Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quilting Arts Make It University at IQF 2011: Mixed Media Beads

Wow can't believe it's that time of the year again! Houston festival is less than a week away and I have been busily preparing for the big event. Just finished packing supplies and putting kits together for a class I will be teaching, this year. Please join me at the Quilting Arts Make It University booth where I will be teaching Mixed Media Beads. The class will be held on Thursday, November 3rd from 12-1 p.m. at the International Quilt Festival located at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. The fee is fifteen dollars and includes all the delicious supplies you need to make fabulous mixed media beads! If you are in the area, please stop by and visit, take some classes, rest your feet and make some wonderfully unique beads to take home with you. Come join the fun. I look forward to seeing you all at festival!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Eye of the Quilter 2011

Glorious Color By Barb Forrister
The International Quilt Festival will once again host Eye of The Quilter, a special exhibit showcasing photos. This year's theme, Friendship is the Texas State Motto and will coincide with the 175th anniversary of the state’s independence from Mexico. The theme is perfect as so many folks gather together each year to once again meet up with old friends or chance to meet new ones.  I think perhaps, it is one of my favorite parts of the festival. This year, Glorious Color, A Mutual Friendship and Spiritual Messenger of Healing have been selected as part of the exhibit. The first photo, Glorious Color tells a story. Color is our best friend. It includes the colors of the rainbow which evoke moods and symbolize emotions. Whether it be it black for mourning, white for purity or red for passion, it is one of our most powerful allies. Orange expresses joy. Yellow symbolizes friendship. Green signifies growth. Blue stands for stability. Indigo represents spiritual realization and purple is the symbol for mystery. They are our pallette and friends for life. The second photo, A Mutual Friendship reminds us that nature is our friend. It symbolizes all the beauty and joy that life has to offer, the symbiotic relationship that all creatures have in common. May we continue to grow with love and respect for one another. The third photo, Spiritual Messenger is dedicated to my dear sister who passed away this August 27th, 2011 and describes the hummingbird as our friend who comes to us with the power of joy and healing, representing the nectar of life and spirituality. When we experience the loss of a best friend, we are often overcome by grief, so overwhelming, it is as if a hole has been left in our heart that can never be mended. The hummingbird symbolizes an accomplishment of that which seems impossible. It's appearance comforts us, allows us to heal and remember the blessings we have been given. May these beautiful creatures continue to visit and provide healing.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Trail That Lay Before Them

"The Trail That Lay Before Them" is the first National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center quilt exhibit. This juried invitational sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management featured contemporary art quilts and was on display at the Flagstaff Gallery located in Baker City Oregon from September 2 - October 14, 2011. "Contemplation" has just arrived home safely along with a CD containing photos taken of the exhibit, courtesy of Gypsy McFelter, Exhibits Specialist.  Wow, what a treat! The gallery is beautiful and the quilts are exquisite. This was my fifth invitational and I am tickled to have been chosen as one of the contributing artists. To see a slide show of the exhibit, please visit

Contemplation By Barb Forrister

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Machine Quilting Unlimited: Songbird

Songbird By Barb Forrister

Wow, I was so surprised to reach into my mailbox and find a complimentary copy of Machine Quilting Unlimited! The November/December issue features Sharon Schamber and the Sacred Threads 2011 Exhibit. Words cannot decribe how beautiful the quilts are! What a treat for the eyes! I am blessed to be in such good company. This month, Songbird is included in the Noteworthy Section of the magazine along with Dijanne Cevaal’s Fairy Forest. I have never seen this magazine before but I can tell you, the content is wonderful! I truly had a fantastic time perusing through the whole magazine. The articles are interesting and the stitching is to die for! Best of all, I got to see the Sacred threads 2011 exhibit. To order your copy, please visit

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Summer Blossoms

Summer Blossoms is part of the soft sculpted 3 dimensional flower series and was created for the SAQA Texas exhibit and sale at Houston for the International Quilt Festival 2011. It measures 9X12 and is set on a dyed turquoise background which was prequilted before adding the 3 dimensional elements. The leaves consist of various materials including Angelina fibers which have been layered and fused with MistyFuse.  Stitching of the leaves varies to add interest. Two of the 3 dimensional flowers were created from leftover dyed paper towels that were built up by adding layers of several


 mixed media materials, painted and embellished with beads. The third flower to the right is made  with Lutradur. all are strategically tacked such that they extend off the surface 2-3 inches. Edges were finished with an envelope style. To learn more about 3 dimensional flowers, please check out my new article, "3 Dimensional WildFlowers" which can be found in volume V of In Stitches Emagazine. I also offer workshops tailored to meet your needs. Please visit  for more information.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flora and Fauna

Flora and Fauna was inspired from a photograph taken in my backyard. I always knew there were Baltimore Orioles in Austin but I had never actually seen any till one morning when I was outside having my coffee. I looked up and these gorgeous birds were ducking in and out of the trumpet vine. They were quite amusing and their color, so exquisite! I knew I had to create this piece. I had originally intended to paint this bird but when I got upstairs to the studio, my hands just reached for the orange fabric and out came the Misty Fuse. Once the bird was assembled, I began making the 3 dimensional leaves. I love to mix techniques and consequently, some leaves have been layered and fused with various fibers and Misty Fuse. Others have been thread painted with a heavy thread in the bobbin. Still, others have been fiber etched and fused. Once the vines were in place, I began experimenting with how to create the trumpet vine flowers. They were so much fun. 
Love the delicate blossoms. The background was upcycled from a project of which I had leftover machine quilted pieces.  Years ago, I had made a piece called Contemplation and just before sending it to a show, I decided to whack off the borders and binding and "fix it." I know, kind of crazy! I suppose it was a good thing because the quilt went on to win an Honorable Mention. But meanwhile, I had kept the already quilted and bound borders. I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. And yet, I found that they were perfect for this project. I took two edges and zigzagged them together such that the binding was on the  outside edges. Then, I added the top and bottom binding to complete the piece.  I love the thought of being able to upcycle things especially when it is incorporated into nature pieces.  I included the original photo from which my inspiration came. Quite different! Interesting how changing the background really changes the feel of the entire piece....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quilting Arts In Stitches Emagazine 3 Dimensional Flowers

Welcome to the new In Stitches Emagazine Volume V blog tour with captivating ideas and inspirations by Lindsey Murray, Larkin Jean Van Horn, Amanda McCavour, Cheryl Sleboda, Jane Davila, Carol Ann Waugh, Therese May, Alma Stoller, and Barb Forrister. I had always heard of the new In Stitches Emagazine, however, I was completely unaware of what it was all about or of it's truly remarkable capabilities. I was fortunate to have my good friend, Cynthia Wenslow film the video and take photos for me. She is such a gem! I had no idea what my article and video footage would look like. Wow, was I surprised! Jane Davila and Lindsey Murray down at Quilting Arts were a joy to work with and so talented. It is a beautiful publication through and through, an exciting, revolutionary and tecnhologically saavy way of looking at things that no hard copy magazine could ever accomplish. Love the Zoom In, Zoom Out features and video footage, so much candy for the eyes. You really get the feeling that you are right there with the artist. I truly did not know what I was missing till I saw a copy of the In Stitches Emagazine. It is filled with engaging and fascinating articles by so many artists! Thanks for the opportunity. It was an amazing experience and I am blessed to be a part of it. I know I will be ordering more editions in the months to come. To order your copy, please visit​/Quilting/Magazines/eMags.html . You won't want to miss out on the fun! Come join me in making 3 dimensional flowers. It will open up a whole new world! Next stop is Carol Ann Waugh with Stupendous Stitching: Using Stitch to Create Textured Fabric. You will love what she does with combining hand and machine stitching.

Come join us on the blog tour.

Monday 10/10 Lindsey Murray
Tuesday 10/11 Larkin Van Horn
Wednesday 10/12 Cheryl Sleboda
Thursday 10/13 Alma Stoller
Friday 10/14 Therese May
Monday 10/17 Barb Forrister
Tuesday 10/18 Carol Ann Waugh
Wednesday 10/19 Jane Davila

Austin tatious

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lone Stars III: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1986-2011

Lone Stars III: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1986-2011 by Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes has just been released. This is the third volume in a wonderful documentary series of Texas quilt history. This year, I am blessed to have three pieces included in the publication. They are "Little Boy Blue," "Life's a Beach" and "Group Conversations," a collaboration with Sherri McCauley, Kathy York, Connie Hudson, Frances Holliday Alford, Leslie Tucker Jenison and Barb Forrister.  I have not yet received my copy but I am told it is absolutely amazing with lots of eye candy featuring both traditional and art quilts made by Texas quilters from 1986-2011. For more information, please visit . Additionally, these quilts will be featured at both the International Quilt Festival at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas and The Texas Quilt Museum located at 140 Colorado in La Grange, Texas. Please visit or

Little Boy Blue by Barb Forrister

Life's a Beach By Barb Forrister

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mixed Media Beads at Quilting Arts Make It University

Come join me at Quilting Arts Make It University! The International Quilt Association will once again host the world's largest quilt festival at the George Brown Convention Center located in Houston, Texas . Every year, the artists and vendors get better and better. So much to see at festival with all the magnificent quilts and over 1500 vendors selling all the latest and greatest products all in one place. This year, promises to be one to remember! Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O' Bryant Puentes will be featuring Texas Lone Stars III Special Exhibit which coincides with their latest book that has just been released. Visitors may also sign up to get a sneak peak at the new Texas Quilt Museum that has not yet opened to the public. For more information, please visit

Classes will also offered at festival both upstairs and on the main floor. Quilting Arts Magazine will once again have their fantabulous booth with fantastic books and delicious supplies to inspire creativity. They also offer Make It University Classes and Open Studio Demos by so many amazing artists. This year, I am blessed to be joining them and will be teaching how to make Mixed Media Beads on Thursday, November 3, 2011 from 12-1 p.m. If you are in the area, please stop by and visit, take some classes, rest your feet and make some wonderfully unique beads to take home with you. So much fun! I look forward to seeing you all at festival!