It happened, people. I finally got photographic evidence of one of the rarest occurrences in the quilting world: a photo of Lori doing hand stitching.
Never let it be said that Lori is anything but a team player. If there’s one thing you should know about her from reading her blog posts or seeing her on Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community, it’s that Lori does not do any handwork as a rule. It’s not that she doesn’t know how, she just chooses not to. She even machine finishes all her bindings — that’s how much she does NOT enjoy doing handwork. (I always need to add that her aversion to doing handwork doesn’t apply to looking at work others have done, of which she’s always very appreciative. It’s sort of like when you enjoy looking at or even holding someone else’s baby but are more than happy to hand the baby back to the parent.)
The setting for this fleeting glimpse was the Quilting LIVE! show in Atlanta last week that Lori and I attended on behalf of Quilters Newsletter, along with colleagues from our sister publications in the F+W family – Quiltmaker, McCall’s Quilting, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, Quilty, Quilting Quickly, Quilting Arts, Modern Patchwork — as well as folks from Keepsake Quilting and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo. We worked hard and enjoyed getting to know one another better both on and off the clock. The photo above shows Lori in the Quilters Newsletter booth where we were demonstrating techniques from the “Mixed Media Art Quilt” Easy Lesson in the October/November 2014 issue.
This Easy Lesson came to us from fiber artist Linda McLaughlin, and we thought it was both a perfect fit for autumn as well as for a hands-on demonstration. Linda has a lot of experience with a variety of surface design techniques and enjoys hand stitching, so she decided to combine the two in an ongoing project she started at the beginning of the year that she’s calling The Weekly Leaf — you can see the ones she’s finished on her blog. We thought this particular technique of using a mask or freezer paper template and a paintstik to create a negative image of a motif was accessible and easy, not to mention fun.
In the photo below you can see on the table in front of me a sample ready to be painted — I had already used the freezer paper template once before, which is why it’s green, but this charm square had yet to be painted. For the motifs, I traced leaves from my own apple and aspen trees and made about three dozen freezer paper templates.
Here are some of the painted charm squares I brought back from the show after doing demos for three days.
And below are some of the samples I painted and prepared ahead of time on which I demonstrated the hand stitching step. (I guess I should say “on which we demonstrated the hand stitching step,” since Lori and a few other F+W colleagues all helped out. There was also one young girl attending the show with her mother who I invited to take a few stitches.) Lori even showed me how to stitch french knots successfully on the sample on the right, and as much as I love them I’m not sure they were the right choice for that leaf so I stopped stitching. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with that one.
And here are the balls of Finca perle cotton thread from Presencia we used for the hand stitching. Simply gorgeous, aren’t they?
So now I have a charm pack’s worth of painted squares, a few larger samples left to be stitched and more than a dozen balls of perle cotton threads in autumn shades. Looks like I have a project or two just begging to be turned into something before the season changes to winter, wouldn’t you agree? Check back in a few weeks and I’ll show you what I managed to come up with.
In the meantime, if you want to try your own hand at one or both of these techniques, be sure to check out the October/November 2014 issue of QN. It really is a fun, no-pressure way to try something new while making something completely original.