Saturday, October 27, 2012

Off to Houston!

I’m headed out tomorrow to Houston, Texas, for International Quilt Festival! I’m going to try to post photos via my iPad while I’m there. I have several pieces showing in exhibitions at Festival:

“I See the Moon” is part of the Rituals exhibition currated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison:

“Maximum Cat Nap” and “Trouble in the Pumpkin Patch” are part of a special exhibition on pets:

And this one, “Detritus,” is up for the IQA Auction to raise money for International Quilt Association. It’s a silent auction, where you sign up with the amount you are willing to spend. So if you are going to Festival, please feel free to push up the price!

Friday, October 26, 2012

AAQI Celebrity Invitation Quilt Auction starts Nov. 1

Did you know that the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative ( has an online auction during the first 10 days of every month? And each November, in honor of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the AAQI offers 12 very special quilts. 

Celebrity Invitational Quilt Auction
This year the auction quilts have been made by world-renowned quilters Alex Anderson, Hollis Chatelain, Caryl Bryer Fallert, John Flynn, Diane Gaudynski, Becky Goldsmith, Pat Holly, Libby Lehman, Marsha McCloskey, Sue Nickels, Mary Sorensen, and Ricky Tims.

 The quilts are about 16" x 16" and the auction is open to the public. Last year the 12 quilts offered in the November auction raised more than $14,000 for the AAQI, an all-volunteer effort to raise awareness and fund research through art. Take a look at just a few of the beautiful works being auctioned:
“Clouded” by Hollis Chatelain (16" x 16")
“May the Lord Bless You” by Becky Goldsmith (16" x 16")
“Fresh Flowers for a Friend” by Sue Nickels (16" x 16")
“Sentinels at Sunset II: Someone to Watch Over Me”
by Ricky Tims
(14.5" x 12.5")

Visit to preview all the quilts. You can also see them in this video: 

On November 1st you can bid on the quilts here:

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative® ( is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's. The AAQI has raised more than $773,000 since January 2006.

Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer's.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I’m headed Down Under in 2013

In 2013, I’ll be headed Down Under to teach at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne, Australia! The event will be held April 18-21. I’m teaching four classes on wholecloth painting and thread sketching. I have never been to Australia before, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be going, and to be meeting some of the many Australian quilters I’ve come to know through my blog and Facebook.

You can sign up for classes starting on Nov. 5!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Teaching in Hilton Head

I have spent the past two days on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, (lucky me!) with the Palmetto Quilt Guild. What a great bunch of talented women. They have some really amazing appliquers in that guild, including my hostess, Maureen Mack, who took me to several spots on the island so I could get a better look in the short time I was there. 

I took the shot above and these two below at a public park with a beach. I must admit that I like the beach better when it is not summer! We had beautiful blue skies and coolish weather, and it was a wonderful stroll. Aren’t the marsh grasses a lovely shade of chartreuse?

 I took this photo of a live oak with Spanish moss at Maureen’s house:

On Thursday night, they took me to a wonderful restaurant on the sound:

… and there was a gorgeous sunset!

Today, I taught my “Round Red Barn” class. The Palmetto Quilt Guild is extremely fortunate to have a large space in which they hold workshops and display their work. It is retail space unfilled due to the recession, and has been “donated” to the guild for several years. What a great use of an empty storefront! The guild also uses it to educate passers-by, and to let people know about the guild and what it does. Very cool!

This is the guild’s donation quilt (below) for their next quilt show (in 2014, I think). It is even more spectacular when you see it in person. It is hand appliqued, and beautifully machine quilted, and is a large queen size (queen with a pillow tuck). For those of you reading this who don’t know what is mean by a “donation quilt,” it is basically a quilt that is raffled off to raise money for the guild or for a charity. In some states, you can’t legally hold raffles, but you can ask people to donate money to your cause for a chance to win. Silly legal semantics, if you ask me!

Thanks, Palmetto Quilt Guild!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Uncle Albert’s Reverie

“Uncle Albert’s Reverie” (2012)
Cotton fabric, paper, gel medium, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread,
wool/polyester batting, cotton thread. Free-motion quilted.

I started this piece two years ago… or was it three years ago?… in a great class with Judy Coates Perez at International Quilt Festival – Houston. It’s been hanging on my design wall since then. A few months ago, I pulled it down and quilted it, and a few days ago, I faced and finished it. 

If you don’t know: “Facing” is a way of finishing an art quilt without a binding. I love how it gives the piece a nice crisp edge without the visual frame of a binding. I have two free tutorials (in a downloadable PDFs); one for a non-mitred facing, and a second for a mitred facing. You can download the easier non-mitred facing tutorial here. All my tutorials are available on my blog (in the “Free Stuff” section in the sidebar on the right-hand-side of this blog) or on my website (under the “Free Stuff” section). 

I called this piece “Uncle Albert’s Reverie” because it reminds me of the illustrations in the physiology textbook written by my great-great-grand Uncle Albert Brubaker.

Dr. Albert Philson Brubaker

This piece is 17" x 42". Here are some detail shots:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"First Green" headed to AAQI

“First Green” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
Last night, I finished “First Green,” a quilt I made to raise money for Alzheimer’s research through Ami Simms’  Alzheimer Art Quilt Initiative. The AAQI has raised more than $773,000 since January 2006. I have purchased AAQI quilts, but this one is the first that I have made to donate. It measures 23.5" x 41". I made this piece to honor the many people I know who are suffering from the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The name is based on Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which speaks eloquently to the impermanence of youth, and the eventual decline of life:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay. 

The piece is made of batik and hand-dyed fabric. I pieced the leaves, then hand appliqued them to the blue base fabric before heavily quilting it. I hope it raises lots of money. I’ll let you know when it goes up for auction.

There will be more than 2,100 Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts for sale at International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX Oct. 31-Nov. 4. These small-format art quilts (9"x12") have been donated by thousands of quilters, and all profits fund research. You can see the quilts here. Or if you are coming to IQF, march over to the front of Row S to see them yourself! 

Have some time to spare while you are there? Sign up to volunteer for a 2-3 hour time slot (and get free admission on the days you volunteer) or join the AAQI Text Brigade and help “as needed.” Learn more and sign up here. Come see me in the AAQI booth; I’ll be there Thursday, Nov. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

 Win this quilt!

The AAQI is launching a newsletter to keep supporters informed.
One lucky newsletter subscriber will win this beautiful little quilt
made by Martha Wolfersberger.
Sign up here for a chance to win
and keep tabs of what the AAQI is up to.
The newsletter is free.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Join me at North Carolina Quilt Symposium 2013

The folks at the Tarheel Quilters Guild in charge of the 2013 North Carolina Quilt Symposium have announced their list of teachers, and I’m on it! So mark your calendars for May 23-26, 2013 and plan to join us at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. The event includes a quilt show, a special exhibit, vendors, lectures, and 3-1/2 days of fabulous classes by nationally known quilting teachers. There really is something for everyone.

You can stay at a hotel in the area, but I can tell you from experience that it is more fun to stay on campus, where you are close to the action. If you chose to stay in a dorm (handicapped-accessible and air-conditioned), your food is included in the tuition. And in the evenings, it’s like a giant quilters’ pajama party. Since it is Memorial Day weekend, there will also be lots of great events in Fayetteville, which is a military town.

Registration for the Symposium will begin in January 2013. To have a registration packet mailed to you, simply send $5 with your name and address to:

NCQS13 Tarheel Quilters Guild
P.O. Box 36253
Fayetteville, NC 28303

Or you can download the entire packet in January 2013 by going to:

There are lots of teachers on this list that I would love to take a class from (but rats! I’ll be busy teaching, too! Class topics will be announced by January.

Hollis Chatelain 


Susan Brubaker Knapp

Annette Ornelas

Anita Grossman Solomon

Jane does not have a website, but this link brings you to her book publisher.

Leni Levenson Wiener

Amy Stewart Winsor

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Such fun!

Here are all of the wonderful women who attended my Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat this weekend. It was such a great group! We had crisp fall weather at the Blue Ridge Assembly YMCA in Black Mountain, NC. 

We worked hard, but there was plenty of time for great meals, laughs, and fellowship. Participants chose between my passionflower and pumpkin designs, completing the fusible applique the first day (and part of the first night!) and getting a fair amount of thread sketching done on the second day.

The pumpkin people:


The passionflower people:

This was my first retreat, and my first time teaching these new projects. Overall, things went well, thanks to Joyce (who coordinated registrations, cooked wonderful meals, and kept things running smoothly) and Donna (who assisted Joyce and generally helped out wherever  and whenever needed). We got some good ideas for things we can do differently – and better – at next year’s retreat (look for details coming soon!)