Monday, September 30, 2013

The Road Less Traveled


I joined an online art quilt group I discovered on Facebook and they have challenges every two months. The current quilt deadline is today and the theme of the challenge was called "The Road Less Traveled." The size of the quilts are 11.5" x 16.5" and we reveal our work on the blog site today at, on Facebook at and on our own blogs.
So what did I decide to do-I thought about what the road less traveled meant to me and it meant to do the unconventional things that other people aren't doing. I love to do portrait quilts and thought how can I combine portrait quilts with this challenge? Last February I was having the winter blahs and dyed my normally brown with blonde highlighted hair hot pink-that was not really conventional for a middle aged woman living in the Upper Midwest in a small town!! So that's how it started with a fun self portrait with my hot pink hair!! I do add the victory roll to my bangs so that was normal for me and hand stitched one of my pink hair clips that I actually use in my hair to the roll for a 3D look.
While I was thinking about this project, I attended the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison WI in early September and Chris Daly had a booth in which she sold hand dyed fabrics. I purchased some bright hand dyed velvets including a hot pink. I added this velvet as the hot pink hair highlights which was the second "road less traveled" idea of velvet not cotton for this quilt. It was easy to fuse and to work with on my sewing machine.
Then my friend Faith who is in her early twenties, and very fun and inspirational, is all about using Duct Tape for projects. I watch her make wallets, flowers etc. out of Duct Tape and found this 1970s themed tape and decided to use it as the binding on this quilt. Number three of the "road less traveled" is no traditional binding but use Duct Tape instead. I began with the pink hair idea and it percolated into more ideas!! I had fun with this project-which to me is the whole point of these challenges to explore new ideas but if it is not fun why bother!!
I'm not sure the quilt judges would love the duct tape binding if I were to enter this in a quilt show but it is an art quilt!!
The next challenge is called "macro" which will be interpreted as a close-up view of something and I have an idea and it is not a portrait quilt and it is due Nov. 30th. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Quilting Arts TV Taping Experience in Photos

 I drove to the Cleveland Ohio area for my two 9 minute segments for Season 13 of Quilting Arts TV on PBS. My friends Patti and Faith were my traveling buddies and were able to hang out at the studio in the green room while I did my thing. Patti took all the photos for me. The season, I was told, will be broadcast in January 2014. My segments will appear in Episodes 2 and 3. The entire season is taped in one week and the TV show has the process down to a science! The first photo is me with Katherine the studio manager. All needed supplies for the taping are put on a huge cookie sheet and I am organizing my items for the first episode and feeling nervous and out of my element.
One of the show sponsors is Bernina sewing machines and if we are doing a sewing demo we who have never used a Bernina, Jeanne from Florida and has a huge title I can't remember, shows us the ropes. I am in the middle of getting a crash course on the mother of all Berninas. Jeanne is amazing and the sewing machine was so easy to use. I sew on a Viking Sapphire as my home machine and on a Janome at the quilt shop. Like my outfit for the camera and no make up!! YIKES!!!

 Me again organizing my supplies and trying to not be nervous!!
 This is me getting my make up done which is nice since I'm usually giving the service not receiving it!! This season of Quilting Arts is being taped in HD and the make up artist had special HD foundation which lasted all day-I didn't want to wash it off!!
I taped the same day at Diane Doran and the make up artist left after she did our make up but left Pokey, Diane and I all samples of our lipstick, foundation and powder for touch ups.

 Getting episode two prepped.
 This is the green room where Diane and I laid out all our goodies. Pokey had the back table. The far room was where the sewing machines were.
Pokey taped all the episodes in one week and tapes all the intros at once then the editing people add the individual segments later. Pokey has her picture taken in each episode's garment so when she sits with each guest she has the correct garment on and there is cohesion. The photo is the bulletin board that allows Pokey to keep track of her clothes!!

Quilting Arts TV has a new set and I am sitting there to feel comfortable in this environment.

And here we are taping my first segment on my Intro to Portrait Quilt pattern.

 This is a view of the set pre-taping with the director, Kathy, and Vivica, the editor of Quilting Art Magazine, Helen, the DVD lady, Kathy's assistant, Pokey and myself.
This is me doing my sewing demo on the Bernina in the first segment. What do you think of my beautiful Shellac manicure! Had to keep it bland for the camera or I would have had something glittery and hot pink!!

And these are my hands discussing my Line Drawing technique. I made one glitch in the first segment but I nailed the second one!
This was a great experience! I was fearful of the 10.5 hour drive and my friends rode with me to help me feel more safe and then I had people to talk to on the journey.  One of my hair customers at the salon lent my her EXPass which allows me to zip through all the toll booths in IL, IN and OH which saved time and money!! Everyone at the studio was kind and there were no divas! It was easier than my nervous stomach was telling me and I hope to be invited back again in the future.
After the taping I asked Katherine, the only local woman, if there was a Joann fabrics in the area and behold the store headquarters was 13 miles from the hotel. Paradise to leisurely spend 1.5 hours in the flagship store!! All in all I have been blessed!!