Cool New DVD Out on Fabric Manipulation!

Something about the term “heirloom” and Cheryl Sleboda in the same sentence seems oxymoronic. When I hear the word “heirloom” I think traditional and dainty…more Martha Pullen than someone like Cheryl: someone who works in the comic book industry, sporting bright red hair and a platinum blond streak as wide as a quilting ruler. When I think heirloom, I don’t think of someone whose logo is a skull with cross bones made of a needle and thread, nor someone who in many  ways is a quilting pioneer, using LED lights in her quilts.



But alas, Cheryl has surprised me because not only has she proven to be an innovative quilter,  but someone who can take the term “heirloom” and make it modern with her new DVD, “Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter.” In this DVD, she demonstrates numerous techniques for dimensional fabric manipulation. Using running stitches and drawing guides, she covers everything from smocking, gathering, puffing, pleating, scrunching, and more.



I am far, far down on the roster of Cheryl’s blog hop to help promote her DVD, and others (listed below) have covered in depth the content of the DVD. However, I just want to chime in and say that if you want your quilts to pop (literally), Cheryl’s DVD is the go-to learning tool because she makes complicated patterns easy.

I should also add that Cheryl has her own tool, an heirloom smocking template, that does the drawing grid work for you! I am going to get this tool because I think it would be GREAT for shibori work. In fact, her fabric manipulation techniques would be really fun to try with shibori.


Hmmm…I think that’s my next studio project when I am back home again.


To learn more about the content of Cheryl’s DVD, check out the blogs below!

June 9 – Susan Brubaker Knapp –

June 10 – Maddie Kertay –

June 11 – Faith Jones –

June 12 – Lynn Krawczyk –

June 13 – Julie Creus –

June 16 – Catherine Redford –

June 17 – Megan Dougherty –

June 18 – Pokey Bolton – (me)

June 19 – Jamie Fingal –

June 20 – Cheryl Sleboda –

Cast of Downton Abbey Visits the Set of Quilting Arts TV!

Well, maybe that header is a tad misleading…but I got you to read this far, right?

I owe the final entry on the QA TV taping that took place last week, and a little known show on PBS called Downton Abbey made it’s way on set, thanks to Cheryl Sleboda


Me with my friend Cheryl Sleboda who taped a whopping five segments for this next season.

A fellow die-hard Downton Abbey fan, Cheryl demonstrated how she made small portraits of Downton Abbey characters based on her cartooning and sketching techniques. In the picture below (if you squint), you can get a glimpse of the steps she took to make portraits of Sybil, Edith,  Cora, and even the Dowager Countess!


Closest to Cheryl, you can see the “step-outs” to create Lady Mary.


I also taped a segment on International Quilt Festival’s Pet Project to raise funds for Friends for Life, Houston’s premiere no-kill animal shelter. I am hoping thousands of PBS viewers  take my request to heart, and send in pet postcards for this next fall’s show (or better yet, come in person)!

Pokey Festival Pet Project

Above I’m holding a postcard I made featuring my beloved Lou Lou.

I was so happy to get Sue Bliewiess to tape with us finally. A fellow Boston girl, she is very, very talented and makes the most adorable pet postcards. She did a lengthy segment, explaining her techniques for creating them.

Pokey Bolton Sue Bleiweiss


My friend Judy Coates Perez came back this season to tape two segments on dying and fabric painting, and she looked fantastic with her new Farah Fawcett hairdo!

Pokey Bolton Judy Perez


Linda McLaughlin taped a couple of segments, one on a variation of deconstructed screen printing (which was so cool and I will be trying this weekend), and a segment on “365 Days of 65” where she hand-stitched small quilt squares every single day during the year of her 65th birthday.

Pokey Bolton Linda McLaughlinx

Her newly adopted discipline of daily hand stitching inspired other finished works, including this black and white quilt that I was rather tempted to steal off the set…

Black and white stitching


The very colorful Dianne Springer was a newbie to QATV, but she was a total pro on camera as she demonstrated how she takes scraps of fabrics to create a vibrant mailbox that will definitely set one apart from the neighbors!

Pokey Bolton Dianne Springer

Fellow thermofax screen passionista, Lynn Krawczyk was back this season, too, to demonstrate how to turn one’s love of surface design techniques into wearable art and home dec. projects.

Pokey Bolton Lynn Krawczykx

Silk dyer Marlene Glickman was back, too, to demonstrate a unique way of creating fabric collage using elusive bits of dyed sheers.


Modern Quilter Debbie Grifka demonstrated five small modern quilt projects that were so clever and that all can be completed in an afternoon. (By the look of my bangs in the shot below, it seems Judy Perez wasn’t the only one channeling Farah Fawcett!)


And lastly, Heather Jones was back this season to demonstrate other modern quilting techniques…some of which she will be demonstrating at Open Studios at International Quilt Festival/ Cincinnati next week! The guy between us is Mike Murphy, our Director. (He loves to ham it up.)

Pokey Bolton Mike Murphy Heather Jones

And speaking of behind-the scenes folks…here are another couple of guys that I stare at all day:

Billy and Brandon

Floor director Billy with camera man, Brandon (and Hulk Hogan in the middle).

Have a great weekend, everybody!