Archive for the ‘International Quilt Festival’ Category

500 Traditional Quilts, published again!

Monday, September 15th, 2014

What a THRILL!   I’ve been published many times now (how lucky am I?!!!), but I am elated to share that I my traditional quilting has also made the cut.  I have three quilts in 500 Traditional Quilts, juried by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, founder and CEO of Quilts, Inc., and founder and Director Emeritus of International Quilt Festival.  The book is part of Lark Book’s “500 Series,” and I was proud to be included also in 500 Art Quilts. You can find 500 Traditional Quilts here (on Amazon, available other places too) and 500 Art Quilts here.  My blogpost about 500 Art Quilts is here.  What is so wonderful is that I made the cut in blind jurying:  that means the juror has no idea who made which quilt, you are juried in on the basis of the quality of the quilt.

I'm in 500 Traditional Quilts, Karey Patterson Bresenhan, juror.  Well, three of my QUILTS are in this book, not me!

I’m in 500 Traditional Quilts, Karey Patterson Bresenhan, juror. Well, three of my QUILTS are in this book, not me!

My three quilts included in this book are From the Schooner Coast, Haleakala Sunrise and Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul.  Avid quilters will recognize the works and names of many of the quilting world’s top traditional quilters, so I am particularly honored that three of my quilts made the cut.  Even better, the two Hawaiian-style quilts of mine will be in an exhibit of selected works from this book that will debut at International Quilt Market and Festival this October-November.  For me, this is huge: my work meets the standards for publication and exhibiting at what is probably the most prestigious quilt show in the world.  WOW!

The theme for this spread is clearly sailing ships.  Mine is the blue one in the middle, with a detail of the quilting no less!  This quilt is called From The Schooner Coast.

The theme for this spread is clearly sailing ships. Mine is the blue one in the middle, with a detail of the quilting no less! This quilt is called From The Schooner Coast.

 

Any reader of this blog will immediately recognize my Haleakala Sunrise quilt which is the background for this website.  I just love bright, clear "Caribbean" colors.  This was my first original Hawaiian-style design, and I still love it and Hawaiian quilts in general.

Any reader of this blog will immediately recognize my Haleakala Sunrise quilt which is the background for this website. I just love bright, clear “Caribbean” colors. This was my first original Hawaiian-style design, and I still love it and Hawaiian quilts in general.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, is on the left.  I made this quilt to be in my Threadwork Unraveled book, a "bible" of thread used on/in a sewing machine.  Due to length, we ended up cutting the applique section out of the book, but I remember finishing the design for the center block while sitting on the floor of Joshua's hospital room in 2007 after he was hit by a car (and it's somewhere back in the July/Aug 2007 blogposts!).  So glad he is completely well, doing well, the book did great, and my quilting career actually exists!

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, is on the left. I made this quilt to be in my Threadwork Unraveled book, a “bible” of thread used on/in a sewing machine. Due to length, we ended up cutting the applique section out of the book, but I remember finishing the design for the center block while sitting on the floor of Joshua’s hospital room in 2007 after he was hit by a car (and it’s somewhere back in the July/Aug 2007 blogposts!). So glad he is completely well, doing well, the book did great, and my quilting career actually exists!

I have to be honest:  I have not “read” this entire book, yet.  This is a book to be savored. Dip into it, browse the beauty in its pages.   Yes, I am an art quilter.  But first and foremost I am a quilter, and these quilts are art even though they are traditional–I love ALL types of quilting.  Karey called these quilts “the crème to la crème of traditional quiltmaking today.”   I can’t wait to see the exhibit of selected quilts from the book in Houston (I’m teaching again this year, but blessedly have a couple days to be a civilian and just enjoy the show).   Hope to see you there!

 

I’m back, and I’ll be teaching at IQF Houston!

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Hi all…a quick note to let you know Eli and I are home from England, over 2000 photos later!  I promise I’ll share some but not ALL of the photos.  In the meantime, I wanted to share with you that I’m once again teaching in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  To find out about online enrollment, which is now open, click here or in the link in the sidebar to the left. Here’s what I’ll be teaching:

Monday, October 27, All Day Class #128:  Let’s Machine Quilt–an intro to machine quilting, all day class, machines provided

Let's Machine Quilt class sample

Let’s Machine Quilt class sample–Right click to view larger

Coral Free-motion Quilting Sample, Click to view larger

Coral Free-motion Quilting Sample, Click to view larger

Tuesday, October 28, Lecture #254:  How Did She Do That?  A lecture and digital presentation supplemented with in-the-cloth quilts sharing how I go from idea to image to quilt.  At 11:00, ending just in time to attend the Noon Luncheon.

SASmithAmaryllis1400Full

Wednesday, October 29, All Day Class #339:  Birch Pond Seasons, an introduction to fusible applique and art quilting.  This is a fusing and design/composition class with no sewing.  You can see the pattern (which is included in the kit fee along with MistyFuse) here.  You can see a class in progress on this blogpost, and at the bottom of this post which includes a lovely winter version. This is the third year in a row that IQF has booked this class for Wednesday–yeah!

Thursday, October 30, Morning Event #460:  Machine Quilting Forum (alas, already full), with four other machine quilters where we each give a presentation to the full group.  Then you have about 20 minutes for a quick demo or lecture with each of us–think of it as speed-dating for quilters.

Thursday and/or Friday:  one hour SMALL demo/kit/hand-on class in the Fiber-on-a-Whim booth!   Exact one-hour class (at one end of the booth) to be determined, but likely printing with thermofax screens.  Class fee will include fabric, paint, paint brush to use and use of my thermofax screen(s) to make some printed fabric to take home.  More details to come!

Welcome Albus, the 15000!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
An old/new project

An old/new project

Quite a number of years ago, before I taught at my first national-level show, I had a rare opportunity in about 2007.   Dianne Hire, author, teacher, quilter, artist, gardener, lives nearby me here in Maine.   Alas, she hurt her back–badly–just a wrong move picking up a light stick.   And she was scheduled to teach at her favorite retreat in just a few days.  She needed someone to drive her and help schlep all the teacher stuff.  Luckily for me, my name came up as one of two folks who might be able to help her.  The other person couldn’t do it, so I finally got to meet Dianne (we have a mutual friend but had never met) and in the one week of summer where I could take a break from Paul and the boys and go.  So I drove her to Paul Smith’s College (!!! Yep, can you believe it, a college with that name in upstate NY near Lake Placid) and got to sit in and take all her classes.   I began this project back then, but never finished it though I always liked it.

Another bit of astounding good luck:  I’ve been affiliated with Janome America in their artists and teachers program for a decade now.  Can you believe it?  I can’t, but they seem to be happy with me and willing to keep me on.   I had never really wanted or liked the high end machines that do fancy embroidery software etc.  Then at International Quilt Festival in Houston last year I taught a class in a room with Janome’s new top of the line machine, the 15000.   WOWIE ZOWIE is it a BEAST!  And much easier to use with all sorts of cool features.   Even more astounding, Janome is lending me one!   Here it is, newly set up in my studio:

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, because the Janome 15000 is of course the great White Wizard, the most powerful wizard ever

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, because the Janome 15000 is of course the great White Wizard, the most powerful wizard ever

I decided to finish the quilt above (I won’t show the whole thing because Dianne is working on a book with the pattern) as my first project on the machine so I could get to learn the machine and make friends with it.  THEN I’ll move on to the Embroidery function learning curve!  Here are some close ups of the fantastic satin stitching I’ve achieved on this beauty!  I was able to taper (adjust) the width of the stitch as I stitched to get smooth thicks and thins in the satin stitched line.  WOOT!

Satin stitched, quilted, then the applique was outlined to make it pop.

Satin stitched, quilted, then the applique was outlined to make it pop. The large motif in the center is stitched in the ditch, but the motifs in on the right aren’t yet outlined.  It really makes a difference!

And my border design

And my border design.  Here, the motifs on the right are outlined, the ones on the left are not.  The ones on the left kinda ripple.  By outlining, you really define and refine the shape.  Getting the tension just perfect was a bit fiddly.  I have found that the more complicated the machine, the more delicate they are in their settings.  Once you get them set, they are perfection, but you really need to understand your machine, be patient, and get to learn and know the way the machine works.  So often I hear students say “my machine won’t do that.”  Most of the time, I regret to say, it is operator error–not taking the time to learn and be patient.  So I am telling myself just that and hoping for LOTS of time in the near future to get to do that learning!

MASSIVE thanks to Janome America for their continuing generosity with me.   I hope to be able to give back to them and make some awesome, award-worthy quilts on this beauteous wizard of a machine!

Reflections, Eli and the whooshing sound of time disappearing

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

I am delighted to report that I will have a quilt in this year’s Dinner@8 exhibit, Reflections, which will debut at International Quilt Festival, Houston, in October 2014. I’m honored and humbled to be in such company as the other artists included, many of whom I know and am happy to call friend.

Eli, Cross Country 2014 (c) SarahAnnSmith.com

Eli, Cross Country 2014
(c) SarahAnnSmith.com

This year’s challenge was to make a 24″ wide by 60″ long art quilt to the theme of Reflections.  Curators Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison wrote:

A mirror image. A response to a thought or word. A memory. What glints back at us as we gaze upon the water. The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.  What will your reflection reveal about you?

For more information, visit their website, here.

For once in my life, I decided not to be literal.  Instead I thought about our sons.  Four years ago, for one of these exhibits, I made a portrait of Joshua playing his guitar.  Now, at the same age, I wanted to portray Eli, who is an honor student and star athlete.  Though his “first” sport is wrestling, it doesn’t really play well with a long and narrow format!  BUT, running does.  So I chose cross country season!

For my entry, I wrote something along these lines:  When I reflect on how fast time has passed by, I am nearly paralyzed.  Like me, Eli prefers to “Do,” not ponder.   At sixteen, he is literally and figuratively running headlong into his future.

For this piece I dyed the red fabrics (same batch as those used for the amaryllis quilt–clever how I managed that one, eh?) and some of the ground and foliage fabrics.  The remainder are commercial batiks.  As usual, I have quilted it very closely.  I hope to share more details with you on that.  For now, here’s a detail photo.

Detail, Eli, Cross Country 2013. (C) 2014 SarahAnnSmith.com

Detail, Eli, Cross Country 2013.
(C) 2014 SarahAnnSmith.com

 

Coming to a show near you!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Wow… this is fun:  I am shipping out FOUR quilts to various shows and exhibits today!   The first one to go on display is Conversations 1, at the big AQS show in Paducah!  Then two are going off to be in the Traditional Treasures special exhibit for the International Quilt Festivals in Chicago and (in fall) Houston, and then the pug-love is headed off to a round of exhibits with Mary Wilson Kerr’s Dare to Dance exhibit!

Conversations 1 is going to Paducah!

Conversations 1 is going to Paducah!

Next on the exhibit trail is Mr. Wiggles Does the Circle Dance.  This portrait of Pigwidgeon’s joy when getting his supper is in Mary Wilson Kerr’s soon-to-be-available book and exhibit “Dare to Dance:  An Artist’s Interpretation of Joy.”  You can read more about the exhibit and where it is going here.  This quilt is going to log a LOT of miles, starting in West Virginia, heading to MANY Sew Expo’s, MANY Mancuso shows and will return home after (get this!) two and half years on the road!   Wave hullo to our beloved pug when you see him!

Mr. Wiggles Does the Circle Dance is going on the road!  If you look closely (at least in person) you can see below the bowl that I'm asking him "Are you hungry?"  That questions sets off the dance which begins with three (always three, only three) counter-clockwise (same direction always) circles.  He then runs behind your legs and bumps you in the direction of the closet which holds the kibble!

Mr. Wiggles Does the Circle Dance is going on the road! If you look closely (at least in person) you can see below the bowl that I’m asking him “Are you hungry?” That questions sets off the dance which begins with three (always three, only three) counter-clockwise (same direction always) circles. He then runs behind your legs and bumps you in the direction of the closet which holds the kibble!

Then, to my utter astonishment and complete delight, I have TWO quilts that made it into a **traditional** exhibit at International Quilt Festival, the Traditional Treasures that will debut in Chicago in June and return again in Houston.  This is the first time I’ve had traditional quilts juried in to a major national show, and I am elated!

This may be one of my favorite quilts.  It is inspired by a beer carton (for our grocery challenge, see blogposts here).  I revised the harbor to be Camden and the schooner to be the Louis B French.  The miniature storm at sea is mostly from a John Flynn quilt kit, with the small square in a square finishing at (EEEK) 1 1/8".  At least when I pieced them accurately!  Finished size is 20 1/2" square.

This may be one of my favorite quilts. It is inspired by a beer carton (for our grocery challenge, see blogposts here and here). I revised the harbor to be Camden, Maine, and the schooner to be the Louis B French. The miniature storm at sea is mostly from a John Flynn quilt kit, with the small square in a square finishing at (EEEK) 1 1/8″. At least when I pieced them accurately! Finished size is 20 1/2″ square.  This quilt and the next one will also (yippeee!) be included in Lark’s forthcoming 500 Traditional Quilts book!

And my Hawaiian inspired quilt, Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, will also be in IQF’s Traditional Treasures.  There are apparently only 25 quilts in this exhibit, so I am totally gobsmacked and humbled to have two quilts included.  Nourish is 64 inches square, is available as a pattern, and is the basis of my Hawaiian Applique by Machine class:

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, by Sarah Ann Smith.  The blocks are either food (taro, pineapple or breadfruit) or things that are beautiful:  the plumeria with its heavenly scent and the bird of paradise.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, by Sarah Ann Smith. The blocks are either food (taro, pineapple or breadfruit) or things that are beautiful: the plumeria with its heavenly scent and the bird of paradise.

Have lots of things to share, but am so busy I don’t have much time to blog!  Will try to post again in a couple of days!