Archive for the ‘Machine Quilting’ Category

The Quilt Show–Sarah’s Episode!

Friday, April 12th, 2019

What a delight it was to be invited to tape a show for the Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson online “tv” show, The Quilt Show (TQS)! In the past I have taped for two seasons of Quilting Arts TV (on PBS) and did a video workshop for Interweave (Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork, available as a download), but TQS is on a whole other level of professionalism. It was filmed in the Comcast center near Denver…as you walked by the main office there was an entire cabinet of awards including a few Golden Globes! And to get it up front: THANK YOU ADELE Merrell for all these great photos and Gayle Schliemann from Bernina for a bunch more!

Intro segment with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims…yes, they color coordinate their tops with the guest’s outfit! My dress is a Marcy Tilton pattern, Vogue 9112
I was so excited that I was able to pull off my surprise gifts for Alex, Ricky, John and Justin: custom TQS aprons made with a thermofax screen I made for them (with behind the scenes help from Producer Shelly to help with a graphic and favorite colors for them).
After the intro we got together and everyone modeled their custom TQS aprons. Sorry folks, there are only four of these that exist, but I’m delighted they are already using them with other guests. I bought all cotton colored aprons on Amazon (where else?). If you like the milkweed design on mine, I am selling my custom screens on my website for a limited time (maybe six to 12 months) so you could make your own!
There are two guests taped each day–I had Saturday morning. They hang the quilts first as all the other prep begins, and well before the audience comes in. The lighting is SUPERB…both of the guests and the quilts. There are light colored walls behind the seat walls with bounce diffuser lights that reflect off the exterior studio walls to create a smooth even light, then each quilt has a spot…there wasn’t a single “hot spot” or deep dark area (unless it was intentional)

And a panorama shot…the detail isn’t great because of the re-sizing I had to do for the blog, but I am standing in the center of the audience area. There were four large quilts including this year’s BOM, Sizzle, then the door to the Green Room, a monitor, the areas of the set from the “brick” wall, seating area, gallery space. The big tables are all on rollers as is the longarm and Q20 so everything can be moved easily for each segment. Another monitor on the middle-right, the staff and guest cubbyhole is behind that wall, you can see a long light thing that is the longarm, then Alex’s quilt (which is gorgeous in person) and right bank of the audience seating. There are usually 50-70 guests for each show. Tickets are free but you must reserve in advance…check the TQS website for info.
Justin Shults, Ricky’s partner, consults with the team in an area to by one side of the set where they collect the guests’ “stuff” for the episodes and serves as staff work space. I love that they said “welcome to the family.” Everyone staying at the DoubleTree collects in the same zone of the restaurant for breakfast (travel, meals, hotel are on your own dime, but it is so worth it!) and eat together. It is a delightful way to get to know the crew and principals. Left to right: Lilo Bowman, Justin Shults, Mary Kay Davis and Katie. Justin is the guy coordinating things on the set while Shelly Heesacker, the Producer, is in the control room. They communicate by headsets.
This is pretty close to the image folks will see when the show airs online sometime this autumn.
And here’s what that looks like from the sidelines
Sarah Ann Smith visits The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims
My first segment was about using paint on cloth (and I now have custom paint kits available here) and using shrink fabric to make my sunflower quilt (a blogpost to come). Here Ricky and I reviewed what I brought and what we could fit into the 10-14 minute segment. While the guest and hosts review the segments, groups of folks from the audience are allowed to come up and see the quilts up close.
In the breaks between segments, John Anderson (Alex’s husband) keeps the audience entertained, shares quilts from upcoming guests and more. This one is at the end of the day when Ricky came to chat with the audience.

Rehearsing for the thread segment: Ricky, Alex, me and Mary Kay Davis taking a close up photo.
Thanks SO MUCH to Adele, who dresses the set, for taking a billion photos for me. I especially wanted this one from inside the control room that shows what a polished and complicated production this is. Producer Shelly Heesacker is in the bottom left and she crafts each episode and runs the show.
And a close up of the screens as I am taping my second segment, with Alex, on how I do my Threadwork.

After-taping shots: here, I am holding a photo by Chris Maher from the online Photo Critique Group–it is a mock movie poster, with Ricky, Justin and many of our classmates in the assorted cast and crew roles. Too much fun!
I made TQS screen prints on my hand-dyed fabric for the audience as a little gift. MAJOR thanks to Iris Karp of MistyFuse for donating a package of MF (which changed my life and makes what I do possible!!!!! and that is NO exaggeration) so I made up a pattern for the sunflower that I demonstrated on set.
Time for some portrait shots with my quilts…this was one of the best!
Going to use this one for my FB profile photo for a while…THANK YOU ADELE!
Question and Answer session with the audience (and you can see that fun dress!) after taping.

I have to say, I wasn’t all that nervous thanks to being UBER prepared and having done Quilting Arts before, but I was wired for sound LOL..by the time of the Q&A I was relaxed and ready to have even more fun sharing.

At the end of my segment saying “It’s a new day EVERY day,” the TQS motto. Can you tell we were having fun?!!!!


My episode will air sometime in late summer/autumn. Star Members of The Quilt Show will have the first view, then there will be one week where the episode will be free to everyone. I will be sure to post, but gosh there are so many wonderful guests that I am so glad I am a member–and did you know I joined the very first day TQS began: January 1, 2007? And now, here I am as a guest! WOOT! Life is GOOD!

Sarah on The Quilt Show!

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Yep, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year because I’ll be able to tick off a Bucket List item: in early April I’ll tape an episode of The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson! Here’s a preview I taped with Ricky while I was teaching at International Quilt Festival 2018 in Houston last November. I’m so psyched–gosh they made my work look SO GOOD!

Interview with Ricky Tims about my upcoming visit to TheQuiltShow.com . I’ll tape the episode in April and it will air later in 2019, I’m guessing towards late summer or fall (August to November for those not in the northern hemisphere). If you’d like to get my monthly newsletter, sign up on my home page, here.

 We haven’t finalized the topics yet so can’t share what it will be, but it’s bound to be something along the lines of art quilts, painting, fusing and/or quilting. I know I can’t fit in everything, but I hope to inspire you and maybe even generate some teaching jobs. If your group or show is interested, please contact me using the contact page on my website. And if you’d like to follow this blog, please click on one of the options to subscribe in the sidebar to the left.

And OMG: SEE YOU ON THE QUILT SHOW! Yep, I’m shouting in delight!  Thank you Ricky, Alex, Justin and John–can’t wait, and some quilty friends will be there for taping too…SQUEEEE!

International Quilt Festival #3: Machine Quilting Forum and a free afternoon

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Machine Quilting Forum 2018–here’s my station (the middle panel was blank as it was the de facto projector screen.  THANK YOU SO MUCH to Janome America and Greg Sanford for making sure I had a machine on which to demo!   LOVE MY JANOME!

The day began with “leisurely speed dating” for machine quilters at the Thursday morning Machine Quilting Forum.  For those who have never had the pleasure of attending, the 3-hour session begins with all the attendees sitting for the better part of an hour as the six instructors each got 8 minutes to introduce themselves and what they do.   Then, each of the teachers decamps to their station.  Attendees are assigned to one of six groups, one for each station.  For 15 minutes or so, the teacher gives his/her talk and/or demo, then the bell rings, and folks move to the next station until they’ve visited all six.  I absolutely love this session.  I remember before I started teaching they also used to have an Applique Forum and remember going “Oh I’d like to take a class from that teacher (or perhaps not),” learning HOW to PRESENT to a class (Karen Kay Buckley was so kind 15 or so years ago answering my questions before I bought my projector), and so on.  It’s also great for guilds wanting to book teachers–great preview!

The cast of happy quilters, with the teachers in the front row. If you look in the far back corner, that’s my spot

I talked about thread coloring and actually demonstrated machine quilting on this little piece which, if I get my act together, will be a SAQA or IQA donation next year.  It’s a rose hip:

Work in Progress–free-motion quilting demo and nesting threads

Then it was off to the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon and lecture by Pam Holland, then a (DRUM ROLL, sneak announcement here) taping a quick 3-minute promo with Ricky Tims because (SHRIEK check off the bucket list item) I’m going to be taping a segment for The Quilt Show in April!!!!   Should air sometime in the second half of next year!  Then a couple hours to see quilts, then dinner with friends.

Here I am, with thanks to the guard who took my picture, next to my Lilies of the Valley quilt.

I was absolutely enchanted with the portion of the Power of Women exhibit that was the 2 x 8 foot sheer panels of art cloth.  Here are the four sides.  Alas, instead of signage near the artwork, the info was in a binder on a table so I didn’t get details.   If you are one of the artists, please let me know which piece is yours and I’ll update this post.

Side 1

Side 2; I know the one on the far right is by Lyric Kinard.

Side 3

Side 4

This updated “traditional” quilt stopped me in my tracks…details in the second photo:

Then it was off to dinner with friends and fellow teachers Jenny K. Lyon, Deborah Boschert and Cindy Grisdela, at Ninfa’s on Navigation.  No Houston is complete with at least one (hopefully more) trip to Ninfa’s!

Preview of Lilies of the Valley at Festival!

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Thanks to my friend Jenny K. Lyon, I’ve got two pictures of my Lilies of the Valley quilt on display in Houston since she is attending International Quilt Market for the (Drum Roll Please!!!) debut of her first book, here, Free Motion Quilting, From Ordinary to Extraordinary.  It has literally just been released…can’t wait to see it at Festival!   Anyway,

Here’s a view of the Power of Women exhibit, which has three parts: the 36″ quilts, some 2×8 foot sheer art cloth banners, and in the background the 2×6 foot quilts of women to admire. I can’t wait to see the exhibits! My Lilies of the Valley is the center one…I had thought they were going to be way high up, so delighted folks will be able to see the quilting and details.  Photo by Jenny K. Lyon–Thank you Jenny!!!!

 

And a close up–Houston always does such a good job at hanging and “choosing neighbors”! And yes, my quilt IS for sale!  Photo by Jenny K. Lyon–Thank you Jenny!!!!

I get on the road to the airport at 7 am tomorrow, but won’t get to see any quilts until preview night on Wednesday.  So psyched for teaching and friends and quilts and art and friends!

Lupines: the quilting begins!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Ever so slightly ahead of schedule, I have begun quilting on the Lupines. Luckily (and one reason I chose this imagery) this will be easy quilting.  And yes, once again, I LOVE MY BERNINA Q20.  Crazy expensive and worth Every. Single. Penny.   Lots and LOTS of pennies.

This morning I finished basting the Lupines quilt.  I decided to try something I haven’t done before:  a double batt.   I definitely wanted to use wool, but I haven’t been able to find a source for my favorite Matilda’s Own Wool-poly blend batt in the US recently, and I’m hoarding my last batt.   So I used  Quilters’ Dream Wool which is much fluffier; I fused my top to that.

BUT I was concerned about distortion because of the fluffiness–it just didn’t feel like it would hang well and be stable.  Dreamy (pun intended) in a bed, lap or snuggle quilt, but by itself on a densely quilted wall quilt?  Not so much.  So I took the only cotton batting I had, Quilters Dream Select, and layered that underneath the wool.  If I had had Request, the thinnest, I would have used that instead.  Finally, spray basted the backing and safety pinned intermittently.  I am using up long lengths of print fabric in my stash when they suit the quilt–time to move them along.  Will have to dye something to match for facings and hanging sleeve.

I also selected thread yesterday afternoon and this morning.

When I choose thread for a quilt, I “test drive” it by drizzling on the surface. If it works, it goes in the shallow box. I probably won’t use all of these, but will use most of them–about half the solid greens and almost all of the rest. And I added a medium purple this morning and will likely not use the dark purple in the box at all.

Things I have learned so far:

  • Painting a nonwoven is a good thing.  But if that nonwoven is Pellon 65 heavyweight interfacing, it is somewhat like using construction paper.  Will do the non woven thing again, but will look for something softer yet still dense (so no shadow through).
  • Mistyfuse is by far my fusible of choice.  But it behaves differently on the interfacing than it does on cloth.  If I fuse this particular interfacing again, I will use TWO layers of Mistyfuse–it is plenty fine and easy to stitch, and it will help this painted interfacing stick better–see photo.

Because of the difference (in porosity maybe?) between fabric and interfacing, my fusible isn’t sticking quite as well as usual. So I have re-fused various spots, and in a couple of cases tucked snippets of Mistyfuse under the stubborn lifting petals. I found, luckily, that if I am careful I can still quilt those lifting petals because the interfacing doesn’t wobble around like fabric.

And to my astonishment, I quilted almost five of the six purple lupines today.  I have a couple of the tops where I will use pale lilac or cream unstitched as of this evening, but I am definitely farther along than I thought I would be.

Quilting in progress…done on the right, not done on the left. Using just one purple thread to stitch down the petals/quilt down the petals is working out OK despite the value changes from petal to petal.

That means the “after Eli goes back to college” period may be less frantic than I had feared. YIPPEE!  Barring catastrophe, I will be one and able to take photos and submit then ON TIME.  Stay tuned!

 

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