Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Teaching at Quilt Festival Houston–sign up soon

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

Online signups for classes at International Quilt Festival in Houston end on October 7th !!!!! I’d love to see you in one of my classes.  Here’s my very busy line up!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.39.58 PM

I’m thrilled to be so busy and hope to meet many of you.  Here’s a blogpost about The Nest, a new and totally fun half-day (or full day if a guild wants a full day) class, it’s a blast and the extensive kit/materials provided make it easy to prep.  I’m also teaching my intermediate/advanced Tame Fussy, Fiddly Threads for Machine Quilting class for those of you who want to learn more about the “cranky” threads–that really aren’t cranky if you just learn how to use them!

Houston has revamped the catalog a little bit. There are now (yeah!) pictures in the catalog (not just online) and there are weblinks so you can go to my website for the FULL supply list and handouts.   To shorten the process, if any of the above look good to you, you can go to my class listings page here for info about my classes.  Each description has a hotlink to the pdf Supply list.  If I have blogged about a class, that also is in the description.  You can also find all my supply lists in one place on my Resources page.  If you click on “Resources,” Look at the jump links at the top.  Click on Class Supply Lists and it will jump you down the page (instead of having to scroll down).

Here are some more blogposts about the classes I’m offering in Houston:

Decorative Stitch Applique here and here

Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag here

Can’t wait to see you in Houston!

 

A virtual visit to C3: Color, Cloth, Collage

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Well, I promised I would blog about the Artist’s Reception and take pictures.  So I remembered to take a picture of the food table (so boring it isn’t here), and as I was packing up I realized I hadn’t taken a single photo as I was busy talking with people, being the gracious hostess and…..I forgot.  But I CAN share the one photo we did get (thank you Terri Tooley!) plus the others I took not-during-the-reception.  And just for Patricia W, at long last a detail photo of the peony (OK, I was gonna share it anyway, but Patricia has asked and I’m happy to share now)!   Thank you so much to everyone who came on Thursday, has been, has visited virtually here and on Facebook, and will get here later this month.  For all the Library photos, if you click on them you can see them larger.

Click on the image to view larger!

Click on the image to view larger! I’m standing in the doorway to the Picker Room and got it all!

When I finally realized I had forgotten to take pictures, friend and fellow wrestling mom Terri Tooley was still there.  She stepped in to take a photo…Paul said, “this isn’t going to be shared is it?” to which I replied, of course it is!  So here is a RARE photo of Paul, and he’s even smiling!

Husband and wife, flanking their sons (in cloth). Both quilts were of the boys at age 16. Joshua is on the left, Eli on the right.

Husband and wife, flanking their sons (in cloth). Both quilts were of the boys at age 16. Joshua is on the left, Eli on the right.

This is the Rogue's Gallery, also known as the Family wall (and seen above). From left to right you've got Pigwidgeon (of the dog walks photos on Facebook), my hands, Joshua, Eli, me, a family "scrapbook" quilt called the Two of Us which was in the book and exhibit Inspired by the Beatles, the blue orcas quilt, an older painted silk sunset, and the "yoga" quilt.

This is the Rogue’s Gallery, also known as the Family wall (and seen above). From left to right you’ve got Pigwidgeon (of the dog walkies photos on Facebook), my hands, Joshua, Eli, me, a family “scrapbook” quilt called the Two of Us which was in the book and exhibit Inspired by the Beatles, the blue orcas quilt, an older painted silk sunset, and the “yoga” quilt. Unofficially, I am also calling this the Dinner@8 wall, since the five large pieces were all made for juried invitational exhibits put on by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal.  You can learn more about those exhibits and this year’s here.  My best work over the past six to seven years has consistently been for this exhibit, and I’m honored to be a part of it again this year.

The far wall has two small pieces and my newest, the Peony. The center is challenging to hang, since there is a TV behind the quilt that is used a couple times a month, but it is THE most eye-catching spot.

The far wall has two small pieces and my newest, the Peony. The center is challenging to hang, since there is a TV behind the quilt that is used a couple times a month, but it is THE most eye-catching spot.

Detail, Peony. I think I need to take more and better detail shots!

Detail, Peony. I think I need to take more and better detail shots!  I believe I used 12 pinks, a white, and a couple variegated greens in this quilt.

The left wall as you enter is the second most visible spot after over-the-piano/in-front-of-the-tv. I knew I wanted my labyrinth, Descended From the Stars, to anchor that wall. This side of the room is really about my life, and my life in Maine.

The left wall as you enter is the second most visible spot after over-the-piano/in-front-of-the-tv. I knew I wanted my labyrinth, Descended From the Stars, to anchor that wall. This side of the room is really about my life, and my life in Maine and nature.

Between the entrance and the mini kitchen area, is a cabinet with a bit of wall.

Between the entrance and the mini kitchen area, is a cabinet with a bit of wall.

In the case, I put a few of the many books and magazines in which I have been published inside the case, along with my book ThreadWork Unraveled, my DVD workshop, patterns, some class samples and smaller pieces.

In the case, I put a few of the many books and magazines in which I have been published inside the case, along with my book ThreadWork Unraveled, my DVD workshop, patterns, some class samples and smaller pieces.

So there we are!

Thanks to all who could come in person, and to all who are visiting virtually.   I’m so delighted, relieved it looks good, and pleased.  Thank you to the Camden Public Library and Ken Gross, who is in charge of the exhibits among many other duties, for this opportunity. Thanks go to Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison of Dinner@8 Artists for the opportunity to create works for their fabulous juried exhibits.

And last but decidedly not least and so very important, MANY thanks to the companies whose products I use and who have supported me over the years including  MistyFuse, Janome America and Superior Threads.  I couldn’t do what I do without quality materials and machines!   I appreciate your support and encouragement more than you can know.

You’re Invited! An Artist’s Reception for C3: Color, Cloth, Collage

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

You’re invited to the Artist’s Reception for my first solo exhibit, C3:  Color, Cloth, Collage, at the Camden Public Library’s beautiful Picker Room, on Thursday, September 8th, 2016, from 4-6 pm.  There will be light refreshments and I’ll be happy to answer questions about my work.  I hope to see some of you there, and yes, for those of you at the other end of the ether I will post pictures (probably on Friday).

I'd love for anyone in the area to join me this Thursday, September 8, from 4-6 pm

I’d love for anyone in the area to join me this Thursday, September 8, from 4-6 pm

Thrilled with how the exhibit looks as you walk in!

The artwork of Sarah Ann Smith.  Thrilled with how the exhibit looks as you walk in!

And some verbiage about the exhibit and my work.

And some verbiage about the exhibit and my work. Click to view slightly larger.

 

The Nest: a new approach to surface design

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

For most folks who are in to surface design, the surface design is the goal.  For me, the surface design is to create cloth to use in my collaged artwork.  Rather than hunt (and hunt and hunt) for fabric that works, I make my own, using both my own hand-dyed fabrics and commercial fabrics, especially batiks.  In my new class, The Nest, I teach this project as a way to learn several surface design techniques and get you started.  I’ll be teaching this class for the first time (officially) at International Quilt Festival, Houston (class link here) on Thursday afternoon, Class 496.

The main class project for my class The Nest:  a new approach to surface design.

The main class project for my class The Nest: a new approach to surface design.  Right click photo to view a bit larger.

I provide a kit (with a fee) with paint, brush; hand-dyed floss, perle cotton and cheesecloth; Sarah’s custom thermofax screen (yours to keep) and more.  You provide the fabric and willingness to play!  The class can be either half or full day; in Houston, it is a half day class.
Since Houston is THE big quilting event in the world, it pays to prepare, so thanks to my local peeps, I did a “test run” on the class to work out timing and make sure everything was clear.   THANK YOU to my Coastal Quilters for helping me out…you were great, and the class helped me immensely (like I can only fit two projects, not 3, in a 3-hour class!).

aside

A detail of the project, and some intermediate steps

Step one in the class is to get your paint!

Step one in the class is to get your paint!  You can see a thermofax screen soaking in the basin.

Step one is to print your plain cloth with my custom Queen Anne's Lace screen.

Step one is to print your plain cloth with my custom Queen Anne’s Lace screen.

You can go wild and make this project totally your own

You can go wild and make this project totally your own

Or you can follow the project.  This student is on her second layer, starting to create her nest.

Or you can follow the project. This student is on her second layer, starting to create her nest.

While the paint dries on the Nest, you work on a “free play” exercise, then switch back and forth as the layers dry.  You can make your own stamps (supplies provided), use materials I bring to share, or bring your own from home.

Student stamps.  I think I need to make a flying geese stamp!

Student stamps. I think I need to make a flying geese stamp!

I LOVE this student piece.  It would work perfectly as a background or cut and used in a naturescape.

I LOVE this student piece. It would work perfectly as a background or cut and used in a naturescape.

And another layer.  You can go as simple or as busy as you like.

And another layer. You can go as simple or as busy as you like.

Jim Vander Noot is an experienced art quilter and I LOVE this layered piece.  He began with writing, then added the thermofax screen of keys (from Lyric Kinard, LyricKinard.com, she also makes custom screens)

Jim Vander Noot is an experienced art quilter and I LOVE this layered piece. He began with writing, then added the thermofax screen of keys (from Lyric Kinard, LyricKinard.com, she also makes custom screens)

Jim added more layering, and here's the last time I saw this.  LOVE IT.

Jim added more layering, and 

here's the last time I saw this. LOVE IT.

here’s the last time I saw this. LOVE IT.

My thermofax screen designs are available at Fiber on a Whim, I’ll have some for sale in class, and Jan Girod and Kristin Rodriguez (who are Fiber on a Whim) will be vending in a booth on the show floor at Houston.  Artists have my complete permission to use my screens in their artwork, including works that will be sold or exhibited (but of course you can’t copy my designs and sell them…you know how it works!).

Student 1

Student 1, work in progress–if any of my CQ peeps remember whose work this is, please let me know so I can attribute it!

Student 2, work in progress

Student 2, work in progress

Student 3, Linda Satkowski finished her nest!

Student 3, Linda Satkowski finished her nest!I love the fluffy white wool bits that totally look like feathers.  One student even suggested you can BUY feathers–they are readily available at stores that supply fly fishermen.  COOL idea!  Thank you so much Linda for finishing this and letting me share it.  GREAT job!

So I hope you’ll be inspired by my local quilty friends–I sure am!   And I hope you’ll be able to join me in Houston (or have your guild hire me to come to teach YOU at home!).  See you in November!

 

 

 

 

Descended From the Stars, Part 3

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

When I left on in my last post about this quilt, I had shared the dyeing process and the stones and lettering.   Next, I fused trees in the four seasons into the corners.  I distorted the shape so the tree canopy served as a frame.  I had thought initially I might need an inner border, perhaps couched yarn or stitching of some sort, but the shape of the tree worked so well I didn’t need anything extra.   As I did with the stones, I cut out leaves, LOTS of leaves, separating the colors into the ice cube tray so I could place them carefully.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.  Each of the leaves is free-motion stitched with several rounds of thread on each leaf.  The nice part about doing this at the top stage is that I could use the scissors on my Janome 15000.  I didn’t have to bury thread tails!

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

I did the stitching around the stones and on the trees, including the leaves, at the top stage with stabilizer underneath.  (See my post here to learn more about my current article for Machine Quilting Unlimited on the Fourth Layer–stabilizer– for densely thread painted quilts.)  I removed the stabilizer everywhere except for under the center because I knew I would want to quilt that area more densely than the rest of the quilt.

Here

Here I have begun quilting.  You can see the custom-dyed cotton duck on the back.  The use of heavier cloth helps keep the quilt flat and stable; it also helps minimize shrinkage.  The final piece had to be 40 x 40 inches, and I wanted to have a balanced amount of blue on both sides of the lettering, so I needed to control the shrinkage that happens with dense quilting.

Next,

asdfa

Superior Threads (Thank you Bob and Heather Purcell!) has come out with some tone-on-tone variegated threads.   I have been pestering Bob for YEARS to make threads like these as I prefer blendy to contrasty.  I ordered up all of the new earth-tone blendy variegateds in the Fantastico line and used them.  I began with a light green blend in the first row around the sun, switched to another in the next to rings, and then a third in the fourth ring that you see here.  If you look at the left, you can see how I snuck some of the current thread color into the next ring to get even more color blending.

Then, I had to decide what threads to use in the dark areas.  My sewing tables (two back to back) are each 24 inches, so I have a nice, HUGE flat surface to support the quilt as I work.

asdf

Choosing thread:  dark, pine-y green and deep blue.

With all the manipulation, I realized that some of the ink had rubbed off, despite being REALLY careful to heat set it according to directions.  I wrote immediately to friends Judy Coates Perez and Susan Brubaker Knapp to seek guidance.  Judy had only used the regular colors, not the metallics.  And Susan had an article in the just-out issue of Quilting Arts about lettering, including these inks!  She too discovered that the metallics seem to “shed” a bit.

After quiting, some of the bling had rubbed off my quilt, so I had to do it AGAIN!

After quiting, some of the bling had rubbed off my quilt, so I had to do it AGAIN!  You can see where I have inked over the letters and what is left to re-do.

After re-inking and heat setting, I tested on my scrap cloth several products to seal the ink including GAC 900 (a textile medium that one adds to paint), a UV Coating, matte gel medium, and Krylon Spray Fixative which says it is acid-free, archival and safe on fabric.  Only the Krylon didn’t leave tell-tale signs that it had been used.  So I carefully masked off the rest of the quilt, leaving only the lettering area exposed and sprayed the Krylon on it (stinky!) in hopes that will help prevent the mica flakes in the gold ink from coming off.

I was nearly done, except that I didn’t really care for the multiple layers of thread I had used stitching the sun.  Picking it out did NOT appeal to me.  So I trekked down to Clementine fabrics in Rockland and bought some perle cotton in the right color.

I wasn't happy with the way the stitching looked, so I couched perle cotton on top of the outline of the sun.  MUCH better!  You can see the difference in this half-way-through shot.

I wasn’t happy with the way the stitching looked, so I couched perle cotton on top of the outline of the sun. MUCH better! You can see the difference in this half-way-through shot.

At last, it was nearly DONE!  Time for facings, sleeve and label.

The back side of the quilt.  By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

The back side of the quilt. By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

And I couldn’t resist the temptation to place a moon behind the sun as my label.  One more time with the dip pen!

The End--the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

The End–the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

This quilt will be for sale–another reason I opted to not include a lot of personal details in the quilt.   As I said before, I am happy!