Monday, September 29, 2014

Epic Quilting Week - Part 1 : Filming with Quilting Arts

Filming with Quilting Arts

So if you caught my last post, you know that I recently had an epic quilting week that I keep describing in my head as the "what the what?!" week.  Because it was hard to take it all in and just roll with everything. Today I want to share with you my experience filming with Quilting Arts for their show on PBS as well as filming my own DVD (both of which will be available in January).

See what I mean?  What the what?!  I'm FILMING?  Surreal.  Bizarre.  And actually pretty fun...but definitely exhausting.

Filming with Quilting Arts

I got in the studio the day before so I could see what the environment was like and set out of all my projects and step outs.  I had a lot to organize.  Plus the show uses Bernina machines and I have only sewn with them a couple of I needed to get familiar with the machine so I didn't look like an idiot who doesn't know how to use a sewing machine. lol

Filming with Quilting Arts

I had to come with three outfits plus an extra in case something happened to one or they didn't like how it looked on camera.  There were all kinds of restrictions about color etc on what I could wear based on how the camera picks up the colors.  It was definitely an interesting thing to work around...some shopping was necessary.  Too bad there wasn't a sponsor for the clothing like they have on news shows. ;)

Filming with Quilting Arts

The TV show is hosted by the lovely Susan Brubaker Knapp and she made it super easy to go through the two segments that I did with her.  I filmed with her first thing in the morning.  And I'm just thankful that she had an earlier makeup time than I did so I could get a little more sleep.  But it was quite fun getting my makeup done professionally.  I've never had anyone else do my makeup actually...not even for my wedding.  And they use special makeup for Hi Def TV.  People!  Why do you need to see me in Hi Def?  I have sudden shared sympathy for all the people who work on camera.  

Filming with Quilting Arts

And then I had to wait through two other lovely fabric artists while they filmed their segments with Susan before the crew and staff were all ready for me.  Just me.  And three camera men in a dark silent room.  Talking and talking and talking for 3 hours or so off the top of my head (no teleprompter for me) about my topics.  It was definitely interesting to stay energetic and composed, try not to stumble over my words too much, and manage to look into the right camera at the right time.  I hope it all turned out.  I have NO idea.  really.  

Filming with Quilting Arts

We would break down between chapters of filming and bring out the supplies for the next segment and clean up from the previous one.  And I would go over everything with the producer and staff.  And then try to remember what the heck I was planning on saying when everyone left the room and again it was just me. and the camera crew. in the dark.  

Filming with Quilting Arts

I did have some pretty funny moments with the sound guy.  I hadn't thought to much about it before I got there, but you need to wear a microphone during all of your taping.  And with each outfit, you get it replaced because obviously you have a different outfit on.  So I got pretty familiar with the sound guy.  Or let's say he got pretty familiar with me. ;)  Everything was very professional of course, but I needed a number of adjustments during the 3 hour filming in the afternoon.  Eventually I would see him coming and just wink and say "oh YOU again".  I told him at the end that he owed me a cocktail!

Filming with Quilting Arts

Filming with Quilting Arts

What a whirlwind of a day!  It tested out new and old skills for me.  I've never been filmed like this before and I was certainly jumping in the deep end.  One of the crew told me that I could check this off my bucket list.  And I laughed because honestly I never had even THOUGHT of doing this.  It's amazing and wonderful, but not even my world of possibilities.  But yeah...I guess it's check off my bucket list now. ;)

Filming with Quilting Arts

Friday, September 26, 2014

I'm not missing! I'm just busy!

Me on the set of Quilting Arts getting ready to film

Hey all!  If you have been following me on Instagram, then you know that I am not lost, but I have been crazy busy lately.  The blog seems to get the short end of the stick even though I'm constantly taking pictures of everything I do just for you all.  Today I finally started going over the last month's work on the camera and the editing of photos...that in itself is quite a feat.

I will be back to share everything in detail...because trust me...there is a lot to share.  As you can see above I was doing this mind blowing thing of filming for Quilting Arts. What the what?!

And I continued a crazy journey of a week with visits with tons of lovely quilting friends and attending Craft South, hosted by the utterly amazing and enchanting Anna Maria Horner and Heather Ross. Talk about a surreal week.  I took tons of photos and even remembered my good camera!

 Heather Ross, myself, and Anna Maria Horner

I was getting my picture taken with the two of them and they decided to be silly and pick me up for a photo.  What the what?! Was I really picked up by my two favorite designers for a crazy picture?  This sort of sums up what the whole week was like.  Amazing and Funny and Unpredictable.

So just a taste of what I've been up to.  I promise I'll be back soon to share more details about this week.  Honestly I'll have to split it up I think because there was so much going on.  I'm home now and deeply set back in reality with a four year old daughter who now has the stomach flu.  School has been in session less than a month and she's already had two bad colds and now the stomach flu.  Yay for preschool germs. :p

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology Sew Along!

Hey All!  

I meant to post this yesterday but crazy deadlines have me hiding for cover in my sewing room for the next week.  But I'm really excited to share that Sara, SewSweetness, is currently hosting a sew along on her blog for my book.  Each day, a different blogger will share there a version of one of the patterns from my book.  You'll see each of them made and how others have interpreted the patterns.

But the fun doesn't stop there!  After that there will be a chance to enter your own creations from my patterns and win lots of fun prizes!!  Fun prizes people!  We love those.

Today is just day two on the stop and already I'm in love with what the quilters are creating.  Today Kaye, Miss Print, has shared a mini version of my butterfly pattern and it was her first time sewing curves!!  Yay Kaye!

And yesterday, Heidi, Fabric Mutt, created a beautiful pillow version of my medallion quilt that I just want to steal.  She used all those darling Heather Ross prints that are so yummy and precious!

I love how she chose to make the same design at a smaller scale and created a beautiful pillow rather than the baby quilt I designed.  Just goes to show how versatile these patterns are.  And Heidi too shares her thoughts on the book as a whole.

It's going to be so fun for me to see these projects being made and hearing everyone's opinions about the book and the designs.  I hope that you all check out the fun as well.  You can see all the projects on Sara's blog over the next couple of weeks.  And I'll try to keep you all updated every few days with the projects.  But in the meantime, feel free to start your own to enter later or finish up a project you have started.  As you can see, there are lots of ways to make a quilt a more accessible small project by doing a mini version of it.

I can't wait to see what is next!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beyond Neutral - A book review and giveaway!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Today I'm excited to share with you all the beautiful book Beyond Neutral by the talented John Q. Adams aka Quilt Dad.  This is not John's first book nor his last I expect...he is a man of many talents and one of the forces behind the Ezine Fat Quarterly.  (And they have a couple of books too!  Check those out!  I really want their latest one on color!)

Half Moon Bay 
Pieced By Kristen Danis; Quilted by Angela Walters

I like, like many women, find John's take on the quilting world fascinating.  Let's be honest.  Men are in the minority when it comes to the demographic of quilters.  So his choices of patterns and fabrics are always interesting to me.  There is some overlap, but I love to see a masculine perspective on quilting.  And this book gives you that.  John is not afraid of "natural neutrals" as he describes the colors of nature that balance out life.

The main premise of John's book is about using nature as an inspiration color palette for the backgrounds of his quilts.  John rather aptly describes the "fear" that so many quilters have in using a background other than cream or white when piecing a quilt.  And he boldly embraces the use of other colors that he sees commonly in nature, knowing that these colors will work in quilts because they work in nature.  Our eyes are accustomed to seeing these "natural neutrals" all the time already.  So why not use them in quilt backgrounds?

Pieced by Cathy Reitan; Quilted by Angela Walters

I love that when I look at John's designs, I see quilts designed by a man.  Because his quilts will be appealing to men.  And we all know how hard it can be to find quilts that men will love...err...tolerate. ;) His color palettes may well appeal more to men too.  I would suggest showing John's book the boys and men in your life that you are dying to make a quilt for.  I bet they will find a pattern that they like!!

Pacific Crest
Pieced by Melinda Mathis; Quilted by Angela Walters

The quilt pictured above, Pacific Crest, the cover quilt, is easily my personal favorite from the book.  I keep telling John that I'm going to make this.  And I swear that in this lifetime I will.  I just adore it.  The dark blue background and the selection of colors is right on.  But for me, it is the movement that this quilt has that makes it so special. I feel like these are shooting stars or arrows raining down on troops.  It brings out my fanciful side and I like that. 

Cape Lookout
Pieced by John Q Adams; quilted by Angela Walters

And the Cape Lookout quilt is a inspired by a sunrise or sunset.  But I see a rainbow that will actually appeal to people who don't care for "Rainbow quilts".  You know what I mean. The navy background is grounding this quilt in a way that white can not.  It pulls you in rather than popping off the quilt.  Both techniques are valuable to have in your pocket of color selection.  And I'm inspired to continue using any color I want as the background for a quilt.  I personally adore a robin's egg blue for a background color and can make that work with any color scheme...just challenge me! lol


I hope that you all enjoy my peek in John's book.  And if you are as intrigued by it as I am,  you are in luck.  I am able to offer one e book version of this book to a lucky winner!  

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me your favorite color to use as a background for a quilt. (And it is okay if it is white or cream! lol  We all do it!)  

*congratulations to the luck winner, Anita #39 "My favorite background for a quilt is probably white but the quilt I am currently working on has a grey background that I am"

Good luck!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY: Painted Wooden Utensils

Painted Wooden Utensils

One of the many things I've been doing lately is this new birthday club I started with 11 other ladies where each person gets a month and will be inundated with birthday packages from the other 11.  I had the first month and got loads of lovely crafty goodness and cuteness.  So now I get a chance to make gifts and shop for the other ladies.  This is one of the things that this particular birthday girl wanted...some hand painted wooden utensils.  So I thought to myself, "self.  You can do that!" And off I went.

* wooden utensils - found everywhere!
* acrylic paints from craft section of store
*small bottle of varnish - found in the same section as the little bottles of acrylic paint
*foam paint brush
*washi tape

Painted Wooden Utensils

I started with my washi tape and carefully taped off the end where I wanted the paint to end (no paint on the part of the utensil touching food).  Then I taped off the tip of the handle creating an even starting point as well.  I taped a few sections off in the middle of the handles, making each one unique.

Painted Wooden Utensils

Then I took a smaller width washi tape and added in some more tape options.  One thing to note: anywhere you place the tape will be the natural wood color in the finished product. And be sure to place the washi tape firmly so that paint does not slip underneath destroying your pretty pattern.

Painted Wooden Utensils

And then color!!  It was time to play with the different colors I had chosen (I went with a bit of a retro color scheme that made me happy).  I chose to paint each handle to be unique, so I got to play with color arrangement on each.  Definitely the most fun part of the project for me!

Painted Wooden Utensils

I didn't choose the most expensive (ahem...quality) acrylic paints, so my utensils took many coats of color to get the saturation I needed.  The blue went on well but the other three colors were pretty thin.  I probably should have invested more in the paint. ;) Ah well.  It just took more time.  I used low glasses to hold each utensil while it dried between coats.  

After the color,I removed all of the washi tape except the bottom one near the spoon end.  I added at least four separate coats of varnish to make the paint last and protect any food from paint.  It was great watching the handle get glossier and glossier.  It was like painting my nails (which I haven't done in a long time! lol) It was my top coat.

Painted Wooden Utensils

And then finally! The big reveal.  I carefully pulled away the last piece of washi tape on each utensil and saw my clean fresh lines (and perhaps some not so clean ones...but that's the beauty of handmade right?).  I gave the utensils a few more days to dry thoroughly before shipping to be sure the paint had set completely.

Painted Wooden Utensils

I think that this is a great activity for friends who are looking for a craft project together.  You just need to take into account the drying time.  With high quality paints and perhaps a hair dryer you can probably speed up the process.  Otherwise, you can do what I did, and let them hang out in your kitchen for a weekend while you randomly chose moments to add an extra coat of this or that.  It kind of depends on how tolerant your family is of random craft projects around the house. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology Book Reviews

So my book has been out for a couple months now and it's been fun to see book reviews pop up here and there across blogland.  Each one is a complete novelty and I'm completely flattered (seriously!) by anything nice that is being said.

Today you can find a review of my book over on Pat Bravo's blog.  Pat is the genius behind Pat Bravo designs and Art Gallery Fabrics, so it means a huge amount to me to hear her opinion.  And she put together this great image which I'm happily stealing from her. ;)

I've had other dear friends write book reviews as well on their blogs.

Faith, Fresh Lemon Quilts, was such a dear and I love what she said about how thorough my directions were.  That was something I worked REALLY hard at doing and debated a lot about how much to include.  Basically I gave as much info as they would let me fit in there.  lol  And she started an amazing mini version of my Petal Pushers Quilt using some of my favorite fabrics from Cotton & Steel and Violet Craft.  Yum!

My lovely friend, Ayumi of Pink Penguin Quilts, was sweet enough to write a review of the book.  And she has an interview of me on her blog where I attempt to sound pulled together and knowledgeable. ;)  You can be the judge of that.

Ayumi and I were working on books at similar times and she was a great resource for me during the process.  She is the MOST encouraging person!  I read her blog review and I'm not quite sure I believe all of that stuff she says about me.  But it's a good thing to go read if I'm having an off day.  lol

Kati, From the Blue Chair, wrote a review earlier this summer as well.  Kati too has an interview of me on her blog post and she talks about how she was skeptical of my topic but I won her over. I love an honest review! lol  I'm skeptical about a lot of book concepts that I hear these days too.  Mainly because I feel we are a bit over saturated with books.  But trust me...writing a book has been a life long dream of mine.

Kati also started a version of my Arabian Nights Quilt.  She used a different die cutter and offset the pattern and it is looking beautiful!!  I can't wait to see the finished version!

I don't want to get too long winded and I don't want to leave anyone out...but some other great reviews out there are from Christa of ChristaQuilts who I met at Sewing Summit last fall in my class on curves.  It was great to hear her perspective from being in my class to reading the book.

Melissa of Happy Quilting, also wrote a lovely review.  She was sweet enough to attend my school house event at market this past spring.  So she has gotten to see these quilts up close!   That can be a true test you know!  Do the quilts actually look good in person or has clever photography made something more appealing? 

And oh I'm sure there are more!  It gets a little hard to keep track of actually.  And I ADORE seeing anyone work on a quilt from the book.  I usually catch it when I'm tagged on IG, but feel free to email me pics of your work too.  It really makes my day to see people using the designs.

Quilts made from designs in my book!

And don't forget that Sara, Sew Sweetness will be hosting a Sew Along/Blog Hop of sorts starting in September!  There are several fabulous amazing people who are sewing up quilts to show their take on a pattern.  And there will be fun and prizes etc.  Sara always does an amazing job with these things.  So stay tuned for that.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Electric Quilt Featured Artist

Just in case you can't get enough of me ;) you can find me featured over at Electric Quilt.  This is the computer software I use when designing quilts.

And as part of the feature, I also have a little project design that I'm offering for free over on the Electric Quilt site.  Celebrate the current year with this 2014 design.  Create a calendar or pillow or whatever your heart desires.  You'll notice that I used my favorite little curves like I use in my book. This lets you get some extra practice or start with a small project!

I hope you enjoy the pattern and please let me know if you make it!!  I'd love to see!


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