BLOCK BREAKDOWN

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

East Coast Gammill Statler Conference


This is absolutely one of my favorite events of the year. And I'm even more excited for 2018 as the venue has changed to Williamsburg, VA - click HERE for all the details.   Join me and many other super talented teachers!  I wouldn't wait too long to sign up - there are only a limited number of spots available - once it's full you'll have to wait until next time!

Here are the classes I'll be teaching:


A few brand new classes - watch in coming weeks as I share pictures of the samples!  And yes, that's right, Build-A-Stitch 3 will be ready (the book too) - where I'll share many other ways to utilize those stitches you've been learning!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Block Breakdown #4 - Economy Patch

Here is Block Breakdown # 4 - Economy Patch



Every month on the Gammill YouTube channel I'll be sharing a different block showing several quilting variations. I'll make sure to share the link here as well. You can always click on the Block Breakdown links (located in the sidebar) to check if you've missed any.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

My latest quilt

If you read my last post about my awesome trip to Virginia, you will have seen a peek picture of my latest quilt.  I know, it was just a teaser photo, you really couldn't see the entire quilt.  So here it is - meet Gods Eye.
And a detail pic:

So why Gods Eye...
well, when I was growing up I went to summer camp.  Every year we would make those little yarn ornaments, which were called Gods Eye.  The dye patterns of this piece totally reminded me of them!

Now, I'll share the story behind this quilt... if you know me, you know something happened, right?  Nothing I do can ever go smoothly, there's always a whoopsie.  Don't worry, I'll get to all that *good* stuff in a bit.

Two years ago, yes two years as in 2015, I purchased this beautiful piece of hand-dyed Armani silk from Debra Linker.

As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to create a design for it - just look at how gorgeous it was - and the lighting in this photo didn't even come close to doing it justice.

I started with some stabilizer, because silk... it's slippery!

Then I slowly transferred the design with chalk.


About this time last year, I started stitching the design.  I started with gold metallic thread and did a sort of bean stitch.  So now comes the whoopsie... oh no!  Yep, as I'm stitching all my chalk is bouncing off the silk.  And I mean bouncing as in gone.  The back and forth motion of quilting the bean stitch was just too much.  Yes, I know you can spray the chalk with hairspray to make it stay better, but... silk.  I really didn't want to spray this beautiful piece with hairspray and risk any staining.  So quick, stitch the marked lines as quickly as possible with a single line of stitching.  No... the thread literally sunk into the fabric and was barely visible.  Okay, plan 2 (or 3 actually) - switch out the metallic thread with a thicker thread that won't sink.  Okay, that worked, continue stitching away and finish the design.  Remove quilt from frame and go back life, this will have to wait for another day.

Fast forward a few months... now that all the stitching is there and nothing is moving, put the gold metallic back in and bean stitch over all that thick thread.  Oh no... the gold over the thicker thread doesn't look very good.  Like eww, more of a tarnished gold than gold.  Hmm... okay, lets take a few more months to think about this one.  No really, I had an idea but, no time to work on it.

Fast forward a few more months.  Couching!  Yes, I would couch beautiful yarn over all that yuckiness.  Well... since I'm couching, I might as well change from gold to copper.  Ooohhh ahhh - so pretty.  BUT... well really two buts... 1) my new couching foot, as amazing as it is, was too thick to see the tiny little areas, and 2) I can't see exactly where I'm stitching with the yarn so this is gonna be a crazy mess on the back -- backtracking perfectly was nearly impossible.  So... couch manually and then when I'm finished... wait for it... add another backing and quilt the design again and then add the background fills.  Yep...

So I started manually couching - yes, holding the yarn with one hand while moving the machine with very tiny zigzag type stitches with the other.  I used Candlelight thread by YLI - sparkly and super great coverage.


Couching completed -


Yay!  Okay, now a new backing fabric, restitch all those lines and onto the background quilting...



I finished quilting this beauty the night before we were leaving for Virginia... I quickly folded it up and squished it into a tub and after a week of teaching I was able to block this beauty.

And after two days under a fan it was ready for facing! 

Yes, this quilt had to be faced.  As there was no more of this hand-dyed fabric I wasn't able to make binding - so facing it was!

So while I was vacationing, I did manage, with a full day to spare, to make the AQS Daytona deadline.  So, we'll have to wait and see if it gets accepted.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Quilty & not-so-quilty catch-up...

What a blast I had teaching at the Gammill Mid-Atlantic Longarm Machines (hosted by Threads Run Thru It).  Here are just a few pics:

Let me tell you -- this is an awesome classroom setting!!!


Even Emily was in on learning to design her own quilt:

And their mascot, Wingnut... he's really a dog.

Here's me and Lori during a couple of downtime moments (no, I didn't teach the entire time):

After the classes I spent some much-needed downtime working on a few of my own things.  I finished up a long-overdue class sample:


I also stitched-up this super cute panel (Hoffman-Supernova Snowflake/Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero) for the Threads Run Thru It shop (and yes, they have panels available at the shop) - 

and shopping.... an entire day of shopping, well, and lunch!

I also finished my latest competition piece while I was there (you'll have to wait a few more days for that post though) - until then, here's a peek:

Productive I tell you... because I also pieced my first modern piece.  My Facebook followers will remember this pic:

Well, it turned into something... umm yeah, improv piecing... not my favorite thing, but it turned out okay.  Sorry, that will be another post as well... soon though.  I'm hoping my quilting makes it awesome, because as I said, right now it is okay.  But it was super fun piecing it on this awesome machine:

And... if that wasn't enough, I totally designed a future applique quilt... yeah, F U T U R E... like forever from now!

Okay, now a bunch of FUN pics:

Block Breakdown #3 - Square in a Square

Every month on the Gammill YouTube channel I'll be sharing a different block showing several quilting variations. I'll make sure to share the link here as well. You can always click on the Block Breakdown links (located in sidebar) to check if you've missed any.

Here is Block Breakdown #3 - Square in a Square:


Remember, let me know if there are any specific blocks you'd like to see - happy stitching!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Meet me in Virginia...

Yes, I'm getting super excited about my upcoming trip to Virginia.  I'll be teaching at the Mid-Atlantic Gammill Training Center in Phenix.  I'm hoping the weather gets a wee bit cooler - I'm hearing it's almost the same weather as here right now... no, I want fall!

I'll tell you all about my classes in a second but, first I want to share the awesomeness.  Each class is limited to only 8 people.  Each person will get full use of their own machine - no sharing which is super awesome, right?  The only downside to small class sizes is they fill fast -- if you're thinking about signing up you'll probably want to hurry.

Now, on to the class fun stuff -

The Creative Process - full day class
Have you ever wanted to create your own design?  In this class, you are going to design your own original mini wholecloth and then stitch it out!  Yes, designing a quilt is not as difficult as you thought - and you don't even have to know how to draw!  Just a little guidance and some creativity and you'll soon be on your way to designing many original quilts!  This process can be used to create both applique and wholecloth designs.

If you've been following me you've probably seen these quilts - these were all created using this technique!
Wonderlust by Karen Marchetti

Stella Luminosa by Karen Marchetti

Iron Acanthus by Karen Marchetti

Jokers Jest by Karen Marchetti

Sidewalk Chalk by Karen Marchetti
And here's a little surprise - if you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a couple of peeks of my latest competition piece.  Guess what?  I'll have it with me (to work on) and it too was created using this technique - you'll be the very first ones to see it (well, if you're in class)!


Pop Those Lines - full day class
Using rulers and some background fills on a custom-printed panel, you'll learn how to make your ruler work pop!  You'll take basic ruler work to the next level.

So there they are - two totally different classes.  One is totally right brain and the other kinda left brain! 

Remember, there are only a few spots left in the classes - hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Block Breakdown #2 - Nine Patch

Every month on the Gammill YouTube channel I'll be sharing a different block showing several quilting variations.  I'll make sure to share the link here as well.  You can always click on the Block Breakdown links (located in sidebar) to check if you've missed any.

Here is Block Breakdown #2 - Nine Patch



Let me know how you're liking the series and if there are any specific blocks you'd like to see.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Just a little...LOVE


My piece for the IQA/Quilts Inc. Silent Auction at this years Houston Festival is finished! 

I wanted to keep it simple yet still share a part of me.  I love hearts, painting, and machine quilting so I combined those into the piece.

It started out like this - I grabbed a beautiful piece of hand-dyed fabric, followed by a little cursive love, added a heart, and then feathers (of course)!


Yes, that is a variagated metallic thread.  For the background quilting, I switched to a matching thread.

And you wouldn't believe how different this fabric photographs!  These aren't filters, they were taken with different lights turned on... crazy!

Well... I knew I wanted to paint on this little beauty so I started adding some iridescent purple.



Look at the difference some paint makes!

Then I decided the feathers needed a little paint love too


For those that have asked, here is a super quick video of my painting/shading process:


My original paint plan had me adding some iridescent turquoise to the background quilting.  But, after seeing the heart I decided that was the only part I wanted to emphasize so the plan changed.  See, sometimes changed plans are a good thing.

So if you'll be attending Houston this year you'll have the opportunity to bid on this little beauty, well, you'll have the opportunity to bid on a lot of beauties!  Hope to see you there, although I'll be busy in the classroom teaching.  You can see my class info here or on the Quilts Inc. website.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Houston Quilt Festival


I'm am thrilled to be part of this year's faculty at Houston Quilt Festival.  I have the honor of sharing four classes with all of you. Yes, Quilt Festival is still happening, you can read all about it later in this post.







Friday's classes:

Unfortunately, Build-A-Stitch is sold out.
But there is still room in Build-A-Stitch 2, which covers 20 more stitches.  And no worries, Build-A-Stitch is NOT a prerequisite for this class.





Saturday's classes:

Lots of ruler work in Pop Those Lines but, when we combine it with fun background fills some amazing things happen!


Spunky Funky Feathers is full of super fun and super whimsical feathers.  The best part... all of these feathers have ZERO backtracks!  
With the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, everyone is wondering about this year's Quilt Festival.  Is it happening - there is no doubt about it.  Here is IQA's recent Facebook post:

Important note regarding the IQA Judged Show at International Quilt Festival
We would like to thank all who have sent messages of support to us in response to the devastating flooding taking place in our home city of Houston. We are happy to report that all of our staff and volunteers are safe, that our office did not suffer any hurricane- or flood-related damages, and that all the quilts sent in for the judging that is still taking place this week are safe and secure.
Our office has reopened with limited hours as of Tuesday, September 5. Please be patient in receiving a response to calls and emails as we catch up on work and correspondence.
We have also heard from many people asking whether they should cancel their plans to attend this year’s International Quilt Festival or the IQA Winners Circle Celebration. We want to assure you that there is no reason to cancel any travel plans, as the show is still scheduled to go on.
Festival is nearly two months away, and we have full confidence that our city will bounce back quickly, as it has always done. Also, neither the George R. Brown Convention Center nor the Downtown Houston hotels were damaged in the flooding.
Many others have not been so lucky, and we ask that you keep Houston and all areas that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey in your thoughts, and, if possible, consider making a contribution toward organizations involved in the ongoing relief efforts.
If you are interested in making a donation to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, please consider the Houston Flood Relief Fund organized by J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, or the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett.
Some people are questioning if Houston and IQA really can pull things together in our badly hurt city so that Festival can be held. We understand where those doubts are coming from. Our best answer to anyone with doubts is this: as the founders of the International Quilt Association, we promise you that the display of our Judged Show at Festival WILL go on!
But our second best answer can be found in the commentary piece below for the Austin American-Statesman written by a non-Texan. It brought us to tears. We hope it will help you understand why we can make our promise: The show WILL go on.
Thank you!
Karey Bresenhan & Nancy Puentes
Co-Founders
International Quilt Association

So, with all that - hope to see you in Houston!