How I use sketchbooks in my textile art making practice

I had a request… yes. I take requests. One of you wanted to know how I use sketchbooks in my studio practice. So, yes.
I use sketchbooks in my art making practice, even though I work in textiles. I’m a visual person. I think I started in college… before then I was music, music, all the time. I kept stacks of journals but they didn’t have sketches in them.

I have an entire drawer full of old sketchbooks.

And a shelf full. And they are here and there all over my house too. I have two in my little tiny pocket of a purse right now. If however, you are looking for something pretty or fantastic in those pages, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Back in the day… when I first was learning they were nice and neat. In architecture school we had regular checks so they had to be. Architects are nothing if not orderly. At least in school. You want to know something funny? One of my fellow students once told me I should be an artist (after looking at our “deconstruction” models, not after looking at my sketchbooks. I was so offended. She was right.)I used to love nothing more than sketching buildings. They still give me a thrill but I’ve rarely had time over the years to sit in one place out and away and sketch. I hope to get back to that some day.

Then after undergraduate work, when the University across the country where we moved to told me they didn’t accept any of my transfer credits, I chose not to do graduate work. I stayed home and started my family, found quilting, and kept little sketchbooks with photos of the work I did. This is the “Apron Exhibit.” Anyone here remember the QuiltArt mail list from waaaay back when? This exhibit instigated one of the first art pieces I made and I loved learning all about things behind the scenes as I helped to send the exhibit traveling all over the country.

I took pics of everything I made and stuck it in a stack of little sketchbooks. It made me feel like I had actually accomplished something back in those early baby days.

I took sketchbooks with me when I traveled although I rarely sat still to sketch or paint. They usually end up as notes and journals with a few sketches from memory thrown in.

I made fancy sketchbook covers.
You can find a tutorial HERE for how to make one yourself. 

I tried doing the pretty “art journal” thing for a year or so. I still love this page, but not one single other one really felt successful. I looooove pretty art journals. Maybe someday I’ll give it another try.

I used sketchbooks as well as the large newsprint pads when I was going to figure study groups, trying to learn to draw the amazingly complex human form. That’s another thing high on my list of things I want to do again.

For a number of years now sketchbooks have been visual journals… the messy kind that look like the clutter in my head. This was years ago working on building my business, dreaming. I still love ideas and dreaming and business.

These days I carry little tiny 3.5×4.5 dotted page sketchbooks (Blackwing is my current favorite) in my tiny purse. It barely fits. They have notes, journal stuff, kids draw in them, I work out furniture arrangements in them.

I carry a larger (but still thin) moleskine on flights and play around making celtic knots. They are like sudoku for artists. You can find a tutorial HERE for how to draft your own.

The smaller sketchbooks also actually get used for…. art making. I love making little thumbnails and doodling out a million ideas and possibilities.

It’s interesting how many variations of a circle and a line can capture my curiosity.

But my sketchbooks are still mostly note taking, and doodling, and doing something with  my hands so my brain can sit  still and listen while I’m in meetings.s

So – next request?

International Quilt Festival…. how big is it?

And the last two videos from the International Quilt Festival I’m going to share here are just fun little clips I’ve edited together so that you can get a feel for what happens there. It’s big. It’s really big.


You can see the rest of the video interviews from IQF 2018 on my youtube channel.

Start Your Art & Create Whimsy

Two fun things…

First: head over to Jenny Lyon’s blog to see what she did with the Start Your Art cards – her Deconstruct exercise is my favorite! She agrees with me – making “bad art” is a good thing.

Second: I’m spotlighted over at the CreateWhimsy website. They’ve done a lovely in-depth interview about my driving purpose and my art making. Enjoy!

Small Works: a loooooong running series

If you really, really, want to find your voice as an artist – you simply need to make art.
Make lots of it.
Make a series.

And if I followed my own advice….. I have made lots of art but it has been interspersed with motherhood – five fabulous kids worth of motherhood and all the time that takes. So it’s really fun when I organize my files and find that I’ve got a series of one subject, by accident. So here you go…

THE AMMONITE SERIES

Ammonites I, II, III
(some time before 2010)

 

Ammonite Dream
35″ x 45″
2011

 

Ammonite: plum and sand
4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
2010

 

Ammonite: up close
8 1/2″ x 10″
2010?

 

Ammonite: line study
5″ x 7″
2011

 

Ammonite Triptych
20″ x 20″ (each)
2014

 

 Ammonite XVIII
12″ x 12″
2015

 

There are a couple more, but they’re ugly. I tell my students all the time – if you don’t make some ugly stuff you’ll never get to the good stuff. That doesn’t mean I’m required to show it to you. Looks like I’m overdue to make another ammonite……

 

Jenny Lyon’s book: Free Motion Quilting

(update – comment #12 is our lucky book winner! Enjoy some serious quilting time Sue!)
Welcome blog hoppers – skipping along through various blogs and reading all about
The Quilt Skipper’s (aka the fabulous Jenny Lyon)
new book

I know Jenny’s work, and her teaching too. We’ll both be teaching at Craft NAPA next month – can’t wait to see her again! She has a beautifully spare design esthetic that really speaks to me. Some of her designs are so simple, so stark, that not only do they have a great visual impact from far away, but they leave room for some spectacular quilting to be the star of the show. By that I don’t mean that you fill in a million motifs through every square millimeter of the surface. I mean that the quilting stitches become an integral part of the design – like the piece wouldn’t be the same without them.

Jenny Lyon, Stip Gigantea, detail front and back

You might find it useful to hear why Jenny wrote this book. There are a million books out there for Free Motion Quilters after all. “My book was written for the experienced beginner and I think that is an underserved portion of the market. There are a lot of “experienced beginners” who have completed a few projects and can do a few motifs fairly well, but they are afraid to quilt their “real” quilts and they’re not having fun. It is my hope that my book will inspire and encourage them to push forward, “plactice” and enjoy quilting their own work.”

Can you see why I might be attracted to her style? PLAY = PRACTICE!!! 

I have to admit that free-motion quilting is NOT my favorite part of my process. It’s difficult for me to work out designs that complement the work and I don’t actually enjoy the doing of it….. until I’m in the flow. Then time kind of stops and it becomes very meditative. So – I always have something to learn. One fabulous idea that I think I’ll take into my own practice is to write a “mission statement”  for each quilt. That’s really a fancy way of saying – “I’m going to write down what I think this quilt is trying to accomplish so I don’t forget my end goal and veer of track design-wise.” I think it’s brilliant.

Another thing I love about Jenny’s book, besides her gorgeous quilting, is that right there at the beginning she talks about basic design elements and principles – consciously including ideas like scale and unity to create the best design possible for your quilting stitches. Hooray! She’s singing my favorite song!

Jenny sets out a structured program of 21 days of “PLACTICE” (play + practice) to help you up your free motion quilting game. I love that she includes step-by-step preparation with all the basics covered. (You DO use a new needle for every project, right!?) But she also delves into methods for coming up with your own designs and various ways to practice. If you can’t stand just making throw-away practice sandwiches (my favorite) she suggests using a panel, or making charity quilts or placemats as the perfect practice pieces. I have to admit that when I saw this quilting motif I immediately grabbed a pencil and set to work figuring it out on the nearest piece of paper.

So – you ready? I recommend you add Free Motion Quilting to your book list! Me? I’m going to dig out a quilt top I finished years and years and years ago and just play around with it… for 20 minutes a day. Because I know the only way to improve is to actually DO the thing. Jenny’s got me inspired to get off my rear and DO the thing.

If you’d like to win a copy of Jenny’s book leave a comment here answering these questions:
What is the hardest thing about free-motion quilting for you?
and
How can you make it easier?

I’ll pick a winner on December 11th. Make sure to leave me a way to contact you.
You can also leave comments on each of these blogs for more chances to win.

Dec 1     Jenny K. Lyon
Dec 2     Lisa Chin 
Dec 3     Catherine Redford
Dec 4     Lyric Kinard
Dec 5     Heidi Proffetty
Dec 6     Debby Ritenbaugh Brown
Dec 7     Libby Williamson
Dec 8     Barbara Black
Dec 9     Cindy Grisdela
Dec 10   Teri Lucas

 

A few notes about the hop:
– You can enter each day but can only win once.
– Each blogger will leave the comments open for 8 days and then will choose a winner using a random method.
– I will send winners a signed copy of my book.
– If you find a blog along the way that you find interesting, sign up to receive notices of each future posting. This is a talented group!
– International winners will receive a digital copy.

The more the merrier-feel free to pass my post on to others so that we can all play along.

Best of Dinner@8 exhibit at IQF 2018

And…. here is a lovely walk through of the special exhibit:

Best of Dinner@8

Enjoy!

Cheryl Sleboda and Sew Much Cosplay at IQF 2018

Another treat from the International Quilt Festival 2018. I had the chance to chat with Cheryl Sleboda and follow her around for a live walk through of her special exhibit:

Sew Much Cosplay

Enjoy!

Reverse Resolutions for 2018

I call them “reverse resolutions.” You can call them whatever you want. Instead of making goals I might not be able to keep (although I AM making goals this year) I list all the great stuff from this past year and have the pleasure of checking them all off.

2018 in review

MADE ART

Y is for Yearning
currently traveling with the
Migrant’s Alphabet project

 

Accession: Something Added
currently traveling with
Best of Dinner@8 exhibit

Celtic Knot Quilts in need of names

 

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW

Used a long arm machine for the first time
Learned Ukulele

Abbey Glassenberg’s Email Marketing class
Lauren Dahl’s Creating PDF Patterns class

Climbed 30′ up a tree (about halfway.)

ENTREPRENEURIAL ENDEAVORS

Start Your Art card deck

A new SHOP for my website
New Online Courses:
Bead It Like You Mean It: pt 2 beyond the basics of beading on fabric
The Artist’s Toolbox: the Elements of art
Moved into a new studio where I can watch birds land on the branches right outside my window.

 

TRAVEL

Santa Clara, CA
Ocean Isle, NC
Greenville, NY
Washington, D.C.
Dimmit, TX

Haymarket, VA
Omaha, NE

Orlando,FL
Ashville, NC
Cleveland, OH

Houston, TX

 

DOING SOME GOOD IN THE WORLD

Days for Girls Project
Social Justice – immigrants rights
Committed to no 1 use plastics whenever possible

 

BEING AMAZED AT MY CHILDREN

Far flung places

All grown up

Upward

Onward

A summer obsession

A little higher

A week away at band camp

Bashing things with sticks

What a lovely long list of wonderful things to check off. I feel so accomplished. Imagine me laughing uproariously! Seriously it’s all awesome but if I had written them down ahead of time there would be so many things that never got checked off. Why don’t you give it a try!

Share your own REVERSE RESOLUTIONS with me!

Most wonderful of all my friends, is that I feel I’m doing something worthwhile because of…. YOU!
I love my family, I love the world, I love meeting YOU!
I love sharing ART with YOU!
I love seeing you open your Artist’s Eyes so that you can

FIND JOY
CREATE BEAUTY
and
BE INSPIRED

IQF Award Winner Interviews

Whew. You all are amazing… have I told you that before? You kept me hopping BIG TIME over Black Friday. I think I’ll do it again next year. In the meantime… here are some more video interviews from the International Quilt Festival.

The Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry

$5,000*
Sponsored by Pfaff Sewing Machines

Hope
by Ximo Navarro Sirera
of Canals, Valencia, Spain

Mr. Sirera is a lovely and gentle man. I stood around long enough to find someone to translate for me. His work was well deserving of the award. He told me he’d only been quilting for 5 years. This treasure took two years to create. It was his “distraction” while he underwent treatment for cancer. We are so glad he is still with us.

 

The Gammill Master Award for Contemporary Artistry

$5,000*
Sponsored by Gammill

Velvet Flowers
by Linda Anderson
of La Mesa, California, United States

I didn’t get the chance to talk to Linda Anderson but her husband, Steven Gadon, who was manning the white gloves when I stopped by and was happy to chat about this spectacular piece of work.

Enjoy the work of these two artists!

Black Friday Sale on Online Classes!

Thank you my dear artists for your support! I look forward to learning with you.
All course prices are now as marked.

early bird pricing $149.00
full price after December 2018, $169.00
Course starts April 1, 2019
Click Here for More Information

 

$79
Course starts March 1, 2019
Click Here for More Information

 

$29.99
All lessons available now!
Click Here for More Information

 

$29.99
All lessons available now!
Click Here for More Information

 

$29.99
All lessons available now!
Click Here for More Information

 

Abstract-A-Licious online Spring 2019

March 1 – May 1, 2019

If you’ve looked with secret longing at the world of Abstract Art but have no idea where to begin, this is the class for you.  Lessons consist of  concrete design exercises that are clear and easily understood as well as ample encouragement from an award winning teacher. You don’t need to have drawing or design skills as this course is designed to inspire and teach  both the timid beginner and the confident creative. Lyric’s easily followed  instructions  lead you to create  your own unique and original abstract compositions.

“Thanks for all of your feedback AND encouragement – such a great ‘kick in the ass’ class!” – Pam Lowe

Register Now

$79.99
6 lesson modules, 5 weeks of exercises, 7 weeks of Lyric’s time
unlimited lifetime access to lessons

This course includes space for you to share your pictures and get feedback from your classmates. The more you contribute, the livelier class will be.  Lyric will pop in twice a week to give feedback on each picture posted. This platform provides a safe space for a lively and sharing creative community to explore without judgement and competition.

Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to a new lesson. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from. There are short videos to show how Lyric works each exercise and to explain the gist of things.

Just like in a live classroom, you’ll be able to see your fellow students work and discuss how things are going. You’ll get encouragement and instruction from Lyric on all the work you post.

Supplies consist of things you already have at hand so you won’t be time or money shopping for things you might not use again. The most important supply is an adventurous willingness to explore, grow, and play as you learn to see and create within the framework of abstract design. Doodles will be scribbled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had. Won’t you join us?

Register Now

Registration is open now
The classroom will open for introductions on March 1, 2019
Lesson 1 will open on March 12th
Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be May 1st but the classroom will not close. 
You will have continual access to these lessons.

Lessons will consist of short video introductions and PDFs.

FAQs:
Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will be using pen and paper to begin most of the exercises but Lyric will show you exactly what to do. It’s easy. Promise!

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Us whatever your favorite medium is to create your studies. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into them if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your eye as an artist.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. There is a gap wee after the third exercise and  classroom is open two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is plenty of wiggle room.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on each posted assignment until October 18th. The more you post, the more you get out of the class. Make sure to read comments on other students work as well. There is as much to learn from each other as from the course work.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the written content, available as PDF lessons. You can download them as soon as they are released or wait until the end of the course when they are available in one contiguous file (great for e-readers). The videos are not downloadable but you can continue to access them online as long as you’d like.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. Support@Ruzuku.com is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

Registration is Open Now

$79.99
6 lesson modules, 5 weeks of exercises, 7 weeks of Lyric’s time

Registration is open now
The classroom will open for introductions on March 1, 2019
Lesson 1 will open on March 12th
Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be May 1st but the classroom will not close. 
You will have continual access to these lessons.

Start Your Art & IQF 2018

Two things again today.
Susan Brubaker Knapp made some “bad art”
with the Start Your Art cards!

Take a peek at her blog then comment there to enter her giveaway.

And here is another interview from the International Quilt Festival 2018. This time we talk to prize winner Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, winner of the Koala Studios Master Award for Innovative Artistry.


Enjoy!

Start Your Art & IQF2018

Two things for you today.

The Fabulous Mel Beach

over at
Piece, Love, and Happiness (awesome name for a blog!!!)
has written a blog post about my
Start Your Art
card deck of warm-ups for artists….

….. and there is a giveaway so go see it now!!!!

 

And guess what else?!
I got to interview Mel in front of her gorgeous quilt at the International Quilt Festival.
So you can listen to her for a minute here….

… then go read her blog!

International Quilt Festival 2018: The Power of Women exhibit

Please enjoy this FB live recording of a little walkabout through the Power of Women special exhibit at the 2018 International Quilt Festival. Ask any questions in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer them.

 

My New Shop!

Hello Friends! It’s still been crazy busy, but I’ve been having a ton of fun. It’s long overdue, so I finally gave my online shop an overhaul and major redesign. It’s still a work in progress as I haven’t gotten all the artwork for sale that I want to post up yet. But it’s getting there. 

Take a look and let me know what you think.

And I’ve got a secret… except now it’s not a secret. I’m working on my first ever Black Friday sale. There will be discounts on my online classes and digital publications that will only ever be this good on Black Friday sales. I haven’t quite decided what else to put on sale. There is only one little catch.

The coupon codes will only go out to subscribers of my newsletter

Lyric’s Lyricisms 

If you’re not on the list, I’m told it’s worth it. I send out a monthly inspirational essay, encouraging my readers in their artistic endeavors. It also contains each month’s Calls for Entry for shows that feature Art Quilts. You never know when just the right opportunity is going to come your way. Will you be ready for it? I hope so – otherwise I’m not doing my job here well enough. You can do this!!!

I’m a guest on the D@8 Blog

This is the last year of the long running yearly exhibition curated by this talented duo.

Jamie Fingal

Leslie Tucker Jenison

I’ve been honored to be a part of the exhibitions for seven of it’s nine years.
There were some fun interview questions that you can read if you can pop over to

this link

Accession: something added
30? x 50?
cloth, dye, paint, thread

New Work: Y is for Yearning

I’ve been honored and humbled to be able to work this summer with a group of artists spearheaded by the amazingly talented Jane Davila. This compassionate group of activist artists wanted to speak out about the human rights violations being committed agains immigrants in the United States. Jane was inspired by an 1846 Abolitionist book; a children’s primer called The Anti-Slavery Alphabet. The works included in the Migrant’s Alphabet are powerful. They don’t soft-pedal the evils that are being perpetrated by US immigration authorities.
 

Y is for Yearning

 

Y is for yearning
Longing to be free
To live in peace and safety
Just like you and me
 
12″w x 12″h
digitally printed cloth, paint, batting, thread
 
Artist Statement
My ancestors came here for many reasons. Some immigrated in the very early colonial days of this country, including a couple who arrived on the Mayflower. I can only guess that they were seeking economic opportunity, adventure, and greater freedom. Some made months-long perilous journeys from Europe and India, sailing around the southern continents, seeking religious freedom. Recent family members immigrated from Cuba. One to fight in World War II and one for schooling then simply stayed to avoid the Castro regime.
 
None of them were incarcerated in detention centers, waited in “line,” or faced harsh immigration restrictions. They simply came here and added their colorful threads to the tapestry that is the United States of America. There were no educational or income standards to meet. They were truly those invited by our Statue of Liberty.  “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
 
Are any of my ancestors (or yours) more deserving than today’s asylum seekers and economic migrants? I do not believe so. I believe we as a society are capable of opening our land and our hearts to those who wish for the same opportunities that made our lives possible. 
 
You can view all of the artwork,
find education about immigration issues,
find links for ways you can HELP,
and can sign up here to be notified when the book is available at
Exhibit History
City Lights Gallery, Bridgeport CT Oct 4-18, 2018
The Migrants Alphabet, curated by Jane Davila.

An Artist’s Life: What’s on my Plate

One of my Favorite Books

 

Working on producing commercial patterns
(What would you name this little table topper?)

 

Hand written notes to voters campaigning for my favorite candidate.
(Because this election is make-or-break to end partisan and racial Gerrymandering in NC)

 

A little bit of this.

 

Another table topper pattern in the works.
(Also no idea what to name this!)
I’m taking a fabulous online course that is helping me learn how to create commercial patterns.

 

Getting ready to support these guys for weekend number 3 spent in Wilmington helping hurricane victims. I man the CleanUp crisis hotline. We are taking calls for Hurricane Michael and Florence.
If you know someone who needs help that volunteers can provide (trees, flood muck-out)
please have them call (800) 451-1954

 

Creating a Free PDF for people who sign up for my newsletter:
5 Essentials to Wake UP your Inner Artist

 

Lots of kit making for my upcoming teaching gig in Houston for the International Quilt Festival.
There is still room available in my Saturday class Screen Printing Made Easy!

 

Finding sample sewers to finish up some of the quilts for those upcoming commercial patterns.

And:
Teaching Abstract-A-Licious online
Teaching (and writing) The Artist’s Toolbox online
Working on contracts for 2020: NSNG here I come!
Being Mom. Which is really first on the list.
And driving kids places. And driving some more.
And learning my new favorite song on my Ukulele.

Craft Napa Retreat 2019 – the BEST EVER!

I’ve taught at a lot of quilt guilds, conferences, and retreats.
I love them all but hold a soft spot in my heart for

Craft Napa!

There is just a different energy there, so welcoming, energetic, and creative. I think that is something that can be attributed to it’s creator, Pokey Bolton. It seems everything she creates has an energy that just buzzes with enthusiasm and warmth.

Napa Valley California is an enchanting place that people travel to from all over. It’s wine country, it’s green, and it’s WARM in winter! Can’t beat that.

It also hosts a large group of artists for one week in January. Instructors inspire, students explore, and anyone can come by and shop Friday evening’s Artist’s Market. I’ll be there with my Start Your Art cards, small works, kits, and other fun stuff.

But best of all are the classes. I have to tell you, it’s a heady atmosphere being in the company of so many talented women. The venue is a beautiful hotel and the classes center around a communal courtyard. People gather there, people talk, people oooh and aaaah over all the student’s samples as they are laid out during the day. The hard thing about teaching there is that I want to be IN all the other classes too! I need a clone! Or five.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN

There is still space in both of my classes.
Won’t you join me?

Fly Series: mixed media postcards

I’ve been spending time cleaning out my files… mostly as I procrastinate things I really, really, really need to be getting done. I can’t find that I ever posted these photos, but they are some of my favorites. So here you are.

The Fly Series
Mixed media, acrylics and collage on watercolor paper.

Fly: Boldly

 

Fly: Sweetly

 

Fly: Brazen

 

Fly: Dauntless

filming for quilting arts tv pt 4: on set

When I arrived at the little studio in Cleveland the first time several years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. Now I look forward to walking in and spending a few days with many amazing artists and technicians who also happen to be amazing people!

The studio, owned by the production company (not Quilting Arts) is very, very unassuming from the outside. It’s just a door in a long string of doors in a long bring building in an older light industrial part of town. It’s not huge and fancy. You walk right into the green room where tables are set up for guests to do prep work. Each of us has one or two tables and we are given giant cookie sheets to organize our stuff for each segment. There is a monitor on the wall (you can see it in the previous post) so that you can see what is happening on set.

Off to one side is an office. There the incredibly organized Katherine Lamancusa mans the phones and keeps everything organized with charts posted on walls. The lovely Jeanne Delpit from Bernina is there all week with the latest model machines and everything she needs to help us look like we know what we are doing. I practiced at the local shop and after I got to Cleveland so that I could do the bits I needed to smoothly. (I work at home on a great little workhorse Bernina 930 Record. Yes, the new machines are fantastic – but I tend to beat mine into the ground and love the simplicity of it’s function.

What amounts to two walk-in closets in the office have become the Make-Up room – where copious amounts of paint are applied to the face just so that you don’t look like walking death under all those lights. There are a LOT of lights on set. On the other side is a “dressing room.” It’s just a garment rack for the bazillion things Susan (the hostess) has to change into with a mirror and room for your things too. There is a list of things NOT to wear on camera – notice how you almost never see stripes? Pure black and white don’t really do well either. Often what you see as a white shirt is actually a very light blue. And you need to not clash with what Susan is wearing. Or with those walls.When it’s your turn on set people swoop in and help you make everything go smoothly and look wonderful. It’s a  big room with the same set the show has used for years. I wonder where they store it for the rest of the year? They raise or lower the table, cover it or not, hang stuff behind you or not… whatever it is you need. The sound guy threads wires up your shirt, clips a thingy onto your pants in back (I learned to wear things that something can be clipped to the hard way once! He had to clip the little box remote thing to my undies while I blushed.) The mike gets clipped to your neckline somewhere where rustling cloth or jewelry won’t make noises.There are at least three (maybe four – it was dark back behind the cameras) tech people making things work in the room with you during filming. Everybody has a job but it seemed like everybody was also willing to pitch in wherever needed to help you get set up. I really loved the way the celtic knot quilts looked on set!Before you start filming a team of folks goes through the plan with you. Kathie Still, the producer is on the right. She can listen to you walk through what you’ve got set up and knows so much about this gig that she can let you know right then if you need to cut something or stretch something out with a little chatter. Vivika from Quilting Arts is in the yellow. Camera/plug-thing-like-irons-in-so-they-actually-work-when-you-need-them guy is in the back. Left is (another curse my brain can’t remember her name moment) also from QA is on the right. She takes lots of photos for marketing, monitors the monitor, and makes sure we didn’t forget stuff.

It only takes a few minutes to get a general road map of what is going to happen then everyone disappears into the control room. You can see a picture of that on this previous post.  I bring printed lists for everyone of my steps. Mostly they are for me so I don’t forget anything. Except that I always forget to put on my favorite pair of earrings. I kind of obsess about what to wear and find the perfect artistic earrings to match, then get there and forget to change earrings. Ah well. Next the cameras roll, I talk as fast as I can, Susan has to keep track of what Im doing AND listen to instructions through that invisible earpiece, and whoosh – it’s all over! Well – except when they decide something needs to change. Then they do what they call a “live edit.” They scroll back the tape to a reasonable starting point, tell you where to put your hands and your things and what you were saying, and you get a “do-over.” I seem to try to pack so much into my time that there isn’t room for Susan to chat much so she just lets me go full steam ahead and says “yes, nice, great” until it’s time to put the brakes on. I admire her ability to work that magic and help her guests look great.

So – stay tuned! I filmed four segments, two for series 2300 which begins airing on National Public Television in January 2019, and two for series 2400 which stars in June or July. Look up your local PBS station to see if it will play in your area, take a peek, and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

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filming for quilting arts tv pt 3: the process

Before arriving both the hosts, publishers, sponsors, and producers of the TV series have a boatload of work to do. The host and publisher work together and find a good group of guests to appear. They need to find varied and interesting artists who are also willing and able to share their work onscreen.Vivika DeNegre with F+W media, Me, Susan Brubaker Knapp, hostess of QATV.

Teams of staff members help schedule all the guests, trying to fit everyone for an entire season’s filming into just under four days of filming. They have to figure out which segments will work together in which episodes. The hostess films a ton of “intros and outros” as well as small segments to fill any time gaps. The guests fly into the studio location, with all their stuff and with the help of excellent staff, get to show off their thing for the cameras.

Suzan Engler’s husband, snapping a quick shot of her onscreen from the “green room.” Another staffer watches through each filming to make sure nothing gets missed. She also takes publicity and still shots for Instagram and Quilting Arts online presence.

The current system is to film three artists per day with each guest shooting two or three different segments. The guests arrive a day early to settle and set up so they have the opportunity to meet the current day’s guests and watch as they film.

I had the great pleasure of watching Suzan Engler film several segments on digitally printed quilts. I loooooooove her work!

The filming isn’t linear so Susan Brubaker Knapp, the current hostess of QATV, has a complicated chart and photos of what to wear for each segment and is changing tops and jewelry constantly all day long. 

Look at the superstars I got to hang out with for a day! Vivika, Susan, Jane Haworth, Luana Rubin of Equilter.com, and Joe Cunningham. There were a couple of other artists there including the Pixeladies (Deb and Kris) and Enid Weichselbaum.

Next post I’ll walk you through set-up and prep for my segments. Feel free to ask any questions you have and I’ll answer to the best of my ability.

filming for quilting arts tv pt2: step outs

So how does one go from a new idea, to being ready to demonstrate it on the magic screen? With lots, and lots, and lots of work. Usually I choose to demonstrate something I am very familiar with. It’s easy to pull out all the samples and spout off the spiel that I’ve said hundreds of times while teaching.

This time however, one of the segments I proposed was a new idea. It doesn’t happen very often that I get a new idea, all nice and shiny and fresh. I mostly teach techniques so coming up with a project isn’t my usual mode of operation. And while the technique is familiar to me, this new project has me ALL excited!

Guess what folks! I’m going to make some patterns!

You’ve heard the term “learning curve” before, right? Well here I am at the beginning of a roller coaster of a learning curve! I started with a small sketch of a celtic knot. Just choosing a couple out of the many, many, many I’ve drawn took forever. Too many to choose from. Which ones would work in cloth? Which ones are easy or hard or would look great on screen?

After a number of false starts I DID NOT choose this design for my main sample.  I personally like this one, but after a few tries thought… not for TV. And especially not in red and black. Did you know cameras really don’t like red and black? I do now.

Instead I chose this. It’s a small and fairly easy knot. Comparatively. I found a talented graphic designer who cleaned up the sketch beautifully and created a vector file that I could print at any size without losing image quality.

 

 

 

I chose commercial fabrics thinking that people would relate more to them in that “I could do that” kind of way. And really, the whole point of the demo is to show the audience that yes, they CAN do that.

Then began the work. You know when you watch a cooking show and they have all the ingredients ready to go in pretty little bowls instead of digging things out of jars and boxes? Then they put the pan in the magic oven and pull the finished product out two seconds later? It’s like that… but a little more. When showing a project for TV you need to have a “step-out” of every part of the process. In my case I only had 8-12 minutes to teach something that could take a couple hours to make at home.

So here you are seeing:

  • The pattern printed, a light box, and tracing materials
  • Fabric half fused, already fused, ready to cut, already cut
  • Cutting materials
  • Partially fused fabric, ready to arrange
  • Batting and stabilizer for the faux trapunto technique
  • Small sample to show various thread choices
  • Sample ready to show stitch techniques
  • Stitched sample, ready to cut away extra batting
  • Trapunto batting cut, ready to layer with thin batting and backing
  • Sample ready to quilt
  • Finished sample ready for shading with colored pencils.

And there you go!


Finished and ready to pull out of the magic oven sewing machine!

Tomorrow I’ll give you a peek at the other pieces I made for set dressing. Because, of COURSE I couldn’t just use one little sample, right? 

filming for quilting arts tv: ideas and preparation

I had the wonderful opportunity last week of filming for Quilting Arts TV hosted by Susan Brubaker Knapp. It’s lovely and long running show that airs on PBS stations in the United States. You’ll have to check your local station guide to find out if it runs your area.

I thought I’d give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the whole process. I know I’m always much more fascinated by the process than by the actual shows sometimes.

The process began months ago when Susan and I were chatting about the different artists she was scheduling and brainstorming ideas I might have for demos. I had to look it up, but I’ve done this gig three times before, filming at least six segments for five different seasons. I know it seems like I should remember something as big a deal as this, but my brain doesn’t work any more when it comes to timelines and numbers.

I had ideas for demos that concern things I’m very comfortable and familiar with, but I also had an idea that would use the celtic knots I’ve been drafting for several years. It’s a great idea. I love it. A month later and two weeks before the deadline when my kids finally went back to school and I could get some work done…. I was panicking! Why on earth did I choose something that I had NO samples and step-outs made for!!!!!

Tomorrow I’ll show you the behind-the-scenes preparation for this demo.

 

On-line Course: The Artist’s Toolbox part 1 – the Elements of Art

Wake Up Your Artist’s Eyes

April 1 – May 31, 2019

After you have designed the composition, everything else you do is merely execution – not that execution is by any means trivial, but virtuosity of execution is for naught if the composition is wanting.
-John Gargano

The elements and principles of art are the building blocks for every piece you create. It doesn’t matter if you think about the elements consciously or design intuitively. Every single work of art you see is made of various combinations of texture, shape, line, color, and value. They are the basic five-letter alphabet of the visual language.

Registration is Open Now

Early Bird Pricing $149.00 Until December 31, 2018
Full Price $169.00 begins January 1, 2019

One of my favorite courses to teach is The Elements of Art. I’ve been working for a long time to bring this course to you online and it’s finally ready. It’s fun like kindergarten playtime, but also a seriously informative and in depth study of composition. Gaining an understanding of how the basic elements of texture, shape, line, color, and value function, can be life changing for an artist, especially if you are not formally trained. If you have been to art school, this refresher is presented in such a clear and easily understandable way that you will feel you are learning it for the first time.

Being able to articulate and understand what you already intrinsicly know can help you to see your work, and the world, with new eyes. It can help you move your unique vision from your mind out into the world where you can share it.

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.  -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Whether you have a formal background in art or are completely self taught, this course is something you can truly benefit from. Check your fall calendar and save the date!

Registration is Open Now

Early Bird Pricing $149.00 Until December 31, 2018
Full Price $169.00 begins January 1, 2019

Lesson Schedule:

  1. April 1: Welcome and course philosophy
  2. April 8: Texture
  3. April 15: Shape
  4. April 22: Line
  5. Break/Catch Up
  6. May 6: Color
  7. May 13: Value
  8. May 20: Wrap Up
  9. May 31: Lyric’s last comments on student work.

Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be May 31st but the classroom will not close. You will have permanent access to these lessons and be able to refer back to them as long and as often as you wish.

Lessons will consist of written material, assignments, and instructor feedback.

FAQs:
Q: How does the class work?
A: You will log into Ruzuku to access the course. Each week a new lesson will open consisting of both videos and written instruction. You will need to have an internet connection to stream the videos but can download the written material to peruse at your leisure. In the bottom of each section of the lesson there will be space for you to post your work and interact with the teacher and other students.

Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will use pen and paper but Lyric will show you exactly what to do. This class isn’t about drawing, it’s about learning to see and understand what it is you are seeing.

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: No, you most likely already have everything on hand. If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Use whatever your favorite medium is to create the studies for this course. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into each lesson if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your understanding as an artist. The more work you put into your individual study, the more you will learn and grow.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. I will comment for two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is a little wiggle room. The lessons themselves will remain open to you permanently.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on posted assignments until November 1st. The more you post, the more interaction you will get. Lyric will respond to each individual student, but also formulate her responses to the benefit of everyone in the course. Please read other student’s questions and answers as you they might ask something you hadn’t thought of.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the written content, available as PDF lessons i available to download. You can download them as soon as they are released or wait until the end of the course when they are available in one continuous file (great for e-readers). The videos are not downloadable but you will have permanent  access to them after November 1st.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. Support@Ruzuku.com is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

Registration is Open Now

Early Bird Pricing $149.00 Until December 31, 2018
Full Price $169.00 begins January 1, 2019

tiny piecing is nothing new: antiques at the international quilt study center and museum

As seen in the
International Quilt Study Center and Museum
in Lincoln, NE

Log Cabin, light and dark setting
Maker unkown
Circa 1890 – 1910
Probably made in New England

Ardis and Robert James Collection

 

One Patch
Belle Ross
Circa 1950
Possibly made in Coffeyville, Kansas

Ardis and Robert James Collection

 

Triangles
Maker unknown
Circa 1860 – 1880
Probably made in the United States

Ardis and Robert James Collection

 


(So sorry I didn’t get the title and maker on this one.)
Ardis and Robert James Collection

lyric made a bed quilt? It’s a miracle!

So, now four out of five of my kids have quilts for their beds. The first got hers at age two, the second at age 8. Both are still in heavy use but neither are dressing a bed. 

This kid got hers two years ago. I’ll tell that story soon. This quilt was started quite a few years ago as a project to teach my son to sew. Both of my boys started quilts at the same time. I cut a muslin square then they just sew strips and flip them. Start in the middle with a green strip and work your way out. Ethan got about six blocks in and was done. That’s fine. The point was to give him enough experience on a machine that if he ever want to touch one again he knows he can do it. Mission accomplished.

I finished up another six blocks or more then put it away. Life. Deadlines. All that stuff. I imagined I would finish it last year for his birthday. Didn’t happen.

 

im telling you friends. If you want to get things done join a quilt bee full of ladies who love to sew. And who have time to sew. Kathy is a miracle worker. She put the rest of blocks together. During our quilt week at the beach I got the borders thrown on. Becky has a long arm and let me use it to quilt this monster. The thing is queen sized (no, I didn’t measure a single thing during the making of this quilt.) it is also ridiculously heavy with a flannel back, wool batting (which is not heavy) and an extra layer of muslin as the base for each of those blocks. I got the monster quilted in about seven hours. Wow. I bound the whole thing by machine. No hand work here. 

Seeing him happy with it, dragging all around the house to wrap up in is gratifying. Worth it? Yes, thank you.

Artist Spotlight: the tailor and the princess

While the artwork I create is very different from most other textiles I see, I greatly appreciate the artistry in every kind of quilt. 

This historical piece displayed at the International Quilt Museum and Study Center pretty much blew my mind. The technical skill is incredible. 

Here is a photographic reproduction of the painting the textile is based on.

The  1860 House of Commons after original painting by John Phillip 1817 – 1867

I’m currently working with a little hand appliqué. I’m telling you right now, my skill level is not even close to this. 

Tiny pieces. Invisible stitches. Beautiful color gradations.

 

artist spotlight: agneta gaines

Seen at the Hotshops Artist Studios in Omaha, NE.

Triticum Wheat
Fiber
44″ x 49″
by Agneta Gaines

art furniture for my new music room

On a recent trip to Asheville, NC a friend and I were on our way back to the car, ready to head home, and I just couldn’t resist stopping in one last shop. 

Green Designs handcrafted wood furnishings. And of course, there in a back corner, was a piece calling my name. What used to be my studio is slowly becoming our music room. It needs hard furnishings for musicians to sit on and have freedom of movement. And so, my first piece of ART furniture!!!!

Sturdy enough to last through the abuse it will surely suffer. I never want to live in a house that can’t handle rowdy kids. Of course I blame lots of the scraped up floors and banged up furniture on the kids, but a lot of it is me. I’m clumsy. I’ll admit it. At some point the room will come together and I’ll show you more pictures.

For now I’ll just show off the only other project I’ve finishes in the room so far. I designed these patterns and had them printed at Spoonflower. It’s just peel and stick wallpaper. I cut chair rail molding and glued it together in frames, stuck them on top of the wallpaper with command velcro strips, and screwed the ukulele pegs into the wall.



The last two are kaleidoscope prints based on pictures of my french horn’s pipes.

student spotlights: quilt nebraska 2018

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days playing with the fabulous women at Quilt Nebraska in Omaha. It was the first time I’ve been to that part of Nebraska and I must say I was charmed. I’ll post a few photos of my adventures later but for now I’d love to spotlight the wonderful creations of my fabulous students. 

Playful Portraiture

This is a relatively new class and involves a lot of “head learning” as well as functional lessons in fusible appliqué. 

Students learn how to use digital technology (apps on our phones and tablets) to aid us in seeing the contours and shadows of the human face.

We learn that it is VALUE that makes the faces work, even  more than color. So you can get away with making a funny green or blue and orange face, as long as you get the VALUE contrast right.

We also learned about proportion and the easy mathematical formulas that help beginners to draw a reasonable looking human face. Really, it’s super easy to get all the parts in the right place!

I loved seeing the faces in progress and coming together. I taught students my personal preference, which i stocks use minimal contours to delineate features. I feel that too many value variations tend to make a face in fabric just look wrinkly. It’s really just a personal preference. You have perfect freedom to choose otherwise.

And….. it isn’t a class with Lyric if we don’t get a little silly at some point! Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans ladies!

Not to leave out an entire classroom full of women willing to explore and create and play with abstract design…

Abstract-A-Licious

These ladies spend a wonderful day working through a whole morning of what i call “brain spill!” Concrete and simple exercises designed to spill out lots and lots of ideas that can then be explored as jumping points for abstract designs. They worked hard and came up with some beautiful designs. It didn’t matter if they were confident designers or had never deviated from the instructions on a pattern. Every single student came up with wonderful designs!

If you would like to take this class with me but can’t get to where I will be, the fall session of Abstract-A-Licious opens at the end of August online. I’d love to see you join me there! 

Registration is open now.

start your art! 48 warm-up exercises to jumpstart your art card deck

Stuck? Blocked? Bored?

Uninspired?

48 warm-up exercises to jumpstart your art. A card deck for when you find yourself stuck, blocked, bored, or uninspired. It’s time to play! Jumpstart your art with 15 minutes of “bad” art so you can spend the rest of your day getting to the good stuff.

Start Your Art is a deck of cards that uses the Elements of Art as a jumping point for 48 exercises to get you going in your studio. Each exercise is meant to be 15 minutes long but you can play as quickly or as slowly as you desire.

Physical Card Decks are being printed NOW!!!
Pre-orders available below.

Until then….

 

Play with a PDF file perfect for use on your smart phone or tablet.
You will be directed to a link where you can download the PDF file after payment.

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE HERE!

Pull your smartphone out of your pocket and pull up a random exercise any time you feel the need to jumpstart your creative practice. Any medium, any place, any time.  Take 15 minutes to make “bad art” so that you can free up your creative juices and move on to the good stuff.

Play with your students!

Play on your own!

Play with a group!

Play with your children!

You have permission to throw your “bad art” away. Use scraps or use the good stuff in any medium you prefer. Make a mess! Nobody has to see it. Your playtime. Your rules!

 

Get yourself to your creative workspace. Stick within a size that is small enough to finish in 15 minutes, such as 5? x 7?. Pull out your stuff, then pick a card from the deck. Set a timer for 15 minutes (or more if you wish) and start playing. If you want to go easy on yourself, use the medium you are most comfortable with. If you want to push yourself into the wild unknown, use a medium new to you.

 

Physical Card Decks available now!

 

 

no such thing as doing it wrong

Most of all, there is this truth: No matter how great your teachers may be, and no matter how esteemed your academy’s reputation, eventually you will have to do the work by yourself. Eventually, the teachers won’t be there anymore.
Elizabeth Gilbert

This quote is absolutely perfect because it is exactly the point I try to get across to my students. The thing I seek most when I teach is to give my students the skills to figure stuff out when I’m NOT there.

The only two rules I have in any of my classes are these: “no masterpieces allowed,” and no “I can’t.” As soon as a student starts to worry about getting something wrong or making something exactly right, then she is inhibited, stalled, and working from a place of fear rather than from a place of creative exploration.

What is the worst that can happen if you make a mistake?
(Seriously – figure it out and write it down. Right now. It probably isn’t nearly as bad as you think.)
Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did.
Neil Gaiman
 
I’m a huge fan of making mistakes. Sometimes they are the most valuable part of the learning process but only if you stop and learn from the mess you just made. The process of analysis is key to progression when you are an artist.

Ask questions of yourself such as, “WHY do I love or hate this?” “WHAT about this is important to me?” and “HOW did this technique go awry and what can I do differently next time” Ask yourself, “Was this really a mistake or is it the next thing I need to add into my work?” You never know when feeling free enough to make bad art will lead to the best art you’ve made yet.

What is the question you need to ask yourself next time you make a mistake?

Art + Quilt, Lyric’s book on basic design

Lyric’s book on the basic elements and principles of art can help YOU to be an artist!
Order your SIGNED COPY now!

AQ_square

In this book, Lyric delves deeply into the building blocks that make up the visual language,  simplifying the basic elements of art and teaching the underlying principles of good design. You will be guided through an exploration of texture, shape, line, color, and value with examples and hands-on exercises. Essential principles–such as focal point, balance, repetition, scale, and unity–are paired with creativity exercises while guest essays, guest artwork, and inspiring artwork from the author allow readers to analyze how other artists utilize key artistic elements. You will learn how to successfully use these elements in order to bring your own work to a new level of artistic excellence.

$26.95 plus shipping

dedicated to:

 

 

 

 

International orders will be mailed via USPS first class. If you prefer another shipping method please contact Lyric for estimated shipping costs.

“Lyric Kinard’s book Art + Quilt, Design Principles and Creativity Exercises is an absolute treasure. If you haven’t added this book to your library already, here are a few reasons why you should. Her writing style is gentle, encouraging, almost an embrace but like a good friend she also knows when to push and when to nudge. There are no excuses! And this makes for an even better creative ride.

Lyric’s style is permissive and encouraging. She reminds us that we are all creative whether organizing our household or daring to embrace our own artistic selves, the basics are all within our grasp and ready to be shared with the world. Lyric breaks down the key aspects of art into 5 categories, Texture, Shape, Line, Color and Value and provides prompts to explore each idea.

Once these ideas are integrated into your repertoire, Lyric expands on these ideas by discussing some basic artistic principles; focal point, depth and space, motion and rhythm, to name just a few. She does all of this while peppering the text with ideas taken from major works of art, reminding you to place one foot in front of the next in order to become an artist in your own right, inspired by your very own experiences, armed with the basic concepts and ideas to keep you motivated, one piece of art at a time.

One of the best things about this book is the design game on pages 88 and 89. Just take your copy to a decent copy shop, ask them to print these two pages off onto card stock, cut them down to playing card size and play! Another great thing is that this book comes with a perfect binding that conceals a spiral that will stay flat as you work your way through Lyric’s exercises. It is a true workbook.” – Melanie Testa

I understand that new books can be expensive. I order used books on Amazon all the time. (I try to order new books from the author if available, or a brick and mortar store if possible. Did you know authors get almost nothing from amazon orders?) If you want to order my book from Amazon you can follow this affiliate link and then I will get a small percentage. Thanks a million!

 

artist spotlight: robbi eklow

Robbi Eklow was my first friend during the two years our family lived in Chicago.  She picked me up straight off the airplane while my husband went out for some job stuff. As I recall, we went straight to a bead shop. She now lives in Omaha Nebraska and works at has a public studio in the HotShops. 

I absolutely adore my own new studio but I am an extrovert. I really need to be around people and have conversations in order to thrive. Someday I hope to have a public studio in addition to my home space. someday.

As you approach her studio Robbi’s work is immediately recognizable. Super bright colors, overlays, gears. 

After our teaching was done several other teachers came along for the tour.

Robbi is in the middle of moving her current studio up one floor to a larger space.

What would you do with the space? She and I had some wonderfully fun conversations about quilt hanging apparatus. The walls are brick but the very high ceilings have exposed wooden joists. 

What would you do with space like this?

Winner! the hand-stitched surface

Hand Stitched Surface by Lynn Krawczyk

Congratulations to Sue McVicker on being the winner of Lynn’s book, The Hand-Stitched Surface.
(chosen via the random.org number generator)

Thank you to everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment.
If you didn’t win you can always pop over to buy your own copy. You won’t regret it.

ten books every artist should read

1
The Creative Habit

Summary: DO THE WORK. The entire book comes down to that. You can’t find your voice unless you speak… all. the. time. There is no such things as waiting for the muse to speak. You do the work.

“After so many years, I’ve learned that being creative is a full-time job with its own daily patterns.  …The real secret i that they do this every day. In other words, they are disciplined. …In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative.”

2
Art and Fear

I think I have a good 3/4ths of this book highlighted. It speaks so clearly to the reasons we don’t just get to it and make the art. It’s been truly helpful to me in shifting my paradigm from one of “what if they don’t like me/my art” to “just DO THE WORK.”

“The lesson here is simply that courting approval, even that of peers, puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience. Worse yet, the audience is seldom in a position to grant (or withhold) approval on the one issue that really counts – namely, whether or not you are making progress in your work.”

 

3
Steal Like an Artist

This book is a quick, light, and inspiring read. It’s another iteration of “do the work and don’t worry about other things.” Nothing is original. That was a lightbulb moment for me. Everything builds on something else.

“What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Some people find this idea depressing, but it fills me with hope. If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.”

 

4
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Hands down my favorite book for beginners learning to draw. She sings my song on every page. Learning to draw is like learning to do addition, to drive a car, or to play a scale on a piano. A good teacher doesn’t expect you to know how to draw before you come to art class – she teaches you how to do it.

“Ability to draw depends on ability to see the way an artist sees, and this kind of seeing can marvelously enrich your life. You will soon discover that drawing is a skill that can be learned by every normal person with average eyesight and average eye-hand coordination.”

 

5
The Natural Way to Draw

If you really, really, really want to learn to draw, really, really, really well. You have to do the work. This book is a college text – deep, dense, and amazingly wonderful if you are serious. He is so clear and detailed about every exercise. Blind contour drawing is one of my favorite ways to truly SEE what it is I’m looking at. His exercises have probably done most to further any small skill I have in sketching, but most importantly, have helped me SEE like an artist.

“.. a contour study is not a thing that can be ‘finished.’ It is having a particular type of experience, which can continues as long as you have the patience to look.”

6
The Artist’s Way

I had heard about this book for years before I cracked it open and took a look for myself. I was thinking it was going to by much to schmarmy for my taste. I was wrong. It is but the series of exercises here help you to clarify and solidify who you are and what you want as an artist are truly helpful. 

“As blocked creatives, we often sit on the sidelines critiquing those in the game…. We may be able to defer to true genius, but if it’s merely a genius for self-promotion we’re witnessing, our resentment runs high. This is not just jealousy. It is a stalling technique that reinforces our staying stuck.”

 

7
The War of Art

 

Let me just say that this is in the  same category as Art and Fear, although a little easier to get through. He reiterates another of my favorite soapbox issues… EVERYONE can be creative. That thing where people say “I’m not creative” can be squashed if you buy into the ideas in this book. The minute you say can’t you’ve given up.

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear, then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there’s no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist. What Henry Fonda does, after puking into the toilet in his dressing room, is to clean up and march out onstage. He’s still terrified but he forces himself forward in spite of his terror. He knows that once he gets out into the action, his fear will recede and he’ll be okay.”

 

8
Zen Pencils

Gavin’s graphic illustrations of inspirational quotes have inspired me and helped me keep going during those inevitable days of self-doubt. I actually bought two copies of this book so I could tear out pages and post them all over our walls. I also adore Gavin’s other books, Creative Struggles, and Dream the Impossible Dream.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart

9
Color and Light

I’ve loved everything James Gurney has done for years and years. His amazingly educational and entertaining blog, the hours and hours my children and I have spent with all of his Dinotopia books, Imaginative Realism, just – everything.

“Your paintings can be true to nature but emphasize different aspects of visual truth compared to another artist. The way you paint is a record of how you see.”

 

10
The Little Spark

This book is sweet, and rich with photos that have that beautiful instagram feeling. But it also has a lot of meaty inspiration in there. She touches on all my hot button issues: do the work, make space to do the work, make time to do the work, give yourself permission to do the work, forget about whether it is a masterpiece or not, that creating makes the world a better place.

“The Spark is your creativity, and you were born with it. We all were. Humans have always felt its pull. …your desire to make things is bigger than you. It comes from our human desire to make things beautiful and meaningful – not for the sake of beauty, but because each decorative mark on that cake or that pot celebrates our existence.”

 

(In the interest of full disclosure – if you buy these books through these links I get a tiny little kickback. I hope you find the list worthwhile.)

the hand stitched surface by lynn krawczyk – blog hop

I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to showcase
Lynn Krawkzyk’s new book The Hand Stitched Surface.

Hand Stitched Surface by Lynn Krawczyk

Each illustrations is clear and beautifully rendered and Lynn’s examples are full of delightful whimsy. The projects are fabulous and include Stitched Buttons, Boho Collage Coasters, and a Technicolor Begonia Cushion among others.

hand-stitched-surface by Lynn Krawczyk

Reading this book and being inspired was the perfect reason to spend an afternoon with needle and embroidery thread. For me, there is nothing more playful and relaxing than choosing the perfect weight and color of thread to add little stitches to some small piece of textile work. That is it’s relaxing – until your fingers feel like they want to fall off as you struggle to pull the needle through several fused and quilted layers of cloth. Things can get a bit tough then.

No worries. I’ve got a little tip that will make it MUCH easier to pull even thick pearl cottons through canvas!
Take a peek and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

 

It’s as simple as that. Use a rubber finger to pull the needle instead of pliers (been there – not fun) or a thimble. Rubber fingers are available at office supply stores. Pretty nifty, eh?

rubber fingers are perfect for embroidery

And dear U.S. readers, you have a chance to win a copy of Lynn’s book by leaving a comment on this blog post! On On Tuesday July 17th I’ll choose a comment at random. I’ll post and contact the winner so keep an eye out.

Be sure to stop by each blog on the hop and leave comments because every one of us gets to choose a lucky winner!

Monday July 9 – Lisa Chin
Tuesday July 10 – Ana Sumner
Thursday July 12 – Libby Williamson
Friday July 13 – Allison Aller
Saturday July 14 – Lynn Krawczyk

I think this little guy is adorable.
I call him Little Clown with Dragonfly Wings
He is 5″ x 7″ (plus a little wing overlap)
He is available.
$40.00

studio shots part 3: welcome to the palace

So you’ve seen a video, side 1, and my ironing table idea hack.
Want to see the other half?

Coming up my stairs and looking to the right is another room full of light and space. My drafting table is my favorite thing in the world. An art professor that I was a Teaching Assistant for one summer (I don’t clearly recall how that happened – I wasn’t an art student, I was in the architecture program) pointed me to a pile of discarded desks outside and told me I could take one. I took it apart, refinished it, and used an old door as a table top for years. A few years ago I finally made a dedicated plywood top for it that fits both the table and my large cutting board. It originally had a light table top but that was gone when I got to it.

Most days I have a print-ready cover on it consisting of a big chunk of felt covered by duck cloth that can be washed. Last week I had white poster board on top and photography lights and photo stands working on getting some good shots for my upcoming Bead It Like You Mean It part 2 online course.

Another window, more fabric and stuff storage. I move my table around as needed and have learned (the hard way of course) to be very careful if it is close to those angled walls. Ouch!

This spot is still under construction. I have to keep the area by the wall clear so that the pull-down attic steps aren’t blocked. The ugly door on the left leads to a closet I had built – filling in the empty space above the stairs. It’s the only thing I thought was badly done in the renovation but I don’t have time to deal with it. I’ll make a quilt to cover it up!!! The closet holds my book/DVD/Packing materials inventory.
On the someday list is to paint the filing cabinets there bright red. On top of it is my thermofax machine and materials.

These shelving units from IKEA were much easier to install here than making custom built-ins. AC ductwork goes through this bench so it felt like lost space. Finished quilts are stored up top and really, this is most of my fabric collection. I think I have more garment sewing fabric than quilting cottons.

The one serious drawback is that I don’t yet have a big design wall. I’ve got two 4’x8′ insulation boards covered with flannel. I’m going to frame them. The only big wall I have is covered with a full wall mirror and I love the light it reflects into the room. I might end up covering most of it anyway. I need that wall. 

Or – I’ll frame up two or three of the insulation boards and put them on wheels so they can move around. I could then use them for backdrops for filming video. We’ll see.

new work: accession, something added

I’m so very pleased to announce that 

Accession: something added

30″ x 50″
cloth, dye, paint, thread

has been accepted into The Best of Dinner at Eight Artists: Celebrating 10 Years of Exhibitions. Each artist selected a theme from the last 9 years for what will be our last exhibition. The exhibit is sponsored by Havel’s Sewing and will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas in November of 2018.

 

studio shots part 2: welcome to the palace

Here are some overall photo views of my new studio space.

Coming up the stairs you see storage – it’s taken me six months to take a day to look through what was actually in most of these boxes. I didn’t actually get around to clearing them out and organizing them but at least I added a sticky note telling me what was in each one.

The purple sleeper sofa was here before. It’s from the 60’s and weighs about a thousand pounds. I recovered it years ago (it was hideous) when I helped a friend take it off her hands. I paid two seriously burley guys to get it up the stairs to the third floor years ago. They had to hold it straight up on end to get it around the corner entry of the stairs. I realized a little late that filling in the opening above the stairs (turned into a closet) precluded it ever leaving the attic again.

In the foreground you see my pressing/ironing station… the previous posts spotlights this in case you missed it. I spend lots of hours at my computer watching birds land in the tree right outside this window. It’s heaven. To the left you can see my trusty Bernina Record 930. It’s my primary machine these days and I love it. There is a yoga mat under the fluffy green rug that I pull out occasionally.

Next around is my HQ16 – one of the first made. No stitch regulator. Just me and the needle going up and down a million miles an hour. I built in the window seats as a reading nest. Underneath I’ve stored machine cases and a roller table with my wide format color printer and a stool with all my printing supplies dumped into it. My duct-tape-double, mounted in a plaster filled bucket stands guard and I haven’t put my clunky serger away yet. There is a yoga ball that needs a lot more inflating before I see if I can sit on it at my computer.

The closet holds my finished artwork, blank stretched canvases, rolls of fabric, and batting. It’s stuffed. But at least I know where everything is.

This is just half of my space. (Spoiled much!?)
Stay tuned for the other half next week.

Any questions? Feel free to ask them!

studio: ironing table ikea hack

In the category of “my favorite things” in my new studio is my ironing station. It’s the exact height I need and perfectly fits my requirements.

I’ve had these wire baskets in my old studio since, well, forever, and they have served me well. They are an IKEA product that still has several iterations available, this ALGOT style being the closest to what I have. Each of these frames is tied together with zip-ties and clips made just for that purpose so they are rock solid. I’ve just figured out that my hanging container works perfectly on the back corner of the shelves so I don’t even have to walk across the room to find my scissors or a pen.

I had originally intended to build this brilliant IKEA hack ironing table by Brooke over at the Custom Style Blog – the long roll storage she has is phenomenal. She has detailed instructions there as well as links for the Bump Cloth (insulation layer). I just bought my silver ironing board cover fabric at the local big-box place.

Because I had leftover plywood and supplies I was able to make tops for these baskets. If I ever feel like it I will prime and paint each one white. They are in three pieces because I didn’t want to buy another piece of plywood so I pieced these out of other scraps. Good enough. I’ll eventually  paint the wooden legs as well… and maybe screw them down so they don’t scoot. This is what happens when you work on a project for three months that was supposed to take two weeks. “Good enough for now” becomes “done because I just want it to be over.” One fabulous thing about having to unexpectedly gut the space was that I have plugs everywhere – and this on, especially for the iron, is on it’s own circuit. I don’t have to worry about blowouts!!!

The ironing surface is 54″ x 22″ – wide enough, and exactly the same height as the banister so I end up hanging whatever I’m working on over the long stair wall as I go. It works for me. Just last week I took a sharpie to the thing and marked off inches. I have ruler marks on the edge of my sewing table, my ironing surface, and my drafting table. The cloth is just stapled on to the underside of the board. If I end up doing what I did last time, eventually I’ll just staple another layer of the silver stuff over the top of this when it gets too gross.

That might not happen this time though as I’ve been really good at using my HOLY COW sized Goddess sheet for all fusing projects. Gotta say, it’s awesome! Hmmm… I just had an idea. two big hooks with a hefty dowel layed on them – screwed onto the bottom of the left side of the board would hold the roll of misty fuse perfectly! I’ll add it to my list. Along with a wall mount for the iron. I end up leaving it on the wall and just know some day it is going to go over the edge.

days for girls, a sewing service project

I had the best birthday party ever this year for the big 50!
(Considering I haven’t had a party since I was a preteen, having any party at all was an accomplishment.)

Becky, lower left in this picture, has started to head up service projects every month or two for the fabulous neighborhood quilt bee I belong to. We looked into, Days for Girls , an organization that increases access to menstrual care and education. I’m so completely spoiled that it never occurred to me that girls who don’t have access to sanitary supplies have to stay home from school during their cycle and often end up falling so far behind that they drop out.

So – I co-opted the project for my birthday and we made 50 reusable menstrual kits. They are sent to India and Kenya and anywhere else (including the US) where they are needed. The Days for Girls  says that retention rates for girls in Kenya reached 96% after receiving DfG Kits, up from a 75% average. Drop-out rates went from 25% to 4% in Uganda after one year. I love that this is a sewing service project that can actually TRULY change someone’s life. I also love that they provide seed money and resources for local women to start making and selling the supplies themselves.

And it was so much fun to have a house full of people I love from all my circles of friends. Neighbors, Quilters, fellow Church members. 

The. Best. Birthday. Ever!

If you are interested in participating, go to the Days for Girls  website and look for a local coordinator, or become one yourself.

florabunda blog hop –

I am a great fan of geometry, gardening, purple and green. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Melanie Testa’s new FlorAbunda line. I’ve seen the precision work that she uses to cut her layered printing tools – and then the absolute beauty of the organic quality that results. There is a mix of control and chaos that speaks to me. The mix of quiet tone on tones and the bolder floral prints makes it easy to blend these fabrics.

I’m also on something of a kick crusade to reduce all one-time-use plastic in our household. I’ve been taking my own bags to the store for several years now and have a number of recycled-plastic totes that are the PERFECT format for groceries. The thing is that they are also perfect for many other things so the bags that are supposed to live in the back of my van end up living in lots of other places instead of where I need them when I’m at the store. Time for a some new totes!

These fabrics are pretty enough for me to want to carry them around with me ALL THE TIME! Now, mind you, patterns and I don’t often get along so I sort of eyeballed the totes I had and guesstimated sizes. I think the hardest part of this project was choosing which of the gorgeous colors to put where. I figured things out by simply laying things on top of and next to each other.

Each piece you see here is sandwiched… a backside and frontside fused to a layer of stabilizer in the middle then stitched like a quilt to give the whole thing more body.

Fusible Web and I are best friends. In this case Misty-Fuse is adhered to the black fabric that I will make all my “binding” out of.

The hardest part of the actual sewing is inserting the sides and getting around the corners. If you sew the sides of each piece first, then trim the corners of the inside/side bit before you try to sew around that corner, it’s not so bad.

I securely sewed each piece together, then carefully fused black strips over the edges. Then I zig-zagged the edge of the binding. This tote is seriously going to last FOREVER!

And there you have it! Doesn’t that make it sound effortless? HAH! I won’t tell you about the twelve (yes, twelve) needles I broke sewing through all those layers. In all fairness, I think my trusty Bernina Record 930 is a little out of whack and I’ve been putting off a trip in to the shop. It only breaks needles when backing up.

I also won’t tell you that I really meant to make the bag wider than it is tall because that’s my favorite for groceries. I didn’t notice I had the pieces cut in the wrong orientation until I was completely finished with the tote. I’m chalking that one up to being so in love with the fabrics that I couldn’t pay attention to anything else. (ummmmm…. right.)

I worked out enough kinks and liked the first tote so much that I made the second tote the next morning. Yup. Love it even more. The bag has straps just long enough to go over my shoulders but not drag on the ground if I’m carrying them by hand. If I were shorter I’d add double straps, short ones to use when carrying it by hand. You should see the crazy mom-thing I do, carrying four to six of these fully loaded bags out from the store or into the house. I call it my workout for the day. (See me rolling my eyes here?)

Anyway…. please do enjoy the rest of the blog hop by stopping by and seeing what the other artists have created.

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

June 11–Kathy York

June 11–Teri Lucas

June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp 

June 12Leslie Tucker Jenison

June 13—Tiffany Hayes

June 13Jamie Fingal

June 14–Debby Brown

June 14–Heidi Kelly

June 15– David Gilleland

Be sure to participate in RJR Fabric’s giveaway over at their instagram account too!

On-Line Course: The Artist’s Eye

This course will run in the spring of 2019.
Please sign up for my newsletter to stay informed about it.

You are stuck, stuck, stuck.

You need a fresh pair of eyes because
you can’t figure out what is wrong with your artwork.

You need an objective analysis of your strengths and weaknesses.

In other words….  HOW DO I FIX THIS!?

LYRIC CAN HELP YOU!

Schedule an individual analysis session to get a fresh look at your artwork with an artist experienced in objective, emotionally safe, and seriously helpful critique.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:  Lyric will prepare ahead of time using the resources you provide and then will schedule a virtual face-to-face video call. An objective analysis o your submitted artwork will run through the elements and principles of art and how each one is working in your composition. You will need to have a functional knowledge of the vocabulary of the visual language (see prerequisites) so that you and Lyric can effectively communicate. Lyric will ask you lots and lots and lots of questions so that you can find your own solutions to your design problems. She wants you to be able to see for yourself what it is that you need to move forward with.

WHAT WON’T HAPPEN: There will be no “this is good, that is bad” language or directives or judgement. Lyric won’t flat-out tell you what to do. If she did, then it would be her art. She wants your work to remain YOUR art. She won’t fix everything for you.  She will definitely help YOU figure out how YOU can fix it YOURSELF!

How It Works

  • Each Analysis Session includes one face-to-virtual-face 40 minute private meeting  via zoom Video Conferencing.
  • You will fill out paperwork/questionaires and send photos ahead of time so that Lyric can be well prepared.
  • As soon as paperwork is received, Lyric will send you a list of available times and dates.
  • We will work together to schedule each call in a timely manner with a back-up date scheduled…. in case “life” happens.
  • If it helps, we can schedule a five minute “hello – let’s make sure this works” call to make sure your technology works.
  • You will need to download the Zoom app to your phone, tablet, or desktop.
  • During the call you and Lyric will talk through a throrough analysis of an artwork you have completed or are working on.

Within two days of the call, Lyric will provide you with a recording of your call and written feedback with suggestions for future improvement.
If you wish to share your recording with other students, the video and written suggestions will be uploaded to a section of the course with your name on it. Other students may comment and communicate with you through a comment section on that lesson. If you wish to remain private you will be sent a password for a private youtube link that only you can view and written materials will be emailed

Prerequisites

In order for us to make the best and most efficient use of our time together, it is important that you understand the visual language and the vocabulary involved. Lyric will describe and help you see your work in terms of the Elements of Art: Texture, Shape, Line, Color and Value. Design principles such as Unity, Balance, Motion, Rhythm, Focal Point, Scale and Proportion will be discussed. If we are both speaking the same language we can accomplish a LOT in a short amount of time!

Please complete one or more of the following:

  • Artist’s Toolbox part 1: The Elements of Artonline course with Lyric Kinard
  • A thorough reading and understanding of Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercisesby Lyric Kinard
  • A thorough reading and understanding of Design Basicsby Lauer and Pentak
  • A thorough reading and understanding of The Quilters Book of Designby Ann Johnston
  • Solid practice with actively participating in group critique sessions, preferably following The Pocket Guide to Critiqueby Lyric Kinard.
  • Or – write me a note and let me know clearly, and succinctly, what it is you need and that you think I can help you with. If you don’t already have an understanding of these elements you would learn the most by signing up for The Artist’s Toolbox online course.

Cost

2 Analysis Sessions $195.00 
Default Pricing: use the link on this page.

  • preparatory paperwork must be filled out within two weeks of booking
  • both video calls will be scheduled and completed within one month of booking
  • one artwork will be analyzed in the first session
  • recording and Lyric’s follow-up recommendations will be sent/uploaded within two days of each call
  • two artworks may be analyzed in the second session

3 Analysis Sessions $285.00
Use THIS LINK to register

  • preparatory paperwork must be filled out within two weeks of booking
  • all video call will be scheduled and completed within six weeks of booking
  • one artwork will be analyzed in the first session
  • recording and Lyric’s follow-up recommendations will be sent/uploaded within two days of each call
  • two artworks may be analyzed in subsequent sessions

6 Analysis Sessions $550.00
Use THIS LINK to register

  • preparatory paperwork must be filled out within two weeks of booking
  • all video calls will be scheduled to be completed within 12 weeks of booking
  • one artwork will be analyzed in the first session
  • recording and Lyric’s follow-up recommendations will be sent/uploaded within two days of each call
  • two artworks may be analyzed in subsequent sessions

1 Analysis Session $125.00 (for returning students only)
Use THIS LINK to register

  • preparatory paperwork must be filled out within two weeks of booking
  • video call will be scheduled within one month of booking
  • recording and Lyric’s follow-up recommendations will be sent/uploaded within two days of call

 

F.A.Q.s

What paperwork do I need to fill out?
A worksheet with questions including: what techniques are used and your skill level with them. What is your previous experience with art. What mediums do you use. What are your obstacles to success. What are your strengths as an artist. How is this work developed? What are your goals with this artwork? How do you think Lyric can help you?

Can I share my work with other classmates?
This is an individual class but you can share your process and results with other classmates who have registered for sessions. You can learn a LOT from watching other critique sessions and seeing results. A lesson with your name on it will be added to the course. It will include your preparatory worksheets, photos of the work we are analyzing, a recording of our video conference, and Lyric’s follow-up suggestions. There will be space for students to comment. (Lyric will moderate comments and provide guidelines for appropriate observations and  interactions.) You can also post further images of your artwork at any time you wish. The lessons in this course will be available permanently (or as long as Lyric is still teaching) for you and anyone who has registered to view.

Do I have to share my work with others?
Not at all. We can conduct all interactions via email and nobody has to see anything. You will still have access to the lessons other students have chosen to share. You also don’t have to decide right away. Lyric can always post your work later if you choose.

Will this magically make me a better artist?
Nope. There is no magic to becoming a better artist. You simply have to DO THE WORK. This can be part of that work. 

What if my life explodes and I can’t finish our scheduled calls?
Please contact Lyric and she will work out an extended schedule if needed. It is important however that you plan our time accordingly and commit to the scheduled calls. If it’s a true family or health emergency you will have an opportunity to reschedule your calls at a later date. Lyric has a family too, she understands.

Any other questions?
Contact me at lyric@lyrickinard.com with Artist’s Eye in the subject line.

“Lyric  made the mystery of art  easy to understand. I’ve gained confidence in being able to describe and analyze what I’m seeing, whether it is my own work or the work of other artists. Now I better understand why something is or is not working in a composition and my own art has grown and improved as a result.”

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florabunda! a blog hop

One of the really wonderful things about swimming in the pond I do (metaphorically speaking) is that I get to be friends with several fabric designers. When they have a new line coming out they have to provide samples for sales reps to show their work in action. The deadlines are usually impossible for one person alone to meet so the tribe steps in and shares the load…. or I should say we all PLAY together!

 

If you haven’t seen Melanie Testa’s latest line of fabric for RJR, you are in for a treat. I absolutely love her loose, organic designs. It makes me laugh just  bit because she works in such an incredibly precise and careful manner when she carves her printing blocks. She also always has purple and green, my favorite color combination.

Each day a different artist will be highlighted and RJR will be hosting a giveaway on it’s Instagram feed so be sure to follow them there.

Tiffany Hayes http://needleinahayesstack.blogspot.com June 7
Deborah Boschert http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com/ June 8
Sara Mika http://mockpiestudio.blogspot.com June 9
Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.com/lyric-kinard-blog/  June 10
Kathy York *http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com  June 11
Teri Lucas https://terificreations.com June 11
Leslie Tucker Jenison *http://leslietuckerjenison.com June 12
Heidi Kelly http://www.hkellydesigns.com June 12
Jamie Fingal *http://jamiefingaldesigns.blogspot.com/ June 13
Debby Brown https://www.debbybrownquilts.comJune 14
Susan Brubaker Knapp *http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com June 14
Melanie Testa *http://www.melanietesta.com June 16 @MelanieTestaArtist

Online Course: Bead It Like You Mean It

Open Now

$29.99

Register Here

 

BE INSPIRED and get creative as fun-loving artist Lyric Kinard guides you through the basics of beaded embellishment on cloth. 

Make straight or curved solid lines, split or join them, or simply add one bead at a time. Cage a beautiful cabochon, or get silly with stacks, the perfect finish for your favorite funky flowers. 

Are you a quilter? Foil the quilt police and learn to bead from the top of a finished quilt with no knots or mess on the back

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens January 17th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. 

After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

open access course – get all lessons immediately
$29.99

Register Here

 

Lesson 1: Materials

  • beads
  • needles
  • threads
  • supports

Lesson 2: Seed Beads

  • dots
  • straight lines
  • curved lines
  • corners
  • joins
  • splits

Lesson 3: Bugle Beads

  • singles
  • lines
  • fans

Lesson 4: Chunky Beads

  • options for hiding the thread

Lesson 5: Stacks

  • short or tall
  • funky stamens for flowers

Lesson 6: Beaded Bezels

  • beaded bezel for caging a cabochon

Lesson 7: Working from the Top

  • bead from the top of the quilt
  • no knots or mess on the back

 

course never closes, you will get continual access
$29.99

Register Here

 

FAQs:

Q: Will you include links to suppliers?
A: Absolutely yes! If you are an international (outside of the US) student and have links to share, please do!

Q: What are the lessons like?
A: Each lesson includes several short video links as well as written supply lists and occasional illustrations.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be open to you permanently 

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will answer questions. This is a stand-alone video course with FAQ sections included in each section.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: No, but you can access them anywhere you have wifi or a data connection.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to be able to save the URL and password for the Ruzuku site. That’s about it!

Q: Is this the same as your DVD?
A: Yes. The video content is coming directly from Lyric’s DVD of the same name. There will, however be additional written content and… direct interaction with Lyric if you have any questions.

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Studio Shots: welcome to the palace

Hello Friends, It’s been a while. Life has been overfull the past three years and I’ve neglected this space. I spent a while thinking about my intent for this blog over the weekend and this is what I’ve concluded.

1- I want to document my work on a platform that I own. That isn’t FB or IG.

2- I want to have a space where I don’t feel obligated to constantly speak to the injustices I see in the world. (I feel compelled to do so on FB where my largest audience is. I feel that if I don’t do something to stand up for immigrants, refugees, the poor, minorities, that I cannot face God when that time comes, or my children now.)

Those two things alone are enough. So we will start here.

A very quick tour (part one) of my new palace.

 

I’ll give you a lot more detail in coming blog posts.

Online Course: Bead It Like You Mean It part 2

I’ve been hard at work putting together a new course for my fellow bead-a-holics.

OPEN NOW

 

EXPAND YOUR CREATIVITY as Lyric Kinard takes you beyond the basics of bead embroidery. Build on what you learned in Bead It Like You Mean It pt. 1 and learn new dimensional beading techniques that jump right off the surface. Wrap cords or walk a line of seeds over a bugle bead bridge. Try out a beautiful Gourd stitch to attach a cabochon or go right over the edge as you add beaded borders to your cloth. Loop your stacks or turn them into crazy twisted or banged fringes.

$29.99
registration is open now
access all lessons as soon as you register

Lesson 1: The Beaded Edge

materials and preparation
dotted edge
beaded blanket stitch
picot edge (two layer beaded edge)
bead wrapped corded edge

Lesson 2: Funky Stacks & Fringes

looped stacks
matting and framing your work
branched stacks or fringes
spiral stack or fringes

Lesson 3: Dimesnsional Bead Embroidery

bead wrapped couched cord
flat beaded belt
standing bugles go wild

Lesson 4: Beaded Bezel

gourd on the ground beaded bezel

$29.99
registration is open now
course never closes
for more information click here

For your inspiration: susan else

I’m in San Jose, California to teach for the wonderful Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association. With a little rare free time we visited the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. It was a great joy to finally see the artwork of Susan Else in person. 

When Ponies Dream

Company

After Hours

 

Clocking Out

 

Absolutely Amazing

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady

 

Retreat Opportunity

As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them – to restock the trout pond, so to speak.
Julia Cameron
 

Wonder is not a Pollyanna stance, not a denial of reality; wonder is an acknowledgment of the power of the mind to transform.
Christina Baldwin

 
A retreat can work magic for an artist. You leave your usual surroundings for someplace that is simply – away. A place without your usual household chores staring and your pressing deadlines. You let someone else make the food and nurture you. You have only to walk from your bed to your workspace to begin your explorations. You share space with other artists who spark new questions and help you find new answers and you open yourself up to the magic.

You ask the questions. You do the work. You watch, and the universe provides an answer. Blisters might be involved, but they are forgotten when you find that treasure of inspiration. That flash of understanding, that new way of seeing changes the way you perceive your artwork. You find joy in your discovery and you bring that new vision home to your work as an artist. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Become Yourself as an Artist
a retreat opportunity with Lyric

March 24-28, 2018
Play with Paint: A Design Intensive

http://www.fiberartworkshops.com

Play With Paint is a three day design intensive, offering a perfect mix of surface design techniques and instruction in the elements and principles of composition. Hands on painting and printing techniques, plus some fun and funky foiling and photo transfer, are complemented by learning the basics of the visual language of art. 

Stay at the historic Greenville Arms in the beautiful Hudson Valley of the Catskill Mountains. Let someone else keep you warm, comfortable, and deliciously fed and reserve all of your creative energy for the the studio.


Thrive in the company of your fellow explorers as we encourage and inspire each other.

Creative free time is balanced with clear and structured exercises throughout the class. Students explore and learn to understand design principles with sketchbook studies and also create their own unique cloth for use in a compositional studies.


It’s the perfect combination of making a creative mess, discovering delightful new ideas, then opening new ways to create and see our artwork. The studio is available to your 24 hours a day so there will be time for as much intensive discovery as you have energy for.



Students will create a sample book of each surface design technique for future reference. Then, with good humored and gentle guidance students will work on their own small art quilt using the beautiful fabrics they have created. Learn the basics of the visual language so that you can read your composition and see where editing might create a clearer vision. This is going to be a WONDER-filled workshop!

Won’t you join me?

More Information Here
Workshop Enrollment Form

quilters at the beach: day 3

I only had half a day at the lovely Ocean Isle before I had to leave and go back to my full time job as mother to some really wonderful children. I had packed up the bin and the machines the night before and had some relaxing hand work to keep me busy.

The day began with some speedy catching up on work that needed to be ready for THAT DAY’S online lesson in my Bead It Like You Mean It class. It’s open for registration any time, affordable, and never closes. Go take a look.

The sun was out so we were all determined to take a beach walk that day. A serendipitous thing happened. The night before we were talking about sand dollars and wondered what they looked like alive, how they reproduced, and how they ate. I pulled up trusty Google and we watched a short video about them Sea Biscuits! I love them. 

Sure enough – our walk beach walk revealed not one, but TWO live Sand Dollars. How cool is that!? Plus one little baby sand dollar skeleton that I got to take home.

We learned they are Urchins. 

They can live on the shore and bury themselves in the sand. 

They eat by moving organisms into their central mouth with their thousands of legs.
And they spawn.

And what did I come home to? My sweet girl having her own sewing retreat in my studio. I think she’s amazing.

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quilters at the beach: day two

Did I mention how much I live these women?

There is almost nothing more fun than staying up late and seeing all day with a bunch of quilters. At the beach.

This was a top I finished in 2015 while I was working as a “featured artist” at the Lake Norman Quilt Show. (A post about it here.) Then I sort of lost for a while. (Literally – I couldn’t find where I put it.) Fun dyed and screen printed work. With the recent studio move (I still need to show it off to you all!!!) I found it and added it to my work pile for day two of the beach trip.

IMG_6200

I spent the morning in the laundry closet layering and fusing six small quilt tops (backing, misty fuse, wool batting, misty fuse, top) getting them ready for quilting. Took several breaks to wander out back and look at the Sound. North Carolina’s coast is a series of barrier islands. Really just rolling sand bars, some only a street and a dune wide, with wetlands between them and the coastline. The weather was sort of mysteriously foggy over the sound and the island. I thought it was stunningly beautiful.

Even the dead marsh grasses were fascinating. I loved watching the Heron out there – just perfectly still. Waiting for something to swim by.

The rest of the day was spent quilting and facing this piece.

Any suggestions for titles? Right now it is just XOX: III

I’m finding that this deep grape purple is really hard to photograph. It looks very wine red here. I’m OK if the title remains something simple. Since I’ve done at least two other quilts with this imagery I think it must be part of a series. It counts even if there are two or three years between each quilt?

 

 

For Your Inspiration: quilters at ocean isle, nc

I belong to a Quilt Bee. I’m the youngest of my friends there. They all either live in or near my neighborhood or used to. As far as I can tell they aren’t really interested in going to the local guilds or classes. They just really, really, really like to sew. And they sew a LOT. I love these women so much!

They also spend a week at the beach once a year. My travel schedule has only allowed me to attend twice, and only for a few days, but amazing things happen there. Three of the four other quilters there this year are working a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt together. One is making a slew of baby quilts.

This year I didn’t have a pressing deadline to meet so it was completely my choice what to bring. After dithering and waiting until the last minute I gathered up five or six finished tops, threw my entire thread cabinet and my HQ16 in the back of my van, almost forgot to pack clothes, and took off. My goal was to work on things as fast as I could for two and a half days. Things that I knew would be at the bottom of the list to get done here at home because they didn’t have a deadline and because they were all at those sticking points in the process. You know, the parts you don’t love the most. For me that is layering and machine quilting. I’ll admit it. I don’t love machine quilting. I love designing and painting and sometimes even sewing – but my love always comes to a screeching halt with the machine quilting process. I am fine once I get into it and it’s definitely worth doing because I love the way things turn out. But I have to push myself to get past that point.

By 9am Monday morning I was sewing.

This poor piece has been quilted and unfinished for around five-ish years. It was experimental and I didn’t love it and there were always other deadlines pressing. My tiny little Elna Lotus fit into my bin so it came along and helped me get the facing finished. I think I might have put the hanging sleeve on the bottom of this piece. It wouldn’t be the first time. And I think I’ve thought of a few more things I want to do to it.

Let me tell you a funny story. All my kids have been taught to sew. Some love it. Some don’t. My current 18yr old high school senior was interested enough to make about 6 of these blocks. Simple sew and flip on a foundation. No measuring or fussing. I was interested enough to make six more blocks. Then my dear friend Kathy felt sorry enough for my quilt-less son to make a bunch more and put them all together so I could finish the thing for his birthday. (I also paid her well with several boxes of thread.) Uh. I didn’t finish it. So I pulled it out, sort of kind of put big borders on, realized I didn’t have quite enough so I slapped together some terribly made blocks for the corners and there you go. I’m going to schedule a date on Becky’s long-arm and knock this thing out before the kid graduates from high school.

And this was just day 1. Amazing how productive I can be at the beach. It helped that it was raining so I wasn’t tempted to run away to the water.

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bead it like you mean it kit

Welcome to my Bead It Like You Mean It on-line students.

A comprehensive kit with everything you need to learn the techniques taught in the class.

 

Kit Includes
1 tube of #11 Foxglove Cottage Straw Needles
1 bag of beautiful fiesta colored beads
1 bobbin of beading thread
1 beautiful handmade glass cabochon
2 6″ squares of hand dyed fabric
1 6″ square stabilizer
Pattern sheet with flower options

$30.00
$3.00 U.S. domestic shipping

 

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On the town with tutors in Christchurch new zealand

I know my New Zealand trip is long past – but I’m realizing that I never did post all the fabulous pictures I wanted to share. On such a very depressing political day (the tax bill will kill my business if passed in it’s current form) I wanted to enjoy the colors and memories I found in kiwi land. 

Judy Coates Perez and I trying to figure out the bus system.

Before the Quilt symposium started Judy Coates Perez and Susan Brubaker Knapp and I enjoyed a day exploring the city. Christchurch is a wonderful town. The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu had beautiful exhibits, one by Matisse whose work I am familiar with, and one by Lin Ley, whose work was new to me…. and I’m in love with.

I had a print of the Matisse in the upper right corner hung for years.

Judy watching a kinetic sculpture by Lin Ley.

Christchurch was in full bloom for spring.

This photo feels so much like the essence of Christchurch to me. Scaffolding – still everywhere years after the devastating earthquake. Beautiful new architecture. The tendency to beautify everything from construction fences to plain walls to empty lots in the most community oriented friendly way possible. 

We passed this lovely little community garden and – because there were three artists involved – got sidetracked for a very long time. Again, in the best way possible.

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special pricing – Picture It Framed online class

register here

 $29.99

UPGRADE YOUR ART by learning a variety of professional presentation options for textiles. Award winning artists, Lyric Kinard shows you mounting and framing options. Learn which factors to consider to present your work in the best possible light.

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens June 19th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.

register here

 $29.99

Lesson 1: Basic Framing

  • When to use a mat – edges showing or covered
  • Mounted with gel medium, matted
  • Mounted but not matted – edges exposed
  • To glaze or not to glaze
  • Sewn to a mat board and framed – edges exposed
  • Flush mounted then framed – edges covered with no mat

Lesson 2: Gallery Wrapped

  • Wrap that thing!
  • Wrapped and fused
  • Sewn and stapled
  • Glued and wrapped
  • Glued with painted edges
  • Sewn with painted edges
  • Wrapped and stapled
  • Wrapped, stapled, staples covered
  • Gallery wrapped with a canvas floater frame

Lesson 3: Mounting Variations

  • Hidden mount on gallery wrapped canvas
  • Hidden mount on wrapped stretcher bars
  • Cradled wood board with velcro wafers
  • Sleeve for a standing tabletop frame
  • Plexiglass mount, sewn
  • Plexiglass mount, velcro wafers

Lesson 4: The Frame as Art

  • Painted gallery wrapped canvas
  • Design considerations
  • Integrating the frame into your artwork
  • Extending your design onto the canvas
  • Molding paste for texture
  • Screened canvas with molding paste

 

 

FAQs:

Q: Will you include links to suppliers?
A: Absolutely yes! If you are an international (outside of the US) student and have links to share, please do!

Q: What are the lessons like?
A: Each lesson includes several short video links as well as written supply lists.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be open to you permanently 

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will answer questions through August of 2017. After that this will be a stand-alone video course with FAQ sections included in each section.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: No, but you can access them anywhere you have wifi or a data connection.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to be able to save the URL and password for the Ruzuku site. That’s about it!

 

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The wedding dress!!!

Avia sent me a link to her formal wedding pictures shortly after I arrived in New Zealand and I immediately foisted them upon every soul who sat still long enough for me to pull them up. I’ve been dying to share them with you but wanted to wait until she shared them publicly first.

Even though I have solemnly sworn to never sew with silk gauze again, ever. Ever. Never. The happiness I see in how beautiful it makes this funny, wickedly smart, and hard working young woman feel makes it worthwhile. And we adore Chase. They are a perfect couple.

Monika Ottehenning now lives in Los Angeles but grew up in North Carolina with my girls. She is a spectacularly able photographer and she has worked diligently to become so.

Its enough to make a mother cry. 

Portobello antiques at the tannery in christchurch

The tannery is an absolutely lovely shopping are repurposed from, what else, a tannery. Full of amazing shops such as a Marinello fabric store, hand spun wool shop, cafes, “op-shops” (thrift stores), and an amazing antique shop with thinks that made me laugh or wonder every time I turned around.

Around town in Christchurch

Christchurch cathedral

A memorial to the lives lost during the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. It’s a beautiful and peaceful walk along the river.

 

Nowhere is he heartbreaking devastation resulting from the 2011 earthquakes more visible than the in looking through safety fencing around the Christchurch Cathedral.

But everywhere we look there are new buildings and new construction and beautiful architecture going up. People are resilient creatures, are they not!?

 

Akaroa New Zealand

This entire trip thus far has been breathtaking! Today – almost literally. The wind as our boat travelled through the harbor was quite brisk. But to have a large pod of Hector’s dolphins come play under my feet for a very long time was pure amazement and joy.

New Zealand is sheep country. And spectacularly gorgeous.

Jenny Gillies Wearable Art – Christchurch Botanical Garden

Kia ora from New Zealand airports

I cannot possibly overstate how much I geeked out about this.

Art in the Airport…. Jennie Gillie’s wearables!

almost ready to go….

Class supplies sorted?

Check.

(We won’t mention the weeks of sourcing and ordering supplies overseas – thanks Kerry!)

 

Class suitcase organized, packed, and weighed?

Check!

 

Ten billion things that I also want to bring that will never fit?

Who needs to wear clothes anyway?

 

I keep having this idea of sewing up a quick tote bag. My American carry-on is too large and the limit is 15lbs anyway. I’m told they actually weigh it. I’ll tell you a secret. Because I’ve never had my carry-on weighed in the states it often weighs more than my checked bags. This is going to be a challenge!

Now the final scramble. Find my favorite swim top. Pick up my new glasses – it will be delightful to be able to see, won’t it? Finish up errands that will keep my children cared for while I’ve abandoned them. Deep tissue massage to undo a knot or two before I crunch down into a plane. Maybe i’ll get out a newsletter. (My apologies for not having time to update the calls for entry list.)

Lyric is away for a bit…

THE SHOP WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL OCTOBER 25TH.
Meanwhile enjoy pictures of Lyric’s New Zealand adventure on her blog.

Lyric will be teaching at the New Zealand National Quilt Symposium in Christchurch – and exploring some of the islands. Much, much, much too little of the islands for her taste. She wishes she could stay for months as see it all. 

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watching vs. doing

DOING wins!!!

I love glass as an art form. My first stop in Seattle was the Chihully museum. I’ve watched glass workers every chance I’ve had, one of my favorites of all time was at the Blenko Glass Factory in Milton, West Virginia. There was something fascinating about a team of big bearded dudes in overalls without shirts doing a complicated choreographed dance and creating something delicate and stunningly beautiful.

On a lovely day in Utah when we were to meet my sister and her family from Portland we ended up at Thanksgiving Point and parked in front of Holdman Studios and Glass Art Institute. We wandered in for a peek. My two youngest weren’t entirely thrilled although they thought it was fairly interesting. Mostly they wanted to go back to the donut shop we had just passed. Thanks to a chatty sales clerk I learned that they offer classes. Being from out of town I didn’t really pay attention until she went on to describe them as a one-time project. You only have to wait a day for the glass to anneal and we happened to have a couple of free days later in the week. I signed all three of us up!!!

So here we are. Little guy sits and rolls the first gather on the pipe. The artist pulled the gather out of the crucible… that furnace was so white hot inside that you almost couldn’t see where the fire and the crucible and the glass began and ended.

Next step – rolling out your glob into more of a cylinder.

The artist gathers another layer of glass, you roll it out again, then roll it into little shards of the coloring agents.

This then goes into a furnace and you turn it while the shards melt into the gather.

I’m telling you – even when the fan is on- they open that furnace door and it’s instant burn time! The wooden paddle he is holding will rest on the pipe and shield her from the heat just enough that she stops squawking.

After another layer from the crucible is added, more rolling, more shaping, a second layer of coloring shards and melting, it’s time to flatten out the cylinder. You roll and press it with a steel paddle. It’s fascinating how quickly and suddenly as the glass flattens that you get a hard edge on the molten glass.

Now, with a little help, giant pliers pull the edge. It’s a pretty thick and heavy glob of glass and the edges cool quickly but you keep pulling. Imagine a two pound hunk of cooled taffy. The red color is just the HOT glass.. it will be blue when it cools.

After pulling out the edges, the kids used what looked like a giant pair of tweezers to dent the back of their dish. The glass was placed on that pile of white stuff behind me in the video – a tap on the rod broke it off and they paddled the bottom flat. My project was a flower vase. I think it’s fascinating that as the edges cool the rest of the glass is still molten.

It’s not something I was purchase if I saw it in a shop, but all of us are inordinately in love with the glass we made. Little guy uses his for everything, from potato chips to legos. Little girl carries hers around or just looks at it. Me too.

Like I said – DOING wins hands down. Our second trip through the gallery the kids were fascinated by every little detail, trying to imagine how you spun out such a heavy gather of glass into a two foot wide platter. All of us now noticed every little detail and appreciated colors and shapes in a way we hadn’t before.

I wonder what other art forms and skills I could gain a huge appreciate for by giving them a try?

avia’s wedding

Avia was married in Utah in the Provo City Center Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The building has an amazing history – starting life as a tabernacle – burning horribly just a few years ago.

It was a beautiful day. Things turned out beautifully. I didn’t have time to make my own dress – I didn’t even care. It was a day about Avia. And about being with my family. My gorgeous son Ethan was such a lovely young man. My family took pictures – I was too busy. I’ll have to wait for the professional photographs to come.

I got to see family from Montana, Idaho, California, and Illinois! My Washington family was in Utah the week before but my sister is a teacher (my heroes – teachers) and had to be back before the wedding.

Nephews and sons and my mom.
So many of my favorite people in one place.

And now for the bride.

And the dress…

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avia’s wedding

Hello Friends… I’ve been missing in action for several months. Maybe longer. The keyword here might be action. I’ve thought about many a topic for blog posts and have quite a few in que but want most to share this one with you first. 

My second daughter, Avia, was married last week. She is my picky girl. Or more precisely – the girl who knows exactly what she wants and is patient enough to wait for it. When she was a toddler she would work diligently for an hour on a drawing then have a sudden meltdown because of a minuscule error that we couldn’t fathom. She still is a perfectionist – an excellent quality for a talented graphic designer. The meltdowns are a thing of the past… or at least very quietly internal instead of external.

When she told me she was engaged I worried only the tiniest bit and only because I worried that she had let her cool, analytical self make the decision without enough of her heart involved. That’s only because I only got to see them together for a very short couple of days. She wasn’t feeling well, it was super hot here in NC when they came to introduce themselves as a couple. It just wasn’t enough time to get to know them together. But I TRUST my grown daughters. They are intelligent young women who are balanced and have made wonderful decisions so far.

Funny story – when my oldest, Haven, got married she came home to North Carolina for a few weeks and we made her wedding dress together. I patterned, we cut and sewed, we both made really stupid mistakes. I also called Avia at that time and had a conversation about making dresses. We both agreed that it would never work for me to make her dress. She’s too picky and I’m not patient enough to make the perfect dress.

Or so we thought. Avia searched and found the perfect dress – in a photo of another bride. Fortunately the photo was taken by a photographer she knew. The enterprising young lass contacted the other bride and asked if she could rent the dress. An arrangement was made and the dress was shipped but it didn’t fit and couldn’t be altered. Sigh. Enter me and my big mouth as I sat talking to her on the phone. I happened to have a bunch of patterns out at the time as I was getting rid of most of them. She had continued her search but couldn’t find anything close because the dress was too simple. I said it really wouldn’t be that hard to make.

The pattern WAS simple. The fabrics we chose were another story altogether. I layered silk habit in between two layers of silk crepe de chine for each pattern piece. She didn’t want shiny and this sandwiched silk was perfect, but needed body and stability – and a little less transparency. I cut out, layered, and serged the edge of each piece. She wanted a floaty sheer layer on the top of the skirt and we chose silk gauze. Here’s a little hint for you. Use chiffon. NOT gauze. It’s beautifully light. It floats in the air – enough that it took forever to lay out each piece and weight it down so that I could even cut it out.

Krista and Scott Lewis – the very best in-laws anyone could wish for!

Enter a miracle. I took the pieces with me so that I could fit them on and Krista, my new son-in-law’s mother, happens also to be a sewer. She invited my two youngest children and I to stay with her and use her sewing studio to work on the dress. I thought it would take a day. It took almost four. And those four days settled my heart with serenity as I got to know Krista and Scott and as I watched Chase and Avia in their element. They were happy. They were delightful. They were a perfect match. And they also happen to live in an extremely beautiful place.

Krista’s hospitality (and her steamer and serger and sewing machine – as well as a willingness to  keep my two youngest occupied) got the job done. It took most of a day to hand roll and hem the silk gauze layer, and all of 40 minutes to hem two layers of the crepe. The machine simply couldn’t handle the gauze and we never could get the serger to work for it.

I think Avia was 95% satisfied – especially after I agreed to cut down the sleeves into cap sleeves after she tried it on and thought about it for a day or two. Everyone is entitled to change their minds and it was the only thing really doable at that point. Her beautiful smile made it all worth while.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get a photo of the finished product.

sale – the quilting arts book by patricia bolton

The Quilting Arts Book
techniques and inspiration for creating one-of-a-king quilts
by Patricia Bolton
145 pages

$7 + 4 domestic shipping

Short Story: I have a box of books to unload. It is a collection of articles from Quilting Arts Magazine. Chapter two is entirely my article series on basic design. The very same articles that led the indomitable and persistent Miss Bolton to call me several years in a row and tell me I must write a book. 

The book includes articles from many of my favorite quilters including:

Melanie Testa

Linda and Laura Kemshall

Natalya Aikens

So help a girl out here – I don’t want to carry this box three flights of stairs up to the new studio when it eventually gets finished. You can get the book new for $15 on Amazon but only $7 here.

$7 + 4 domestic shipping

 

 

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