Oct 28 2013

Bid On Our Auction Piece Today!


The 2013 SAQA Benefit Auction continues today in Houston, Texas, but you can still bid on the pieces online! Look for “The Language of Color 2: Getting to the Point.” Like all the other pieces in the auction, this piece is 12″ x 12″ and the money raised helps to fund the worthy programs of SAQA: promoting the art quilt. It’s not easy getting our art accepted in the greater art world. We need to lobby for it all the time. Click here to take a look at the auction.


Oct 15 2013

Tech Tuesday: The Pixeladies Turn 10!




Has it really been 10 years since we formed the Pixeladies?!? Our friendship pre-dates the world wide web – dang it even pre-dates 3-1/2″ floppy disks and color monitors. Okay, it even pre-dates us getting our first computers! The Pixeladies may be a bit younger than our friendship, but, my, how much we have changed along with the tech world. Click here to look back with us at the last 10 years. We hope you stick with us for the next 10 years!

Oct 8 2013

Tech Tuesday: Pixeladies To Teach Photoshop Classes Live!


2014ClassesThat’s right – we’ll be teaching LIVE and in PERSON at all three venues in 2014. We are so excited about these opportunities. We love teaching online, but we thought it would be fun to have some special face-to-face time with our students. We hope you can join us at Kona, Hawaii; New Smyrna Beach, Florida; or Lake Tahoe; Nevada. Click here for more information.

Oct 1 2013

Tech Tuesday: Photoshop Is Not Just For Designing Fabric!


What do you think of when you hear a quilter is using Photoshop? Manipulated photos printed on a home printer? Kaleidescopic images? Tiled pattern repeats? Yes, Photoshop is good for this, but it’s so much more. Photoshop is also a tool to help you finish that UFO (unfinished object) that’s been sitting in your closet for years.
I took a workshop from Rosalie Dace at Pacific International Quilt Festival in 2006. It was a fun class, and I had every intention of finishing the piece as soon as I got home. Yeah, right. Every couple of years, I’d pull it out of my UFO box, admire the design, pet it a couple of times, then put it back in the box.


If I was feeling really ambitious, I’d add on a few fabric strips, then put it back in the box.


Last year, Kris and I took the month of December off. I decided this was the time to finish this piece. I added more pieces, gave it batting and a backing, and added hand and machine stitching, but it wasn’t speaking to me. If I am really stuck, and Kris isn’t around to give me her two cents worth, I’ll take a photo of the piece and open it in Photoshop. Why? I can “cut” it apart without using a seam ripper and add more fabric without using the sewing machine. I really liked some sections of the piece but not everything. So with my handy rectangular selection tool, I made a selection of those parts and “cut them out.” I tried putting them back together in a different way – in Photoshop. It still didn’t speak to me, but as soon as I had several of the pieces separated from each other, things started looking interesting. At first I thought I could make fabric post cards, but some parts looked best smaller. The individual pieces looked good as a grouping, so I “auditioned” some background “fabric” in Photoshop. That means I scanned the fabric and opened the fabric file in Photoshop. I then started putting the small parts on top up of the fabric. The dull yellow fabric looked good, but so did the red. Only after playing around with the design on the computer a little bit more did I take out the rotary cutter. Yep, I sliced and rotated and sliced some more.


I could have pieced the parts together with the background, but I liked the way the pieces looked when they were placed on top of the background. Then I had another “Aha!” moment. I remembered the Craftsy class I had taken last fall: Carol Ann Waugh’s Stupendous Stitching. One neat thing I took away from that class was Carol’s method of using rattail cording to “bind” the edge of the quilt. I didn’t have any rattail in coordinating colors, but I know how to make cording. I tried knitted I-cord, twisted cording, and even some ribbons. Again, nothing worked until I remembered the machine-wrapped cording technique I learned from Linda Matthews in an e-book from 2008. I got out some of my decorative thread, some old “yucky” yarn, and experimented. Eureka! That would be my rattail cord. I ended up stitching the cording on by hand with perle cotton. It gave me just the textured edge I was looking for. I then stretched the piece over stretcher bars, added some treasures I picked up in Ghana, and I had my a finished quilt.


All this thanks to Photoshop and techniques I’ve learned here and there in various workshops. If you want to learn more about how to use Photoshop to help with creative breakthroughs, take one of our 2014 Photoshop classes in Kona, HI, New Smyrna Beach, FL, or Lake Tahoe, NV. Click here for more information.