Expand Your Surface Design Skills & Learn Free-Mo Techniques in Buzzalino’s Workshops
By Arlene Kindel, Vice President of Programs
December 8, 2021
Ana Buzzalino is well known in the art quilting world, especially for her many surface design techniques, although she also teaches traditional quilting and free-motion quilting. She is a frequent contributor to A Needle Pulling Thread and Quilting Arts Magazine (see her upcoming article on Fabric Collage in the Winter 2022 edition) and has published articles in numerous other quilting magazines. She has also appeared on Quilting Arts television many times and has won many awards.
Ana loves art quilting because it gives the freedom to do anything you want, and experiment with many different tools and materials. She encourages her students to explore and experiment and find their own way of working, so each piece is personal and unique.
Ana has led an interesting life, from her early years in a seaside resort in Argentina to her current home in Calgary, Alberta. In an interview with Diana Mercuri for the Mancuso Quilt Festival (on YouTube) she tells of the family moving to Buenos Aires when she was eight years old. Her mother didn’t know many people in their new home, so she spent a lot of time sewing. Ana gathered up scraps and made ponchos for her teddy bears, of course! Her grandfather was a manufacturer of cashmere and woolens, so she was always surrounded by beautiful fabrics. She attended a private school where she learned English and French—and also learned a lot of crafts!
In the early 1980s Ana married an Argentine man and they moved to Calgary. She started quilting a few years later, quite by chance. She was walking home for lunch one day when she passed a shop with a beautiful “blanket” in the window. She went in and inquired about it, found out it was not for sale, but that they would teach her to make one herself. She signed up for her first quilting class then and there.
In the 1990s they moved back to Buenos Aires. She had young children at the time, so she started teaching quilting in her home. Ana’s early quilting work was with traditional patterns, but she often altered the patterns to make them more her own. She also took painting classes during this time, in watercolor, acrylic and oil. She wanted to try it all!
In 2002 she returned to Canada. She found that there was much more emphasis on exploration and creativity in quilting than there had been previously. Ana wanted to combine painting with her love of fabrics, so she began taking classes, reading and experimenting. That exploration with combining different art techniques lead her to where she is today—a respected and in-demand art quilting teacher.
Ana will be teaching two classes for the GAAQG, “Monoprinting Without a Press” on Friday, January 14, and “Text on Textiles” on Sunday, January 16, 2022. Both will be presented via Zoom. Her lecture for the Saturday Quilt Day meeting is titled “What is Creativity?”. Register for Ana’s workshops! Registration is open to GAAQG members and the public.
Monoprinting without a Press – Friday, January 14
Ana loves monoprinting because it is very versatile and you can take the technique a long way. You design as you go, using stamps, masking, stencils and layering to create the effects you desire It can be used as a stand-alone piece of art or as a base for adding stitching, textures, layers of other fabrics or paper, or other surface design.
Here is Ana’s description of the class:
Monoprints combine the spontaneity of printed paints and fabric, creating a surface that is unlike any other. It is the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques. No two prints are alike.
Students will learn to use water-based paint on Gelli Plates or other surfaces, utilizing various techniques: masking, multiple drop printing, and color mixing. Students will play around with textures and random materials to create several pieces that can serve as underpaintings for future work or stand alone as a body of work.
The first part of the class will be spent making rubbing plates to use in the monoprinting process.
Beware! It is fun … and very addictive.
You will need a Gelli plate for this class, but you can make your own for about $10-12. There are many videos on YouTube to tell you how.
Ana assures us that this class is not very messy as it is a very targeted activity and not much paint is used. You can do it in your own kitchen and cleaning up is easy as it uses water-based paint.
The fee for this workshop includes a 20-page booklet with instructions. An optional kit includes supplies to make the rubbing plates.
Text on Textiles — a Free-Motion Quilting Workshop – Sunday, January 16
Here is Ana’s class description:
Do you like letters, font, typography? Would you like to add your favorite quotes, lyrics or words to your work? Then this process-oriented class is for you.
In a relaxed atmosphere, and with the use of free-motion quilting, you will learn to add text to your quilt, including how to space the lines, what effect different spacing has, how to mark the quilt and finally quilt the text.
This workshop has an optional kit with images printed on TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) to add to your work to learn how to quilt around shapes.
Ana will teach you how to mark your quilt, the effects of different line spacing, how to make it legible or illegible, as you choose, and how to quilt your text. You will also learn her techniques for quilting around shapes and forms.
You do not need to be proficient with free-motion quilting to take this class. Ana has taught this class to people who have never done free-motion quilting before and they have been really successful.
Ana’s composition, “A Woman Who Stands Alone and Waits” (“La Mujer que esta’ sola y espera”) has been juried into the 2021 Grand National Fibre Art Exhibition “Crossroads” at the University of New Brunswick. It is based on a story she saved from a newspaper in Buenos Aires in 1982. The entire text of the article is quilted into the piece. It is an amazing piece of art incorporating many different techniques. Check it out at:
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