Looking back, looking forward

December 31st, 2014

What a year it has been and what an end of a year–have come down with a sinus infection after Christmas.   But while I was putting things together for the family Christmas newsletter, I decided to browse my blog to remember what had happened.  Of course I remembered Eli going to wrestling camp and our big trip to England, but it felt like I really hadn’t accomplished much art-quilt-wise.  It appears my memory was faulty–what a year!

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.  In the Studio Art Quilt Associates exhibit Food for Thought.

  1. My line of Thermofax screens came out with Fiber on a Whim!  Blogged about them here and here, and you can buy them here.

  2. Two of Us–I was in the Beatles exhibit quilt and in the book! Blogged here, find the book here.

  3. Amaryllis quilt made and touring Australia and New Zealand in the Living Colour Textiles exhibit.  Blogged here; website for the exhibit here.

  4. Eli, Cross-Country 2013 quilt made for the Dinner@8 Reflections exhibit with the IQA shows.  Blogpost here; website for the exhibit here.

  5. Mr. Wiggles does the Circle Dance made and included in the traveling portion of Dare to Dance exhibit and book.  Blogpost here and here, and book here.

  6. Many articles for MQU / Machine Quilting Unlimited on various aspects of machine quilting.  I have to say I subscribe to this magazine and it is one that I read cover to cover each and every issue! There were lots of posts over the past two years, so I won’t put them all here, but here’s one about maintaining your machine.  Here’s the MQUmag.com website.  If I had to cut my magazine subscriptions down to 3, this would be one that I’d keep.

  7. QA TV–on PBS in three segments of Quilting Arts TV talking about needle and thread, quilting, and my easy-peasy inside-out bag!  Me?  On TV?   Here are a few blogposts here and here and here and a link to Series 1400 at the Interweave Store. If you want to shop at Interweave, use the link at the left of my blog for a discount on some items.  Thanks so much to my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp who was tapped to be the new host (and wonderful she is!) and Vivika Hansen DeNegre, editor of Quilting Arts magazine.

  8. Three works in the  Quilt Essentials book, a new book that covers the full range of quilting, geared at newcomers to the art and craft of quilting, published out of England.  Blogpost here and for sale here.

  9. Insalata, my latest piece, has been juried into on of SAQA – Studio Art Quilt Associates — exhibits, Food for Thought.  Apparently, I’ve been SO busy I forgot to blog about finishing the quilt and getting it submitted!   I’ve tried many times, but this is the first time I’ve made it into a SAQA exhibit. My blogpost about the quilt in progress here.   The quilt is at the top of this post! I’ll add Insalata to my list of “Things I need to blog about!”

  10. I was lucky to attend, teach and lecture at International Quilt Festival, Houston, again this year.  For me, this show is the biggest and best show in the US, and I am  privileged to be able to teach there.  It is so much fun to have returning students in my classes!

  11. Our oldest son graduated and I actually made and gave him his graduation quilt within a few months of the event!   He and his girlfriend looked SO CUTE when they wrapped up in it in our living room.  Blogpost here.  It’s a whopper:  87 x 97 inches of riotous color!

  12. New workshops in development–I’ve got two new workshops/classes well under way.  The first is an a la carte series of classes called Quilting the Good Life, where guilds can pick from one to five days of classes that begin with a fused, collaged flower (Quilting the Garden), a second day to develop one’s own photo into an art quilt, a one or two-day quilting class for thread-coloring / quilting the piece, or turn it into a five day workshop including all of the above with extra time to work on the piece with my help.  The second workshop is using thermofax screens and other surface design techniques inspired by the mini-workshop I did in the Fiber on a Whim booth in Houston this fall, blogpost here.  I’ll blog more about these when they debut. 

  13. QA Holidays issue:  the easy peasy inside out bag and card holders I demonstrated on Quilting Arts TV were included as patterns in the annual Holiday issue!

  14. England trip–there are many blogposts and more still to come for this once in a lifetime trip.  How wondrous is it that a 16 year old teenager wanted to go with his Mom to England? 

  15. 500 traditional quilts book—I’m known as an art quilter, but I love traditional quilts.  I was thrilled to have 3 quilts included in this book juried by Karey Patterson Bresenhan and have 2 on display at the 2014 International Quilt festival in Houston in the exhibit of selected quilts from the book.   Blogpost here.

  16. Planting 300+ daffodil and tulip bulbs with my family!  Nearly 30 years ago we lived in DC on Capitol Hill.  One row house had a small front garden that was wall-to-wall tulips in spring.  I’ve always wanted to do something similar with daffodils….. have those joyous blooms spilling down a hillside.  Well, we have the hill, and in spring we should have the flowers.  I ordered about 100 tulips and 250 daffodils.   I have a feeling I will want to add a hundred more bulbs every autumn until I have my cascade of daffodils!  Blogpost here.

  17. Dog walkies—inspired by Susan Brubaker Knapp’s daily beauty photos, I have been documenting my little world on dog walkies with our beloved pug.  I post the pictures on Facebook, though get them shared here sometimes, too.   If you aren’t already a friend on FB, please do visit me here and send a request!

  18. Not enough exercise–well, something had to go, and clearly I should re-prioritize and get myself back in some sort of shape.  Hope springs eternal?

  19. Janome 15000, in Janome ads w/banner:  to my utter astonishment and delight, Janome America has sponsored me with a machine for nearly a decade now.   In exchange, I do projects for them and try to repay their kindness and generosity by talking about the features of the machine (which are fabulous and I would say that even if I DIDN’T get to use one for free).  This year they –GASP, and yes I seriously upgraded my business insurance to cover the cost of this machine– lent me a top of the line Janome 15000.  And they used a banner I made for them in their national ads, blogpost here.  Thank you Janome America!

  20. And last but not least by any  means, I am now published with a NON textile artwork in Lesley Riley’s Inspirational Quotes Illustrated.    And in another how-did-I-not-Blog-about-that-yet moment, I will prepare a blogpost to publish tomorrow with pictures of the book and my piece in it!  You can buy the book here.  And I will say, I almost never have TWO of a book, but this one is so cool because you can remove pages to go on the wall, so I am keeping my autographed-by-Lesley copy intact and bought another to take out pages for posting on my design wall as inspiration.

So that was one heck of year–and here I thought I hadn’t done much.  What a wonder!

 

 

Whooosh! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 24th, 2014

And to those of you don’t celebrate Christmas, Merry Mistletoe!  We can all do with a hug and a smooch, including pug smooches.   Just checking in briefly to say hullo, thank you and whatnot.  Can’t believe it has been a week and a half since my last post.  Can you say BUSY?  First and foremost, though, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who read this blog.  I am still astounded that there are people who read my blog and  know who I am!   I’m just plain old me, I putter in my sewing room, and blather on here and there, so thank you from the bottom of my seriously-thread-linty heart!

Christmas Tableaux, made for my alma mater, San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California

Christmas Tableaux, made for my alma mater, San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California.  Right click to view larger.

Widgeon sends smooches to the universe.  Makes me realize that perhaps, if the world were as friendly as a pug, it would be a better place.

Smooches and adorable eyes from the pug to the universe

Smooches and adorable eyes from the pug to the universe.

I made a few ornaments again this year, once again using the beautiful ribbon from Renaissance Ribbons as my inspiration.  I bought the wool felt up at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine, and stitched the mistletoe in either two or six strands of floss, then used perle cotton for the big-stitching on the edge.

This year's ornament with ribbon from Renaissance Ribbons.

This year’s ornament with ribbon from Renaissance Ribbons.

 

 

 

 

 

And to close, of course the Christmas tree.   Thumper decided to grace us with her presence.   I expect there is at least one other cat asleep under the tree.  So far, none IN the tree.

 

 

So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Our tree, 2014.

Our tree, 2014.

International Quilt Market and Festival, Monday/Tuesday

December 12th, 2014
SWOON! This year was the 40th anniversary (the ruby anniversary) of the International Quilt Festival, and the 35th Anniversary of the (wholesale, to the trade) International Quilt Market.

SWOON! This year was the 40th anniversary (the ruby anniversary) of the International Quilt Festival, and the 35th Anniversary of the (wholesale, to the trade) International Quilt Market.

This year absolutely was the biggest and best Festival I’ve seen, with true exhibits (not just husband’s lounge and charitable booths) all the way to the far wall.   And at the main doors, this display inspired by the phenomenal red and white exhibit in New York city a couple years ago.

One of the best things this year didn’t happen to me, but to Barb Black.  Barb greets all the teachers in the Teacher’s Room when you arrive, gives you your schedule, room assignments, paperwork, marching orders, goodie bag, solves problems and is just generally wonderful to us.   Well, Barb made a red and white quilt.   And HER QUILT was selected to be the theme quilt for this year’s show, on the entrance signage, banners in downtown Houston, on the show bag, and on display front and center right as you walked in.  I could SWEAR I took photos, but I can’t find them, so you’ll just have to enjoy her quilt on my bag (and I KNOW I took pics from the back side to see the quilting!).  I tell you, there were teachers all over the planet whooping it up because “OUR Barb” was on the bag!

Barb Black's beautiful red and white quilt on the 40th Anniversary International Quilt Festival show bag.  GO BARB!

Barb Black’s beautiful red and white quilt on the 40th Anniversary International Quilt Festival show bag. GO BARB!

And just for fun, here’s a peek into the teacher’s room.  The whole back wall is FILLED with boxes the teachers ship from all over the world to the Teacher’s Room with kit supplies, things to sell, handouts, you name it.  The area is organized alphabetically, so the first thing you do after checking in with  Barb is go find your boxes!

Teacher boxes

Teacher boxes…my stuff was at the far end.  I can tell this is early in the week because the boxes are still shut!

On Monday, I taught my intro class Let’s Machine Quilt.

The students were stupendous.  Here are some samples of the work the students did in class, and most professed to be rank beginners.  I thought they did a great job!

The students were stupendous. Here are some samples of the work the students did in class, and most professed to be rank beginners. I thought they did a great job!

Here's the class hard at work, with my samples up on the foam core boards at the front.

Here’s the class hard at work, with my samples up on the foam core boards at the front.

More student work--you really can write your own name!

More student work–you really can write your own name!

And yet another sample.

And yet another sample.

This year I wasn't in a Janome room, but was in Bernina instead (no idea why).  We had a WONDERFUL Bernina helper, the nice lady in the tray hair and dark top.

This year I wasn’t in a Janome room, but was in Bernina instead (no idea why). We had a WONDERFUL Bernina helper, the nice lady in the tray hair and dark top at showing how to thread the machine.

This is a fun exercise...quilting along a line and the other one no one ever believes will work, but does:  "driving" through the intersections.

This is a fun exercise…quilting along a line and the other one no one ever believes will work, but does: “driving” through the intersections.

On Tuesday, I gave an 11 am lecture, How Did She do That?  This talk is essentially a digital trunk show with some live quilts, telling folks “how I did that.”  I love giving it, and change it up at pretty much each venue.   Since Tuesday is the day AFTER Market ends and the day before Festival begins, most folks are traveling or in classes during that time so the crowd was small, but it went well.  Since my talk was the middle of the day, I couldn’t head out to museum-hop or shop in Houston, so I attended Pam Holliday’s lecture, which was just before mine.

Pam Holliday's quilt of her cat

Pam Holliday’s quilt of her cat

And this GLORIOUS quilt based on Pam's photography (she's an amazing photographer, too).  Shot taken during her lecture.

And this GLORIOUS quilt based on Pam’s photography (she’s an amazing photographer, too). Shot taken during her lecture.

And of course you run into friends:

With Luana Rubin of eQuilter, whom I first met at Festival in 2003!

With Luana Rubin of eQuilter, whom I first met at Festival in 2003!  Luana always looks so lovely!

I discovered that I needed something for my Wednesday class, so after my talk I walked up to a RiteAid a half mile or so away.  On the way back I spotted this and had to take a picture:

Inspiration is everywhere....

Inspiration is everywhere….got any idea what it is?

A wall inside an office-building!

The lobby

The lobby–the grain,m the texture of the stone reminded me of the froth on waves.

Next post will cover my Birch Pond Seasons class, which I’ll be teaching next at Maine Quilts 2015 here in Maine !

 

Clouds in the morning

December 11th, 2014
Near Spears Automotive across.  This land is "Forever Farm,"  YEAH!

Near Spears Automotive across. This land is “Forever Farm,” YEAH!

The sky was beyond spectacular this morning….. so even though I was taking Eli to school, I finally had to grab my phone and get some pictures.  Only one on the way, the rest taken on the way home about 7:20-7:45 am.   Enjoy my beautiful world!

At Simonton Corner.  I could no longer resist the temptation to take pictures, even though I was doing the morning kid-schlep to school.

At Simonton Corner. I could no longer resist the temptation to take pictures, even though I was doing the morning kid-schlep to school. Facing East.

At the high school, facing north-ish

At the high school, facing north-ish.

On Park, heading north-ish.

On Park, heading north-ish.

On Barnestown, headed west, near the North Fork turn.

On Barnestown, headed west, near the North Fork turn. That’s morning rush hour approaching me.

asfd

Heading up North Fork.  Sigh…these pictures just don’t capture the incredible colors in the clouds:  soft purple, yellow gray, blue, gold, yellow…..

Boat Landing on Rte 105 just past Molyneaux, Lake Megunticook, facing North ish I think, perhaps a bit NW?

Boat Landing on Rte 105 just past Molyneaux, Lake Megunticook, facing North ish I think, perhaps a bit NW?  incredibly still water and ice in the shallow bay.

Same boat-launch bay, more NE ish.

Same boat-launch bay, more NE ish.

The end of the cove, not a bit further NE

The end of the cove, not a bit further NE

Route 105 just past 235/Moody Mountain Road heading in to Hope Corner

Route 105 just past 235/Moody Mountain Road heading to Hope Corner

Through the top of the car, looking past the town office to True Field in "downtown" Hope/near Hope Corner

Through the top of the car,  near the town office

Looking toward True Field near Hoep Corner

Looking toward True Field near Hope Corner, Town Office on the left

Turning the corner onto our road, looking up over our neighbor's "front yard"

Turning the corner onto our road, looking up over our neighbor’s “front yard”, facing East. 

Facing NE, haying equipment in the neighbor's yard

From our driveway, facing NE, haying equipment in the neighbor’s yard

Near our garage, looking up to our other neighbors, the ones with the sheep, facing somewhat SE

Near our garage, looking up to our other neighbors, the ones with the sheep, facing somewhat SE

 

 

 

Yellow Rose of Tedium

December 10th, 2014

So I have this idea for an article.   Which requires (SHOOT ME) about ELEVEN of these 8×11 small quilts.  ALL THE SAME.  Shoot me please.  Now.  Can you say BORING?  But I want to do this test of stabilizers.

Yellow Rose by Sarah Ann Smith.   The first sample, with no stabilizer.   The two fabrics began the same size--even at this small scale you can see noticeable shrinkage just from quilting.

Yellow Rose by Sarah Ann Smith. The first sample, with no stabilizer. The two fabrics began the same size–even at this small scale you can see noticeable shrinkage just from quilting.

I’ve been in a number of exhibits where you have to have an exact size, like the Dinner@8 and Living Colour Textiles exhibits.  For the latter, size was to be 40 x 100 cm.  That’s 39 inches long.  My top was 44 inches long.   Once quilted, I had exactly enough to make 1/8″ seam allowances for my facings!

Amaryllis by Sarah Ann Smith (C) 2014.  See the Living Colour Exhibit at http://livingcolourtextiles.com/

Amaryllis by Sarah Ann Smith (C) 2014. See the Living Colour Exhibit at http://livingcolourtextiles.com/

YEP, the quilt shrank up FIVE flippin’ inches in length.  So I decided I needed to find a way to stop the massive shrinkage, and that means a foundation of some sort.   Jennifer Day likes one product; my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp prefers another.  I decided I needed to test a range of options.   So shoot me.  And please excuse me while I vanish for a week or two to quilt the same yellow rose umpteen times!  EEEEK!