Sunday, March 25, 2018

Graffiti Quilting - Cool Stuff!

This week (okay, it’s been over a week now…), instead of going to work one day and plowing through piles of paper, I took a day off and attended a Graffiti Quilting class taught by Karlee Porter .  Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard of her or not, but she is one of the most enjoyable, likable, upbeat individuals I’ve ever met. She truly loves what she’s developed as an artist – and a quilter – and neither done in the traditional sense.  She developed Graffiti Quilting and was teaching a class to the Guild that I belong to.  The full-day class was so much fun and she is such a great teacher that you just come away feeling inspired and rejuvenated – even though you just spent a while day sitting and listening….well, we did do some free motion quilting to try out our new found skills and knowledge.  
This is one of Karlee's quilts.  The colors are great and the stitching is amazing.  Inspirational for sure!

What makes Graffiti Quilting different?  Well, in the words of Karlee, it breaks the quilting rules.  “Don’t overstitch”, traditional quilters might say.  Karlee says, “The more overstitching, the better”!  “Keep your quilting pattern consistent throughout your quilt”?  Yeah, not according to Karlee – the more changes the better!  “Match your bobbin thread to your quilt backing color so the quilting blends in….”  That would be a “No” again in Karlee’s world.  Keep your top and bobbin thread the same color and allow the great quilting you’re doing to show on the back of the quilt.  So…break some rules.  It actually feels quite good – and liberating. 

She taught us the various components that you can use in your Graffiti Quilting design, and we sketched along as she showed us how form the various parts.  Here’s some of my sketches and notes as we were going through the class. 

I thought I might be able to use this on a quilt I'm working on....ideas...ideas...

We then had time to practice this new type of free-motion quilting and so we did.  Here’s my rendition of the graffiti quilting.  I chose to do a more structured pattern to start, just because, honestly, I was afraid I’d forget which direction I was going and I’d mess up royally.  So, I started with something where I didn’t have to think too hard about the structure, I just had to keep quilting in a half-circle.  Really cool, huh?  It’s exciting…this is just thread and whole cloth, but what an impact!

This is my attempt at Graffiti Quilting.  This is addictive and great fun.  It's exciting to see what you come up with.

My brain has been storming on how to incorporate this type of quilting into a quilt.  I happen to have a red and black quilt I’ve been working on for some time.  Yes, I’ve set it aside for many months, unsure of how I wanted to set it together and/or quilt the thing.  I just put it back up on my design wall to start setting it together – just before the Karlee class.  Now, my brain is thinking of ways to quilt it and here’s some of my sketches that I’ve started…I think I’ll do the graffiti quilting itself in red and gray and then maybe just do straight line stitching in areas to let the graffiti quilting shine, but complement the overall quilt.  I’m getting excited and want to get started on this one soon….

Meanwhile, I’m trying to finish up the retirement quilt I started for a colleague.  It’s moving along…now quilting out the border areas.  I’m on a time crunch…just a few weekends left until I have to have this one finished….so, I’ll have to just dream and think about the red and black quilt until I get this one done and off to its intended. 

I almost didn’t get into Karlee’s class – was on a wait list, but boy am I glad I got in.  What fun. What inspiration.  What a way to spend a day.  Hope you are finding inspiration to keep you going or jumpstart you in your projects. 

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