Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Studio Artist Highlight - Winter 2015-2016

Elsa with her amazing quilt, Summer 2015.  Photo:  Kelly Norling

Seams Good Studio is happy to present Elsa as our Highlighted Artist for Winter!

Elsa began working at the studio in the summer of 2013 and we’ve been lucky to have her return to a camp every year.  She brings a joy and fearlessness to her creativity that inspires all around her. 

Famous quote, smiling big:  “Yeah, I can do that, no problem!”  The future is bright, having artists like Elsa in the world.  

Thanks for your reflections, Elsa!

At the cutting table, the beginning of a sling bag.


Hello! My name is Elsa and I am a 12-year old student at da Vinci Arts Middle School. I am a sew-er, an actress, a musician, and a dancer. 

Careful piecing makes strong work.

The things that inspire me to sew are that you can do anything that you want with your work, and you can move at any pace you want. An actress, however, has to stick to their ideas. That is what inspires me to sew. 

Stitching with JOY.
 The only time I find hard is when I mess up or I only have a little amount of time to do the work, and I can’t take my time. 

Trimming the outer bag.
I want my art to go to people in need, who aren’t able to create the art I create. I want it to go to kids in need, people in poverty, people fighting for our country and to anyone who doesn't have the objects they need to create art. 

Awesome result!

When I grow up, I want my art to make people happy and I want it to make them value art.  I want it to inspire people.  


Over this summer, I made a quilt that really made me value life, like an inanimate pep-talk. I found that inspiration to be really amazing, and I would like to create more like it for people in my future.

Elsa's dog, Lola, and her custom-made bed and pillow!  Photo:  Kelly Norling

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Studio Artist Highlight - Fall 2015

Seams Good Studio is excited to highlight Maya for the Fall of 2015.  
Maya first came to the studio this past summer.
Her art life is rich—with interests in making and selling jewelry, 
experimenting with pottery and painting, and learning aerial/acrobatic dance!  
It's an inspiration to share molecules with artists like Maya in the studio.  
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Maya!

It was a great class. The teacher was very nice. The class was five days
and each class lasted three hours in the morning.  She taught me how to
sew normal pillows and I also used the pillows to make pillow pals, which
I came up with the idea.  


I made three pillow pals, small, medium and large but I made a mistake on the small one because I sew it wrong, but
the medium and big ones came up fine.

I also liked this class because I went with my best friend Melina. 
The teacher had a cat that slept in one of the fabric bins and Melina and I made crowns, letters, bows, and even a mailbox, so she looked like a Queen. 

Callie, the neighbor cat, 16 years old, wearing her crown
I had a chance to use a sewing machine again but you have to be careful when using a sewing machine to make sure you don't go too fast when you are learning. The last day we got to create our own show with all the stuff that we made and we got to present it in front of the class and the parents. 

I would like to do it again and keep getting my sewing skills better and better as I would like to learn how to make my own dresses one day.

Maya with her quilted heart and her dog, Martha

Bottom photos: Ana De La Rua Domenech

Monday, June 1, 2015

Studio Artist Highlight - Summer 2015

Seams Good Studio is proud to feature Julia for the Summer of 2015.
Julia’s work is so inspiring.  She is a powerful artist and it’s been an honor to have her in the studio all these years.
Thanks Julia!
This spring, I brought two things I like together, quilting and helping younger kids. Lisa and I went to the 3rd grade classrooms at Chapman Elementary and helped each student make a pillow. It was the first real job I’ve ever had. I enjoyed helping with each step: sewing the patches, ironing, and trimming the edges. I loved getting to choose the patterns and cut the pieces for the pillows we made for the five teachers.

I’m 11 years old and I started quilting when I was 8. I learned about Lisa’s classes from my Girl Scout troop and signed up for a week-long summer camp. I had so much fun that I signed up for her next camp during Winter Break. After that camp, I started taking weekly lessons from Lisa.

I like quilting for many reasons. It is relaxing for me, I can use what I make, and I can give great gifts to friends and family. I think I have a talent for choosing colors and patterns that go together in exciting ways. Another part of quilting that I like is using a sewing machine, especially when I’m working on a section where I can go fast. Since my first camp, I’ve made about 9 pillows, 4 small quilts and 3 messenger bags. I’m currently working on a queen-size bed quilt. It has taken 2 years so far, at an hour per week, and I should finish it this summer. I hope more people get to try quilting and love it just as much as I do.
Pedal to the metal on Julia's first log-cabin quilt.

Julia's beautiful style.

Learning the rotary cutter.  (Note the high-tech duct tape finger guard :)

First quilt ever.

Early days of pedal to the metal.  A pillow was needed to reach the machine.

Done.  Fabulous.

Another quilt, made as a gift for a school teacher.

Pillows made from patterns.

Julia's first pillow from her own design...

...and her first shoulder bag from her own design.
Summer 2014

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Studio Artist Highlight - Spring 2015

Meet Sheri, who first came to Seams Good Studio in the spring of 2013.  I'm so inspired by her strong and beautiful work.  Below are her reflections and creations.  Thanks for sharing, Sheri!

A new 8-week class for adults will begin in April.  More info. 

I heard Lisa give an artist’s talk on quilting.  As she passed around her beautiful creations, she spoke of her grandmother, who taught her to sew.  I missed my own grandmothers, both gone now for many years.  Both had been quilters, and I regretted not taking the time to sit by their sides and learn to sew. 

“I want to learn to quilt,” I told Lisa after her presentation.

“You can,” she said.  “I’m teaching a class.”

I signed up because I had quit my job and moved to Portland from Chicago.  I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do next.

But I could make a quilt, Lisa assured me, even though I had never sewn anything before and had “sewing machine anxiety.”

Every week for eight weeks Lisa welcomed me into her graceful studio.  Under her calm, gentle guidance the fabrics I chose magically became my own creation.  During our first class, she gave me a seam ripper.  “You will need this,” she said solemnly.  “Everyone makes mistakes, and the first time you use it we will clap and cheer.”

Making a quilt is the perfect metaphor for reinventing myself.  The fabric store has every color and style imaginable.  The possibilities are endless.  Wandering down the aisles I get to listen to my heart and my inner artist, and find out what she likes.  Mistakes could and would be made.

But in the end, something tangible and tactile and lovely emerges.  An idea made into reality.  How grateful I am to Lisa for teaching me that.

From smaller squares, Sheri laid out a "sketch" of her design.  That way she didn't have to cut into her beautiful fabrics right away.

Here she lays out her quilt top.

The final quilt.  Gorgeous!  And truly Sheri's own design.