Friday, March 2, 2012

Threads Too

Moonlit Walk
From my 2nd Ellen Anne Eddy workshop
   As I said, dying my own fabric opened up a whole new world for me. Instead of trying to find the right fabric in the right color for what I want, I can create my own. Not always just the way I thought it would turn out but closer then store bought. So now I am dying my fabric, some threads, and cheese cloth (which I use in my fiber paintings).
   The first workshop opened my eyes to what thread alone could do. If a thread won’t go thru the needle, it will go thru the bobbin. It is actually possible to sew with ribbons or yarns! Who knew? I even learned to free motion paint using just thread with a hoop and wash away stabilizer. And then there are Angelina fibers, which can be mixed together, pressed with an iron, and cut into any shape. It turns out so beautiful and it adds dimension and movement depending on how you use it.
   I was so excited about learning all these new techniques and methods for doing what I love, that I started showing my friends in the quilting world and before you know it, I’m teaching.
   At first I started teaching small groups of friends and then I was teaching at the local quilt shops. I love teaching and find it so rewarding to help someone discover something new. But thread painting isn’t for everyone and I started teaching other types of quilting classes, just to keep teaching. I have to admit that even though I enjoy teaching, the prep work for a class is extensive and the more I taught the more new classes I had to come up with. This meant coming up with an idea, a pattern, detailed directions, and samples, in various stages of completion! The more I taught, the less I got to sew what I wanted.
Fairy, behind a leaf.
   It was around this time that my husband got sick and for the next 2 years I was busy helping him. When it was all over, we had lost our income, our home, and we found ourselves starting over. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it has been a totally life changing experience! Instead of living in the city where the store is 6 blocks away, where there is a Starbucks around just about every corner, where the Doctor was just a phone call away, where I could drive my car into the garage and never get wet, where my boys could just drop in to visit, where my parents could just call if they needed anything, where all my friends live and play, I now live in the woods! Not in a tent in the woods but not near anything convenient! We chop wood to build a fire for heat. I bake bread and make a lot of soup. I wash dishes, instead of a dish washer, and I dry them!!! I am not complaining, just explaining.
   So having said all that in hopes of explaining why I am now going to teach online more then out there in the real world! Out there where gas is almost $4.00 a gallon and my Jeep needs a whole tank to go anywhere and come home. Out there where I have to make a different sample for each shop, because they want to feature their own fabrics. Out there where I have to depend on the shop employees to sell and book my classes. I can’t tell you how many classes I’ve traveled miles from home to teach only to have 3 students because that was the shops minimum sign up necessary to hold the class, but not enough to pay for my gas. No more.
   Now I hope to make one sample and show you, step by step, how to do it. I will be showing you all how to thread paint, fuse and raw edge appliqué, how to use Angelina fibers, dye fabrics and bake bread! If something new and interesting comes along, we will try it. I hope you will participate by asking questions and posting your projects and giving me your feedback. Let’s have fun, learning new things and creating art from our hearts.

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