Artist Spotlight and Giveaway: Ann Fahl

May 10, 2013

I’d like to introduce you to another friend and artist: Ann Fahl.


Indiana Memories by Ann Fahl 57″ x 51″

The first big quilt show I saw was the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival and I was enchanted by this quilt of Ann’s. This picture doesn’t really do justice to the vibrance of the color and the beauty of the cloth and thread. I do remember that show opened my eyes turned me on to quilts as ART!


Three Water Lilies by Ann Fahl 30″ x 25″

Lyric: Did you always want to be an artist?
Ann: It was never in my life plan to be an artist. But as a daughter of two classical musicians, I was born an artist. Coloring was one of my first pleasurable activities as a preschooler. My parents would find me coloring in our little office at the front of the house very early in the morning. It was both the act of coloring and enjoying the colors as they appeared on paper that I loved. I also added some crayon drawings to the new wallpaper in my bedroom. I thought I had done a wonderful job of embellishing the little animals and flowers on the paper, but my mother didn’t think so.


Water Lilies on Yellow by Ann Fahl 28″ x 28″

Lyric: Describe your journey to becoming an artist.
Ann: My plan was to be a business woman, be CEO of a business or something. After 10 years in retailing I realized that no matter how high I got in the organization I was never going to love the job. I loved to sew, so I quit my job and started “Creative Sewing” I did anything that was needed, clothing, alterations, and home accessories. By accident I took a quilting class, and the rest is history. I also became CEO of my own business.


Images from the book, “A Black and White Tale” by Ann Fahl and Jaquie Scuitto
(click the image to read more and buy this delightful book of verses and art)

Lyric: Why textiles as a medium?
Ann: Children are very tactile. Wanting to touch fabrics, animals, flowers is part of human nature. So I am very tactile, but fabrics also add the excitement of color. The machine processes we use now to create quilts, are very repetitive and calming. All these things, when added to my inner artistic base sent me on my way to become a professional artist. Teaching and writing about what I love is a bonus. At this point in my life, thoughts, activities, everything I do is all wrapped together, to create me. It’s hard to separate one part from the rest of me. It’s one big package.

photo 1-16I love hearing about how and why people come to be where they are as artists. We all have such different and fascinating journeys. And now to the really fun part. Ann has a lovely new booklet out called Appliqué Ann’s Way: A new look at machine appliqué. I have a copy for one of YOU!

From her website: “Not everyone likes to appliqué. Ann wants to change that, because there are so many different methods available to us today. In Appliqué Ann’s Way she shares her six favorite methods; all combine the sewing machine with fabric and fusing. You are sure to find one technique that appeals to you! She includes tips and problem solving ideas as well. Whether you are a beginner, experienced or in between, you will find something to help improve and refine your techniques, it just takes a little practice. Whatever your level of ability, there is a technique for you.”

photo 2-17The booklet has 36 pages of instruction and black and white how-to photographs. 5.5″ x 8.5″ with stapled binding. I find her instructions to be clear and understandable and I think you will enjoy it.

Leave a comment here and tell me about your favorite construction technique for creating your textile art.

(happy day – this giveaway is open to my dear international readers!)

And congratulations to Arlene – the winner of the Notebook Covers book. She doesn’t carry a sketchbook with her yet – but maybe she will now!

I think Jeannie’s answer gives us one of the best reasons to do so, “Last winter my Dad suffered a paralysing stroke. It meant packing up quickly and heading out for a 5 hour drive. While staying for a couple of weeks, I found the importance of having a notebook with me. The hospital was old and beautiful. I went to the gift shop and purchased a little memo pad for taking notes from nurses and doctors since we are all at “that” age where nothing stays in memory for long. The lesson was that to keep my sanity, I went to the lobby and drew. I went out in the rain and drew. I have never thought of myself as a drawer or artist, but the ability to focus on something other than my situation was a gift. There is now a notepad and a mini moleskin in my purse – never leave home without it!”


  • Reply
    Martha Akers
    May 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    PS: Lyric, I really enjoyed the class I took from you in Wythville and have used a lot of the ideas in my work. Keep inspiring people. Martha

  • Reply
    Martha Akers
    May 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I have admired Ann’s nature quilts ever since I first saw them in Hampton or Williamsburg. Her influence on my quilt ” Secretes of the Sunflowers” is evident. I love to do one of a kind wall hangings that I have dreamed up. Most are realist scenes, alot have fabric that I have dyed or painted and some I have painted the whole thing. BTY my licence plate is “APPLIK”. Would love a book by Ann if it is still there. A lot of my quilts have butterflies (my favorite) that I have painted or beaded, so I love butterflies too. Martha

  • Reply
    May 14, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Oh I’m so happy to have stumbled on your website! I love needleturn applique. I’ve only been doing applique about a year and want to learn all that I can.

    Thank you for a super giveaway and a chance to win.


  • Reply
    Valerie Wilson
    May 13, 2013 at 2:11 am

    I use fused applique and love doing realistic images. I am currently focusing on doing portraits based on old black and white photographs.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I love to see color spilling out onto fabric, like music to me.
    how it dries and how colors flow together or apart is hinging on weather or atmosphere and not in my control and that is exciting to me.
    To have a selection of textural and colorful fabric when I get a nib of an idea is like having that first really big box of crayons, choice!
    So after painting I like to piece and rough edge appliqué to go towards idea that is running high in my art part mind and subject to changes as I go.
    I machine free motion and hand quilt as needed.
    have admired Ann’s work ever since I saw her black and white cats in the garden quilts. thank you

  • Reply
    Brenda Comolli
    May 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I love to try new things, but always return to collage and applique’. I enjoy fusing and then playing with edge finishes. Just completed a tree of life design with beautiful signed applique’ leaves as a commerative piece. Would love to learn more from Ann.

  • Reply
    Marie Z. Johansen
    May 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    My favorite techniques morph along the way. I did a lot of hand applique in the past and lot of art quilt piecing. In the past several years though, after exploring the world of mixed media art, I find that I am using a lot more imagery in my quilting, more transfers, more graphic elements. I now use solid color, more hand dyed fabrics (natural dying has become another obsession) and I use very few prints any more.
    In 2006 I said that I would “never do” mixed media art ; almost immediatly after I verbalized that thought I became immersed in it and it has changed my cloth art direction in so many ways!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    My newest favorite technique is thread-painting.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  • Reply
    Dina Jeannotte
    May 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I just found your site via the Quiltart mailing list, and have already been intrigued and inspired. My usual appliqué process consists of fusing or spot gluing, then emphasizing the edges with either a sketch-like dark straight stitch or one of the edge stitches on my machine, depending on the desired effect. I haven’t been very successful with the blanket stitch approach and have abandoned it. I don’t really enjoy hand appliqué, though sometimes it works best for a particular piece. I’d really love that booklet…

  • Reply
    Bethany Garner
    May 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Hi Lyric… Thank you for featuring Ann Fahl, an idol and yes, applique guru. This year I am focusing in on collage and building new work that is hand dyed or painted and incorporating fine lines and stitched structure. Sometimes the lines are appliqued, and more often stitched in using a technique perfected by Kathy Loomis. As always, YOUR inspiration, tutorials and writings have guided my way. Love stamping, paint embellishments, inserting and collaging yarns, ribbons and found objects in small work. Rivers are the inspiration often…the spring colours all around have me moving to new work a bit faster these days. Would love to have Ann’s booklet!

    Bethany in Kingston ON

  • Reply
    Beth H
    May 11, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I am still learning so much. I do love needle turned appliqué and would have to choose that as one of my favorite techniques. I need to learn more about embellishing.

  • Reply
    Holly mcLean
    May 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I also admire Ann Fahl’s work! I often like to use fabric paints, Gelli printing, screen printing and thread sketching for my pieces.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I like to try many different techniques but do enjoy applique because of the freedom of creativity it gives me. I usually fuse first and then stitch to create the desired look.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I usually fuse first then ziz-zag, but sometimes I will do trapunto-style. I love the poofiness trapunto gives.
    I would love to win Ann’s booklet- I have been a fan of Ann for along time.

  • Reply
    Sharry Miller
    May 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    What beautiful quilts! I love Ann’s style and use of color. Simply fabulous.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    My first love is needle turn. It is where I started and where I go for just that look. I have branched out recently and it has been fun.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I hadn’t come across Ann’s work before – her water lilies are stunning!
    I used to do mostly fused applique with machine blanket stitch but lately I’m doing a raw edge applique with more of a thread sketching effect!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I have admired Ann Fahl’s work for years now. Thank you for a bit of insight into the artist’s life. I hand applique and use the needle turn method. For extra detail, I will embroider.

  • Reply
    Regina B Dunn
    May 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I usually first fuse the pieces to secure them. Then I either machine stitch along their edges in a straight stitch to secure them, or machine embroider the edges to give them a nicer finish, or I just go over them when I machine quilt the entire piece to be sure they are secured in some way. I have only lately begun to explore hand applique. It is a beautiful art.

  • Reply
    Carol Claytor
    May 10, 2013 at 11:06 am

    What a great book to have. I’ve always done the blanket stitch or satin stitch around my applique but lately have been trying to decide if I like the raw edge approach. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Reply
    Debbie M
    May 10, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I’ve always admired Ann Fahl’s bold applique. Would love to see her explain her techniques. I prefer machine applique, usually fused with the raw edged secured with a blanket stitch. Thanks, Ann and Lyric!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I love Ann as an artist and admire her work. I am on a learning journey and haven’t found my favorite technique till now. I am open to every new techique to learn and would be very happy about this book.

  • Reply
    Margaret Price
    May 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Love that swan. I don’t really have a favourite technique, I like to try different ways…with varying degrees of success. I am really happy when things go right. And I would love that book.
    thanks for the “free Raffle ” Margaret Price

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