Posts Tagged ‘books’

Ann Wasserman’s New Book: Preserving Our Quilt Legacy

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

annAnn Wasserman has repaired and rehabilitated countless quilts over the last 30 years. She has vast experience and a curator’s attitude towards the work. And a great deal of common sense. Most quilters think that they know about repairing quilts. We also think we know about storing quilts. It’s not necessarily so. We know about stitching and color, but the skills to repair a  really damaged quilt are really different .Machine quilting isn’t any help here. Repair and conservation require a knowledge of fabric history, a skilled set of stitches and a sense of restraint. book cover Ann’s new book, Preserving Our Quilt Legacy provides all that.

There is a mountain of information about fabrics from different periods of time, bats, and nicely drawn stitch diagrams. But more than that, there’s a wealth of information about the difference between  restoration and conservation. She offers a very sensible set of guidelines for when to repair and when to simply preserve a quilt that respects the quilt as an historic document. And a huge base of information about storage, care, and sensible display. 

If you have a lovely old quilt in your life, this book is solid information for it’s care. For a collector of old quilts it would be an invaluable resource. For anyone doing restoration or conservation, a bible.

AnnsquiltAnn is also an established contemporary quilter. You’ll find her own work and her book for sale on her web site at www.annquilts.com.

Raid My Fabric Stash: A New Etsy Store

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

 

The resurrected vacuum Cleaner

The resurrected vacuum Cleaner

 

New Etsy Store

New Etsy Store

 

 

 

 

I have just risen triumphant over my vacuum cleaner again.Those who know me know there is a ritual vacuum cleaning in my house once every seven years, if needed. It’s not quite that bad but close. I have to have a task I really don’t want to do do get around to vacuuming first. Say like cleaning out the basement cat pottie. Digging out the 85 rogue dock plants on the side yard.  Finding what really is in the refrigerator.

I got all the dogs into the yard to avoid attack mode on either side. And turned it on.

The noise was astonishing. The response, not so much. The little tornado inside simply didn’t step up. So I turned it on its head and went about a game called “What’s your mechanical perversion?” Usually that’s a one to five minute round  exercise.

Not this time. It didn’t take long to discover the cloth bedroom slipper stuck in the rotor. Pulled that  out. Fired it up. More non-action.

So we attacked with a screw driver to find the busted belt and there is was.  A trip off to the store and back, belt in my pocket. Got the belt on and still no action.

So as a final act, I took the broom handle out for a walk and jammed it up  the hose. All the way.

Out popped an odd and awful thing that I think once was a chunk of wood. It’s now sucking in a much more acceptable way.

ellen webThe point to all of this is that it ought to easier. Sometimes it simply isn’t. It isn’t like there’s a simple fix. There’s the round after round of hits and answers to those hits that in themselves should be small, but as a group, they’re devastating. And one fix alone won’t do it. 

I’ve just had this happen in a medical way as well. Two months ago I ended up briefly in the hospital for what looked like a heart attack. It turns out I have massive high blood pressure which can easily be medically controlled.  But, because of the medical systems in place, my only option to discover this was an emergency room visit and an overnight hospitalization. 

I’m healing and my meds are regularized. But the financial consequences are overwhelming.  I’m in the process of negotiating that, but in that economy it may still be career ending.  As a working person with a small amount of money, there is no chance of medical monetary aid. As a single self employed person there is no way to purchase meaningful insurance. I am uninsured and pretty sure that the hospital will demand what I have, even if it impoverishes me and takes my studio.

eddy class brochure_Page_01webSo, like the vacuum cleaner, I have a few simple tools. I am still able to teach and am delighted to continue that. It’s been my life. I hope it continues to be my life. If your guild, group or store would like me to teach, that would be wonderful. You’ll a find a complete list of classes on my site  and a full class catalog on  on scribd.com

 

 

 

I have a mountain of fabric that I’ve collected over the years. I’m going to begin to destash, and I invite you to Raid My Fabric Stash, a new Etsy store started by my truly desperate self. And remind you that I have the mother of all stash of sheers, hand dyes, and other wonders. I invite you to raid my stash. We’ll have new offerings up every week. We’re starting with some fabric/fiber inspiration kits. More will be coming soon.

If you’ve ever wanted a quilt of mine, this is the time. Check the web site,  see if there’s a piece you would like and contact me directly. I can offer a 30-50% discount depending on the piece. Call me and we’ll make that happen. I’ll also list some pieces on the Etsy site just to see what happens. 

It really should be easier. But it’s not. I don’t like to ask for help. But I’m trying every way I can, to figure my answers out.

Bless you!

Ellen

 

Once More with Feeling: Patterns

Monday, March 4th, 2013

774 Fall Flight

774 Fall Flight detail 2I’ll confess this. I really didn’t want to do patterns. I fought it tooth and nail.

Why? Because I believe something truly magical happens when you try to draw. 

Three things I know:

  • Everything worth doing is worth doing badly. If you ever want to do anything well, you need to be willing to do it over and over again. Badly at first. You need to be willing to weather that through.
  • There’s no can’t like won’t. You really can’t do anything that you won’t do. Get over the won’t and then you really can. Particularly if you drop the need to be perfect. 
  • You’re always better than you think. Once people get over the won’t thing and the perfection thing, usually their learning curve is pleasantly steep. But even if it isn’t, if you’re willing to try you can really, really, do anything.

I also thought it was lazy art. Then I ended up in a gallery with a show of Degas pastel tracings.

 

I’m not Degas’ biggest fan, but he’s my idea of a completely respectable artist. He did brave explorations of art that was highly unacceptable in it’s time.  And created an amazing body of work.

At one point he started tracing over his pictures and coloring them in different ways with pastels. I believe it was a color study. But no one can deny the beauty of them. He took the same image, over and over, to see where it might go.

With that being said, I’ve begun several years ago to bring patterns into class. And in the process, I’ve started using them myself, partially because it was part of demo and partially because it gives you a way to rework things in different ways. Again, another definition of series.

What changed my mind? Well you pick your battles. If I have a lady in class, I’ve already made her work upside down and put weird thread in her machine. It’s sometimes time to cut  a person some slack.

But it also speeds up the process. I will teach stick drawing for animals in class, but I only do it on request or when I’m doing master classes. Most people just want to go boogie on their machine. Sensibly enough. So I’ve consistently handed out a series of patterns from quilts of my own.

So what happens when you rework an image? All the other good series that happen

  • You get to ask, what if?
  • You remove some decisions so you can focus on others.
  • You speedline your work.

Frog 3So with all that in mind I’m in the process of preparing a pattern book for students. You are the people I do this for.  So would you be willing to let me know what you think?

  • Are you interested in a book of patterns drawn from my quilts?
  • What animals would you like to see in it? 
  • Would you be willing to honor my request to use it strictly for classroom or personal use? (Not for contest or sales)
  • Would you want a disk to go with it of jpgs?
  • Would some other format work better for you?
  • Would you want a smaller number of patterns with full color insides or a larger black and white book?
  • Do you want advice and help in coloring and shading?
  • Do you want information about stitching or do you just want patterns?
  • Is there something else that would make this book more useful or desirable to you?

I learned a long time ago that I am not making books for me. They are always for you, fellow artists. So it helps to know, what would help. If you respond ( and leave your email), I’ll send you 6 patterns as a thank you.

You can either leave your comments on the page or email me at ellenanneeddy@gmail.com

or you can call at 219-921-0885.

Thanks!

Ellen

 

 

 

 

 

School’s Out! Contest Winners!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

 

Thread Magic Summer School is out! But for those of you who missed it all, the blogs are up and you can build your knowledge. As Bing said, “You could be better than you are.” And so can we all.

I’m putting in the quiz with the answers because that’s really what a quiz is about. It’s a learning tool. Multiple guess was the bane of my childhood because I could always see at least two answers that could under odd enough circumstances work. And, of course, this is one woman’s opinion. The final authority on how thread works is how it works for you and your machine.  But that being said, here’s the answers.

Question 1. How is embroidery thread different from sewing thread?
(  ) It’s of nicer colors  
(  ) It’s rayon  
(+) It’s two ply rather than 3 ply  
(  ) It’s thick.  
Question 2. How do you use #5-8 thick threads in the machine?
(+) Through the needle  
(  )  In a regular bobbin case  
(  ) You can only couch them  
(  ) Through an adjusted bobbin case.  
Question 3.Which weight of thread is thickest?
(  ) 50 weight  
(  ) 20 weight  
(  ) 30 weight  
(+) 5 weight  
Question 4. Which kind of thread is most colorfast?
(  ) cotton  
(  ) rayon  
(+) polyester  
(  ) metallic  
Question 5. What thread would you never use through the needle?
(+) Candelight #8 weight  
(  ) Poly Neon #40 weight  
(  ) Sulky 30 weight rayon  
(  ) FS2/20 Madiera 20 weight  
Question 6.Is a cross wound spool better used horizontally or vertically?
(  ) It doesn’t matter.  
(  ) Vertically  
(+) Horizonally  
Question 7.How many times does your thread go through your needle before it lands in your fabric?
(  ) twice  
(  ) 30 times  
(+) 50 times  
(  ) 10 times  
Question 8. What is mercerized thread?
(  ) It’s specially colored.  
(  ) It’s regular sewing thread.  
(+) It’s treated with lye for extra strength.  
(  ) It’s blue.  
Question 9.What thread is strongest?
(  ) cotton  
(  ) polyester  
(  ) rayon  
(+) monofilament  
Question 10. Can thread get old?
(+) True  
(  ) False  

 On another note, anyone who knows of a good free quiz software, please let me know. I haven’t quite worked the kinks out of this and need some help on it.

Our Winners:

Our winners are, every one who read this and learned something from it! But I’m sending an ebook to everyone who commented on this. I’m closing the contest today. If you didn’t give me a preference to your book, I’m sending you the binding book because it was the most requested. Three people won printed copies.

Nancy Pieper npiepe01@gmail.com won a copy of The Dye Day Workbook

Vivian Ahern PoopayTwo@aol.com won a copy of Dragonfly Sky

Katherine McNeese kmcneese@suddenlink.net won a copy of Quick and Easy Machine Bindings.

If you’ve won a book, please send me your mailing address  so I can get it to you.

I’ll be sending other books through Dropbox.com, so if you get an email from me, that’s your ebook.

A word about Thread Magic Studio Press:

The books we’re giving away are from Thread Magic Studio Press. This is my own publishing company, setup to do small classroom project books and stories. It lets me me put together small books that are perfect class handouts as opposed to the dreaded stapled white sheets. It’s also a service I can offer you as well. Do you want to do a pattern book? A printed portfolio? A family story? A show catalog. Thread Magic Studio Press can set that up for you for one copy or thousands. For public sale, or just for private. Just the way you want it. Email me if you’d like information about that.

Would you like to do something nice  for me in return?

(none of these things will cost you anything)
If you ask…….?Here’s several things that really help.

Like my facebook page.

We all know facebook is one of those group happenings everyone uses and no one really understands. But it is a lovely connection with folk, and it builds reputation. Like the Thread Magic Studio page to get more information about where I’m going, what I’m doing, and what is on my blog.

Follow my blog:

At the bottom of the blog page there’s a line that says RSS feed. If you click that you can set up following my blog. Or you can follow it through facebook through networked blogs

Review a book of mine:

Amazon, C&T and Goodreads all have places to review my books. Saying something nice about one of my books really helps sell books.

Ask your guild or local store to have me come teach for them.

I can call, write, send pictures and packages to venues right,left and center. None of that has the impact of you asking your guild or store to have me come teach. If you have a group that is interested have them email me and I’ll get teaching information out to them.

Finally, it always helps when people buy things. I have thread, fabrics, books, and fiber art always for sale on my site.When you can. If you wish. As you can.

I love what I do, but it’s not my hobby. For thirty years, it’s been how I paid my bills. Your support helps me to continue to give to you, quilters, the best I can for the best people I know.

This was too much fun not to do again. I’m taking suggestions if you have an idea what you’d like for the fall session.

Ellen

Packing the &*()(*&&^%%$ Box: What to Bring to Class

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

We’ve estabilished that I have a stuff problem. That gets magnified when I start to pack for class. What do I bring? What do I ask them to bring? What will the airport finally freak out on? In a broader safer time once had a box full of bobbins. I can’t imagine what they thought these were but it brought out the big dogs. They had to see it all after that.

When we went to the fifty pound bag it got much worse. I remember the day. I was in Seattle at 5 AM. The lady at the counter grabbed my bag that was perfectly legal when I left Chicago and growled” This bag is overweight!” Like it was a triumph against ugly fat and too much underwear. I looked at her and said that my bag, unlike her, had had enough breakfast to be relatively civilized. It didn’t help. The age of measured baggage had arrived. I paid the extra bounty and knew a new world had come.

It only gets more stringent. And yet, students need you to bring things. They need the right stabilizers, the right threads and the toys you play with to have a good day.

How do you do that as a teacher? I’m still trying to figure that out thirty years later. But I have a theory.

  • Bring what you want to play with.
  • I’ll bring what you really need.

So before each class I pack the &**(()*&^&^%^%$%$ box. And ship it ahead. It’s full of hand dyed threads,sewing machine needles, stabilizers, commercial threads and fabrics, kits, books, patterns, toys and my dreams for you. And I always hope for it to come home to me empty.

I’m leaving Tuesday to Maryland to teach at the  Nimble Fingers Quilt Guild, June 6-7th  and at the Bears Paw in Baltimore on June 9th. See you there. I brought everything!

Jacquie Scuittos Fun New Poetry Book, Quiltverse, Vol. One

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Quiltverse Volume One by Jacquie Scuitto

Jacquie is a quilter’s quilter. Her quilt work is warm and scrappy and fun. But on top of that she does delightful verse that speaks to the quilter in us all. She reminds me of Cathy Miller’s insights into the quilt world, but with a voice all her own.

 

Her new book, Quiltverse, is a collection of poems that sound like every quilter I know. She has an ear for what we all say and a heart to say it well. I particularly liked her poem about the sewing machine.

JUST WONDERING
The sewing machine is a wondrous thing
That I’ve never quite figured out:
The needle goes up and down, the bobbin goes round
And a nice neat stitch comes out.
For more years than I’ll tell I’ve used my machine
And sewn a mile or three,
But I still don’t understand how the stitches are formed.
Do you? Or is it just me?

and this is really the answer to all the unanswerable questions 

QUESTIONS— NO ANSWERS!
How long did it take to make that quilt?
(How long is a piece of string?)
How much does that quilt cost?
(How much is a bird on the wing?)
What price on creative dreaming?
What value to place on skill?
Is the time spent drudgery or fun?
Does it give the viewer a thrill?
Is it repeatable or one of a kind?
Would one WANT to make it again?
Trying to answer questions like these
Will sure strain a quilter’s brain!

A Black and White Tale

Jacquie teamed up with Ann Fahl  in 2011 to do a delightful book inspired by Ann’s cat quilts called A Black and White Tale. Her poems shine against Ann’s engaging images of Oreo the family cat.

 

 

I really love this new world where self publishing makes it possible for all kinds of people to showcase and document their work. It’s a wonderful thing!

Jacquie Scuitto

You’ll find Jacquie’s new ebook, Quiltverse, volume one, on Smashwords.

You’ll find her blog at http://quiltmuse.blogspot.com

You’ll find A Black and White Tale, her book with Ann Fahl at Ann’s site on www.annfahl.com

or on Amazon at www. amazon.com

My First Report Card: Thread Magic Garden Reviews

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Comes a day in every proud parent’s life when you get your first report card. Your kid comes in the door, runs into your arms and says, “Mom, my teacher said to give you this.” And you hold your breath. At that age they don’t know to hide it from you if  it isn’t going to meet expectations.

I’ve always argued that art is not your child. A book isn’t either. They don’t ever hug you and they rarely are a reason for you to visit the police station at 3 AM. So that’s the good and the bad of it. They are, however, your creation, and they have a life of their own. They will go places you can’t and do things you can’t. They will, with luck and grace, live past you. And they do get report cards. They’re called reviews

So I’ve been watching the reviews come in in fear and trepidation. Does my child speak when spoken to? Run with Scissors? Follow Directions? Tie her shoes?

Maybe not.

But this is what people have been saying on Amazon.


Share your thoughts with other customers:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, January 23, 2012
This review is from: Thread Magic Garden: Create Enchanted Quilts with Thread Painting & Pattern-Free Appliqué (Paperback)

An astonishing book for we learners from this extravagantly talented artist, Ellen Eddy. She is as down-to-earth as can be, and her directions are clear to quilters everywhere. This is an incredible follow-through to Thread Magic. I admire the quality of this book. The pictures are good and instructions superb from this witty and brilliant woman. I am taking this to my quilting club so we can invite Ellen to come to town to give us her famous lessons.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent how-to-book, January 20, 2012
By
Margaret L West (Tinley Park, IL United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Thread Magic Garden: Create Enchanted Quilts with Thread Painting & Pattern-Free Appliqué (Paperback)

One look at Ellen’s artistry with thread and fabric and the first thought is–I could never do that! Ellen’s book fixes that! The directions are clear and concise, a unique art form made simple. The photography is wonderful, the pictures of Ellen’s work inspire all from the novice to the expert. Do not pass up this book if you yearn to do more with a sewing machine than just sew straight stitches. Ellen makes this an achievable art form!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars What a picnic!, January 18, 2012
This review is from: Thread Magic Garden: Create Enchanted Quilts with Thread Painting & Pattern-Free Appliqué (Paperback)

Take a picnic basket full of threads and fun fabric, and let Ellen lead you into her garden. Meet all the flowers and creatures that live there and take them home with the fantastic directions that Ellen has shared. What wonderful talents and simple tricks she gives to help us on our journey.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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Do I know these people? Some yes, some no. Did I tell them what to say? I wouldn’t dare. It’s my report card.

The  second batch of Thread Magic Garden books arrived yesterday and are back in stock. You can order yours today!

Thread Magic Garden Is Ready for Pre-order!

Friday, December 30th, 2011
Thread Magic Garden will be arriving for shipment around January 20th. You can pre-order your copy today!
You never really know what a project will take until you see it done. Perhaps that’s good. A good dream well done should take your whole heart’s effort and give you your heart back in return.

When I started this book, I had no idea it would take 2 years to finish. Part of that is that I had to learn so much to do this book.  Part of that is the meticulous process C&T puts into every book.  I got my premier copy a week ago.I’m still scraping myself off the ceiling. It’s past my expectations. I’m hoping you’ll feel that way too.

When I started this book, I wanted to continue what I’d accomplished with Thread Magic. I wanted to show folk ways of adding wild free motion to quilts that set things hearts and imaginations on fire. I wanted to set up instructions that would take you through your own process with this. You’ll have to let me know how I’ve  done when you read the book.
But for those of you who’ve known me in class or in print, you know I don’t give recipes for cakes that don’t rise. I tell you everything I know. I also don’t do anything really hard. I just do things that are time consuming and compulsive.
So here is what we have.
  • Fifty eye popping new quilts in the gallery
  • A patternless approach to design
  • Intuitive applique that makes creating flowers  easy and fun


Tutorials in

  • Color theory for flowers
  • Corded buttonhole  binding
  • Angelina Fiber
  • 6 Free motion zigzag stitches
  • Machine Beading
  • Globbing
  • Sandwich stabilizing

I’m hoping I’ve done a good job of opening doors, traveling a new path, leaving good bread crumbs for anyone who wants to follow, and breaking the best rules I could find to break. See you on the trail.


You can  pre-order your copy of Thread Magic Garden at 
www.ellenanneeddy.com


The Wizard of Odd

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Having fun being weird today? Thank an artist!


Lately, they’ve been playing the Wizard of Oz again. It occurred to me just how much of our language comes from that amazing movie.


Most movies are a cultural moment at best. They expand on a moment in time. What is a classic changes with the wind, but I think we can say that it’s about how it changes the way people think. 


I was going through the number of phrases that the Wizard cemented into my verbal landscape:

  • “If I only had a brain.”
  • “Ding, dong, the witch is dead.”
  • “Over the rainbow.”
  • “And your little dog too.”
  • “I hope my courage holds out. I hope your tail holds out.”
  • “I’m melting.”

And of course,

  • ” Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Frank Baum, the author, had a rather unsuccessful life outside his books. He bounced from one thing to another until he wrote this odd and lovely tale, largely about politics. The politics have disappeared in time leaving a wonderful story about friendship, challenges, appreciating weird and very kind help, and finding your heart. Who would any of us be without it?


That being said, I take heart in this. When someone says, “You quilt, right? Can you make me a bed quilt? In beige?”


I remind myself that my glory and my crown, my hope and my consolation is that I be as gloriously odd as I am. And that if I do it well a small part of the world will shift for it.


Those of us doing our art shift the archetypes. Not purposely, or with cause, but simply by bringing our vision to the world. It’s not something one picks and chooses. It’s simply an act of trust to bring what your heart demands into being. We bring it all to the table and let time sort it out.

No More Color Police:Creating Flower Colors

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

 “Roses are red. violets are blue. Angels in heaven know I love you.” Down in the valley

 What color is a flower, actually?










In spite of everything your kindergarten teacher told you, it’s not a simple answer. If she made you color all your roses red, give me her name and I’ll go have a little chat with her. Or better still, you might want to tell her that she can’t live in your head anymore without paying rent.



That’s not a white tulip. Nor is it really red or yellow. It’s a wonderful swirl of a number of great colors. Leaving any of that out is a loss. But how do you do it in fiber?

We have two great tools. Well, we probably have hundreds but these help with this.Hand dyed fabric has all those great streaks. It’s a great way to start a flower.

Machine embroidery also speeds us on our way.The wonderful thing about stitching flowers is that thread really is minutia. We can slip in that dash of green, that edge of orange or purple that flowers either do have or should.
When Mark Lipinski asked me how important color was on his show this week and why I put so much emphasis on it, I almost fell of my chair. Color IS the media. We see everything through the color and the texture. You can here that conversation on Mark’s Creative Mojo  show, December 14th.

Thread Magic Garden has a full chapter on creating colors for flowers. It’s a magical thing. And you can do it too.

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