Friday, September 30, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Laura Wasilowski

Laura Walisowski has long been one of my favorite quilters and one of my favorite people. Her work and her personality are both full of whimsy and humor. In fact, she should come with a warning: do not try to drink when she is talking as sudden spraying through the nose is likely to occur.
Waffle Irons
32" x 37"

Laura is the revered and feared Dean of Corrections at the Chicago School of Fusing, (yes, I AM a proud graduate of that school.) I highly recommend a quick tour, especially a glance at the Rowenta Sports Arena, Home of the Iron Maidens, my favorite team.

She teaches all over the place and will also be vending her absolutely delicious - as in I have an extensive collection - ARTFABRIK embroidery threads and dyed fabric in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.

Blue Book on Blue Chairs
46" x 57"
Her new book, Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts is a delight to read and if you've wanted to add embroidery to your quilts I highly recommend it. I reviewed it here in case you are curious... and you know you are!

Today she has a review of Bead It Like You Mean It up on her blog

Today only - leave a comment over there for a chance to win

Student Spotlight: Playing With Paint

I'd love to share with you some of the wonderful work done by students in my class

Stamped by Sarah Stephens

These were from our online session earlier this year at

Dry brush by Madalene Murphy

Monoprint by Sally Stites

Tiger Eyes by Kathy Edwards

wet wash, stamp, shiva oil sticks by Anne Fornicola
Monoprint by Cheryl Hansen

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Gloria Hansen

I've been wanting to introduce you to Gloria Hansen for a very long time now and am so happy to finally get the chance to do so. She is one of the kindest, most generous people I know. She is also an incredibly talented artist.

Blushing Triangles 5

Gloria is considered a pioneer in uniting the quilt maker with the computer, and in 1996 she co-authored The Quilter’s Computer Companion, a ground-breaking book published by No Starch Press. She also wrote or 
co-wrote 13 titles in the Free Stuff on the Internet series publishing by C&T Publishing. 

Her latest book Digital Essentials, the Quilt Maker’s Must Have Guide to Images, Files, and More, published by Electric Quilt Company, was a USA Book News “Best Books 2009” finalist.  Her works has appeared in nearly 200 magazine articles, within nearly 30 books, on several magazine covers, and a college text book cover.  She has been a technology columnist since 1996; was selected as the NJ featured Artist of the month, August 2007, by the NJ State Council on the Arts/Art Pride NJ; and was a featured guest on the HGTV show Simply Quilts and on the cable TV show Exit 8

Gloria’s work has been exhibited throughout the country and abroad for over two decades. She has won over 200 awards, including the 2007 Master of Innovative Artistry award at the International Quilting Association show in Houston, Texas and the 2008 Best Wall Quilt award at the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah, Kentucky.  She also has a quilt in the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. In 2008, Gloria’s work was displayed in a solo show at the San Jose  Museum of Quilts & Textiles where she was described by the curator as “one of the world’s foremost digital quilt designers.” 

It's About Time

I hope you are as in love with her work as I am. And I think you should buy her book, Digital Essentials. It's a must have for anyone who needs to do anything with computers and quilting. She explains so many things (resizing, digital watermarks, editing, etc) in such a clear and easily understandable fashion.

But first - go to her blog and leave a comment for a chance to win my DVD.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Carla Sonheim

Carla Sonheim is a painter, illustrator, and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. She is the author of Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun.
One of her students writes, “Carla just shines and is so gentle and generous that you will work hard all day and come out energised and inspired. Most importantly though, [her] class was a touchstone in my artistic journey, giving me the courage to stop resisting, and open myself to my creative voice.”
Carla lives in Seattle, Washington.
(Remember… “Blowed kisses are like little ghosties. They can go through cracks in doors.” –Wes Sonheim, age 4)

Carla will be teaching at JOURNALFEST on October 26-30th in Port Townsend, Washington.

I own and adore her book, Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists and I think you should own it too!

Now go to Carla's Blog, Snowball Journals and read her review of Bead It Like You Mean It. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the DVD.

And if you don't win there - you can try each of these other blogs.
Sept 26 Carla Sonheim
Sept 28 Gloria Hansen 
Sept 30 Laura Wasilowski
Oct 3  Carol Sloan
Oct 5 Sue Bleiweiss 
Oct 7  Jill Berry 
Oct 10 Jane LaFazio
Oct 12 Tracie Lynn Huskamp

Or - you can buy it here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On-Line Class: The Artist's Toolbox

If you are looking for an easy way to learn about art, to pick up the basics of the visual language,
I'd like to suggest my upcoming class:

The Artist's Toolbox
Reaching by Lyric Kinard

An on-line course at www.

based on the book

Come learn the basic alphabet of the visual language, the elements and principles of good design.

I'll walk you through each element, explaining them in easy to understand language and metaphors.

We'll observe each element of the visual language in the world around us.
We'll learn to see with the eyes of an artist.

Finally we'll put what we've learned into practice through practical exercises.

The supply list couldn't be simpler.
Sketchbook and whatever drawing stuff you have
Glue Stick
Fabric of Paper Scraps

Class begins September 30

Artist Spotlight: Sharon Chapman

Today you can head over to Sharon Chapman of Wildflower House and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bead It Like You Mean It

Sharon's Etsy shop
Sharon lives in the foothills of the Cascade mountains where there is mucho rain, but when the sun comes out it's gorgeous. Her real love is Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands which are close. She loves creating gardens and peaceful places. Lately her interests have been crazy quilting and landscape quilts. 

Here's the round up so far of all the blogs that are hosting a DVD giveaway.
Each of them so far has some fun reviews and projects.

Sep 15  Larkin Van Horn
Sept 16 Susan Sorell 
Sept 19 Kelli Nina Perkins
Sept 21  Sharon Chapman
Sept 23 Leslie Jennison
Sept 26 Carla Sonheim
Sept 28 Gloria Hansen 
Sept 30 Laura Wasilowski
Oct 3  Carol Sloan
Oct 5 Sue Bleiweiss 
Oct 7  Jill Berry 
Oct 10 Jane LaFazio
Oct 12 Tracie Lynn Huskamp

Monday, September 19, 2011


I was in Iowa last week at the amazingly fabulous Eastern Iowa Heirloom Quilters' show. Before the festivities started I spent half a day in the Amana Colonies

Historic buildings, lovely gardens, lots of Iowa corn fields and beautiful never-ending skies.

Something happened at Fern Hill, a shop that combines architectural antiques and quilt stuff.
Can you say heaven!?
I fell in love. 

I know, I know. Most people don't automatically start having heart palpitations when they walk into a basement full of crumbling bits of old buildings,
but I do.

Oh YES I do.

I would put this entire arrangement on my wall. Little bits of gates. Hmm.
Wouldn't it be amazingly cool to fill up a whole garden fence with a collage of iron fence bits?

And then... this amazing bank of drawers shot a comet sized, rare earth magnet straight to my heart.
Look at all those drawers... and I have stuff to go in every last one of them. Every. Last. One!

Measuring to see if it will fit in my suitcase. Or in my front door. 

Realizing, as the marvel is built all in one piece, that even if I get it into the house, I can't get it around the corner and up the stairs to my studio's new home. Help. The owner said her son, with a truck, is driving to Raleigh in October. I've had three dreams about this hardware store chest in the past week. Somebody help me. Please. I think I might waste away for the longing of it.

Artist Spotlight: Kelli Nina Perkins

Kelli Nina Perkins is a mixed media artist and librarian living on the shores of Lake Michigan. She has a master's degree in information from the University of Michigan. For over a decade, Kelli has been making art that prizes the everyday ephemera of our lives, incorporating the common flotsam of discarded life into art that speaks to the heart. 

She's a fantastic teacher and will be teaching at Art Camp for Women in October. You WANT to be there. I do. It's in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains (oh how I miss them!) and you'll be playing to your hearts content with some of the funnest supplies, and funnest people there are. Really. Even if you can't go - spread the word and tell your friends.

Kelli's  SPOON  POETRY tutorial is one of my all time favorites.
I have the spoons, I have the ink and the words and a place to hang a spoon poetry garland. It's only a matter of time.

Now head over to her blog and read her review of BEAD IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT.
Leave a comment there for a chance to win the DVD!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Leslie Tucker Jenison

InVitro: Microscopy
by Leslie Tucker Jenison
50.5" x 27"

San Antonio artist Leslie Tucker Jenison is inspired by the textural beauty found in the patterns of natural and man-made environments. Leslie loves the tactile experience of working with cloth and paper.  Using dye, paint, and thread, Leslie creates unique imagery on these surfaces.  The juxtaposition of the macro to microscopic world is a recurring theme in her work. Long fascinated by the historical connection of quilts and the people who make them, she serves on the board of the Alliance for American Quilts. Leslie exhibits internationally in galleries and juried exhibitions. Her work  is held in both corporate and private collections. Leslie teaches a variety of quilt and mixed media workshops. She curates exhibitions and teaches as one half of Dinner At Eight Artists along with Jamie Fingal.

Leslie has a review up on her blog of 
and is giving away a copy on September 24th. 
Head over to her blog and leave a comment for a chance to win. 

You can take a class from Leslie if you are lucky enough to be in Houston this November.

Thurs, Nov 3rd - 6 hour class
#425  Musical Chairs:  A Painted Canvas Adventure
Friday, Nov 4th - 6 hour class
#517  Dreaming in Canvas:  A Painted Quilt - Paint/Sew
Sat, Nov 5th - 3 hour class
#732  Texas Hold'em Apron- Sew/Paint - morning

What Remains by Leslie Tucker Jenison
48" x 36"

There is still a bit of time to head over to Larkin and Susan's blogs to win the copies they are giving away.
Sep 15  Larkin Van Horn
Sept 16 Susan Sorell 

Tomorrow is Kelli's turn.
Sept 19 Kelli Nina Perkins

And if you simply can't wait - you can buy the DVD here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Tutorial: Looped Stacks

It's bead overload month - and I hope to bring you several tutorials that will augment the techniques shown in my DVD Bead It Like You Mean It. Just for fun. And because I love YOU.
I love hand work. Not because I have endless amounts of patience and love peaceful hours of meditative stitchery. Sounds blissful but it's no part of the reality of mothering five children.

I love to bead because it fits into the five minutes I'm sitting in the carpool line. A stitch stays put when you need to jump up and change a diaper. A tin of beads and a bit of cloth can travel with you during endless hours at music lessons and soccer practice.

Did you see those lovely little loopy yellow beads in the first picture? They are just toooo much fun to play with and I though I'd share how to create them with you.
I've started with a fun fabric flower, cut, fused, and stitched to a piece of craft-fuse.

I decided to outline the petals in a contrasting color of beads. Itty bitty size 15 rocailles in this case. I'm using a size 11 applique needle and nymo beading thread. I find that beading needles aren't quite strong enough to sew through more than one layer of fabric without bending in half.

Knot your thread well and bring your needle up right where you want your loopy stack to sit. Give your thread a tug to make sure it's not going to pop through the fabric.

Slide one bead down the thread. I'm using a green size 6 seed bead.

Load your needle with size 11 seeds, I've used ten of them. Take your needle back down through the hole of the base bead to the back of the fabric then pull it tight. Repeat the process to create as many looped stacks as you wish, knotting your thread tightly into the back every few stacks.

You can have lots of fun varying the length of the loops, the sizes of the beads, or even making each looped stack into a beaded fringe. (Tutorial here)

More beading techniques can be found on my DVD workshop 
Bead It Like You Mean It. Leave me comment and let me know what you think.