Archive for the ‘My Book’ Category

Go Tell it at the Quilt Show

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

A blast from the past..almost three years ago at International Quilt Festival Houston, 2014,  I was interviewed by the Save Our Stories project.   I was able to record a little about making the portrait of our son Eli during Cross Country season 2013.  The recording has finally been uploaded to the internet, so I thought I would share.  This quilt will also be in the upcoming Rising Stars exhibit which will feature the work of two artists, me and Karlyn Bue Lorenz.  I hope you enjoy this visit, and even more I hope I will get to see some of you at my exhibit of 24 of my pieces.

Retrospective book of my work–input sought!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Hi folks!   I am in the midst of preparing a book of my work including the 24 pieces that will be in my part of the Rising Stars exhibit this coming fall at International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival Houston, as well as many of my other best pieces from the past decade and bits about my life and influences.  If you have experience selling books from either Blurb or CreateSpace (an Amazon company) let me know.  I am still undecided which platform to use.  I would dearly love your input, whether you have self-published or as a consumer.

 

Do I use Blurb? or Createspace? Where would you go to purchase… I’d have a link on my blog etc. to either option so folks who don’t attend Quilt Festival may also purchase a copy.

I feel the quality of the Premium Magazine at Blurb is definitely better than the book I can create through CreateSpace–I have copies of Blurb books, Blurb premium magazine (which you would never know is a “magazine” as it is exceptional quality–a teacher I know uses this for her books and it is excellent), and several books (exhibit catalogs) from CreateSpace.   I really really want top quality over profits on this, but I also would like folks to be able to purchase the book easily online.

With both platforms, I can select an 8 1/2 x 11  portrait format (vertical) so I can include large images with good detail shots.   For print quality, Blurb Premium “Magazine” wins and the cost (unlike Blurb books) is reasonable.  For customer ease and distribution, using Createspace on Amazon is better because Amazon takes a much lower percentage of the sales price is you use their platform.  What to do?

For international customers, absolutely the Amazon/CreateSpace option is better because it can be  on-demand printed from European Amazon sites, thereby reducing postage costs.  For those in the US, I can have it on my site and Amazon-or-Blurb, depending on my final decision. The Blurb “magazine” is better overall print and paper quality, the template software is superb, but even if I can manage to list it on Amazon, I would make almost nothing (less than a dollar probably) per copy to keep it in the affordable range.

Please let me know your thoughts!   Would you buy from Blurb?   Or do you vastly prefer Amazon?  Price would be $25-30 plus any shipping depending on final page count–I’m guesstimating 80 pages, but could be a bit more or a bit less.  My goal is to keep the price under $30.

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International Quilt Festival 2013, Houston, #6, Decorative Stitching!

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Time for another catch-up post, about my Decorative Stitch Applique class on Friday at Quilt Festival.   I’m on a yahoo group for Janome 6600-7700-8900 owners, and a discussion cropped up about using the decorative stitches and I realized I had yet to post this information, so here goes!

The Funky Chicken, from Sarah's Decorative Stitch Applique class in Houston

The Funky Chicken, from Sarah’s Decorative Stitch Applique class in Houston.  Right click to enlarge image.  I’ve stacked (grouped) stitches on this one.  For example, the checkerboard (in yellow upper left) is two passes of a satin stitch that has two columns of small alternating squares.  To the lower right of the green square, a scroll stitch is bracketed with scallops.  The center square is appliqued, stitched with the “V” stapes, then outlined with a bold straight stitch.  Done on a Janome 8900.

Ya know how we all have these fancy machines that do a bazillion things, and pretty much 98 percent of the time (or more) all we do is use the straight stitch and sometimes the zigzag?   Well, when I wrote my book, Threadwork Unraveled, I included a section to teach folks how to play with their fancy stitches. This is the project in the book and the regular class project.

Decorative Stitch sampler for my Decorative Stitch Class.

Decorative Stitch sampler for my Decorative Stitch Class.

I teach that section as a class which was offered this year at Quilt Festival.  This year I came up with a couple new projects as class options for students. Most of the students did the usual tossed leaves project for this class, but one loved my Funky Chicken.   Here she is early in the day, filling the background with fun stitch combinations in fun colors:

This student used the same colors as my sample.  We were luckily in the Janome classroom with the FABULOUS 15000 machines.  I've never been a fan of computer-screen sewing machine models, as I prefer visual knobs and buttons.  Well, let me tell that has changed!  I have severe sewing machine lust for one of these babies!  And they have even more (!!!) stitches than the already fabulous 8900!

This student used the same colors as my sample. We were luckily in the Janome classroom with the FABULOUS 15000 machines. I’ve never been a fan of computer-screen sewing machine models, as I prefer visual knobs and buttons. Well, let me tell that has changed! I have severe sewing machine lust for one of these babies! And they have even more (!!!) stitches than the already fabulous 8900!

Other students put their own spin on the leaves:

A student is making sample blocks with decorative stitches

A student is making sample blocks with decorative stitches.  This is a great way to test out pattern combinations–here she has a practice square to toss out and her “real” piece on the left.  If you have a practice square, that means you don’t have to pick out the stitches if you don’t like them!

Close up of decorative stitching on an aspen leaf.

Close up of decorative stitching on an aspen leaf.

This student tried a very bold, wide multi-stitch zigzag.

This student tried a very bold, wide multi-stitch zigzag.  You can see this is her practice bit–see how she has tested the appearance of various stitches in the strip on the right?

I made a smaller (about 9 inches square) quiltlet with the sampler leaf and the background stitching.  If you right click on this image, you can see more detail.  Notice how I layered up stitches to applique the green patch and how I used a decorative stitch on the binding.  On the latter, I used matching thread to machine stitch down the binding, then went over that with a decorative stitch.

I made a smaller (about 9 inches square) quiltlet with the sampler leaf and the background stitching. If you right click on this image, you can see more detail. Notice how I layered up stitches to applique the green patch and how I used a decorative stitch on the binding. On the latter, I used matching thread to machine stitch down the binding, then went over that with a decorative stitch.

And a happy student with her nearly-done funky chicken:

Thank you, Barb Brown of Colorado, for taking my class!   I love your chicken!

Thank you, Barb Brown of Colorado, for taking my class! I love your chicken!

The day ended with one of my favorite things at Festival:  FRIENDS!  This evening was the Dinner@8 artists.  Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison curate an exhibit each year for several years now, and I am thrilled to have been both invited to submit pieces and accepted in the exhibit!   My orca quilt, seen in earlier blogposts on Festival 2013, was in this year’s Exquisite Moment exhibit.  Here a bunch of us who were at Festival enjoy dinner and friendship and art!

One of the two tables of folks in the Dinner@8 exhibit.  Leslie is at the head of the table, next to Diane Rusin Doran (in pink), Susan Brubaker Knapp (glasses) and Lyric Kindard (only partly in the photo--sorry Lyric!)

One of the two tables of folks in the Dinner@8 exhibit. Leslie is at the head of the table, next to Diane Rusin Doran (in pink), Susan Brubaker Knapp (glasses) and Lyric Kinard

And too much fun not to include, Susan and I taking pictures of each other taking pictures!

And too much fun not to include, Susan and I taking pictures of each other taking pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needle Keeper

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Oh what fun!  I just love it when someone takes one of my classes or reads my book or an article, makes something, then shares it with me!  In this case, Janet from my Janome yahoo group shared with me a fantastic variation on the needlekeeper pattern in ThreadWork Unraveled.  In the pattern in the book, I use a couple pieces of fabric (flannel in one instance) and maybe some batting to make a “needle keeper”–one of those things to help you keep track of what needles have been used but not used up, and what needle is IN the machine:

My version of the needlekeeper, with sections labelled by type of needle

Well, Janet’s fantabuloso twist is to use her practice free-motion quilting samples to make a lovely roll-up needle-keeper! Janet cut her sample into suitable sizes, zigzagged the outside edge, then added muslin and batting to the center for the storage part of the needlekeeper.  This is the business side of Janet’s version:

Janet's needlekeeper using her practice Free-Motion-Quilting bits for the outside

And the lovely quilting on the back:

The back side showing the lovely quilting and how Janet attached a ribbon

And how it looks rolled up (perfect for travel!)–this would be a great variation to use for handwork needles, especially if you work in different parts of the house or on the road:

Janet's needlekeeper rolled up with a red ribbon (sewn to outside)

What a great gift!  Janet even typed up information for the recipient:

Information for the recipient

Now…do I have time to MAKE any before Christmas…what a great gift idea!  Thanks so much Janet for sharing with me and, in turn, letting me share with those of you who read my blog!  OK…everyone to their sewing machines!

Getting ready for Houston

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

So, you might ask, what have I been doing?  OK, no, you probably haven’t been asking.  But it has been insane here.  We are hoping to buy a new house and move in January, so there have been MANY (way too many hours) doing real estate related stuff.  The good news is that our house got a contract on it in 12 days, in this economy!  The bad news …well…. I’ll share when all is said and done (you won’t believe the story when I can finally tell it).  Let’s just say EVERYTHING is on track, and we do expect to move (so much for January as making quilts time!) in January—yeah!

In the meantime, I’ve not been able to concentrate a lot on art quilts.  But I liked that use-a-big-print sampler I made for my free-motion class  so much that I decided to make a bed quilt, possibly as a project piece for a future book (yeah, shoot me again please!). Here are the squares pieced with the sashing into rows:

Big prints with white sashing (vertical pieces)

Adding the horizontal sashing....it has been a LONG time since I've done precision piecing!

And the first of the rows with the horizontal sashing added..I am going to LOVE this quilt.  But it’s a good thing I am probably buying an HQ16 sit-down machine early next year as I will need the space:  this quilt will finish at about 100 inches on each side!!!!

The top three rows now have the horizontal sashing....

And I’m getting ready to head out on Nov. 2 for the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I will have four quilts and two photos on display!

Cookie? PLEEEZE Cookie! is in Art Quilts-Miniatures in the juried show

Joshua is in the Beneath the Surface Exhibit

Koi and A Sense of Place:  The Wall are in the 500 Art Quilts exhibit, where the quilts are from the Lark Books book of the same name.

and in the Eye of the Quilter Exhibit, I will have two photos!  I’ll post those photos in a post in a few days!

But here is the pile of “getting ready to take” stuff, including some in progress postcards for a swap. I’m going to take some of this round’s swap cards for my demo in the MistyFuse booth!