Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

From our Halloween Archives ...

November/December Machine Quilting Unlimited

Last week I received my preview copy of the November/December issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. Wow! Look at this cover -

The cover image is just a taste of the wonderful photography inside. They always have lots of beautiful quilts, but this issue has even more than usual.

In addition to my Filler Finesse column, I also wrote an article about using decorative stitches for quilting. In it there are photos of quilts by Carol Ann Waugh, Cathy Jeffrey, Jane Sassaman, Karen Linduska, and Mary Vaneecke. They are all lovely quilts, and really helped to show the many effects that can be produced by various styles of decorative stitches - thanks ladies!
And speaking of MQU, I better go get my next filler article done before I leave for Houston later this week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Doodle All the Day

There's been a lot of buzz lately about sketchbooks amongst art quilters. I really enjoy checking out all the posts related to the sketchbook challenge. I admire all those artists who do journal, and love to see how their journaling eventually translates into other work.

Yesterday I received my copy of the latest SAQA Journal, and lo and behold there was even an article about sketchbooks/journals by Vivien Zepf.It made me feel much better! I don't journal, or even have a sketchbook. I use the computer as what I like to call my "virtual design wall". I do sketch out ideas occasionally, and have a folder full of sketches I've made over the years, but it's not something that I feel compelled to do. The one exception is when I'm considering new quilting designs (as in the actual stitching, not the overall quilt). Here are two pages of sketches, or doodles, that I made while thinking about upcoming "Filler Finesse" columns for Machine Quilting Unlimited.

OK, the number line at the top is not a potential quilting design - it was an illustration of negative numbers for my youngest son

 Designing quilting motifs or fillers for an article is an iterative process for me. I go back and forth between sketching, stitching, and then making a clean diagram in Illustrator. I skip the illustrator step if I'm working on a quilt and not writing an article.

So do you have a sketchbook or journal? How does it fit in to your design process?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Farewell Old Friend

When it comes to electronics, my husband and I are never people who buy "the latest thing". For instance, I'm pretty sure we were the last people in our neighborhood to get a flat screen TV. We (okay, Vince) carefully research the item in question, then use it as long as we can.

I don't know how long ago we bought our Canon PowerShot Pro1, but it was the first digital camera that we bought. We both had SLRs, but did not hop on the digital photo bandwagon quickly, so borrowed digital cameras before that. (My family had plenty of them.) And now, sadly, my beloved Canon bit the dust.

If you embiggen this, you'll see how well worn the exterior is
If you zoom with it at all, the exposure is totally off - basically a white picture results. This was a lovely camera, perfect for me in so many ways. Whether I wanted to take a macro of a flower, a portrait of a child, or a photo for a quilt article, I could get the picture I wanted in no time flat. It had its limitations, of course, but for the most part it felt like an extension of me. Nearly every picture on this blog, save those marked as cell phone pictures, was taken with the old Canon. Also, if you've read any of my magazine articles, all the photos in my Machine Quilting Unlimited articles, as well as some in process ones for Quilting Arts, were taken with it. So can you tell yet that I really liked it :) ?

Now I'm adjusting to a new camera. It's better, fancier, has more megapixels, and an amazing range. And I must say that I'm impressed that I was able to take these two pictures of our woods and capture some of the magic of this time of year, which I never could quite manage with the old camera.

Stay tuned for more of my "test" pictures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

And the Winner is ...

Angela Grasse! Angela's name was selected by using a random number generator. Congratulations, Angela, I hope you enjoy your DVD.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Last Chance - DVD Giveaway

What an exciting couple of weeks it's been! I've been celebrating the release of my instructional DVD, Digital Collage for Quilt Design, with a blog hop, and today I'm the last stop.

Many, many thanks to my friends Gerrie, Vivika, Debra, Candy, and Deborah for helping me celebrate. And many thanks also to everyone who entered - your comments have really been wonderful!

Digital collage has been my primary means of designing quilts for over 10 years. If you check out my gallery on my website  and the tab on the blog labeled recent quilts you'll see what I mean. And those designs are just the tip of the iceberg. I have many more quilts designed or in work on my computer, and several printed out and ready to quilt. I feel so blessed to be living in this time of technological wonder. When printing on fabric with a home computer and printer became possible it was like I'd been waiting for that my whole life, and didn't even know it.
Bayou Reflections

Under the Rainbow

Bog Lilies
 So, to win a copy of the DVD, leave a comment here. I'd love to hear about how you'd like to use digital collages in your own work. For an additional chance to win become a follower of my blog or sign up for my email newsletter and tell me you've done so in the comments. Please remember to leave an email address so that I can contact you if you're the big winner! I'll choose a winner Monday morning, October 24, and announce the winner that morning.

Good luck, and thanks for joining in the celebration!

Edited 10/24/11 - Contest now closed - thanks for joining in the fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DVD Blog Hop - On to Deborah Boschert

Can you believe it - we're already on Day 5 of my blog hop to celebrate the release of my DVD, Digital Collage for Quilt Design!

Today's hostess is someone whose blog I've followed for years. First she lived in Maine, then Texas. When I learned she was moving to Maryland I immediately contacted her to let her know about some local art quilt groups with the hopes that she'd join them. And she did! I'm so happy today to include my friend Deborah Boschert in our celebration.

Deborah's work has a unique and instantly recognizable style that I love. She is well known for the many articles she's written and publications her work has appeared in, and also for being a part of the 12 By 12 International Art Quilt Challenge. Here's her work "In Light Of"  from their colorplay challenge.

"In Light Of" by Deborah Boschert
The 12x12 Collection will be in a special exhibit at the Houston International Quilt Festival, November 3-6. Most of the members of the 12x12 group will be there too, so be sure to check out their exhibit, and say hi to them if you see them.

So know that you know a little more about Deborah, hop on over to her blog for a chance to win!

Some of the other ladies are still accepting comments for chances to win on their blogs:
 Debra Gabel  is picking a winner on or before Oct. 31 (post date Oct. 13)
 Candy Glendening is picking a winner Oct. 21 (post dated Oct 17)

Be sure to hop back here on October 21 for a chance to win a DVD from me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DVD Giveaway :Next Stop - Candy Glendening

As you enter the green room where Quilting Arts TV is filmed, you pass through a door that has the taping schedule on it.  In September I looked at the door and was disappointed to see that Candy Glendening had filmed the day before - darn it! I'd hoped to meet her. However, it turned out to be my lucky day. She returned to the studio to retrieve some things so I got to meet her after all.

If you look behind Candy, you can see the schedule on the door
Candy is a woman of many talents. She teaches biology at the university level, while also creating lots of colorful art including her yummy hand dyed fabrics - Candied Fabrics. She's been on QATV, been published a number of times, and has a DVD of her own being released at the same time as mine. I think her energy and cheerfulness are readily apparent in the picture above!

I'm delighted that Candy is our next stop on the blog hop, so head on over to her blog for another chance to win my DVD! Also, a big thank you to all of our blog hop hostesses and the many people who've left such wonderful comments - it is great to see your enthusiasm.

Here's the remainder of the schedule:

October 14 Debra Gabel  ( there's still time to enter at Debra's blog - see the 10/13 entry)
October 17 Candy Glendening 
October 19 Deborah Boschert  
October 21 Diane Doran

Good luck to everyone!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blog Hop - Day 3 of DVD Giveaway

Today my good friend Debra Gabel is giving away a copy of my new DVD on her blog.

Debra is many things - an amazing designer, an award winning art quilter, author of several books, an energetic teacher and lecturer, and the owner of a thriving pattern business, Zebra Patterns. She's very well known for her series of city and state "stamps". I'm sure that if you've seen her work you'll remember it!  Here's one of her art quilts "St. Francis of Assisi".
St. Francis of Assisi by Debra Gabel

Thank you, Debra, for being a part of the celebration!

Here's the remainder of the giveaway schedule:

October 14 Debra Gabel  
October 17 Candy Glendening 
October 19 Deborah Boschert  
October 21 Diane Doran
As a reminder, Vivika will be drawing a name on October 19, so you still have a chance to win there, too.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Red Birds

I finished up the little quilt I showed last Friday, Red Birds. I made it as a donation to the fundraiser for the Texas Quilt Museum.

It's about 10"x10".

As usual, I quilted the dickens out of it.

Instead of a sleeve, I added tabs for hanging it. I fastened them down at the bottom, so they wouldn't poke up above the top edge when hanging.

There are still several chances to win a copy of my new DVD - you can head over to Vivika's now, or to Debra's tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Next Stop - Vivika Denegre

Wow! The response to the blog hop giveaway of my DVD over at Gerrie's blog was amazing, and I really appreciate the many kind comments!

If Gerrie didn't draw your name, today you have another chance to win a copy of my new workshop DVD, Digital Collage for Quilt Design, over at Vivika DeNegre's blog.

I met Vivika this February when we were both filming segments for Quilting Arts TV Series 800. She is such a warm person, I immediately felt I'd found a new friend. She makes lovely quilts, is a frequently published designer, and creates wonderful collages using stitching, fabric, and paper. You may also know her from her Prayer Flag Project. Many thanks, Vivika, for helping me celebrate!

As a reminder, after Vivika we still have several chances for you to win the DVD:

October 14 Debra Gabel  
October 17 Candy Glendening 
October 19 Deborah Boschert  
October 21 Diane Doran

Monday, October 10, 2011

DVD Giveaway!!

I'm having a blog hop and DVD giveaway to celebrate the release of my DVD, Digital Collage for Quilt Design.

Five of my friends are helping me, for a total of 6 chances to win!

Gerrie Congdon kicks off the celebration today. Gerrie is a prolific and well known quilter. Her lovely work includes lots of surface design, and she is part of the Twelve by Twelve group of international quilters. Hop on over to Gerrie's blog for today's chance to win. Many thanks, Gerrie!

In this DVD I show how to 

- Combine a variety of image types to create imaginative collages to print on fabric
- Use Photoshop Elements 9 for basic digital enhancement and layering techniques
- Consider color, value, and contrast while designing
- Explain printing, basting, and finishing options for your collage, and demonstrate ways to enhance your design with quilting, markers, and pencils.
And much more!

The DVD is available for pre-order on my website or at the Quilting Arts/Interweave website.

A digital download is available now at Interweave.

Here's a preview:

The complete Blog Hop schedule is as follows:
October 10 Gerrie Congdon 
October 12 Vivika DeNegre 
October 14 Debra Gabel  l
October 17 Candy Glendening 
October 19 Deborah Boschert  
October 21 Diane Doran 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Work in Progress

I'm working on these little red birds - it's about 10"x10".

I'm trying to finish this up by tomorrow - shouldn't be too hard, eh? I love the look of many thread color changes, but hate tying and burying the knots. I recently had a quilt appraised, and "many thread color changes" was one of the notations on the appraisal. It didn't occur to me that all those thread colors would be considered as part of the evaluation, but it makes sense.