About gm4style

Oh, gosh... i didn't have anything prepared... how embarrassing. Honestly... it's just an honor to be nominated... wait, where am i again?

Dye Class: Pro Chemical

I am happy to announce that I will be teaching a class at the Pro Chemical facilities in Fall River, Massachusetts in June 14 &15 of 2018!

ProChemical_Logo-Final-working

This class will focus on playing with screens, stencils, dye and color. On the first day, we will dye our foundation fabric.
On the second day we will build our screens and layer color.

This is a fun introduction to working with simple screens and dye.

You can find more information and registration options on the Pro Chemical site here.

Here are some examples of the techniques we will play with:

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If you have any questions, please comment below.

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Class Correction: IQA Mold Making

If you took my mold making class at the international quilt festival and want to purchase the mold making silicone, please note that the instructions incorrectly say 70-30. They should say 73-20. I had the 70-30 set as a place holder on an older draft of the instructions and printed the older copy by mistake.

Click here to follow a link to purchase the 73-20 silicone

And here is the link to purchase the mold making kit with the plastic resin.

If you have any questions, please email me.

Quilt Festival Houston: Teaching Schedule

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I will be teaching at the Houston Quilt Festival this year. The class catalog went live this morning.  Click HERE to be taken to the Quilts, Inc website for class registration.

The classes I will be teaching at Houston Quilt Festival 2017 are:


Wednesday, November 1:

Dyeing is Easy! (All day)

This is an all day class where I’ll teach you the foundations of dyeing cotton and silk. The morning will be a lecture presentation, and the afternoon will be interactive demonstrations. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to dye fabric for your own designs, this will be a great way to start.

Thursday, November 2:
Making Molds for Resin Buttons and Charms, (2-5pm)

In this class, I will teach you how to make a simple mold to produce your very own resin buttons and charms. Learn about all the tools you’ll need, and how to adapt found objects to fit your embellishment needs. It’s a simple process that yields great results. You’ll leave with a functioning mold and resin samples.

Friday, November 3:
Friday Sampler—Embellished Art Ornaments, (10:00am-noon)

The Sampler is a great opportunity to learn techniques from several instructors at once. You can float from demonstration to demonstration at your leisure. I will be demonstrating how I make embellished art ornaments. They are great ways to test techniques, use up scraps or decorate for a holiday.

 Friday, November 3:
Lecture—”Wearable Art—My Journey So Far…” , (4-5pm)

20170110_204408

Someone is actually handing me a microphone…
In this lecture/presentation, I’ll talk about the ups and downs of designing and making my wearable art. I find the process to be the most intriguing part of the journey, and that part is often forgotten when observing someone’s work. Join me as I pull back the curtain on my triumphs, troubles and techniques.

I will be adding lots of pictures to my gallery with class demos and samples as it gets closer to festival. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.

The Dresden something…

I want to make a quilt –an honest to goodness, goes on the bed, snuggle up in winter, make a pillow fort quilt.

There, I said it.

This revelation might not come as a huge surprise to those who know me, as I make wearable art on a regular basis, but producing a functional quilt is something that has eluded my entire sewing career.  I DO quilt most of my showpieces; however, it’s not the same. The quilting I stitch for a jacket pattern is specialized and condensed. It often goes unnoticed on my pieces because the quilting designs I normally stitch are simple and almost utilitarian… and usually drowning in a million embellishments. I like simple quilting patterns because they seem sincere and approachable to me; however, there is something to be said about magical, ornate and intricate quilt patterns. Which brings me to the one aspect of the quilting industry that both haunts me and terrifies me – free-motion quilting.

I’m terrible at it. I get the basic premise of free- motion stitching, but I have never been able to find a rhythm or fluidity when behind the needle.  I have seen COUNTLESS videos, instructions and blog posts about F-MQ, but none of it has sunk in. I have been able to accomplish a few zig-zag stitches in F-MQ though.

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The quilting on Zapped’s skirt was all F-MQ. I suppose the multiple blue ribbons it brought in should have convinced me to continue the practice, but alas, they did not, as I haven’t used F-MQ on any other piece since. Mind you, it was a basic back and forth design, so really, it barely reads as F-MQ, in my book.

So, where is all of this sharing taking me?

To a long-time coming project I finally got off the ground.

Ladies, and a select group of gentlemen, I present to you:

THE DRESDEN… uhhh… QUILT THING?
… look, I’m still working on the name, but hear me out.

I LOVE Dresden plates; they are my favorite quilt block to date. As simple as they are, I never get tired of making them, and there are countless variations , so what better block to try my hand at leaning free-motion quilting!?

The rules to this game are simple:

1 – Make 30 blocks to form a quilt. Now, I don’t think wrestling a full size bed quilt in the throat of a domestic machine is the best way to start learning, so I will be connecting these quilted blocks with the Quilt-As-You-Go method. Each block can then be blocked, set and trimmed BEFORE it gets connected. AND each block top must be complete before quilting begins.  I don’t want to keep starting and stopping, so when I start quilting, I want to stay quilting.

2 – Each block must be 20”x20”. I need some room to screw up practice on, so I thought that size would be plenty of space, yet still manageable. I remember Ana Buzzalino talking about using a large piece of fabric to practice on so you can chart your progress, and that sounds like a great idea, but I don’t want to have to unfurl a blanket to just sit at the machine and stitch, so the more manageable size wins.

3 – All block designs must radiate from a center point and form a circle, and all designs must present a challenge. This is a strange rule, but one that will keep this project within a modicum of unity. I don’t have to ONLY use Dresden plates, as there are a few odd ball designs that I want to try, but they must come together as a round-ish object. I will allow myself to fudge this with a circle of bias or radial applique if necessary.
The designs shouldn’t be too simple. I want to work around obstacles because this is how most of my pieces are designed.  Sure, it would be easy to just work on some plain muslin, but I want to walk away having learned something about the way I design a surface.

4 – NO EMBELLISHMENTS! Nothing – not a button, not a bead, not a sequin! This is the hardest rule to follow, but I want the quilting to be the focus of this quilt. This is going to be a white-knuckle project as I control the compulsion to bead the Hell out of each block.

5 – Only fabric from the stash can be used, with one exception. WHAT?! WHO MADE UP THESE STUPID RULES ANYWAY!?!?! Oh, I did. Never mind… Yeah, this one is REALLY gonna hurt. OK, so the exception to this rule is that I have an idea for a printed motif that fits within the blade of a Dresden, so I’m going to experiment with that, but other than that, it’s all stash. This can be either commercial prints or any of my hand dyed stock. I am not going for a unified color story at all, in fact, scrappier is better for this one, so anything goes!

6 – All applique/piecing must be turned edge. I plan on regularly tossing this thing in the washing machine, and as much as I love fusible applique, I don’t want to deal with fraying. I can use machine applique (my fave) or needle turn.

7 – All quilting, with the exception of stitching in the ditch/outlining, must be free-motion quilting.  I was wondering when we were getting to this one.  There are a few patterns I want to master: bubbles, stippling, ribbon candy, basic feathers and… DUN DUN DUN… simple feather wreaths.  Everything else is gravy. These stitches will not be perfect, but since this is my own quilt, who cares; I’m learning. I’m hoping this project helps me to accept set-backs and stumbles.

8 – Take your time. There is no rush to complete this. I was going to do a BLOCK OF THE MONTH thing, but as fall is quickly approaching, there is no way I’ll make headway while facing my preparations for Quilt Fest. If this thing takes 2 years, so be it!

9 – Document your progress. I neglect this blog WAY too much, so I thought this would be a great way to make content in-between couture weeks and whenever I get free time. I’m planning videos, tutorials and patterns. I said “planning,” not confirming.

10 – QUILT EVERY DAMN DAY! This is a tall order, but one that must be upheld. The key to success in a trade is practice, so even if it’s just two blades on a block, I have to sit at the machine and quilt every single day, once I start quilting.

So that’s it. A basic rule set that will help me on my way to quilting splendor…. I hope.
All of these rules are slightly flexible (Except the one about dyeing. I REALLY need to clear out this stash!) because I don’t want to paint myself into a corner, but for the most part, I’m going to follow them.

As far as quilting instruction goes, I think I have a decent idea of where to start. I understand the basic mechanics of F-MQ, it’s the patterns and carrying the needle to the next motif that messes me up. I have been following a few F-MQ’ers on Youtube, so I know where I need to start. If anyone has any suggestions or comments, please leave them below.

In the meantime, I have already started the top-building process. While working on yet ANOTHER project, I took a few days off and began constructing come of the block tops. Here are my results so far:

I can already see lots of quilting motifs in my head.
I just hope my hands can carry them out!

OK, so more in a few days, I plan on explaining how I make both peaked and rounded Dresden blades.

Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Exciting News!

rumors_detail_muniz

I have been invited to curate an exhibit of my wearable art at the 2017 Houston International Quilt market/festival in Houston, this fall!

On display will be 14 of my garments. As mentioned in a previous post, I will be giving a lecture discussing the garments in the special exhibit, My Wearable Art Journey… So Far.
I’ll also be taking questions and giving impromptu tours on the show floor.

The Houston International Quilt Market is October 28-30, 2017
The Houston International Quilt Festival is November 2-5, 2017
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, Texas

If you can, come by and say HI!

Houston Quilt Festival Teaching Schedule

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I have the honor of being selected as an instructor this year (2017) at the Houston International Quilt Festival. This is one of the largest gatherings of industry professionals and quilting fans in the world. I’ve had the privilege of teaching at the show for a few years now, and every year brings new excitement and learning opportunities.

The classes I will be teaching are:


Wednesday, November 1:

Dyeing is Easy! (All day)

This is an all day class where I’ll teach you the foundations of dyeing cotton and silk. The morning will be a lecture presentation, and the afternoon will be interactive demonstrations. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to dye fabric for your own designs, this will be a great way to start.

Thursday, November 2:
Making Molds for Resin Buttons and Charms, (2-5pm)

(Pictures coming soon)

In this class, I will teach you how to make a simple mold to produce your very own resin buttons and charms. Learn about all the tools you’ll need, and how to adapt found objects to fit your embellishment needs. It’s a simple process that yields great results. You’ll leave with a functioning mold and resin samples.

Friday, November 3:
Friday Sampler—Embellished Art Ornaments, (10:00am-noon)

screenshot_2017-02-02-10-02-41

The Sampler is a great opportunity to learn techniques from several instructors at once. You can float from demonstration to demonstration at your leisure. I will be demonstrating how I make embellished art ornaments. They are great ways to test techniques, use up scraps or decorate for a holiday.

 Friday, November 3:
Lecture—”Wearable Art—My Journey So Far…” , (4-5pm)

20170110_204408

Someone is actually handing me a microphone…
In this lecture/presentation, I’ll talk about the ups and downs of designing and making my wearable art. I find the process to be the most intriguing part of the journey, and that part is often forgotten when observing someone’s work. Join me as I pull back the curtain on my triumphs, troubles and techniques.

I will be adding lots of pictures to my gallery with class demos and samples as it gets closer to festival. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.

Report: Spring 2017 Haute Couture

I’m having a difficult time reconciling the recent spring 2017 haute couture collections (hence this post’s tardiness). There’s a bizarre dichotomy happening now that puts me at odds with what couture houses are supposed to stand for, and what they have become. Haute couture has never been about making money, which seems odd considering how much money it costs to produce. Sure, pieces get sold and there is some profit, but ultimately, haute couture is and has always been a money-loser. Design houses make their real money on licensing deals (hand bags, shoes and make-up) because they can be pushed at lower price points to more consumers. Haute couture’s purpose has always been to make special clothes for clients that can afford the exorbitant prices. Contemporary pieces are still hand-made using familiar traditions, but with ready-to-wear production getting better, faster and more detailed, several of the couture collections are beginning to look more and more like clothes that are already hanging on store racks.

Yeah, they’re pretty, but sometimes, that’s all they are.

What’s missing from MANY of the couture collections is fantasy.
This is, of course, my opinion. I neither produce haute couture, nor have to staff a design house. I see the couture collections as brand-building muscle-flexing for the ateliers and partly as entertainment. I can appreciate the workmanship, details and savoir-faire in every piece, even the boring ones, but when it comes down to it, the best collections are the ones that turn heads and have a story to tell. Does it always have to be over the top nonsense? Absolutely not. The beauty of haute couture is the signature it leaves on the house that creates it. Each atelier has voice. It’s how that voice gets interpreted that makes the collection sing.

Having said all that, there were a few collections that make be take notice. Some lean on the side of complacency, others, exuberant liberation. Regardless, each of these collections is exceptional in its delivery and deserves kudos.

Chanel

And the winner of the Most Improved Collection award goes too…
Pale and pastel were the watchwords this season as Lagerfeld softened his touch, and pumped out clothes that were not only beautiful, but felt lighter than seasons past. He’s still obsessed with his lofty plumage, but this season, it was refined and more approachable.Tailoring had a softer edge, and the bead-work, as always, dazzled. Let’s hope this trend continues next season.

Rami Al Ali

With only a handful of pieces, this house showed more established maisons how far clean editing can go. All done in blush and soft metallics, the pieces were worn like pliable sculpture, even when items like simple kimono tops were presented. In one season, this house managed to balance fantasy with wearability in a way that speaks volumes of its maturity.

On Aura Tout Vu

Bizarre clam shell muscle man mise en scene aside, I’m happy to announce that it’s status quo chez Tout Vu. I will always compliment this house on its inspired bead work, and this season was no exception. Working almost exclusively in a palette of black and white, it was impossible to keep up with the mosaic repetitions that adorned most, if not all of the looks that walked out. They kept the cuts clean and, for a change, only resorted to one over the top exit that included molded plastic body casts. This house knows its clients, and with approachable collections like this, are sure to entice more.

Margiela Artisanal

 Galliano continues to refine his taste at Margiela, and the more things change, the more they seem to establish a familiar vocabulary that existed before his appointment, but somehow became louder as he settled in. This season, he blew apart clothes until only the load-bearing seams were left, re-imagined applique in tulle, and layered clothes on the model that suggested they were leaving for far away excursions, and never returning. All brilliant techniques to use, and in some twisted reality I know not of, it all makes sense to the history of the house. Experimentation is the locked door of haute couture, and Galliano is listing to one side from the weight of his key chain.

Stepahne Rolland

Rolland’s signature draping was in full force this season, as it is every season, but this time he played with capturing movement in fabric. Each piece seemed as if the model had just turned or jumped, then the natural flight of the cloth was  frozen in time and rendered immobile, yet still completely wearable. Rolland does clean sophistication well, probably better than any other designer in Paris right now, and as his signature foundations rarely evolve over time, what he does manage to keep fresh are unexpected textile manipulations that feel like soft secrets being whispered to only those willing to listen.

Guo Pei

Over the top, impossible to walk in, jewel encrusted, completely devoid of all reality, and above all, unapologetically decadent…
I have no choice but to hand the season to Guo Pei’s Paris debut.
With pieces that walked like barely-wearable Fabergé eggs, Pei’s collection was forged from lost treasures found in the forgotten armoire of medieval royalty. Impossible textures of hammered gold, pleated fabrics laced with rich embroidery, and under-structures ripped from the sides of Chartres cathedral culminated in a collection that defined everything that is haute couture. Borderline costume? Damn skippy and may I have another please!?!
If haute couture has any future, that future rests on dreamers like Guo Pei. Bravo!