Archive for the ‘MQU Magazine’ Category

My book reviewed in MQU!

Friday, December 29th, 2017

What with the holidays, I hadn’t had time to sit down and savor the January/February issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine yet.  Then a copy arrived today in the mail in an envelope–which usually means it is a complementary copy because you’re in a magazine.  So I went looking: SQUEEE!  Diane Rusin Doran reviewed several books, including my book of the quilts featured in the Rising Stars Exhibit in Houston (and will also be at International Quilt Festival in Chicago) and other work to illustrate my development as an artist.  To order The Art of Sarah Ann Smith…so far go to my store page and follow the link to Blurb or go directly to Blurb.  If you’d like an autograph, the books are print-on-demand and ship directly to you, so if you send me a SASE (email me via my contact page to get my snail mail address) I’ll send you a personalized, autographed label and sticker to put in your book.

What a delightful way to close out 2017–a lovely review (and the first of the bunch reviewed) in the Jan-Feb 2018 issue of MQU.  You’ll have to check the issue to read the entire review and see the other great books mentioned.  You can order individual issues and subscribe here, and MQU is also available at Barnes & Noble (yeah!).  

 

Thank you Diane and MQU for the shout out and great review.  It is always a privilege to be included in MQU!  I hope folks will now have time to sit and savor some inspiration and tips as winter sets in–at least today in Maine we got above zero–crazy cold even for Maine!

This is the issue with the review and lots of other eye candy.

The two page spread with reviews blurred–to respect MQU’s copyright. Please find a copy of the magazine (including at Barnes and Noble!).

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Hot off the press: Descended is in MQU

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

I am absolutely THRILLED with how my article for Machine Quilting Unlimited’s January/February 2016 issue turned out! I don’t think I’ve been this thrilled since the first time I was published, so thank you editor Kit Robinson and MQU Magazine!

The opening spread on my article about creating Descended From the Stars

The opening spread on my article about creating Descended From the Stars

 

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Cover of the January/February 2016 Machine Quilting Unlimited (MQU) magazine with the article on the making of Descended From the Stars

In my last article for MQU about The Fourth Layer, Stabilizing the Quilt Sandwich (when doing intense quilting and/or threadwork), published in the  issue, I mused at the end that I might try to use my preferred choice, cotton duck, as the backing (the third layer) instead of as a fourth layer.  When I did just that in my quilt Descended From the Stars, I wrote editor Kit Robinson to share the results, thinking that readers might enjoy a quick update to the article.  Instead, she asked if I would write an article for their “Challenging Quilts” series!  You betcha I would, and now it is just published.

The quilt was made for the current Dinner@8 exhibit Affinity, and you can read the call for entry in the photo above, just to the right of the full-page image (and wow am I thrilled my photography looks so good and accurate on the page!).  At the top right of the right hand page you can read the quote written on the quilt, but I’ll also close this post with the quote which is fitting at this time of year.

The article takes you from the initial seed of an idea, to the call for entry, and through the creation process:  developing the working sketch, ideas abandoned, dyeing fabric (sometimes twice on the same cloth to get it right) and more.   I hope you will enjoy reading it; I certainly enjoyed making it and look forward to having it home.  And maybe entering it into shows or even selling it!  Yes, it would be hard to part with it, but a girl’s gotta make a living.

Squee!  On the first page of the Table of Contents!

Squee! On the first page of the Table of Contents!

As soon as I get the pie, cranberries and stuffing made today, I’m going to treat myself to a good sit-down and cuppa tea with this issue.  I always love Margaret’s articles and her posts on FB–she is simply a brilliant quilter.  She can take an already-outstanding client top and make it over-the-moon fantastic.  And I am REALLY looking forward to (and trying out) my friend Lisa Walton’s article on painting on your quilt after doing the quilting.  I wanted to win her donation quilt in the last SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) auction, but missed out to someone with a larger budget than mine.  Good for SAQA, but sad for me.

And here’s that inspiring quote from Mirza Khan, the Religious Studies Director at my old High School, San Domenico:

We have descended from the stars.  We have risen through the forms of thousands of animals.  We have passed through the lives of our ancestors, our grandparents, and our parents.  And now we have been born into the moment of our supreme existence.  We have a life.  What will we do with it? –Mirza Khan (used with permission, and with great thanks)

Welcome back to the light now that solstice is passed (and I’ll get caught up on my Foto Fridays that have been missing since the demise of the old laptop) and on to the peace and joy of the season, and a long winter for making art!

MQU: The Fourth Quilt Layer

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
The opening spread of my article on stabilizing the quilt sandwich in the July/August issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

The opening spread of my article on stabilizing the quilt sandwich in the July/August issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

Over the past six years, I have been fortunate to have been invited to submit a quilt and to have works accepted in the Dinner@8 Artists exhibits and in Living Colour Textiles.   For those shows, work had to be a specific size.  The problem is that when you quilt, especially when you quilt a LOT, as I do, the quilt shrinks.  And you need to have a good composition and framing once it is done–not chopped off, not too much leftover because the piece shrank less or more than you expected.

It is hard to predict how MUCH it will shrink.  So I decided I needed to tackle the problem and acquire some knowledge.   It was a lot of work to test nearly a dozen stabilizers, so I was thrilled when I proposed an article on my explorations to Machine Quilting Unlimited and they agreed it would be a useful article.

This is the cover of the current issue with my article:

The cover of the issue with my article.

The cover of the issue with my article.

and a bit more:

This page shows some of my testing in  progress--yes, there are ELEVEN samples.  All quilted the same.  Can you say TEDIOUS?

This page shows some of my testing in progress–yes, there are ELEVEN samples. All quilted the same. Can you say TEDIOUS?

The issue is still on stands, and is available for order on the MQU website here.  The article also has a link to an on-line Web Extra with all the extensive details of the testing on various stabilizers, interfacings, and canvas/cotton duck which you can print out for your own reference.

Even happier, at the end of the article I mentioned that I would be trying cotton duck, dyed by me, as the backing instead of a fourth layer.  That quilt is made and has been juried into this year’s Dinner@8 exhibit, Affinity.  And in the January 2016 issue MQU will publish my article in their “Challenge Quilts” series about Descended From the Stars.  WOOT!

Quilt Festival Houston 2014: where to find me and my work

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

It’s that wonderful time of the year again, Festival!  When you say “Festival” to a dedicated quilter, they know there is only ONE Festival that counts, the Big One In Houston.  Same thing–if you say Houston, we all know what that means–FUN, Friends, Quilts, all under one enormous roof.   I’m teaching again this year and will have four quilts in the exhibit area, plus two small pieces in a booth.  Read on!

Learn to make the painted fabrics in this project in my mini-Whimsy class at IQF-International Quilt Festival Fall 2014.

Learn to make the painted fabrics in this project in my mini-Whimsy class at IQF-International Quilt Festival Fall 2014.  See Thursday and Friday October 30 and 31.

Sunday, Oct. 26:  Travel from Maine to Texas.  Provided all goes well, I will not only have time to check in to the Teachers’ Room, find my shipped items and get ready for my first class on Monday, I’ll be able to get to the International Quilt Market show (already have my credentials!) to visit some friends who will be there only for Market.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, in the 500 Traditional Quilts exhibit. (c) Sarah Ann Smith.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, in the 500 Traditional Quilts exhibit. (c) Sarah Ann Smith.

Monday, Oct. 27:  I’m teaching Let’s Machine Quilt, my intro to Machine Quilting class.  Class runs from 9-5, with a two hour lunch break which I plan to spend on the show floor making more contacts at market.  When online registration closed, I think there were a couple spots left in this class.  If you’re interested, sign up at registration at Market.

Insalata, (c) Sarah Ann Smith 2014.  First major presentation in public at lecture, Tuesday, How Did She Do That?

Insalata, (c) Sarah Ann Smith 2014. First major presentation in public at lecture, Tuesday, How Did She Do That?

Tuesday, Oct. 28:  I’ll be giving my lecture, How Did She Do That?  It is a virtual trunk show of what I do and how I do it, supplemented with at least half a dozen real live quilts.   These lectures are in HUGE rooms so there is always room for more people.  I’m hoping to attend the lecture before me at 10.  Then at noon, I’ll be going to the luncheon and lecture (as will be many of the folks in my lecture).  Tuesday is the day the Market-only booths pack up and depart and the Festival-only booths arrive and begin setting up.  So I figure either the lecture will be full or empty (with folks having chosen to go off into the city or busy with booth set-up/take-down).  DO come–it’s so much more fun to talk to a room with people in it!

Haleakala Sunrise, (c) 2004 Sarah Ann Smith.  In the 500 Traditional Quilts exhibit.

Haleakala Sunrise, (c) 2004 Sarah Ann Smith. In the 500 Traditional Quilts exhibit.

Wednesday, Oct. 29:  Teaching Birch Pond Seasons, my third year in a row for this intro to art quilting and fused collage.  This is a no-sewing class and I’m thrilled to report it filled during online enrollment!  It’s my third year in a row teaching this class at Houston–so glad it works well for so many.  I encourage students to do their own thing–no copy-the-teacher stuff in my classes!

And some art cloth--this is SO not my typical, but I could see playing with surface design, a lot, to make more fabrics to use in my more typical style.  I wanted to have something totally "not me" though so that students get to try both representational and not!

And some art cloth–this is SO not my typical, but I could see playing with surface design, a lot, to make more fabrics to use in my more typical style. I wanted to have something totally “not me” though so that students get to try both representational and not!

Thursday, Oct. 30:  One of six presenters at Machine Quilting Forum (sold out) from 9-Noon.   Attending the lecture and teacher appreciation luncheon Noon to 2.  From 5-6 I will be teaching a mini-Whimsy Class at the Fiber on a Whim Booth, #144.  For more info, see  here and  here and here   There is no advance sign up–the first 8 people in line get in.  All supplies are provided by me.

In progress shot from The Nest, (c) 2014 Sarah Ann Smith.

In progress shot from The Nest, (c) 2014 Sarah Ann Smith, part of Sarah’s Whimsy Class.

Friday, Oct. 31:  From 11-Noon I’ll be teaching my mini-Whimsy Class (see Oct. 30 info and links).  Then from 5:30 to 7, I’ll be “on duty” in the Inspired by the Beatles exhibit.  In the evening, I’ll be enjoying diner the company of the marvelous artists in the Dinner@8 group.

Two of Us (c) 2013 Sarah Ann Smith.  Inspired by the Beatles challenge and exhibit.

Two of Us (c) 2013 Sarah Ann Smith. Inspired by the Beatles challenge and exhibit.

Saturday, Nov. 1:  almost first thing, I’ll be in the Machine Quilting Unlimited booth for an interview (who me?)!  I’ve written for them quite a bit back in 2008-9 and over the past 16 months.  This is one of the best magazines out there, especially if you love machine quilting, whether traditional, contemporary, modern, art….it’s a keeper!   Then I’m officially “OFF DUTY” and get to race around and see everything and everyone.

I’ve shared photos of my works on display throughout this post, but here they are in a list:

500 Traditional Quilts exhibit:

  • Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul
  • Haleakala Sunrise

Dinner@8 Reflections exhibit:

  • Eli, Cross-Country 2013

Inspired by the Beatles exhibit:

  • Two of Us (blogpost here)

Fiber on a Whim booth #144

  • The Nest
  • White-Gray-Black-Red-Gold artcloth

See you in HOUSTON!  WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!

 

 

Basting, the bane of my existence!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

I’ve read all the articles, I’ve looked at online videos and tutorials, yet basting has been the bane of my existence for rather a long time.  No matter how careful I am, how much I follow all the directions, I just never managed to get it right–until I recently found the method that works best for me.  Luckily, that happened before Machine Quilting Unlimited Magazine asked me to write an article on basting quilts!  And, drum roll, here it is, in the September/October 2014 issue (MQU is available at Barnes and Noble and other retailers, but you can order a single issue or a subscription, here–click on Order where you can select print, digital or back issues).

MQU September/October 2014

MQU September/October 2014

The article is SEVEN pages long, with lots of photos.  It opens with my newest major quilt, of Eli running at the Camden Hills course during Cross Country season last year.

My article on Basting in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

My article on Basting in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited

It also shows how I basted Joshua’s graduation quilt, 87 x 97 inches (BIG).  Even though the back was pieced and is effectively a second “front” of the quilt, I managed to quilt it with not a single tuck or “oops” on the back!  Given that the improvisational piecing was less than perfectly flat, I was elated.  I’ve finally figured it out!

I hope you’ll pick up a copy–let me know how you like the article and if you have any questions.  That’s how I figure out what to teach and what to write in my articles.  ENJOY!  Now, I’m going back to read all the other wonderful articles.  Honestly, even if I didn’t get to write for MQU every now and then, it is a great magazine, the only one that specifically addresses machine quilting as its primary focus, and one that I read cover to cover every issue.  Best of all for those not in the US, it is now available digitally so you can enjoy it without having to pay outrageously expensive international shipping (wish a couple of the Aussie and NZ magazines would do that!).