Thursday, April 14, 2011

Filming “The Quilt Show”

I have been in Colorado Springs area this week to shoot an episode of "The Quilt Show" with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. What a thrill to be on set with two quilters whose work I respect so much! “The Quilt Show” is an online TV show that can be viewed through the Internet by subscription. The shows feature fun interviews with all kinds of quilters and fiber artists, as well as lessons and information, and some great free stuff. 

I figured you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at my day. Ricky and Alex shoot some episodes on a set with a live studio audience, and some “on location.” On Tuesday, we were in the beautiful home of the very hospitable and kind Dee Dee and Hugh Eaton. Dee Dee is a quilter, and her husband Hugh is famous for having helped to start The Weather Channel. They live in Palmer Lake, just outside of Monument, Colorado (a short drive from Colorado Springs).

Here is the crew getting set up to shoot the interview portion of the show:

Ricky threw his signature hat down on one of my quilts:

C&T Publishing had kindly provided copies of both of my books, Appliqué Petal Party (2009) and Point, Click, Quilt! (coming out in July):

Actually, this is just a mock-up of my book (the cover glued to the front of another C&T title), since my book has not gone to press yet. Here is the producer, Shelly Heesacker (below) holding the mock-up. Shelly produces segments for Oprah, and she was fabulous to work with, and a lot of fun.

Make-up on, quilts up, Ricky and Alex comfortably installed on the sofa in the Eaton’s family room, me squirming in an armchair, cameras rolling! We sat down to review with the crew how the interview portion of the show would run.

The crew was BUSY!

Ricky was pretty serious most of the time, but was always good for a funny comment when we needed to loosen up.

About half way through the interview segment the director yelled “CUT!” Apparently my neck was bright red. Scarlet, in fact. This is something that happens to me a lot when I am excited or nervous. (When I was little, the boys used to have competitions to see who could make me blush the worst. I would turn purple.) So it was off to the powder room for some heavy makeup and powder by Lilo Bowman, the show’s coordinator (and a quilter!):

Okay, back on the set. Doesn't my neck look fabulous?

After that segment was shot, we moved to another room for the how-to parts of the show. Alex told me a funny story while I pressed the step-outs for the segment on creating bias vines that I shot with her:

Step outs are how you show all the different parts of the process you are demonstrating. (On a cooking show, they will show the ingredients, then some of them mixed together, then the batter in the pan, then the pan going into the oven, then the baked cake, then the iced and finished cake. Same concept here.) Lilo and I ran through the step outs together:

Ricky found a piano and of course Shelly and I had to join in:

We even shot a little bit of me singing with Ricky as a lead-in to my segment with Alex. I have not sung much since high school (I starred in a few of my high school musicals), except in the shower, so I hope I sounded all right!

Then it was back to work. Roll cameras!

Alex and Ricky made shooting these how-to segments really fun and easy. Before each one, we set up all the equipment, step-outs, and the things we would use or talk about:

Ricky patiently gave me a little lesson on how to use a high-end Bernina that has some features I was not familiar with because I don't have them on the Bernina I use at home. And yes, I had to free-motion thread sketch standing up!

Here is Ricky with the producer, director and crew watching me thread sketch to see if the camera was capturing everything from the correct angle:

And then we discussed how to shoot it to make it look clearer:

Yes! It looked okay after a few adjustments!

Here’s how we ended up shooting that part:

This is a shot of me holding one of the projects (Nestling) that I demonstrated, which will be available from The Quilt Show as a free project when my show airs. I don’t know yet when that will be, but it will be part of the next season, which starts later this summer and runs through the end of this year, I think! Stay tuned and I’ll tell you the details once I get them.

And here’s a nice surprise! Katie Pasquini Masopust was shooting that afternoon, so I got to see her again. We first met while she was closing up her term as SAQA president, at the Studio Art Quilt Associates conference a few years ago. You can tell from my big smile that I am also really happy to be finished shooting! What a great day!


  1. Oh Susan,
    Thank You so much for sharing. I really enjoyed learning about the process. You looked so wonderful, I am sure you were terrific as always. I am so glad you had a fabulous time. My face turns the same way.. I totally understand...glad I wasn't the only one messed with in school, and still today with that game.. let's see how much we can get her to blush, lol.

  2. Congratulations on another level of fame! I look forward to seeing your segment.

  3. What a great post! Almost as good as being there with you! Sounds like you had a full day and I'm betting you slept well that night!
    LOVE Nestling! Nice project!

  4. I'm excited to see your show. I am working on an art quilt right now using techniques I learned from you on a "Quilting Arts" segment. That was such a short segment; I can't wait to get some more quality time "with" you.

    "Nesting" is wonderful. I just found a beautiful blue robin's egg in a nest right outside my bedroom window this morning. Maybe I will get inspired to make a "Nesting" of my own.

  5. Seems you really put in a full day to shoot your segment.
    You look lovely and we know you know your business. All in all a very good combo.
    Thanks for your inspiration.

  6. What a wonderful time you must have had, sure wish I could get that show. I would probably sit there like a log after I froze, lol.


  7. Oh, I'm so glad that you found my QATV segment to be informative, Beth! I hope you do make your own nest quilt. :-)

  8. Great description of your day! I'll be looking for you episode on the Quilt Show!

  9. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to see this episode! I really enjoyed finding out more about behind the scenes and the pictures are great!

  10. How cool is that! Looks like you have lots of fab fiber fun!

  11. Can't wait to see the show! Congrats!

  12. Oh this whole post is simply amazing - congratulations

  13. You were beautiful in all those shots..radiating happiness.

    I can't wait to see the show...and of course see your book when it is published.


  14. Don’t you just love taping with Alex & Ricky? I had a blast when I did my segment a couple years ago. Love all of your photos. (You look amazing in that shade of blue!)

  15. Super Cool, looks like you had a lot of fun!

  16. Susan, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Thanks for your expert demonstration of thread sketching. Also thank you for the tour of your wonderful bungalow style home. What fun!
    Jan Spelbrink


I love it when you leave comments… Otherwise I feel like I'm just talking to myself! If you have time to write, please let me know what you think.