Artist Spotlight part 3: Jane LaFazio – DVD Review

May 26, 2010
I’m sitting here watching Jane’s DVD “The Small Art Quilt” and can I just say this right up front? I like Jane. I wish I lived next door to Jane. There is something about her personality that comes through on the screen that makes me think she would be a LOT of fun to hang out with. She talks with her hands. Her voice is nice. Her studio, her clothes, even the stuff on her table, are visually stimulating.

In chapter one Jane takes you through the entire process of making a wool felt, journal sized quilt. She shows you how to sketch out a pattern, choose your materials, cut them, glue them, stitch them, and assemble them. She talks about her materials along the way, her design process and the “why” of the “what” she is making. She truly makes the creation of art look simple and – yes YOU CAN do it! 
Gotta say, it’s making me want to make a wool felt quilt. No fraying edges to worry about – not that I actually worry about my fraying edges. I do think about whether I want them there or not and what they add to the design of the piece.
In chapter two you get to follow the creation of a painted quilt from the design process through to the finished piece. She works from a photo of her cute little kitty cat and shows you how to block out shapes and create a pattern. If you thought you needed to know how to draw before you could make a piece like this you are mistaken. Again – she shows you how easy it is.
The other techniques covered on the DVD include raw edge fabric collage, applying embellishments to your quilt, adding words, journaling for inspiration, stamping, and composition. I love the gallery section where she shows you an artwork she’s made and explains the details and inspirations.
So – if you are an aspiring quilt artist – I really think you would love to own this DVD! As I mentioned, Jane is a great teacher and she generously shares a plethora of techniques and inspiration. Yup. Two thumbs up from me.
So – do you like to work small? Why? What are the advantages? Leave a comment here letting me know. You can also leave comments in the last two spotlights on Jane here, or here, and you will have a chance to win a copy of Jane’s DVD. On Monday morning (early EST) I’ll add up all the comments from the three spotlights and throw the total into a random number generator then announce the winner. I wish you luck! Happy creating!
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  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Since I was the lucky winner, I too reviewed this copy on my blogspot. Thanks so much for the give away…and now I have to figure out what I'm going to do as a give away on mine! But…I have to finish a quilt by Friday first. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much. Lisa

  • Reply
    Jane LaFazio
    June 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm


  • Reply
    May 30, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I have seen Jane's sketches and loved them, but didn't know about her art quilts–absolutely beautiful. Sheryl Kessler

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    May 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I like to work small because I embellish with beads and a large project would take forever. Also working small is great for trying new techniques.

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    May 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I have always focused on small pieces and while initially they were supposed to be first step of the larger plan I find myself quite content to stay with the smaller feels more personal, a small heartfelt expression of a bigger emotion.I have also come to realize that I like finicky work from making sushi to layering tiny images. Wendy

  • Reply
    May 30, 2010 at 6:56 am

    My reasons are very simple. Small things finish faster and they're much easier to handle. Thanks for counting me in for the DVD, Lyric!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I tend to work small to medium-small. It's a way I can actually finish something. I'm interested in the techniques for people who can't draw.

  • Reply
    Barbara Elmore
    May 30, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I recently made my FIRST small art quilt, although I am no stranger to making fiber art. I loved the quilting/fabric/sewing/color/design process, and intend to designate more time to small quilted pieces. It was great fun!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Small is nice because I might actually finish something. I've never worked with wool, though.

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    Lora Martin
    May 29, 2010 at 5:11 am

    I tend to work small because my workspace is very small. In addition, my time for making art is very limited and being able to finish a small piece is very satisfying.

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    May 29, 2010 at 3:38 am

    I prefer the small format of art quilts, because I can be more spontaneous and can create what I feel, rather than trying to follow a quilt pattern and worry about accurate seams, points matching, etc.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I do like to work small in large part because it is easy to control and finish. But, also because I am more likely to stay interested and complete the piece if it isn't huge.

  • Reply
    Jean S
    May 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Inspiring work. I'd love to see how Jane creates her pieces.

  • Reply
    Ruth Anne Olson
    May 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I like small projects 1) I find them more manageable ("finishable"). 2) I have a lot of my own hand-dyed or hand-painted fabrics, and many are only fat quarters or smaller. Some I think are so gorgeous that I want to use them as whole-cloth; this certainly limits the size. 3) I'm not the world's greatest quilter, especially when it comes to larger pieces. But I can work small.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I love working small, especially having just made my daughter a KING size quilt. Working smaller lets me experiment with many different techniques without committing too much time to find out something is not for me. I love Jane's work.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Working small can help get me acquainted with a new technique or tool without making a huge commitment. As long as I'm working on something, I feel like I'm accomplishing; working small can be just as fulfilling as any other size.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I love small art quilts, I would love to do more but need more inspiring ideas. Jane sounds a very inspiring person.

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    May 28, 2010 at 4:24 am

    I love to work in a smaller format because it is a fast way to get something accomplished and move on to the next idea. I like to try lots of different techniques and I am able to get a lot done.

  • Reply
    Bec Clarke
    May 28, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I love working small when I need a bit of a boost – something to say "it's done". I have this things sometimes when I am scared to cut the fabric, it sits there looking pretty but I can't do it. Small is also a great way to try new things. I love small, and with 2 little kids they always get used.
    Oh and I use them on my furniture like people use doileys.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2010 at 12:50 am

    I love working small because I can try new things without getting into too much trouble. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the giveaway!

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    May 28, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I really like working small, I like to do landscapes and seascapes. I have also enjoyed to doing postcards.

  • Reply
    Cedar Ridge Studio
    May 28, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I would love to have this DVD to add to my knowledge. Just starting out in this quilt world and am loving every moment of it. I get lost in my fabrics, trims, yarns,beads and paints. I hate to quit for the day. I am becoming addicted. What a way to spend my time in the golden years.
    Thanks for all the info you give us in your blog I really appreciate it.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Working small for me means that I can explore a new technique before I translate it to a larger piece that takes so much more time and space. Also means I can focus on an aspect of design that can be lost on a larger format.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I only rarely work small. The size I prefer is about 51×51 or thereabout. Recently (this week) I did make a small quilt and I must admit had fun with it!

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    May 27, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Lyric, watching a DVD of art quilt making, HAS to be better than trying to figure it out from a book. I so love to try working with different textures, and you talented ladies are so inspirational!

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    May 27, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Small works well for me when I'm in my perfectionist mode — if I'm working big while being a perfectionist, I never get the project done.

    What I like best about working a small project is that I can focus on one or two details of what could be "the big picture" and really get into the most effective way to portray and display them.

    Alternatively, I can portray "the big picture" in a smaller work by removing all of the unnecessary details and maintaining only those essentials that convey what I want to depict. Stripping something down to its basics can be very effective.

  • Reply
    Elaine Millar
    May 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Hey, thanks for theopportunity to win this DVD. Looks great.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I love Jane's work and hope I win! Great question, Lyric. The reason I like to work small is because I can fool my critic into leaving me alone. "Look," I say, "this is not REAL work, this is just an experiment. It doesn't matter if I mess it up because it's SMALL and doesn't use many materials." Some of my best pieces are small. Unfortunately, it's harder to enter those small pieces into shows, especially quilt shows. But then I tell myself I'll replicate it in a larger format . . . like that's ever gonna happen ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I love Jane's work and I think I would love her DVD. My favorite size to work is about 8X10 I do journal squares every month or so and try and stretch my ideas.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply
    Lisa Walton
    May 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I find Jane's work so inspiring. I love her watercolours and really wish I could do a workshop with her as her enthusiasm and style come through in everything she does.

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    May 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Cool! I have the hardesttime working small sooo worried I will run out of room!!!

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    Cassie Shella
    May 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Oh how great that would be to get settled on the couch with a cup of coffee early on a Saturday morning and watch that DVD. Thanks so much for having the give away! I would love to try any of those techniques…

  • Reply
    Linda Cline
    May 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I have been working small for a few years. Lots of advantages. I don't have a lot of time invested in just a few larger pieces. Less design space is needed. Photography is easier. Pieces are more affordable. Easier to frame which could make them more accepted in the larger art world.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I took a class from Jane and she's an awesome teacher in person as you would expect. Working small appeals to me because it's less of a commitment in time and money. If I don't like the process, little is lost, and if I love it, I can make something larger. Win-win.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Oh this would be wonderful to have. I just discovered Jane as I have been browsing the many art quilt sites! I am working small to start as to not overwhelm myself (yet!)

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and love the information you provide about other artists. I have decided to work on small pieces as a way to find my direction and style. I seem to be in a creative slump.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I like to work small because I can start and finish something in a reasonable amount of time… I like to make smaller things to give away and scatter around my house too ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks like a great DVD!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you for your review on the DVD!
    For me working small is very revealing and leaves more room for fun and play while practicing.
    I like doing journal quilts to try out new techniques and work on a subject as a series.
    Being just a beginning hand- and bead embroiderer, exploring the possibilities on small art quilts gives my learning curve a boost.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth in NM
    May 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I have long admired Jane's wonderful work–I'll have to check out the DVD for sure. I like to work small so that I can actually get something finished! With 3 kids aged 7 and under, I don't have large snatches of time to work these days!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Littlejohn
    May 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Working small is a good way to try out new techniques and ideas. Sometimes a quick project can jump start the creativity process if you're stuck. Neither a lot of material or time is invested. Sometimes that freedom allows you to do some good work.

  • Reply
    Darcy Berg
    May 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Lyric,

    My mom wants to get into quilting and this looks like perfect introduction for her. I would love to give this to her. The great thing about a dvd is that so many of us learn by seeing the technique in progress. I love books but if I can get a dvd I always try to get both. I hope all is well with you.

    Darcy Berg

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I've been making large projects but have been fascinated by small works and now I'm headed in that direction. Hope that random number generator is good to me on Monday in order to help me with this endeavor! Thanks!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Lyric/Jane/Everyone! I love working small because it is a wonderful way to try new techniques without a huge commitment. It also gives a great sense of satisfaction to start and FINISH a project in a relatively short time. I always have small projects to give me needed breaks in the middle of the larger ones.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    This really speaks to me! I want to start working small so I can practice and play with new techniques without getting overly worried about my time "investment" in a huge project. I have only been working big so far (I'm quite new) and am looking forward to going small! This DVD sounds perfect!

  • Reply
    Merrie Jo
    May 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I like working small so I can try different techniques. After playing I donate the small quilts to the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative. Win win situation for everyone. Thanks, Lyric.

  • Reply
    Deirdre Abbotts
    May 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    My work recently seems to be getting smaller. Small is good.

    The video sounds wonderful – fingers are crossed.

    ๐Ÿ˜€ eirdre

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Lyric – what a fun idea to cross-post with Jane. I was the lucky winner of your new book – and look forward to receiving it when she returns from Italy. I "work small" frequently and love the attention to detail that the small format requires. With a house full of kids (as you know!) the small projects are also more likely to get done!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    i like small works because they are easier to finish, Also they are easier to mail and are more easily displayed as you don't need a lot of room.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    My work has evolved to small quilts, I have always made small quilts. I always make small versions of larger quilts to work out design,color, and quilting ideas.

    I am finding the small quilts seem to lead to more creativity.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I am looking forward to getting my hands on this DVD. Small is mostly what I do.. space, time and too many ideas.
    Thank you for this, Lyric and Jane.
    P.S. I still use your ATC as inspiration!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I love Jane's work. I have not even started a small art piece in waaaay too long…would surely put her DVD to good use.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    As my kids are hitting an age where they are doing so many things, I find my time is limited. So I've joined a small group doing a bi-monthly 12" x 12" challenge and it is wonderful! I get to actually finish projects! I am also in a small ATC trading group and can keep up! Miss doing the larger pieces but you only have your kids for so long!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I do like to work small…that way I can concentrate on the details…I've always liked to work small. It is difficult for me to work larger and I have to force myself to do it. Also, if I did work on large pieces, I'd probably never finish them!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Working small fits my available space, and my skill and confidence levels. Although I am pretty amazed at how a journal-sized quilt can require two rooms of my house to complete. While a recent forray into the large quilt world, helped me to stretch myself a little, it also confirmed my belief that I am a "small" quilter.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I have started working small especially when using a new technique because I can invest less time.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Small is all I know! I never tried a big quilt, though I get so inspired every year when I go to the Houston Quilt Show. I like to make my art quilts while I'm watching tv and I have all my stash in the living room where I can lay it all out and arrange the pieces. If they are too big, I run out of room. I can usually make a piece in one day and I like that instant gratification. Please check out my pieces here:

    (BTW, I love Jane's work and have never met her… though my BFF now lives in Enscondido)

  • Reply
    Stephanie Forsyth
    May 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I have learned since moving to my new studio at home, that I need to work small, at least for now. Working small, allows me to work on a series, as it isn't as time consuming, nor as tedious as a large quilt can be. This has allowed me to fully work through a series/itch! I love it!

    I adore the cat piece you showed!

  • Reply
    Anita M
    May 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    As a newbie to this world, I have only worked on the small side. And plan to continue in that vein. It has been a great way to try my hand at new techniques without the commitment to time and space that a large piece would require.
    The DVD sounds like a lot of fun, with some great information included.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Lauren Furey
    May 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I think working small is the only possible way to get all my ideas actually completed in my lifetime, lol. It would also help since my studio space is very small. Larger pieces brew frustration for me and half the time it doesn't get completed (and I miss a deadline). The cat piece is lovely, so much fluidity in a small space.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Oh yes…I forgot to say working small is great as they are easily stored. I would say that they are more quickly completed, but I'm not convinced that is the case as I tend to spend quite a long time on them as well.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    What kind things you say! It really makes me want to see the DVD.

    I've only recently started working small…a 9" x 9" is the smallest I've done, but I am happy with what you can do in a 17" x 36" space…which when you consider the size of what I had been doing, it IS small.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I enjoy working small because I am able to try out new techniques without committing to a larger piece. I have been in a group for a couple of years that has been trying different techniques in a small scale which is doable in a shorter time frame.

    It is easier to play, have fun and figure out what works for me!

  • Reply
    Helen Percy Lystra
    May 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I'be been wanting to do some quilting but hesitate because I don't know what I'm doing… starting small would be a good thing. Thanks for the information. Hoping the random number is mine but if not, I'll look up the dvd anyway.

  • Reply
    Carol C
    May 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I love to work small and I love to work with wool. You can do so much with it and it just seems to add a whole new look without to much effort. The fact that you don't have to worry about turning under any edges is a plus too.

  • Reply
    TJM wanna be quilt artist
    May 27, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I like to switch between the sizes I work but enjoy the smaller quilts for trying new techniques, ideas or materials. Would love to win the DVD full of new ideas.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I have Jane's DVD (so I don't need to be entered ;-)).If anyone is on the bubble about purchasing it, trust me, everything Lyric has said is true! Jane explains everything so well and is a delight to listen to. I love working small to learn new techniques. Have a great weekend, Lyric.

  • Reply
    Sunny -- aka Matriarch
    May 27, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I do love to work small. It's not so daunting and I find I can forgive my own inadequacy as an 'artist-wannabe' if the piece is small enough to hide in a drawer if I don't like it. LOL Jane is an inspiration, and so are you, Lyric. Thanks for writing a wonderful blog and bringing us inspiration from others as well.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Small is my favorite- to try out new things and to get a feel for techniques to see if I like or don't like them. And Jane's DVD has been on my list of things to buy!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Small work is great when you are able to capture the breadth of an idea in an itty bitty living space:)

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I would love this! I like to work small because quilts are easier to manipulate, more portable and don't require as much time. I also enjoy embellishing them to the hilt so small is the way to go!

    Diana VanGorden

  • Reply
    Susan A
    May 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I like working small simply because it's easier to handle.

  • Reply
    Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter
    May 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Love the pomegranate piece with so many different views of the same fruit.

    I like working small best after I've been working large for a while. I enjoy the transition of something more physically manageable and finished more quickly. Then I'll get tired of small and go back to larger again…

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    This sounds like a super DVD! I like to work small b/c it makes people think it was hard. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Lynn Weathers
    May 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Only within the past few months have I started working small. I like it because I can finish a small, intricate piece in a few days. I'm making these to test ideas. I seem to be getting new ideas frequently so I need to be able to finish what I'm working on quickly so I can move on to the next idea.

    I am also finding small projects easier to manage in my hands and they are more portable so I can work on them more often in many places.

    Crossing my fingers that the "random number generator god" will smile upon me on Monday!

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