Monday, December 16, 2013

Tragedy

Those of you who have been following these posts have probably wondered where I have been lately.  The following is a tragedy that is my life right now - very different from the life I had before.

My Husband and I

My husband, Dr. Ronald Hall, is a professor or Religion and Ministry at Northwest University, Kirkland Washington. We moved here in June of 2013. He worked for one month when the following tragedy occurred.

On October 5, 2013 he was swimming in the Pacific Ocean at Laguna Beach, CA with some former ministry students who had moved when we did from PA to Pasedena, CA to attend Fuller Theological Seminary.  He was to meet up with our son and grandson for a beach weekend.



Bristow Family - Ron on the Right
He was only in the water 10 minutes when a powerful wave picked him up from behind and toppled him over, hitting the sandy bottom and breaking his neck and back in 2 places. He was paralyzed immediately and began to call for help under water.



The Accident Occured in Front of the Montage Resort, Laguna Beach

His friend pulled him out of the water and when he laid him on the sand Ron had stopped breathing and turned blue. By the time the helicopter air lifted him to the trauma center, he was considered a drowning victim because he had ingested a large amount of sea water and sand. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA, had surgery to fix the broken bones, and was in a medically induced coma for 4 days.





 Meanwhile I was in the northeast US doing a series of sewing and felting events for Baby Lock when I got the news. I flew to CA immediately and  we spent the next 5 weeks in the Intensive Care Unit in Mission Viejo, CA Hospital.  However, because this accident occurred at Laguna Beach, I had relatives in San Clemente who took me in to live with them and use their car for as long as I needed it. 

Because of the government shut-down at the time, my twins, who are both military Captains, were able to be on leave and stay with us and help us for 10 days.  My youngest son was travelling in the United Kingdom on a music tour and we encouraged him to stay there and finish the tour.





Ron struggled through 2 surgeries to rebuild the bones in his spine and to regain his health until stable enough to be air lifted back to the University of Washington Medical Center Spinal Cord Rehab  in Seattle, WA.  It took an entire day to get an ambulance to the Orange County Airport, to Redding, CA for refuel, to Seattle Airport, to ambulance to the UW hospital.


Ron in the Air Ambulance
 
 
Air Ambulance from Orange County Airport to Seattle Airport
 
 
 It just so happens that this Center is the model for other centers in the country and the best possible place he can be to recover the use of his body again.   M youngest son and his wife, Trevor and Erin Hall from PA came to spend Thanksgiving with us.



My Youngest Son, Trevor and Wife Erin at Thanksgiving

 He has been living in the hospital for 4 weeks now and another 4 weeks to go before he is
ready to live at home again. He is still paralyzed but has feeling and some movement throughout his body and in all his extremities. The doctors think he will walk again someday but it will be a long, slow process.  Each day something new happens that gives us hope that he may be able to fully recover from this tragedy.


Ron Hall Still Smiling Through it All
So my days are spent at the hospital, or running errands to maintain our new lives here in Seattle.  We are living in a faculty duplex on the campus of Northwest University where we thought we would be staying temporarily until we found a house to buy.  We are relieved we didn't buy a house after all and are so close to his work as a professor here on campus.  The University has been our extended family and has poured out their love and support even though we are so new to this area. 

I have taken a leave-of-absense from my job with Baby Lock, who has also been very supportive through this entire ordeal and have agreed to work with me on my sewing tours whenever I see my way clear to go back to those.

If any of you would like to keep up to date with our progress or would like to help us in any way, we have set up a website for him where you can see pictures and get weekly updates.  If you click on the tabs underneath Ron's face you can see the comments left by those who have known him over the years, or click on the update tab to see his progress.  You may be able to press your Ctrl button on your keyboard while you click on the link below to go right to the website.  If that doesn't work, try highlighting, copying and pasting the link into your browser address bar.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/bring-dr-hall-back-to-ministry-/104661/update/89549

Some day I will return to fabric and felting but for now, I am my husband's primary care giver and will work toward his full recovery in the future. 





Saturday, June 29, 2013

Move to Kirkland, WA near Seattle

I’m going into my sixth month of being a travelling Guest Artist for Baby Lock presenting Embellisher classes and Free-Motion Quilting Events in sewing machine dealers all over the country.   I am not able to post as much as I used to but I hope there is enough content on this blog to keep you all informed and busy with your Embellisher projects.

So far I have travelled to:

Lancaster, PA;   New Orleans, LA;  Phoenix, AZ;  Buffalo, NY;  Erie, PA;  Rochester, NY;  Boston, MA;  Santa Rosa, CA;  Denver, CO

But something even more exciting has happened this year.  We moved from Douglassville, PA (Philadelphia area)  to Kirkland, WA and I now live near Seattle.  We moved ourselves with a little help from our friends, driving across the country with a moving truck and 2 cars but we made it in one piece.  We are renting a small place for now but I have a tiny space for working when I am not travelling for Baby Lock.


Here we are in the Badlands of South Dakota on our way to Seattle - bad hair day

Here is where I will be going for the rest of the year:

Grand Rapids & Lansing, MI;  Sanford, ME;  Nashville/Knoxville, TN;  Fresno, CA;  Chautauqua, NY;  Pottstown, PA;  Occoquan, VA;  Manasses, VA;  Richmond, VA  Martinsvill, VA; Frnaklin, NC;  Ashville, NC;  Columbus, OH;  Cleveland, OH;  Rochester, MN;  Beaver Dam, WI;  Buffalo, NY;  Fargo, ND;  Minneapolis, MN;  Chicago, IL;  Lincoln, NB;  Appleton, WI;  and maybe Winston-Salem, NC. 

 If you live anywhere near any of these places and want to take an Embellisher class check out my website Itinerary and the details will be posted there as they become available.  Go to the following link to see what is happening where:  http://www.fabricartbylinda.com/gpage7.html


I don’t get as much creating done as I used to but I have all my ideas in print and online in case I forget. Seeing the students  creativity blossom helps me to feel I am still producing art and love through others.

I had to delete many of the previous comments because they were spam.  I hope to hear from any of you that would care to post but please, no one named anonymous.

And for those of you that landed here and NOT interested in Embellishing, let me introduce you to my grandchildren:


Collin, Simon and Collin - the sons of my identical twin boys (now men)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Linda Hall's Baby Lock Promotional Video

I just put up the video to introduce myself to various people and now you can see what I really look like.  I had a lot of video footage left over from making this movie so it will be good to use it here, now that I know how to make videos.

Here is the link:

Also, you can see my travel Itinerary on my website on the Itinerary tab.  If I am anywhere near you, come and introduce yourself.  I would love to meet you and share wooly stories.

http://youtu.be/oHeBLMSZyRg?t=12m

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest Artist with Baby Lock

This past year has been a whirlwind of change for me.  I have been a passionate felter with my Baby Lock Embellisher as many of you are also.  I have loved to share my ideas, hopes and fears on this blog and how my understanding of all things felting have developed.  I will probably always be developing new art with wool as it is my passion but I have a new life now.

Hand-Dyed Wool, Silk, Nylon, Cottswold Curls
 
 
I have been accepted into the Tacony Corporation family, creators of the Baby Lock Embellisher Needle Felting Machine, as a Guest Artist, which means I will be travelling the country teaching my felting techniques  and promoting my book, "The Art of Machine Needle Felting" to whomever will have me. I will be presenting Lecture/Demonstrations of my felting techniques as well as a hands-on class for customers to create a felted scarf, like the ones below. Here are some pictures of my Daughter-In-Law, Erin, modelling the scarves for me:
 
 






For more information about this visit my website at:  www.fabricartbylinda.com and click on the Baby Lock tab.  Scroll down until you see the information about the Embellisher Presentations.

But when I am not felting, I am quilting and teaching others quilting techniques.  I have been developing Free-Motion Quilting Classes locally and teaching that subject regionally for several years now, in order to afford my wool binges at the Sheep and Wool Festival.  Tacony wants me to be travelling and teaching those as well.  Here is a sample of my Free-Motion quilting work I will be teaching on several Baby Lock machines, especially with the new technology just out this year to make it all that much easier. 
Introduction to Free-Motion Machine Quilting

Fantastic Feathers
Free-Motion Quilting Class


I am currently part of the design process of a new tool that will make Free-Motion Quilting with a Stitch Regulator much easier and smoother.  This item should be manufactured and on the market this spring.  I will be travelling and teaching this new technology as well. 

So this means I will be incorporating some new kinds of information here on this blog.  It will still be about felting but it will also be about quilting, my travel stories, and new information as I have it.

Here is travel itinerary this year 2013:

March - Southwest - AZ, NM,TX,LA

April - Northeast - PA, NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH

May - West Coast - CA, CO, NV, HI

Mid-South - KS, MO, MS, AL

Northwest - WA, OR, ID, MT, WV, UT, AK

Near West - MI, IL, IN, KY, TN

Southeast -SC, GA, Fl, PR

Mid- Atlantic - OH, WV, MD, VA, NC

Mid-West - ND, SD, MN, IA, WI


The above itinerary does not mean I will be away for the entire month.  It just means that area of the country has me for that  month and will book events close enough together so that I can travel from one to the other without going home in between.   If you want me to come to your area for Embellisher classes, just google your closest Baby Lock Dealer and ask them to book me.  They can call the Tacony Company Headquarters and set up the details with the Regional Representative for their area.

This is all too exciting for words.  The only downside is that I will be homesick for my studio and making cool stuff but I get to share the cool stuff I have already made with those who would be interested.  If that's you, maybe I will get to meet you this year some time.

Stay tuned for Baby Lock adventures, beginning in February in Pennsylvania.


Monday, October 8, 2012

New Booklet "Creative Ideas for the Baby Lock Embellisher"

A lot has happened since I last posted.  I have been waiting until things are more definite but I am ready to tell you all the good news now. 

I had a wonderful time at Babylock Tech in St. Louis in August and met a lot of wonderful creative people. I was invited to set up a display booth of my work and present new ideas for the Babylock Embellisher machine to the other dealers and visitors to the event. It resulted in my being invited by the Tacony company (makers of the Baby Lock Embellisher) to become a National  Educator for them and travel to teach the Embellisher and other classes in various locations around the country. It is all still in the works yet but if you have wanted to have machine needle felting classes in your area, you just have to ask your local Babylock dealer to invite me for an event and they can contact Tacony headquarters and arrange something for you. I will keep you posted on this as it is brand new and not yet advertised to all the dealers.  I met and talked with many dealers at Babylock Tech and they were interested in Embellisher classes in 2013. Stay tuned.

The following booklet was published for the event and I am able to offer it for sale now on my website.  It is a 20 page idea book with photo references to my latest work, my first book (The Art of Machine Needle Felting) new project ideas for the Embellisher machine and a free pattern enclosed.   To order go to www.fabricartbylinda.com and click on the Online Store page.  You can use Paypal or any credit card to order.



The pattern includes directions and templates for the Falling Leaves Placemats. 


Also, for those of you who live in the southeast Pennsylvania area, I am having a quilt show of my work at Pottstown Sewing in Pottstown, PA for the month of October.  That is when the quilters are on the move with their quilt shop hops and stash building before the cold winter sets in.  If you would like to see a selection of Art Quilts and some needle felted quilts up close, visit Pottstown Sewing at
142 Shoemaker Road, Pottstown, PA. 

Monument Valley Mesa

Tropical Tidepool



For hours and directions, call 610) 326-5055. You might see me there being trained in all things Babylock by the dealers Ron and Barb Spaulding, preparing for my travels next year. I am learning how to use all the machines in the Baby Lock line and it is very interesting and fun. I hope to
be able to meet up with some of you felting enthusiasts at some point in the future.
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Babylock Tech St. Louis

I will be leaving for a conference in St. Louis this weekend called Babylock Tech.  It is a trade show where dealers and businesses in the sewing world converge to sell their wares to each other, learn what is new in the market and take classes.  I will be set up in an area where I will be demonstating the Babylock Embellisher machine to anyone who passes by and wants to try it out or just watch. I will be doing this day and night so it will be intensive but a wonderful opportunity to show dealers how to use this machine and all that it can do.  I will be offering a free pattern for dealers to use in their shop classrooms to introduce customers to the Embellisher machine.  Here is a preview of the project and I will post the directions as soon as I have permission to do so after the event.

Autumn Leaf Placemats
 On an entirely different note, I just got back from North Carolina where I was able to hold my second grandchild this year, Collin Elias Hall.







Monday, July 30, 2012

Flower Power Placemats

Last call for those interested in the book, "The ART of Machine Needle Felting" on sale at 25% off until Tuesday July 31 at 9 PM.  Get yours while they last.


Flower Power Placemats

I teach quilting classes in a quilt shop called, "Ladyfingers Sewing Studio" in Oley, PA.  The address is:  6375 Oley Turnpike Road Oley, PA 19547
(610) 689-0068


Ladyfingers Sewing Studio






The owner, Gail Kessler, also works at Andover Fabrics in New York City designing quilting fabric for the rest of the world and carrying it in her store.


Gail Kessler


 Because of that, her shop is always stocked with the lastest collections by Andover and other companies.


Tons of Fabric in Collections

 It is a trip out in the country but definitely worth it.  The staff are friendly and very helpful.



I also live near Lancaster County, PA, which is the quilt fabric shoppers' paradise.  However, many of those shops have lots of fabrics that may or may not work together in a quilt.  Ladyfingers fabrics come in unique collections so if you make the trip you can find all you need for an entire quilt project. 

I fell in love with a particular fabric and used it to create a couple of projects just for fun and easy classes for Beginning Sewers.  The first is a class project designed for the Kids Can Quilt series also using the Accuquilt Go! fabric cutting system. 



Quilt-Go Pillow


Here is the best description of what this equipment does for the fabric and quilt market:

"AccuQuilt offers quilters, fabric crafters and retailers a premiere line of fabric cutters, dies, quilting patterns and other quilt and fabric cutting solutions that help quilters quickly and accurately cut shapes for quilting and fabric crafts. AccuQuilt also offers quilters a wide variety of rich educational resources to enhance their quilting experiences. "

Here is a picture of the machine itself and the dye I used to create this pillow:


Accuquilt Go! fabric cutting system



Rose of Sharon Dye
All you have to do is place 1 layer or many layers of fabric on the sponge-covered metal cutting dye, run it through the rolling machine and out comes perfect cut-outs saving hours of cutting time.

I could see how this could easily be adapted to needle felting.  So I created a project to show how easy that would be.  These are called Flower Power Placemats and they are created with the Flower fabric and the above Quilt-Go! Rose of Sharon dye.


Flower Power Placemats
All I did was to create the placemats first with two fabrics, the main flowers and an interesting blue coordinate to use as a background for the felted flowers.  It looks like this fabric and the Quilt-Go dye were made for each other.

After pieceing together the placmats, I quilted them, washed them and blocked them by pinning them on my design wall in front of a strong fan.

Then I created the felted flowers.  I did that with the following directions:

 
1.      Set up your work area with your Embellisher, colored tulle (fine nylon netting often used for bridal wear), 12” x 12” squares of regular larger-hole netting, foam rubber pad (or old pillow), Clover hand felting tool.

2.      Start with a 24 inch square of tulle, folded in half to create double thickness, and place it on the foam rubber pad.  Begin laying a thin layer of roving on top, keeping away from the edges of the tulle. 

3.      Begin lightly felting the roving in place with the hand felting tool to stabilize the roving until you get it under the felting needles of the machine.  Think of this as the pinning stage if you were sewing. You can add two or three colors of roving at this point.

4.      Place a piece of regular larger-hole netting on top of the roving to hold everything in place while you are felting.  The netting keeps the roving in place and can be lifted and repositioned without being needle felted into the surface.

5.      Remove the piece from the foam pad, place it on the bed of the felting machine, cover with the larger-hole netting and begin needle felting this first layer of roving all over to get it stabilized.  Start in the center and work out to the edges.  The top layer of netting will not felt but may shred after repeated use and can be replaced.

Machine Needle Felting Roving into flat felt

1.      Lift off the top netting and check for thin spots or holes.  Lay down more roving, if needed, place the netting on top of the raw roving and needle felt the surface again until it is stabilized.

2.      Now turn the piece to the back side and felt the surface until the tulle disappears from both the front and the back sides. Felting from both sides creates a softer smoother felt with more subtle color progressions.

3.      When your felted piece is one thin piece of fabric, you are ready to use it in a project. Cut the flat felt into a 5" x 10" strips and feed it through the Accuquilt-Go Rose of Sharon Dye cutter. 

5.   Mix and match the flower parts with different sizes and shapes of centers and leaves.  Sew in place on the placemats using a free-motion foot.  I found that the layers were so thick I needed to just free-motion quilt the assembled flowers in a circular pattern.  You could also just hand sew a button in the center of each flower to attach it to the placemat.


Felted Flowers
 Stay tuned for more interesting projects in the near future.





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nuno Scarves on the Felting Machine

My book, The Art of Machine Needle Felting is still for sale on my website for 25% off the original price until the end of July. 

I know I have not been posting as much as I would like but I have not dropped off the face of the earth.  What did happen was, I was asked by the Babylock company, the people who make the 12 needle Embellisher machine, to create some new work and an advertising flyer for them to publish.  I made that deadline on the weekend and now have my life back.  I do have lots of new things to share with you all about cool new projects with your needle felting machines.  Following is one of the scarves I will make into a class I will be teaching locally.  Here is a picture of it:



I have taken several traditional felting classes whenever I could in my area so I could learn how it is done and then translate that into machine needle felting.  Think of hand quilting and then think of machine quilting - two paths to the same result but very different looks and timelines. 

I created some scarves with my Babylock Embellisher and am very pleased with the results.  I wanted to create scarves that were thin and drapey, rather than thick and felty. I also wanted them to be wearable and sturdy for regular people to use and not be afraid the wool was going to pull off or matt.  I also wanted more control over the outcome or look of the piece.  With hand felting, it can distort and shrink in unpredictable ways and I just knew we didn't have to live with that.  I hoped the Embellisher would be able to do that and sure enough, all the scarves turned out better than I had hoped on this machine.  Here are some pictures of them, modelled by some good friends.





  I used wool roving, sheep curls, yarn, ribbon and a silk base for each one.  I will be experimenting with other fabric bases but this is what I have done so far.  I really enjoyed creating them and will talk more about them when I find out from the company what I can and cannot publish on this blog.
However, I will be teaching the Nuno with Needlefelting class in the fall so I will talk about it now.
Here it is:


I started with a dusky blue crepey silk blend and cut it a little larger than I wanted the scarf to be.  I took several needles out of the Embellisher head so they would not distress the fabric surface too much and ruin it. 

I chose 4 colors of roving I wanted in the scarf and blended them together into one rope with my Fancy Kitty Carding Machine (whhhooooo-yeahhh!!!)  I wanted the colors to be blending without being lost entirely to one another




I pulled off thin wisps of wool with all the colors visible, laid them down and felted them in place.  There was some distressing of the silk but not as much as I thought.  The scarf didn't shrink as much as a regular hand-felted scarf shrinks either, which is great because you can judge how large your project needs to be in the end and it won't shrink too much and disappoint you.

I staggered the position of the wisps so there would be silk fabric showing in between that would keep the surface interesting, sheer and drapey.   You can see what I mean here. 



I then had to solve the problems of raw edges.  With a hand-rolled silk scarf I would treat the edges differently, or not treat them at all, but I needed to do something to keep the edges from ravelling too much.  The Embellisher quickly and easily felted them without chewing them up, tearing them or shrinking them.  I laid down wisps of wool along the edges in straight lines and the Embellisher felted the raw edges away.
Next was the "fringe."  Most scarves have fringes and I wanted one for this too.  I opened my big bin of hand dyed curls and picked out some colors that would match the roving on the scarf.  I didn't have enough for an enire fringe so I just put fringe in the corners.  It was easy as pie.  I just laid them on the bed of the machine and felted away.  I added a layer of roving on the ends of the curls on both sides of the scarf and felted some more to hold them in place and here is the result:


Next I will make more colorways of this scarf and then develop the other styles in other colorways as well.  By the way, polyester works just as well as silk with this method and there are a lot of beautiful silky prints around that could be used creatively in scarf making.  I probably won't get any sleep thinking about the possibilities..........

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

“The Art of Machine Needle Felting” book and CD are now on sale for 25% off


If you are new to machine needle felting or want some project ideas, this book was written for you.  Finally, here is a handbook for any needle felting machine owner that needs to learn how to create, maintain, and use their machines to their best advantage. Learn about fibers, fabrics, yarns, tools, replacement parts, not to mention patterns and directions for your own art work.

Some of the highlights of the book are:

·        How to use the Embellisher to create different kinds of artwork

·        Fabric substrates that are available and how each produces different effects

·        Needle sizes available as well as where to get them and when to use them; how to polish your needles to extend the life of them

·        Illustrated directions for changing needles, changing needle heads, using your machine

·        In depth description of tools, where to get them and how to use them

·        In depth presentation of fibers, such as wool, silk, angora, Angelina, bamboo, nylon, etc., their properties, where to get them and when to use
them in your work

·        In depth practice with creating samples to learn all that can be done with this machine before beginning the actual projects

·        Incorporating yarn through the yarn port and guides- how and when to use it

·        Illustrated directions for preparing or mixing fibers with hand carding combs

·        Projects included for beginners as well as seasoned needle felting artists

·        How to prepare and enlarge patterns for Needle Felted Impressionistic wool paintings

·        Finishing techniques for quilters

·        Illustrated wet felting tutorial for smoothing the surface of the finished pieces

·        Four pages devoted to trouble shooting and problem solving

·        Listings of businesses locally and online that stock the tools and supplies listed in this book

·        150 pages of full color print on glossy heavy stock paper

·        Includes a CD with copy-ready patterns and photos for better close-up views for the reader



For a sneak peek into some of the pages of the book and for a link to a video, go to www.fabricartbylinda.com and click on the online store page.  You can view a video by Nancy Zieman and see more information on the book including ordering details. 
Falling Leaves

Skies Over Lancaster

Monet's Garden