Archive for the ‘Be Happy!’ Category

On the Glorious Color Blog

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

WOOT!   My quilt for Joshua caught the eye of the Glorious Color Blogger, so of COURSE I said yes they could include it in a blogpost!  Glorious Color is the source of all things related to the Kaffe Fassett collective, so you can buy fabric (and more fabric), books, and all sorts of goodies.   Anyway, they’ve done an entire POST on diamonds, starting with Marilyn Monroe–check it out here (PS…you have to scroll down a LONG way to see the quilt!).  Here’s a photo I took and shared not long ago:

It's a miracle...it's not even a full year after Joshua graduated and got his GED and his quilt is DONE!

It’s a miracle…it’s not even a full year after Joshua graduated and got his GED and his quilt is DONE!

As you might guess by my silence, I’m madly working away on a quilt for a deadline.  As soon as I surface I’ll be back.

Thanks Glorious Color for liking my quilt enough to feature it on the blog!

Filming 3 segments for Quilting Arts TV! Part 2

Friday, April 4th, 2014

This post continues my earlier one, here, about taping three segments at Quilting Arts TV Series 1400, which will begin to air in July 2014 in the US on PBS.  For information on how to see this show, please check my earlier post.

With Susan Brubaker Knapp, the new host of Quilting Arts TV,on the set (you can see the top edge of the set in the background)!

With Susan Brubaker Knapp, the new host of Quilting Arts TV,on the set (you can see the top edge of the set in the background)!

My three segments are episode 2 (gifts), 5, and 12 (I think).  The topics are:

  1. My Inside-Out Bag with Easy-Peasy zipper (with a web-extra pattern/instruction on the steps to make the bag–when the episode airs and the instructions are available online, I’ll share here and on my Resources page),
  2. Thread and Needles
  3. Free-Motion Quilting
Getting ready to roll tape for my first segment on Quilting Arts TV, Series 1400.  I show you how to make my incredibly versatile Inside-Out Bag so you can customize size, pockets, techniques for the outside (pieced, applique, surface design).  The bag is quick and easy so it also makes a great special gift.

Getting ready to roll tape for my first segment on Quilting Arts TV, Series 1400. (and yes, you saw this photo in the last post!) I show you how to make my incredibly versatile Inside-Out Bag so you can customize size, pockets, techniques for the outside (pieced, applique, surface design). The bag is quick and easy so it also makes a great special gift.

The bag demonstrated is the one on the right.  If you LOVE that ribbon, it is made by Renaissance Ribbons.  I used about 24 inches to make this bag, and the ribbon is (YIPPEEE) available here.   In the bag on the left, which has both bluebird fabric and ribbon, I used their birds ribbon which is  still available.  Can you tell I love it? My favorite ribbon designers are Phillip Jacobs, Laura Foster Nicholson and Sue Spargo, but there is a LOT of ribbon to swoon over on this site!  Sue Spargo, by the way, has some “supporting cast” narrow ribbons that are fab!

At the start of a segment, the producer sets things out on the table so they look good.  And you get fitted for a mike.  I knew the mike would distort the neckline of my blouse, so

I suggested to the audio guy (whom I had just met about a minute before) that we could perhaps pin it to my bra strap.

I suggested to the audio guy (whom I had just met about a minute before) that we could perhaps pin it to my bra strap.

At that point…hilarity ensued:

Then I said, gosh, how am I going to explain to my husband that I asked a guy I met moments earlier to play with my bra strap!  Thanks Kristine for this great shot (yes, she was there with multiple cameras around neck and cell phones opened to camera mode on the table!)

Then I said, gosh, how am I going to explain to my husband that I asked a guy I met moments earlier to play with my bra strap! Thanks Kristine for this great shot (yes, she was there with multiple cameras around neck and cell phones opened to camera mode on the table!)

Here's another great shot for that first segment--this may be the best current photo there is of me!  Good make-up (hides much, so does not standing in profile to show the chin and neck!)

Here’s another great shot for that first segment–this may be the best current photo there is of me! Good make-up (hides much, so does not standing in profile to show the chin and neck!)  And I gotta say, I wasn’t nervous because having a friend as host made me SO comfortable with the process.  Having done the DVD in Colorado last year also helped a ton!   I knew what to expect:  be prepared and know that the cast and crew and all the Interweave folks are SUPERB!

Then

Time for a wardrobe change and getting re-fitted with the tiny mike.  It picked up the sound well I guess, as we didn't have ANY do-overs, but the prongs definitely pricked--like staples poking into you--because the backing tape moved.

Time for a wardrobe change and getting re-fitted with the tiny mike. It picked up the sound well I guess, as we didn’t have ANY do-overs, but the prongs definitely pricked–like staples poking into you–because the backing tape moved.

And here’s the requisite on-set shot for segment two.   Bought the blouse–sandwashed silk and YUMMY–at Coyote Moon in Belfast, Maine, on sale!  the week before taping.   I don’t usually wear colors this dark near my face, but just loved this blouse.

On the set.  We've changed clothes for a different episode of QA TV.

On the set. We’ve changed clothes for a different episode of QA TV.

Next, the final segment:

With Susan Brubaker Knapp, the new host of Quilting Arts TV,on the set (you can see the top edge of the set in the background)!

With Susan Brubaker Knapp, the new host of Quilting Arts TV,on the set.  Bought my top from Brie Kriebel at Quilt Festival Houston in 2013.  I think my first stop at Festival this coming year is going to be her booth!   Bought my button necklace at Festival several years ago.  Can you see I’m relaxing as we get farther along?

Yeah!  I was still there when Lyric Kinard arrived!  Does ANYone have such an infectious, impish smile?

Yeah! I was still there when Lyric Kinard arrived! Does ANYone have such an infectious, impish smile as Lyric?  I’m lucky to have run into Lyric many times at assorted teaching venues and shows.  We took turns looking first at my phone camera, then hers to take this tandem-selfie!

And then it was time to pack up and head home.   I had realized shortly before leaving for Ohio that a student in an online drawing class I’m taking (we’ve taken several from Val Webb, teacher extraordinaire) lives the other half of her year in Ohio.  We’ve met here in Maine (she lives several hours from me, but four of us met up in a middle-zone place); it turns out I was going to pass by her exit on the way home, so we got to meet for a late afternoon sip before I started racking up the miles to go home:

Carole Jurack came to meet me at the McDonalds at exit 200 in Ohio on I-90.   What fun!

Carole Jurack came to meet me at the McDonalds at exit 200 in Ohio on I-90. What fun!  It was great to see you, Carole.  Here’s to sketching at the Botanical Garden in June.

So now all we need to do is wait for the series to air!  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, I’ve unpacked, slept, started to catch up on my online classes, and get ready for the next round of articles to write and quilts to quilt.  It is going to be busy in April and May!

Filming 3 segments for Quilting Arts TV! Part 1

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

WOWIE what a wonderful thing!   In February, when my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp was tapped to take over the hosting duties for Quilting Arts TV when Pokey Bolton stepped down (Pokey is now the Chief Creative Officer for Quilts, Inc., the wonderful folks that bring us Quilt-Mecca aka International Quilt Festival), Susan asked me if I would like to be on the show!  YOU BETCHA!   And what a wonderful six weeks it has been, prepping step-outs and samples and driving to Ohio to tape the three segments.

Getting ready to roll tape for my first segment on Quilting Arts TV, Series 1400.  I show you how to make my incredibly versatile Inside-Out Bag so you can customize size, pockets, techniques for the outside (pieced, applique, surface design).  The bag is quick and easy so it also makes a great special gift.

Getting ready to roll tape for my first segment on Quilting Arts TV, Series 1400.  On set with host Susan Brubaker Knapp.  I show you how to make my incredibly versatile Inside-Out Bag so you can customize size, pockets, techniques for the outside (pieced, applique, surface design). The bag is quick and easy so it also makes a great special gift.

If any of you are on Facebook, you may have seen the images Susan, Vivika Hansen DeNegre (executive Editor for Quilting Arts), I and other guests have posted, but here are some more.  And one of the best parts is, just like Houston, getting to meet folks in person that you first met online.   Jeannie Cook-Delpit of Bernina was there to help with the machines, and Sue Reno and I taped the same day so it was a blast to meet her.   Sue appears to do things the way I do:  be prepared to the max and pack in tons of great information. Sue also taped a DVD workshop on her cyanotype process that I know is going to be great!  I’m so looking forward to seeing Series 1400 which will begin airing on PBS in July.

First:  many thanks to Pokey Chatham Bolton, an amazing woman with vision and talent and drive:  who knew when she fell in love with crazy quilting and started a magazine in the back of her in-law’s sheep barn that Quilting Arts would become what it is today! I spoke with her after finding Issue #2 on the stand and called up to subscribe!  What a long way you’ve come and how much you have accomplished, Pokey!

Second:  many thanks to the sponsors of the show including Bernina of America, Coats and Clark, Havel’s Scissors and AQS.  THANK YOU for bringing this show to the happy quilters of the world!

I'm somewhere near the Pennsylvania-New York border on the Thruway driving toward Solon, Ohio (near Cleveland) where the show tapes.  I chose to drive rather than fly--I hate airports!  It didn't take much longer than flying, I could take everything with me, and listen to audio books en route.

I’m somewhere near the Pennsylvania-New York border on the Thruway driving toward Solon, Ohio (near Cleveland) where the show tapes. I chose to drive rather than fly–I hate airports! It didn’t take much longer than flying, I could take everything with me, and listen to audio books en route.

The trip from Maine to Ohio was 835 miles each way, so a full day and a half.  I left at 8 a.m. Tuesday and arrived in Ohio just in time for lunch.

This unassuming door is the entrance to the company (owned by a woman--YEAH!) that films and produces the show.  Well organized, lots of good pre-taping information and support--great staff!  Thank you Kathie, Katherine and all the crew that make us look good.

This unassuming door is the entrance to the company (owned by a woman–YEAH!) that films and produces the show. Well organized, lots of good pre-taping information and support–great staff! Thank you Kathie, Katherine and all the crew that make us look good.

Susan Brubaker Knapp is a wonderful artist, teacher, mother, friend, and she is going to be WONDERFUL as host.  They are keeping the format the same in general, but introducing a few small changes, first among them is that instead of three segments in a half hour, there will sometimes be two longer segments so we can share more in-depth information.  Susan is handling the chaos of taping with aplomb, asking great questions, and I couldn’t have felt more relaxed or comfortable with Susan, Vivika, Helen Gregory (now VP for Content at F+W/Interweave) and Kristine Lunblad of Quilting Arts.  Thank you to Kristine for taking all of these photos…it was so funny:  she’d have three cameras around her neck and as many phones to take the requisite “on set” photos for each segment.

TV lights do weird things to make up, so when taping for TV or a DVD workshop, a professional comes in to do your make up so you look good on camera.  Thank you Sue, because you succeeded!  Here I am taking a sorta blurry selfie after Sue worked her magic at the make-up/hair station.

TV lights do weird things to make up, so when taping for TV or a DVD workshop, a professional comes in to do your make up so you look good on camera. Thank you Sue, because you succeeded! Here I am taking a sorta blurry selfie after Sue worked her magic at the make-up/hair station.

The guests (meaning those of us on the show) were invited to bring outfit changes for our different episodes  They film 12 or 13 episodes at a time.  If you’ve seen the show in the past, you know Pokey had on a different outfit in each episode.  But the guests are in multiple episodes, and they all tape the same day.  So Susan had to change about a thousand times (well maybe five to seven) a day.  They have a bulletin board up with photos of Susan in outfit and jewelry, with “Day 1,”  “Day 2″ et cetera, so they could keep track of what she needed to be wearing for which segment/episode.  So I went in and looked at the photos to pick which of my tops to wear so we’d look good together.

Some of the trays for my segments:  the rear three are for the bags (the last tray is all the different bags I've made with this method), plus the one for the thread-needles segment.

Some of the trays for my segments: the rear three are for the bags (the last tray is all the different bags I’ve made with this method), plus the one for the thread-needles segment.  PS:  Marie Z. J.:  see your black-white-gray thread-catcher bag on the second tray?  I love it so much I brought it to use on set!

On the day I arrived, I set out all my stuff for the segments on trays (like great big sheet cake pans).  I guess I had a lot for the bags segment, as one staffer asked if I was taping a workshop (60-75 minutes) as well as a segment (mine were 10-12 minutes each). Hmmm.  Over-prepared?

And the last tray, for my free-motion quilting segment on taking the leap from walking foot to beginner designs.   Thanks to Jenny Bowker (blog here) for allowing me to adapt one of her teaching methods and share the way I teach it on the episode.  While we're speaking of Jenny, she has just undergone surgery for breast cancer in her Australian homeland.  Let's all send MASSIVE healing light and comfort and "nuke the cancer into oblivion" thoughts to speed along her recovery.  Go, JENNY!

And the last tray, for my free-motion quilting segment on taking the leap from walking foot to beginner designs. Thanks to Jenny Bowker (website here) for allowing me to adapt one of her teaching methods and share the way I teach it on the episode. While we’re speaking of Jenny, she has just undergone surgery for breast cancer in her Australian homeland. Let’s all send MASSIVE healing light and comfort and “nuke the cancer into oblivion” thoughts to speed along her recovery. Go, JENNY!

And my suitcase, emptied of projects but with a few quilts to decorate the set still inside.  And my take-with-me electric kettle which I take when driving.  Nothing like a relaxing cup of decaf tea (made properly with boiling water!) at the end of a long teaching day on the road!

And my suitcase, emptied of projects but with a few quilts to decorate the set still inside. And my take-with-me electric kettle which I take when driving. Nothing like a relaxing cup of decaf tea (made properly with boiling water!) at the end of a long teaching day on the road!

To close, a special Thank-you to hubby, who totally didn’t mind that I spent our 31st anniversary driving to Ohio and setting up my trays!

Next blogpost:  Taping my segments on Thursday!

A note:  where I live in rural Maine, alas we don’t get QA TV on our local PBS affiliate.   In some markets, the creative shows are on a PBS spin-off channel called CREATE TV.   If you get your TV on cable, you will likely be able to catch the show on air.   We have DirectTV, and alas no joy.  But you will be able to purchase the entire series or individual episodes (download only on the latter) once the series airs.

Gouache, Birthday Boy, Snow, and Thread

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Just a quickie catch-up post!   I’ll have some great news to share in a couple of weeks about what has been keeping me busier than my usual busy.   But I’ve also managed to squeeze in a few other things.  First in date order is two online classes with the delightful, talented, and superlative teacher Val Webb (website here).   This winter I had planned to relax and take two of her classes which overlap by about a month.  Despite the fact that you can really do a LOT of work (and LEARN a LOT), I decided to take both.  First one is Drawing Dogs and Cats, second one is Fairies (or as I prefer, Faeries) in Nature.

My Luna-Boy faerie in gouache, about 9 x 6 inches.

My Luna-Boy faerie in gouache, about 9 x 6 inches.

In Val’s classes, you learn not only about drawing, but also painting, as well as various media and techniques.  The lesson above is for small children as fairies, with wings, and gouache (which I have never used).  There are some technical issues; basically, I need practice with the medium!   But overall I am quite pleased with my Luna-boy.  In the next photo, we worked with graphite to sketch a dog.  His right eye is a bit off (thank you for the feedback, Val! I knew something was off but couldn’t spot it until you helped), but I’m fairly happy with this one, as well.  I attribute all good stuff with these two to the quality of Val’s teaching!

Sweet doggie, in graphite pencil.

Sweet doggie, in graphite pencil.

This week is also number 2 son’s 16th birthday.  How the child can be 16, weigh more than me (wooohooo! finally!), etc., defies comprehension.  Clearly the calendar lies.  Eli’s request for birthday dinner:  my waffles and Joshua’s parmesan fried chicken, an exact repeat of what Joshua had in early November.  As it was the beginning of the wrestling season, Eli couldn’t pig out.  This time he could and did <<grin>>!

We will NOT think about the calories involved in waffles and fried chicken.

We will NOT think about the calories involved in waffles and fried chicken.

Thanks to de facto DIL Ashley for taking pics as I brought in the birthday cake:

The calendar lies.  There is no way my youngest is 16.  I realize I am old enough to be his grandmother, but that is irrelevant LOL!   Eli, we love you to bits and are so thankful you came into our lives (even if we were and are old and tired!).

The calendar lies. There is no way my youngest is 16. I realize I am old enough to be his grandmother, but that is irrelevant LOL! Eli, we love you to bits and are so thankful you came into our lives (even if we were and are old and tired!).

She also got this great pic of Thumper the 26-toed cat.  As you can see, our cats pay us no mind.  Sigh.

Thumper.  Sigh.

Thumper. Sigh.

And guess what it is doing today.  Again.  Sigh again.

One more time.   At least it isn't sleeting a lot, as was predicted, and the temperature is now down to freezing or just below.

One more time. At least it isn’t sleeting a lot, as was predicted, and the temperature is now down to freezing or just below.

At least it is pretty–the flakes where HUGE!  We were predicted to get a lot of snow, school let out early, and we are all expecting it to be cancelled tomorrow.  Then the weather service predicted less snow, more ice and lots of sleet.  That is actually a lot worse.  But we haven’t had any sleet here in Hope, though beyond the ridge of hills on the coast is may be sleeting.  Here it has been snowing for about 7 hours.  We’ll see what the morning brings.  We will also fill buckets with water as it is likely to be heavy, wet snow and power could well go out.  Again.  Sigh.

And to end of a fun note, this fall I will be helping curate (i.e. be the behind the scenes worker bee) the new SAQA Food exhibit, open to SAQA members.  Alex Veronelli, mover and shaker at Aurifil Thread, will be the juror.  Just today I received the Quilts, Inc., eInsider newsletter, which had this profile of him.  It’s an interesting read.  Enjoy.

Now I need to go start on dinner.  Oh whee.

Dust Happens–a new article!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Especially in my house!  Think rural.  Think cats.  Think Sarah.  But you don’t want dust inside your sewing machine!  I was so happy when editor Kit Robinson asked me to do an article on the care and feeding of your domestic sewing machine.  That article has just come out in the March/April issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited:

 

Machine Quilting Unlimited March/April Issue with my article on dust along with other great articles.  LOVED the one by fellow-Mainer Margaret Solomon Gunn on scalloped bindings and one on Jenny Bowker's quilts.

Machine Quilting Unlimited March/April Issue with my article on dust along with other great articles. LOVED the one by fellow-Mainer Margaret Solomon Gunn on scalloped bindings and one on Jenny Bowker’s quilts.

I was even more elated when just a few days after copies arrived in mailboxes across the US, Publisher Vicki Anderson forwarded this email to me:

My wife just received her March/April 2014 issue and I want to compliment you on the Sarah Ann Smith article titled Dust Happens.
 
I am a Bernina Certified tech that repairs anything that walks in the door and all brands of Long Arms. I also give presentations to the local guilds on Care and Feeding of your Domestic Machines. Her article is the most comprehensive that I have read to date. I feel as if she had a copy of my Power Point in front of her (right down to the needle photos!).
 
Outstanding! I agree with 100% of what she said and applaud her for the article.
 
Please use this and pass this along in any way that you see fit.
 
Duane Sellers
Bernina Tech
Lafayette, In

WOW! Talk about a HAPPY RUSH!  You all know I’m a Janome girl, but we also all know how GOOD Bernina is in terms of service and support, how good it’s repair folks are.  To have a Bernina Tech say that about my article just gives me goosebumps!  Thank you Mr. Sellers!

Here’s a peek at my article–to read it you’ll need to get a copy, which you can do online at mqumag.com or in places like Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million.

The first page of "Dust Happens," my article about caring for your machine.  Just a few moments every time you use your machine will keep it much happier!

The first page of “Dust Happens,” my article about caring for your machine. Just a few moments every time you use your machine will keep it much happier!

And HUGE thanks to Marie Z. Johansen (BFF!) and Silvia Dell’Aere (a.k.a. Orkaloca) for photographs used in the article.  I needed a specific view of a Bernina bobbin case and, astonishingly, despite having hundreds of photos available for press use, Bernina didn’t have the view I needed, so I called Marie–who is a fabulous photographer–and asked if she could save my bacon and photograph her Bernina’s bobbin case (right before deadline no less), and she did!  THANK YOU!  And Silvia has allowed me to use a photo of hers of the tips of new vs. slightly used needles in my class presentations for years.  I asked for a print-resolution photo, but she had to take a new one–Thank you!  So please, visit their blogs and say thanks! Here’s the page with their photos:

Two more pages from the article. In the "nine patch of photos," Marie's photo is middle row, right.  Silvia's is top left.

Two more pages from the article. In the “nine patch of photos,” Marie’s photo is middle row, right. Silvia’s is on a different page.  Thank you both!

Have another article in the next issue of MQU..it’s been a good year for writing (which I love as much as quilting).  Thanks, Vicki and Kit, for the opportunity to write for MQU.  I’m so happy to have been able to bring good articles to you.  Thanks also again to Mr. Sellers for taking the time to write such a nice comment!