Saturday, November 08, 2014

Sue Reno's Printing Expertise

The first time I saw Sue Reno's work in person was in 2006 (see this blog post). I was struck by the graphic impact of her work, along with the skillful design of the piece. I was later lucky enough to meet Sue at the big quilt show in Houston (maybe in 2007?) and spend a little time with her, as well as at a show in Lancaster shortly after that.
"Fireball" copyright Sue Reno

You don't have to know Sue long to realize what an intelligent and thoughtful person she is, and these qualities are clearly reflected in her work. When I found out she was making an instructional DVD for Interweave I was very excited for her, and I couldn't wait to see it!

Well, the wait is over, and it's worth it“Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt”  is now available as both a DVD ($24.99) or a digital download ($19.99) from the Quilting Daily Shop. Sue covers four printing techniques as well as strategies for using the prints in compositions and quilting them to best advantage.

I love printing fabric using a variety of techniques, and have tried cyanotype, heliograph, collagraph and Thermofax printing with varying levels of success in the past. What I admire about Sue's presentation of these techniques is that she has perfected a process for each one that works for her. She demonstrates these four methods of printing in a straight forward, approachable, and yet very thorough manner. Following her instructions, I feel that most artists could create successful prints of their own in no time.

In addition to demonstrating these techniques, Sue discusses options for combining prints in a variety of different ways. I particularly appreciate the way she uses more than one variety of printing technique in a single art quilt and is able to create a cohesive composition.

Finally, Sue pulls her pieces together with well planned quilting. Her tips for ways to quilt the prints are great. In my experience I usually feel that my prints are "precious" and difficult to showcase, but Sue manages to do so with ease.

Bottom line, I love it! If you are ready to try your hand at printing I think this DVD would serve you well.

Several other friends of Sue's are also participating in this blog tour. Here's a schedule so you can stop by and see what they have to say:

11/5/14: Sue Reno 
11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp 
11/7/14: Allie Aller 
11/8/14: Diane Doran 
11/9/14: Vivien Zepf 
11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel 
11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles 
11/12/14: Natalya Aikens 
11/13/14: Lyric Kinard

Friday, November 07, 2014

Winter's Tarnish

As the trees begin to lose their leaves I realize that in the craziness of this past year I never shared one of the quilts I made. I created it specifically for an exhibit called "Tarnish" that was held at Visarts in Rockville, MD. Here's the description from the Visarts website:

"The Studio Art Quilt Associates present a juried exhibition of contemporary quilts from the Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina regions. Artists address the idea of “tarnish”- a patina that affects the outside surface but protects the underlying layers- with inventive quilts."

I've always been fascinated by the sculptural quality of deciduous trees in winter, as well as by the wide range of colors in the woods that routinely go unnoticed when overshadowed by the brighter colors of spring, summer, and fall. It occurred to me that many of the colors of the woods in winter resemble those of weathered or tarnished metal - verdigris, rust, browns and the like. This inspired me to combine and manipulate photos of trees and leaves to represent what I think of as the tarnish of winter.

Winter's Tarnish copyright 2014 Diane Rusin Doran

Detail Winter's Tarnish copyright 2014 Diane Rusin Doran
The exhibit and exhibition space were beautiful as you can see from this shot of myself, Misty Cole and Linda Strowbridge at the opening reception. I felt honored to be part of this wonderful exhibit!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blog Hop Winners & Exhibition Opening Invite

Congratulations to Janie, who won the copy of Quilting Arts Gifts, and Stitchedbyme who will be entered into the grand prize drawing for Candy Glendenings bloghop for her new ebook!

On another note, I'm delighted to part of a group exhibit that's opening this Sunday. We'd love to have you stop by and say hi!

The Arts Council of Metropolitan Memorial UMC
          Presents an Afternoon of Art and Music
 Sunday, September 28, 2014 Concert

Chicago Piano Duo

3:00 pm in the Sanctuary

Pianists William Phemister and Brian Lee
Works by Schubert and Brahms
Exhibition Opening and Reception
4:30 pm in the Great Hall
Stitched Together: Art Quilts by SIG-SAC
Presenting artists include: Susan Callahan, Connie Condrell, Diane Doran, Ann Graham, Cathy Kleeman, Linda Strowbridge, and Susan Walen
Exhibition Dates:  September 28 – October 26
Exhibit hours: M-F 9 am-5 pm; Sundays 9 am-12:30 pm

Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church
3401 Nebraska Avenue NW / Washington, DC 20016
No admission charge, plentiful parking

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sew Much Fun

I'm so excited for my lovely friend Candy Glendening and pleased to be part of a blog hop to celebrate her latest achievement. She's a prolific designer and I'm sure you've seen her many clever projects in various Quilting Arts publications. Now 18 of them are available in an e-book: Create Handmade Gifts for All: 18 projects for everyone on your list.

Candy is a natural teacher, and I've always appreciated her clear and complete instructions. 
She has a knack for color and design that gives her projects a contemporary flair. I love that her mini bird quilts, pictured below, could be used in so many ways - as gift tags, Christmas ornaments, or wall decorations.
Ever since I saw these jester stockings they've been calling my name. I think this is the year to make them.

So if you're looking for quick and stylish projects for the holidays and beyond this e-book is just the ticket. 

To celebrate the release of her e-book Candy is having a lovely giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post. The drawing will close Wednesday, September 24 and I'll announce 2 winners Thursday morning. The first person will receive a hard copy of last year’s “Quilting Arts Gifts” magazine. The second person’s name goes into a drawing for the Grand Prize, the messenger bag Candy made that is featured on the cover of the e-book. Candy will announce the Grand Prize winner the following Monday on her blog. Make sure your comment is connected to an email so I can contact you. And check back on September 25 to see if you’ve won. Be sure to visit all the blogs below for more chances to win.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dinner at Eight Artists Exhibit 2014

I'm so excited! Yesterday the accepted artists were announced for this year's Dinner at Eight exhibit, and I'm in. Many thanks to Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal for all their work in creating and curating this exhibit. It looks like another great lineup of artists and I'm thrilled to be in their company.

The theme this year is reflections. I spent lots of time considering this, first thinking about literal interpretations as I have *many* photos of reflections in water and windows. Eventually, though, I felt better about doing something a little different. I wanted this quilt to reflect my techniques and styles, not be something in a totally new direction. Here is my piece, Intertwined.
Intertwined, ©2014 Diane Rusin Doran
Seahorses often have patterning (and sometimes coloring) that reflects the environment in which they live. By using transparency, I've made these seahorses do just that. Additionally, their appearance also reflects that of their kin.

Be sure to take a closer look at these detail shots. I threadpainted all of the green elements to add some depth and interest. Note to self: that amount of threadpainting takes way more time than you think it will.

If you've seen my Quilting Arts workshop on digital surface design you'll probably recognize how I created the digital collage. I started with a faux drip dyed background and worked forward from there. It was very fun to create.

I have another new piece of work to share very soon, so stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DVD Winner!

And the winner of Candy's wonderful new DVD, plus a lovely fern sketch, is Andi! Congratulations Andi!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Free-Motion Machine Sketching Review and Giveaway

I'm delighted to be a part of the blog tour for my friend Candy Glendening's newest DVD, Free-Motion Machine Sketching

Candy is an enthusiastic instructor who obviously loves to teach!

In this DVD she shares her personal design inspirations. I particularly like her descriptions of how to look at something and break it down to create an artful stitched sketch so that you can develop sketches based on your inspirations too.

She also gives step-by-step instructions on how to create a variety of motifs and construct a cloth book of sketches for reference. This is a great way to test out various fabric and thread combinations! I love that these sketches can be used for art quilts as well as fun tote bags and other projects.

Her relaxed and encouraging approach will have you creating your own thread sketches in no time.

How would you like to have a chance to win a copy of the DVD and a botanical sketch from Candy? Each of the bloggers on the tour picked a botanical for Candy to sketch. The winner on my blog will receive a thread sketched fern. 

Comments are now closed, thanks for joining in the fun!
To enter just leave a comment on this post by March 26 and tell me if you've tried free-motion sketching before. Here's the whole tour schedule - be sure to visit all the blogs for more chances to win.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Bit of Sunshine

on a cloudy day. My MAQF entry returned complete with ribbon and judges' comments.
"Sunrise Serenade"

You never know what you'll get with judges' comments. These are perhaps my all time favorites - "Charming", "Permeated with light" and "Love it!"  Well that certainly brightens up the day! I couldn't attend the show myself, but was so grateful that friends Kristin LaFlamme, Michelle May, and Lisa Ellis all took photos to share with me. I've been tiptoeing through the last few weeks due to a case of the shingles so this was a nice pick-me-up.

Stay tuned - I have something fun in store later this week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

After some extensive shoveling
I snipped this last night at about 10:00 from the Weather Channel website

I think my Valentines deserve a little treat.

Wishing all of you a very sweet Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

So, along with masses of other folks, we had a big ice storm. You know me and the nature pics - just can't stop. Bear in mind that there was quite a bit of ice, so I didn't dare venture far from the shelter of the house and most of the photos were taken with lots of zoom. At least one of them was taken through a window. (This was a smart decision, as we had a very large tree fall into the middle of the driveway in the afternoon. I was in the side yard and could hear it *loudly* falling.) Enjoy!

The sun finally came out for a few shining moments at the end of the day.

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Different Type of Printing

I've long been fascinated with all types of printing, on both paper and fabric. Even as a child I *loved* to closely examine the printing on things like wedding invitations and coasters. And though I don't often share my paper crafting projects here, trust me, they exist. So, when the opportunity arose to take a class on letterpress printing at Baltimore Print Studios, I seized it!

In reality, I had to wait a year to take this class. My husband gave me a gift certificate for the class for Christmas, 2012, but my schedule (read: my kids' schedules) was too full to make it happen. But, it was definitely worth the wait.

During the class we learned how the printing presses work, how to print, how to clean the presses, how to set type, some historical aspects of printing, and so much more. The print shop owners, Kyle and Kim, taught the class. They did a great job explaining everything!

We were divided up into groups, and each group selected a phrase, set the type (selecting from the large type collection at the shop), and then printed away. Here are some photos of my group's type on the press.

I could have printed all day.

Some of our prints drying on the (awesome) many layered drying rack.
And here's a print that another group made - by this point we were printing our designs in an ombre fashion - love it!
One of the aspects of letterpress printing that intrigues me is that you can print and emboss at the same time. I learned, though, that professional printers work hard to not emboss prints unless the design really calls for it. They carefully adjust the pressure applied during the printing process so that on something like a poster there is little to no embossing. This is, of course, particularly important for two sided projects.

Each student then type set a small phrase using metal type. We were randomly assigned partners and printed some coasters, which, being a thicker paper, are indeed embossed and printed simultaneously.
(For the record, though I have been known to enjoy a gin and tonic, the phrase I chose was "Yes Please!".)

It was a very interesting and fun way to spend the day - I highly recommend it. Check out the Baltimore Print Studios website if you're interested in trying it out yourself.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Blog Hop Winners

Journi (New Journeys 2) is the winner of the DVD from my segment of the blog hop. wlstarn won the four fat quarters from her comment on Deborah Boschert's blog.

Congratulations to all the winners! And many thanks to everyone who participated. It meant so much to me to read all of your lovely comments. I hope that each of you takes some time to allow yourself to *play* and have fun with digital imagery. The more you experiment, the more you'll learn!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SAQA Trunk Show

I made a little quilt for the SAQA Trunk Show. It's called Magpie.

Now that it's finished I see that it has the same basic color story as both Stellar Jay and California Dreaming. Hmmm, maybe I need to shake things up a bit!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blog Hop and Giveaway Finale

The blog hop is now closed. Journi (New Journeys 2) is the winner of the DVD from my segment of the blog hop. wlstarn won the four fat quarters from her comment on Deborah Boschert's blog. Thanks to everyone for participating!!!

Thanks to everyone for joining us on the blog hop, and special thanks to my four talented friends for helping out! Candy, Sarah, Deborah, and Susan will be forwarding the emails of the first four DVD winners to me, and I'll contact the winners and mail the DVD's out as soon as I've received their addresses.

But wait, there's still 2 more chances to win! Leave a comment on today's post before Friday, January 31, for a final opportunity to win a copy of my new DVD, Digital Surface Design: Simple Techniques for Hand-dyed Fabric Effects and More. Let me know what type of project you'd like to create using fabric you've designed yourself. Also, be sure and leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

I will also select a winner of the four fat quarters of fabric on January 31. The winner will be selected from all the commenters on the hop, with the exception of the 5 DVD winners.

In the meantime, here are a few more examples of fabrics I've designed using the techniques in the DVD:
See how different these two fabrics look when all I changed was the colors?

I hope you've been inspired as we've traveled to my friends' blogs - whether it's from a technique that one of them uses, or to try some experimentation of your own with digital design. Stay tuned to find out who our winners are ...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Hop & Giveaway Part 4

Welcome back to day 4 of our Blog Hop and Giveaway! My friends and I are giving away copies of my new Quilting Arts Workshop,  Digital Surface Design: Simple Techniques for Hand-dyed Fabric Effects and More, to celebrate its release (plus some fabric). 

Today's talented hop hostess is Susan Brubaker Knapp.  To say Susan is a very accomplished quilter and quilt teacher is an understatement. If you browse through her website and blog for just a few moments, you'll see her wide range of expertise. She teaches internationally, has written books and patterns, been on QATV numerous times, and has filmed four Quilting Arts workshops. Plus, look at this gallery of quilts! Here are just a few examples of her beautiful artwork:

Bonnie & Clyde © Susan Brubaker Knapp

Psychedelic Peacock ©  Susan Brubaker Knapp

Fall Color © Susan Brubaker Knapp
I had the pleasure of hanging out with Susan twice this past fall. As soon as you meet her it's easy to understand her popularity as a teacher - her generosity and depth of knowledge make a great combination.

Susan's newest, just released Quilting Arts Workshop
So, be sure to stop by Susan's blog both for a chance to win a copy of my new DVD, as well as to get a peek at her lovely work. 

Many thanks to my four friends who have helped me celebrate!

As a reminder, here's the whole Blog Hop schedule:

January 14 – Candy Glendening - - entries close January 28

January 16 – Sarah Ann Smith - - entries close January 28

January 21 – Deborah Boschert - - entries close January 28

January 24 – Susan Brubaker Knapp -

January 28 – Diane Rusin Doran -

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blog Hop & Giveaway Part 3

Welcome back to day 3 of our Blog Hop and Giveaway! My friends and I are giving away copies of my new Quilting Arts Workshop,  Digital Surface Design: Simple Techniques for Hand-dyed Fabric Effects and More, to celebrate its release (plus some fabric). 

I'm delighted to introduce today's blog hostess, Deborah Boschert. I knew of Deborah for some time through her involvement with 12x12: The International Art Quilt Challenge. A few years ago I saw that she was moving to Maryland, and I eagerly emailed her to let her know about some of the art quilt groups here. Lucky for me, we ended up being in a critique group and SAQA together! I really miss her now that she's back in Texas.

It's been fascinating to see so many of Deborah's artworks in various stages of completion, from concept to finished quilt. She has a unique style, and is honestly quite fearless in her approach to using whatever will best produce her vision. Her technique of adding paint once a quilt is otherwise complete is particularly brave - and inspiring.
Tabletop Horizons © Deborah Boschert

Shelter and Stream © Deborah Boschert

In Light Of  © Deborah Boschert
Deborah also very effectively incorporates hand embroidery in her work, which can be seen in her three quilts above.  Be sure to look at more of her work on her website , and check out her online workshop as well as her Quilting Arts Workshop - Contemporary Fabric Collage: Design, Stitch, & Finish.

Don't forget to stop by her blog for a chance to win a copy of my new DVD!

And of course a *big* thank you to all the ladies who are joining me in the celebration.

As a reminder, here's the whole Blog Hop schedule:
January 14 – Candy Glendening - - entries close January 28

January 16 – Sarah Ann Smith - - entries close January 28

January 21 – Deborah Boschert - - entries close January 28

January 24 – Susan Brubaker Knapp -

January 28 – Diane Rusin Doran -