Monday, October 20, 2014

“Spooky & Sweet Halloween Sewing Projects”


Directions for two of my projects (“Nametag Pouches” and “Halloween Table Runner”) are included in a new eBook from Quilting Arts magazine! It’s called “8 Spooky & Sweet Halloween Sewing Projects,” and you can purchase a download for $7.99 at the Interweave Store.



My piece “October Morning” (below) is also featured in Cloth Paper Scissors Today e-newsletter and blog!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I’ll be on “Charlotte Today” Oct. 21


Hey, Charlotte area peeps! I’ll be a guest on “Charlotte Today” next Tuesday, Oct. 21. The show is on Charlotte’s NBC affiliate, WCNC (Channel 36), from 11 a.m. to noon.

I'm appearing thanks to my husband, who saw host Colleen Odegaard ask for guest suggestions on Twitter, and tweeted back that I’d make a good guest. I’ll be talking about quilting and the many guilds in the Charlotte area.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fish, again


Okay, I’m back at work on “We All Swim Together,” after more than a year’s hiatus. It now has 11 species painted. (I've sketched 33.) The section above is about 57" wide. The photo is a bit fuzzy because I took it under not-so-great lighting conditions with it spread out on our king-size bed today.

Part of the reason it’s taking me so long is that this is a big piece (it may end up being 100" square!) and I don’t have enough space in my 14' x 14' home studio to keep it out all the time. I’m painting on my cutting table, so when other projects or class preparation are taking place, it can’t stay out. 

If you are curious about this piece, please read my previous posts.

Here’s my progress in the last few days: I got three new fish painted! They are the Spotted Weever:



The Giant Guitarfish:



and the Atlantic Salmon (freshwater form):



 
My cat Wicked loves it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Crafting Therapy


I was in need of some crafting therapy today, so I whipped up this wonderful “Thread Ready Pincushion” by Indygo Junction (IJ856). I’ve had the pattern for several years. It was very easy to construct, and the instructions were clear and concise. It is stuffed with polyester fiber-fill, and a piece of cording around the perimeter of the pincushion section in the center holds the spools of thread in place.  

The pattern comes with templates for several sizes; this is the smallest one. (The pattern tells you what size and type of thread spools fit in the different size pincushions.) I think it will be nice for appliqué or hand quilting on the go.

I used my hand-dyed fabrics and finished it with varigated perle cotton and an antique glass button.

North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2015

Mark your calendars! The 2015 North Carolina Quilt Symposium will be held May 28-31, in Flat Rock, NC, at the Bonclarken Conference Center. Flat Rock is just outside Hendersonville. The catalog and registration form should be online at the guild website, www.westernncquilters.org, by Jan. 5, 2015. 

If you would like a hard copy of the brochure, send $10 to Joanne Shafer, 1468 Mt Olivet Road, Zirconia, NC 28790. Registration begins Jan. 20, 2015. Earlier postmarks will not be accepted.

This is not just open to North Carolina quilters; the event typically gets attendees from all across the country, and even some international students.

I’ll be teaching a 1-1/2 day class on wholecloth painting where students will work from their original photos; my 1-day Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals class; and I’ll be giving my “Thread Sketch it!” Lecture. You can read more about my classes and lectures on my website here.

Here are all the people who will be teaching classes at North Carolina Quilt Symposium:

Wendy Butler Berns
Georgia Bonesteel
Karen Combs
Susan Edmonson
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Mary Ellen Kranz
Mickey Lawler
Heidi Lund
Nancy Mahoney
Nancy McNally
Marti Michell
Stacy Michell
Sue Nickels
Patsy Thompson
Barbara Vlack
Laura Wasilowski
Cindy Williams

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shooting QATV Series 1500


Last week, I was in Cleveland shooting “Quilting Arts TV” Series 1500. It will start airing in January 2015. We always aim for a good mix of fiber artists, contemporary and modern quilters, embellishers and surface designers. We have a great lineup of guest quilters and fiber artists in store for you! Here’s a sneak peek:

Tammie Bowser makes spectacular fiber art based on photos. She bases some of her work on photos of jazz musicians that were taken by her great uncle!





Tammie has designed software that can help you make pieces like this, too:


Patricia Bowman did one segment on how to handle different kinds of material in t-shirt memory quilts, and another segment on using ties in quilts (this segment will appear in Series 1600). Want to make a t-shirt quilt and need some advice? Trish’s book Easy Memorabilia Quilts (published by AQS) can help. And her templates make it easy to cut t-shirt blocks to the right sizes for your memory quilt. 


Jamie Fingal showed us how to collage fabric to make original creations, and how to stencil motifs onto fabric and make small art quilts. She designs fabric for Hoffman, and has a line of stencils with Stencil Girl.




Jamie has even used her fabric on her shoes!



Leslie Tucker Jenison, who is a good friend of Jamie’s, also shot some segments, and sat down on the couch to talk with me about curating. Together, Leslie and Jamie curate exhibitions for Dinner at Eight Artists



Leslie and Jamie also brought along a few friends. Here is Texas Babs coming out of the suitcase, and on set:



 … and a stuffed animal that caused a few problems on the set:


Leslie showed us how she makes her collaged “Sweet Little Somethings”:


… and a giant hexagon quilt (these are fabrics from Melanie Testa’s lovely “Meadowlark” fabric line.


Before each segment is shot, the guest runs through what she is going to cover with the producer, Kathie Stull, and Quilting Arts editor Vivika Hansen DeNegre.


I use and love Bernina sewing machines, and I love it even more that they are a show sponsor, and we have them on set! 




And best of all, we have Jeanne Cook-Delpit, Director of National Events for Bernina USA, with us all week to help guests get ready to stitch on the Berninas! 

 

I’m also over the moon that Arrow Sewing Cabinets has supplied us with these beautiful chairs, a cabinet for the Bernina, and a cutting table! This is the first time we’ve been able to sit the machine down into a cabinet, and it makes all the difference for proper ergonomics. And their designs are so darned cute! (I have that chair at home in a different finish and fabric; the lumbar support is fabulous!)



With this series, we also experimented with some different arrangements of the furniture. I had heard from one viewer that it looked awkward when I was sitting so far behind the guest while she was demonstrating on the Bernina. It made me realize that I felt awkward, too, so we tried switching things up a bit. (Let me know what you think after you see the new shows in Series 1500!)


Pearl Krush of Pearl Louise Designs created this darling owl pattern for QATV, and shows you how to make it using Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 by The Warm Company. I use and love Lite Steam-a-Seam, too! It is the perfect fusible for my fusible applique art quilts that involve hundreds or thousands of tiny pieces. After you fuse it to the wrong side of the fabrics and take off the paper, it is slightly sticky, so you can position and reposition all your pieces before you fuse them down. (Due to production issues, this product has been unavailable for a while, but it will be back in stores by the end of the year; hooray!)


The pattern for this adorable owl will be a downloadable “online extra” on the QATV website next year! (Did you know that we have a bunch of projects and techniques for free on the website here?)




Teri Tope has a new book out with American Quilter’s Society (AQS) that includes a bunch of darling projects for Home Sewn Celebrations. She demonstrated how to make a great tote that holds a two-liter bottle, and keeps it cool with insulated batting.


By now, you’ve probably noticed how often I was changing clothes. I have a different outfit and jewelry for each of the 13 episodes. After I get dressed, they take a photo of me and pin it up so that I’ll know what to wear, and so that the guests can make sure they don’t clash with me on set. 



Sue Spargo shot two segments on felted wool applique and embroidery for Series 1500 and one we will hold for Series 1600. I adore Sue’s work and share her passion for handwork. She has lots of books on embroidery and wool applique on her website here. Not to mention felted wool, patterns, beads, flosses…






The pattern for Sue’s pincushion will be an online extra on the QATV website next year!


Catherine Redford was coming in to shoot a Quilting Arts Workshop, so we had her shoot a few TV segments, too. She demonstrated how to make beautiful beaded edges with this pincushion project, and also shot a segment on modern crazy quilting embroidery for Series 1600. 



We convinced the talented Kristine Lundblad, Quilting Arts’ assistant editor, to shoot two segments. One is on a simple quilt for patchwork beginners, and one is on how to make a durable grocery tote bag. 



Rebekah Meier has appeared on numerous segments of QATV as a guest of show sponsor Rit. This time, she demonstrated how to use two new Rit’s products, Color Perfect and ColorStay Dye Fixative. The dye is available in 7 colors and each kit comes with 3 applicator tips - spray, dauber and drip top. They are very cool! She also shot a segment demonstrating how to make a cute zippered bag from fabric she embellished with fabric strips and programmed stitches on your sewing machine.


Amy Ellis is the author of Modern Neutrals: A fresh look at neutral quilt patterns (Martingale). One of her segments is on the basics of pins and pinning, and shows how to properly pin a small bit of patchwork, which she finishes into a pin cushion with a walnut shell filling. (Yes, it will be an online extra, too!)




Roxanne Lessa shows how she uses fabric like a painter or sculptor in her two segments. In the first, she sculpts and attaches hand-dyed fabric to a background, and in the second, she creates wonderful dimension and texture using silk fabric, a light-weight fusible and thread.




Angela Pingel works miracles with curved seams, and showed me how she machine stitches a Drunkard’s Path block using just one pin! She is the author of A Quilter’s Mixology: Shaking up Curved Piecing (Interweave). Angela also does a project with a scrappy raw-edge applique background and a single raw edge motif applique over the top. It will be an online extra on the website next year!




Here’s how I keep track of all my outfits. Each is hung in the dressing room with these little bags I use to hold my jewelry:



For this series, I got to wear some beautiful jewelry designs by Siesta Silver. They have darling new quilt-themed charms that can be worn on bracelets or their charm holder (below). And some that are made into earrings and pendants. 



This ring had a sliding section in the middle!



Martha DeLeonardis, author of T-shirt Quilts Made Easy (AQS), designs dynamic t-shirt quilts using a grid to combine 6"-, 12"- and 18"-blocks. She shows us how in her segment, and also explains how to deal with fabric grain and stabilize fabrics for these quilts.



Lesley Riley is a mixed media artist, author, and the creator of Lesley Riley’s TAP Transfer Artist Paper. In her segments, she shows how to make a fabric book, a modern memory quilt(she also shot a Quilting Arts Workshop on this topic!), and gave us “the Inside Scoop on artful use of fabric” while creating one of her fragment fabric collages.




Lesley had seen some of my family geneaology photos on Facebook, and asked me if she could use them in one of her projects. Look what she made for me! This is my great-great-grandfather Thomas Braden, and the handwriting in the background is a letter written by my great-great-grandmother Marietta when she was only 16, on the day after her sweetheart Thomas went off to fight in the Civil War. (He survived Gettysburg and several other horrible battles to come home and marry Marietta… otherwise I would not be here!)





Liz Kettle is a fiber and mixed media artist and author. Liz is always up to something new; she loves testing out new materials and techniques. She shot two segments for Series 1500, on
thread sketching blind contour drawings, and on how to make a gorgeous cuff. The third segment, on heat-shrinking thread, will appear in Series 1600. (It is so cool; you won’t want to miss it!)



I hope I’ve whet your appetite to see “Quilting Arts TV” Series 1500! Series 1400 is airing now on more than 400 public television stations across the country. Remember, you can enter your zip code here to find out what stations are carrying the show in your area. Once you know the channel, you need to check with your carrier (cable, satellite, etc.) to determine when the show will be on in your house.