Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pink Poppy

“Pink Poppy” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
8.75" square (Copyright 2015)
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, cotton batting.
Wholecloth painted and free-motion machine quilted.
I finished this small piece, “Pink Poppy,” this past weekend. It is wholecloth painted, then quilted. Here is the painting in progress:

My favorite brush by Loew-Cornell has been discontinued, so I’m working with brushes by Tulip. They are not quite as stiff as the Loew-Cornell ones, but I’m pretty happy with them. I purchase several hundred brushes a year for my wholecloth painting classes, so I needed to find some good replacements. 

In the photo below, I haven’t finished painting (the flower center and the background aren’t done) and you can see that I still don’t have the values right. The darks need to get darker, and the lights need to get lighter. This is often the case when I get to this point in the painting. We are all more comfortable in the middle value zone. It takes some courage to add the darkest values. I often take photos of my painted pieces in progress so that I can see if I have the values correct. I’m not sure exactly why this works, but it does.

Now the center is roughed in, and the values are looking better, so it’s more dimensional:

Here it is finished, before stitching:

And now it goes under the needle of my trusted Bernina. I free-motion quilted using colors in the piece: hot pink, pale pink, dark purple, and chartreuse. The stitching adds dimension and detail. On many of my small pieces (this piece is only 8.75" square), I do a pillowcase turn before I quilt. First I baste the batting and a layer of interfacing to the wrong side of the backing fabric, then I sew the front to the back, leaving a small opening. Then I clip the corners, turn it inside out and quilt.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

QATV Series 1800 available now

It’s here! You can get the digital download of “Quilting Arts TV” Series 1800 now, and preorder the DVD. (And through June 26, 2016, if you order the DVD, you get the download for free! Use promo code 1800BOGO and order here.) Here’s the great lineup:

1801: Cathy Wiggins creates wholecloth quilts with leather • Susan Carlson tells how she made a life-size image of a 20-foot long crocodile • Jane Dávila creates large-scale printed fabric and repeats

1802: Longarm quilter Renae Haddadin makes a statement with a trendy quilted bag • Artist Melissa Averinos works in 3-D to create charming accessories

1803: Quilter Victoria Findlay Wolfe creates dynamic floral designs as she shows how to accurately piece Y-seams • Fiber artist Lea McComas evaluates and chooses colors based on value

1804: Longarm quilter Nancy Wick combines fabrics and fibers with a straight stitch to make wearable textiles • Art quilter Laura Wasilowski turns a simple sketch into colorful, textured embroidery • Susan Brubaker Knapp shows how to achieve even machine stitches

1805: Textile artist Esterita Austin designs beautiful portraits with fabric and paint • Vivika DeNegre incorporates her love of friends and family into her portrait quilts • Susan Brubaker Knapp shares tips for adjusting tension on your machine

1806: Quilter Victoria Findlay Wolfe creates shapes with die cuts from her ample fabric collection • Cathy Wiggins uses scraps of leather to make amazing wall art • Esterita Austin makes colorful still-life designs with sheer fabrics

1807: Artist Wendy Butler Berns captures the world in photographs and transforms them into brilliant quits • Using a simple spiral shape, Susan Carlson combines unusual fabrics to create a dynamic design

1808: Artist Joanne Sharpe embellishes quilts with whimsical painting and colorful stitch • Esterita Austin uses still-life artistry to create with sheer organza paint transfers • Mixed-media artist Jane Dávila prints with dye using sunlight

1809: Grace Errea shares how to make raw-edge appliqué that doesn't fray • Renae Haddadin adds binding to quilts on the longarm • Artist Melissa Averinos creates abstract designs with raw-edge appliqué.

1810: Grace Errea shares innovative techniques for randomly piecing backgrounds • Frieda Anderson shows how she designs patterns • Vivika DeNegre shares tips for blocking quilts

1811: Wendy Butler Berns builds an unconventional textured nest with fibers and threads • Susan Edmonson makes a charming nest filled with felted eggs

1812: Cathy Wiggins creates richly textured garments and accessories from leather • Nancy Wick makes a thread-painted bowl on the longarm machine

1813: Artist Joanne Sharpe transforms white fabric with bold paints • Lisa Chin captures the bright sunlight to create lush prints • Susan Brubaker Knapp shows how to select paints to create colors and effects

Saturday, June 18, 2016


“Crystalline” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
40" x 40"
(Copyright 2016)
White fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, cotton fabric (backing), wool/polyester batting.
Wholecloth painted and free-motion quilted.
If you are feeling a bit toasty this summer (and I am; the temps in the Charlotte, NC, area were above 90˚F six days last week, and the humidity was higher than 95% most of the time), then here’s a quilt to cool you down! It’s my latest piece, “Crystalline.” 

“Crystalline” (detail) by Susan Brubaker Knapp (Copyright 2016)
I painted the snowflakes in white and silver blue paint by ProChemical & Dye, then painted the background in shades of royal blue, before quilting it with an overall motif of a crystal at different sizes. 

I adore snow and snowflakes; I’ve made several pieces featuring them.

This piece was just juried in to the Dinner at Eight Artists’ exhibition, “Pattern,” which will be at 2016 International Quilt Market (Oct. 28-31) and International Quilt Festival (Nov. 2-6) in Houston. It is sponsored by Mistyfuse. Dinner at Eight Artists’ exhibitions are curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal.

You can see a complete list of the artists in the exhibition here: