Month: June 2007


We returned from Chicago late Sunday night/ Monday morning, and three days later we’ve finally chiseled our tired, groggy selves off the floor.

Thanks so much to everybody who joined us in Chicago last week. We were stunned by the sheer number of people interested in taking the workshops, and we’re eager to continue this learning opportunity and expand all aspects for Make it U! with Cloth Paper Scissors in Houston. People often waited in long lines to get the opportunity to take these workshops, and given the level of enthusiasm and eagerness to learn new mixed-media techniques, we’re planning on making the workshops in Houston even more accessible for everyone. If you either took a workshop or two, have feedback, or ideas on what you’d like to see more of, please email us at

Everyone who participated or observed this unique area of the show was mezmerized by the beautiful work that you, our readers, created for the “Do With Me What You Will,” ATC, and Creative Self-portrait Exhibits. Thanks again for sharing your artistic talents with the greater world!

I wish I had the opportunity to take more photographs but unfortunately I was tied up the entire time.  Sally and I did, however,  sneak out of the booth to take a few of these Saturday afternoon.


ATCs submitted for the Chicago show. I have some extras that I made so if you missed out and you’d like to trade with me (two ATC limit per person please), send your ATC(s) to QUILTING ARTS LLC attn: Patricia Bolton, PO Box 685, Stow, MA, 01775, and I’ll send up to two ATC’s back to you. (Trade Deadline is May 15th.)


Before the show opened on Saturday morning.The crowds were mind boggling.


No quilt show is complete without Marie Osmond! Ms. Osmond is collaborating with both OESD and Bernina, and on Saturday afternoon she was signing autographs and taking pictures in the OESD booth. Security was very tight and the lines were rather long.


Shelley Stokes, author of Paintstiks on Fabric, teaching one of her Make It U! workshops. Here, students got a sample of hand-dyed fabric, a rubbing plate, and a Shiva Paintstik.


Four-year-old Emma McCoy proudly displays her ATCs she made in Jill Haglund’s of Tweety Jill Publications ATC class.


Here I am teaching the brag book class with Peltex Saturday night. I was surprised the class filled; I thought on a Saturday night after walking the show all day, most everybody would be heading out for a much-needed margarita!


And lastly, my TV appearance on local ABC news to promote the show.  Here I brought a lot of art work, including several of Beryl Taylor’s mixed-media pieces from the Make It U! section. The anchor was blown away by all of the intricate embellishments.

Tomorrow we’ll be posting the 2007 Quilting Arts Calendar Contest finalists both on the web site and on this blog, so stay tuned.

Paper/Fabric ATCs

My latest obsession—experimenting with paper and stitch
© Patricia Bolton

Two weeks ago, I committed to making more than 200 ATCs for Spring Quilt Festival/Chicago next week (what was I thinking?!), so I’ve been in my studio late at night experimenting with loads of techniques. Here’s a fun way to stitch on paper/felt backgrounds:

Note: John and I are actually away from home at the moment attending a publishing summit in Chicago, so if I misspelled some of the items and colors (I can never spell quinacridone correctly), mea culpa!


Kunin feltScrapbook papers WonderUnder®White tissue paperIronDecorative tissue papers (sewing patterns, gift wrap tissue with floral designs or writing are my favorites)Acrylic gel medium (regular matte)Coloring agents of choice (I use watercolor paints, fluid acrylics, water-soluble crayons, oil pastels, Tim Holtz “Distress” ink pads)Staz-On ink in black or other black rubberstamping ink (I prefer Staz-On because it dries instantly)Rubberstamps and/ or stencils (for stamps I like ones with script text and chunky designs)Golden acrylic glaze in yellow or quinacridone nickel azo goldLumiere paintsHeat gunRotary cutter, ruler, matSewing machine and threads

Embellishments (beads, buttons, ephemera)

1. Cut a sheet of WonderUnder® to size of Kunin felt (9” x 12”)2. Set iron to cotton setting and iron the WonderUnder® to the Kunin felt. Peel off the paper backing.3. Cut the white tissue paper to 9” x 12” and iron to the WonderUnder®/felt piece.4. Tear bits of scrapbook papers, and with gel medium, cover the white tissue paper. Go ahead and glop the gel medium onto each piece.  (The gel medium that seeps through the edges of the scrapbook papers will act as a resist when it comes time to color.)5. Tear bits of decorative tissue papers and sewing patterns and place on top of the scrapbook papers for a more complex look. Juxtaposing floral designs and straight, architectural lines from the sewing patterns will produce some really interesting effects.


6. Take your black rubberstamping ink and favorite rubber stamps and randomly stamp.raw_with_stamps-8514826

7. Now the fun part: Take your coloring agents and color the background, then take either yellow fluid acrylic or quinacridone nickel azo gold and paint in various areas on top. (The resulting mix of colors will amaze you.)diamond_background-7211518


8. Heat set with a heat gun.

9. Take your chunky stamps or stencils and randomly add more designs with Lumiere paint.

10. With your rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut the felt into 2.5” x 3.5” pieces. Usually the felt will yield 9 ATCs.


Options for embellishing the paper/fabric ATCs:

• Rubberstamp images on hand-dyed fabric, cut out, then machine stitch on top.• Cut geometric shapes from fabrics then stitch to the ATC for an abstract design.

• Accent the background elements with free-motion stitching.

So many options… have fun!

2007 Calendar Contest Finalists

Today’s the day we posted the finalists on the Quilting Arts website, and we do it with mixed emotions. With more than 130 submissions, we were simply blown away this year, and the decision to narrow them down to the following was extremely difficult. We’re genuinely thrilled for those who finaled, and also sad for those whose names don’t appear below. We hope above all, that everyone had a lot of fun creating their quilts and will show them off with great pride!

Congratulations to the following finalists:

Natalya Aikens (“Watering My Garden”)Donna Anderson (“Selfish Alice”)Mai-Britt AlexonStephanie BlaneyCarolyn Carson (“Spring”)Donna ClauerSusan ConawayJane DavilaChristine EisenbergTina Feakes (“Harvest”)Donna FunnelAnnette Reid GuerreroLisabeth Gutierrez (“Daisy Cottage” and “Unchanted Garden”)Debra HarryGwen HatchetteTone Haugen-Cogburn (“Winter Pearls”)Mary Ann Herndon (“Lavender Layers”)Janet HoetzelJane JohnstonMargarita KoriothChris LackiHeidi LundBeth MastinSheryl MillerJane ReevesKaren SchulzMichele ShaneSusan ShieSue SiefkinPatricia SmithLaurie SwimDebra Svitil (“The Source”)Catherine ValleKaren Wallach

Elin Waterston

Click here to find out what the next step is for shipping your quilt to us.

To everyone who sent in a submission: We certainly loved looking at your artwork and reading the accompanying stories. We consider ourselves so fortunate to have such an amazing readership willing to share their art with us. Thank you!

Hope everyone has the opportunity to get into their garden this weekend.



Happy Times

Happy times

I just returned from a Caribbean quilting cruise we sponsored where fellow friends and artists including Lesley Riley and Laura Cater-Woods taught. Although as a sponsor I didn’t take classes, the trip afforded me the chance to simply sit still for a few days and enjoy the company of fellow quilters, my husband, and my in-laws.

While downloading loads of pictures from the trip onto my computer I stumbled upon a photograph taken last year at a “Double Trouble” retreat with Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. In January 2005, I took a week off from work and flew to Atlanta, Georgia for a seven-day stitching retreat. Mary Fisher and I went together, and it was the most fun I’d ever had away from home.  About twenty of us stitched in one room, working from 9:00- 4:30, with stitching exercises and individual critiques by Jan and Jean given throughout each day. After class ended each afternoon, Mary and I drove back to our cottage where we continued to stitch until late at night, watching Dominick Dunne and Court TV.

One day while stitching, a fellow student remarked to me that she had to take my picture. “If you could just see yourself right now—you are totally relaxed!” she said.  She was so right—I adore this photograph because I’m in my element, surrounded by incredible friends and artists (Mary Fisher is across from me, Jan Beaney at the head of the table) and draped with my favorite hand-dyed fabrics and threads.

  This was taken the third day into the retreat (it took me that long to decompress and relax enough to get into a creative zone). The retreat was focused and intense as we learned new stitching techniques and worked assiduously on small stitched samplers, and on the last day, compiled the samplers into an accordion-style book.

The retreat experience was so incredible, I truly wonder if I could ever repeat that same level of joy as I did that week (but I certainly hope so).

So I ask you: Is there a favorite memory you have at a fiber, mixed-media, or collage retreat? Or perhaps you organized an informal art weekend with friends? What made the experience so joyful for you?