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Archive for the ‘Exhibiting’ Category

Int’l Quilt Market Part 1, a sale and a win!

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

So much has happened in the past 2 1/2 weeks: International Quilt Market, International Quilt Festival, and a whopper of a cold, a lovely weekend with my older son and DIL, and some home improvements. So I’ll start at the beginning…with one detour: I sold a quilt at Festival after all! I’ll post on that in a few days (I shared on FB), but first let’s start with Market. And read to the end for the big surprise!

I arrived on Sunday of Quilt Market–usually I fly in on Tuesday or Monday and begin teaching the next day. It was wonderful–so much less stress about finding my boxes of stuff shipped and making sure everything was there and organized for each day of classes! Then, following my roommate’s example, I planned to see all the quilts BEFORE Festival when I wasn’t tired from teaching. Well…instead I got sidetracked by the lure of Market. I had SO MUCH FUN visiting the booths. One of the first was Michael Miller Fabrics.

While in the booth, I was mulling over how to bump up attendance for a workshop, and have finally conceded that I have to offer half day classes with complete kits. I have always loved the hand of the Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids, so I was brainstorming in the booth. Since it was late on Monday, the final day of Market, it was quiet and two staffers came to chat. I asked about purchasing fabric wholesale to use in kits, which led to a wonderful and productive conversation.

First I spotted this eye candy…don’t you just want to dive in face first? It is a box of one fat quarter of all 214 — yes TWO HUNDRED FOURTEEN — of the Cotton Couture colors. And they were having a giveaway…fill out the form, and if you got all the answers in the quiz (fun stuff about Michael Miller Fabrics) the winner would be drawn from those with correct answers. Of course I filled it out with what I already knew…I googled up their website and found some answers I didn’t know, and with paper in hand, asked a staffer if I could ask Michael’s favorite dessert–luckily I had guessed the correct answer. Turned it in, and moved on.
Can you believe this is that glorious soft Minky fabric???? I had to walk up to 12 inches away and indeed it is…looks like indigo shibori on cotton! I so want some of this…I need an alternative to my wintry sofa throws. I’d make a top, quilt it on the thinnest cotton, the back with this and bind. LOVE IT!
They also had this really cool teaching tool for new quilters to learn color. I don’t teach that sort of class, locally or on the road, but it’s a brilliant idea for a shop.

Can you tell I spent a lot of time in the booth…today’s post will be all Michael Miller, then I’ll do another about the rest of Market soon!

The quilting on Modern Quilts enchants me–perhaps what I like best about this fresh approach to quilting. Not to mention these are SO my colors. And yes, I am a member of Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild and the MQG itself!

Well, after I got home, and spent several days first doing bookkeeping (ugh ugh UGH and may I say UGH) and then feeling sick….I got laryngitis on about Tuesday on my first class day. By Weds. I was feeling worse. By Thursday I could barely squeak—ladies in the audience at the Machine Quilting Forum were dropping cough drops on my table! Then it morphed into a sinus infection. I soldiered on through my last class Saturday, but was honestly glad it has lightly attended. I wouldn’t have had the energy for a full 24 and it was a FUN group of students as it was. So when I got home, I went into chair-potato/get well mode.

Then I got an email from Michael Miller: I WON THE 214 FAT QUARTERS!!!!!! They arrived about two days ago. I mean, first I sell a quilt and THEN I WIN THESE????!!!!! I need to go buy a lottery ticket.

Yes, I am HAPPY! I just can’t believe it…I never EVER win stuff…so what a boon! And yes, there is a quilt coming! 214 fat quarters…over 53 yards!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU to Michael Miller Fabrics…you ROCK. I am so thrilled to have this bounty. I’m already planning a quilt called 214…and one that isn’t too complex, one where I can have FUN and get it done and revel in color!

This post has gone on long enough, so I’ll break here and carry on with the REST of International Quilt Market in my next post. But yes, Thank you to Michael Miller–stay tuned for what I do with these!

On display at International Quilt Festival Houston 2019

Friday, October 25th, 2019

I’m a bit gobsmacked to realize I have five, yes FIVE…5….5!!!!, quilts on display in Houston this year! If you are there, I hope you get to see them up close and personal…after all, we know what a world of difference it makes. If you’re not in Houston, here’s what I’ll have on display:

Rose Hip, by Sarah Ann Smith (c) 2019. 36″ square. One of my favorite quilts, in part because it is of my beloved Maine, but also because I’ve been able to meld my personal hand dyes, a hand dye by Lisa Walton, fabrics printed and over-painted by me, to create a cohesive image.
Coach’s Clipboard: Win by Fall celebrates family, hard work, volunteerism. Juried in to the Better World Exhibition, the quilt celebrates all those coaches all over the world who give of their time and expertise to help our children grow. Athletics teaches kids that hard work DOES pay off, they reap rewards by learning self-reliance, a work ethic, a healthy lifestyle. Here, my husband was in a final year after eleven years as a volunteer wrestling coach, first at Camden-Rockport Middle School, then Camden Hills Regional High School. But the quilt honors ALL of Eli’s coaches (yes, that’s him winning the match in red) in soccer, Cross country, Wrestling, and track and field.
Like Rose Hip, Lupines was juried in to the World of Beauty quilt competition. Sadly no ribbons for me this year (despite my hopes!), but I am ELATED that for the first time, BOTH of my entries were juried in to the show. Check off another bucket list item! I dyed the background to be blurred, like a photo’s shallow depth of field. And yes, once again I am celebrating my world in Maine.
I got to check off yet another bucket list item, being juried into the Hands All Around exhibit, which features the finest quilts from around the world. The quilt is named Insalata because it is salad, of course, but also because of the restaurant by than name in San Anselmo, California, where I used to go with my mother when I went home to visit. They had enormous (like 8 feet by 16 feet) canvas paintings of ginormous fruits and vegetables. I loved the oversized scale, so these tomatoes are the size of beach balls.
Last but not least, She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea (a.k.a. the Surf quilt) is in the Sapphire Celebration exhibit, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of International Quilt Festival. I’m honored to be a part of it!

All of these quilts except the one of my husband and son are available for sale…. I’ve got my fingers crossed in hopes that the magic red dot will appear on the signage for one of them in Houston!

Tomorrow I will start the trek to Houston: driving to Portland to say with older son and DIL (sleeping on the sofa) so I can catch an early flight out of Portland. For the first time EVER, I’ll be leaving from an airport where I can check two suitcases. Our little local airports have tiny planes (9 seaters) where you can only have one large bag per person. What a difference this makes in going: fewer boxes to ship. Now I just have to hope they arrive without any detours. I’ll be back in about 2 weeks with pictures and reports about all my classes, friends and the fun that is Quilt Festival.

The Quilt Show with … me(OMG!) … is live! Episode 2508

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Bucket list item: appear on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims: CHECK! Here’s the link to watch if you are a member. If you couldn’t tell, I’m giddy!

Sarah Ann Smith on The Quilt Show https://thequiltshow.com/component/allvideoshare/video/show-2508-sarah-ann-smith
Just took this screen shot as I’m watching my first of two “doing” segments on The Quilt Show….I’m over the moon!

To watch the show, you usually need to be a member of The Quilt Show community, which is an online “TV” show and so much more. Next Sunday, for one week from October 13-20, 2019, or thereabouts, the episode will be FREE to anyone with the code. I’ll post here on my blog, Facebook and Instagram. I might even post my first tweet (Shudder!)…. so stay tuned.

For those who aren’t TQS members, you can see the preview now, at this link.

I am so grateful for this opportunity, so excited, and hope some of you can join me in my classes at International Quilt Festival 2019 in Houston (there are still a few spaces in my Friday class, Tame Fussy Fiddly Threads which includes painting and learning to handle those glitzy threads that really aren’t hard to use once you learn how from me, and my Saturday class on Hawaiian Style appliqué…did you know I love it?)

Join my 3-day workshop playing with paint on cloth at ProChem in Fall River, Mass., in August 2020, to spend time learning what I’m demonstrating in my first segment on The Quilt Show. You can sign up now by going here https://prochemicalanddye.net/workshops/exploring-paint-on-cloth-smith-august-2020.html

And one more time……SQUEEEEE!

A video tour of my solo exhibit

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Hi folks…a blogpost that is short in length for once! I took this quick video on Saturday before the Mancuso World Quilt New England Show closed so that those of you who don’t live in the vicinity could enjoy the exhibit. The idea is to show my growth and development as an artist, so the quilts you see at the start are before my style and artistic voice have emerged and refined, all the way up to my most recent big quilt (well, 36″ square) Rose Hip.

Here’s the link to the book I mentioned, The Art of Sarah Ann Smith…so far. I put the book together in 2017 for my Rising Stars exhibit at International Quilt Festival Houston. It has all but the 2018 and 2019 works in it, additional quilts, some tidbits and tips, and a bit about me. It’s available as a softcover book or a pdf.

There is a chance that this exhibit will be traveling in early 2021, so stay tuned. Once I have a signed contract, I’ll share the where and when details!

Boo, J.D. (for Juvenile Delinquent)

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
Boo, J.D. by Sarah Ann Smith, 2019

Boo’s portrait is the third part of this trio of quilts. I had considered doing a self portrait, Sarah and her muses, with the selfie for my local Coastal Quilters challenge due next May. But then hubby, who has never ever asked me to make an art quilt, said when he saw the ones of Yoda and Widgeon, “you should make one of Boo, too.” Boo, you see, is his Very Special Cat. So I did that instead. Much nicer than a selfie! And it turns out the portrait challenge doesn’t have to be a selfie, and can be a critter–way better!

Just to remind you, here are the three portraits in this series on La Familia Smith (furry edition). Each is a 20″ square and they are debuting at the Janome Institute this week! I made them in thanks for over 15 years as part of their Janome Artisan program. I love their machines and would say all the good things I do even if I weren’t affiliated and paid full MSRP!

I prepared blurbs for Janome to use for each of the quilts, in the “voice” of each of the critters. Here is Boo’s:

Boo, J. D.
 
Emperor Yoda! Hah!  What does he know?  And why do they call me the Juvenile Delinquent?  Can’t they see that I am going to be KING of this realm?  I am young, I am strong, I speak, I jump, I am growing into being the largest and strongest in the realm, not like that tub of lard who is rightfully dubbed His Immensitude.  Stay away from my kibble, tubbo.  The humans love my chirpy voice and sleek, silky fur!  Now I will deign to let my human pet me and feed me my favorite wet food and pet me more.  All others, including the ostensible Chief Minion, be forwarned:  you are subject to attack!”  (Boo is a 10-month old Turkish Van. I am the ostensible Chief Minion.)

When I start a new project, I look usually at photos I have taken as “reference” photos. This time, hubby Paul’s photo was a better shape to fit into a square than what I had, plus Boo loves to sit with his paws hanging over the edge of stuff. I rarely use Photoshop any more to identify areas of light and dark, but I was curious to see what it would do. Meh. I like making the decisions as they are more nuanced than someone else’s software.
Step 1 is working on the collage with my reference images close by. I use Mistyfuse (my preferred fusible by far) and prefuse all my fabric, then cut the shapes I need, usually freehand but sometimes with other techniques that I share in my workshops. At this point the base layers just looks blotchy and blobby. It gets better.
Once the base layer is down, I start adding slivers of fur. Notice two of my favorite tools (and I’m not affiliated, just a fan-girl): Karen Kay Buckley’s purple-handled micro-serrated scissors (here) and Heidi Profetty’s awesomely pointy tweezers (here). The tweezers are new to my process and SO much easier than my old way of fingers, pins, skewer etc. Much easier and more accurate to place than to nudge! I like them so much I sell them in my workshops.
To tie the three quilts together, I took out all the fabric I would use for all three quilts at the start of the first one. The blue ocean-like batik plays a major role in all three: in Widgeon’s face, the background for Yoda, and here as the “bed” in Boo’s cat tree in the living room, and the other fabrics repeat. I liked the dark green in the background to pop Boo’s silhouette, but it was too much and boring as the entire top of the quilt, so I trimmed to have a “halo” of dark (no, that is not a commentary on the cat’s personality LOL!).
I selected assorted greens from my stash of prefused fabrics. I just didn’t like the way these looked–made the whole piece too heavy and dark for a rambunctious kitten.
So the dark greens, other than the “halo,” went away and my much-loved yellow greens (mostly my hand dyes in this set) came in.
The next step, as with Yoda, was adding paint via thermofax screens to refine the fur. Did I mention (another gratuitous self promotion here) that I’ll be teaching a 3-day workshop August 5-7, 2020, at ProChemical and Dye in Fall River, Massachusetts, on using paint on cloth? Sign ups open on October 2nd and I’d love to have you join me. Here’s the link to the Workshops at ProChem–details on the 2020 workshops will post on or about September 3rd. Anyway…. you can see the difference between the right where I have screened to the left where I haven’t, also up on the upper vs. lower parts of his face. I used a temporary mask of painter’s tape to avoid getting paint on parts of the background.
Final phase: quilt it to death! This is the Janome 9450–I began on the 6500 when the Horizon series debuted back in 2003 and every time I think they couldn’t possibly make the machine better, yet they do. This is pretty much my PERFECT MACHINE! I pick more threads than I think I will need for a project. Since I was doing three quilts at once, that was a lot of thread. Luckily, the most labor intensive one was Widgeon because of so many different colors. The quilting on Yoda (a beige cat with some dark) and on Boo (a white cat with just a tiny bit of black on him) was easier in some ways, though finding six shades varying from white to cream was interesting….ended up using a very very pale green for example, which reads as a mostly white/gray for the under layer.
Then the stitching begins! Here I’m putting in the first of three layers of thread used in each area. I teach a workshop on this, too (Thread-Coloring the Garden, but the process is the same for flowers, pets, people, landscapes, etc.). I really love this new open-toe free-motion quilting foot. It was designed for free-motion zigzagging, but it is awesome visibility. I’m not sure but I may possibly like it as well (or even better? is that possible?) than my all-time favorite thin metal open circle foot.
In this photo, I’m up to about the third layer of threads. Compare how it looks to the previous photo. Also, I do minimal stitching on eyes!
An angled shot always shows up the quilting best. I used the same leaf/vine motif on this that I used in the background of Yoda’s quilt to tie things together.

So that’s my process and all three of the quilts. To read the blogpost about Yoda’s quilt: His Immensitude Yoda, Emperor of Minions and all He Surveys, click here for Yoda . To read the blogpost about Widgeon’s quilt: I Love, Therefore I Am, click here for Widgeon. Thanks for coming along on my summer quilting extravaganza!