite a while. There isn’t any one best, right or perfect stabilizer. While there are many stabilizer brands there are only a few stabilizer manufacturers. It is more important to become familiar with the ones you can easily purchase.

Try my stabilizer sampler exercise to help you learn about them.

Make some Stabilizer Samples!

This works great as a stitch party…everyone brings a different stabilizer and you all swap around.

 stabilizer images for blog post 1 of 2

my stabilizer sample ring-be sure to use the same fabric on each so you can compare weights easily

For this exercise, gather an assortment of interfacings, fusible, tear away and cut away as well as heavy weight stabilizers. Grab some fabrics-pick weights and fibers you use the most often. Cut small sample squares (or circles or rectangles). Apply the stabilizer to the fabric.

If it is a sew-in stabilizer, sew it on.

 If it is a fusible stabilizer, fuse it on.

Write on the back of the stabilizer the brand name and item code so you can easily purchase it again.

stabilizer samples small

stabilzer samples from my book: Threads: the Basics and Beyond

 

Now, stitch a decorative stitch on the edge. The lighter the stabilizer the more open the decorative stitch should be. With a heavy stabilizer you can add a detailed stitch. If your stabilizer isn’t stable enough for the stitch you selected it will distort the fabric. DON’T throw that away. The samples that don’t work are really more valuable than the ones that do work.

Put them on a ring or a string or in a book so you have a reference for the future.

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Posted by on in Creative Endeavors
Stitch Meditations

 

This video has been in the works for a few months. It is a bit long but I hope you will be inspired to create your own Stitch Meditation practice. 

You can find the ones I have available for sale in the online store here or you can see them as I post them and claim it right away! 

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Joan Mitchell east ninth street 1956 sm

Joan Mitchell  East Ninth Street   1956

Women of Abstraction

Last week I was thrilled to be able to take in the Women of Abstraction Expressionism exhibit at the Denver Art museum. The exhibit is incredible and if you are within 500 miles you should definitely make the trip to see it.

The description from the DAM website says it better than I could:

“Women of Abstract Expressionism focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of abstract expressionism, while revealing inward reverie and painterly expression in these works by individuals responding to particular places, memories, and life experiences.”

I really don’t know how to put into words just how great this show is. The works are mostly very large and they are so filled with emotion and expression that I felt totally filled up by the time I was finished.

One of the most telling quotes from the exhibit was by Lee Krasner who was married to Jackson Pollock. It went something along the lines of I was a painter before Pollock, during Pollock and after Pollock but I am always known as Mrs Jackson Pollock.

Here are some of my favorites:

Helen Frankenthaler western dream 1957 sm

Helen Frakenthaler Western Dream  1957

 

Jay DeFeo Torso 1952 sm

Jan DeFeo  Torso 1952

judith godwin Woman 1954 sm

Judith Godwin Woman  1954

Lee Krasner the seasons 1957 sm

Lee Krasner  The Seasons   1957

 

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Posted by on in About Classes and Retreats

Changes for web

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog during the Fiber Art Connect blog hop!

I am so excited that Desiree Habicht has created the Fiber Art Connection. I wish I had had this access to such wonderful teachers when I first embarked on my art journey. So much great education coming to me for such a great price!  I love how FAC is about connecting and there will be opportunities for discussions, growth, learning and sharing in this online community. 

In order to build a great community experience students won't be able to register after classes start. Registration for the Fiber Art Connection CLOSES on March 15,2016 so be sure to register before then. 

Of course you can Register now!  

There are 10 technique and tutorial filled weeks with lots of opportunity to connect with teachers and other students. Each week a different teacher teaches a different class, with material presented each day of the week so you aren't overwhelmed. There’s a great FAQ document to answer all your questions.l

Take a leap and grow with us!

One thing that all the teachers at FAC have in common is we love getting to know our students. We are all about community, encouragement and helping our students grow and bloom into the artist that lives inside of them. 

So, here is a little bit about me...

What draws you to the fiber arts? Why do you work the way you do? 

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved fabric. I love the way it drapes and the many textures of it. I tried other art media and often take classes outside of textiles but I always come back to fabric. 

Why do I work the way I do....hmmm that is a big question. Over the years I have looked for the 'right' way to work. It has taken me a long time to realize that there is no 'right' way and my way is as good as any! And, of course if I am not true to my way of working I don't get much work done. I work a lot in my head. Thinking through design issues as I drive or do the dishes. I tried for years to work on paper but it just doesn't work for me. 

I do work in a sketchbook but not necessarily to design a project. I use a sketchbook to experiment with techniques but most often to simply play. I have been working on my drawing skills the last couple years and I do use a sketchbook for that. 

Tell us about your studio! Where in the world is it? Is it clean or messy? Is it hidden away or out in the open?

I have three studio spaces in addition to the Thread Lab It sounds like a dream right? Not so much! The two rooms I use at home are mostly dumping grounds and store my class supplies. During travel season it looks like my suitcases have exploded all over the floor...because they have! LOL 

I have a public studio space at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. I love my studio space there. Moving into an art center has been life changing for me. I didn't realize how much I needed the comradery of other artists. Being surrounded by so much beautiful art is inspiring and it has given me courage to stretch and grow.  I share the studio with Cass Mullane a friend and fellow textile artist. The studio at Cottonwood is generally very tidy and we have a small gallery space. 

The Thread Lab is a teaching space underwritten by WonderFil Specialty Threads. Half my thread is there and the other half in my main studio...never the one I need of course!

The problem is that the 'thing' I need is often in the studio I am not at. I schlep bags back and forth much to the amusement of my studio mate! Packing for a teaching trip is quite the adventure and I have to have detailed packing lists so I can collect the bits from all the studios. I get lots of exercise running up and down the stairs at Cottonwood between the two spaces there. Of course half the time I get to the 'other' studio and forget what I was looking for! LOL

What’s your favorite color and why?

 Yellow Green! I love every tint, shade and tone of yellow green from chartreuse to deep olive....yes, even that shade that looks like baby poo. To me this is the color of possibility, growth and freshness. 

What's your least favorite thing to do when you're working a piece?

Cleaning up after I am done! I tend to pull everything out and have piles everywhere when I am creating....I wish I had an efficient studio elf that would come in to clean after every project. 

If you could fly where would you go?

If I could fly I would love to fly to all the National Parks. Wouldn't it be cool to see them from the vantage point of a bird? 

Baby blessings accordian book

Tell us about the class you’re teaching in The Fiber Art Connection. What do you hope your students will learn from this?

My Fiber Art Connection class is all about collage. It is everything I wanted to learn when I was trying to learn collage: enough composition and design to feel confident, ways to organize my thoughts to communicate the feelings, emotions and story I want to share and fun techniques to make it uniquely mine. 

Collage is a wonderful medium and so accessible to everyone because you don't need a lot of expensive materials to get started. I hope my students can use this medium to discover and develop their own unique style of expression. 

Where else can we find you on the internet?

I am on facebook, instagram, google+ and of course on my web site here. 

FAC basket horizontal

Have we not got a fabulous give away??? Who wouldn't want to win this pile of goodies? For your chance to win you need to leave a comment below.  Comments are open until midnight 3/14/16

In your comment, tell me what you most want to learn this year--doesn't have to be textile art related

Visit the rest of the fabulous artists teaching at Fiber Art Connection for more chances to win! 

Commenting on all the posts will be open until midnight your local time on 3/14, which is the day before the course actually starts. After combining all the entries, we’ll user random.org to choose a winner, Desiree will ship to the winner that next day so they could use the items in the class if they registered.

3/1: Desiree Habicht

3/2: Candy Glendening

3/3: Liz Kettle-me! 

3/4: Roxanne Lessa

3/7: Ruth Chandler

3/8: Cecile Whatman

3/9: Deborah Babin

3/10:  Rayna Gillman

For even more chances to win you can:

  1. Register for the workshop that will change your art!
  2. Share a link to this blog post on social media and then leave another comment here telling me you did so
  3. Sign up for the  mailing list, link found  http://www.fiberartconnection.com/
  4. Don't forget you can enter multiple times at each stop along the blog tour by following step 2 on each one as well as leaving a comment!

 

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

It is always weird when something one does so naturally is sought after by others or when you find out that friends, especially close friends don’t do what you find such a basic part of your day. It makes you feel a bit like a freak! 

I have recently realized that I naturally do the ‘check-in’ on a consistent daily basis in one form or another and that many other people rarely do the 'check-in'. This boggles my mind! 

I thought everyone did regular check-ins.

The realization came to me as two more people asked me to help them do the ‘check-in’ in their studio space to help them be more orgnaized, professional and creative. Conversations with friends made me realize they don’t check in with their bodies or their spaces either.

You may be asking what is a 'check-in'?

A check-in is simply that…taking time to check in with why something is working, isn’t working or could be improved. I guess it could be a form of mindfullness. Maybe it is just an awareness.

When I walk into my studio, my office, my house, the Thread Lab, and even Cottonwood Center for the Arts I do a quick mental check-in to see if things are working well or if there is an annoyance that can be improved. What has been undone for so long that I no longer see it? 

I started this when I was managing a Pier 1 store way back in the day. It takes a bit of mindfulness to remember to do this and to be able to look at a space you enter every day with fresh eyes.

As an artist it is an excellent skill to cultivate!

Sometimes it means taking a look at why I am not doing something I want to do. Recently, I realized that I was spending less time with my stitch meditations. I checked-in and saw that the space wasn’t working for the inward focused task. You can see that quite clearly…

stitch meditation space 1 of 3

What a mess...there is stuff everywhere. Piles on all the windowsills, on the plant stand, and on the floor. Where did I put those scissors?

stitch meditation space 2 of 3

Fabrics and cool bits are all jumbled in a basket getting all smooshed and wrinkled, threads are everywhere! 

I did a little reorganization and now the space is welcoming and makes me want to sit and stitch.

stitch meditation space 3 of 3

All the fabrics are sorted by size-no longer a wrinkled mess, papers and cool bits are in a separate bin, I can even find my base flannel pieces! All the threads are on the top shelp with my scissors.

I do the same check-in with my body every day. What feels good, what feels less than great, am I tired, achy, how is my energy level? I don’t stop there though. I question why. Did I eat right today? Did I exercise enough? Did I get enough sleep?  Maybe this is because I was so sick for so long and it is partly by asking these questions daily that I was able to figure out what foods make me sick and which ones don’t.

I do the same thing with my emotional state….how do I feel? Am I on top of things or feeling overwhelmed? Why might I feel that way and what thoughts do I need to look at changing in order to get back to happy?

Check-ins are a huge part of self-care whether we are talking about your space or your health.

Have you done a check in lately? The winter solstice is a great day to schedule a check-in!

My check-in today is telling me I need to clean out my email in-box. :-) 

I have a gift for you to help increase your mindfulness and gratitude practices in 2016. 30 days of Gratitude texts from the gratitude coach, Terza Ekholm. 

Tagged in: check-in self care
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Posted by on in Musings about Art and Life

 

Vail 2015 1

 

I am spending this week in Vail Colorado at the Full Circle Mastermind Summit. The purpose of this Summit is to spend time working on business planning and building. We work on our own respective businesses and come together as a group to brainstorm ideas and problem solve with group discussions. It is always a great week for me. It allows me to think bigger, get some different perspectives and reminds me to focus on what is the most meaningful. 

It is also a time for me to remind myself of (or fine-tune) my business values, my mission and my vision. 

So often we forget to take time to work on the things that are important to us. We forget to pause and look at the big picture because it is so easy to become overwhelmed by the details of the day to day. We forget to make sure our life has a balance that makes us happy. We can spend so much time on our art or our business that we neglect family or vice versa.

OR: spend so much energy on everyone else that we neglect ourselves and our dreams! 

This week my planning will be focused on my new adventure! The Thread Lab: a WonderFil Threaducation Center. More details on this very soon.  In the meantime you can join The Thread Lab Facebook Group.

Take a few minutes or a few hours this upcoming week and join me in spending some time thinking about your big vision, your dreams and your big picture. I would love to hear what they are. 

 

 

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Posted by on in Thread
Thread Misinformation Getting Me Down!

I have been mulling over this blog post for months! I get so frustrated by the misinformation about thread that is out there and when it comes from someone trying to sell me a product I get really peeved! Add to the fact that he was talking about metallic threads which already give folks problems I just had to speak my mind. 

 

 

 

For those of you who want to learn even more about thread check out my Threads: The Basics class now on-line! 

 

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minimal red squares

This week I embarked on a new allergy therapy that is able to help with food allergies. It is the only treatment that is available for those of us allergic to foods as well as all the plant pollen, dust and animals in our lives. Of course it isn’t covered by insurance but that is a different blog post entirely.

What does it have to do with art you ask? Well, actually more than one would think. It is about pushing the edge always and seeking excellence from yourself and the world around you.  

I do very well managing my food allergies when I am at home. I rarely go out to eat and I am obsessive about making sure I have safe food with me all the time. However, I travel quite a bit and that is where everything gets bad. No matter how careful restaurants are with my food I end up getting sick. The main culprit is oils. Most restaurants, unless we are talking 4 Star and up, don’t realize that the oil that is labeled ‘olive’ oil is cut with other oils. In fact it usually says 100% olive oil on the label. If you want to read more about it google ‘olive oil scam’ or go here. Then there are those restaurants that proudly proclaim we use vegetable oil. I generally want to slam my head on the table at that point.

Anyway, in addition to numerous foods, I am allergic to all oils except pure olive, grapeseed, peanut and avocado. So, every time I travel I come home sick. I actually lose 4-8 days after every trip just getting back to ‘normal’. I could quit traveling all together but my travel is usually to teach. Teaching is what I was born to do. So, I am always pushing the edge, questioning the status quo, by researching, reading forums and seeking alternative medical treatments. That is what led me to a unique allergy treatment that works for food allergies, LDA.

It is scary to go off all of my current antihistamine meds that have been keeping me finely balanced on the edge of ‘ok’ but nowhere near excellent health. It is stressful to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for an alternative treatment that isn’t covered by insurance. One that other doctors dismiss out of hand. But, I am an artist and that means fear and excellence part of my daily routine. 

cliff wall oregon

To be an artist is to face scary every day that we go to the studio to push the edge. If we aren’t pushing the edge we are just making the same old thing. We get stale, boring and are bored. We aren’t reaching for our own personal level of excellence.

These are the questions I ask myself with every piece of artwork:

  • How can I make this better?
  • How can I make this more me?
  • How can I drive this forward to excellent?

Actually, I ask those questions of everything I do…

Except for housework…usually I ask myself “how little can I do”?

What questions keep you driving forward?

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Posted by on in Creative Endeavors

You know those class videos you watch where the teacher has a droning voice and you can barely pay attention? And the other ones you bought that are simply a waste of valuable time because there isn’t any real meat?

Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy with Lyric Kinard is NOT one of those!

lyric thermofax cover

Lyric is cheerful and fun in her video and she makes you feel like you are there with her rather than watching a video. She is also willing to let you see her mistakes and shares how she could ‘fix’ them.

Thermofax 101 contains all the important information that you need to be successful in Thermofax screen printing and has some great extras such as other materials to use instead of paint, how to design your own screens and more.

Of course, you know…I love her section on creating an idea sampler book to use as a record of experiments and ideas for the future. Lyric also shares some great ideas for creating masks and using transparent extender for ghost printing.

If the design aspect of printing your own fabric makes you cringe don’t worry! Lyric has a great section on Color and Design that covers the most important basics without going into so much detail that you get lost.

Two thumbs up for sure!

thermofax examples web 9 of 14

I use Thermofax screens on fabric and paper! This image is from one of my journals. You can find the screens I sell on the Shop page! Or send me your designs to create your own original screens. 

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment below telling me what shape you would most love to print. I will chose a winner right before I head to Quilt Market next week on Tues May 12, 2015.

Don’t want to take a chance on winning? You can get your copy here: http://lyrickinard.com/2015/02/thermofax-101-instructional-dvd/

ATCs Feb thermofax

Check out the rest of the blog hop for more chances to win!

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com   

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/

 May 1  Sue & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 6  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

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adduce-monoprinting-workshop-all-30-of-80

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while but I was worried I would sound whiny. However, the questions need to be asked. Please know that I really want to know what you think.

I am a teacher and an artist. I am equal parts teacher and artist. I love both aspects of my career but my teacher keeps feeling like a failure.  I am not whining about a lack of students. I am already moving in new directions because of this sad trend. I do however, want to understand how you think.

Being a teacher in the mixed-media art/craft industry is not a piece of cake. Developing classes, experimenting with materials, writing articles and tutorials is exciting work for me and incredibly time consuming not to mention expensive. I often work for months to research, design and craft what I think is a great class. I unveil the class, put it up at a store or a retreat and while many say...oh that is so cool. Very few students sign up. 

When enough people don't sign up for a class it has to be canceled. The people who did sign up are disappointed but two people can't support the effort of the teacher and a class with only two students lacks the dynamic energy that makes classes so much fun and deepen the learning experience. The store loses out as well. Those of you who have lost all of your local quilt shops or art stores know that lack of class attendance was part of their death knell. 

When classes at retreats are canceled it can really wreak havoc with the event schedule and for students who have made travel arrangements which can't be refunded. A teacher at a retreat also has expenses and if she doesn't have enough students to cover her expenses and provide some income she simply can't travel to teach. At some events in the last year students have waited until the last minute to sign up for workshops and then get upset when they find the workshop was cancelled due to low enrollment. We feel like we can't win. 

We teachers, store owners and event organizers talk about the 'why' all the time: not enough advertising? bad economy? boring classes? too much free stuff on YouTube? Do the classes look too hard? Do the classes look too easy?

The other think we teachers discuss is how do we create an income if students aren't taking classes? Many are looking at leaving the industry. The number of retreat swelled in numbers for a while which hurt attendance but now there are fewer retreats and still fewer students. These retreats can't stay in business if they don't have students. 

What are we doing wrong?

Maybe we aren't doing anything wrong. Maybe you simply don't want classes anymore. Maybe you simply don't make the time for fun anymore? Maybe you are satisfied with what is available for free on-line. Maybe you are bored with me/us?

So, I am asking you.

Why do you take classes?

Why don't you take classes?

Why don't you attend retreats?

Why do you attend retreats?

Do you get enough information on-line? 

Do you prefer on-line classes to real life classes?

Do you think classes are too expensive?

 

 

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Posted by on in Musings about Art and Life

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

studio 1

I have spent part of the day reflecting on the last year and part of it running around after my grandsons! A great way to end the year if you ask me. One thing I did this year that was scary big was to face down my stash. It was crazy huge, it was everywhere, refusing to be contained to it's allotted shelf space and it was bogging me down!

I have been quilting seriously since about 1988. That is 26 years of stash building! I had kids flannels and prints, civil war reproduction, William Morris, Kaffe Fasset, florals, plaids and striped fabrics. There was also the healthy collection of Aboriginal, African, Japanese and Indonesian fabrics (new and vintage) that I had so carefully been curating. 

Every year I set aside a day to go through my stash, get rid of stuff I won't use anymore and spend time re-organizing and folding it all. I find it satisfying to create order of the mess and it makes me happy to pet all my fabrics and think about new projects and possibilities. However, when I got ready to do that earlier this year I got this heavy sense of dread in the pit of my belly! I needed to do it because it was a mess, falling off the shelves and couldn't find anything but I found myself dreading the entire process this year. 

I had a sit down with myself, a cup of tea and some cookies. Cookies always help when confronting any realities that I am avoiding. I am no longer a real quilter! I still love most of those fabrics but with the possible exception of some baby quilts for future grandchildren I had no desire to stitch bed quilts anymore...and even quilts for grandchildren is questionable! Wow! I was going to need a lot more cookies.

I allowed myself a short period of mourning the passing of this stage of my stitch journey and then got to work. I grabbed some bins and bags and stripped the shelves of all the commercial printed fabrics. I kept out about a dozen pieces of vintage ethnic fabrics but everything else went in the bins. A few times I was tempted to keep a delicious specimen in my favorite shade of chartreuse but after fondling them a few minutes I put them in the bins with a sigh and another cookie.

I called my good friend Cat to come by and pick up the piles of fabric goodness. I knew that she would put it all to good use making charity quilts and things for her guild annual auction. Suddenly I felt as if a huge weight was lifted.  I had empty shelves! Well, at least they were empty for a few hours.:-) I quickly filled them up with all the stuff that was on the floor and needed a home. 

It was hard to release all those years of collected possibilities and quilt dreams but giving up all those future quilts meant that I was free to make more art, open to new directions in my work and I could see even more possibility than before. 

Now, I am not saying you should chuck out all your carefully curated fabric collections but you may want to set aside an afternoon to weed out that which no longer suits you. What is weighing you down? What is preventing you from stretching your creative muscles? Get rid of the fabrics, beliefs and assumptions that may be holding you back and getting in the way of seeing the wide vista of possiblities that 2015 will bring.

 

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Posted by on in Creative Endeavors

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You may have noticed that my stitch buddy, Ruth Chandler has not been writing blog posts here on Textile Evolution. A few of you have asked if she is ok. No worries, Ruth is well and stitching up a storm! We get together as often as possible for stitching fun and experimentation!

Ruth has created her own space on the interwebs as she refines her stitch goals and re-defines her business goals. You can find Ruth at: Ruth Chandler Designs. Be sure to head over there to follow her blog.

Ruth is focusing on the things she loves: Shibori, indigo dyeing, modern hand stitch and clothing construction.

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Looking to take a class with Ruth? She has some wonderful classes at Art and Soul in Portland OR in March 2015. Including Indigo/Shibori, Modern hand stitch and Boro.

For those of you in Colorado, Ruth also teaches at Blue Twig Studio in Colorado Sprigs. 

 

 

 

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Posted by on in Creative Endeavors

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I recently had the pleasure of creating a podcast with Mark Lipinski of the Slow Stitching Movement. Ruth Chandler and I ran into Mark on the sidewalk at the end of quilt market in November. Practically the first words out of my mouth were "I am so mad at you for coining the term 'Slow Stitching Movement' before we could!" 

We spent the next 40 minutes taking up precious sidewalk space as the throngs left the convention center but we hardly noticed the annoyed looks because we were deep in conversation about a topic we are all passionate about: Slow Stitching!

Mark has create a great website for the Slow Stitching Movement to call home and you can find interesting blog posts as well as podcasts by your favorite stitchers!

Listen to my podcast.

Listen to Ruth's podcast.

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Do you want to learn more about slow stitching? Join me in Portland OR March 8, 2015 for my class Stitch Meditations

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Posted by on in About Classes and Retreats

I just returned from Art and Soul Retreat in Va Beach, VA. It was a great event and the weather at the beach could not have been more perfect! I only got one photo of all my classes! 

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These are some of my Mixed Media Mayhem students before the mayhem really got started. Our tables were covered with color and chaos by the end of the day...I am sure the hotel staff is still finding Angelina fibers and glitter in that room.

 

I was home for 2 days and then headed up to Ft. Collins, CO to teach 2 days of Visual Journaling with the Rocky Mountain Creative Quilters. We had a bit of fun and laughter while learning a ton of techniques and then putting them into play. We scraped, sprayed, stenciled and stamped paint. Glued, glittered and gilded, in addition to lacing, mangling, and distorting. We explored the journal magic of Misty Fuse and baby wipes. One among us earned the crown of 'fly queen'. I am just a tad tired so I will share some photos of the fun and head to bed! Tomorrow evening I get the pleasure of sharing my Thread Lecture with the rest of the Rocky Mountain Creative Quilters. 

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