Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quilting Arts Holiday Hop!

Quilting Arts Holiday magazine is hosting blog hop! I’ve listed the participating artists below. Many will be posting tuturials or doing give-aways, so make sure to check each blog on the days listed below. And come back and see me on Sept. 18!

Quilting Arts is giving away an Easy Necklace Kit, a Beaded Snowflake Kit, 2 yards of Pellon interfacing and a copy of Holiday so you can make Village Houses (directions in the magazine). All these projects are featured in Quilting Arts Holiday. Just check out Vivika’s post, and leave a comment there.

You can buy a copy of  the magazine in the Quilting Daily Shop.
Friday, September 12 – Vivika Hansen DeNegre,
Saturday, September 13 – Lyric Kinard,
Sunday, September 14 – Claude Larson,
Monday, September 15 – Linda McLaughlin,
and Kathy Kerstetter,

Tuesday, September 16 – Lori Miller,
Wednesday, September 17 – Melanie Testa,
and Liz Kettle,

Thursday, September 18 – Susan Brubaker Knapp,
Friday, September 19 – Lisa Chin,
Saturday, September 20 – Sarah Ann Smith,
Sunday, September 21 – Catherine Redford,

Monday, September 8, 2014

18 great projects in “Create Handmade Gifts for All”

Fiber artist and dyeing expert Candy Glendening has a new e-book out called “Create Handmade Gifts for All.” It’s available now for $9.99 on the Quilting Daily Shop. 

 To celebrate and share, she’s holding a blog hop. I’m the first stop (see the rest at the end of this post). There are giveaways at each stop, and a chance to win the spectacular messenger bag (above) that Candy made for the cover of the e-book. 

The book contains 18 projects for home decor, bags and accessories, and holiday ornaments. 18 gorgeous projects, 77 pages of detailed instructions, all for about ten bucks? When you usually pay that for one pattern? Really, you can’t lose on this deal. 

I really love Candy’s work. She makes her projects with her fabulous hand-dyed fabrics, but they would look equally good in solid-colored cottons in bright colors. Or batiks.

Candy is a scientist and teacher (she teaches biology at the University of Redlands in Southern California), and her attention to detail shows in her precise directions and diagrams. 

Look at these darling headbands! Wouldn’t they make a great birthday present for a special teenage girl in your life?

Each project is shown with easy-to-follow diagrams and how-to photos that make them easy to put together. These contemporary designs are beautiful and functional. I know I’ll be coming back to this book again and again for gift ideas.

Here’s the blog hop schedule:

Monday, 9/8 – Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River (me!)
Tuesday, 9/9 –  Vicki Welsh of  Field Trips in Fiber
Wednesday, 9/10 –  Deborah Boschert of Deborah’s Journal
Thursday, 9/11 – Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side
Monday, 9/15 – Sue Bleiweiss of Sue Bleiweiss
Tuesday, 9/16 – Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Wednesday, 9/17  – Diane Doran of Ooh! Pretty Colors
Thursday, 9/18 – Vicki Christensen of Sew Inspired
Friday, 9/19 – Candy Glendening of Candied Fabrics

Leave a comment after this post, telling me about a handmade gift you made. At 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 22, I’ll be drawing two names at random. The first person will receive a hard copy of last year’s “Quilting Arts Gifts” magazine. The second person’s name goes into a drawing for the Grand Prize, the messenger bag Candy made that is featured on the cover of the e-book. Candy will announce the Grand Prize winner the following Monday on her blog. Make sure you leave me your e-mail address, or some way to reach you. And check back on September 22 to see if you’ve won. And be sure to visit the other bloggers listed above for more chances to win.

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! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Still spots open in my DesMoines classes!

There are still spots in all my classes at the AQS show in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 1-4. And the All-Star Review, where you can learn from lots of instructors in a fun evening event. C’mon people, sign up! I'd love to have you in my class! Check out all the classes here.
workshop Oct. 1: Thread Sketching: Crayons (3 hours)

workshop Oct. 4: Thread Sketching: Snowflakes (3 hours)
workshop Oct. 3: Paint & Stitch: Peacock Feather (6 hours)
lecture Oct. 1: Lecture: Point, Click, Quilt!

workshop Oct. 2: Thread Sketching: Cripps Pink Apple (3 hours)
workshop Oct. 2: November Leaves (3 hours)

Monday, September 1, 2014

“The Source of Her Magic”

“The Source of Her Magic”
by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Copyright 2014
9.5" x 22"

Here’s a new piece I made in the past week. I’m calling it “The Source of Her Magic.” When I made “Magpie’s Hoard” last month, I had so much fun using my embellishments, and “marrying” them together with hand and machine stitching that I decided to make another, similar piece. This one features the following materials:

Angelina fiber
Angelina film
felted wool beads
metal washer stained with alcohol inks and embossed
melted CD
silk sari waste
metal charm
polymer clay
hand-dyed burlap
hand-dyed cheesecloth
glass beads
perle cotton
cotton thread
cotton fabric
wool/polyester batting

… pretty much everything but the kitchen sink!

Here are some detail shots:

“The Source of Her Magic” (detail)

“The Source of Her Magic” (detail)

“The Source of Her Magic” (detail)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I’ve been “Busy”!

“Busy” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Copyright 2014
As the name of this piece implies, I’ve been busy! I made this piece in two days. It is quilted and ready to be faced. My daughters came home from their second day of school this afternoon, and the eldest took a look at this piece, which was thread sketched and ready for quilting, and said, “Wow! It really is true that you get more done when we are in school.” No kidding.

I made this piece to showcase a material and some techniques for a segment I’ll be shooting for Quilting Arts TV Series 1500 in a few weeks. (The wings are made from Mylar.) 

“Busy” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Copyright 2014
Here is the original photo on which this piece is based. I simplified the flower forms somewhat, because I thought the bee would stand out more if the flower were less detailed. 

Photo by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Copyright 2014
Psssst.... Want to get some Mylar? Try this website.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Listen up! I’m on Pat Sloan’s radio show!

I’m a guest on Pat Sloan’s “American Patchwork & Quilting” podcast here today (Monday, August 25) at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time). If you don’t catch it then, you can listen to the recording later. You can listen on your computer, and you can subscribe via iTunes.

Pat has more information about the guests on her show website. Make sure you scroll down to see all the other wonderful guests she’s had on the show recently.

Pat is a quilt designer, book author and fabric designer for Moda. She’s also a wonderful teacher and speaker. You can check out Pat’s beautiful quilts and learn more about her at her website here.

I love this quilt she designed (called “Pop”). It is a 28" x 38" wallhanging, and you can buy the pattern here:

pat sloan pop finished

Thursday, August 21, 2014

“Delectable Blues” by Nancy G Cook

“Delectable Blues” (2012) by Nancy G Cook 32x25"
I am so excited to finally own a piece of art by Nancy G Cook! I fell in love with this piece, “Delectable Blues,” when I saw it, right after she made it in 2012, but it was scheduled for several exhibitions. I told her I wanted it, and she said she wanted one of my pieces, so we agreed on a trade, with the balance to be paid to her in installments. It finished up its tour for exhibitions this summer, and today, I picked it up! (These are very quick photos taken on my phone, so they are somewhat imperfect.) Isn’t it beautiful?

Detail from “Delectable Blues” (2012) by Nancy G. Cook
Much of Nancy’s recent work has focused on tree seeds and fruits, “as metaphors for life’s riches” that come with maturity. One of Nancy’s hallmarks is dense echo quilting, leaving some areas unquilted to suggest things in the background. She works primarily with Tsukineko Inks and hand-dyed fabrics, but almost always includes a bit of hand embroidery or stitching.
All my life, I have wanted to buy art that caught my eye and stole my heart, but most of it has been too expensive for my budget. This was the perfect lesson in delaying gratification and paying over time to get a piece I love from an artist I love. If you are an artist, consider selling your work using this kind of system. It makes it possible for those of us with champagne tastes and beer budgets to consider buying a piece of art.

This piece reminds me of the last summer day I spent with my mother, in August 2010, picking blueberries at a farm in Tennessee. It was her favorite fruit. When I look at this piece, I remember the warm sunshine, the high green bushes, and how the berries, plump and dusty with bloom, rolled right off the branches with the slightest touch, and fell into our buckets with a pleasing plunk. We only picked for an hour and our buckets were full.

With Nancy today

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Exhibition at Burke Arts Council

I’m pleased to announce that some of my work will be featured in the Contemporary Fiber Art exhibition at the Burke Arts Council in Morganton, NC, August 11-September 19. The other artists in the group are Lyric Kinard, Sondra Dorn, Beth Andrews, Katherine Lee, Kim Ollis, Beth Bailey, Susan McRae, and Suzanne McMahon.

The 2014 SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates’) 2014 Trunk Show will also be on display!

Meet the Artists Reception is Friday, August 15 from 5-7 p.m.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hello, hoppers! … and a giveaway

Welcome to the last day of the first Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading more from the amazing guests of Series 1400, which is starting to air now on more than 400 public television stations across the country. If you want to preview the guests and the taping session this spring, please see my earlier post.

With Pokey Bolton in 2008
I was so honored to be asked to host Quilting Arts TV after Pokey Bolton decided to step down as host this winter. It is not an understatement to say that I would not be where I am today without Pokey. I told her once that I had decided long ago to never say no to her, because each time she asked me to do something – whether it was writing a series of articles on thread sketching for Quilting Arts magazine in 2010, or appearing on QATV, or doing a Quilting Arts Workshop – it turned out to be such a fabulous opportunity and experience.

Someone recently asked me if it was hard to step into Pokey’s shoes as host for QATV, and I answered, “I couldn’t possibly step into her shoes. I’m just stepping onto the path that she made.”

The quilting industry, and art quilting in particular, would not be where it is today without Pokey. She is without a doubt a visionary, one of the rare people in this world who sees possibilities and imagines the “what ifs” and then finds a way to make them happen. She broke new ground by creating a magazine dedicated to art quilting, surface design and embellishment – Quilting Arts – and then went on to grow other publications and Quilting Arts Workshop videos and art quilting books. She’s touched the lives of thousands of artists, helping them to find recognition, showcase their art, and shine. 

“The Bluest Eye” (2007)by Susan Brubaker Knapp
I first met Pokey at a Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) conference in 2007. I was sitting in a lecture about getting your work into magazines, and it was announced that she was coming in, and would be available after the lecture if anyone wanted to ask her a question. I had recently submitted one of my early art quilts, “The Bluest Eye,” to the Quilting Arts Calendar competition. It didn’t make the calendar, but was picked as a “Judge's Choice,” and went in the magazine. I was simply over the moon. 

After the lecture, I went up to her and told her how excited I was to have my work appearing in Quilting Arts, and she looked at my nametag and said, “Oh, you’re Susan Brubaker Knapp; you did that piece with the eye. I love that piece!” I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. 

After that, I started entering more of the magazine’s competitions, and then Pokey asked me to write a series of articles on thread sketching for Quilting Arts that ran in every issue of 2010. A Quilting Arts Workshop video followed, then another and another and another! The visibility and validation of these things made it possible for me to start earning money by teaching nationally, and eventually internationally.

After leaving Quilting Arts to work for several years as International Quilt Association’s “Chief Creative Officer,” Pokey has now moved on to what looks to be another grand adventure. She’s purchased some land in Napa Valley, California, and is hinting that something art quilty is in the works. I’m sure that whatever it is, it will be amazing. 

With Helen Gregory (left) and Vivika Hansen DeNegre (right)
I also want to say a big thank you to Helen Gregory (Vice President of Content, Interweave + Quilt/Sew Golden, CO at FW Media, Inc.) and Vivika Hansen DeNegre (editor of Quilting Arts magazine); I couldn’t do this without you! Not to mention all the people at KS Productions studio. 

Part of what excites me so much about being the new host of QATV is that I will be able to help some of the amazing fiber artists out there get the recognition and visibility they deserve. I hope to introduce you to some newcomers on the art quilt scene, and bring back some of your favorite veterans. 

I hope you’ll tune in and watch, and let me know what you think (constructive criticism, please!). And if you know someone (or are someone) who would be great as a guest on the show, please let me know. I can’t make any promises – and I already have a list of about 100 people I’d like to have on the show! — but I will listen and consider everyone.

If you missed any stops on the Blog Hop, here they are again. 

Stops on the Blog Hop:
July 18: Vivika DeNegre –
July 19: Luana Rubin –

and Linda Friedman –
July 20: Sarah Ann Smith –
and Karen Gloeggler –
July 21: Carrie Bloomston –

and Catherine Redford –
July 22: Sue Reno –
and Rebekah Meier –
July 23: Lyric Kinard –

and Margie Ullery –
July 24: Cheryl Sleboda –
and Jane Sassaman –
and Julie Creus -
July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp –

GIVEAWAY!How would you like to win a copy of the entire Series 1400 on DVD?
Leave a comment after this post and tell me about a person who changed your life. This giveaway is open to U.S. and non-U.S. readers! I’ll draw one winner at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, August 4. Make sure you leave me your e-mail address, or some way to reach you. And check back on August 4 to see if you’ve won. Make sure you visit the other bloggers listed above for more chances to win stuff. 

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! DonaleeK was chosen at random as the winner. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Third article on thread sketching in Quilting Arts

The third article in my 2014 series on thread sketching is in the August/September 2014 issue of Quilting Arts magazine. It’s called “Thread Sketching for Beginners: Your Top 10 Questions Answered.” You can see what’s inside this issue and purchase the magazine at the Interweave store. This issue is on newsstands now. My piece “Joyful” (below) is featured in this issue.

“Joyful” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
12" x 9"  — Copyright 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

“Magpie’s Hoard”

“Magpie’s Hoard” Copyright 2014 by Susan Brubaker Knapp

I’ve been wanting to create a piece to showcase some of the cool embellishments I’ve made, and some of the interesting materials I have found. This is the result. I put it together very quickly, as it is only about 12" x 16", and I already had many of the embellishments made. The hand stitching probably took the longest!

“Magpie’s Hoard.” Cotton fabric (including commercial fabrics and hand-dyed fabrics), burlap, dye magnet, Angelina fiber and film, cheesecloth, Mylar, Tyvek, wire, glass beads, buttons, melted CD, assorted fibers. Hand stitched and machine free-motion quilted.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Come along on the QATV Blog Hop

Woo-hoo! It is day one of the first-ever “Quilting Arts TV” Blog Hop. The first post is by Vivika Hansen DeNegre, the editor of Quilting Arts magazine, on the Quilting Daily Blog.

Series 1400 of “Quilting Arts TV” is all about finding your inner artist, and ways to get inspired and boost your creativity. Throughout the blog hop, guests will share their stories about shooting their episodes, and there will also be some wonderful prizes.

This is the first series on which I am the host (I took over for Quilting Arts magazine’s founder, Pokey Bolton, earlier this year). Shooting these episodes was such an amazing experience. I had a front-row seat to watch some very talented artists explain what they do, how they do it, and why they love doing it. And when you watch, you to have a front-row seat, too! There’s a bit of everything, so whether you are into art quilting, contemporary quilting, surface design, embellishment, or modern quilting, I think you’ll find lots to love.

Series 1400 will start airing on more than 400 public television stations across the U.S. at the end of July. You can enter your zip code here to find out
if your public TV station is one of them.

Can’t wait for the show to air? You can get all the episodes here right now, either on DVD or digital download.

So come along and join us!

Stops on the Blog Hop:
July 18: Vivika DeNegre –
July 19: Luana Rubin –

and Linda Friedman –
July 20: Sarah Ann Smith –
and Karen Gloeggler –
July 21: Carrie Bloomston –

and Catherine Redford –
July 22: Sue Reno –
and Rebekah Meier –
July 23: Lyric Kinard –

and Margie Ullery –
July 24: Cheryl Sleboda –
and Jane Sassaman –
and Julie Creus -
July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp –

Looks like there is going to be some awesome stuff given away! I’ll list them here as I find out about them:Vivika DeNegre is giving away a copy of the Series 1400 DVD
Linda Friedman is giving away 1 yard of her hand dyed fabric 

Lyric Kinard is giving away “something fun”

Saturday, July 12, 2014


“Beetles” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Copyright 2014
(10.5"x 29")
This piece is based on sketches I made from photos of a friend’s collection of mounted insects. I stitched the beetles first with black thread on white fabric, then painted them. To make the texture in the background, I quilted a tight meander before rubbing paint over the raised areas created by the quilting.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

“Harlequin Ink”

“Harlequin Ink”  16"x19.5"  Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2014
This piece, which I’ve named “Harlequin Ink,” has been in progress for at least two years. Maybe three. I just finished it this weekend. I started with a piece of clamp-dyed Shibori fabric I made in a dyeing workshop years ago. Then I embroidered it, using different weights of hand-dyed perle cotton and other threads. Much of the texture can be attributed to the couched-down threads, many torn from fabrics after they came out of the dryer. After I finished the hand embroidery, I free-motion quilted it.