Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quilting Arts TV taping

On Sunday, I flew to Cleveland to film three segments for the 700 series of Quilting Arts TV. Here I am with host Pokey Bolton on the set. These are the very girly-girl quilted dog beds I made with a new line of fabrics by Bari J. Ackerman called Country Lane (for Windham Fabrics). I used lots of the lighter fabrics for the strips and side/back panels, and cut out the big roses on another fabric from the line and raw-edge appliqued them down. 

This segment will air in program #712. (All the shows I shot – #703, #707 and #712 – will air this fall/winter on many public TV stations across the country, and will be available on DVD at the end of the season.)

Here’s all my stuff for the segments arranged on the bed at my hotel the night before. 
I’d met Jamie Fingal, well-known for using zippers in her work, at Quilt Festival last fall. She was talking about how she created some of the pieces in a series featuring her feet in Doc Marten boots. Jamie’s blog is called Twisted Sister
Here is a close up shot of some of Jamie’s Doc Marten series.
While each artist is taping, the rest of us get to watch on the big TV in the green room (that’s the name of the room where you wait before you go on set). Here are (from left) Jeannie Palmer Moore, Jeanne Cook Delpit (Bernina USA), Leslie Jennison and Katherine Lamancusa (from Beachwood Studios) watching and photographing Jamie’s segment.
Jeannie Palmer Moore (right) and Jamie watch another segment from the green room as it is shot. Jeannie, a mixed media artist, does a lot of painting and stitching in her work, but somehow, I managed to miss getting a photograph of her with it. Shoot!
Time for makeup!
Since the segments are shot out of sequence, Pokey has this helpful photo guide to what she needs to be wearing for each show:
This is Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (lef) with her mom, who spent a good hour untangling a necklace Julie made that she needed for her segment. What a nice mom! Julie also taught at the CREATE retreat.
Julie used computer kaleidoscope software to create these really cool designs that she then made into little fabric beady things and put on a necklace. 
And she had the funkiest hand-painted shoes!
I got my first look at the spread for my project, Magical Mistletoe, in the 2010 Quilting Arts Gifts magazine. They had a copy in the green room.
The fabulous Jeanne Cook Delpit of Bernina USA (left) helps Jamie learn the features of the machine she’ll be using on set.
Here is Leslie Tucker Jenison on set with Pokey. Leslie is a textile and mixed-media artist who makes spectacular art cloth. She mixed up the dyes for this segment in her hotel room bathroom the night before! You can read more about Leslie and see silly behind-the-scenes photos from the CREATE event – including dinosaurs and fake eyeballs – on her blog
Pippa Eccles, assistant editor at Quilting Arts, was often hard at work on her laptop in the green room. Pippa has helped edit my series of articles for Quilting Arts magazine this year.
This is the sweet, sweet Helen Gregory, managing editor for Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. She was such a huge help to me!
On Tuesday, I popped back into the studio to meet some more guests, because my plane wasn’t leaving until the afternoon. I met Victoria Gertenbach with one of her lovely “work quilts” made of shot cotton fabric, with the most beautiful hand stitching:
And Candy Glendening with her cute, cute, cute fabric houses featured in Quilting Arts Gifts 2010:
Candy and Victoria check out an issue of Studios magazine in the green room.
Leslie Tucker Jenison and Pokey prepare to cut up one of Pokey’s quilts in a “Save My UFO!” segment. In these segments, people send in quilts that they don’t know how to finish or fix, and a guest talks about what she’d do to improve the piece.
Jamie tests out a new technique using Shiva PaintStiks. Pokey needed samples on set, and Jamie and some of the rest of us jumped at the chance to play in between tapings.
Together, Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison co-curate art quilt exhibits for the Dinner at Eight Artists. They had come directly from teaching at Cloth Paper Scissor’s CREATE mixed-media Retreat in Rosemont, Ill. (near Chicago) the day before. They had to be exhausted, but you’d never have known it!
Pearl Krush, most famous for her snowmen fabrics, shows off her beautiful quilt made with her most recent fabric line for Troy called Petal Pushers.
I am a big fan of Deidre Adams’ work, and it was exciting to meet her and see it up close.  Deidre is also a painter and graphic designer who creates a lot of the beautiful catalogs for Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA).
The texture and subtle color in Deidre’s work is fascinating. These are a few of the pieces she brought for her TV segment.
This afternoon, I headed home, back through the Cleveland airport, which has this great giftshop with stuff from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Interviewed at AQS Paducah

I was interviewed and videotaped by Linda from Zede’s Sewing Studio, a Bernina and Baby Lock dealer in Columbia, Missouri, at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah! They wanted to know more about how I machine quilted Pink Petal Party on my home sewing machine, a seven-year-old Virtuosa 153 Quilters Edition Bernina.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


This is my friend and neighbor, Dave Sopp, hanging up a sign I made for a company that he and his wife (Kelly) own called Wry Baby. (Wry Baby makes hip, funny, irreverent gifts for babies and their parents. They are guaranteed to be the hit of any baby shower you might attend.) They needed a stuffed, three-dimensional sign for their booth at the New York International Gift Fair earlier this month. Who better to ask than a quilter who happens to live down the street and can’t say no?

It needed to be lightweight and easy to transport. I made it by tracing the logo onto white fabric, then painting it in black using acrylic textile paint. I layered it with more white fabric, and stitched outside the black lettering. Then I slit the back and stuffed it. After adding a backing of heavy felt, and stitching that down, I glued the two layers of fabric outside the lettering together, and reinforced the back with wooden dowels so it would hang flat. The whole thing can come apart and be stuffed (pun intended) into a suitcase. It was an interesting logistical challenge. 
What the heck is this STUF, you ask?  It’s their cool new line of stuffed toys you can see under my sign in the photo below, or up close on the STUF website. That’s Dave with the interesting facial hair and ice-cream-man suit. 

This STUF is so cool that I really want one of each. The pirates and the birds especially. I don’t have any babies (mine are too grown up for me to have any excuse), and I still want them! If you go to the STUF website to look, make sure you move your cursor over them so you can see the backs, which are equally wonderful.

Another great product they just introduced is the Zippit! Pacifier Case:

It features the “Gromm-o-Vent” on the back to keep those moist pacifiers from getting all mildewed and groady.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Video from Art Meets Science

Alex Veronelli, Product Manager for Aurifil Thread, took a nice video at the SAQA Art Meets Science exhibition at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England last week. He zooms in on Lepidoptera, one of my pieces! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Alex at several Quilt Markets, as I am on Aurifil’s Artists’ Team (the A-Team!). He always has mobs of quilters around him, since he is a sweetheart of a guy, and has an adorable Italian accent to boot!  :-)  If you are on Facebook, befriend him and you can see other great videos, get industry scoops and find out the latest from Aurifil.

Art Meets Science at Festival of Quilts

My friend Melinda Schwakhofer, an American living in England, attended the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham England last week, and took these photos of the SAQA Art Meets Science exhibition, in which I have two pieces.

Here is a woman taking a shot of my tiny piece Coleus. At 7-1/2" x 11", I think it must have been the smallest piece in the exhibition!

SAQA volunteers answer questions about the exhibition and explain SAQA’s mission.

Here is Lepidoptera (left) hanging.

This exhibition had hard white walls that set off the artwork very nicely. Art Meets Science “explores the unexpected intersection of two seemingly different disciplines, Art and Science. These 35 artworks focus upon inspiration from scientific theories or phenomena expressed in new and unexpected ways. They illustrate, with strikingly visual impact, a gamut of scientific ideas, from the harmonies of randomness to the dynamics produced by scientific imagery.”

Melinda had two beautiful pieces displayed at Festival, too. You can see her pieces, Cleaved (created for her recent marriage), and Winter Trees Wept (a powerful piece about the removal of her native American Muscogee ancestors from their land in the 1830s) on her fabulous blog, Inspiraculum. You’ll find more photos from Festival of Quilts in her most recent post. Thanks again, Melinda!  :-)

All photos courtesy of Melinda Schwakhofer-Coxon. Website:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hooray for the Bendable Bright Light

I just purchased and installed a Bendable Bright Light, and I am loving it! The Bendable Bright Light has an energy-efficient LED that provides 100,000 hours of light. (That means you could use it about 12 hours a day for 20 years before the bulb burned out.) It comes with an 8-foot power cord. I mounted mine on the side of my machine. You simply attach the mounting bracket using the adhesive 3M squares included, and slide in the circular base of the light. You can purchase additional mounting brackets if you have other machines and want to move the light from one to the other.

Along the back of my machine, I used the little clips provided, with more adhesive squares, to string the cord along and out of my way: 

It was very easy to install. And the best part is that it makes the area under the presser foot so much brighter! It might be hard to see in these photos, but it really makes a huge difference. 
Here’s a photo showing my machine turned on, with its light only:

And here’s a photo with both my machine’s light and the Bendable Bright Light:

You can see how much more light it provides if you look at the shadow cast by the foot in the photo above, compared to the other photo. 

It is very easy to position exactly where you need it because it has a long, flexible arm. It would be wonderful for beaders, embroiderers, and other crafters, and anyone with aging eyes.

This light retails for $49.95, but I found it online for less ($27.95 at

Monday, August 23, 2010

SAQA 2010 Benefit Auction coming Sept. 20

It’s less than a month until the Studio Art Quilt Associates’ 2010 Benefit Auction, so I thought I’d start sharing with you some of the wonderful pieces of fiber art up for auction. SAQA artists have donated more than 280 small works, most 12" square. The funds raised through the auction allow SAQA to support exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs. Last year 235 members’ work brought in $47,325.
This year’s auction begins Monday, Sept. 20 at 2:00 p.m. EST. All pieces start at $750 on the first day, then drop each day, to $550, $350, $250, $150 and $75. Want to learn more about how the auction works? Click here.

Here are a few of the fabulous pieces available for purchase, shown with the artist’s comments. You can click on the names to go to their websites, and click on the photos to see the pieces close up. I’ll post more in the days leading up to the start of the auction. Enjoy! 
 Reflections Transformed 1
 Inspired by the fluid shapes of the reflections of a dock structure, the piece is constructed with silk using machine appliqué and reverse appliqué.

Piterskoie Kruzhevo/St. Pete Lace 
by Natalya Aikens
My love for the city I was born in continues to inspire my art. This piece is put together from pictures I have taken, materials I have recycled, and threads I have stitched.

 Petite Graphic Garden 
by Christi Beckmann
“Petite Graphic Garden” was inspired by a series of larger garden pieces I have been working on.  Floral and plant life continue to inspire me, especially at springtime! Techniques used include: whole cloth, hand–dyed/painted with stitched embellishment.

by Eileen Doughty

Access to clean water is expected to become one of the critical issues of this century, even more important than access to energy resources. This piece is a statement on impermeable surfaces and the loss of rainwater to the natural water cycle. Cotton fabric, netting, satin stitched and machine quilted.

by Jamie Fingal
Bright, with fused appliqué with free-motion stitching.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Barnful of Quilts 2010 is coming soon!

Here’s a wonderful event… make sure to mark your calendar! The eighth annual Barnful of Quilts will be held Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fox Family Farm in Waxhaw, NC. I’ll be there vending; I’ll have some of my art quilts, patterns, and my DVD for sale. This year’s show will feature the Charlotte Quilters’ Guild Best of Show winners, so two of my quilts will be on display.  Harbinger’s Hope (below) won a Best of Show ribbon in 2008: 

And Sunrise, Sunset won a Best of Show ribbon in 2006:

The cost is $5, and all proceeds benefit the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church. If you have never attended this event, it is really wonderful. There is usually nice crisp fall weather, and all the vendors and exhibitions are housed in a spectacular barn in the rolling hills of Union County, south of Charlotte. It is owned by Valerie Fox and her family, who generously offer it for this event. Church volunteers scrub the barn clean in the days before the show, and offer tasty baked goods and drinks at the show. 

There’s also a silent auction, raffle quilts, and quilts for sale. Vendors offer a wide variety of art and craft items, mostly quilt or fiber related, but usually there is fabulous pottery and jewelry as well.

You can see many photos of the past Barnful of Quilts on the Fox Family Farm website, or see and read about the 2008 event on my blog here and here. I participated in 2008 and 2007, but was unable to do so last year because Quilt Market in Houston was held early that year and the dates conflicted. I’m thrilled to be able to participate again this year. Please join me!