filming for The Quilt Show in denver, co

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Last week I hopped a plane and several hours later walked into a gorgeous big beautiful sky and MY mountains over there in the distance. Denver isn’t quite the same as growing up in the Salt Lake Valley with the Rocky Mountains right there in your back yard. Denver feels like it is in Kansas and the mountains are waaaaaay over there. But they are beautiful all the same. And the dry air compared to the steamy sauna that passes for summer here in NC can’t be beat.

IMG_7450I had the serious honor (well – one can never be too serious when Alex and Ricky are in the room!) of being invited back to The Quilt Show; this time to their studio rather than out on location. For those of you who missed it the first time I filmed in Charleston and Asheville. I’ll stick in a links list at the bottom of this post… I had too much fun revisiting those travels and you might enjoy them as well.

IMG_7419This was my first time on set with a “LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE!!!” That was a hoot. Yes the audience is there – and it is alive and breathing. But they have to hold still and breathe quietly while actual filming is happening. And there are a bank of huge cameras between what is going on set and the people watching – so they actually only see what you are doing on the big screen TV’s that are on either side. I like to ham it up and play with people so I did a lot of pretending that I could see them.

IMG_7430It was funny that after the filming is all done, they turn the cameras around and film the audience having different responses to what happened previously on set. They would be directed to belly laugh or nod or chuckle or simply “look really attentively” at – something – usually something silly in Justin’s hand, like a marker.

IMG_7435What was just as fascinating to me was sitting in the control room for a few segments – watching various people do invisible jobs that make the show look great. There are sound and lighting engineers with ranks and ranks of buttons. A Camera engineer who watches the action and tries to keep up with which shot will best show what is going on. I’m told I move a little to quickly on camera and I tried, really I did, to slow down. Shelley, the producer watches closely to make sure everything makes sense and flows and a note taker writes as fast as she can so that they can shoot all the right pick-ups and put them in all the right places. It’s really cool to see what is going on behind the scenes to make those things all work out seamlessly as you watch the screen.

For those of you who wish to further procrastinate whatever it is you really should be doing right now….

Charleston, SC – The Angel Oak
Charleston, SC – Architecture
The Quilt Show – Magnolia Plantation History
The Quilt Show – behind the scenes at the Magnolia Plantation and Pt 2
The Quilt Show – on location at Magnolia Plantation
The Quilt Show – prep time and the art of slogging

See me on the quilt show!!!

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As promised – here is a link for you to enjoy watching
The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson

@ Gregory Case Photography

From November 15 through the 22nd you can watch the show and explore everything on the site for free. There are classrooms and instructional videos to take a look at (including my Bead It Like You Mean It DVD), many fabulous guests to meet on the shows, and lots and lots of beautiful quilts to peruse. Enjoy!!!!

Winners: Reality Warps

I kind of cringe at that title. EVERYONE who entered was a winner to me, not jus the few who were chosen to appear on air. It takes courage to put yourself out into the public and take a chance. That said, I could only choose a few of the entered artworks to bring with me when I film for The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson later in the month. 

Gwyned Trefethen
Dancing Scissors

Jones Strike A Pose

Janice Jones
Strike A Pose

Jacobi Dalsors

Jacquelyn Jacobi
Dalsors

Hoagland Ran With Scissors

Renee Hoagland
Ran With Scissors

Fillon Scissors

Lisa Fillon
Scissors

Boyd Empty Figs

Bill Boyd
Empty Figs

Pat Bishop Burrowing Owl

Pat Bishop
Burrowing Owl

Susan Armour Scissors

Susan Armour
Scissors

These are the small works of art that I will share on air. Each of them showed a mature sense of composition and also represented a wide variety of outcomes that can occur when individual artistry is applied to a set instructions. You can see all the entries of the Reality Warps call for entry here.

behind the scenes with The Quilt Show in Charleston, SC

Remember waaaay back when…I shared a few behind the scenes shots from a day of filming for The Quilt Show. And here is a little post I wrote about some of the prep work that happened before I even got there.
Smilebox_1405618561I got to visit the spectacularly beautiful Charleston, SC and filmed in the lush conservatory at the Magnolia Plantation. You can read a little bit of my thoughts and feelings about the plantation hereSmilebox_1405618544I was also able to visit the Angel Oak, the most massively beautiful tree I’ve ever been privileged to be in the presence of. The Old Slave Mart and the beautiful architecture in the city were also part of my wanderings there on a blustery and cold spring day.Smilebox_1405618548It was such a fantastic time and TODAY I got to relive a little bit of it as……….

(drum roll please!)

TA-DA!Smilebox_1405618537My episode went live today on

THE QUILT SHOWSmilebox_1405618559(can you hear me squealing eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

So  if you have a subscription head on over and take a look.Smilebox_1405618553

If you don’t – no worries.
Between December 1st and 8th I will have a link for all of you lovelies to watch it for F. R. double E – freeeee! Smilebox_1405618564So keep checking in and I’ll send you the link as soon as I get it!

New Work: Bach Suite no.1: gigue

Bach+The+Cello+Suites+Yoyoma_Bach_Suites_LI spent the lovely month of February prepping for my taping of The Quilt Show (just found out it will air Nov 25th – mark your calendars!)

Two other things happened together at that same point in time. I was practicing an arrangement of Bach’s Suite no. 1 for Cello (on my horn) and listening to it constantly and I had a deadline coming up.

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Now that the results are in I can show you some pictures. I am thrilled to announce that Bach Suite no.1: gigue has been accepted into the An Exquisite Moment exhibit, opening at the  International Quilt Festival in Long Beach; August 1-4, 2013; sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Centers. It will also be showing at the International Quilt Festival in Houston; Oct 31- Nov 3, 2013; sponsored by Havel’s Scissors.

It has been a long time since I’ve been in love with a work that I’ve completed. I enjoy my work and think it’s adequate but feel that I’ve mostly just playing around, learning, working. This piece – I LOVE!

24″ x 60″

It is whole cloth, dyed, discharged, screen printed with original images that I’ve  photoshopped. The cello and wings are hand painted.

The piece says something very close to what I feel about the beauty of music in general, and this piece in particular. The Bach Suites are my “go to” music when I need to feel peace and beauty.

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The Quilt Show: Behind the Scenes at Magnolia Plantation

THE QUILT SHOW
is an subscription based on-line TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

TQS2TQS3They are two energetic and talented quilters and personalities. My filming day was at the end of a very long week for them. A different location and two different guests shooting three segments each day. And yet they were all full of smiles and determined to make things run as smoothly for their guests as they could. And they weren’t alone! The entire crew was a delight to work with. I tend to be really fascinated by all the tech behind a production and they were more than patient with me. Yup – I’m one of those poking my nose into all the equipment and asking too many questions or spending more time watching the special features of a movie if they include anything about how it is made.

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TQS22The show usually films in front of a live studio audience in Denver, CO. Once in a while they hit the road and end up somewhere beautiful like Charleston, SC. The Magnolia Plantation was my lucky site with it’s moss covered trees, beautiful vistas and buildings. I thought I had schlepped a lot of stuff but not as much as the crew! Here you see them filming one of the introductions on site.

Luckily we also had an indoor option which we gladly took on that chilly day. Inside the conservatory we chose where to set up the set, chose what to wear, and got all wired up and listened to by the sound guy! I can’t believe I can’t remember his name. Well – considering I can’t remember my own children’s names I shouldn’t be surprised.

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I filmed a total of four segments (this was one on screen printing) and I hope you love them!  We’d set up one segment then   do a quick run run through with the host and producers. Lilo is the producer in charge of everything behind the camera. Shelly – who I managed to NOT get a single picture of, is the producer in charge of what is in front of the camera.

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There was also a crew of fabulous local volunteers who spent the day helping out in every way with great big smiles. They spent hours sitting quietly and waiting and watching then jumping up like a hive of bees and getting whatever necessary thing done. They ironed, washed, moved tables, held up quilts, and generally were indispensable. I think they had fun. I know I certainly did.

victoria2Victoria Findlay Wolfe was my partner in crime/fun for the trip and was a fascinating guest to hang around and watch. I got to see a lot more of how things work behind the scenes and to see more of Victoria’s beautiful work. I’ll introduce you to more of her work later. You’re going to love it.

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 And at the end of a very long day – this is how everyone felt. Time to go home.

The Quilt Show: On Location at Magnolia Plantation

There is a good reason The Quilt Show chose Charleston, SC as a location for filming – it’s gorgeous! I woke up in a very classy boutique hotel and had a yummy breakfast in a dining room where a quick glance upward left me gawking and reaching for my camera.

photo 2-2photo 1-4The day started early – getting everything put together and loaded into hubby’s little sporty car (“my” mini-van stays wherever the kids are) and off we went to the…

“Magnolia Plantation. 1676

Fountainhead of the Drayton family, which played so important a part in America’s Colonial, Revolutionary, and Independence history…  It remains a working plantation utilizing scores of workers, and is still owned and operated by a direct family descendent.”

2200932178_2074a86635There is no mention on this historical marker of the civil war and that nine out of ten people living on the plantation were enslaved. It’s a fabulous thing that the many people working on site now are all there voluntary! The one mention of slavery I saw in the garden signage (it uses the euphemism “plantation workers”) says that conditions working the rice fields that were the main crop of this economy were “less than ideal.” Um. Right.

cabin_aThere are however, some really cool things about this Plantation that I haven’t seen in too many other southern historical sites. There is a new “From Slavery to Freedom” tour that highlights  several restored slave cabins. Other plantations I’ve been to pretend they never existed. Their advertising literature says “Magnolia recognizes the importance of acknowledging the vital role that Gullah people and culture plays in any interpretation of Lowcountry history. By addressing this often overlooked part of the region’s narrative, Magnolia seeks to respectfully afford credit where credit is due.” Well done!

image_20The Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, SC sponsors the Lowcountry Africana Website which catalogs and documents the cultural heritage of African Americans in the region. It’s an amazingly deep genealogical and historical resource.

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Click here to read an excerpt of an amazing ancestral story of Leah Ruth-Warner, an enslaved woman who worked on a smaller plantation in the area. It is from Anita Wills second book, “Pieces of the Quilt: The Mosaic of An African American Family,” a Non-Fiction Narrative of African American History. (available through Amazon.com)

Two other cool things, one of the two Plantation home guides was a young African American woman – I’m pretty sure she was the one The Quilt Show interviewed for their location segment. I was off unloading way too much stuff and sweet talking a guy with a golf cart to help me schlep it to my filming site.

BehindGodsBackCoverI also spent time talking with another fine man, Herb Frazier – who is the public relations and marketing manager for the plantation, who sparked more of my interest in the area’s history. I later purchased his book, “Behind God’s Back: Gullah Memories” which I found to be a wonderful history. But then – I’ve always been very interested in the every day working people that make society function. It looks like the Plantation actually is interested in telling the WHOLE history of the place. It’s fascinating!

If you are still reading I’m impressed – this is my longest post in a very long time. So here – a pretty picture to keep you going. When I walked into the gardens spring was just beginning to nudge itself into color here and there. Spanish moss and pink blossoms mixed against a brilliant (and quite chilly) blue sky.

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The Gardens are indeed delightful – even without a riot of color and bloom. Walking down a tree tunneled path that opens up into a watery vista is enchanting.

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But… I choked a bit when I read this garden placard saying that John Drayton was reduced to extreme poverty after I saw the house he “built”.

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The war deprived him of hundreds of forcibly enslaved people to shovel and manicure his gardens, plant and hoe and grow his rice, cook his food. Slavery had allowed his family lived in luxury. You should see the silver place settings in the dining room.  I wonder if he actually laid a single brick in this house born of his extreme poverty.photo 2-1

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I wonder what happened after emancipation. We often don’t spend much time learning the history of reconstruction. While Mr. Drayton’s family struggled through their “extreme poverty” in this poor little shack – I wonder how many of his slaves were able to leave for the North and the few opportunities there, or how many lived out their lives as sharecroppers – being “free” to continue working a little bit of land. Still mostly for the benefit of landlords.

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All that said, it really was interesting to tour the home. It was truly lovely and there were beautiful pictures of the Drayton family displayed there. Our guides were delightful and we got to go behind the ropes and take a close look at this beautifully made quilt – one of the oldest I’ve ever seen (1800’s? I wish I had written it down!) And just to set your mind at ease – the windows have a UV coating so that bright light isn’t damaging the delicate fabric.

If the tour had fully acknowledged the fact that this economy and lifestyle was made possible by forced labor maybe I could have gone through simply appreciating the very complex history that our country has.

Too often we don’t ask ourselves the hard questions… the why’s and the how come’s and the what thens. If more people felt free to question instead of being afraid to confront and learn from the many mistakes of our past I think we’d be in a better place, and I think this is one of the most amazing places in the world as it is. I honestly don’t think it’s unpatriotic to question our past or our present or our leaders. Without an honest look at where we’ve come from and what we are doing now, we are abrogating our civic duty. We could do it openly, honestly, and with true and gentle intentions for working together. If we could listen to all sides, understand other points of view – all of our lives would be richer and our country would be stronger.

OK – I had no idea this would turn into that. I’ll lay off the sermonizing now – except about topics art related.

If you made it all the way through here – I’d love, love, love to hear your feedback, your thoughts, your questions.

The Quilt Show – prep time and the art of slogging in Charleston, SC

TQS3Last month I was incredibly honored to be a guest, filming for The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson. If you scroll down to the previous several posts you can see a little of my tour of Charleston, SC where the crew was on location for the week. Believe me, you are going to love the shows that they put together and the wonderful places and guests that they filmed. It takes time to produce these things and edit them so they won’t be up until later in the year.

TQS15I spent the better part of a month getting ready… only because I didn’t have any other major deadlines or teaching gigs coming up. It was nice to have more than a few days to scramble and get everything together. Still, some of you fabulous people came to my rescue and helped me get prepared in a major way. One little request and look what happened. This is only a small part of the stack!

Compared to most quilters, my stash if fairly minimal. I gave away almost all of my commercial fabric several years ago and only keep a small stack (less than 50 yards) of hand dyed fabric on hand at any one time. I would have more if I didn’t keep using it up for fabulous kits for my students. (You can take a look at some of them here on my Etsy shop. Don’t you want to join me for my upcoming studio class, Playing With Paint!?)

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I filmed a segment on the elements of art based on my book. I got the wild idea that instead of showing my usual little art quilt samples, I’d use nine-patches to illustrate that these basic building blocks apply to even the most traditional patterns. My thinking was that The Quilt Shows’ audience has a LOT more traditional quilters than dedicated art quilters and they might tune out if I didn’t relate specifically to more traditional quilts in that particular segment.

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But I didn’t have time to shop… so of course I turned to Facebook. I wanted a variety of blues to work with and WOW did I get them! You all are the BEST!

I spent a few days sorting and cutting and sorting some more. Until I ended up with this. Isn’t it pretttttttty?!!!!!!

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Then I started piecing – something I haven’t really done for a very long time. Hmmm. There is a reason for that. I remembered that even though I can do it well when I pay attention – I get bored after the first three blocks. It’s painful for me to have to be precise. And in this case, I decided I needed to be precise. Ah the things we do for the love of art.

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I suppose it’s a good thing to KNOW what you like and what you don’t. Sometimes there are parts of the process that you just need to slog through. But sometimes your work evolves so that you can eliminate parts of the slogging. That’s why most of my current work is whole cloth and surface designed…. or small and collaged and hand stitched.

Stay tuned – I’ll show you some of the blocks in the next post.
What part of your art process do you love,
what part do you hate,
and what part are you willing to slog through to achieve your final product?

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