Happy Monday, everyone! I am indeed happy for the most part…except last night’s New England Patriots’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens was hard to take. But no matter, my home team, the San Francisco 49ers, are going to the show, and that is something to be elated about!
In non-football-related news, we are gearing up for our first two International Quilt Festivals this year, the first in Cincinnati (April 11-13) and later in Chicago (June 21-13), and I am helping with getting instructors who would like to teach one-hour workshops on the show floor at Create On The Spot (formerly known as Make It University). This is a lively, interactive portion of the show floor, and we are looking for quilters and artists who would like to teach a short, one-hour workshop on anything from stitch and surface design techniques to quick projects like ATCs, small purses, etc.
Do you have a process, project, or technique you’d like to teach for an hour at one of these shows? We would love to hear more about it!
Here’s what you need to do…
Email me (pokeybATquilts.com), with the following:
1. Proposed title of your workshop
2. Two-three sentences explaining what you would like to teach
3. A low-resolution (72 DPI) picture of your proposed project or technique
4. In the subject line please (in CAPS) write: WORKSHOP PROPOSAL/CITY (either Cincinnati or Chicago). This is pretty important so I don’t miss your email!
Deadline: The sooner the better!
Once I get your proposal, I will give you more details and particulars. Please share this blog post with your friends who you think may be interested in teaching a workshop!
I’d like to think David Taylor and I have a lot in common. For instance, he was born in New England, and well, I lived in New England for a long, long time–23 years to be exact. We’re both admittedly slightly vertically challenged, and we also both started quilting the same year, in 1999. Unfortunately these very (loose) similarities end there because he is infinitely more gifted and talented in quilting than I am, and has since won numerous prestigious awards including the Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry from the International Quilt Association, Best of Show at International Quilt Festival/Chicago (twice), among many others.
Formerly a graphic design artist in the newspaper field, David Taylor is now a full-time art quilter who is also a highly sought-after quilt instructor for free-motion quilting and his unique pictorial appliqué technique.
David told me that he has recently moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a house with a brand new studio space, and as someone who is still (a year later) trying to put my studio together in my own home in Houston, I was eager to hear more about his new studio digs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Pokey: What was most important to you in designing your studio space?
David: The most important factor in my studio layout was having space for my fabric addiction. My previous apartment looked liked an episode from “Fabric Hoarders: Buried Alive.” When I visit other quilters’ studios, their fabric is stored in bins or baskets (with lids!). I really like being able to actually see my fabric. It makes my heart feel good to see all of the fabric and to be able to ‘pet’ it. I also wanted a really nice table with space for storage. My friend Jim Vail of Willow Creek Craftsmen custom built my table for my short ‘hobbit’ stature.
David: Being a borderline ‘hoarder,’ I didn’t discard anything. And, since I only work on one project at a time, as my work is so intensive, I don’t really have UFOs. I did find a Piecemaker’s calendar quilt that I started in 2003, before I had even considered evolving into a quilting and appliqué teacher, and when I only knew how to machine appliqué! I have loved the pattern since I bought it, and now I’m working on finishing it. There are 13 barn blocks. I have so far finished seven of them. I should be working on a new quilt, but I have a very empty wall in my new house that needs a large quilt hanging on it. And the barn blocks make my heart happy.
Pokey: What advice or tip do you have for someone wanting to design or revamp their studio space?
David: It’s worth every penny to make the investment in a studio. After years of just ‘making do’ with inexpensive furniture (I used to have an old metal drafting table from my graphic artist days as a sewing table and shelving came from the consignment store) and having my fabric stored in cardboard boxes, it’s quite a treat to have sturdy fixtures! The table doesn’t shake when I’m stitching with the serger! Having custom furniture made to fit the space I have has made a huge difference in my comfort level.
For those interested in creating pictorial quilts and would like to learn from David, he will be teaching his “Turn Photos into Quilts with Appliqué” workshop next month, February 22-24, at The Great Expectations Creativity Center in La Grange, Texas, and there are a few spots left. If interested, click here to learn more about this unique opportunity!
Anyone who has had their quilts exhibited at our shows over the past several years has dealt with one of our very special people in Special Exhibits, Carmen Valls.
Well, I am happy to report that she is now happily married to one very nice (and dapper) gentleman, Mr. Jon Beck!
Meet the new Mr. and Mrs. Beck!
Don’t they look beautiful? We are all so happy for them, and her wedding was such great fun, as proven by the many smiles…
There were a number of pictures on display at the reception, but this one of Carmen and her chihuahua, Fernando, was my very favorite!
Most of us at Quilts Inc., are rabid Downton Abbey fans, including Carmen, and last week, the first episode of season three premiered in the U.S., featuring the wedding of Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary. (I don’t think I am spoiling anything for anyone, because even before season three launched, the actors were on a cross-country promotional tour and confirmed that there indeed would be a wedding!)
I love Matthew and Mary’s story line, and in this episode there is a very touching exchange between them on the eve of their wedding. They quarreled earlier in the afternoon, and Mary had sizable concerns about marrying him before she went to bed. In this scene Matthew reassures her, and says something that is so very sweet…it just sums matters up. (Make sure to turn the volume way up on your computer and watch it to the very end!)
So I want to dedicate this brief yet poignant exchange to Carmen and Jon, and hope all of you will join me in wishing them both years and years of happiness…
UPDATE! Mary’s segment aired this past Friday on The TODAY Show, and you can view it below!
News flash! I learned today that fiber artist and activist Mary Fisher will be featured on The TODAY Show tomorrow (Tuesday) morning! I believe it is the 9:30 segment so if you are unable to watch, make sure to set your DVR! The news I got was that just before the holidays, Jenna Bush Hager went to visit Mary in Sedona and they spent a fun day together. I can’t wait to watch her interview tomorrow!
Blog update!I loved reading all of the resolutions and I hope we all attain them! I would love to see pictures of works-in-progress or works completed so feel free to email them to me, and I can post on the blog. The winner of the fabric is Brigitte Baierl. Congratulations! I will email you for your address.
I think y’all know how this works by now: I ask a question, you answer, and I randomly select a winner. The first free loot in 2013? How about a stack of fat quarters from Riley Blake Designs!
Aren’t these colors yummy?
They kinda’ remind me of my breakfast this morning (before I turned all this stuff into juice):
Since it’s only the second day in 2013, I’m going to ask the queen of cliché questions, but ask it with a twist:
What is your quilt-related New Year’s resolution that you will ATTAIN by year’s end? This mean that what you write in the comments area–whatever goal you type down–you WILL accomplish by the end of the year. And at year’s end, I am going to check back in to see if you actually attained your goal.
My attainable goal: I will start and complete two art quilts by the end of the year, one of which I would like to enter into a juried exhibition. Maybe making two art quilts doesn’t sound like much, but I have two ideas in mind, and I would really like to see them through…not just keep the ideas in my head.
Now it’s your turn. Leave your attainable goal in the comments area and on Friday I will post the winner in this same post. Think hard and think lofty (but attainable)…
I hope everyone enjoyed some rest and relaxation with loved ones this past holiday season! I had a very mellow, quiet, and restorative break; the highlight was visiting my mother for a few days just outside of Las Vegas where she lives.
Above is a view of “The Strip” in the distance, just beyond her rose bushes in her backyard. This is as about as close as I ever get to The Strip, because the only gambling I can handle is hedging my bets on how well I will free-motion stitch a quilt I have to make for someone!
My mother picked up quilting again exactly one year ago, and she has been prolific ever since. I think she showed me about 10 quilts she has made in the past year alone, and the one above is one she made for her rescue pooch, Bogie.
Just after I landed, my mom told me she wanted me to meet her quilting friends, so off to the “Sewing Club” we went, which is a room in her local community center. It’s a pretty slick quilt/sewing facility outfitted with massive cutting tables and ironing stations, a long arm machine, and at least a dozen Janomes and Berninas. I was very impressed!
On the first full day of my visit, my mom and I enjoyed a pumpkin facial (which smelled lovely!) and a deep tissue massage (which hurt like hell!) at a local day spa. Afterwards, we visited my mom’s favorite independent quilt store, Quiltique, where I loaded up on fabrics, and we spent the rest of the time quilting in pajamas while the dogs supervised. (I even caught the remake of “King Kong” with Jack Black, but I couldn’t watch the last 10 minutes and chose to go to bed because there was no way I could watch King Kong die.)
By the time I left Las Vegas, I had finished this tote that will be a part of a fundraising effort. (More on that soon.)
Today is January 1, 2013. A new day, a new year, a new chance. Here’s to cramming in as many positive, healthful, creative, friend-filled, and quilt-filled moments as we can.
Happy New Year,
Welcome. I’m Pokey Bolton, founder of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines, and Founding Host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS. With my experience in publishing, media, events, and craft adventures (by land and sea), I fairly recently founded Crafting a Life, LLC...