QA TV DAY Two & Announcing the Houston Trade!

Day Two of QA TV has gone very smoothly…probably because first thing this morning, Jane LaFazio led us in a little yoga session on the set!

Yoga in public places!
From left to right: Jane LaFazio, me (yes, in curlers), Laura Wasilowski, and Frieda Anderson

Laura Wasilowski was back this season to tape two very colorful segments, and she gave a great tip for fusing fabric to batting that I never knew. Were you aware scrim is typically found on one side of low loft batting? She showed how to feel for it with your fingers. If you find scrim on your batting, make sure to fuse your fabric to the other, non-scrim side so that after ironing, the fused fabric will be smooth. No wonder sometimes after I fuse, the fabric appears lumpy…I have been fusing it to the scrim side.

We built a quilt fort on the set with all of Frieda Anderson’s striking quilts. Posing in front are Jane LaFazio and Jeannie Delpit of Bernina. (Frieda is to the right, getting miked.)

Jane taped three segments, including one with her brand new stencils, which feature botanical imagery inspired by her journal work.

Pages from Jane’s journal that inspired her stencils (above).

Small textile pieces from Jane’s segment showing how text can be used creatively in quilting. I love all of this texture!

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International Quilt Festival/Houston

I read through all of the responses on my blog a week ago, asking what you would be interested in trading at the upcoming quilt show, and the overwhelming responses included ATCs and mug rugs! So please spread the word to all that are coming to the show, and let’s have the largest stitched art trading station we have ever had in Houston history!
Wondering what on earth a mug rug is? Here are some terrific tutorials on how to make them:

http://tipnut.com/mug-rugs/

http://sew-fantastic.blogspot.com/2011/03/mug-rug-tutorial-scrappy-colorblock.html

https://sew4home.com/projects/table-linens/scrapbusters-mug-rug

Quilting Arts TV Taping Season 11 Has Commenced!

Today was Day One of our next season’s taping of Quilting Arts (airing late January of next year), and it was an industrious day. Eight segments down, 31 to go!

Here I am with Penny McMorris (one of my favorite people) of Electric Quilt Company and a new acquaintance, AnneMarie Cheney, who started her local Modern Quilt Guild chapter in Columbus, OH.

AnneMarie brought her baby! Our first baby on the set! Oh, he was so adorable…I think we need an entire baby episode next season. Calling all babies with quilting mamas…

Heather Jones from the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild came to tape, too. Wait until you see her quilt!

Ellen Anne Eddy taped three segments today. If you only know her through her art and her books, you should meet her in person. She is absolutely hilarious. In this shot she is showing me how she stores her keys (and other things) on her person.

Not only is she extremely talented, but she is cute, too…

And when not on set, she could be found entertaining Sophie Rubin in the green room. (Sophie and her mother Luana from eQuilter.com came to tape today!) Here, Ellen and Sophie are free-motion quilting a little horse drawing.

Sophie with her free-motion stitched drawing. Sophie is growing up so quickly…

More from the taping tomorrow. I am in need of some food and a little sleep.

Sweetie the Dog Update, Doggie Bandanas, and Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am happy to report that Sweetie has been adopted! Here I have spent all this time trying to get her hooked up with so many agencies and exhausted my social media efforts, when all I really needed to do was simply walk the dog through my neighborhood.

The other night I realized I had no food in the house and wanted to walk to get take-out for dinner, so I took Sweetie with me. A woman entering a restaurant saw Sweetie and just fell in love with her. Her name is Kimber and she called me yesterday morning and told me that she very much wanted to adopt Sweetie. We had a long conversation, and last night, armed with a tote of treats, a bag of dog food, six months of heart worm preventative, Sweetie’s medical records and tags, and a Ziploc baggie with a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter, Sweetie and I walked to the same location to meet her new mom. I handed her leash over to Kimber, knelt down and gave Sweetie a hug goodbye. I admit I got really choked up, and on the walk back home alone I felt very wistful yet so happy Sweetie will have a happy life ahead of her.

Sweetie’s last morning at my house, napping with Clarence.

Thank you for sharing your rescue stories and your ideas for quilters to reach out and support strays. I have printed out all of the responses and have some ideas that I will share with my team. One thing I thought about doing in the meantime is stitching some doggie bandanas that fostered dogs could wear on walks to let passers-by know they are adoptable. Something like this drawing I whipped up this morning…

When I get back from the Quilting Arts TV taping next week, I want to issue an online drive on my blog to make some so we can all drop off at our local shelters. Are you game?
Speaking of QATV, I leave this weekend for Cleveland, and beginning to pack up my segment prep:

Some very talented guests are coming next week, and I will post pictures and behind-the scenes stories when I get to Cleveland. In the meantime,  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! And congratulations to Becky Bowles–you won the doggie fabric! Please email me at pokeyb@quilts.com with your shipping address and I will get the fabrics to you when I return home.

Calling All Dog-Loving Quilters: A Question & A Free Doggie Fabric Giveaway

Since it is already Tuesday, I realize I am a little late in hoping everyone had a great weekend last weekend! Mine was spent in my studio, making a ton of quilt-y goods, including this tote I made for my pet sitter.

Tote made from Kathy Mack’s market tote pattern that appeared in the premier issue of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene.

Speaking of pet sitting, the night before I left for the Long Beach Quilt Festival last month, I almost hit a dog on the way home from taking Clarence to the dog park. After I swerved onto the sidewalk, I ran out of my car to check if she was ok, and she was in such horrible shape: caked in mud, malnourished, and trembling. She had no tag on her collar, but responded positively to my endearment of “Sweetie” with a gentle thump thump thump of her tail. I hoisted her into my car, took her home, bathed her (pretty significantly because she was a mess), then let her play with Clarence…who thought the idea of a sleepover was a great one! That first hour with our new guest, it was a just blond whir somersaulting across my hardwood floors.

Since I was leaving the next day for an entire week, I called numerous shelters and emergency hotlines that night to see if I could get her taken care of…but no such luck. The following morning I went to my vet and pleaded with him to see if I could board her for a week until I got back.  Fortunately he said yes, so I dropped “Sweetie” off, hoping that while I was away, I could get her either reunited with her owner or adopted–unfortunately neither happened.

This is where compassionate quilters came to the rescue. Numerous quilting friends tried to help me problem solve on Facebook, including art quilter Kim Ritter. She even went to my vet to meet Sweetie, helped me pay the cost for her care and vaccinations, and posted signs in the neighborhood.

When I returned from Long Beach, I went to my vet to visit Sweetie, and she was so affectionate. Below my coworker Allison Cooper is giving Sweetie some much needed love.

I called more than 20 agencies and rescues to see if anyone could help me, but unfortunately every shelter was filled or beyond capacity. I thought my best option was to take her to city-run BARC, a local agency that was recommended to me, as there is a huge campaign to adopt out as many animals as possible in the next few months in order to win some significant grant funds. Below is her picture.

Problem was, I just couldn’t stand it, I couldn’t stand the idea she could possibly be put down, and people were messaging me and encouraging me to explore other options.  So I went out, bought a crate, more toys and treats, and brought her home. She is home with me now, and I am fostering her in the hopes I can find her a forever home soon. (Hey, I have a lot of pets already!) She is learning commands very quickly, loves to be around people, is very docile and playful, sleeps a lot, and loves to go on runs with Clarence.

Since moving to Houston, I have now taken on three rescues (but again, I am planning for Sweetie to find another “forever” home). But as I was driving down to Houston from Boston last fall, I noticed more and more strays on the side of the highway as I traversed across the South. It is a real problem, and one that Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker is striving to correct in our city. I heard her speak at the Grand Reopening of Friends for Life, a no-kill shelter in Houston where I got Clarence, and she relayed that she is determined to adopt out as many animals in Houston shelters (namely BARC), and spread the word of how crucially important it is to spay and neuter your pets.

It got me thinking…I know the Mayor is a fan of Quilt Festival (she attends on her own time every year…sometimes more than once!), and she also loves animals. I’d love to coordinate some kind of quilt-y outreach, but don’t know what exactly. So many of us at Quilts Inc. have rescued animals for pets, it is a cause very close to our hearts.

So here is my question: If you as a quilter could be a part of some kind of outreach to help raise awareness for rescue animals, what would it be? And if you have a rescued love one, tell us about him/ her in the comments section. On Thursday, I will randomly select a winner to win this set of Puppy Park Fabrics by Riley Blake Designs!

WANTED: Artists for Open Studios at International Quilt Festival/Houston!

Thanks to all of you who answered my question yesterday about what quilt demonstrations, processes, and techniques you would love to observe. (And congrats to Kit Lang as you are yesterday’s book winner! Please email me your shipping address to pokeyb@quilts.com and I will ship this book to you faster than you can free-motion a feather motif.)

The reason I posed this question yesterday was because we are looking to expand Open Studios this fall in Houston! I was hoping to get…oh…about 60 sessions of artist demonstrations right on the show floor over the four days. (Maybe that is an aggressive amount, but, hey, I like to think big!)

Jane Davila demonstrating Gyotaku (fish printing) in Open Studios in 2008.

Just imagine being able to observe some of your favorite quilt artists demonstrating their craft, sharing tips, techniques, and secrets, and demystifying processes that are mysterious and confusing. We are hoping to offer a wide range of hands-on demonstrations: everything from art quilting and mixed media to modern quilting and free-motion stitching.

Are you a quilt artist who has expertise in a certain area? We are looking for artist applicants who would be willing to volunteer two hours (or more) of their time during show hours to share their expertise with quilt fans. (Sounds like a hard gig, doesn’t it?!)
If you are coming to Houston and are interested, here’s what we are looking for:

• Artists who are considered experts in their fields. (It helps if you have written articles for magazines, have authored books, teach on the show circuit, have an active blog, etc.)

• Artists who have lots of colorful quilts and fabrics that we can use to decorate the Open Studios area.

How to apply:

• Please email me (pokeyb@quilts.com) with the technique you would like to demonstrate. Remember that each session will be two hours. If you have multiple ideas for multiple sessions, please list them.

• Please attach in your email a clear, low-resolution (72 DPI) jpeg of your work for each session. Please limit it to one image per Open Studios session.

• Let me know when you ARE and when you are NOT available during show hours to facilitate an Open Studios session during International Quilt Festival.

• Point out whether you will need a sewing machine for your demonstration.

• In the subject line of your email, please write (in caps) OPEN STUDIOS/HOUSTON.

*** We are are also looking for artists who work wet, so all of you painters, dyers, and surface design artists, we want you!

I hope to have the schedule fairly finalized by the beginning of October, and I really hope you will apply. Please help me spread the word…we are planning for this to be a very lively and fun area with diverse offerings!

Maudlin-Free Monday! Free Book Giveaway: Sunday Morning Quilts

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was busy: I adopted another furry creature (more on that tomorrow), did some QA TV prep for our upcoming taping, and stitched a market tote for a friend who recently underwent surgery. Essentially I was closeted in my studio with my animals and a stack of DVDs, and that is how I like it.

To kick off the work week, I thought to giveaway a recent book I got from Stash Books, an imprint of C&T. It’s called Sunday Morning Quilts coauthored by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. In it you will find 16 quilt projects to use up all those colorful scraps in your stash that you can’t bear to throw away. These projects are pretty easy and straightforward, so they are great for the budding quilter and the art quilter alike who may want to stitch up something pretty quickly.

To be in the running for this book, all you need to do is answer the following question, and I will randomly select a winner tomorrow.

Question: If you could watch a quilter in action in his/her studio, what process, technique, project would you want to watch them do? In other words, if you could watch quilt demonstrations, what kind of demos would you like? (And yes, I am asking for a reason!)

And congratulations to Wanda Myers! You are the winner from this past Friday’s fabric giveaway. Please email me at pokeyb@quilts.com with your shipping address, putting “Fabric Winner” in the subject line, and I will get these fabrics to you shortly.

Happy Monday,

Free Fabric Friday Giveaway!

I have spent some time this week looking at all of the Pinterest boards people posted in the comments section of this blog post, and I am mightily impressed by the sheer number of pins! I admit, I’m not a prolific pinner…and that’s simply because I know I would while away my nights pinning on Planet Pinterest rather than stitching in my studio.

Even if I only pin sporadically now, there is something to be said for surfing other people’s Pinterest boards because you never know what great ideas they may inspire. Take for instance this “radial” board by Hilary Frye. I love how she is using her board to explore and celebrate a simple geometric shape.

Hilary Frye’s “Radial” board. Great images and I especially like her request at the top of the board: “Please keep any photographer or artist credits associated with photos when repinning. Thank you for this courtesy. Also, please make note in the comments if credits are unidentified and you know the proper associated identity with the image.”

I also discovered a fantastic tutorial through Lynn Provencher’s ATCs–Quilted Postcards–Mug Rugs–Tags board. (What I circled below on this board caught my eye.)

I then clicked the link to the photo where this was sourced and discovered this cute little mug rug tutorial by Darci of stitchesandscissors.com.

And it got me thinking…IQF/Houston will soon be upon us, and wouldn’t it be fun to expand the trading opportunities on the show floor beyond just ATCs?

So here is my Free Fabric Friday question:
If you could create your dream trade or swap at a quilt show, what would it include?

Would it be mug rugs, or perhaps fabric postcards with recipes on the back? Or maybe ATCs in the modern quilt aesthetic, or something else entirely? Please share your ideas and thoughts in the comments area, and on Monday morning I will randomly select a winner who could win this set of fat quarters by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics:

Have a great weekend!

A Busy Monday at Quilts, A Special Call for Entries, and A Book Giveaway!

Blog Update: Book Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Kirstyn Cogan! Please email me your mailing address to pokeyb@quilts.com and I will ship the book to you!  And everyone, thank you for sharing your Pinterest boards. I am going through them and seeing some pretty amazing things to repin!

It’s a very busy Monday here at Quilts headquarters as we gear up for our flagship show this fall. I mean…look at all these packages we got this morning!

Meet Lucy, our U. S. Postal Service representative who is making today’s delivery of quilts for the upcoming Houston show.

My colleague Rose Reyes is hard at work processing the stacks of exhibitor contracts for the upcoming Fall Quilt Market.

And I would share a top secret photo of quilts being unpacked in the backroom by about eight people, but then the element of surprise at the Houston show would be ruined, and we wouldn’t want that, now would we!

A Special Call for Entries for Quilters Who Love Photography

Maybe you don’t have time to stitch up a quilt to enter into this fall’s edition of International Quilt Festival/Houston, but what about trying your hand at photography?

Introducing…the 2012 edition of Eye of the Quilter and Haiku From You: Favorite Things
We all have many things that we enjoy and love: a special time in your life, a memory, a special friend or pet. “The Eye of the Quilter and Haiku: Favorite Things” exhibit is about these kinds of memories and more, a subject limited only by what you see through the lens of your camera and your creativity.

Submit your three best digital shots keeping in mind the title (Favorite Things). You can manipulate the image or images in any way you like. In order to have you photograph considered, you must include a statement which will be included with your photograph in the exhibit if accepted. Entries will be juried and finalists will be printed, mounted, and exhibited at the Fall International Quilt Festival.

If you would like to share your Haiku, we invite that too! (And no, that rhyme was unintentional.)

The deadline to submit photos and/or Haiku is September 1st. For more information visit this web page.

Book Giveaway

So do you like modern quilts? I just so happen to have a copy of Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen’s Quilting Modern, and it is fantastic!

There are more than 15 quilt patterns in it, one called “Add It Up” that I am eager to make, not to mention some really cute pillow and placemat patterns. (Both Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen have quilt blogs that are fun to read, too.)

All you have to do is answer the following question and I will randomly pick a winner tomorrow (Tuesday) and I will announce the winner in this blog post. The winner will then just need to email me their mailing address at pokeyb@quilts.com.

Book Giveaway Question: Do you pin on Pinterest? If you do, please post the link to your Pinterest board in the comments area. If you don’t pin, you still have a chance to win the book, just describe what your dream inspiration board would have on it and what inspires you.

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