Friday, September 20, 2013

Shooting Quilting Arts TV… and a new Quilting Arts Workshop!

With “Fall Color” on the set of Quilting Arts TV

This week, I’ve been in Cleveland, Ohio, shooting three episodes for Series 1300 of Quilting Arts TV. The show airs on many public TV stations around the country; Series 1300 should air in spring 2014. The whole season will be released on DVD eventually, so if you want to watch, and your public TV station doesn’t carry it, don’t despair!

I also shot a Quilting Arts Workshop on essential finishing techniques (more on that later). This is the fourth time I’ve shot Workshops and TV segments for Quilting Arts; you can see me in Series 500 (2009), Series 700 (2010), and series 900 (2011). My workshops on DVD are:
Dynamic Quilt Design: Paint Meets Stitch (2011)

 Master Machine Stitching: Thread Sketching Beyond the Basics (2010)
Master Machine Quilting: Free-Motion Stitching and Thread Sketching (2009)
The night before, I got out all my “step outs” (all the pieces/steps that I have to demonstrate for each of the TV segments, and the chapters in the DVD). I put them out on the bed in my hotel room and practiced, practiced, practiced. 

The next morning it was off bright and early for makeup. A lot of makeup. Probably about 10 times what I normally wear. At the end of the day, I made a mad dash for the sink; my washcloth was completely beige. I kid you not. 

Michelle May, a fellow North Carolinian, was also shooting TV segments on Wednesday. She makes beautiful folk-art quilts and wall hangings, designs patterns (many feature rabbits!) and has a new book coming out in October called Fabled Fusions

First I shot a segment about my work in progress, “We All Swim Together,” which will be a large art quilt covered in fish. Before each segment, we arranged everything on the set:

Then I talked everything through with Pokey Bolton, the founder of Quilting Arts magazine, Chief Creative Officer at Quilts, Inc., and amazing host of Quilting Arts TV; and Kathie Stull, the fabulous producer from KS Inc. Productions. 

We took a bunch of publicity photos, including this one, before shooting each segment. The TV segments are so fun to shoot, because they are just like a conversation with Pokey; lots of questions and answers. She guides you through, and it is easy as pie!

After a change of outfits, I shot a segment on how to make a stenciled passport cover or notebook cover. And got another publicity shot with Pokey.

Then I changed again, and shot a segment on how my experience with The Sketchbook Challenge is opening up new ways of thinking about fiber art. And yes, I got another publicity shot with Pokey.

Jeanne Cook Delpit is Director of National Events at Bernina of America, Inc. She has been a wonderful help to me each year I’ve shot TV segments and DVDs for Quilting Arts. I have two Bernina sewing machines, and adore them. She helped me learn the basics of a Bernina machine I’d never used before so I’d be comfortable using it on set, and always had positive words and a big smile. We took a selfie in the green room:

It is fun to watch what is happening on set while you are waiting to go on. Here is Jeanne videoing a TV segment on the green room TV (I think this is Vivika on set with Pokey):

By early afternoon, we were done with shooting the TV segments, and the artists who would be shooting on Thursday had arrived and were setting up in the green room. Here are Catherine Redford (love her modern hexagon, coiled runners and bowls, and African Folklore quilts) and Cheryl Sleboda (who had some fun quilts that lit up with LED lights and some that were heat-sensitive; you’ll have to watch her segments to learn more!)

And Julia C. Wood (author of Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts): 


By about 3 p.m., all of the TV segments were done, and it was time to shoot the Workshop, which will be released as a DVD or video download. It features essential finishing techniques to have in your repertoire. I had to be wired for a microphone, which was pinned inside my collar, with a wire running down under my shirt and around to the back, where there was a battery pack; and with an earpiece, so I could hear the producer telling me how much time I had been talking, and if I needed to move my hands so the cameras could shoot what I was doing. Here, a crew member wires me up:

This is what it looks like when you look out from the set. Very bright, hot lights, and a bunch of guys with cameras on every side!




From this room next to the set, the producers and editors can see the shots from all the cameras:


If you’ve been following my blog or my Facebook posts, now you know why I’ve been creating so many chickens (“New Zealand Chook”) and sheep (“Suffolk Sheep”) lately.

Before each “chapter” in the Workshop, I set up my step-outs and tools in a logical order, and Jeanne helped get the Bernina ready to roll with whatever foot and thread I needed.

I quickly walked through what I had planned to say and do, and made necessary changes with Vivika, Helen and Kathie.  

After I was headed for the parking lot (and on to a big glass of wine and a nice dinner!), I realized I hadn’t gotten any shots of Vivika Hansen deNegre, Quilting Arts editor, and Helen Gregory, editorial director for Interweave’s Quilt, Paper & Sewing Group. What fabulous women; I simply couldn’t have gotten through the day without their help and support. Thank you!

Oh, and one more funny story! As I was shooting the final chapter of the Workshop, I pricked my finger on a pin. I kept on talking and demonstrating, and pressing a seam open, as blood started to run down my finger. That’s what they had instructed me to do… just keep going until they told me to stop, no matter what. Just as it was about to drip onto the fabric, the producer yelled “cut!” and they ran out and got me a bandage. I had to shoot the rest of the chapter with it on my finger. I wonder if anyone will spot it when they watch?

Back at the hotel with my injured finger.