Friday, March 18, 2011

Sharon Schamber Workshop

If you ever get a chance to take a class with Sharon, do it. She is the best. She is up-beat and enthusiastic. She explains everything clearly and says things a few different ways so everyone understands what she's doing and why before moving on. She encourages questions, and will work with you individually to be sure you know what to do. She gives a lot of good information about what she uses, and why she does things the way she does. Here's what I did in class:

Sharon's technique for machine appliqué is easy, fast, and fun. The original pattern was a complete circle, but, unfortunately, I didn't measure the piece I brought for my background and it wasn't large enough. Which is actually okay, as I've decided to use this as the flap of a messenger bag. Most of the pieces are now sewn down, using polyester monofilament thread. I'll put another flower at the end of each stem. In the next couple of weeks, I'll quilt this and bind three edges, then create the pattern and pull fabrics for the bag itself. I think I'll do the bag in a dark pink, with a green lining and charcoal straps. It will be rather large, and have lots of pockets! Cool.

I've finished the appliqué on my VS1-Filigree, and it's now ready to be basted and quilted!

It will be hand quilted, and I haven't decided whether I want to use a pink variegated, butterscotch variegated, or solid pink or butterscotch thread for the quilting. I have all those colors, and am working on a sampler to decide which works better. I haven't really decided what type of batting to use either. I usually use cotton, but I'm thinking about trying a wool, or perhaps a bamboo.

That's about all I have to show you. Since classes ended last week, I'm just exhausted. I didn't do much of anything creative last weekend other than Sharon's workshop. I only have two more weekends before classes start up again, and there are several things I want to get done. I'll see what I can have to show you next week.

Until then, take care.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Sharon Schamber at AVQA

My husband often tells me that if I want to reach for the stars, not to shoot for the moon because I may only hit the lamppost. Instead, aim for the center of the universe, because then I just may hit Pluto. Well, last night I saw the center of the universe, and it contains the work of Sharon Schamber. She did a trunk show at the AVQA guild meeting last night. I found myself near tears as each quilt was unrolled and presented, as each was more magnificent than the previous. Over the years, I'd seen Sharon's work in photographs, and even a couple of pieces at Road to California. I'd always known her work was indescribably amazing, but to be able to stand nose-to-nose with Mystique was, well, indescribable.

She started by passing around small studies of hand and machine quilting, appliqué and beading. A set of blocks of hand appliqué followed. Each of these studies and blocks were passed from person to person, as we marveled at the tiny hand quilting stitches, the intricate machine quilting, the perfectly stitched machine and hand appliqué. I was sitting next to Darla Hall, who is a long-arm quilter, and she pointed out things about the quilting I didn't know. She studies Sharon's work, has her DVDs, and strives to hit that center of the universe where Sharon's work resides. She and I were not the only ones I heard saying that we wanted to be Sharon when we grew up! LOL!

The last two quilts shown were Mystique and a new one (which I can't remember the name to), which has yet to be finished. It looked as if the only thing left to do was the binding. Those two quilts were laid open on two tables on the stage for us to come up and get a closer look at. And close we did get. Mystique is quilted in black thread on a white background. The stitches are perfect! The intricacy and variety is astounding. There are several thousand yards of spaghetti-strap tubing sewn between the pieces and around the edge.

I bought her book, "Piece by Piece, Machine Appliqué." I'm taking her class tomorrow, so she said she'd sign it then. We're doing her "Love Me Knot" appliqué class. I'm excited, and can't wait to start. I'll fill you in on the class next week.

I had a couple projects due for school this past week, so I didn't do anything substantively creative. However, I have been working on my VS1-Filigree on the bus ride home from work each night. It's coming along really well. I should have the appliqué sewn down by the end of the weekend. I'd like to get it sandwiched and basted Sunday, so it's ready to start quilting. I need to decide on quilting thread. I think I'd like to use a variegated light to dark pink, or perhaps a butterscotch to match the binding.

Not much else is happening right now, and I don't have any new photos to share. I've got a couple weeks off from classes, so I'm hoping to get a lot of creative work done. I should have more to show you next week.

Until then, take care.


Saturday, March 5, 2011


Missed last week's post; I was sick and didn't get on the computer until Tuesday. Didn't really do much during the past weekend, though I did work on my Filigree quilt a bit, and spent some time organizing my embroidery floss. I've started nothing new. Everything is still in progress.

I'm continuing to work on August's Paisley for the 2010 BJP.

My VS1-Filigree is basted and cut, and I've started sewing the main appliqué. I really love how this is turning out!

As you can see, I've sewn down two of the last four accent pieces. I wanted to see how they looked.

I did buy fabric for the second quilt in the Visioning Project series I'm doing, but I haven't done anything more with it yet. Once I get it started, I'll show you a pic.

I'm also continuing work on my bird tote from Terry Waldron's class. I've got my lining fabric, and the fabric for the rest of the tote, as well as the webbing for straps. I've sewn down the body feathers, and now need to cut some smaller neck feathers. They'll be the same yellow as the pieces just over the tail feathers. Of course, he still needs a face and beak, and I'm going to add a top-knot. I want to do a little more quilting in the background, and on his legs, then the tote will be ready to put together. This will be fun. I'm hoping to get this done this weekend, so I can take it to my quilt guild next week.

The I&M Quilters group I belong to is moving along with projects. I have three quilts pinned and ready for quilting, one of which is the Line Art I mentioned in a previous post. Of the other two, one is a Scrambled 9-Patch that we did last year and I never got around to finishing. The other is something I put together from pieces I found in the Quilt Room. There were a bunch of 8" squares, and I put them together and added some borders. I don't have photos of these yet, but will show them to you as I get them finished. All three of these quilts will go in the queue for delivery to either City of Hope or Children's Hospital.

I've joined the L.A. Modern Quilt Guild. I do like the modern quilt look, though I don't think I'll do many of them. What I've seen so far is . . . I don't know how to describe it. They're very clean and very cool, but, like traditional patterns, I can appreciate them, but don't really want to spend time making them. I like a lot of stuff! I do so many different hand and needlecrafts that I want to incorporate them into my art pieces. Modern quilts, like traditional quilts, don't have a lot of stuff on them. Does that make any sense? LOL! As I said, it's hard to describe my feelings. I want my quilts to be beaded, and embroidered, and have a lot of different techniques in them.

Now, the modern fabrics are a whole different issue. I love them! I never really paid attention to fabric designers before, but I do now. Some of my new favorite designers are Carolyn Gavin, Chelsea Andersen and Riley Blake. There are new quilt shops that carry these new modern print fabrics. Sew Modern, which I've mentioned before, is one. Online shops include Fabric Worm and Spoonflower. Yes, you can buy fabric at Spoonflower. It's more expensive, but it's also more individualistic. My Filigree quilt is made with modern prints from Pat Bravo and Art Gallery Fabrics, which I bought at Sew Modern a few weeks ago.

That's it for now. I'm continuing to work on things, and will, hopefully, have something finished next week to show you.

Until next time, take care.