Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grand Finale of Jamie Wallen Workshops

Here's our two day troopers! At the end of the day we are tired but happy! This really was a Texas Marathon! Yesterday the fabric bowls, locker hook rugs and part one of thread bowls. Today finishing up the thread bowls, learning to paint with inks, learning to fabric dye and then fabric painting. Whew! I think we wore Jamie out!

He's spraying our thread bowls with sealant. They all turned out really nice. Tomorrow I'll post all the photos from the week on my webshots, right now there are just the early days.

No one should be surprised that I dyed a wide back purple and fuchsia! Can't wait for it to "set" and then do the final rinse to see how it really turns out.

This was a different technique and actually my fabric got another treatment or two before it was "done" -- including using rock salt to add a nifty design effect.

None of us completely finished our inking, but all got a lot accomplished. I had no idea you had to keep going over and over a design to layer the ink to make it look the way you wanted to. I enjoyed this part of the day and have already made my shopping list for inks!

Hard to believe Jamie has been here 9 days already. He's been packing up supplies this evening to be shipped home and will be flying out Wednesday morning. Really hate to see him go, seems there's always more I wish we'd accomplished or more that I could 'pick his brains' about. We have a great time and the fun thing is I'll see him again this fall at the Houston International Quilt Festival. Just got my catalog today and Jamie is teaching the two design classes that he taught here this week, Mystical CottonTracks and Thread Fusion -- if you are going to be at the show then you need to take his class! And don't forget about his DVD and the upcoming ones too - I'm especially wanting the one by he and Rosanne on the fabric bowls, from what I understand there are a lot of different shapes and styles....

Sigh. All good things much come to an end. It's been fun and yes it's been a Marathon! Think tomorrow will be a good day for a nap!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Texas Marathon Fabric Art Buffet Workshop with Jamie Wallen

Today was DAY ONE of our Texas Marathon Fabric Art Buffet -- a taste of several fabric art classes that Jamie Wallen has to offer. We hit the ground running and today had three different projects going on...

First we experienced Jamie Wallen and Rosanne Campisi's gallery fabric bowls. I can tell these are going to be very very addictive! What makes them different than the other fabric bowls out there is they are not 'wrapped' but are instead sewn in a manner that you do not have raw edges or lots of strings. Truly a gallery style basket/bowl instead of the ones that tend to be more crafty. Jamie and Rosanne have partnered up on several designs and patterns have have been working really hard to produce DVD's on the various workshops we will be doing these next two days. The DVD's are in duplication right now and should be coming out very very soon. Bookmark Jamie's website and check often for availability.

In typical "Jamie style" he buzzed around the room assisting each of us in our process of making the fabric bowls as well as other projects. It was fun to have so many things going on at once.

This is Kathy from LA (Louisiana not lower Alabama or California) You may already know her from her blog Kathy's Fancy Stitching News -- if not, take a moment and become a follower of her blog, not only will you get her take on the workshop but will be meeting a very pleasant lady whom I enjoyed very much getting to know better today. She's also a national quilt show award winner and I was most honored to have her in my humble abode.

As you can tell from the photos we all really got into these fabric bowls. Of course, Sara gets into anything that has the word fabric or art attached!

To keep things moving Jamie has us working at several stations - one of our projects is still a work in progress. We played around at the longarm with some Dissolve and fabric/yarn/thread mixtures -- or as Sara called it making "fabric pizza" (in keeping with our buffet theme) -- we added the ingredients we thought would make our thread bowl a tasty treat!

Then Jamie showed us how to do some serious thread play on our little creations. Tomorrow we will wash away the Dissolve and have a thread bowl. I can't wait to see how this turns out because I am having a hard time using my imagination as to what this is going to look like.

Our third project today was locker hook rugs. I think this is going to be a great way to use up a lot of scrap strips.

Annette found it very relaxing. Throughout the day we'd work at our leisure on one project or another, truly a "taste" of fabric art.

I needed a little re-teaching. I was so busy taking photos that I forgot to pay attention (grin), thanks Jamie for being such a patient teacher!

All too soon our day was over -- the gals all finished their fabric bowls and are proudly showing them in this group photo -- me, all I have to brag about is Miss Pixxie. sigh.

After everyone left I went back to the machine and worked a little more on my bowl until dinner.

I'm so blessed with a wonderful hubby -- tonight he grilled out hamburgers!

Even though we have been experiencing a heat wave of tipple digit temperatures, it was nice to eat out on the deck and just chill out after a long day of class.

However! I did go back inside and finished up my fabric bowl! Please note the time on my clock behind me 9:57. Just in case it doesn't show in my tired eyes, that's PM and not AM!

It's been a great day and tomorrow holds new wonders! Now if I can just settle down and go to sleep so I can enjoy it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jamie Wallen's Thread Fusion Workshop

Day four of workshops at the Quilts 'N Kaboodle studio. Our enrollment grew so much we had to purchase a new table, take out the small couch and totally re-arrange the room but it was worth it!

Thread Fusion today was really several workshops in one. Jamie does beautiful thread work and takes the quilting style up a notch from the Mystical CottonTracks he taught the two days before. Lots of sparks to the old imagination, actually more like brain overload because he is so generous to share design elements and to keep sharing!

We had a lot of laughter and fun in this class. The gals were all so good to help and encourage one another. Sometimes we'd be laughing and sometimes we'd be concentrating so hard you could hear a pin drop.

Our friend in the middle is a new quilter, she's only had her machine since March. I don't know if she realizes it or not, but taking classes such as this so early in her quilting career will really speed her along - she's going to do great with these new design ideas!

Lunch time is always special -- and I have nothing to do with it! My friend Annette is so faithful to take care of meals and refreshments for all my 'special events'. Today was BBQ sandwiches
and it was wonderful!

After lunch Jamie shared with us how to make his signature dragon fly.

Then if you wanted to you could try your hand at the machine.

All too soon the day came to a close and we had our group photo - this time with honorary member Miss Pixxie herself, our celebrity professional quilt model (grin)

Later this evening Jamie let me play in his fabric strips to get a jump start on Monday's class...do you like my color choices?

Spent a few happy hours sewing the strips together around clothesline before calling it a night.

You'll just have to stay tuned to see what we do with it tomorrow -- not in a workshop, as we take Sunday off for worship and refreshment --but a fun day of chilling out and being creative in the studio on our "day off"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Workshop Updates and Other Art

Thursday and Friday have been two busy days at the Quilts 'N Kaboodle studio! Both days were Jamie Wallen's Mystical Cotton Track workshop with two different groups of students- a 'long version' of what he teaches at national quilting venues. The beauty of having a national teacher teaching in a private studio is the limited class size and the individual attention from the teacher -- I think we all felt like we were 'teacher's pet' at least once or twice during the day! Jamie is by far the most attentive teacher!

Thursday's class attendees were the same A-1 gals from the previous day's A-1 Maintenance class. We started off the day with a review in how to load a quilt. Many of the gals have only had their machines for a few months and were glad for the review. One of our ladies has her machine on order to be set up in a few weeks -- she was thrilled to get such detailed hands-on experience and jumped right in learning how to load a quilt.

Here's the photo of the A-1 gals who were able to attend the two day workshop, many driving several hours to take advantage of Jamie's expertise in A-1 Maintenance as well as his teaching of his designs in Mystical CottonTracks.

And here's the ladies in today's one day workshop, all "local" which in Texas means within a two hour drive (grin)

Jamie teaches his designs by having you first learn to draw them on newsprint -- he says this is developing muscle control and helps you to develop the design before bringing it to the machine.
What is so great about his workshops (and his teaching style) is that even beginner quilters can be successful. Up until today this new quilter had never attempted feathers. For a first-timer her drawing was very well.

Then with a little one on one attention and coaching from Jamie she had her 'ah-ha' moment.

If you click on the photo I think it will make it larger -- but see the difference! Amazing don't you think!

During our lunch break Son #2 came over, we had stopped by his apartment last night prior to him joining us for dinner and Jamie asked to purchase one of his original designs.

I believe it's titled "I'll learn to live without it..."

After this evening's dinner Jamie started unpacking some of his supplies for our Texas Marathon Fabric Art Buffet that will be a two day fun day this next week. Jamie will be teaching about 7 to 8 different classes during this two day event (no wonder he calls it a marathon). We'll do some fabric painting, learn to make fabric bowls, baskets, rugs, thread play on the longarm as well as fabric dyeing. I can hardly wait! Here's a sneak peek... stay tuned for more fun!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A-1 Maintenance Class with Jamie Wallen

Today was a fun day in the Quilts 'N Kaboodle studio. My friend, and national longarm teacher as well as fellow A-1 dealer, Jamie Wallen taught an A-1 Maintenance Class to several A-1 longarm quilting machine owners. He covered everything from the daily oiling to the quarterly "spa treatment" and walked everyone through being confident in adjusting the timing on the machine.

All in attendance were very observant and diligent in taking additional notes on the handouts that Jamie provided.

Maintenance is sometimes treated as a dirty word, but in reality we maintain a lot of things in our lives...cars, appliances, our house, even relationships need a good dose of maintaining to keep things running smoothly. With machinery it's good to go to the owner's manual for guidance -- much as it is with our personal lives, why not consult the owner's manual -- God created us and He does provide His Word for our guidance...His owner's manual so to speak concerning the maintenance of our daily lives.....

Classes, videos, questions/answers on online forums...all wonderful ways to learn about the maintenance of a longarm machine.Personally I find my learning style is see one do one. I love visuals, yet I also need the written/verbal instruction to go along with that. The beauty of a hands on class such as today was having a knowledgable (patient) instructor that makes sure you "get it" and can help you wrap your brain around what is being referenced so you know how to keep your machine running in tip top shape and how to troubleshoot and make simple adjustments yourself without the fear factor.

It was a long workshop, but I think everyone will agree that they are much more knowledgeable about their machines (and comfortable with its care) than they were this morning! I would highly recommend that if you have a longarm machine (no matter which brand) that you take advantage of any opportunity you have to attend a maintenance workshop. I do know that several of the longarm companies have representatives that teach at the national shows. And good news for A-1 owners out there -- Jamie has just completed a new DVD that covers the same materials we covered in class today. It's in duplication now and should be available within a few weeks. Check out his website for further information or email to preorder. It will be an invaluable tool to assist you in your quilting adventure!

I thought I'd share a Pixxie photo with you....this was taken yesterday when we were all just chilling out in the studio. Jamie has been here several times before and Pixxie just loves him. I wish I could have taken the photo the way she was laying before she moved when she saw the camera. She was totally parallel with him and snuggled just as close as she could possibly be. So if that's not a good credential for Jamie I don't know what is (grin) if Pixxie loves him ya'know he's gotta be a great guy.

Oh, and that scribble on the photos says "that's me" -- Jamie is looking at a recent issue of The Professional Quilter (Issue 107) where there is a photo from my open house last Christmas in a wonderful article by Sue Moats on having a longarm open house. If you don't get the magazine at least purchase this back issue to check them out. It's a great story and I was tickled purple to have my photo in a national magazine. To see all the photos from that day visit my webshots albums

Here's another Pixxie photo from this evening. I caught her 'digging in' under my purple quilt on the small couch in my studio. She likes to bury herself under the quilt and settle in for the night.

When I saw this all I could think of was "arg" as in what a patch-eyed pirate would say..."Pixxie the Pirate?" Nah...she's too much of a princess....

Stay tuned for more photos from this next week as Jamie is teaching several workshops in my studio....we have sew much fun here at Quilts 'n Kaboodle!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

What a beautiful day to spend with family! We joined my husband's parents and one of his brother's family for a nice luncheon. It was a rare moment when I had all of "my guys" together - work schedules usually get in the way. Handsome lot dont' you think? well, at least I do! and I guess that's all that matters.

Wanted to let you in on a secret -- our favorite place to "escape" is LaBrisa We go there at least once a week, on a Sunday night if at all possible because they usually have a band. It's our local "vacation" -- I wish I would have taken a photo of the fabulous mural on the wall -- it makes me feel like I'm in the tropics and if you haven't figured out by now, I just love anything beachie!

LaBrisa is family to us... especially after Hurricane Ike, seems like we really got to know several of the wait staff and now we are greeted with hugs and hand shakes when we come in. We just love it. Makes me feel "small town" in this sea of being squeezed between Houston and Galveston. We know we are always welcomed there and can always count on a wonderful meal and excellent service. This is Amanda -- she's become a good friend, not only is she friends with son #1 but she's the daughter of the proprietors. She's one busy lady! LaBrisa is only days (weeks) away from opening a second location and Amanda has been the lady in charge! It's really rare when we get to visit with her these days and we always love chatting with her. She has her own blog so you might want to take time to get to know this special lady.

One thing we always enjoy is the local bands. My what talent! Although we aren't' dancers we really enjoy watching those that are...to the far right behind the waitress and next to the speaker is our "favorite" dance couple (he has the white hat). We don't know their names, but they are "regulars" just like us and they are always great on the dance floor. Makes me smile. I love seeing folks enjoying themselves.

La Brisa is a happy place. Full of great people that work there, great patrons, and great local bands. Tonight was Overstreet. I don't know anything about them, except we've heard them twice and think they are very talented. They play a lot of classic rock and music of "my" generation. This is one of the members of the band -- she likes to really interact with the guests as she plays her fiddle to Orange Blossom Special.

In this photo I caught a rare glimpse of Amanda NOT behind the camera lens but on the dance floor doing her best to do the Cotton Eyed Joe. I told her this was my payback for all the photos she takes of us! We have been in several of the LaBrisa ads in the local magazines -- something we feel honored to be a part of because we truly love and support this local establishment.

So if you are in our neck of the woods and want great food, a professional wait staff, and lots of fun then visit LaBrisa and tell them "karen sent me"