Saturday, November 15, 2014

Planning, planning…

Lyric Montgomery Kinard and I spent some time yesterday brain storming for our 2015 retreat, “Once in a Blue Moon.” It’s going to be Oct. 1-3 in Black Mountain, NC. We are planning an event where students will not only learn new techniques, but discover ways to conquer their artistic fears and inhibitions to create original work that they did not know they could do. We are so excited to be planning something very unique and amazing!

It’s going to be a lot of exploring and taking risks in a nurturing environment, mixed with big does of fellowship and friendship (think campfires, sketching, music, photography hikes and group dinners at fabulous restaurants). We’ll be in a gorgeous location, Black Mountain, North Carolina (about a half hour drive from Asheville) at the perfect time of year. I’ll have the registration forms, as well as prices, and all the details, on my website (and here on my blog) next week. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sue Reno’s new Quilting Arts Workshop

I’ve admired Sue Reno’s work in exhibitions for years, wondered about her techniques and swooned over her fabulous echo quilting, but I first got to know her when she came to Quilting Arts TV to shoot several several segments for Series 1400. In Episode 1404, “Inspired by Nature,” she shows how plants, animal skeletons and photography inspires her work. In episode 1410, “Quilting Medley,” she demonstrates her trademark echo quilting. 

Me, with Sue on the set of Quilting Arts TV

While she was on set in March 2014, she also shot a Quilting Arts Workshop, “Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt.” It is now available as both a DVD ($24.99) or a digital download ($19.99) from the Quilting Daily Shop. I watched it yesterday, and now I can barely contain my excitement. I want to run out right now and buy a few supplies, and get started. I want to make cyanotype prints, heliographic sun prints, Thermofax®, and collagraph prints. I want to play!

These are techniques I’ve been wanting to try forever, so why haven’t I? Maybe because I didn’t know exactly what to do. Maybe I was a bit intimidated. But not anymore! Sue’s patient, concise explanations and demonstrations make everything perfectly clear, and very easy to understand. I think I’ll be trying all of these techniques, and incorporating them in my future work.

Sue’s heliographic sun printing
Sue with me, in front of one of her larger pieces.
Sue places animal bones before a segment of QATV

Sue covers a different technique in four of the “chapters” in her Workshop. She shows how to make cyanotypes, gorgeous blue-and-white prints, using plant materials (I’m eager to try both plants and objects to print!) and pre-prepared, purchased cyanotype fabric. Then she covers heliographic prints, using watered-down transparent textile paint and the power of the sun; and collographs using a reusable Gelli Plate. Last, she explains how to prepare original photographs, and have them made into Thermofax® screens, and shows how to screen print from them.

Along the way, she shares her knowledge about good design, and practical tips for making the techniques easier. At the end of the Workshop, she shows examples of her work that she made from fabrics using these techniques, while explaining her composition, design and quilting decisions. 

If you are like me – curious about these techniques, but not knowing how to get started, this is the Workshop for you! I highly recommend it if you want to work with these surface design materials.  

Several other artists are participating in a blog hop to launch Sue’s workshop. You can read their posts by following the links below!

Blog hop!
11/5/14: Sue Reno
11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp
11/7/14: Allie Aller
11/8/14: Diane Doran
11/9/14: Vivien Zepf
11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel
11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles
11/12/14: Natalya Aikens
11/13/14: Lyric Kinard

and oh!… a giveaway! Leave a comment after this post, telling me about a handmade gift you made, or about a surface design technique you’d like to try. At 6 p.m. EST on Nov. 14, I’ll draw one name at random. The winner will receive a copy of my latest Quilting Arts Workshop, “Fabulous Finishes.” Make sure you leave me your e-mail address, or some way to reach you.

Note: If your comment does not show up right away, please don’t freak out. Please post only one comment. I now have to moderate/approve all comments, because I was getting a ton of Japanese porn spammers leaving comments on my blog!

We have a winner! Juliefeldhaus has won. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Come take a class with me at Asilomar!

Photo from
I am beyond excited to be teaching an Empty Spools seminar at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, next year. I’m teaching in Session V, April 26-May 1, 2015. Why not put this experience on your Christmas or Hanukkah wishlist? Now is the time to plan your trip!

My class is called “Start With a Photo: Paint, Fuse and Thread Sketch.” I’ll be teaching students how to recreate their original photos as pieces of fiber art. You’ll use two different techniques – wholecloth painting and fused raw-edge appliqué – for constructing two to four pieces based on your photographs, and then learn how to add detail with thread sketching. This is a fabulous opportunity to make original work under my guidance during a five-day class in a spectacular setting. I can’t wait!

Photo by Jan Krentz (
The venue is amazing! You can see more photos on the Asilomar website. The price for the week is $1,360.00 (with a shared room for two) and includes all your meals. There’s more information about costs here.

I love teaching week-long classes, because I get the chance to watch my students develop their own original work, and to bloom as they discover just how much they can do. The joy they express when they figure this out is simply amazing

Here are some photos of my students with their work from multiple-day classes, and some comments from my students about my teaching:

“Your workshop was sensational… Your artistic talent, as great as it is, is second only to your enthusiasm and your spirit. In your face, I can see the joy that is in your heart when you talk about what you do, and it is contagious. You are totally comfortable and pleased with what you do and that makes you willing to share it with others…. Today was a magnificent day; I feel like I found something that will be a part of me forever. I am smitten!” 
– Sandy Clark

“You are a fantastic teacher, well prepared and armed with loads of patience. I was very impressed by the fact that you didn’t leave anyone behind, but then didn’t impede the progress of those who were ahead. As a 20-year-teacher in a former life, I really notice those things. I also appreciated your generous sharing of your finished quilts… Thank you again for being such a highlight of my trip to Houston this year.”
– Annick Harris


“I just wanted to let you know that of all the classes and lectures I attended over the last few days, yours was the absolute best. I learned so many good things and the clarity and flow of your presentation was just outstanding. I am so inspired thanks to you.” 
– Denise Ostrom

“You are the perfect teacher; you share your successes, strategy, tips, mistakes, wisdom, artistic insights and encouragement to just try and see what happens. I respect your ability as an artist and appreciate that you have workshops to encourage others to see what is inside them. You are a blessing and a beneficial presence on the planet.” 
– Carroll Grant

“I was a high school teacher for almost 40 years and a college adjunct 8 years along with that. I've been an educator and student my whole life. I've been to Create, and Art & Soul retreat, plus too-many-to-list workshops, retreats, etc., over the years. I’ve had great teachers and perfectly awful ones. And I’ve taught numerous workshops as well. I think I have the experience to tell you that you rank as one of the truly truly BEST teachers I’ve ever had. Your easy style, simple approach to a well-defined and organized project, handouts, and your approachability all make your classes a truly memorable experience.” 
– Marilyn Foell

“I must say the three days were absolutely GREAT! So much information presented with encouragement and belief that each of us really could accomplish our goal. That transferred the belief to us… what fun we had!” 
– Georgia Beville

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fish, fish, fish…

Indo-Pacific Sailfish
Here are some more fish I’ve painted in the last few days on “We All Swim Together.” If you are curious about this piece, please read my previous posts. Stay tuned… I still have a lot of fish to paint!
Indo-Pacific Sailfish
Black Catfish
Indian Scad
Indian Scad
Sydney Skate
Sydney Skate

Yelloweye Rockfish
Yelloweye Rockfish

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shooting “Charlotte Today”

It was so much fun shooting my segment for WCNC’s “Charlotte Today” this morning! Hosts Colleen Odegaard and Ramona Holloway and the crew were very welcoming, and I got the chance to talk about quilting. Here are some photos from the shoot. You can watch my segment online here

The set
Chef Andrea Gaskins

Weatherman Larry Sprinkle with a dog up for adoption
Check out those heels Colleen is sporting!

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!