Monday, July 30, 2012

Saga of Mitered Piped Bindings

One of the demos that I really enjoyed at Ricky Tim's program in Rochester, NY a few weeks ago was of mitered, piped bindings. Ricky strongly suggests that one use #3 Pearle Cotton when you first experiment with these bindings. It took a bit of searching to find some #3 Pearle but I finally located some at the Stony Creek website. So, I spent some time last week playing with the technique with the extra motivation of two art quilts in need of binding. I hoped to submit entries for two exhibits using those quilts in the next few weeks so pressure was on to learn the technique if I wanted mitered piped bindings on those pieces.

Ricky did an excellent demo during his program and I took notes --- but that was over two weeks ago. Fortunately, he also provided a detailed workbook with plenty of photos. I needed that!

The opening stages of creating the binding was fairly simple: cut some fabric in strips, press, insert pearle cotton to create piping and attach to binding fabric. I got a chance to use my brand new #32 seven groove Bernina pintucking foot for this part.

At this point, things got a bit more complicated - even with photos.  In attaching the binding to the quilt, one starts with the mitered corners. I have done many mitered corners and thought I understood Ricky's demo fairly well. But, did I mention that this binding requires no hand sewing as you machine stitch the whole thing? That means that you are mitering a piece of fabric that is both the front and back of the corner.

This was new to me. The photos didn't really help.

 Fortunately, I had the wisdom to not try my first mitered piped binding corner on a quilt I hoped to have in an exhibition. I had a challenge piece for Jeanne Simpson's Quilt 2012 that needed to be bound. And, as I have mentioned before on this blog, Jeanne's challenge is to create 'sketches' that should be experimental in nature, approached intuitively and completed quickly. So, my corners on this week's Broken Ladders challenge were definitely experimental! The first one was totally wrong. I mitered as though I was doing a one-sided quilt border. Well, I quickly figured out that was incorrect. I kept experimenting and finally figured out enough to get the proper angle for the corner.
I then spent the remaining corners 'refining' my technique. Finally, I came up with an innovative approach that we won't discuss to 'correct' my first corner so I could send Jeanne a finished challenge piece with 4 mitered corners.
By the time I had worked through the four corners in the Broken Ladder piece, my confidence was improving. I was able to pipe and miter the first of my two unbound art quilts fairly successfully. Here is one of the corners.
Needless to say, I am extremely grateful that our Quilt Guild brought Ricky to Rochester and that I was able to attend. I expect that this will become a favored binding technique for me from now on!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy News

I was delighted to learn over the weekend that my quilt, Illuminated Albizia, has been juried into the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum 2012 Quilt Festival. The Festival takes place in La Conner, Washington from October 5-7, 2012.

It is always nice to accepted into a show and this one is extra special as it is the second year in a row that I have been accepted into this event. Guess I will have start working on a piece for next year!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Elin Noble at the Schweinfurth

A few unusual turn of events and I found myself with a free evening last night and the opportunity to drive over to Auburn, New York to hear Elin Noble speak at the Schweinfurth Art Center. There was a record crowd for Elin's talk, due in part to Schweinfurth's sponsorship of Quilting by the Lake where Elin is currently teaching. The Schweinfurth is currently exhibiting Fold & Unfold: The Cloth and Quilts of Elin Noble.

When I heard that Elin was giving a talk on her work, I immediately went to her website to learn more about what she is currently doing. It took only a few minutes of browsing her website and photos of her works to know that I wanted to hear her speak. While you have missed the talk, if you are able to visit Schweinfurth before August 19, I would encourage you to go see her works in person.

Some are quilted, some are sheers either against a background fabric or hung over a rod and draped from ceiling to floor. All are powerful images. It is obvious that Elin has been 'dyeing for the past 30 years' as she explained in her opening remarks.

As I was driving home last night, I thought about what stood out for me in Elin's talk. She went into a good amount of detail on process and why she created the series that are displayed. But, what I found myself focusing upon were several basic statements that can be appreciated by all artists:
  1. A true sense of gratitude for all that she has been blessed with and that allows her to create her works
  2. The basic rule that in creating her works, her decision process is always to go with what pleases her.
  3. Finally, that her journey to where she is today has evolved from many, many hours of experimentation and practice, practice, practice.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ricky Tims Seminar

Our quilt guild, Genesee Valley Quilt Club, hosted Ricky Tims, Alex Anderson, and Libby Lehman for a three day extravaganza. What a wonderful event! There were about 740 participants from the U.S. and Canada - a record attendance figure for Ricky. The RIT campus proved the perfect venue.
Full House at RIT for Ricky Tims
This was one of the most organized and informative programs that I have attended on quilting. Ricky, Alex, and Libby are all excellent teachers. We all received a colorful seminar booklet which covered the major themes of the program - it really helped as it was an intensive program in quilting techniques.

Alex, Libby, and Ricky answered questions at the start of each session
The instructors took advantage of all the latest technology to teach their material. We shifted between big screen power point presentations and live video as they demonstrated the finer points of their techniques. A display of quilts served as completed examples of what was being taught.

Live video displayed on a big screen allowed everyone to watch demonstrations
By the end of the program, I think most of us were numb with information and totally grateful for the experience.

Helping Alex with her sales table
My favorite quilt, The Man from Snowy River by Helen Godden, was from Ricky's personal collection.
Close up of the exquisite detail stitching that Libby is famous for.
One of Ricky's amazing designs
Close-up of detail work

Hand quilted by Alex

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Missoula Marathon and Ricky Tims

My blog has been quiet as I have been out west for the Missoula Marathan and then returned home  and immediately started three days of programs with Ricky Tims and friends. A post will follow later this week on this happy event.

The marathon was significantly warmer than last year with starting temps in the mid-60's rather than the high 40's. Needless to say, my time was much slower than the year before but I finished.  My daughter and son-in-law were with me in Missoula and ran the half marathon. They found me in the last mile and my very special son-in-law ran to the finish with me, cheering me on. How great is that! Emotion overwhelmed me at the finish - here I am, 64 years old - and able to run 26.2 miles and blessed with such a wonderful family.

Here are some quick photos from the event.

Out on the course

Finish line in sight, son-in-law encouraging me

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Place to Call Home

With so many in Colorado losing their homes to raging fires, it is almost eerie that the special exhibit No Place to Call Home opened yesterday in Loveland, CO.  Little did we, the artists, know when we all agreed last winter to reassemble our art quilts that our exhibit's theme would be so timely.

I am touched and honored that my quilt, Homeless, is once again on view. Homeless was one of my first art quilts to be publicly shown. It was the ability to use my art to make a statement about a horrific world condition that attracted me to enter the original SAQA show.

No Place to Call Home toured for a year with the Mancuso quilt shows.  The current exhibit in the Foote Gallery of the Loveland Museum runs until September 16. There are 15 quilts in the exhibit. Jeannie Lancaster has written a wonderful review for the Loveland Reporter Herald.

Homeless by Judy Warner