Sunday, September 27, 2015

'IMPROV... UNDER THE INFLUENCE'...... a three day weekend for stitchers, NOVEMBER 13-15th at the Odessa Fairgrounds Hall

Breezes... moving through the Seasons, Bethany Garner (above)

IMPROVISATION... making do...  Time to escape for a weekend and be with friends old and new... just making "STUFF"

Using what you have and committing to keeping the faith when it comes to your own work. Come enjoy this THREE DAY WEEKEND devoted to creating, making and perhaps finishing. Whether you have projects on the go, deadlines to meet or just need some time away from the house - this weekend will get you some free time with friends and see what is happening in the outside world.

The plan is to share three relaxing days with NO Patterns, NO deadlines and NO stress about what is good enough or if all the points meet...

Please note!!

PLANS CHANGE - as do the seasons... and there will be SLOW STITCHING TIME ON SUNDAY the 15th of November - NO PAINT - NO DYE AND just quietly enjoying friends and stitching by hand or machine if you want.  Details are below under the Sunday description.

We will meet at 9:30 am each day and I will stay as long as you want to stay - so for those of you who can't come in the morning - join in during the day when it is convenient and stay late! LATE is when it will quiet down and you will have the personal space to do YOUR thing....

So here is the break down:

Day One: FRIDAY November 13th 
(don't worry  its a GOOD DAY)....

Whether you love to create circles through laying circles as applique on top of a pieced background (shown in the quilt show above), or fuse the circles to a base of pre-cut squares and cut through them, adding some great accent fabrics as you piece them back together (below) to enhance your design, this is a play day you will enjoy from start to finish. 

And the design is YOURS to enjoy from start to finish...these samples are just for inspiration and for getting your thoughts around a day of play!

Students will begin the day with some graph paper and a ruler and pencil - just about an hour to get some ideas down on paper. There will be a large supply of circle templates in the room for you to copy onto cardboard or plastic and cut for your circles. Or FREE HAND CUT THEM... remembering that your design can use a favourite palette from a very traditional stash or go to super contemporary with just the click of the scissor blades and the fabrics YOU choose. This is intended as a STASH BUSTER workshop day.... so go searching through the closets and see what works for you.

Circles created with bleach gel (below) on small hand dyed squares and added to a pieced background sample shared here created by JUDE HILL of Spirit Cloth Blog...a great project for using up some of those hand dyed bits and YOU can do it here in the classroom. (use a circular sponge to lay on beach gel, and in just minutes, you have your circles!) Hand piecing used in this sample... the only way JUDE works... and you can too! NO PATTERNS - YOUR RULES! Just play and have some fun as you create your new work.

YOUR circles might be abstracted and free cut using scissors or a rotary cutter and pieced by machine... curved piecing is another way to add the illusion of circles to an art quilt... and make a real statement (notice the pieced background fabric in the block third from left in top row, and scattered throughout the design for extra impact). USE IT UP, MAKE IT DO... MAKE IT OUR OWN!

The quilt to the left is by SAQA Artist Heather Pregger and certainly inspires me.  IMPROV... at its best.

INSPIRATION: Berries (shown above) is by our friend and recent Fibreworks Kingston Guest Instructor, Penny Berens - (she stitched this one entirely by hand, and this sample is BEAUTIFUL).  An example of SLOW CLOTH that does not happen in a day. Come spend this day developing your plan, choose the background and threads from your stash and get started on a fall project that can carry through to a great exhibition or collection piece. MAKE IT YOUR OWN... piece a background, applique the base circles and enhance them with your own beautiful hand stitching.

Class room opens at 9 am and I will stay late so you can get a great start on your project... BRING BROWN BAG LUNCH and all the supplies you need to create your special and unique wall quilt - or start a bed quilt project, with sample blocks created in class!  

Class Fee - $50 for one day  or all three INPROV  Workshop days for $120.
Registration Form on the right sidebar here at the blog... (click on IMPROV- Under The Influence and mail your registration. Seats reserved with payment in full.)

Day Two: SATURDAY,  November 14, 2015
 'IMPROV... Under the Influence'

The photo here is of my MARIPOSA... machine pieced and quilted created for the Kingston Fibre Artist's show recently in Almonte, ON  (and yes, the photo is crooked - your eyes are not fooling you).

NO PATTERNS NEEDED - bring your sewing machine (or stitch by hand) and a big box or bag of the scrap (or new, yet to be used) fabrics that have been haunting you, cluttering your closets or sitting in the pile - the pieces that you painted or dyed or bought on a whim and WANT so much to use up and turn into a new quilt, art piece or a gift for someone special. This is a day to learn a bit more about how I start and work through many of my pieces... with a focus on creating new CLOTH that can be worked into your quilt projects.  

The little piece below was completed in a day... and sold at a Limestone Quilt Guild Auction. Totally free form piecing using up some scraps and playing with colour and light...Happiness is a finished quilt and a satisfied collector.

You will have the opportunity to add "foundation" piecing to your inventory of skills - and I don't mean the "paper" kind. I stitch my work to muslin or if working by hand, I use a fine, supple cloth like harem cloth or a fine interfacing. Something that allows for pulling bits of fabric together, but keeps the base soft for hand or machine stitch. All you need is a base fabric, scraps, scissors or rotary equipment, and a machine or needle and thread to start the journey. This piece was completed and framed over two days. (in this workshop weekend, you can devote to days and have your own table to work through the project and get it DONE and framed if you like.)

MARIPOSA above was pieced from scraps of my flat dyed fabrics and I had no idea when I began the piecing how it would proceed, but just STARTED.... It is amazing to see the work grow on a design all, and even more satisfying to take it to the finishing stages with quilting and binding or mounting over a canvas.  

COME PLAY!  Workshop Fee is $50 for today or enjoy all three days for $120.


DAY THREE - SUNDAY November 15th

SLOW STITCH... and a bit more
Spend a relaxing day with fibre and threads 
creating some small works of art that make you HAPPY !!

I'm working on some new pieces, continuing with themes begun for an exhibition this past year. The colours are becoming more muted - the seasons of autumn and winter dictates this - my local sources of colour are limited by this part of the growing year. I  am enjoying the way the bits and pieces of fabrics I want to stitch into are evolving into quiet and soulful colour families. I love stitching into my own hand dyed wool.....

Working with needle and thread brings joy and peace in a life that has experienced turmoil, injuries and is moving forward at a slower pace. Making time to sit and stitch is a goal and a joy! Hoping you will come out this weekend and share that special passion - and do some stitching yourself!

There simply is nothing better than sharing design time with good friends...... and so I hope you will join me for a day to continue work on the projects from the previous two days at Odessa or just come and plan the stitches you will add to your finished work... you will be among friends with common skills and we can all learn from each other as the day progresses!

Look for inspiration for your stitch everywhere... and collect old family photos, magazines with photos which inspire you with their colour and stitch opportunities (like the lichen covered stone shown here...) or just sit and design using paper and pencil before you start.

Pull together a collection of small bits - handkerchiefs, buttons, lace and especially fabrics and threads that you would love to include in some small pieces of collage work while at the SLOW STITCH workshop today.

I enjoy creating my own coloured threads (which we can dye today in the lovely space available at Odessa). There are not many options in our area for purchasing variegated pearl cottons and floss skeins for slow stitch work... so I make my own. You can too!

Yes, I also enjoy using Dyna Flo colour to add some accents to fabrics I want to stitch... and will have a nice selection of colours in Dyna Flo at the workshop for you to try. You can colour your collected bits of silk or voile, laces and yes, fine cottons - pre-washed and ready to apply some colour to (and ahead plan to bring table cover, and a few brushes and paper towels to clean up your area). (see just a bit of paint  I couldn't resist).

I crave the muted shades that approaching winter will bring and love the piece below made by Mary Cope of Paris, Ontario... and that has been traveling with THREADWORKS 2013 - WATER  Exhibition. 

As fall progresses, there are many challenges to address for 2016 - including the THREADWORKS Exhibition with the theme "FLASHBACK" with a January - March 1, 2016 Open Entry deadline... so this weekend workshop could be a great time to get a start on painting or stitching some new fabrics for my entry - AND YOURS!

The day will pass quickly, so plan to join in on the fun... start filling a box now with the fabrics and threads you will use - perhaps a hoop or frame and some thumb tacks 's get started right away at 9:30 am... ART AWAITS.

The 'SLOW STITCH' workshop day is $50, or combine with the other two  'IMPROV - Under the Influence' days and pay only $120 for all three.

Registration form is on the right side bar here at the Blog...
Hope you will join me and bring a friend or two!

Contact  Bethany for more details: or 613-376-6150