Sunday, April 26, 2009

Art in the cards

Three of my friends are featured in the newly-released Charlotte “Art in Hand” deck of playing cards: Betsy Birkner, Nancy G. Cook and Janet A. Lasher. That’s Nancy’s card featured on the promotional postcard above (it’s the yellow seedpod, fourth from the left). Each artist chose the card she/he wanted, and created a piece of art a certain size that contained the number and suit. Each of the works were photographed and printed on playing cards. Cool.

Even cooler, you can purchase the original artwork starting May 16 at the Creative Art Exhange in Cornelius.

I’m going to buy a deck soon, and I’ll post more photos when I do.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tyvek class on Joggles this summer

I’m going to be teaching my online Tyvek class again this summer through Joggles. I took an online course last summer, learned a ton and got completely hooked on the concept. No matter where you live, now you can take a course to learn something new or improve your technique, via the internet.

If you’ve never taken an online course, here’s how it works: You sign up and pay the class fee. A few weeks before the class starts, they send you a supply list. On the first day of the class, you get an e-mail that gives you information and passwords for signing up to participate in the class forums. Here, you can write messages to the instructor, share your thoughts, progress and photos of your work with your fellow students.

You don't have to participate in the forums, or you can just lurk and read your fellow students’s comments, so it is perfect for people who are a little introverted, too!

Each week of the class, you receive an e-mail with the lesson in PDF format. When I took an online course, I learned a ton from the teacher and my fellow students, and made some wonderful online friends, too. There is lots of fun and sharing that goes on.

My class, Tyvek Explorations, starts July 28. Four lessons cost $40.

The photos in this post show some of the projects and techniques I’ll be covering in the class.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

“Home Planet” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
2009 Quilting Arts Calendar selection for the month of April

My Earth Day resolutions for the coming year:
Buy more locally-grown produce.
Take reusable bags to the grocery store.
Turn off lights when not needed.
Use less water.
Combine errands to save gas and reduce emissions.
Recycle glass, plastic, metal and paper.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I’m all a-twitter!

Okay, I’m trying out this Twitter thing. Everyone else is doing it. If you twitter, too, you can find me under BlueMoonRiver. Please be patient; it might take me a while to get the hang of this!

Ardea’s Nest

There’s a brief profile of me and a photo of my “Gossamer” on the Ardea’s Nest, the blog of Melissa Haren, today. Melissa has done something pretty interesting. She’s contacting artists whose work she admires, and asking if she can post about them and their work. Today’s post is the first in what looks to be a series of posts with little profiles, photos and links.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Soy wax batik class with Janet Lasher

I took a wonderful soy wax batik class today from Janet Lasher. Soy wax is considered more environmentally friendly than beeswax, and it is much easier to remove from the fabric once the batik and dyeing process is finished.

Here, Janet talks to Grace Howes (left) about stamping on her silk charmeuse:

Here is one of Grace’s pieces in progress in Janet’s wet studio:

Here is one of mine, from the front (the side to which I applied the wax):

and from the back:

DeLane Rosenau made a bunch of silk scarves in similar colors and motifs to use in a belly-dancing costume:

Linda Stegall started with a piece of fabric that had already been batiked (and that is her yellow and green piece hanging on the line behind her):

She drew big circles on the fabric, then brushed on blue dye in some areas:

It was gorgeous!

Here are some of mine:

Here’s another set of front and back photos:

You can see how different the two sides look. I’ll be curious to see if there is still this much difference after the wax is washed out. I’ll post more photos in a few days so you can see how they turned out.

What a fun day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I’m a finalist!

I was thrilled to find out that both of my entries for the 2010 Quilting Arts Calendar made the list of finalists! You can read the details on editor Pokey Bolton’s blog. I can’t show you the quilts yet, because everything is secret until the calendar comes out.

I was pleased to see that a woman I met when I made a presentation to the Shelby NC guild last year, Leah Day, is also on the list. The pieces that get into the calendar will be announced on Friday, May 22. My piece “Home Planet” made the 2009 calendar, and is featured this month. Hey, I guess that makes me a calendar girl! :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Welcome to my studio!

This weekend, I’m participating in a virtual studio tour hosted by a group of blogging quilt designers. In this post, I’m giving you a peek inside my studio. To see more studios, simply click “Next” in the “Blog Tour” icon in my sidebar on the right-hand side of my blog. The tour officially starts Friday, April 10.

So... Let’s get started! Here is the door into my studio. Antique quilts (including some made by my grandmother and great-grandmother, and some purchased on eBay) are displayed on a ladder outside my door. My studio is located in what used to be the guest bedroom in my house. We live in a 1916 Queen Anne/Craftsman cottage, with a very long central hall that is painted green.

My studio is painted bright cherry red, with white trim on the original wainscotting. That’s a buffet-height dining table I purchased for $99 on sale at Pier One in the center. It’s the perfect height for working and cutting, and for accommodating a lot of storage containers underneath. I got the wire units (a total of 12 squares, six on each side) for about $30 at Target. Great for storing fabric and plastic containers for batting, fusibles, fibers and other necessary stuff.

I’m very big on light, and don’t like curtains much, but I made cute little valences to dress things up a bit. The green checkered bulletin board is made from sheathing (a lightweight building material available at Home Depot) with fabric wrapped around and staple-gunned to the back. It holds lots of projects in progress, and show ribbons.

Here’s where I sew. I love my Horn sewing machine cabinet! I almost always have it fully extended for maximum work area. The old dresser to the right of my sewing cabinet holds more projects in various stages of completion, and the top of the dresser displays threads and other fun stuff I’ve made or collected.

I wasn’t all that thrilled about the utilitarian-looking black computer chair I bought at Staples to use at my sewing machine. But it was cheap, functional and comfortable. I made it a flirty skirt and cover, and now it looks right at home.

I have a huge design wall (made from the same sheathing material as my bulletin board, but covered with white flannel) on the wall above my sewing machine. I use it to keep works in progress right in front of me, to encourage me to finish them up.

Every bit of space is used. These beads (stored in old spice containers) glow in the light on my windowsill.

I have a closet full of my batiks and hand-dyeds, but I like to sort my commercial print fabrics by color. They are stored on a bookshelf, with lots of other stuff to inspire. The apple pastel is by a former co-worker, Kathy Crowe. The blue paper doll to the right of it is by my friend Grace Howes. I purchased the yellow piece on the bottom shelf by Michelle Verbeek through FiberArt for a Cause.

I love and collect old and new stuff with nostalgic, old-fashioned graphics.

My style is a mix of contemporary and folksy. I collect buttons in Ball and Atlas glass canning jars.

An old wire sieve displays wool yarn and a funny heart-shaped face made of paper mache.

Finger puppets from my children’s early years (I couldn’t bear to give them away!) now sit atop paintbrushes.

Bowls, baskets and biscuit jars hold perle cotton, felt balls, and the threads pulled off yardage as it comes out of the dryer. (Yes, I have used it in some of my work!)

I wish I had the time to make more of the wonderful things created by my favorite designers! The pillow is a Sue Spargo design, the doll design is by Gail Wilson, and the heart pincushion is by Vickie Clontz.

A storage unit on my cutting table holds brushes, pens, pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.

An angel doll I made from a pattern by Vickie Clontz perches atop an old school desk bench. I made the rag rug behind her.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my studio. Don’t forget to check out the other quilt designers’ studios on the tour!