Monday, June 26, 2017

The Quilt Show Part 3: Taping in La Veta

My 2 hour drive from Colorado Springs down to La Veta, Colorado was absolutely gorgeous!!  I loved seeing all the mountains off in the distance, many of which had white peaks.        
Welcome to La Veta, Colorado 
This round of episodes was being filmed at Ricky Tim & Justin Shults' Art Quilt Retreat Center/Studio (which is where the first 2-3 seasons of The Quilt Show were recorded).  Upon arriving, I was greeted by Justin, (who I immediately recognized from each episode's opening scenes) and that is when the reality of me actually being featured on TQS finally set in for me!  We got to work airing out my quilts and hanging them behind my demo set.  Once all the quilts were in place, I had a chance to explore the La Veta area before meeting up with the entire TQS crew for an absolutely delicious dinner.
Guess Whooo Will Be on TQS?!?  Shadow, Aspen and Cedar
After dinner, we were treated to a presentation about Wild Birds, by quilt artist Gail Garber.  Gail Garber is well known for her amazing quilt designs featuring flying geese.  But it turns out that she helped to form Hawks Aloft, a non-profit organization dedicated to avian Conservatory & Educational organization.  She brought three special guests for her taping:  3 owls that had all been previously injured and rescued through Hawks Aloft.  When I first arrived to the presentation, I saw the wooden perches at the front of the room.  It took me some time to recognize that there were live owls accompanying each perch as they were either well camouflaged into their habitat and/or were so still that they appeared to be statues!  Gail gave a fascinating talk focused mostly on owls and their unique features that help them to be expert nocturnal hunters, while also taking questions from the audienced.
Quiet on the Set
My taping was scheduled for the morning shift, so I woke up early to get ready, packed and head to the studio for the 8 AM start time.  As this was the first episode of the week, the crew was putting the finishing touches to the set and synching up the cameras, finetuning the lighting and testing the sound equipment; giving me the chance to observe and get familiar with the taping process.  I was impressed by the small yet expert production team consisting of owners Alex, Ricky, Justin, John; Producer Shelly; Editor in Chief/Production Manager Lilo; Assistant Mary Kay; Cameraman Zumi; Sound Technician Trevor; and 3 volunteers!  It was immediately evident at how this small yet finely tuned team worked well together to deliver a high quality production value for the TQS audience!!

Alex Anderson's teaching segment was first.  This gave me the opportunity to observe the taping procedure, while also watching a true professional at work!!  And soon I was in the hot seat as I shared the story of my own artistic journey and my quilts.  Alex and Ricky were lovely hosts as they welcomed me to the show and helped me to feel comfortable.  Once we started to talk about quilting, I completely forgot all about the cameras, lights or crew!  From there it was off to my two teaching demonstrations:  Slice of Improv and Mod Molas! And just like that, my work was complete!  As I was packing up my quilts and supplies, I had a chance to watch Alex & Ricky record the promotional clips, as well as Justin film his opening segment!   By 1 PM, I had packed up all my gear, grabbed some lunch, said my good byes and was on the open road heading back to Colorado Springs to catch my return flight.
That's a Wrap!
As you can see from my big ole smiles, I had such a fun time with The Quilt Show crew!  Many thanks to the entire cast and crew for welcoming me to the TQS family and allowing me to share my love of quilting with the TQS membership!!

Special thanks go out to:
-Alex and Ricky for being hosts with the most as they expertly guided me through each segment
-Lilo for helping to coordinate all the logistics flawlessly
-Shelly for crafting segments that really showcased me as an Artist/Teacher
-Mary Kay for being a familiar face on set and taking photographs of me & my quilts!!
-Justin, John, Zumi & Trevor for all their technical expertise behind the scenes
-All my family & friends who helped to support me on this incredible journey!

In the next few weeks, I will learn the air date of my episode and will be sure to post updates and access information so you all can watch how the episode unfolds!!  Stay tuned!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Quilt Show Part 2: Colorado Springs

As I was preparing for my Colorado visit for the TQS taping, I reached out to a fellow quilting friend who lives in Colorado Springs.  Pauline and I met last Spring at Empty Spools in Louisa Smith's Double Vision 5-day workshop and have stayed in touch via Facebook.  When she learned of my upcoming visit, she generously invited me to stay with her and her family.  

I had so much fun catching up with Pauline and seeing firsthand the beautiful Colorado Springs mountain vistas!!  She introduced me to one of her talented Fiber Artist friends, Kim Lacy.  Kim took us on a tour of her beautiful home and amazing studio where we were treated to a gallery of truly breathtaking quilts!!!  In fact, I immediately recognized one of Kim's quilts from PIQF 2015!!  
Kim Lacy's "Fire in the Stone" displayed at PIQF 2015, Strip Pieced with Dupioni Silk
Once in her studio, Pauline and I were treated to a trunk show of one amazing quilt after another.  Not only had I gained a new quilting friend, but I left feeling truly awed and inspired by Kim's amazing artwork!  I highly recommend that you check out Kim's online gallery of gorgeous fiber art.

Next stop was Garden of the Gods, an outdoor park featuring stunning rock formations and wildlife.  Here is just a sample of the ever changing vistas found along our 1.5 mile walk along the Perkins Central Garden Trail.  
Amazing Rock Structures Formed by Natural Forces:  Water & Wind.
We went at dusk and had a chance to watch as the sun set over the park, casting sunny glow along the peaks.
Garden of the Gods at Sunset
While it was tempting to keep our focus looking upwards, there was so much to see along the ground level as well:  colorful rocks, flora and fauna (including a jack rabbit who was curious to check us out).  Luckily for us, it was too late in the evening for any rattlesnake sightings!
Local Geology, Flora & Fauna
On our way out of the park, we stopped by the Balanced Rock.  I especially loved all the strata of color and texture.
Balanced Rock:  Scale, Strata and Lending Some Muscle Power Just in Case!
What an absolutely lovely afternoon/evening exploring the beautiful Colorado Springs area.  
Many thanks to my wonderful hosts Pauline and her husband Jerry!!

As you can imagine, it was very difficult for me to say good bye to Pauline and her well as the beautiful Colorado Springs area.  But it was time for me to make the 2-hour drive down to La Veta, for The Quilt Show taping!!! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Quilt Show Part 1: Preparations and Packing

June had originally promised to include lots of downtime from teaching so I could work on quilt challenges and develop new workshops.  And then I received a surprise email from The Quilt Show inviting me to be a featured artist in their upcoming round of taped episodes at Ricky Tim's studio in La Veta, Colorado in mid-June.  After I had a chance to digest the email and speak with Lilo, the Editor-in-Chief/Production Manager to enthusiastically accept this amazing opportunity, I was sent into a flurry of activity to prepare for the taping scheduled just 6 weeks out!!
Preparing Step Outs and Samples for The Quilt Show--Does That Star Look Familiar?!?
So much for my June downtime!  Thankfully the TQS production team has this down to a science as they helped navigate me through all the preparations.  I immediately got to work on my travel arrangements to La Veta, Colorado:  flight tickets, rental vehicle and overnight accommodations.  After my "pre-interview" with Shelly, the Producer, to determine the content, more preparations were in order!!  There were step outs to prepare, samples to create and selecting which quilts to take with me (many of which needed sleeves!!).  Thank goodness for to-do lists!!    
Pre-Show Preparations:  Quilts & Makeover for Me
Last but not least involved a bit of a makeover for me:  manicure, makeup, hair cut and wardrobe.  Clothes shopping proved to be much more difficult than anticipated and I even resorted to visiting not one but two different shopping malls (as well as multiple Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ross stores!!!) all to no avail.  Luckily my fashionable friend, Gayle, took me under her wing as she booked me my first manicure appointment (in preparation for the demo close up shots) and she even allowed me to raid her closet to create some fun layered looks.  I met up with a make up consultant who helped me navigate the make up aisle, to which I practiced applying the next few days.  And my hair stylist worked her magic on a stylish new hair do.
Auditioning Wardrobe Options the Morning of Taping--Thankful to Have Options!!
More packing lists to ensure that I carefully packed everything that I needed for my travels and taping, especially since La Veta, Colorado is a fairly small town.  FYI:  the population is less than 800, and there isn't a Target/Quilt Shop in town!!

With my bags all packed, I was off to Colorado for 3 fun-filled days...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mod Mandalas

In preparation for July's Northern California Quilt Council's Meet the Teacher program, I've been busy developing exciting new workshops.  Introducing Mod Mandalas!!   
Majestic Mod Mandala, Finishes 21" x 21"

Cre8 & Medit8 Prototype

My Mod Mandalas series started out using the slice and insert piecing technique, which in this case does require a certain level of precision.  So in January, I began experimenting using bias-tape applique for my Cre8 & Medit8 for Project Quilting's "8 is Great" challenge.  Not only did I love the design possibilities that were possible when using bias tape applique, but I also found the constuction to be considerably easier and faster!  I just needed to refine the mandala's design to be more balanced as I found the four corners to really command attention, leaving noticeable gaps along the four sides.

Now that I knew what didn't work, I could focus on drafting a more balanced design.  I used a hinged set of mirrors to audition my lines and angles.
Drafted Mod Mandala
Once I was pleased with the composition, it was time to convert my black and white design into color.  In an effort of finding ways to expedite the construction process for a 1 day workshop, I purchased some packaged bias tape (teal), which I then supplemented with a different width of tape (gold) that I made using yardage from my stash.  I chose a tertiary color combination of eggplant/plum, teal and gold.
Assembled Quilt Top 
Aurifil 50 weight threads were used to add beautiful quilted texture into the background areas:  Loop de loops, wedges and nesting C-durves.
Aurifil 50 weight:  Yellow (2135), Light Jade (1148) and Medium Purple (2545)
Much to my amazement, I found the perfect teal and gold stripe in my stash to use for the binding.

More Mod Mandalas are in development.  Check out this amazing selection of bias tape that Bobi L, a fellow guild member, gifted me after cleaning out her stash!!
More Mod Mandalas on the Horizon

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Golden Valley Intriguing Interleaves Inductees

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting with Golden Valley Quilt Guild for a "Challenge Yourself!" lecture/trunk show on Thursday, followed by an Intriguing Interleaves workshop on Saturday.

Thursday night's lecture was a lot of fun as there was a lot of positive, creative energy in the church gymnasium!   I was especially pleased to connect with members following my talk as well as seeing members line up to sign up for my workshop making it a sold out success!
Challenge Yourself!  Opening
In between the meeting and workshop, I stayed with Judy, a friend and former SCVQA guild member.  It was so nice to catch up, see her beautiful new home and amazing quilt studio!!  On Friday, Judy showed me around the local area including an absolutely lovely visit to the High Hand Nursery in Loomis, CA.  This is much more than your typical nursery as they featured garden art including a tranquil coi pond, art gallery, jewelery booth, olive oil boutique and even the Tin Thimble, a sewing and fiber arts shop where Judy and I were treated to a fascinating introduction to wool felting by the manager!!  Here is a preview of our morning adventure and discoveries...
Colorful Blooms!
Succulants on Display
Nature Inspired Garden Art
Colorful Garden Accessories!
Afterwards, we visited 3-4 of the local quilt shops where I found some amazing fabrics for my latest Mod Molas series, as well as a few other projects/workshops.
Fun New Fabrics
Saturday's workshop was a buzz of energy and excitement as they anxiously awaited to learn the secret of creating their own interleave quilt.
Golden Valley Intriguing Interleaves Inductees
I love documenting the before and in-progress pics of everyone's Interleave quilts, but may have missed a couple.  There were so many fabulous fabric selections, so I created a few groupings to show the range of design possibilities...
Larger scale batiks and prints that create a lovely watercolor effect
Vs. Solids & Small Tone on Tone Prints that Create Crisp Curves
Introduction of a Zinger Fabric:  Black & White Stripes, Colorful Zig Zags and Black & White Polka Dot!
 As it was Memorial Day weekend, four members opted to create their own version of a Stars & Stripes Interleave.  Interestingly enough, three of these members unknowingly sat at the same table and soon realized their similar selections in fabric strips!!  And the first finish of the day was one of the patriotic interleaves!!
Patriotic Themed Interleaves in Honor of Memorial Day Weekend
Everyone made such great progress over the course of the day!  I've already received two emails with pictures of finished Interleave quilts!!

  • Tracy Trimble's finished Patriotic Interleave (left)--I just love her appliqued stars completing her flag-themed Interleave!!
  • Lauren Markell's Sinewaves Interleave (right)--Lauren gets bonus points for including a label/hanging pocket using my bonus demo!!

Beautifully Finished Interleaves!!
Thanks to Golden Valley for a lovely weekend!!  I am very much looking forward to returning to the area again in September for some lecture/workshop combos in Auburn, Folsom and Looms, as well as an October lecture in Lincoln!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Exciting Quilt Updates

Lots of exciting updates on the quilting front to share...

"Thunderstruck" was selected as one of ten finalists for the Riley Blake Creative Rockstar Fabric Challenge!!  With over 200 submissions, I am just honored!!!  Be sure to check out the winning quilts and fabulous finalists. 
A few days later, I learned that my "RE$I$TAN¢E" was one of 62 quilts juried into the Threads of Resistance Traveling Exhibit.  Given the sheer number of entries (500+) and the high caliber of entries, I am truly honored to be included in this dynamic display.  It will be heading off to the New England Quilt Museum for the July 15th Opening Reception.  In October, the entire exhibit will make its way to the Santa Clara Convention Center for Pacific International Quilt Festival, so I will get to see it in person!!  Be sure to check out the travel schedule to find a venue near you.    

Last but not least, I entered my latest Mod Mola, "Spring Has Sprung" into two online quilt challenges.  Both challenges incorporate an online voting process for family & friends (hint-hint).  You are cordially invited to VOTE for "Spring Has Sprung" and/or your favorite entries using the links below:

  • 2017 Pantone Color of the Year Quilt Challenge (Mini Quilts Category, Linky Party #19)
    Voting will stay open until 10 PM PST on Friday, June 2nd.  You may vote for your favorite in each category (Quilts, Mini Quilts and Just the Tops).  To vote, simply click on the heart in the corner of the thumbnail photo.  Remember, one vote per category so choose wisely!!  
  • Project Quilting "May I?" Challenge (Linky Party #1)
    Voting is open and you can vote for your 4 favorites.  To vote, simply click on the heart in the corner of the thumbnail photo.  

Spring Has Sprung
And I've got more exciting quilting updates on the stay tuned!!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Slice of Improv Love from Las Vegas!!

It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago is when I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue a career as a fiber artist, teacher & lecturer.  My family and friends had been nudging me in this direction for several years but it was an email from the Las Vegas Quilters that jumpstarted me into this new world of teaching and lecturing about my love of quilting.  After my fun October visit, I was delighted to be invited back to teach a Slice of Improv workshop.

My travel adventures began in the San Jose Mineta airport which included a range of sights and sounds (top left clockwise):  hanging eCloud dynamic sculpture featuring polycarbonate tiles that dance overhead, triangle designs along an airport fitness area, an interactive robot that breaks out into music every few minutes and a fun carpet design that was a great preview of my upcoming Slice of Improv workshop...
San Jose Airport Signs & Sounds
Slice of Improv is such a fun workshop for me to teach.  Everyone shows up with a fun assortment of scraps and we dive right in to improvisational fun!!
Scrap Happy!!
Usually I start out the workshop guaging everyone's experience and comfort with improvisational designs.  This time around there were only 2-3 quilters who had tried improvisational piecing with the majority of attendees taking their first foray into improvisation!!   I was so impressed with everyone's sense of adventure in trying out the variuos techniques and variations!!  They were truly fearless as they tackled intersections, pi shapes, wedges, curves, slice & shuffle and more!!!
Slice of Adventures into Improv!!!
Their guild's photographer, Melodie G, stopped by to snap some action shots from the day which she so kindly permitted me to post.
Slice of Improv Demonstrations
As the day progressed, everyone's collections of blocks started to grow in both number and interest!!  Quite a few were well on their way to having enough blocks to assemble a crib/wall sized quilt!!
Preview of Improv Quilts in Progress by Phyllis & Nancy
Sue R, the workshop coordinator, brought two gorgeous pieces of hand dyed/batik fabrics which she managed to create two mini quilts by the end of the day!  You can see her blocks in progress (top left), which she then cropped to feature the X intersections for her Ten X miniature (right).  She then used all the sections cropped out of her blocks for a companion piece (bottom left).
Finished Improv Mini's by Sue R
We had a few hours to spare before my return flight to San Jose, which was perfect for popping into Sew Yeah quilt shop which was conveniently having a sale on all prints and then off to the Bellagio to check out their Conservatory & Botanical Garden newest "Japanese Spring" display.  This stunning exhibit incorporates 65,000 flowers including foxgloves, tulips, Calla Lilies, roses and more!!  
Turtle Topiary
Chihuly's Glass Sculptures & Colorful Flowers
 The main attraction is the large Kabuki character that stands 28 feet high and 35" in length and is completely covered in preserved roses and hydrangeas!!!
Kabuki Character
Some other highlights from my Las Vegas adventure includes an introduction to gold mining, compliments of my host family, Phyllis & Bill.  I was so enthralled in learning about the process & seeing the tools in action, that we almost forgot about dinner!!  And then a small taste of Las Vegas as I waited for boarding to completing some hand binding to the electric glow of the slot machines tucked throughout the Las Vegas airport terminals!!
Only in Las Vegas!!
What a lovely Las Vegas visit!!  I was delighted to receive several emails from the Las Vegas Quilters, several of which included pictures of their in-progress Slice of Improv blocks & projects (many thanks for the email updates and persmission to include photos Rickie, Del, Nancy & Melody!!)  I was especially touched to receive a thank you card containing a personalized mini quilt featuring a Slice of Pi block made by Sue R!!
Slice of Las Vegas Love!!