We fondly remember that raggedy blanket of colorful squares grandma made when we were young. But quilts can be more than stitched together fabric scraps. Discover the art of quilting — from paper-piecing to thread painting — at Lake Metroparks Farmpark’s 26th annual quilt show through March 29. In addition to 200 quilts on display, local and national quilters host workshops, lectures and events for budding seamstresses. Featured teaching artists Megan Hollingshead of Houston and Nancy Prince of Orlando share tips and techniques behind three quilts you can master.
Thread Sketching a Photograph: Thread sketching adds depth and dimension to a printed fabric or photograph with straight and zigzag stitches. This workshop uses a 12-by-10-inch quilt with a printed photo of Prince’s dog, Izzy, as a starting point. “We don’t want to fill the little dog in completely, we just want to enhance what’s already there,” she says. “I have them choose threads that are two shades darker or lighter than they see.” All levels, $80, March 23, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Black and White and Red All Over: A black-and-white floral fabric, available at most quilting stores, creates the backdrop for this beginner’s quilt. This introduction to thread painting uses a sewing machine to alternate between basic zigzag and straight stitches that fill in the organic curves and blended center of a bright, red flower. “It’s like coloring,” says Prince. “Instead of having a crayon in your hand, I’m using a needle and thread.” All levels, $80, March 22, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Enchanting Stars: In this three-part class, Hollingshead demonstrates how to create this intricate pattern. Using a traditional paper-piecing technique to make perfect points, designs are stitched directly onto a paper pattern that serves as the foundation. As each section is completed, the paper backing is torn off. “With circles, you’re turning the fabric constantly as it’s going into the machine,” says Hollingshead. Intermediate to advanced levels, $150, March 10-12, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
A night of fabric flowers and wine will leave you in stitches at Lake Farmpark’s 26th annual Quilt Show.
Curious about the craft of quilts, but still perfecting your stitches? On March 11, featured artist Megan Hollingshead demonstrates how to create a fabric flower bouquet at Wine, Dine, Quilts & Bouquets.
Fertilize. Thoroughly spray two 2-1/2-by-10 inch cotton strips with a heavy fabric stabilizer such as Terial Magic. Air dry before ironing flat. “I may use a purple that has a flower on it and then a purple in a lighter shade so you have multiple layers that give it some dimension,” says Hollingshead.
Petal Prep. One at a time, fold the strips in half and half again until you have eight squares. Leave enough room to rest your thumb on the bottom and cut a petal shape above your thumb. “It’s really free form,” she says. “I’ve done a heart shape so you get more of a tulip and a half oval so you get more of the daisy shape.”
Sew On. Sew a basting stitch — a wide, loose stitch, below your petal. Leave long tails of thread on each side, then pull to create a circle. Glue the ends and repeat with the other strip.
Top it. Lay the fabrics on top of each other, keeping the petals flat. Finish by gluing a button or jewel as the center.