Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SP-301 is Open for Registration

The Specialty Course (SP) 301 is open for registration from 28-30 September, (Wed - Friday). The registration window will close at midnight on Friday, Central Standard Time.
The SP-301 will be the creation of this small Christmas Santa wall-hanging using the Shadow Applique Quilting Technique.
The supplies required include minimal material for the neutral background, Holiday border, red Santa Hat, White beard/fur and flesh tone face/nose. Also, 1/2 yard of white chiffon (or organza, but chiffon is better because you can press it with a pretty warm iron) and a 1/4 yard of fusible webbing (Heat'n'bond, WonderUnder, etc.).
The technique of shadow applique in quilting first became popular in the late 70's early 80's when the fusible webbing began to be used a lot for applique work. Most traditional quilters were not overly enthusiastic with the look of the "raw edge" at the time, and the sheer overlay served to defuse this sharp look. It is an easy technique with a very soft and romantic appearance, perfect for Shabby Chic applications particularly. However, the popularity of the technique lessened over time. Personally, I think this was due to the lack of support from local and larger Quilt Shops that did not want to stock the sheer fabric...preferring to stock only cottons. 
However, this technique has a great many Artistic possibilities. Even very complex designs can be done with relative ease. Items do not have to be used as quilts (although that is great too). They can be framed as art pieces or created for gift items. This technique would work nicely for purses!
The class will be short as it only has 4 tasks...and little sewing. There is hand basting and hand sewing (quilt or running stitch) used. No special threads are needed.
To register:
Email me your NAME, STATE/COUNTRY, Email address you want to use for the class. (My email address is shaw.kathy@yahoo.com)
After registration has closed, you will receive an INVITATION to the Class Blog where we will conduct the on-line class. This will work just like the other Shawkl Design Studio courses...and is free as  usual. You may take this course even if you have never taken another course from us before. There are no prior-requirements for this course.
Hope you decide to give this technique a try!
If popular enough, we will be having larger projects offered next year...a Spring Quilt (lap size) and a Holiday Quilt (bed size).

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Introducing -- Fiesta Stars!

Here is my newest pattern! Fiesta Stars is in the Etsy shop now. The stars are done on paper foundations..so are easy to assemble. Just print the pattern pages...trim...sew on the line and combine the pieces to create a block.
 If you love paper piecing technique...you will love working on this quilt. If you look closely at the pattern front...you will also see some hexagon shapes with the stars.
This is for "flexibility"...and is actually a second pattern, within this first star pattern. These hexagon center blocks could be mixed with the stars or done alone as in the photo above. This block is a great way to accent a favorite fabric (you know the one...it sits on the shelf because we just can't bare to cut into it!...ha, we all have at least one fabric like that). So, us it as the hexagon center shape...and then repeat for your border fabric if you like!
Or...just use the stars, repeated...and no hexagon center blocks. Versatility!
The Fiesta Flowers can be done as traditional applique or as fusible applique pieces, depending on what technique you like the best.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Basic Crazy Quilting Course (BCQC) - SEPTEMBER 2016 - is open for registration...

 REGISTRATION will remain open until midnight on Friday, September 16th (Central Standard Time)
NOTE: I do not accept late or early registrations for classes...you need to register within the dates of the open registration period. I'm sorry, but I just have too much going on to keep up with early or deal with late registrations.
The FREE class is self-paced, and expected to take 4-8 weeks, depending on the time you have available to complete the 12 assigned Tasks.

These 12-Tasks include:
1 - How to Use the Class Blog
2 - Selecting Supplies
3- Design Principles of CQ
4 - Sewing the Block
5 - Surface Beading Techniques
6 - Template Seams
7 - Shape Seams
8 - 11 Various Silk Ribbon Flowers
12 - Finishing (lace, charms, etc.)
The class is FREE, you will not be charged anything for the instructions. You will need to obtain your own supplies as I do not sale kits.
Link to the Basic Supply List 
Basic CQ supplies include silk ribbon, pearl cotton threads, tiny beads, etc. as the photo above indicates. None of these are in large quantity for a single block that measures about the size of a sheet of print paper.
You will be required to use a quilting hoop (Q-snap is fine).
You WILL be required to access the private class blog (upon an invitation sent to you) and post photos of your work as you progress through the class. This is an ON-LINE course, so basic computer skills are needed (printing documents, uploading photos, etc.).

  If you are interested in taking this course, please email me at shaw.kathy@yahoo.com and provide me this information:
Your first name
Your last name
You country of residence
Your state of residence IF you live in the USA
The email address you wish me to send class instructional handouts to.
After you register, I will send you a Welcome Email AND Google/Blogger will send you (at my request) an Invitation to join the Class Blog where the class will be held. Watch for BOTH of these emails, check your spam folder. If you do not receive by Saturday morning, 17 Septemper...then please email me to let me know. I don't want you go get "behind" in class right at the start. :)
Because this is an ON-LINE internet class:
You will need to follow some simple instructions to register and gain access to the private class blog. Your name and email will need to be entered; but NO social security or credit card information is required. Just basic information to "recognize" you as a class participant.
You will need to be able to take a photo of your work, and upload it to the class blog. You will get instructions on "blogging" so don't worry if you don't currently do that now; you will learn.
But, you DO NEED to have an operating camera and be able to take photos.
You do need a basic understanding of how to save these photos and then retrieve those picture files. IF you use an IPad to take photos...you will need to email them to yourself, download them to your computer, and then upload to the class blog. If you use a phone or camera...follow the instructions for that specific camera to upload photos to your computer.
NOTE: You will be given class handouts/instruction in the form of emails and pdf documents.
 The pdf files can be opened with Adobe Reader (free software on the Adobe.com site)

 You need to be able to open these handouts/instructions and save them.
You can also print as you desire. In total, the course contains over 200 pages of information...so paper/printer will be required if you want to retain a hard copy of this information.
Hugs, and I hope to see you in the class! 
This Basic CQ Class (BCQC) is a REQUIRED course...before you can sign up to any of the Intermediate (ICQC) crazy quilt courses offered throughout the year.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Woot! Woot! Blocks are Finished!

 I've been working on my blocks for The 70273 Project. You can read more about the project here.

These are very easy blocks to create...white fabric with a pair of red X's on them. For mine, I glue-basted some ribbon down and then stitched with my machine after the glue had dried. It was a quick "assembly" while watching television...then about an hour of machine sewing. More TV time to clip the threads from the front/back of the blocks.

And, now...have 124 finished blocks to get into the mail. I'm out of white fabric and red ribbon...so will need to get more before I can make more blocks. But, I want to make more!

Every few blocks help...and I want to be part of the creation of these 70,273 blocks! My nephew has Downs Syndrome...and he is in his mid 40's now. Had he been in the same place and time of these victims...he would have been counted in their numbers...I have no doubt. It is the least I can do to honor his life...to create a few blocks in memory of those so like him...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Guest Post by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers on the 70273 Project


Between January 1940 and August 1941, German Nazis murdered 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people, calling them “a drag on the economy” and “social misfits” and “inferior”. Posters and public service announcements warned parents of the unpleasant consequences of exposing their children to disabled people and the dire burden of the continued expense of caring for those with special needs. Mercy deaths, they called them.

Hitler penned the order in October 1939, but backdated it to 9/1/1939 to give it the appearance of being a legitimate act necessitated by the beginning of World War II. The T4 Program (know this: I capitalize the name not out of respect, but to prevent readers from getting distracted by the rules of grammar and missing the whole point) created a new bureaucracy – one headed by physicians and dedicated to the extermination of anyone deemed to have “a life unworthy of living.”

Doctors made their evaluations based not on the actual person – they weren’t required to so much as lay eyes on them – only on their medical records or forms submitted by institutions. When two of three doctors placed a red X at the bottom of the form, the person was rounded up and murdered . . . usually in less than two hours.

Children were killed by starvation and lethal injection. More “efficient” methods were required for adults, so asphyxiation by poison gas became the preferred killing technique. SS staff members charged with transporting the disabled to their death wore white coats to make it appear like an official medical procedure. Lists of plausible causes of natural death were kept, used to falsify death records, and referred to when penning condolence letters to families. If requested, families received urns of ashes.

Authorities didn’t merely justify their actions under the T4 program, they glorified themselves by citing compassion, alleviation of suffering, cost effectiveness, and relieving pressure on the national budget as reasons for eradicating these 70,273 people. They convinced themselves and tried to convince others that they were ending the suffering of the “incurably ill”. The murders of these 70,273 people was best for all concerned, they said.

On April 3, 1940 – in the midst of the ongoing T4 atrocity – local authorities convened to hear Viktor Brack, organizer of the T4 Program, speak about the social and economic benefits of the program (http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/euthan/index.html):

In many hospitals and nursing homes of the Reich there are countless people with incurable diseases of every kind, people who are of no use at all to the rest of humanity, who are only a burden on society, incurring endless costs for their maintenance, and there is absolutely no prospect of these people ever recovering and becoming useful members of society again. They sit and vegetate like animals, they are social misfits undeserving of life – and yet physically they are perfectly healthy human beings who may well live on for many more years. They eat the food that could be given to others, and in many cases they need twice or three times as much nursing care. The rest of society needs to be protected against these people. Given that we need to make provision now for keeping healthy people alive, it is all the more necessary to get rid of these creatures first, even if only to take better care for now of the curable patients in our hospitals and nursing homes. The space thus freed up is needed for all kinds of things essential to the war effort: military hospitals, civilian hospitals and auxiliary hospitals.” 

Read this sentence out loud: “70,273 people were murdered because they were different, because they were “not perfect”, because they were disabled.” If that doesn’t give you chills, make you clench your teeth and stomp your foot, I don’t know what will.

Some 43 years ago, I married a man – Andy, or The Engineer as he’s known in social media – who has a sister with mental disabilities resulting from brain trauma that occurred when she was three years old. For reasons we are left to wonder about, neighborhood hoodlums decided it would be great fun to hang her by the neck from a swing set. Bringing Nancy into my life is, without a doubt, one of the best gifts ever. She is a woman of few words and many needs; a woman of little intellect and much wisdom, our Nancy, and had she lived in Germany in 1940-41, she most certainly would have been one of the 70,273. I don’t care how many times it happens, I can’t type that sentence without setting off an avalanche of tears.

When The Idea came to call, I was doing what I’ve done since June 2012: stitching her drawings. Her marks, as some would say.  Meaningless marks, others call them. Ask me what I”m doing, and I’ll tell you flat-out: I’m stitching Nancy’s art. She draws, I stitch, we collaborate.

It was one of those ideas that creative people spend a lifetime hoping for. An idea that came in fully formed, ready to start, just add heart form. I am gathering 70,273 quilt blocks from around the world to commemorate the 70,273 disabled people who were so casually and callously murdered and to celebrate the people with special needs who live among us today. Commemorate. And celebrate. Both.

The quilt blocks – and promise you’ll keep reading without letting the word “quilt” scare you away – are a white base, representing the medical records on which are placed two red X’s, representing the death sentence. There will be, according to The Engineer who knows such things, more than 800 quilts when all is said and done, and not all blocks are stitched. Some folks are using markers, glue, or paint to lay down their red X’s. Whatever method you choose, check your insecurities and perfectionism at the door and remember who we commemorate and celebrate: those who are perfectly imperfect.

Thank you Kathy for inviting me here and sharing this post about The 70273 Project. I invite you and each of your readers to become a part of The 70273 Project by making blocks and helping get the word out, and even if all you do is read this blog post, I thank you and say May we never forget this atrocity, because that just paves the way for it to happen again and again and again.

~ the blog: http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com
~ the introductory post: http://thebarefootheart.com/introducing-the-70273-project/
~ specific information on making blocks: http://thebarefootheart.com/making-blocks-for-the-70273-project-fabric-info/
~ facebook group (a campfire for those who want more engagement with other contributors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/the70273project/
~ facebook page (a drive-through for those who want to keep updated, but prefer less engagement): https://www.facebook.com/the70723project/?fref=ts
~ to subscribe to the 70273 blog: http://eepurl.com/CkEZz

Monday, September 5, 2016

Calling all QUILTERS, STITCHERS, and anyone that can thread a needle...or use a sewing machine...

My friend Asha alerted me to this effort...and I certainly plan to send in some blocks to support it. I hope that you will consider to do the same. The blocks are simple...a WHITE RECTANGLE with 2-red X's on it. Simple and meaningful.

In these trying times, we all get overwhelmed in our daily routines...and in debating issues of the day with each other. BUT, I'm hoping that we all can come together and join each other for such a worthy cause. Please go to the links within this post...and choose to participate!

From a few blocks...many can be made. A small effort can make a difference!