Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today at Vermont Quilt Festival

I am teaching this weekend at Vermont Quilt Festival in lovely Essex Junction and Colchester, Vermont. We are housed at St. Michael's College. These are photos of the campus.

Here is one of my roommates, Pat Pauly, with one of her quilts:

Me with my "Rusty Chevys":

My other roommate, Linda Visnaw, with her quilt:

Pat was thrilled to see her friend Christine Wickert win Best of Show for her quilt "Sampling the Silk Road." they are in the same guild in New York.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Painting "Friso"

This is “Friso,” painted on fabric and ready for stitching at Friday’s Artists’ Reception for the Animal House exhibition at Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries. (See my previous post for details.) It felt so good to work and be creative this afternoon after so many days away from it. I am quite pleased with how he is looking, and hope Lya and Wil will think it is a good resemblance, too. He is going to get a lot more textural with the thread sketching. Right now, his whiskers are just penciled in.

Here is the original photo by Lya or Wil (they are both great photographers):

And here are a few shots to show how I worked:

For readers who are new to my work: I paint on PDF (prepared for dyeing) cotton fabric, using acryilic textile paints from ProChemical & Dye. After I’m done, I add interfacing to the back (to provide stability while I stitch; my favorite is Pellon 910) and then heavily free-motion thread sketch the piece using my sewing machine, to add texture and detail. Then I add batting and free-motion quilt.

Perhaps my cat, Wicked!, thought I was painting her, because she jumped up to take a closer look! Luckily, the paint was already dry. Wicked! has half a mustache and half a goatee, but they could be cousins, at least.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finally… new work begun

It has been almost two months since I’ve done any substantial work on my art. I’ve been consumed with helping my father transition into a retirement center. But on Friday, I’ll be demonstrating how I use thread sketching to bring my painted fabric pieces to life at the opening of the “Animal House” exhibition at Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries. I have seven pieces in this exhibition.

I needed to have a piece to stitch on for the demo, so I got started tonight on a piece I’ve been wanting to do since I got home from teaching in the Netherlands in April. I was seeking some way to thank my fabulous host, Lya Geven, and her husband. They were so wonderful to me. Lya set up all of my teaching, drove me all over the country for sight-seeing, and helped in every conceivable way. Since they are cat lovers with four feline companions, I thought it would be perfect to make small pieces of each of their four cats. First up is Friso, a very affectionate black-and-white male cat they sometimes call “Mr. Love Machine.”

Lya and Wil’s cat, Friso
I did the line drawing (at the top of this post) tonight, and tomorrow, I hope to find time to start painting him onto fabric. The line drawing is not a sketch; it merely captures the important details and broad areas of color and shading. I will put it behind my PFD (prepared for dyeing) cotton fabric and use these guides – and the color photograph – when I paint. It will be fairly small, since I want to do their three other cats, too, and I’d like to finish them sometime this year! I’ll post photos of this project as I work. 

If you live in the Charlotte area, come and see me stitch on this piece this Friday evening during the Artists’ Reception. The event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m.; my demonstration starts at 7 p.m. You can read more about this Art Walk event, and the exhibition, on my post here.

65 Union Street South, Concord, NC
Cabarrus Arts Council

Win a copy of Kay Mackenzie’s new book

Hey! Love appliqué and want to win a great book? Today is your day! I have a copy of Kay Mackenzie’s new book, Scrap-Appliqué Playground: Turn Quilting Scraps into Fun Appliqué Fabrics to give away, courtesy of Martingale and That Patchwork Place.  

Kay has published numerous books and patterns, and you can see them all here. She started out as a hand appliquér, but now embraces machine appliqué methods, too. Kay blogs about applique at Her website is

If you’re like me, you have a big basket of scraps you can’t bear to throw away. In this book, Kay teaches you how to piece or fuse those treasured scraps together to make “fabric compositions” for applique pieces. Her methods, clearly explained and accompanied by color diagrams, include methods for fabric strips, for bits and pieces, crazy patch, and others. Then she shows you how to prepare your applique pieces, using “turn and press,” freezer paper templates, fusible interfacing, fusible-web templates, and bias-covered edges methods.

“Thank You, Teacher”
After that, Kay gives several methods for stitching the appliqué down using edge stitch or blanket stitch. All of the stitching in the book is done by machine, but if you prefer hand appliqué (like me) there’s no reason you can’t do it that way, too.
“Flower Patch”
You can practice all of Kay’s techniques by making one of eight sweet projects. Each includes step-by-step instructions, complete materials lists, and color diagrams.  

If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment after this post by 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 13. Make sure to leave an e-mail address or other way for me to reach you if you win. I’ll pull one name at random. Martingale is generously providing the book, and they will ship it to you. Sorry, this give-away is only for readers in the U.S. or Canada. 

Please note that your comment might not appear right away; I had to start moderating/approving comments after I got hit with a lot of Japanese porn spam!

Don’t forget that you have four more chances to win this book later this week:
Wednesday, June 13 • Erin Russek’s One Piece at a Time
Thursday, June 14 • Holly Mabutas’ Sprinkles of Thought
Friday, June 15 • SewCalGal
Saturday, June 16 • Kay Mackenzie, All About Appliqué

WE HAVE A WINNER! Joanna from New England has won the book. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Animal House

Running Deep
I am honored to have 7 pieces of my work featured in the “Animal House” exhibition at Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries June 4 – July 26.

If you live in the area, I invite you to join me at the Art Walk, a huge community event that serves as the official opening reception to the show, next Friday, June 15, from 6-9 p.m. The Concord Downtown Merchants will join with us in having art displayed throughout the downtown area. The Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries are a focal point, and this will be especially true with this show. There are refreshments at several venues and folks take their time looking at art and enjoying the night.  

After the Galleries close at 9 p.m., Modern Film Fest screens an independent movie upstairs in the theater. This event, as the Art Walk, is free and open to the public. The film is “Redneck Roots”.

Psychedelic Peacock (detail)
During the Art Walk, I’ll be demonstrating how I make my work in The Galleries, along with Jennifer McCormick, who does hand-painting blended with X-rays. Please come by and say hello!

Harbinger’s Hope

The group invitational exhibition participants are: Cindy Billingsley, Pam Brewer, Richard Copeland, Lucy V. Dierks, Kim Dills, Melanie Eberhardt, Gene Furr, Laura Gaskin, Marsha Heatwole, Scott Hotaling, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Christine Kosiba, Roger Martin, Jennifer McCormick, Marcia McDade McMann, Terry Ostovar, Karen Poetzinger, Ken Sedberry, Robin Wellner, and Ali Wieboldt.

Up and Away!
The Galleries are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
65 Union Street South, Concord, NC
Cabarrus Arts Council

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Three great books, lots of chances to win

You may have noticed that I have not blogged in almost a month. I have been totally consumed with helping my father through a difficult move and transition into a retirement center. But I wanted you to know that I will be back eventually, making art and blogging about it. And in the meantime, I am participating in some exciting give-aways. The fun starts Thursday, June 7, and goes through most of July; don’t miss a chance to win.

On June 12, I’ll be blogging about Kay Mackenzie’s new book, Scrap-Appliqué Playground: Turn Quilting Scraps into Fun Appliqué Fabrics, and giving away a copy. All you applique fans out there are going to love this one. Here are the blog stops:
Thursday, June 7 • Stitch This! the Martingale blog, by Jenny Wilding Cardon
Friday, June 8 • Kim Jamieson-Hirst’s Chatterbox Quilts Chitchat
Saturday, June 9 • Sarah Vanderburgh’s Sew Joy Creations
Sunday, June 10 • Maria Hrabovsky’s Maria’s Quilt Scraps
Monday, June 11 • Carrie P.’s A Passion for Appliqué
Tuesday, June 12 • Susan Brubaker Knapp’s Blue Moon River
Wednesday, June 13 • Erin Russek’s One Piece at a Time
Thursday, June 14 • Holly Mabutas’ Sprinkles of Thought
Friday, June 15 • SewCalGal
Saturday, June 16 • Kay Mackenzie, All About Appliqué

On July 6, I’ll be blogging about Sue Bleiweiss’ new book, The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals. It will be officially released on June 26, and she’s asked the artists featured in the book (including me!) to help celebrate with a blog hop and to give away over $1200 worth of prizes donated by some incredibly generous sponsors.
Starting Tuesday June 26, and continuing through July 10, we’ll be featuring two blogs for you to visit. Each of the blogs will have a post about the book and information about the prizes you can win just for leaving a comment on the post. For more information, check out Sue’s blog post.

Here’s the official blog hop schedule – visit the featured blogs on the days indicated for your chance to enter to win a prize:
June 26: 
Jill Berry
Sue Bleiweiss
June 27:
Kathyanne White
June 28:
Kathy Sperino
Leslie Tucker Jenison
June 29:
Jamie Fingal
Lynn Krawczyk
July 2:
Jackie Bowcutt
Lyric Kinard
July 3:
Jane Davies
Kim Rae Nugent
July 5:
Carla Sonheim
Carol Sloan
July 6:
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Diana Trout
July 9:
Tracie Lyn Huskamp
Judi Hurwitt
July 10:
Jane LaFazio
Kelli Nina Perkins

On July 10, I’m blogging about Jane Sassaman’s new book, Patchwork Sassaman Style: Recipes for Dazzling Quilts. There are lots of chances to win this book, and Dragon Threads publisher Linda Teufel will be giving away some of Jane’s fabric and patterns, as well. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only; sorry! Here’s the schedule:

July 2:
July 3:
July 5:
July 6:
July 7:
July 8:
July 9:
July 10:
July 11:
July 12:
July 13:
July 14: twinfibers.blogspot.comJuly 15:
July 16:
July 17:
July 18:
July 19:
July 20:
July 22:
July 24: