Learn to Make Dolls at 2014 Atlanta Quilt Festival

Dolls by the Dazzling Dames Doll Club at the 2010 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

Dolls by the Dazzling Dames Doll Club at the 2010 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

Valerie Cookie Patterson

Valerie Cookie Patterson

The Clara Ford Foundation will offer a Beginning Dollmaking class Saturday, August 09, 2014. The class is part of the 2014 Atlanta Quilt Festival activities.

The class will be taught by Cookie Patterson at the Hammonds House Museum from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Hammonds House Museum is located at 503 Peeples Street, Atlanta, GA.

The class is $20 which includes the pattern.  Space is limited so reserve your space early. Please contact Cookie Patterson at cookiekeelingdolls@gmail.com to register and to receive further details about the class. You may also register by sending an email to atlantaquiltfestival@gmail.com.

See you at the Festival! Meanwhile, follow the Clara Ford Foundation and Atlanta Quilt Festival on Facebook  and on Twitter @atlquiltfest for the latest news.

Learn to Quilt at the 2014 Atlanta Quilt Festival

Just Friends by Nina Moore

Just Friends by Nina Moore

Nina Moore

Nina Moore

The Clara Ford Foundation will offer a Beginning Quilting class Saturday, August 09, 2014. The class is part of the 2014 Atlanta Quilt Festival activities.

The class will be taught by Nina Moore at the South Fulton Arts Center from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The South Fulton Arts Center is located at 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA. A sewing machine is required for this class.

The  cost of the class is $20.00 which includes a fabric kit. Space is limited so you must reserve your space early. Please contact Nina Moore at nmoore9548@aol.com to reserve your spot and to receive further details about the class. You may also email atlantaquiltfestival@gmail.com to register.

If you have always wanted to learn to quilt, this is a great way to get started.

See you at the Festival! Meanwhile, follow the Clara Ford Foundation and Atlanta Quilt Festival on Facebook and on Twitter @atlquiltfest for the latest news.

Power Up Your Quilting With Yoga at the 2013 Atlanta Quilt Festival

A Crescendo of Cloth, 43 x 56 inches, by Latifah Shakir, 2011. Winner of Best Art Quilt, 2011 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

A Crescendo of Cloth, 43 x 56 inches, by Latifah Shakir, 2011. Winner of Best Art Quilt, 2011 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

Well known quilt artist Latifah Shakir will lead a workshop that teaches how to power up your quilting with yoga. In this  personal journey you will learn yoga techniques to alleviate symptoms of pain, increase flexibility and strengthen your  joints in your hands and feet.

Latifah Shakir

Latifah Shakir

“Our love for quilting involves long hours of repetitive motion. Come join me and rejuvenate your body emphasizing with breathing exercises and practiced mediation to increase clarity and concentration on your future quilting projects,” says Latifah.

The class will be held Saturday, August 10, 2013 from  noon – 3 p.m. at the South Fulton Arts Center, 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA. The class fee is $15.00. Register by sending an email to ovbrant@gmail.com.

Space is limited so act quickly. The class will last three hours. Attendees will create a Namaste Flag project which is a fabric collage consisting of fabric, meditating stitching and embellishments.

Supplies required for this class are items you  already have around your home. Bring thread, needle, scissors, fabric scraps, embellishments such as trim, buttons, fabric markers, etc. __ whatever your heart desires. Don’t bring much as there will only be time to finish two flags, but students can finish their kinetic journal at home. Latifah will bring the rest of the supplies.

See You at the Festival!

Gumbo Ladies Workshop: Master Five Techniques at 2013 Atlanta Quilt Festival

Gumbo Lades 2 by Aisha Lumumba, 2009. Photo by India Brantley.

Gumbo Lades 2 by Aisha Lumumba, 2009. Photo by India Brantley.

Aisha Lumumba will lead a master quilting class on Saturday August 3, 2013 during the 2013 Atlanta Quilt Festival. The workshop will be held at the South Fulton Arts Center from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Cost of the workshop is $60.00 which includes the kit and admittance to Aisha’s lecture at 3 p.m.

Aisha Lumumba

Aisha Lumumba

Quilters will learn five techniques that were used to create Aisha’s famed quilt Gumbo Ladies. This workshop is designed to improve basic piecing skills. It includes fussy cutting, easy appliqué, raw edge applique, trapunto, simple curves, and fabric painting. A fabric kit is provided with workshop. A sewing machine is required.

To sign up for the workshop, email Marva Swanson at mmswan@bellsouth.net. Space is limited so act quickly.

Aisha Lumumba Headlines 2013 Atlanta Quilt Festival

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. by Aisha Lumumba, Winner of Best of Show at the 2012 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. by Aisha Lumumba, Winner of Best of Show at the 2012 Atlanta Quilt Festival.

Aisha Lumumba

Aisha Lumumba

Aisha Lumumba will be the featured quilter for the  Clara Ford Foundation Quilt Lecture Series  which is held annually during the Atlanta Quilt Festival. Ms. Lumumba is renowned for her amazing portrait quilts that often feature famous African Americans. She has also authored several books.

Ms. Lumumba will be the fifth quilt artist featured in the Quilt Lecture Series. Carolyn L. Mazloomi was featured in 2009. Judy Tipton Rush was featured in 2010. Juanita Yeager was featured in 2011,  and Maria Elkins was featured in 2012.

Ms. Lumumba will lecture and show her quilts at 3 p.m. on August 3, 2013 at the South Fulton Arts Center Theater. Admission is $10.00 at the door. Arrive early to view the quilt exhibit and enjoy a wine and cheese reception. Earlier in the day, she will teach a master classes to local quilters.

The festival exhibit opens July 28, 2013 and runs through August 10, 2013 at the South Fulton Arts Center, 4645 Butner Road, College Park, GA.

See you at the Festival! Meanwhile, follow the Clara Ford Foundation on Facebook for the latest news.

Thread Heaven

Heaven means different things to different people, but for quilters, there is one product on the market that can mean the difference between cursing and smiling. It is called Thread Heaven. It is a very small product that can make a big difference in a quilter’s life.

Knots and tangles in thread when you are quilting by hand are frustrating. To decrease these problems, condition your thread by running it across Thread Heaven  three times.  Almost like magic, Thread Heaven will minimize tangles and knots and make you smile. Look for it in your favorite craft store.

We hope you find today’s edition of Continuing Quilting Education© (CQE) useful. Feel free to share it with your quilting friends.

How Do You Mark Your Quilting Lines?

One of the best household tools for marking the quilting lines on your quilt is masking tape. If you are quilting a quilt in a cross hatch pattern or a diagonal pattern, masking tape can save you lots of time.

Instead of using a pencil or chalk, simply attach the tape to the quilt where you want your stitching line to be. Once that line is done, rip it off and mark the next line.

Masking tape is very economical and it leaves little residue. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about whether marking lines will wash  out.

How do you mark your quilts?

Have You Added to Your Quilt Library Lately?

The number of books focused on African American quilting has exploded in recent years.  Because I grew up in Arkansas, one of my personal favorites is A Piece of My Soul — Quilts By Black Arkansans.

If you are in the market for some inspiration, a how-to book, or just some plain beauty, check out these books about African American quilting. A quilt book also makes an excellent gift for the quilter in your life. Like fabric, quilters never have enough books.


What Are Your 2011 Quilt Goals?

Even though quilting is a hobby for most people, it is still important to set goals. Now that you have organized your sewing room and made a gift to a worthy quilter, you are ready to set goals.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a class to learn a new skill.
  • Exhibit in a quilt show.
  • Join a quilt guild.
  • Finish what you start.
  • Design an original quilt pattern
  • Teach a class
  • Sell a quilt

What are your 2011 goals? With a little planning and fortitude, 2011 will be the best year ever.

Share With a New Quilter

If you are organizing your sewing room this month, you will definitely run across things you no longer need. One thing is universal about quilters is that we love to shop. Sometimes we forget we already bought something and end up with two of the same thing. Sometimes that fabric we loved in the store looks hideous in our sewing room.

Don’t horde. Give it away! Although non-quilters believe quilters make everything from scraps, in reality, quilting is a very expensive hobby. A new quilter is always grateful for anything that helps her with her new hobby. If you don’t know a new quilter, make  a gift to a quilt guild or a school.

Start the new year by sharing with a fellow quilter. Your uncluttered sewing room will make you more productive, and you will have helped spread the art of quilting!

Get Organized

The new year is a great time to organize your sewing room. After all, before you can accomplish those 2011 quilting goals, you need to assess what you have and what you need. There are many books and magazines that feature great sewing places. Most of  us may never have a dream sewing space, but there are always one or two ideas you can incorporate into your sewing life.

One such book is Dream Sewing Spaces which is available on Amazon. Organization is key if you want to realize your quilting goals.

Did You Attend Your Quilt Guild Meeting this Month?

Desert Queen, by Anita Crosby, 2009. Photo by India Brantley.

Quilting can be a very solitary endeavor, or it can be a fun group activity. I always come away inspired when I attend my quilt guild meeting and I recommend strongly that all quilters join a guild. Show and tell is always fun, and just the sheer creativity in the room is worth the trip to the meeting.

Anita Crosby

This month,  at the Brown Sugar Stitchers meeting,  we were treated to a workshop by Anita Crosby. She taught us how to make photo  quilts. Everyone left inspired, and learned many new quilting tips throughout her presentation.

Find a quilt guild and become an active member. You will become a better quilter.

Shown here is Desert Queen, Anita’s fabulous photo quilt of her daughter Thea.

Store Your Quilts Properly

If you own one of your grandmother’s quilts,  you should treat it like a priceless treasure. Storing it properly is a must if you want it to last for the next generation to enjoy.

When it comes to quilts, sunlight is evil! So the most important rule is to keep your quilt away from  sunlight.

Experts also recommend that you fold your quilt with archival tissue paper between the folds. Place it in a cotton pillowcase, and then place the pillowcase in an archival box. Re-fold your quilt at least one a year to avoid creases.

Storing your quilt properly will ensure that it lasts for many decades.

Block of the Month Programs Build Skills

Martin's Dream, 74 x 87 inches, by O.V. Brantley, 2002.

Now is a great time to enroll in a block of the month program. Most quilt stores and some online sites sponsor them. In a block of the month program, you complete a block each month. At the end of the year, you assemble the blocks into a quilt. For beginning quilters, this is a great way to build your skills because working on one block is not as overwhelming as trying to finish an entire quilt. 

O.V. Brantley

Martin’s Dream by O.V. Brantley was the result of a  block of the month program sponsored by the Quilts and Fixins Quilt Shop in Jonesboro, GA. She added her own border of children holding hands to make this quilt uniquely hers.

Basting Spray is a Great Time Saver

Traditional quilters will tell you that the best way to baste a quilt is to hold the sandwich together with safety pins spaced two inches apart. That definitely works, but the modern quilter is slight stretched for time. An amazing new invention is basting spray.

There are several manufactures, but the idea is the same. Lay out your quilt back. Spray it with basting spray. Cover the back with batting. Spray it with basting spray. Finish by adding your top. Smooth is all out, and voila, you are ready to  quilt.

Try it. You may like it.

Choose Your Batting Wisely

Warm and natural battingGone are the days when quilters used whatever was on hand to stuff inside their quilts. The type of batting used can greatly affect the quilting process as well as the finished look of your quilt.

Many quilters are purists and will only use 100 per cent cotton batting in their quilts. However, there are battings that are 80 per cent cotton and 20 per cent polyester that machine quilters say is a perfect combination.

Hand quilters are concerned about being able to push the need through easily. Wool batting is often at the top of the list for hand quilters. Many say the neddle slides through the quilt  like a knife through melted butter.

Now organic battings have entered the market, and those who are environmentally conscious will only quilt with organic batting.

After choosing a batting type, the decisions do not end there. You must also consider the loft. Do you want a very thin batting which is often used for wallhangings or do you want a puffy look?

Hobbs heirloom battingThe wise thing to do is to experiment. You may find that you will use different types of batting depending on the quilt you are working on.

What is your favorite batting?

Threads Offer Many Choices

Early quilters had little more than needle, thread and scraps when they set about making a quilt. My, how things have changed. Take thread for instance. The choices are astounding!

Most quilters use cotton thread in a neutral color such as tan or gray for piecing, but that is only the beginning. Choices for quilting the quilt sandwich seem endless.  There are variegated threads, metallic threads, silk threads, polyester threads, cotton threads and embroidery threads. Each type comes in every color of the rainbow. You are limited only by your imagination.

What type of threads do you use?

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Precise Seams Are Important in Quilting

Hands sewing on machineOne of the first lessons a future master quilter must learn is how to sew a quarter inch seam.  Garment patterns are  based on a one-half inch seam, but quilt patterns are not. If you want your points to be pointy and your seams to match, practice, practice, practice to sew an accurate quarter inch seam if you are using patterns.

Once you are a master quilter or quilt artist, it probably won’t matter, because you can do your own thing. But until then, learning to sew a precise quarter inch seam is the most important lesson you can learn in quilt school.

Floods Are Another Reason to Get Your Quilts Appraised

Clara's Big Red Squares by Clara Ford

Clara's Big Red Squares by Clara Ford

The Clara Ford Foundation recently sponsored, in collaboration with the Hammonds House Museum, a day of  quilt appraisals. Holly Anderson, Georgia’s only certified quilt appraiser,  was on hand to lecture and conduct a day of appraising.

One of the main points of discussion was why get a quilt appraised. Now we know. If you are one of the many people in the Atlanta area dealing with insurance companies after the flood, you realize how valuable an appraisal would be right about now. Our quilts are truly priceless and irreplaceable, but the next best thing is a fair price.

The Clara Ford Foundation will offer quilt  appraisals annually at Hammonds House Museum. Check this site often for news of  the next date.

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