New Updates for 5 Themes!

Again new and amazing postcards from these artists:

Christine Bostock
Debbie Einarson
Millie Johnson
Sara Kelly

The postcards are also shown in each artist gallery together with their previous postcards.

Or you could take a look at our many theme pages.

We have been busy!

Today we are showing brand new postcards from these artists:

Sue Andrus
Sara Kelly
Michalee Sloan
Meena Schaldenbrand
Alexis Gardner
Kay Laboda

The postcards are also shown in each artist gallery together with their previous postcards.

Or you could take a look at our many theme pages.

New Postcards for Round 23

Yet again new fun, fantastic and fabulous postcards have been sent to new homes.
Take a look at these postcards below and find more postcards on the theme pages or on each artist’s gallery pages:

Lauren – Rainy Days, Circles and Coffee
Pat Bell – Whimsey
Meena Schaldenbrand – Autumn, Circles and Whimsey
Gurli Gregersen – Aquarium
Maureen Curlewis – Whimsey
Sara Kelly – Coffee
Suzanne Kistler – Aquarium

3 Themes and a No Theme

Today we are presenting new, intriguing postcards from Christine, Sara and Suzanne.

Please visit their galleries (click on their names below) to enjoy all their fantastic postcards.

Christine Bostock has designed Art Deco and Single Colour themed postcards.

Sara Kelly has designed No Theme and Sunset themed postcards.

Suzanne Kistler has designed her last postcard theme for this round: Sunrise.

Carve Your Own Stamps

What a great challenge — to carve your own stamp!  And here is what our traders came up with. Click on an image for a larger view.

What do you think you would carve?

Positive Affirmations

Our 19th round of trading fabric postcards just ended. One of the themes that inspired our traders was Positive Affirmations. Here are the creations that were traded. Click on an image for a larger view.

What images come to mind when you think of positive affirmations?

Indispensable Tools

We recently had a conversation about the tools that we can’t possibly do without. As always, the comments were wide-ranging and interesting:

Kay Laboda said she can’t live without a seam ripper. “I use it for lots of tasks. Like when I need to hold down the fabric in front of the foot on the machine, or pulling the thread through from the back of the quilt, or when I thread the needle and have to pull the loop, and dozens of other small things. It’s truly my best friend. That’s why I have a dozen of them.”

“Misty Fuse is my favorite tool,” says Vivian Helena Aumond-Capone. “I love the Goddess Sheets because I can be sure my iron will remain clean. And I couldn’t be without Quilting Arts Magazine and all the gals connected with it.”

From Diana Mains Welte, “I cannot live without my ruler. It is a 6”x13” Easy Rule by Sharon Hulton from EZ Quilting. I have had it forEVER. I rely upon it to accurately cut a 4 x 6 postcard — I would be lost without it.”

“I’m going to admit that I can’t manage without my Squeezers!” says Myfanwy Hart. “Scissors that you squeeze closed, fit perfectly in the hand and have curved cutting edges to fit under the sewing machine needle for trimming threads as close as you can go!”

squeezers

Squeezers

“My essential tool is an extension table.” says Lauren. “I have one for each of my sewing machines. My favorite is the Sew Steady.  I use it on my sewing machine even when making postcards. The only time I take it off is for piecing 1/4-inch seams.”

Sara Kelly chimed in, “My favorite tools are my hands. They are the happiest part of me most days if I’ve been able to sew, knit, etc., especially when arthritis reminds me to treasure their flexibility each day I have it.”

Maureen Curlewis admits that she would be LOST without her collection of hand sewing/embroidery needles. “And,” she adds, “at last we have wet weather in south-east Queensland, making conditions perfect for stitching!”

“I cannot imagine life without my computer,” says Franki Kohler. “I’ve made so many wonderful connections with other artists around the world. It also connects me with incredible teachers and more inspiration than I could use in a lifetime!”

What is your favorite tool?

P.S. None of the above comments are paid endorsements of products.

First Friday Studio Tour – Sara Kelly

This month we are visiting with Sara Kelly in Hanford, California.

Do you call it a studio or sewing room?  To yourself, to friends and family?  Why do you think this is so?  Difference in starting point between quilting and art?  Thinking of this as a business rather than a hobby?

Mostly I call my room (formerly a bedroom) a studio, although occasionally I say sewing room to people who seem as if they don’t quite get “studio” because they know I sew quilts.  It’s like trying to explain “art quilt” when people only relate to quilts as bed coverings their grandmother made.  I would say that I use quilting techniques to create artwork to display as such.  Even so, the fact is I have veered away from developing my art into a business because I don’t want another career.

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What do you have in the room?  Machines, supplies, fabrics, paints, etc.  Anything that might surprise the rest of us?

My room contains almost all of the equipment and supplies I need (and a fair amount I don’t).  Whichever of my two Berninas I am using sits in the Koala cabinet I installed about 10 years ago.  It has always been too big for the room, but my husband wanted to buy me the most I could squeeze in there.  It gives me lots more horizontal surface upon and under which to pile assorted projects and stuff.

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The other big piece of furniture is my JoAnn’s cutting table, which I try to keep occupied with only the project du jour, rulers, and cutting tools.  It too provides underneath space for storage.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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My ironing space is atop a small cabinet, although I keep a traditional ironing board around for bigger pressing needs.

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How is your “stuff” organized?  How do you organize your fabric? By color? Amount? Any separate categories (batiks, hand dyes)? How do your organize your thread?

It didn’t take long for me to fill half the closet with fabric.  Smaller chunks are stored, mostly by color, in plastic drawers.  Yardage is stacked on hanging shelves, as well as art fabric I have painted or dyed myself.

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The other half of the closet stores beads, novelty yarns and fibers, rubber stamps, and mixed media ephemera.

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Threads are stored in plastic drawer containers that sit on the right side of my sewing cabinet where I can easily reach them while sewing.

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The cabinets under my ironing surface store paints on one side and unfinished projects on the other.

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Finally, I have big tubs of novelty fabrics (silks, home dec., etc.) stored under the back of the sewing cabinet.  I have to be very motivated to dig into them as their location requires some acrobatic maneuvering.

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Do you have anything, supplies, more machines, etc. tucked away in any other rooms of the house?  How many other rooms?  Has a family member or significant other ever accused you of “taking over” the entire house? 

My other Bernina resides in its travel case in a corner of our bedroom along with my portable sewing table.  In the living room I always have a hand sewing project along with various knitting/crochet projects and yarns stored in baskets. I use the guest bathroom to rinse brushes, and my fiber arts book collection has almost completely filled a built in cupboard in the hallway.

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Finally, I have a closet in the garage filled with equipment for dyeing fabric.  Apparently my “oozing” into other places in the house isn’t too obnoxious because my DH has never complained.

How much horizontal surface do you have and is it ever enough?  Do you have to move piles of stuff to cut anything bigger than a fat quarter?

Between the machine cabinet, the cutting table, and floor space I should have enough horizontal surface.  Every pile of stuff has its rationale—usually something along the lines of “I think I might use this for…….”  Oh, and let’s not forget the “PIGS”, a.k.a. “projects in grocery sacks” scattered about the floor.  Needless to say there is a fair amount of shuffling.

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Do you straighten/organize as you go, putting away each fabric as you cut, or do you clean up after a project?  How many projects do you work on at a time and how do you keep them organized?

I tend to pull out absolutely everything I think I might use for a given project, and I always have to go back for more.  It can get pretty chaotic.  I work best if I have a deadline keeping me on task.  Unfinished projects with no finish-by dates I keep sorted in plastic cases or those cool eco-friendly shopping bags. It’s probably better for my sanity if I don’t enumerate them here.

Anything more you want to add about your studio, organization, working methods, etc., please do.

While my studio certainly will never qualify for a spread in Studios Magazine, I hope that the caliber of my work excuses the mess  😉

Thank you Sara for a great tour.  I don’t think it’s ever possible to have enough horizontal space.

See Sara’s work on her blog.

Next month:  A peek at  Jane Davila’s new studio.

On Mondays

Picasso's face of peace, Sara KellyWe all like and need a day off from our routine. This poem was shared last summer but I think it bears repeating.

On Mondays

by Marilyn Donnelly

On Mondays when the museums are closed
and a handful of guards
look the other way
or read their newspapers
all of the figures
step out of golden frames
to stroll the quiet halls
or visit among old friends.
Picasso’s twisted ladies
rearrange themselves
to trade secrets
with the languid odalisques of Matisse
while sturdy Rembrandt men
shake the dust
from their velvet tams
and talk shop.
Voluptuous Renoir women
take their rosy children by the hand
to the water fountains
where they gossip
while eating Cezanne’s luscious red apples.
Even Van Gogh
in his tattered yellow straw hat
seems almost happy
on Mondays when the museums are closed.

Suzanna Bond, Vincent van GoghKay Laboda, Monet