Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Road to California 2016

Inside the Ontario Convention Center at Road to California

I’m just back from teaching four days at Road to California. I had never been to this show, which is in Ontario, California (east of Los Angeles). It is such a beautiful area, and the venue (the Ontario Convention Center) is wonderful. Big, well-lit classrooms; lots of great vendors; interesting exhibits; and of course, really fabulous quilts!

View near the Ontario Convention Center
I had a professional headshot taken by Bonnie McCaffery, and snapped this selfie with her afterward.
Cathy Vandiford Wiggins with her leather quilts exhibition
$10,000 Best of Show went to “Silk Road Sampler” by Melissa Sobotka of Richardson, TX.
Inside the convention center
Mary Kerr’s curated exhibition, “Quilt as Desired,” paired less-than-$50 quilt tops,
many purchased on eBay, with longarm quilters’ artistry, with fabulous results!
$7,500 winner was Janet Stone of Overland Park, KS, with “Ewe Are My Sunshine”
Luba Dmytryk, who was in my class, won Viewers Choice!
Luba’s winning quilt

“Ode to Spring” (detail) by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME
“Cameo Rose” (detail) by Laurie Tigner of Rapid City, SD
I taught my Peacock Feather class on Thursday, and then my 3-Day Paint & Stitch class Friday-Saturday-Sunday. My students did some wonderful work. Most were still painting on the third day, especially if they chose complex subjects or were working big (24"x 36" or so). A few were accomplished artists, but most had little or no experience painting or painting on fabric. Here is some of their work (some still in progress): 

They did some amazing work! A few were experienced painters, but most were completely new to painting on fabric. My technique (which I developed to compensate for my lack of formal art training!) breaks this seemingly complex process down into simple steps, so that even beginners can get great results. Taking a three- or five-day class is a big investment of time and money, but it also gives you the opportunity to really get an in-depth learning experience. Some of my students painted all three days; others did smaller or less complex pieces and were able to threadsketch – and in two cases – quilt – their work!

I’m teaching this technique in three venues in 2016 and early 2017:

Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops
Greenville, NY
Aug. 14-20, 2016
Five-day workshop: fusible appliqué, wholecloth painting, and thread sketching

Five-day workshop: Paint & Stitch: Create Original Work from Your Own Photos
Oct. 3-7, 2016
(sign up before Jan. 30, 2016 and get $100 off your lodging!)

Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar
Pacific Grove, CA
April 21-26, 2017
Five-day workshop: Wholecloth Painting and Thread Sketching (original work from your photos)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Catherine Redford’s new Quiting Arts Workshop – review and give-away

Catherine Redford, fiber artist, teacher and machine quilter extraordinaire, has a new Quilting Arts Workshop out on DVD and digital download. It’s called “Modern Machine Quilting: Free Motion Stipples, Swirls, Feathers and More!” It follows on the heels of her excellent first Workshop, “Modern Machine Quilting: Straight Lines, Spirals, Serpentines, and More!” that I reviewed in December 2015 here

Catherine is a co-founder of the Naperville (Illinois) Modern Quilt Guild, and she’s an award winning quilter. She’s been a guest on Quilting Arts TV several times, which is where I first met her.  

With Catherine on the set of QATV, Series 1400, in 2014
In this Workshop, Catherine starts out with the basics: how to choose batting, thread, needles and presser feet; how to press (she sometimes presses seams open to achieve a flatter look); and how to pin baste in preparation for quilting. 

Even though I’m an experienced free-motion quilter (I have my own recently released Quilting Arts Workshop on free-motion fillers), I learned a lot from Catherine by watching this Workshop.

She explains why she prefers an open-toe darning foot for her free-motion quilting (she says she can see better where she is going). I use a closed metal circle (Bernina foot #15). But if she has hand stitching or embroidery on a quilt, she uses a closed-toe foot so she won’t snag her stitching.  

She prefers a single-hole throat plate when she quilts, because it does not allow the fabric to be pulled down into the larger opening on a regular throat plate, which results in a nicer stitch.

While this Workshop focuses on free-motion stitches using a darning foot, Catherine often notes that she uses a combination of quilting lines made with her walking foot and motifs made using a free-motion darning foot in the same quilt. If it’s easier to get straight lines (or mildly curving lines) with the walking foot, then do it. These lines can provide the structure for the rest of the quilting. Then put on the darning foot and fill in between those lines.

She usually starts out by drawing or doodling her motifs on paper, before stitching them. She relies on “muscle memories” build during this drawing practice to help her when she starts quilting her quilt. I found her explanation of her stitches as she drew them on paper very illuminating. By both drawing and stitching the motifs, Catherine reinforces how to create the designs.   

During this 77-minute long Workshop, Catherine demonstrates 26 different motifs, including great patterns to define areas, fill white (empty) space, and highlight borders. There are some beautiful new-to-me motifs that I’ll be adding to my repertoire!  

Want to buy?
You can purchase the DVD ($24.99) or digital download ($19.99) on the Quilting Daily Shop.  

Join the hop! 
Thursday January 7th – Catherine Redford
Friday January 8th – Fresh Lemons Quilts

Saturday January 9th – Bonnie Hunter
Sunday January 10th – Svetlana Sotak
Monday January 11th – Kim Niedzwiecki (Aurifil)
Tuesday January 12th – Julia Wood
Wednesday January 13th – Susan Brubaker Knapp
Thursday January 14th – Jenny Lyon
Friday January 15th – Kathy Matthews
Saturday January 16th – Back to Catherine!

Win this Workshop on DVD!
For a chance to win Catherine’s DVD, head over to Catherine’s website and leave a comment there. At the end of the blog hop, she’ll pick two DVD winners, and one grand prize winner, who will receive a DVD and a Stella task lamp.

Really want to boost your free-motion skills? For an additional chance to win Catherine’s DVD, plus my new Workshop DVD, leave a comment on this post by noon (Eastern Time) Sunday, Jan. 17. (U.S. residents only, please). Tell me why you want to win. I’ll choose one winner at random. If your comment does not appear right away, don’t worry, and don’t leave additional comments, please. I have to moderate comments, because I was getting tons of Japanese porn spam, and I know you don't want to see that in the comments section! ;-)

UPDATE: We have a winner! Sewgirl has won my give-away. Thanks!

For a chance to win my Workshop DVD and Catherine’s, leave a comment on this blog post.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Get $100 off my class at Madeline Island School of the Arts!

Now through Jan. 31, 2016, you can get $100 off your on-site lodging when you register for my five-day workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts! 

I’m super excited about this workshop, where students will work from their own photos (or one of mine if they don’t have a photo they love) to create original painted and thread-sketched work. MISA is a spectacular venue on an island in LaPointe, Wisconsin, and we will be there at a wonderful time of year. 

A 25% deposit is all that is needed to hold your place in my workshop.  To read more about my class and to register, click here, call MISA at 715.747.2054, or email misa@cheqnet.net. 

To see more photos of the studio and student residences at MISA, check out my blog post here.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Website redesign!

For about three years, I’ve needed to redesign my website. I had originally designed it using Adobe GoLive, and several years ago, they stopped supporting that software, and I could only use it on my ancient laptop with an outdated operating system. Not ideal.

I just spent two weeks working on it, and now I can cross that big job off my to-do list. Phew! I used Adobe Muse, which was pretty easy to learn and use (you don’t have to know or use HTML code at all!) The home page (above) features a slideshow of detail shots from some of my work. The other pages are:

fiber art – photos and descriptions of all my art quilts, including prices (if for sale), year made, and techniques/materials. Use the blue arrow keys near the main photo, or select an image from the thumbnails below. 
quilts – photos and descriptions of my best original quilts, including pieced and needleturn appliqué quilts, including year made. Use the blue arrow keys near the main photo, or select an image from the thumbnails below. 
 drawings, etc. – images of some of my black-and-white drawings, watercolors, and other miscellaneous projects. Use the blue arrow keys near the main photo, or select an image from the thumbnails below.

beauty on my morning walk – some of my photos taken on my morning walks, which I feature on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) using the hashtag #BeautyOnMyMorningWalk. Use the blue arrow keys near the main photo, or select an image from the thumbnails on the side. Or just let the slideshow click through all the photos.

classes & lectures – descriptions of the classes and lectures I offer,
my contract and brochure, pricing and details, my teaching schedule, and testimonials. And a slideshow of some of my fabulous students and their work!

shop – purchase my Workshop DVDs and books here via PayPal. (Yes, that’s a brand spankin’ new Workshop DVD up at the top; more on that soon!)

news – the latest information, including links to national venues where I’m teaching, publications, exhibitions; plus links to “Quilting Arts TV,” and other organizations, groups and ventures in which I’m featured.

tutorials – download PDF directions to learn how to make a 4" quilt sleeve, finish with a pillowcase turn, face a quilt (non-mitered and mitred versions), and frame fiber art. Free to print and distribute, as long as you keep my name and contact information on the sheets. 

 aboutmore than you really want to know about me, including my bio, artist’s statement, and résumé. 

 connect – all my contact information, links to my social media pages, the place to sign up to get my e-mail newsletter, and a form to send a message directly to me.  

I’d love for you to take a look and let me know what you think. If you see anything that doesn’t work or looks weird, please let me know. You can leave a comment here, or fill out the form on my “connect page on my website. There are some things I already know I need to fix, and some things I still need to figure out how to do, but overall, I’m pretty pleased. I hope you enjoy it!

Check it out here: http://www.bluemoonriver.com

Monday, November 9, 2015

“Fancy Goldfish” is up for auction this week!

“Fancy Goldfish” (16" x 16")
Copyright 2015 by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint,cotton thread, cotton batting.
Free-motion machine quilted.
The piece I created to benefit The Quilt Alliance (The Alliance for American Quilts) will go up for auction this week on eBay. Please consider bidding, as this is a wonderful organization! The Quilt Alliance seeks to “document, preserve, and share our American quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation’s diverse peoples and their communities.”

This is one my favorite pieces, so I really want it to go to a good home!


My piece is in the first auction week of the Animals We Love contest quilts, which will go live on eBay.com at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday night, Nov. 9, and will end  at 9 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 16.

Once the auctions have begun, you can go directly to the current week’s eBay auction by using this link: http://www.ebay.com/usr/quiltalliance.  

To go directly to the auction for “Fancy Goldfish,” go here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/31-Fancy-Goldfish-/131648573224?hash=item1ea6ddcf28:g:evgAAOSw5ZBWQRIs

Important note: the quilts for each auction week are only viewable on eBay.com during the auction period for that quilt. Before and after the auction period, the quilts are not viewable. (eBay only posts items included in live auctions – no archives or scheduled auctions are viewable).
Each auction begins and ends on Monday at 9pm Eastern Standard Time.

More quilts will go up for auction in the second week, Monday, Nov. 16 – Monday, Nov. 23.

To preview the quilts for each week before that auction week begins, visit the Facebook albums here:
Week ONE: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153784667266340.1073741838.31536621339&type=3
Week TWO: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153784517606340.1073741837.31536621339&type=3

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Watch me on TheQuiltShow.com (for free!)

--> Want to watch me (for free!) in Episode #1709 of TheQuiltShow.com? The show aired last Monday, Oct. 26, and is normally only available to subscribers. But from Nov. 1-8, 2015, you can watch even if you are not a subscriber! This is also a great opportunity to decide if you want to become a subscriber. 

TheQuiltShow.com with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims is a fabulous way to learn all about quilting, ground-breaking quilters (traditional, contemporary, modern, art quilters and fiber artists) in a wonderfully friendly interactive online community. You can watch a promo of the show, which includes my fellow North Carolinian, Jane Hall, here

To watch the episode that features me (and Jane), click on this link:



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I am what I choose to become

“I am what I choose to become”
Copyright 2015 by Susan Brubaker Knapp
I made this last night for a courageous young woman I know who is dealing with a traumatic injury and facing a challenging recovery. I chose a quote by Carl Gustav Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology:

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”  – Carl Jung

I decided to add a butterfly because it is a powerful image of metamorphosis and change.  

I have only painted on canvas a handful of times, and it was interesting how much differently the acrylic paint moved on the gessoed canvas than on fabric. I used a prepared canvas purchased at a craft store, and my ProChemical & Dye transparent and opaque acrylic textile paints. Not sure if I should be using regular acrylic paints, but I don’t have many of them, and I have a lot of the textile paints.

Friday, October 16, 2015

From Insects to Elephants

Five pieces of my work will be featured in the exhibition “From Insects to Elephants” at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts Oct. 21, 2015 through Jan. 10, 2016.

The exhibition features the work of 64 artists from Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Maine, Texas, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Connecticut, Georgia, New Mexico, Tennessee, Kansas North Carolina, and Florida:

Eileen Daniels
Salley Mavor
Barbara Yates Beasley
Terri Sankovitz
Myra Van Uxem
Suzanne Mouton Riggio
Larkin Van Horn
Mary Alice Hart
Velda Newman
Grace Errea
Susan Balisterri
Cindy Garcia
Barbara Barrick McKie
Susan Carlson
Ginny Eckley
Melanie Marr
Jane Broaddus
Judith Roderick
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Linn Woodard
Darlene Determan
Bonnie Patton
Christine Sommerfelt
Paula Salzman
Candy Flynn
Jane Davila
Wendy Butler Berns
Nellie Durand
Nancy Linz
Deb Kinder
Barbara Strobel Lardon
Ruth Powers
Lisa Binkley
Marla Morris-Kennedy
Linda Teddlie Minton
Judy Raddatz
Karla Spinks
Nancee Ariagno
Barbara Kile
Pam Moller
Sandy Bates
Deanna Peterson
Jennifer Heynen
Anita Carpenter
Sue Rasmussen
Joyce Krueger
Michele Oxman
Christine Sparrow
Monica Ingwersen
Lorraine Jewell
Linda Reuss Benson
Laura Krasinski
Mary Young
Norma Klimpke
Hope Wilmarth
Vicki Quint
David Taylor
Kathy Golden
Tricia Glaister
Sharon L. Malec
Katherine Sharpless
Rhonda McClure
Mary Alice Schueler
Gayle Simpson

“Insects, correct to the smallest detail, multi-colored hippos and elephants, views of the undersea world, whimsical pincushions, favorite family pets, barnyard animals, and others more exotic – all are part of WMQFA’s celebration of nature’s creations.”
The exhibition was curated by Linda Reuss Benson and Linn Woodard.

“From Insects to Elephants”
Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts
Cedarburg, WI
Oct. 21, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
Opening Reception: Nov. 8, noon to 3 p.m.

“Suffolk Sheep #4”
20" x 20"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2013) Original design.
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton threads, wool/polyester batting.
Thread sketched and free-motion machine quilted.

10.5" x 29.5"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2014) Original design.
White cotton fabric,acrylic textile paint, wool/polyester batting.
Free-motion machine quilted.
“New Zealand Chook #4”
24" x 24"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2013) Original design.
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton threads, wool/polyester batting.
Thread sketched and free-motion machine quilted.

“Maximum Cat Nap”
22" x 18.5"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2010). Original design.
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton threads, interfacing, cotton batting.
Thread sketched, free-motion machine quilted.
“Parrot Peek-a-Boo”
15.25" x 20.25"
(Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2010). Original design.
Cotton fabric, fusible adhesive, cotton threads, cotton batting.
Thread sketched and free-motion machine quilted.