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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Bonzer Trunk Show - Up Close With Sarah Fielke's 'hand quilted with love' Quilts

Sarah Fielke chats about her 'paint by numbers' quilt from her new book 'hand quilted with love'

There was a buzz around Manhattan on Thursday night this week, Sarah Fielke was in town and we all gathered at the Art Quilt Gallery in Manhattan to see her Trunk Show for her latest book 'hand quilted with love'.

Under pressure, my attendance being the envy of several friends (particularly Sarah @Quilt Candy who told me about the trunk show before The Art Quilt Gallery even announced it!!!), I knew I had to report back.  Grabbing a seat at the end of the row so I could keep standing to get some great photos to share with you all, I snapped away - here goes, I hope I haven't let you down ;)


For the Trunk Show Sarah brought along a selection of quilts from her new book but obviously she couldn't squeeze all of them into her suitcase for the journey from Aus!  She also kept apologising for the quilts being in need of a good ironing, something I'm sure we can all relate to, however, none of us were there to look at whether or not her quilts were ironed, it's more about the how and why when we get a chance to see quilts we've only read about up close isn't it?!!!

Sarah tells us that she doesn't wash fabrics before using them, occasionally she might drop a small piece of fabric in a white cup of boiling water if she's a little doubtful about its dye fast hold, just to see what happens.  Sarah says that today's manufacturing methods should make fabrics dye fast but she recommends if you do experience a problem with a particular fabric that you notify the seller or manufacturer to make them aware.

Sarah often hand quilts appliqués (see CORRECTION note) in front of the TV at night - her tip is to use a silver, non acid gel pen to mark your pieces and quilts as it will shimmer in the light and although it won't wash out it will wear away while other colours of gel pen don't. CORRECTION at 5 May 2013: Sarah has left a lovely comment on this post and explains "I use the gel pens for hand appliqué, not for hand quilting. Please don't use them for marking your hand quilting lines, it won't come off and you will curse my name forever!"

 
 
Made with 100% cotton, high quality men's shirt fabric taken from shirt samples and bound with fabric cut from men's ties.  Sarah only ever used natural fibres - drills, linens, cottons, etc, she doesn't mind what fabrics she puts together within a quilt but she does want everything to be natural

Sarah's not a fan of the Clover Bias Tape Makers that I love (see my tute here) she prefers to make her bias strips using a Clover Hera Marker to score her seam lines then irons the seams into place and that's how she's made the teapot and cup handles in this amazing quilt.

 
Sarah's starting point for this quilt was the vintage grey and orange 'feed sack' fabric around the centre and the quilt grew from there.  She doesn't design her quilts on paper but prefers to use her design wall to audition different colours and sections until she finds what's right.  Unused sections are often pieced together later into baby quilts.

Never having made a jelly roll or solid quilt, Sarah felt challenged by comments from her blog readers to take the plunge and here's the outcome.

Here're all the other snippets of info I can remember that Sarah shared with us:
  • Sarah stores her fabric by colour in a bookcase that her husband built around and over her door in her studio.  She keeps stripes and dots separately along with the small animal prints that she includes in every quilt she makes.
  • A novice quilter about to take her first class asked for Sarah's advice, Sarah suggested that she shouldn't follow the rules.  She said to learn the foundations so you can make a quilt well but to follow your heart and your own ideas and not to listen to those who tell you how quilting 'has' to be done.
  • Art Quilt Gallery owner, Dale, asked Sarah what she thought the main differences were between quilting in Australia and the US.  Sarah thought it was probably the use of colour, bright colour and particularly the use of bright colour that isn't combined with white.  She wondered if this was influenced by the quality and amount of light and sky in Australia.
  • Sarah's machine quilting is all done by Kim Bradley.
  • As Sarah is making her quilt top she has a plan in mind for her hand quilting and she irons all her seams according to where she will be quilting.  These days she likes straight line hand quilting to enhance the piecing rather than a detailed pattern which adds to the design and possibly detracts from it.


Sarah signing my copy of her latest book 'hand quilted with love'

 

And finally, me with Sarah

 As she left NYC to fly back to Australia, Sarah posted on her blog 'the last piece' and she said that she'll be posting a podcast of her Trunk Show soon - when she does I'll share it on my facebook wall so you can catch it.



For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my sidebar :D



Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

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30 comments:

  1. So much beauty and inspiration!

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    1. Such fun quilts and she was very geniune, honest and charming - I haven't done any hand quilting as yet but I don't think a straight line's beyond me - might try it on Flicky's uni quilt when it's ready :)

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  2. Fabulous quilts Chrissie thanks for sharing all the tips and info, we could almost have been there :)

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  3. Lovely quilts and what a variety of quilts! I was also amazed by the mosaic quilts on the walls, like the one of the young man hanging behind Sarah and you.

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    1. Sarah's quilts are just great aren't they! A few people have spoken to me about the quilts on the walls - they're part of an exhibition by Deb Hyde: Sunshine and Shadow which is on in the gallery through to 8 June 2013. I'm thinking that I should do a post about Deb's quilts too and maybe all the quilt exhibitions that The City Quilter put on! :)

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  4. Thanks for your very detailed reporting Chrissie for those of us way too far away! I love the photos and tips, and insights into Sarah's decision making. Beautiful unique quilts.

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    1. A fun evening Cynthia, shame you couldn't be there too :)

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  5. Thanks for sharing Chrissie! Lovely photos!
    :)
    Silvana

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    1. Pleasure Silvana, glad you enjoyed :)

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  6. Thank you sew much, Chrissie! I love the photos you took, and the tips you remembered. Wish I could have been there, but grateful you were and shared with us.

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    1. I'm so lucky to have so much going on here regarding quilting and I love being able to share it with you all :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing your pictures and little tips you picked up from Sarah. After seeing the pictures you took of some of the quilts featured in her new book I feel more inclined to purchase it. Sometimes a picture in a book doesn't convey how amazing a quilt design can be.

    Also - I nominated you for a Liebster Award - I know these little awards can be silly, but I had a lot of fun with it and also I really like reading your blog and wanted to spread the word. Here is the link for my post: http://goosiesmom.blogspot.com/2013/05/goosies-momaccepts.html

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    1. The book's a good one Britt and Sarah talks you through the whole process beautifully.

      Thanks so much for nominating me for the Liebster, I'll pop over and have a read of your blog post and start thinking about my own responses and posting them :)

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  8. Hi Chrissie! Thanks for such a lovely blog on the night, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) one thing though- I use the gel pens for hand appliqué, not for hand quilting. Please don't use them for marking your hand quilting lines, it won't come off and you will curse my name forever!

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    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for dropping by - I'll go back right now and update my post about the gel pens, thanks for telling me! Hope to see you back at CQ in the Autumn :)

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this Chrissie!! (I hope you didn't feel under pressure from me to record every last detail!) But now I feel like I was there too, and I'm so happy that you had a fab time and got to meet Sarah. xxx

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    1. Well you can't really call it pressure can you reporting back on anything quilty!!! I wish you could have been there with me, one of these days I hope you will be :) x

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  10. ooooh, I am SO jealous! I am a big fan of her work and love her Craftsy class. One of my goals is to learn to use bold color like she does so well. I hope you get to take a class with her - it sounds like fun

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    1. I haven't done any of her classes - well to be honest I haven't done any Craftsy classes, which I put down to having The City Quilter on my doorstep and my being a permanent feature there! I really hope I get to take a class with her at CQ in the Autumn, I'll have to be on the ball when it's announced because I suspect it'll be an instant sell out!!! :)

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  11. Fabulous post! I think all us Aussie quilters are a bit proud Sarah is from the same country as us ;o) She is remarkably talented!

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    1. I don't blame you, you have every right to be proud, I love the modern quilting coming from your side of the world! :)

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  12. Chrissie, thank you for such a great review of Sarah's trunk show. How lucky you were to go see it. Her work looks just marvellous.

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    1. It was amazing Jennifer, I'm so lucky that so many great quilters drop in to The City Quilter and I get to see their work :)

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  13. Sounds like a great day!

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    1. It was smashing Beth, such fun to see Sarah's work up close :)

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  14. Wow, it must have been amazing to see all those beautiful quilts up close and personal and to hear first hand about how they were made. She was over in Christchurch last year. I was an absolute baby quilter and so I didn't go to see her but next time... next time!

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    1. Absolutely Juliet and she said that all her quilts start out small and then grow and grow so they'd be easy to adapt. Next time she visits grab that opportunity! :)

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  15. Such a fun post - thanks for sharing. I have her book 'Quilting from small things' and it is so full of inspiration. I started hand quilting with perle cotton after buying it, and haven't looked back :-)

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  16. Brilliant colour and design.

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Chris Dodsley