Wednesday, April 21, 2010

International Quilt Festival-Chicago

I had SO much fun at International Quilt Festival Chicago last weekend, I'm still recovering. And I'm going to be honest here, I only made my way through the actual quilt displays once, very quickly on my way out the door. No, I went for Make It University. MIU is a large area in the middle of the convention space that is set up for Mixed Media Artists and workshops. Drool city. I was fortunate enough to get into FOUR workshops between two days worth of festivities. My first workshop on Friday morning was with Kelli Nina Perkins and we made whimsical cartoon pins. Kelli was so cool and funny and down to earth. Fabulous teacher. Here is the cartoon pin I made, a thread spool of course!
It actually has three layers - a muslin top with text glued on, an inner of stiff interfacing, like Timtex, and a backing fabric. Plenty of glitter. We love glitter. I outlined it with ink dipped Fantastix. (More about that later.)

The next workshop I got into was with THE Pokey Bolton herself.  She is a really pretty woman and TINY. She has such a charismatic personality. Just like on her QuiltingArts TV show. 
We painted fabric in preparation for making postcards. We used Lumiere paints to give the canvas a base color, then used stencils with Smooch Spritz. We used regular Smooch to highlight areas. We made our own stamps with a product called Magic Foam. You heat it up with a heatgun and press an object into it and it makes a stamp. Pokey challenged us by asking us to look in our purses for an object that would make a good impression on the foam. I found a brass measuring tape that made a cool design. For the other stamps I used some blocks she had brought, they are used in making batik fabric and had really cool designs on them.
We got to keep the Lumiere paints and the magic foam stamps. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the fabric yet. I think it needs some contrast or graffiti type lettering on it. 

At that point I could either take another workshop and sprint from the building when it was over to make it home in time to meet my daughter off the bus, or walk around the vendor booths and see some quilts. I opted for the latter... 

The next day I took my daughter with me. We missed Belinda Spiwak's workshop on game tile charm bracelets by about 3 minutes. We put our names in the pots for the next three workshops and walked around some more and went to the Trading Wall. I found this lady and her son putting up these beautifully simple and whimsical ATC's that I immediately fell in love with. I snatched a few up and then discovered that the lady was Leilani Pierson with her son. We chatted a bit and I soon discovered that Celia and I got into her workshop, wooohooo! We made a hand stitched fabric book but we got to pound flowers to make the designs on the fabric. I had never done this before and I swear, it was like magic! Here is my book: 

Yes, those colors on there are all REAL flower juice! We also used stamps and inks and cut out text words to decorate the fabric. Leilani has an amazing way with words. I think that's why I fell in love with her ATC'S: 
I just have to figure out a fabulous way to display them now. 

The next workshop up was Kelli Nina Perkins' Thread Spool Poetry workshop. As you may know, I made several of these already but it was so much fun to have Kelli's live instructions. While we worked, she read really bad poetry to us. It was pretty funny.  Leilani and her son sat in front of us and we got to chat a bit more. She is really a remarkable lady and so easy to talk to. Both my daughter and I made a thread spool. 
Mine is the purple one and reads: "The blue moon shone on the sapphire forest Her anxious voice moved the night". And Celia's is the blue one. She got pretty silly with her words but she had so much fun in this class! Hers says: "The queen's married green telephone hopped beyond the sad candy bar mountains to Captain Freddy". Hey, it's not called free form poetry for nothing!

At this point I had a starving kid and I guess I had to feed her. We skipped on the next workshop and ate some really expensive hot dogs and wandered around the vendors some more. I ended up buying some Tsukineko all purpose inks in a rainbow of colors and some Fantastix to go with them.  I blame it on Kelli. We used them in her cartoon pin class and they were really cool! You just dip the fantastix into the ink to cover the tip and it wicks up a bit and you can draw or write with them. You can use them over and over (with the same color) and they won't dry out. You can't use acrylic ink with them though because the acrylic will gunk them up. I also bought a small package of Misty Fuse and picked some brains on how to use them with the Angelina Fibers I've had stashed here for a few years. The Embellishment Village booth was truly drool-worthy also but I resisted... 

Besides Leilani's beautiful ATC's I came home with some other really cool trades. I traded an ATC with a beautiful spirited woman I sat with in my first workshop. She had a cool English accent but she flew in from New York, where she currently lives. Her ATC is the top one just right of the big red heart, it's an abstract of Central Park. As you can tell I was really enamored with the fabric ATC's this time. Going clockwise from the Central Park one is a patchwork ATC by Marjorie Peterson from NM. The sunburst one is by Julia Ann Hyll, MI; the one on the bottom right is by Ann Mays; center bottom is by Kathy Palmiter; "Perfectly Pink" is a collaboration between Lyn Henderson and Cindy Bettinger, IL; The heart fabric postcard was made by Debbie in IL; and the ATC in the center was made by Cindy Loos.
I also came home with some pendants and pins. A lady named BJ Kennedy had a shirt full of these really cool steampunkish looking pins and I got so excited I ran and got my domino pendants and asked her if she would trade with me. It's the one on the left. The center top one was made by Belinda Spiwak and the center bottom one I stamped with a Fred Mullet stamp at the Open Studio with Belinda. Both are stamped on Mah Jong tiles. The charm on the right was made by a very talented lady by the name of Barbara Triscarl. Believe it or not, the charm was made from a plastic gelato spoon! Her gelato spoon charm was featured in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine reader challenge. You can see it on her blog, called Artsy Fartsy Triscartsi. How cool is that?
Finally, my last catch of the day turned into another case of "this caught my eye before I knew who made it." These gorgeous prints were up on the wall and I was immediately attracted to them. Upon closer inspection I saw they were signed by Judy Coates Perez! And just a moment earlier I snatched this cute manga like character from the wall made by a woman named Nina Perez. Yep, they are mother and daughter, apparently talent runs strong in the Perez veins!
Wow, did I write enough? I'm just so jazzed by all the beauty and art and talented people I met. It was so inspirational. I'm extremely disappointed that International Quilt Festival will no longer be hosted by Chicago. They are moving to Cincinnati. So this was my first experience taking "in person" workshops from my mixed media idols and I can't look forward to it next year. Very sad.

I leave you with some eye candy from Kelli Perkins' Open Studio space. Have a great week everyone!


  1. It looks like you had so much fun! Thanks for sharing it all with us. I almost felt like I was there seeing it with you. One day I will make it to one of these kind of workshops. What fun! If only they did these things here in Pittsburgh. Yeah.. right! Oh well.. I can dream..

  2. Wow. I think I just relived the whole event and now I'm exhausted again! I share your joy of the creativity surrounding this weekend. I was so inspired by everyone and got to meet really fab artists. You and your daughter were simply adorable. Her poem is FUN! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and I'm sure we'll meet again :) Kelli

  3. I agree with Kelli, I feel like I just went through it all again. Thanks for the nice words about my charm. Make sure you look into the Cloth Paper Scissors CREATE workshops coming up in August again in Rosemont. I'm already planning on signing up for Kelli's class and enjoyed meeting her and seeing her art in person! I was so busy taking classes that I only had the preview night and 2 hours during a lunch break to get to the show and most of that time was spent in the Quilting Arts/CLoth Paper Scissors area, like you. I did get to do the rust class at Make it U. So much fun!

  4. Wow-I am almost speechless with overload!!-I do love the comic book pin you made and you scored some great ATC's and new supplies!!!

  5. Oh Lisa - you lucky dog! What fun. A tip for your Magic Foam; I find cut glass snack plates at the thrift store - they have terrific patterns to press into your stamp! I love that stuff. Glad you got to take your daughter too. Lori from Sketchbook

  6. Lisa, thanks for the virtual tour! It was great. You must have had a complete blast! I attended Quilt Market and Quilt Festival in Houston in the late 90s. I can't imagine how much everything has changed. So glad you and your daughter had this experience.
    Barb - Sketchbooks

  7. it was sooo great to meet you and your sweet daughter, lisa! thx so much for liking my ATCs and having a blast at my workshop! your workshop pieces are just awesome!! ;) please keep in touch... xoxo~Leilani

  8. I know next to nothing about fabric based art. But this is extraordinary to me and beautiful :-)

  9. OH WOW! you lucky girls!! Great post I felt like I got to go along too! Someday i'm going to make it there. Fantastic pictures! thanks soooo much for sharing your experience

  10. Lisa what a great opportunity for you and your daughter. Sounds like you had a blast and found, traded, and experienced some really cool things. Thank you for sharing! Wish I could have gone, but seeing it through your eyes was great.

  11. Thank you for taking the time to post all the details. And, for providing links. I watched the Magic Foam video and feel like I should take notes from your experience!...bea

  12. What a fabulous review of the Quilt Show. Some great ideas that I will have to come back and visit. The smashed petal flowers look like fun. It sounds like you and your daughter had a fantastic time.

  13. That sounds like one busy fun time! It may not be there next year but you sure got a lot out of this one. Is the fabric you made large enough to be the cover for a book?

  14. Wow - overload of information! How did you remember all that stuff! You must have taken notes! It sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing all the stuff you learned.


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