Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 2010 Newsletter

Ladies and gentleman,
Another meeting has passed with fun show and tell, and some laughs. Thirteen members were present, 3 of which were new. Welcome!

The Spring Challenge has been extended for another month. That means April for those of you who are calender challenged! So breath a nice sigh of relief because you are still on time!

A New Challenge is in the works. Please to put on your thinking caps and come to the April meeting,...the one where the spring challenge is due?...with some clever ideas. We still have a hat with words in it. We've done a color challenge (red?). So, what's next? Food? Chocolate? Books? Techniques untried? Oh! What to do!!!

Pressing Clothes: We have received word that Menards sells teflon sheets that are meant to be used in your oven or grill. They are reasonably priced at around $5, and can be used as a non-stick pressing cloth. I'm sure they'll be available this spring with all of the restocking going on. Thank you, Christine!

The Annual Spring Exhibit of Natural Art will be held at the Morton Arboretum. The artist's reception (for members and guest) will be on April 16, from 5 to 9 p.m. The general public may view the show on Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18 from noon to 5 p.m.
It is located at the Thornhill Education Center of the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rt 53,
Lisle, IL. Over 200 works of art celebrating nature, demonstrations by guild members, the Artisan Shop will feature artists donated handmade items. All proceeds support the Nature Artists' Guild and Arboretum programs. Phone: 630-968-0074.
Be there or be square!

The Milwaukee Art Museum will be hosting an exhibit, American Quilts: Selections from the Winterthur Collection from May 22 - September 6. This is the first-ever traveling exhibition of the Wintertur's quilts, and the 40 quilts chosen represent women's political, social and cultural lives in the formative period of the early American republic (1760 - 1850).
So if you are into old quilts (I mean, let's face it. They are our roots!), head on over. I believe there is at least one quilt shop in the area. Sounds like a road trip in the waiting!

Martha has been a busy little bee: Here is her information, as well as a postcard tip:
Martha Tabis new blog re pet portraits:
Facebook fan page (another way to market your art, called a business page
on FB): Martha Tabis Pet Portraits
Fabric postcard: I use Peltex inside for a stiffer card.

Botanica Magnifica: Portraits of the World's Most Extraordinary Flowers & Plants
This is a book as well as a lecture being given at the Chicago Botanical Garden in Glencoe.
Dr. Jonathan Singer will be discussing his photography. More information will be available at

The following technique is being shared with us by one of our members, whose last name shall remain a mystery to the casual reader. She showed us a piece that she had done with colored pencils, and it was very striking. There was a lot of interest in her technique, so here you have it:

Parrot Tulip Quilt technique


I used the techniques developed by Irena Bluhm in her book “Quilts of a Different Color”. She has a website that I found under google using Irena Bluhm as the search criteria but there isn’t any information that she shares.

I sized my picture to the the desired size on the computer by using Microsoft Paint and printing at an increased size in grayscale.

I trimmed the paper and taped the multiple sheets together.

Then using a black permanent pen I marked the lines that I wanted to quilt on the printed photo. This is where you can simplify the piece as desired.

Use plain cream or white high quality muslin. If not PFD ( prepared for dyeing) wash the piece to remove sizing. Iron to remove wrinkles. Pine the muslin to the marked photo pattern.

Using a light source, transfer the lines to the muslin using a water soluble pen.

Add batting and backing and free motion quilt the piece changing threads where you wish. Note that elements of the design were quilted with dark thread while the background was quilted with cream. The design will have lots of starts and stops with the thread.

After quilting wash to remove the pen marks. Let dry thoroughly.

Now the real fun begins. I used Prismacolor pencils. I did try my crayola pencils but found them to be rather hard and to not transfer color well.

Control color both pressure and shading. With the darker colors you will still see the muslin background.

Work from the center out if doing a picture as it is possible to smudge the pencil into other areas. Another option is to use a clean piece of paper under your hand covering already worked areas.

If you make a mistake you can use an soft eraser of the incorrect area. Be sure to clean it as soon as it gets a lot of color on it.

I color in my background as well as it quiets the background quilting into texture.

Now come the point of setting the color. Her technique recommends a combination of fixatives but I used only Delta Ceramcoat Textile Medium which I found at JoAnns. I wasn’t planning to wash the end result. Pour out a small amount into a cup. Using a craft brush with a square top in a size appropriate to the area, paint on a thin coat of the textile medium. Note that this will begin to behave like paint so be careful where two colors meet. I did the red first to control any bleed and then went on to other colors. The medium and the brush will begin to pick up the color so be aware of this. I changed medium and washed the brush when I changed color fixing. I did use the paper again to prevent unwanted smudging. The medium will begin to dry out on the brush depending on the size of what is being done. I washed it with warm water and soap.

On a winter day this dried to the touch fairly quickly (within an hour). I went back to the touching colors when it was done.

Note that it is best to stay within a single color area as the color will pull from one area to another.

Let the piece dry completely for at least 24 hours.

Heat set the piece from the back by protecting the ironing surface just in case. (Nothing transferred when I did this.)

Finish the piece as desired.

Machine Felting Needle Mystery Solved!!!
The web site that sells machine felting needles is They also have a free tutorial on needle felting machines. Sharon is a wealth of information when it comes to anything regarding felting! She had 2 more samples to show at the March meeting, and one was a little yellow bird. I am showing my bird breed ignorance by not being able to tell you exactly WHICH bird she replicated. I've just let you in on my little secret,...I have sooooo many pockets of ignorance that it baffles me on a daily basis! Whoa is me!

FINALLY! I'm done rambling! I have come to the end of the note, ladies. Until we meet again, which will be on April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Naperville Art League. This may be an easier meeting for many of you to make being that there are only 4 Mondays next month!!! Ha! This is why God made calendars! Write it down! We miss all of you who forget to come. Remember, this is the spring challenge extended deadline! No guilt, only participate if you have a hankerin' to! Till next time. xxxooo, Laurie

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