Saturday, November 23, 2013

Win Sarah Ann Smith’s great new DVD!


My friend and fellow fiber artist Sarah Ann Smith has a fabulous new Quilting Arts Workshop available on DVD or download. It’s called Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork, with Fabric Collage & Machine Quilting.

When I watched Sarah’s Workshop, I was struck by how different Sarah’s techniques and preferred materials are from mine, even though our work is fairly similar. So even if you have viewed and enjoyed my thread sketching Workshop (Master Machine Stitching: Thread Sketching Beyond the Basics), you can learn a lot from Sarah’s. I know there are things I’ll be trying out, based on her suggestions, and I’ve already ordered an iron with a Titanium nonstick soleplate!

In Sarah’s typical practical, detailed fashion, she shares her process for fabric collage and “thread coloring” (using thread to add color, details and texture — what I call “thread sketching”). She starts with a photo that has good contrast and lighting. In the workshop, she demonstrates how she determine values in the photo, creates a pattern on a piece of plastic, enlarges the pattern to the size she needs, selects fabrics and enhances them with paint or Derwent Inktense pencils. Then she shows how she collages fabrics she’s fused with MistyFuse, and shares her thought process on selecting threads. After that, she goes into great detail as she demonstrates how she free-motion quilts.

Along the way, she offers tons of wonderful tips, problem-solving solutions, and her thoughts on “good fusing hygiene” and why she loves those tiny rotary cutters (she calls them “the sexy little Italian sportscars” of the rotary cutter world). Fun! 

You can order the DVD from Sarah’s website, or get the digital download from Quilting Arts. I highly recommend Sarah’s book, Thread Work Unraveled (also available in the store on her website). It offers a wealth of information on thread, needles and threadwork; I have a copy in my personal library that gets lots of use.

I’m giving away a DVD download of Sarah’s Workshop. Leave a comment after this post and tell me a little bit about why you’d like to win. Please leave me a way to contact you! I’ll pull one name at random at noon, Tuesday, Nov. 26. The winner will be announced at the end of this post on that day.  
Note: If your comment does not show up right away, please don’t freak out. Please post only one comment. I now have to moderate/approve all comments, because I was getting a ton of Japanese porn spammers leaving comments on my blog! 

WE HAVE A WINNER! Christel (Chriss-Cross) from Noord Brabant, Netherlands, has won the download!

After my post, there are still a few more chances to win Sarah’s Workshop. Check out the last few stops on the Blog Hop here:

Nov. 27: Daphne Greig:
Nov. 30: Lisa Walton:
Dec. 3: Sarah Ann Smith:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat 2013

We had such fun this week at my Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat in Blowing Rock, NC! Lyric Montgomery Kinard and I taught two-and-a-half days of classes – wholecloth painting, beading, embroidery, thread sketching, surface design, and elements of art. This is the second retreat I’ve held, and I’m hoping to make it an annual event. Lyric and I are already trying to find a date for next year’s event. Here are a few photos:

We had a great bunch of women attending this year. They came from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, and even Arizona!

On Friday night, Lyric and I packed up our stuff and headed home… we were able to fit our stuff on one cart (it took two to get our stuff in!)

Blowing Rock is a gorgeous spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is filled with wonderful shops and restaurants. A forest fire near Table Rock in Pisgah National Forest brought in some smoke on Friday. You could smell it in the air, and from a high spot at lunch, it made the mountains look like they were cloaked in heavy fog:

If you are interested in hearing about future events, please let me know, and I can add you to my mailing list.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A spectacular fall

Well, I’m back from International Quilt Festival in Houston, and I have a ton of photos to share with you, but not much time to write and post. So for now, I am sharing some photos of the wonderful fall color we are having here near Charlotte. I took most of these photos in my yard (that’s my house, above), and a few in my neighborhood. I am in love with the beautiful light, and the spectacular color! Wish I had time to start making some of these images into art quilts. I’ll try to post all of my Houston photos later this week, so stay tuned.