Saturday, November 12, 2016

Houston 2016 -- Classes Part 2

Hi all -

In my previous  post, I described the first three classes that I took at this year's Houston International Quilt Festival. Today I'll describe the other three classes I took.

Chalk and Cheesecloth with Pam Holland

On Wednesday, I took another full day class with Pam Holland. Pam is such a talented artist and her classes are all so different that it's amazing. In this class, we were making portraits using cheesecloth and quilting. We were given patterns for these two portraits and chose one to work on in class:

Aren't these unusual and cool? I chose to do the first one because she said it was easier since the shading on the face is more straight-forward. Unfortunately, even though the shading is easier on the first one, the fusing of the bottom layer of cheesecloth is much more complicated and, being a pretty anal person and sharing two irons with a large class, I only had time to fuse the bottom layer and start adding the highlighting layers of cheesecloth:

But I was careful to watch and listen every time she demonstrated anything, and she demo'd each of the steps multiple times using different students' projects, so I'm confident I can finish this up just fine when I get back to it. (It was really amazing watching Pam sit down in front of each student's project and completely bring it to life with a few swipes of a black Fabrico pen!) And I really like how my project looks with the careful fusing.

Although it was time-consuming and I didn't get very far, I still really enjoyed this class. It's such an innovative technique and relies on the final quilting for the fine details, so it was very interesting for me. Here are some other examples of portraits that Pam made using this technique:

Very creative!

Screen It, Stamp It, Foil It, Use It with Sue Bleiweiss

On Thursday afternoon, I took a surface design class with Sue Bleiweiss:

Sue is best known (at least by me) for her cartoonish architectural quilts using her wonderful hand-dyed fabrics like this sample she had in class:

But this class was about surface design. We had three hours to play with all of the supplies that she brought for us. She had a bunch of thermofax screens, paints galore, supplies for making our own stamps, and several different foils to try. We started with screen printing:

This was something that I had never tried before and it turned out to be a lot of fun! Then I went on to making my own stamps. She uses adhesive backed craft foam and left-over pieces of book board for her stamps. She says they stand up really well and are cheap. I decided to make stamps for a groovy flower with a swirl center:

I painted the background on my piece of canvas then used the stamps to make my flowers:

Then she gave us craft syringes to play with, so I drew some detail lines over the top. That was pretty fun, too, but I definitely need to practice with the syringe if I want to get clean lines. Finally, we played with foiling. I screenprinted an image which I then foiled, first with blue foil then gold foil to fill in the areas that didn't pick up the blue:

That was a lot of fun, too! Now I just have to figure out how I'll use these techniques....

Painting on Fabric! with Ginny Eckley

Finally, on Saturday afternoon I took a fabric painting class with Ginny Eckley:

She hung a bunch of samples of things we could do with fabric paint:

We used Setacolor paints and started by picking a black and white fabric and playing with the transparent paints. I decided to paint in the individual motifs rather than using a wash for this fabric and didn't finish it because it was time-consuming and I can finish this one at home:

The we selected a white-on-white fabric and played with that. I did a wash:

I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but I came back at a later step and added a gold metallic wash to the top of this piece. It has a nice sparkle in person. Then we played with sprinkling salt on the paints:

I had to pack up before this was dry so the salt didn't have as great an effect as it could have. But it's still pretty cool. Finally, we were given black fabric and played with the opaque and metallic Setacolor paints:

I really enjoyed all of the fun stuff that we played with, but have to figure out how I will use this in the future.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my classes. In my next post I'll start showing you some of the quilts from the show.



  1. Awesome classes and fun techniques. I loved all of them and wish I could have attended with you.

    1. Maybe I'll get to see you there next year?

  2. What fun techniques you shared! I would have loved being there too!!!

    1. Thanks! You should definitely make the trip one of these years! Maybe you and Jojo could come together?