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Archive for the ‘Mancuso quilt shows’ Category

Making an overhead camera stand for online teaching

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

As I transition to holding online classes to supplement live and in person classes, I needed an overhead view of my work table. The traditional way to do this (outside of a fancy filming studio) is with a “C-stand” that is sturdy/heavy, stands on the floor next to your work table and has a boom arm that extends over the table. Then you hang the camera/iPad/iPhone from the boom arm. Cue COVID delays in shipping. I tried the one I could get in time for this week’s Perfect Bindings class at the first ever Mancuso online shows. The accessories didn’t fit the boom arm. Back they went!

Cue: Mama’s brainstorming, Mama and son’s (Joshua) creativity, and Joshua’s awesome tools (Band saw! drill! Random bits and bobs) and construction experience and help, and a stand using leftover stuff and $5 in supplies.

A DIY overhead camera stand

The wooden “light stands” were built based on information from Holly Knott’s wonderful “Shoot That Quilt” section on her website about taking great photos yourself of your quilts to enter in shows and magazines: two pieces of 2×4 lumber and four cheap shelf brackets for each stand.

Ignore the dust, cat hair, pug hair and thread. Please. Sorry. Here’s the link to Holly’s useful webpage on quilt photography.

Joshua, our older son, did some electrical work for Mom and Dad (us) a while back, and introduced us to something called Unistrut. Link here. It is a bit heavy, which is why I looked at C-stands to begin with, but that is also its virtue: it is totally rigid. Rigid helps keep your camera (in my case my iPad) stable.

The upper brackets were from something else that was modified. Knew they’d be handy! I bought two small black brackets with one hole on each side. Joshua said I needed two holes to prevent the small L brackets from wobbling, so using his awesome power tools (tool envy!), he just drilled an extra hole. He cut the Unistrut in about 8 seconds with his band saw. It would have taken me the better part of an hour with a manual hacksaw! The length is the width of my table plus an extra inch or so to help maneuver the stand into place.
The ruler is serving as my iPad’s stunt double because I was too lazy to run upstairs and get the iPad while taking photos. Can you tell from the clutter how chaotic it has been?
I CAN’T WAIT to have a MASSIVE TIDY ATTACK!
I wanted the iPad above the bar for added stability and so I could have full access to the screen while teaching live online workshops.
A close up view of the stand attaching to the unistrut. Here’s a link to the iPad holder on Amazon. It isn’t the most rigid thing and the little grip thingies that hold the iPad in place aren’t huge, so that’s another reason to have the iPad on top supported by the cross bar and not just those four little pads.

SO if you are wondering what your teachers does to get ready for you, this is just one small but vital component. If you are going to TEACH online, I hope this helps you–please feel free to ask questions! MASSIVELY HUGE thanks to Lyric Kinard for her help on so many things on the technical side over the years, and to Lee Chappell who gave us newbie online teachers for the Mancuso show a studio tour by Zoom to share with us how she set things up. And THANK YOU to my wonderful, creative son who comes home and always wants to do some sort of “fix up” something for his mom and dad. Joshua, you ROCK!

Busy during Lockdown!

Monday, April 27th, 2020

I’ll be teaching at the Mancuso quilt shows later this year and next! They asked teachers to do a brief 1-minute video. To no one’s surprise, my first attempt ran long…at least it was only 3 minutes and not 10 LOL! But I decided to upload the longer version here. I hope you’ll enjoy this peek at what I’ve been doing and maybe take a workshop with me at one of the Mancuso shows–I’ll be in Massachusetts in August of 2020–or at International Quilt Festival Houston in Fall.

Kindest Website Comment in the past year or more

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

This morning I was checking my spam folder, because the spam filter (I get at least a hundred spam messages most days) frequently leaves spam in the inbox and puts a few “good” messages in the spam folder. Today’s discovery is WHY I do check diligently….sometimes I’ve found inquiries from guilds asking me to teach, but this is even better.

Coach’s Clipboard: Win by Fall, which was just on display in the Better World Exhibition at the Mancuso’s Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. It shows my husband, the coach with the clipboard, and younger son Eli about to get a pin. It celebrates those adults around the world who give of themselves, their time, knowledge, wisdom, and example, to help young people grow into fine human beings through the avenue of athletics.

I’ve X’d out some of the details to protect the privacy of the person who wrote, but it brought tears to my eyes.

 “I just saw your quilt “Coach’s Clipboard: Win by Fall” at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton, VA. I can not tell how much joy I felt when I rounded a corner and saw it. It was worth the xxx hour drive to Hampton and back just to see it!! I looked for wrestling themed fabric or patterns for ages and had given up. Wrestling was the best thing that ever happened to my socially awkward ADHD 5th grade son (now age 2x) and his first coach in particular was an inspiration and mentor to both kids and parents. Since graduation my son now referees for youth league and JV matches. I now especially enjoy watching all the girls who now wrestle, learning to be strong and fearless. Olympic wrestler xxxxx xxxxx, who originally attended my son’s high school, has inspired a lot of kids in the area. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful work and thank your husband on behalf of all the moms out there whose children have benefitted from having another adult in their lives who care about them and help them be better people.”

THANK YOU, L.P. in the mid-Atlantic….you have no idea how much your comment means to me. Our older son was ADHD and is also in his 20s, and wrestling benefitted him. Our younger son, pictured in this quilt, has just finished is senior year in college, including four years on a D1 wrestling team. To his dismay, between lack of top training before college and three major injuries/surgeries/recoveries, his college career wasn’t what he had hoped. But he has learned and grown, and I know that every minute of his athletic career has helped make him the amazing young man that he is.

So THANK YOU AGAIN L.P.! You have given me something that I will remember for a very, very long time.

Check box! TWO Ribbons!!!!!

Friday, February 28th, 2020
for Lupines and Rose Hip

And yes, I meant every single one of those excessive exclamation points. Usually I’m lucky to get two out of two quilts juried in to a given show. This time, not only did both Lupines and Rose Hip get in to the Mancuso Brother’s Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, they BOTH RIBBONED!!!!!! That is a bucket list item that I never, ever, Ever, EVER expected to check off! Guess what…done! To the judges: THANK YOU for making a dream come true!

Rose Hip, by Sarah Ann Smith (c) 2019. 36″ square. This quilt won Best Use of Color in the Wall Quilts division at the show. 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.

I’ve never won a prize such as Best Use of Color at a national level show, so I am particularly pleased–my work is about color, and then about the quilting. Next August 5-7 I’m going to be teaching a three-day workshop, Exploring Paint on Cloth, at ProChemical and Dye in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’ll be sharing the techniques I used in both of these quilts in that workshop and hope some of you can join me! Details in the hotlink. I’m deep in the planning for the specifics of what we can do in three days and getting so psyched for it!

Lupines won Third in Wall Quilts…given the quality of the quilts I am surprised, delighted, honored…. there are some mighty fine quilts in this show! And once again, to the judges: THANK YOU for making a dream come true!

A Snowy Owl at the Library of Congress!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Well today sure started off well…. got an email from curator and exhibit organizer extraordinaire Donne DeSoto that my Snowy Owl, from Acadia National Park, will be on display at the Library of Congress soon! Here’s the LoC’s information on the exhibit–I SO wish I lived close enough to go see it!

Here’s my owl, based on photographs I took at nearby Clarry Hill Ridge. Of course I had to pick something from Acadia National Park, here in Maine. The fabrics are my hand dyes, include a little bit of paint, and lots of threadwork!

This quilt is part of the Inspired by the National Parks exhibit which debuted in the National Parks Centennial Year. The exhibit will finish its phenomenal run in February at the Mancuso Brother’s Mid-Atlantic show. Donna told me the exhibit has been to THIRTY ONE venues in the three years it has traveled! That is astounding! So many thanks to Schiffer Publishing for putting out the tome with all our quilts and to the other participants. But most of all, special thanks to Donna. I can’t even begin to imagine how much work it is to keep tabs on so many quilts and get them traveling so many places for multiple years. THANK YOU DONNA!