Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'm in the German magazine, Patchwork Professional!

The current issue of the German quilting magazine Patchwork Professional features my work (“Up and Away!”) on the cover; and inside has an interview, photos of more of my work, and information about how I created “Bonnie & Clyde” (below). It is such a thrill to be featured, and even more special to have been chosen to go on the cover!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I’m in American Quilter Magazine!

“Fall Color” by Susan Brubaker Knapp (2013)
My work, “Fall Color,” is featured in the September 2013 issue of Amerian Quilter magazine! The article explains how I made the piece, with a focus on my thought process, and how I worked through some technical and artistic issues as I created the piece. A line drawing pattern is included if you want to make your own version.

It is made with fusible applique and a lot of thread sketching.

The piece is based on a photo I took several years ago of some beautiful maple leaves on the street in front of my house. I loved the photo for its beautiful, strong, clear color, and detail:

Here are some detail shots of the finished piece:

The magazine is available in the United States on newsstands and at quilt shops and many craft stores. To find out more, or to subscribe, visit

P.S. I just got home this morning from New Zealand. I didn’t have much time, or good internet connections, when I was there, so I only blogged once, but there is a lot more coming later this week. I had a fabulous time!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Taupo Symposium, Part 1

I left home on Monday afternoon, and got to Taupo on Wednesday morning (a 5-hour flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles, a 13-hour flight to Auckland, and a 45-minute flight to Taupo, with some layovers in between).

The flight into Taupo (pronounced like "toe paw") was beautiful; I could see the volcanic mountains on the edge of Lake Taupo rising through the clouds as we got closer.

NOTE: for a clearer view, just click on the photos.)

It's was a tiny airplane, and I think everyone on it was headed for the convention. It was a bit bumpy at times, but luckily, no one need the cleverly decorated barf bags.

These mountains were shot for The Lord of the Rings movies. The Maori consider Mt. Ruapehu, Ngauruhue and Tongariro to be sacred.

Our hotel is right on the edge of the lake, which is huge (25 miles long by 18 miles wide). It was formed when a volcano erupted and formed a giant crater.

The trout fishing in this area is excellent.

Today, the organizers of the conference treated us to a fabulous bus trip to see some attractions in the area.

Huka Falls gushes through a stone canyon at 300,000 liters per second. A lot of hydroelectric and geothermal energy is harnessed in this area.

Cabbage tree:

We had lunch at Cafe L'Arte and watched a demonstration on glass blowing:

Then we headed for the Aratiatia Rapids. The water is dammed here, but it is released several times daily so tourists can experience the power and beauty of the river rushing through the canyon. It is something else to watch the calm pool quickly fill up and the water rushing through. Here is the canyon before the water was released:

The water coming in:

And the water almost all the way up:

Here is some pumice from an ancient volcanic eruption:

Giant eucalyptus:

A view of the mountains in the clouds:

A visit to a place with great outdoor art:

Classes start tomorrow at Taupo-nui-a- Tia College!

Location:Taupo, New Zealand

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thread Sketching 101 articles now available as eBook

Interweave is now offering my six articles from the 2010 issues of Quilting Arts on thread sketching as an eBook called Thread Sketching 101 with Susan Brubaker Knapp

You can download it on the Interweave website for $9.95.

The eBook includes tips, articles and exercises to help you learn how to add color, line, texture, dimension, pattern, and movement to the surface of your art quilts.

If you already have my DVD on thread sketching, and want to learn more, you will find this eBook to be a good addition. Some of the content is the same as in my DVD, but the articles go much more into depth about my thought process and techniques. I find that some people are very visual learners, and like to learn by watching (either DVDs, or by taking a class, where I demonstrate). Others learn more, understand more, by reading. If you are one of those people, the eBook will be great for you.

For each of the six articles I wrote for Quilting Arts in 2010, I focused on a different aspect of thread sketching (adding line, for example) and then did two new pieces to demonstrate. In the articles included in the e-book, I wrote about how I made each piece, and how I approached the technical aspects and challenges of each one. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Headed for New Zealand soon!

I am headed for New Zealand on Monday. I will be in the center of the North Island, teaching at the Taupo Symposim. New Zealand will be the 20th country I’ve lived in or visited:

The Bahamas
United Kingdom
New Zealand 
South Africa

I still have a lot of places still to visit! If I can get to Asia and Antarctica, I will have been on all seven continents.

Right now, my biggest concern is whether everything will fit in my two suitcases: a large one that has to hold all my class supplies and clothing (and remember, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so I have to pack some bulky stuff!), and a small carry-on that will hold my quilts (I’m only taking my small quilts, but I’m taking a good number of them).

I’ll try to blog from New Zealand and include information about the Symposium, and my adventures traveling for a few days afterward, so stay tuned! 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Join me Sept. 25-27 at ProChem in Massachusetts!

“Hope is the Thing” (2010)
I am often asked to teach wholecloth painting classes where students can do original work, but it is not just logistically possible in a one-day class. If you want a more in-depth class on my wholecloth painting techniques and approaches, and if you want to work on your own projects under my guidance, here is a rare chance!


Please join me Sept. 25-27 at PRO Chemical & Dye in Fall River, Massachusetts for a three-day workshop on wholecloth painting. You’ll learn the basics by working on a small piece based on one of my botanical subjects (above) the first day, and then you’ll have the opportunity to do original work based on your own photographs. I’ll cover:

1. selecting the right photos for great results
2. which paints, brushes, and fabrics to use and why
3. how to make a line drawing from a photo
4. how to transfer a design to fabric
5. painting and blending techniques
6. basic color theory
7. how to make tints and shades of paint colors
8. quilting considerations 
I’ve taught wholecloth painting over several days, and it is wonderful to see how much these students grow, find ways to make my techniques work for what they want to do, and create amazing original art. This is a rare opportunity to really dig into this technique and learn a lot. I’ll break everything down into easy steps, so this is achievable even for beginners. You do not have to have any drawing or sketching experience to use this technique; I promise!
Registration will close within the next few weeks, so if you are interested, sign up soon!

The three-day class is $325 plus a $15 kit fee that includes the fabric, brushes and patterns. More information is here on ProChemical & Dye’s website
Here are some more samples of my wholecloth painted work:
“Hope is the Thing” (2011)
“We All Swim Together” (in progress, 2013)
“Friso” (2012)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Datekeeper: Quilted Masterpieces

I got a nice surprise in the mail yesterday:  two complimentary copies of C&T Publishing’s new “book of days,” Datekeeper: Quilted Masterpieces. It is a perpetual weekly calendar for keeping track of birthdays, anniversaries and other special events, and it features 60 beautiful quilts, including two of mine!

It is beautifully printed with hard covers and a spiral binding inside to make it open completely flat for writing. It retails for $16.96, and you can purchase it on C&T’s website.