See You at the Shows!

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I’m making last minute preparations for HMQS (Sandy, UT) and MQS (Overland Park, KS). I wanted to give all my readers a coupon you can use at my booth at the shows. You can download the coupon here or on my website. Everyone has to download their own – no copying and sharing! See you there!

QAS coupon

Sunset Quilt

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I had an idea for a theme quilt for MQS in May.  The theme is “South of the Border”. The February Art Quilt group was supposed to be how to paint sunrises and sunsets. We weren’t able to meet and that project is on the list for next month. It had gotten me to thinking and I came up with this quilt. I’ll be posting the steps in making it as I go along.

I started dyeing the fabric March 4th. I wanted to use Quick Fix so that I didn’t have to wrap the fabric up and wait 24 hours before washing. I searched the internet for inspiration – I usually use Google images. I typed in “desert sunset” and “desert sunrise” and looked at photos until I had some idea where I wanted to go. One of the most striking photos had a very large white sun setting.

I used Renee’s Mini Rays (www.reneequilts.com) to draw a large circle on freezer paper. I ironed the outside onto the fabric and then painted Presist into the circle to resist the fabric dye.

Resist, beginning painting

I then mixed up MX dye with urea water and water. Using the urea water is optional. It makes the water wetter so it will take longer to dry and give the dye molecules more time to find a “home”. I used only a small amount of dye to give a pale yellow color. I painted the dye on with a sponge brush.

Adding more color

I added more yellow dye for a deeper yellow color painted some more and then added orange. If the fabric is wet enough the colors will blend together.
When you’re done painting, let the fabric air dry. When dry, paint over the whole piece with QuickFix using a large sponge brush, saturating the fabric. Wrap the fabric in plastic and let sit for 1 hour. I used about 2/3rds of a bottle of QuickFix for this piece. At this point you will see all sorts of problems and think you’ve made several mistakes.  Just remember…. It’s not over ’till it’s over.

Finished Sunset Fabric

After an hour rinse the fabric 3 or 4 times and then wash in hot water with Synthrapol. Dry the fabric and then you’ll be able to see how the fabric came out. I was really pleased with the result. Before I rinsed the fabric it looked as if the resist had not held and that there was some yellow under it. It also looked like there was more orange in the yellow than I had wanted. When dry the circle was yellow free and the orange had stayed put.
Later this month…. or maybe next month, we’ll be continuing with sunrises and sunsets using some different mediums.  I’ll also be posting the next steps in the creation of this quilt.
If you want to give it a whirl be sure and send me photos!!
Until next time…   Patti

Artist Post Cards

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Pam from our Art Quilt Group made some Valentine fabric in our January Group by fusing heart shapes. In February I received this lovely Valentine.  She mailed it in a clear plastic sleeve with my address showing through on the back.  Here it is to share with you.

Valentine from Pam

When she was making the fabric, without knowing what she had in mind, I thought the hearts were too far apart.  They ending up being just perfect, allowing her to add patterns stamped onto the fabric, buttons, and other embellishments. The fabric was mounted on timtex with fabric fused on the reverse side also. Then Pam sewed around the postcard added a message and address to the other side and sent them out.

Enjoy!

January Art Quilt Group – Die Cuts

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Planets Collide

I’ve gotten into cutting lately.. appropriate cutting of non-living things. I’m probably attracted to it because there are tools

Floral Quilt Block

that make the job easier and I’m all about the tools. Both the quilt block to the left and the small quilt above were made with shapes cut from die cutting machines. They are quilts in progress, they’ve been fused, but not quilted.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Accuquilt GO. Fewer of you have heard of Sizzix Big Shot since it comes from the scrapbooking world. (I’ve also “crossed over” into scrapbooking – it gives me more opportunity to cut things.)

The Sizzix Big Shot

The Big Shot (or the Big Kick – they’re the same basic machine) works much the same way as the GO. They use cutting dies that are sandwiched with fabric between two cutting plates and put through the machine with a crank. When the sandwich comes out the other side, voila! your fabric is cut. The upside to the Sizzix is it’s cost and the cost of the dies.  The machine is around $100 but can be purchased with a coupon or online. The dies are $15 – $20 but can be bought with coupons or on sale.

For these projects I used dies from the GO, Sizzix and Spellbinders.

Sizzix dies

The Sizzix dies look like small GO dies with a black plastic base instead of green. They have blades inside of foam. When the rollar blades push the fabric into the die the fabric cuts. Even though they look the same size you cannot cut Sizzix dies in the GO, the Sizzix dies are too thick. And even though the Sizzix is 6 inches across you cannot cut GO dies in the Sizzix – they’re a bit too wide.

Spellbinders Package

Spellbinders Dies

Spellbinders dies lack the foam. There very thin and can be nested for storage. You get several sizes of the shape in one package. They can be used with either the Sizzix or the GO.

Start by fusing your favorite fusible to the wrong side of your fabric. This way you can iron your pieces down when your finished. If you prefer to sew them down you can leave off the fusible but there will not be any extra on the shapes to be able to turn under the edges. I put parchment paper down on my ironing board  then put down the fusible and then the fabric.  A quick press adheared the fabric and it pulled right off the paper. Be sure and check the directions for your particular fusible. To cut with the Sizzix die you make a sandwich: from bottom – cutting plate, sizzix die, fabric – right side down, cutting plate. Place the sandwich into the Sizzix and turn the handle. It’s helpful if all the layers are not exactly even with each other, it will go into the machine easier. You may also need to put a bit of pressure on top of the sandwich or give it a little push. It should be a bit hard to go through but not too hard. If it doesn’t cut well your sandwich may not be thick enough. Add a piece of paper or cardboard under the die as a shim until you get a good cut. If you’re cutting with the GO the sandwich consists of, from bottom – cutting die, fabric, cutting mat.

Sizzix "sandwich" going into the machine

The cut fabric

To use the Spellbinder dies place the die on the multipurpose platform, then the fused fabric, then both of the cutting plates. You can also place them on the multipurpose platform and add one of the cutting mats and run them through the GO cutter. I like experimenting with the Spellbinder dies because you can get so many options with the shapes. You can nest the shapes so that you can cut rings and skew the inside die for “warped” shapes.

Once your shapes are cut arrange them on your fabric. You may want to press guide lines or make marks (only if they’ll come out after being ironed – check first) to help with the placement.  Once your design is the way you want it fuse it down following the instructions on your fusible.

I’ve also been experimenting with texturizing fabric.  In “Planets Collide” I texturized some of the circles before fusing them I used the Cuttlebug embossing folders to do this.

Cuttlebug Embossing Folder

The folders have a pattern that sticks out on one side and is indented on the other. To use them you put the paper in the folder and run it through the Sizzix using the multipurpose platform and both cutting plates. When you open up the folder the paper has been pushed into shape. It works well with fabric, the trick is to be able to keep the texture, especially when you need to iron it down.  I’ve been experimenting and have had some success by using stiffening liquid. Take a piece of wax paper. Place the fabric on it and brush on the stiffening liquid until it’s soaked. Fold the wax paper over the fabric, place in the folder and run through the machine. When it’s out unfold the top layer of wax paper. Let the fabric dry then peel it off the paper. This wouldn’t stand up to washing and there’s some problems with getting the fusible to stay on but it did iron on. If anyone has any thoughts on this I’d be happy to hear them.

I recently attended CHA (Crafts and Hobby Association) Show. I am so excited about a product I saw there. Recently Sizzix has come out with a 12″ cutter called the Big Shot Pro. The Big Shot Pro works with a tray system to hold the dies like the Accuquilt Studio. I had wondered if it would take the GO dies and had taken one with me for a test run. Not only does it take the GO dies, except for the long strip cutters, they told me it will also take the Accuquilt Studio dies, again, except for the long strip cutters because the tray is not long enough. The exciting news is that Sizzix will be producing the machine as a fabric cutter and will be coming out with quilting dies. The quilting machine will have a larger tray to hold the longer dies and will work with all the Accuquilt GO and Studio dies. They are coming out with dies for it and also …..drumroll….. they are coming out with quilting dies that will work with the regular Sizzix!  Yes, the little, well under $100, cutter! They’ll have basic shape applique dies as well as a long die of triangles and a long strip die. You will need to buy long cutting plates to work with the dies. The cutter and dies should be out at spring market although I’m hoping I can get a hold of some to have at HMQS and MQS.

Here’s what some of our class members came up with – remember these are works in progress:

Joyce's Circles

Pam's Hearts

Darla's Heart Block

Sharon's Flower Circles - this was done with one set of Spellbinder Dies

Next month:  Painting sunrises and sunsets with Tsukineko Inks.

I’d love to hear your comments on this project. If you’d like to try some die cuts without purchasing a machine I’ll have kits for both the Flower Quilt Block and Planets Collide on my site – http://www.QuiltedArtsStudio.com soon.

See you next month!

-I’ve tried many times to format this so I wouldn’t have words hanging in between the pictures or sentences broken up in the middle but it eludes me.  I guess what I see when I edit is larger than the space it fits into. Anyone with any suggestions email me 🙂

CHA Show

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I attended the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Show for the first time last weekend. It’s like Quilt Market for the Craft and Hobby industry, especially scrapbooking. It was a great experience. The classes were great – even some of the business ones. The floor was full of make and takes. Here’s some of the products coming out that I was particularly interested in.

1. A machine to make your own acrylic stamps.  It’s due out in 6 weeks.  You create your artwork and then make it into a negative using software that comes with. You then print it out on clear sheets that also come with. You layer the negative on top of a gel pack and place it into the UV machine. The light hardens the gel under the clear part of the negative. Then you open the gel pack and rinse out the unhardened gel. Place the stamp back under the light to cure and you have your own stamp. You can also use a different gel pack for a harder stamp you can use for embossing.  It also makes stencils but I thought they were a bit thick and liked other ways of making them better.

2. Sizzix Big Shot Pro – This dye cutter is coming out with an identical unit with a different accent color that will be marketed to quilters. It will take the Accuquilt Go and Studio dyes as well as the existing Sizzix dyes and the dyes that Sizzix is developing especially for quilting. There will also be dyes developed – including a strip cutter – that will work in the regular Big Shot Sizzix which can be found for under $100.  I use the sizzix to cut fabric and it works great so I’m really looking forward to this machine.

3. There are 2 new electronic cutting machines coming out, one by Sizzix – the Eclips and one by Craftwell called the eCraft. The sizzix machine is very similar to the cricut but has a few more features. It works with cartridges and the controls are connected to the machine by a cord. The control unit does not operate away from the machine. The eCraft doesn’t use a cutting mat. The material you are cutting feeds in between rollers. Because of this you can cut an unlimited length. It’s run through a computer and comes with cutting files. There will be software to allow you to create your own designs.

4. The Cricut cake was a big hit. It’s a cricut cake is a food grade cricut machine used to cut fondant and icing for cakes. I had heard of users doing this with their regular cricut so wasn’t surprised they were coming out with it but I was really surprised that there were so many people who couldn’t wait to have one.

It was a great show and I had a great time.

December 09 Virtual Quilt Group – Holiday Bags

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Hi everyone!

Here’s the first Virtual Art Quilt Lesson!  In these lessons I will be sharing ideas and techniques with you so that we can all get those wonderful products we’ve bought out and use them.  You can experience my classes in three ways – 1. Do the project just like I did.  2. Take my basic idea and go with it.  Put your own spin on it. or 3. Use the materials and do something entirely different with the supplies.  Any of these are acceptable.  If you finish a project please email pictures so I can include them in the blog.  We’d all like to see them. Supplies for these project are available on my website – http://www.QuiltedArtsStudio.com. You do not have to buy the supplies from me, nor are you limited to just the products that I carry in your projects. You also have my permission to use these projects in your own live art quilt group. With all that said – here we go!

This month’s group lesson in making gift bags with Paintstiks.

Snowflake Gift Bag

Here’s the one made with the new Paintstik Snowflake Stencil from Cedar Canyon Textiles.

Gift Bags

Red and Green Gift Bags

These are made with the Happy Holidays Rubbing Plates.

Paintstik Gift Bags

Gift Bags made with Paintstiks and Happy Holiday Rubbing Plates

Here’s a pink/blue colorway using the new paintstik iridescent colors – Magenta, Jade and Sapphire.

Supplies needed:

Paintstiks – I used Silver, Gold, Red, Green, Jade, Magenta and Sapphire Iridescent

Fabric – each yard will make about 6 bags

Snowflake Stencil Set

Happy Holidays Rubbing Plates

Grip-n-grip mat

Buttons

The bags are simple.  Decide on the size of your bag – the directions are in the download, then decorate your fabric.  When using rubbing plates it’s best if you space the rubbings apart and not rub all the way to the edges.  Then go back with either another rubbing plate or the same one and fill in the empty areas.  This keeps your piece from looking like it’s done in squares.

When using the rubbing plates that create a picture – for example the string of lights on the red bag above – use a contrasting color, I used gold, and lightly rub.  As you see the edges of a shape move on to the next one.  When you’ve got the basic shapes you can then go back and fill in with the different colors to make the lights different colors. You’ll get the hang of it with practice. If you’re having trouble with the fabric moving on top of the rubbing plate, spray a KK2000 – a Sulky temporary spray adhesive – on the back of the fabric before laying it over the rubbing plate.

Paintstiks are wonderful to stencil with. They’re so thick they stay right where you put them.  Just hold the stencil down and apply the paintstik with a stencil brush.  I apply it directly from the stick and rub with a circular motion on the stencil.  If you need a little extra help holding down the stencil, spray the stencil with KK2000.

Speaking of KK2000, I love that stuff.  It’s made by Sulky and is readily available at Joanns and other stores. It’s heat dissipated so it just disappears over time.  I use it any time I need something temporarily stuck to something else. It’s great for lots of sewing tasks.

The bag pattern with sewing instructions can be downloaded as a pdf here:

Holiday Bags Pattern

The general paintstik techniques file can be downloaded as a pdf here:

Paintstik Instructions

We also experimented with a technique shown on Laura Murray’s website. I made freezer paper stencils of ornaments.  We then ironed the stencils on our fabric and used rubbing plates to create a design in the stencil.  I softened the edges of mine by rubbing with a brush after I had done the rubbing.  I liked the look a lot.

Freezer Paper Ornaments

The ornament at the top and the one on the far right were done to demonstrate using the positive and negative of a stencil.  The paint is drawn on the edge of the stencil and then pulled off onto the fabric with a brush. You can fill in as much as you like.  If you leave the center open it gives a radiant look.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our first lesson.  Please leave your comments or email me at quiltedartsstudio@earthlink.net.  Thanks and see you in January!

Finally… Quilted Arts Studio Website and Blog

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It’s only taken two years but finally the website and blog are a reality.  The website is up and running – http://www.QuiltedArtsStudio.com.  The paintstiks are ready to be purchased and other items will be added shortly.  I’m working on the first Virtual Art Quilt Group and it should be available here on the blog next week!  Topic; Holiday Bags with Paintstiks. Comment here or email me at QuiltedArtsStudio@earthlink.net.  See you again soon.

Welcome Everyone!

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Welcome to the Quilted Arts Studio blog.  My name is Patti Buhler and I’m here to encourage you to use all those lovely paintstiks, dyes, inks and other art mediums you may have purchased. You’ll have the opportunity to become part of a virtual art quilt group with classes posted monthly.  Complete the project and send photos to be posted or just lurk on the sidelines – either way I’m glad to have you. We all need a little art everyday.