New Quilting Designs!

I’ve been on a Pantograph buying spree lately!  Here are the new designs that can be longarmed on your quilt!

Be sure to check out my Quilting Designs to see all your options.  (Which by the way has been updated into hopefully an easier to read format!)

Jazz

Jazz

Seaweed

Seaweed

Peacock

Peacock

Mod Dotz

Mod Dotz

Good Vibrations 2

Good Vibrations 2

Ebb and Flow

Ebb and Flow

Dewdrops

Dewdrops

Bump & Squeeze

Bump & Squeeze

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Bangkok

Bangkok

Aqua Flame

Aqua Flame

Moxie

Moxie

echo blossoms

Echo Blossoms

Dahlia

Dahlia

Pirouette

Pirouette

Peacock feathers

Peacock feathers

Celebration of Intention

Part 3 of my Evolution as a Teacher

Another piece I’ve started incorporating into my classes is Celebration time, which really to me is more the Celebration of Intention, rather than the Celebration of a Finished Piece.

Celebration of Intention
A huge guiding factor in Kathryn‘s way of teaching is that it’s about the process, not the finished product.  I didn’t realize how eager I was for the celebration of process, but as soon as I realized what this was about, my mind ached for this focus on intention.

At the end of every class we gather on the couches & everyone takes a turn talking about their work of the day.

Celebration of Intention
Why did they choose that fabric?
Why those shapes or patterns?

Celebration of Intention
And what I love the most: Do you feel the piece is finished? Sometimes we don’t know then if a piece is finished, but we just have a feeling & we need to stop & think about our work.

Celebration of Intention
In an earlier Celebration, one girl commented that she hated her piece & wanted to throw it away. I felt this needed discussion. Instead of just disposing of what we don’t like, let’s stop to think about what made us dislike the work. Was it a design choice? Thread choice?  Do we need to add something to it to improve it, or take something away?  Did it even begin in a place you wanted it to start?

I feel there’s a need to stop rushing from project to project working only for completions sake. We need to slow down & think about our work, become involved & truly connected to what we’re making.

Creating is a part of us & if we work for production, we don’t give ourselves the space to grow.  We grow by learning & reflecting.  The Celebration of Process gives us this space.

Read Part 1 & Part 2 of my Evolution as a Teacher for more background about my journey.

Quilts of Valor

Monday evening this came off the longarm!

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

It’s for the Quilt of Valor program & will most likely to given to a local Veteran.

If you’re not familiar with the Quilts of Valor program, I high recommend checking out their website.  It’s a fantastic program that supports combat veterans & those who were touched by war.

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was pieced by Anna D. & she used the Disappearing 9-Patch pattern.  This is a great pattern for scraps & works up quickly!

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

I used a new pantograph, Zebra by Hermoine Agee- it reminds me of the flag waving in the breeze.

Zebra by Hermoine Agee, 8"

For the backing Anna used the 10″ square method.  I’ve never used a backing like this before & I was quite impressed by how easily it worked.  It’s also nice because it guarantees the longarmer to have enough extra fabric.  We need the extra room in a backing in order to pin it to our leaders (that’s how we get the quilts on the frame) & for our clamps to hold the sides to prevents puckers.

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was a joy to quilt & I can’t wait to longarm Anna’s next quilt!  The recipient is sure to love this quilt.

The Evolution of a Teacher, Part 2

Be sure to read The Evolution of a Teacher, Part 1 first!  This post will make a bit more sense!

Yesterday I started telling the story of my teaching & left you at the point where I had observed Kathryn teaching.

I went home & had a serious discussion with myself on how I taught & how I could possibly move forward.  This is what I knew:

1. I didn’t like how my current classes were going.  The students didn’t own their work & it seemed to me that they weren’t looking forward to what they could make in the future.  I feel that education should spur the student to take the lesson, make it their own & move forward.  That wasn’t happening.
2. I could tell that the kids I was working with had a lot of stresses put upon them.  They also had a lot of “this is how it’s done.”  And in a way, my project based class was just adding to that burden.
3. I wanted the students to love sewing, & I didn’t feel that they were falling in love with sewing.  Yes they had a good time & enjoyed class, but I didn’t feel they loved sewing so much they wanted to convince their parents to buy them a machine & again, own their sewing experience.

So I sat down thinking how I could change the class.  I wanted them to love the medium of sewing.  I also wanted their creativity to come through & for them to own their projects.  I knew that collage was a large part of Kathryn’s studio work (have you read Collette?) & quickly realized paper collage can easily be translated into fabric collage!  Thus the Fabric Collage Class was born.

Fabric Colllage

The first class was a hit!  It was so much fun & drastically different.  I began by giving the sewing machine rules & then guidelines/suggestions for how to make their collage & then I let them go.  We started by using 6″ squares of white fabric.  I’ve included pictures of their work throughout this post.

Fabric Collage

The class also just ran smoother.  There was more listening & fewer distractions.  They were more willing to focus to thread the needle.  There were fewer needles that became unthreaded.  It was a completely different class from the project based classes.

Fabric Colllage

I also was strict about us having clean-up time &  Celebration time.  There were fewer clean-up protests, & Celebration time allowed us to stop & talk about their work.  There’s more I want to say about Celebration time, but I’m going to leave that for another post.

The next series I taught was 3-D Creations.  Here I went through the basics on how to add dimension to our fabric pieces, mostly using the technique of adding “stuffing” or poly-fil.  Here was struck me was that they didn’t just create art, they also created elaborate stories as they worked.  The art became bigger than just the fabric- it became part of something else- something entirely theirs they needed to bring to life & share with the world.

I love how this method of teaching inspires the students to act on their own.  I love how given the chance to have reasonable responsibility, 8-10 year olds are able to safely & efficiently use the sewing machine.  I love how this encourages to ask “what next?”  They are constantly evaluating their work and asking how can it improve.

The greatest gift I received was this past May when I had two repeat students & on the first day one told me all the things she had made over Christmas break (a sewing machine cover, an infinity scarf, more dolls & all of these weren’t from patterns- she knew what she wanted & planned out from her ideas how to make these!) & another told me she had asked for a space in the basement where she could keep her sewing machine up at all times, so she could easily go & sew whenever she liked.

These students are learning more than how to sew.  They are learning to work through problems thoroughly.  They are learning to be present while working.  They are learning how to ask questions & search out answers themselves.  To deal with challenges as they arise.  They are telling stories in a new way.  They are using math & applying design techniques and evening learning some physics along the way.  And they are doing all of this through intentional play.

collage 3

The Evolution of a Teacher, Part 1

I recently wrapped up a session of my Fabric Collage class for kids & had several revelations I wanted to share.  But first, I need to share how I got to where I am today.  Because you need to understand that before you I can share these thoughts.

I started off teaching project based classes.  All the kids would come to class & I’d have a sample of a specific project & they’d all walk out the door at the end of class with basically the same item.  And it worked.  Sort of.

Art at the Center
And then we moved to Virginia & one morning as I was walking to the Farmer’s Market, I noticed the sign for “Art at the Center” in a cute white house & stopped in & chatted with the owner, Kathryn.  I mentioned I taught sewing & before I knew it, there I was teaching again.

I did the project based classes again, but as I chatted with Kathryn over time I became interested in how she taught.  If you had the opportunity to visit the old building, you probably noticed that it wasn’t your typical Art room.  There was an abstract mural in an “active” state, there were signs all around about how to rethink art, there was advice to parents on how to incorporate improv art into their lives.  It was different because rather than talking about how great art is, this place seemed to resonate with “Make Art.  Play with Your Art.  Think About Your Art.  Own Your Art.  Know Why Your Art is Yours.  Know that Art is a Process.  Respect the Art of Art.”

This idea of playing as art intrigued me & I asked if I could observe Kathryn teach.

The result was mind blowing.  I’d never seen something like that before!  8 kids walking around the room all doing their own thing, but everyone was calm, it was quiet & everyone was working.  I mean- they were working.  They were serious & focused & you could tell by the atmosphere that these kids had art to make; they were busy owning their art.  And Kathryn wasn’t all in their business.  She was hanging out in the background, reminding them of some of the rules of clay & letting them be.

At the end, they gathered around a table for “Celebration” & the kids talked about their pieces.  They spoke about what inspired them, what they found challenging & what they enjoyed.

After leaving that class I knew I wanted to change my classes.  I wanted to create an atmosphere of an active self directed studio.

Thanks for reading the story of my evolution!  I hope to have the next part posted soon!

The Evolution of a Teacher, Part 2

Raindrops for do.good stitches

Hey there!

Just a quick post to show you a project I just contributed to.

I recently was invited to join a do.good stitches group (I was on the waiting list for a few months & didn’t expect to get the invite in the middle of the Foster Teen project, but it’s all good!)  I’m now part of the BELIEVE circle which makes quilts for kids in the foster system.  (see a trend here, I swear I was randomly picked for this circle, I did nothing to influence it, but it does make one wonder….)

It’s a monthly bee where someone posts directions & guidelines & everyone submits a block or two by the end of the month.

This month we were instructed to improv piece at least 4 raindrops.

raindrops for do.good stitches

(Another bad photo, I know you’re shocked!)

I can’t wait to see what the end result looks like!

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Spring 2015

It’s time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again!

This year I’m submitting a special quilt that’s part of a larger project I’m working on. This is one of seven quilts I’m making with my Mom’s group for graduating foster teens in the City of Alexandria.

String Quilts for Foster Teens
These teens leave the foster system only with the items given to them by a proactive community member who works tirelessly on their behalf.

String Quilts for Foster Teens

Nationwide 1/3 of them do not have a high school diploma
.

Due to limited work histories, many find it difficult to obtain employment.  Those who do typically work in positions where they can easily be exploited or find it difficult to increase their independence.

One day they are considered a child by the state, and the next day they are on their own responsible for everything.

String Quilts for Foster Teens
I was drawn to help these teens and I was thrilled when my mom’s group wanted to help!  We are sewing string blocks during nap times, in the evenings, anytime we can grab a few minutes together.  These women have newborns & twins, but all of us have babies under two.  Once or twice a week we get together at my house & we work while the babies play (ok, & sometimes we play more than work!)  I love this project because the string quilts don’t require advanced quilting skills & there’s plenty of work for non-sewers to do!  In fact, we can assembly line these blocks easily where one person sews & another presses.

String Quilts for Foster Teens
It means a lot to me that these teens receive the quilts.  I worked with foster kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Alaska & this is what I know about them:
– These are the easily forgotten.
– They are talented at making themselves invisible.
– They have had their hearts broken numerous times.
– They are beautiful lives that deserve to be made whole again.

These quilts for them.  To give them something that will keep them warm- no matter where they are sleeping.  To give them something from moms in their community to let them know they are cared about.  To give them a reminder that someone has not forgotten about them.

DSCN0952
If you’re interested in how to make a difference for foster teens graduating out of your local area- the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative can help you!

Linking up with the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Lessons from Quilts Trunk Show Pictures

In my last post I mentioned that I didn’t have any pictures from the trunk show.  Well, that same day a woman who attended the trunk show shared with me the pictures she took.

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
This is sweet quilt I made for a class sample.  This is one of my favorite patterns for beginners.
Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
These are a few of the first quilts I longarmed.  I’ve learned a lot since those days!

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
This is called a winding ways quilt.  I started this in Alaska & only recently finished it.
Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
A Seven Sisters quilt!  One of my favorite patterns!

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
A log cabin quilt I made with a friend while J was deployed.

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
A Double Wedding Ring quilt!  This is one of my personal favorites & was a feat to accomplish, but it was well worth the effort.

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
The sunflower quilt!  My only hand quilted quilt!  My sister pieced the top & I quilted it, took 15 years & I’ll never hand quilt again….

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show

And my first official quilt!  Just look at those pastel calicoes from the 1980s!

Thank you Heather for your pictures!

Lessons from Quilts Trunk Show

Last Friday several ladies from my mom’s group came to my house for a trunk show.  Several of the women recently started quilting & had heard I was a quilter & were very interested in seeing my work.  So 5 ladies, 7 babies & many cups of tea filled our living room that beautiful morning!

I gathered most of my quilts from various places in the house (closets, quilt racks, boxes, backs of chairs, beds, & cribs) & chose my “favorite” quilts I wanted to chat about.

I knew in planning my talk that I wanted to share more than just the stats about the quilt.  I mean, there’s so much more to a quilt than what fabric I used, what pattern I chose & how I quilted it.  I wanted to share my story through the quilts & my thoughts on quilting as a hobby or vocation.

It was a wonderful experience to share from my first to my most recent quilt & be able to talk about who I was at the time I made it.

Because, when we create we are invited to learn a new piece about ourselves.  And when we continue to create, we are able to remember who we are.

I could go on & on about last line, in fact, I think I will in a bit (I hear Teapot waking up….)

I didn’t get any pics of the trunk show, but after everyone left there was a heap of quilts in the middle of the living room & Teapot took to climbing & hugging the pile.  Or actually this pic might have been after all the playing when she was tired (but not too tired to actually nap!)

Teapot on the quilts from Ormond Beach Quilts
 

Quilting Highlights: Simple 9-Patch

This is another quilt I longarmed for Quilts from the Bluffs.  Isn’t it the most darling little quilt?

9-Patch quilt for Quilts From the Bluffs quilted by Ormond Beach Quilts
I love the design & balance of this quilt.

Design:
The 9-patches are bold & distinctively stand out in the quilt.  And by adding in the skinny teal inner border they gave the quilt a nice “pop”.  Now your eye isn’t getting bored with looking at pink & brown.

Balance:
The complementary print fabric adds texture and subtlety- see how it appears to hang out in the background & doesn’t overpower the 9-patches?  This is a great use of a print fabric!
Then the added brown cornerstones in the outside border then create a sense of continuity.

9-Patch quilt for Quilts From the Bluffs quilted by Ormond Beach Quilts
Quilting:
For the quilting I chose the pattern “Jilly” by Keryn Emmerson because the round design worked with the flowers in the print while at the same time the center of the swirls gives some dimension to the quilt.

Jilly by Keryn Emmerson, 6"

This quilt is one of the best examples of traditional quilt design I’ve seen recently.  I hope this quilt is kept a little girl warm this chilly winter!