Saturday, December 5, 2009

It Was Lovely

Just a quick little report about the book party.
It was absolutely lovely!

Heidi swears she doesn't know anything about art or quilts
but created an amazing cookie quilt to help celebrate.
I think she's amazing!

It was lovely to see so many good friends.
Many of you drove long distances and I was very touched by that.

It was lovely to have the house and studio cleaned up and to pull out stacks of books
and build towers with them.
Thank you friends!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Celebration This Friday!

If you're in the area - I'd love to have you join me for a little party.
It was a long couple of years to produce this baby and I want to celebrate!

ART + QUILT: The Party

Friday November 20th
102 Kilmorack dr
Cary NC

Come browse the book, eat some nibbles, play some (art) games.
Bring a munchie to share if you feel like it.
I'll have stuff to doodle, fabric to fondle, art to see.
Mostly I'd like your company!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wild Things

I didn't make art today - but I did grow a child that makes art. No, we haven't gone to see "Where The Wild Things Are" yet, but we do have the book. My kindergartner had been drawing obsessed for a few weeks now. I love it. We spent a while in the doctor's office learning things like where to put the eyes in a head or how to draw a hand. She learns it then goes off and does some wild and crazy stuff. As I said, I LOVE it!

I didn't make art today - but I did create. I've been fully absorbed in making pieces for a historical costume. And a few non-historical pieces as well. I think the family I grew up in fostered a love of dressing up. My parents were school teachers and we were all "mountain men" during the summers. We wore buckskin, camped in a tipi, and shot black powder, muzzle loading rifles all over the mountain west.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just Do It

I can't remember if it was "The Artist's Way" or "The Creative Habit" that had a list of questions - helping me to figure out what part of artmaking I love and what part I have to just grind through.

I love designing, thinking, planning. I love playing around with materials and improvising abstract compositions. I love hand work. While I can machine quilt well - that's the part I don't really love so much. Which means that I have a number of pieces mostly done - just waiting to get through that process.

"November Is Art Every Day" month, still. I've had this little piece almost done for quite a while. So having the goal is going to force me to get a few things DONE! This little piece is 5" x 7". Hand dyed, screen printed, machine stitched.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Art Every Day - mostly

I didn't make any art yesterday or the day before. But I might have inspired a few people to make some of their own. I think that counts don't you? I had the pleasure of teaching Surface Design to a lovely group of women from the Piedmont Quilt Guild in Greensboro, NC.

Nanette layered some really great foil, screen prints, and a photo transfer then framed it with beads.

Debbie went to town - layering bubble wrap prints, carved stamps, stencil resists and screen prints.

L'Tanya has quite the eye for design and is a beading speed demon. She's almost got that black and white face cabochon caged - just needs to lasso the stacks and circle them in.

Carolyn made a freezer paper stencil and added some bling with her foil. I love the play on warm and cool (complementary) colors!

Jocelyn layered carved and commercial stamps, photo-transfer, and foil on her funky art quilt.

Christina, who is an art teacher herself and had already done some wonderful printing on fabric, added even more leafy screen prints, both with paint and foil, and carved a great stamp.

The class was "Surface Design Sampler Platter." You can learn everything we did (except for the beading) on my Quilting Arts Workshop DVD . (The button is over there on the right.) Unfortunately - I can't give you chocolate after lunch through the screen. Wish I could.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November is Art Every Day Month

Inspired by Jane Davila, who is in turn inspired by Leah at, I've decided that no matter how small - I'm going to make art every day this month. I spend a LOT of time teaching and writing about making art.

Not nearly enough time DOING. I'm going to take my own advice and MAKE time.

Since I started late I've got two today. Done during hockey practice. Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's All About the Attitude

Whistling while you work. Making lemonade from lemons. I'll bet there are a ton of similar metaphors. (I'd love to hear your favorite!)

After a late night of dancing - and what a wonderful night it was - I had to arise in the wee hours of the morning to catch a shuttle to the airport. I had packed the day before so all I really needed to do was to was hop out of bed, brush my teeth and go. It could have been a rotten day.

A little aside on packing. Us traveling quilt teachers do an awful lot of schlepping stuff. I had two maxed out checked bags, a carry-on, and my "small personal item" which is a rolling briefcase that just barely fits under most airline seats. I wear black and wear my black little back-pack purse - hoping they won't count it as a third carry-on. We also end up shipping boxes to venues as well. The baggage fees have raised the costs for guilds to bring us in but the real struggle is being able to get all the lovely quilts and supplies there for you the students. I teach a lot of surface design classes - paint and foil and screen printing and such - to quilters. I like to spare them the time and cost of running around trying to find supplies that aren't readily available or already in their stash. That means I bring a LOT of stuff for my students. In fact - I even prepare kits so that in many of my classes all you have to show up with is a pair of scissors and a notebook! I use this kit for both "Bead It Like You Mean It" and "Surface Design Sampler Platter."

OK - back to the story. So I'm at the gate of the airport by 5am - people trickle in and plunk down and immediately fall asleep. I'm a morning person and a light sleeper so I didn't even try. I had Melanie Testa's book, "Inspired to Quilt" to read and it is an amazingly lovely book! And hey - with as many kids at home as I have, any quiet "alone" time I have is savored - even in an airport at 5am.

It gets better. Two young men and their mother walk in with instrument cases and one of them, instead of falling asleep, pulls out his guitar, and with a lovely soft voice begins to sing and play. I love acoustic music. I can't really read while it's playing because I get caught up in listening. So I pulled out my sketchbook, shifted to a better seat, and began to doodle, and sketch.

This is my rough sketch. I actually pulled out a pencil and worked harder to make a really nice sketch while he played. When I do this I often tear out the sketch and give it to the subject if it turns out decently. It did so I did. (The other sketch is a copy of an amazing drawing from "Inspired To Quilt".)

So check out the Malpass Brothers. Christopher, the young man on the right is the one that sang to all the morning sleepers. The music on their site has much more of an old-time vintage country sound than the airport that morning. It was lovely.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Party Time!

When you hear the word "quilter" you probably think of your grandmother. White hair - sitting at a frame with her glasses on her nose and a needle in her hand. It's a lovely image. Just go ahead and keep thinking that way because if you all really knew what we "quilters" did when we go off to a conference - it would get even more impossibly crowded than it already is.

Saturday night at the International Quilt Festival the governor of Texas sponsored a Gala on the Green. Amazingly talented live band, food, and lots of us "quilters" dancing the night away.

Here's Helen Gregory (one of the many indispensable women at Quilting Arts) and I just a-hoofin' it. I have to tell you - I haven't danced like that in 20 years. Actually. I don't think I've ever danced like that. When it's just us ladies there is no pressure - no weirdness - no teenage angst from the last dances I remember attending. Just plain fun and celebrating another wonderful year with needles and cloth!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big Fish, Little Pond

It feels very strange to have someone come up to you with a wide eyed grin and say, "Oh! You're Lyric!" As though I were somebody famous. Big fish. Little pond.

I had a book signing. Want to see my head swell to about 20 times it's normal size? The most amazing part was finally meeting my project editor face to face. Linda Griepentrog is one talented, patient, and hard working lady who really helped bring my book together.

Luckily for me - my family is great at bringing me back down to earth. I've done loads and loads and loads of dishes since I've been home. Laundry. Cleaning bathrooms. Fighting with kids to get their rooms clean. Back to reality! Wouldn't have it any other way.

To Market, to Market, to Market I Go

I'm at the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas. It's my first time at a trade show so I had no idea what to expect. I knew it would be as big as Festival which begins in a few days. The quilt exhibits are set up and I've had a couple hours to take in some of the exquisite textile ART on view. Two hours and I think I made it up and down three out of the 20 or so isles of displays. Last year I had two hours total to see the exhibits - didn't make up and down all of them - even at a running pace. An amazing thing is that there is no crowd in the exhibit - I feel like I had it all to myself.

Here we see the "Fabric Forest" coordinated by an amazing group of artists, the Groebenzeller Quiltgruppe from Germany.

I had it all to myself because everyone else here is WORKING! The vendors or promoting their stuff to the shops and designers. The shop representatives and designers are here looking at everything and ordering stuff.
Here is Pokey and John Bolton, with - working hard to get their publications into even more shops and stores.

It's very interesting to see the rows of tables with seats at the big fabric manufacturers. The shop reps sign up for a time, go sit and look through stacks of samples of the new lines and fill out order forms. Pattern designers will have a small booth with samples made up handing out brochures. Lots of smaller fabric designers have incredibly clever little booths that draw you in with their colors and quilts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Put It On Your Calendar!

Publishing a book is like having a baby. A long gestation period. A painful amount of work right at the end. (Loooooooong wait - unlike babydom). Then WOW! You have an absolutely amazing piece of work in your hands.

So I'm having a PARTY! And you are all invited!


send me a quick e-mail for the address if you'd like to come.

I'll have plenty of books here for purchase. And food.

If you can't make it to the party but still want to order the book from me, mention the party and I'll throw in a little gift to go along with it. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Open Studio Tour

Want to see something cool and scary? Quilting Arts magazine's STUDIOS issue is hosting an Open Studio blog event.

That's not the scary part. This is the scary part. October is the month where I teach a lot (schedule here) so I'm putting together kits and supplies. I bring a lot of stuff for my students. That includes books and DVD's and lots of fun surface design goodies too. Last spring my studio was gorgeous in preparation for it's spread in Studios Magazine.

Um - not right now. Want to see some real life Studio work in progress? Watch this at your own risk!

It's always a ton of fun to see where someone else works isn't it? You can see a whole bunch more studios starting October 3rd at http:/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Books and Blogs

A guest post today over at the Subversive Stitchers blog - great place - go check it out! I wrote a little about trying to carve out time for your art making. I'm trying my hardest to be more disciplined. Which means this little post is short. Gotta get back to the sewing machine.

And the most fun I've had at the post office in years!!! Sending off a stack of my new book. I had to restrain myself from climbing up on the desk and dancing and telling everyone there that "I Wrote A Book!!!" I still can't believe it myself.

So go read over there. I'll stitch over here. Perhaps I'll get some pictures and other wonderful stuff up for you soon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Make-It University

For the past several years the Queen of Quilting Arts has sponsored Make-It University at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. Right in the middle of the show floor you find a large space with several artists demonstrating their techniques (Open Studios) and a classroom space open to the view of all the passersby. Patricia "Pokey" Bolton is one solid bundle of energy (I think she shoots caffeine directly into her veins) and things get pretty lively as she hosts her own classes and draws names from the jar of hopefuls who might want to take a class.

I had a ton of fun both presenting in Open Studios and teaching on MIU class last year and have the great pleasure of doing so again this October. If you happen to be down on the show floor and need a spot to rest your feet - throw your name in the jar to see if you win the lottery and get into my "Hopes, Wishes, and Dreams Booklet" class. We'll be doing a number of quick and easy little surface design techniques on both fabric and paper and having a ton of fun to boot!

See you there!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered!

Mission accomplished!

I don't usually take commissions. I know where my limitations lie. Deadlines are always tough to meet when you have children as your prime responsibility to care for. Mostly - I worry the whole time whether the client will like the piece, instead of enjoying the process.

This was an exception in many ways. I proposed the commission, the client chose something that was already mostly complete and I had a relaxed, rather than a rigid, timeline. And.... she loved it. Whew. I love it myself.

It began with plain white print cloth.
Dyed - pinkish. Overdyed with browns.
Several images were manipulated in Photoshop to create screens; violin, manuscript, wings.
Manuscript was screened with a discharge agent to remove dye from the fabric.
Manuscript was screened with brown textile paints.
Violins and wings were screen printed.
Large violin was screen printed and brush painted.
Hand stitching around the small violins.
Machine stitching to emphasize the large violin.
Textural machine stitching in areas to help highlight both large and small elements.
Very subtle beads added to add that ... spark.
Presentation - stretched and secured onto gallery wrapped canvas. The client can choose to hang it as-is or add a frame.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Funky Purple Pants

Just for fun!

During the dye run a couple weeks ago I threw in several natural colored linen dresses and shirts that I don't wear any more. They all came from Goodwill so I never worry about ruining something I spent a lot of money on. They came out in lovely purples and I cut them up and combined them to make some funky purple pants. To match the fun tunic/vest that was a boring color before but no longer.

So - experiment - recycle - have fun - who cares about what's "in" fashion - create your own style! And (obviously) leave the housework till later!

Monday, July 27, 2009

From the Back

I'm putting together the last bits of an article for "International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene" and of course I can't show you the cool samples - but I will give you sneak peek and show you some of the quilting from the back.

Because sometimes the back looks really cool even when you use your least favorite piece of fabric from the last dye batch. Can't tell you how many magenta/turquoise pieces I have - time to start over-dyeing them. AFTER I finish writing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Dye Bath

Last week was pretty hot - pretty busy - very colorful! I had half a bolt of fabric (50yds) and tons of vintage lace (thanks to Ebay) ready to go. The lace will go into kits for "Photos on Fabric" that I'll be teaching in Houston at the International Quilt Festival in October.

In one way I really love the dye process - but it's a lot of work. Not a whole lot more to mix up dye concentrates and dye a huge amount of yardage than to dye just a few yards so why not do the whole thing at once? Kind of like making spaghetti sauce. I only make it in my gargantuan humongo pot. I usually freeze enough for five or six large meals. This will be most of my palette for the next year or so - or at least until I need some different colors.

The instigation of this particular dye batch is an article for "International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene"  - a new magazine being put together by the indefatigable editor of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. Fun stuff.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Playing With Paint

Hello Friends,

I hope you are enjoying a lovely summer! I'm reaping the rewards (sunburn) of a perfect day at the beach with my kids yesterday.

I wanted to let you know that a new session of "Playing With Paint" will begin next week at It's a great class where we play with complete abandon as though we were back in kindergarten - learning the properties of textile paints and playing around with many, many techniques. One lesson opens each week for four weeks but I'm on-line for at least five or six - answering any questions and commenting on all the fun work students submit to the class gallery.

During this tough economic time on-line courses are a fantastic alternative to the expenses of traveling to a live workshop. $36.00 for a month of fun is a great value. Oh, and you can come to class in your pajamas too!

You can see a class description and supply list here:

(and for those of you who are patiently awaiting your prize - I'm mailing out ATC's next Wednesday!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Focal Point - a place for the eye to rest

A client came over to the studio last week to talk about a possible commission. I had work laid out, my portfolio ready, and she had already looked at the gallery on my website. She is a violinist so I was expecting perhaps, to do a piece based on a photograph like this one. This is my daughter, photographed by the very talented Julia Wade:

Instead, the client looked at the fabric laying out on the table that I had just screen printed, and said "can you just quilt this?" Hmmm. I really love this piece but hadn't considered it complete in and of itself. She chose a section of the fabric that she really liked and we talked about some possible stitching options.

The problem, after cutting out the section she liked, was that there really wasn't a focal point. No real place to rest the eye. She had nixed a larger black print of a violin and favored a more subtle look. I think I've got it figured out now and am excited to begin stitching into it. 

It's still subtle but now there is something to look at. Somewhere to draw your attention and hold your interest. Let me know what you think about it.

Still two Artist's Trading Cards left by the way - they go right into the next two orders of my DVD Workshop. Hope you all are enjoying it. As always - I'd love to see any work you do utilizing any of the techniques from the DVD.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo Transfer

This tutorial came out in Cloth Paper Scissor's Embellishments yesterday - thought you might like to see it too.
By Lyric Kinard
There are many wonderful photo transfer techniques out there, all fun and useful. Here is a very low-tech and inexpensive option to add to your techniques for when you just need a little instant gratification. I demonstrate this one in my new QA Workshop DVD, Click here to buy now!
Summer 2009 StudiosMaterials:

  • Citra-Solve® — an orange-based cleaning solvent (I buy it at Whole Foods.)
  • Cotton ball
  • Metal spoon
  • Non-porous smooth surface (I use glass or my countertop.)
  • Masking tape
  • Fabric of your choice
1. Find a fun image of your favorite person or pet. Or even an Art piece.
2. Make a photocopy of the photo, sizing it no larger than 5" x 7".
3. Cut away the background and make another photocopy of the image.
4. Draw in any lines that need emphasis or add any fun scribbles you like. Maybe Grandma always wanted a tiara or your puppy looks great in polka dots!
5. Make a final photocopy. (Note: Laser and inkjet prints don’t work with this method.)
6. Tape a clean piece of fabric to your non-porous surface; stretch it tight.
7. Trim the photocopy so it has 1" of paper around it; tape it face-down on your fabric.
8. Use the cotton ball to dampen (not soak) the back of the paper with Citra-Solve; you’ll see the image show through the paper.
9. With the back of the metal spoon, rub, rub, rub like crazy in all directions. You are moving the ink from the paper to the fabric.
10. Pick up just one corner of the paper and peek to see how the transfer is working. You can put the paper back down and rub some more in any places that haven’t transferred yet.
11. Toss the paper in the trash and let the solvent evaporate.

Citra-solv: is a household solvent/degreaser. It is a non-toxic replacement for petroleum products. I've used paint stripper and you can also use laquer thinner or acetone for the technique but both are very toxic. Take great care and work outside, preferably with a ventilator.
Photocopies: Go to Kinkos, the library, wherever you can find a machine that uses toner rather than ink. You could try a laser printer. Mine (and old lexmark) uses a carbon toner that will work. You can take a small container with Citra-solv in it with you to the center to test a copy. Some machines work and some don't. You can try transferring a copy to another piece of paper. If you are not getting any transfer right away as you rub it - it's not working.
The question most people have is where to get Citra-Solv. Here is the company site
I'm told it is available at Lee Valley in Canada.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Student Work

First a quick note: 3 ATC's left - they go to the next three people that order the Quilting Arts DVD workshop "Surface Design Sampler Platter" from me. Use the button on the upper right corner of this blog or on this page at my website.

Now on to the good stuff! 

I'd love to share some of the wonderful work done by a student in my last session of "Freeform Screen Printing" at The next session opens this Friday, May the 15th. There is still space available and time to order supplies. There are four lessons, one opening each week and staying open until June 27th. I'm there on the forum to answer any of your questions and to comment on whatever work you choose to share in the student gallery. Just think - I'm at your beck and call for a month and a half - all for $36.00. Can't beat that.

Alexandra Panagopoulou took the screen printing class from the comfort of her home in Greece. Don't you just LOVE the technology that makes distance learning possible? It still boggles my mind to have students in my class from all over the world. Sure, every once in a while we all have to put our heads together and figure out where a student in a far flung place can find something like "anti-chlor" (which is used for halting the bleaching process in discharge printing.)  But it's definitely worth it and with so many good people willing to help out we always come up with a solution.

During class we learn to prepare an image for making a thermofax screen but the student can also purchase ready-made screens from different suppliers. Here Alexandra has used one of the leaf images I offer at my website and layered it in different colors on some dyed fabric. Gorgeous!

This lovely print was made with a paper stencil and masking tape resist on a wooden screen. It's an easy and low-tech method that has yielded beautiful results in her capable hands. I look forward to seeing more of Alexandra's work in the future. Perhaps, someday - even in person!

Monday, May 4, 2009

ATC's, Spring, Books, Workshops

There are 9 ATC's left to go out with the Surface Design Sampler Platter DVD orders! I'll let you know when they're gone. I've heard back from a couple of you that have watched it - I'm so glad you're enjoying it! I'd love to put up any artwork you make using the techniques taught in the DVD in the student gallery on my website.

I love spring. What is it about sunshine and a little bit of warmth that gets me all pumped up to work in the studio? I should be itching to be outside. I do face the windows most of the time I'm working and it's a lovely view. North Carolina is such a green place.

I did go outside to my little garden nook last week to finish up the first layout edit of my book. It's done and off to the designer again. I'll see it for one final check before it goes to print. I think I'm going to call the book my 6th child. It's taken longer and been almost as painful at times to create it. I'm thinking the rewards will be much more immediate - no crying at 2 a.m. or teenagers who talk back. 

Enough rambling. I wanted to point you to a really great blog post titled, "How to make the most of an art quilt workshop" by Elizabeth Barton over at "Art & Quilts, Cogitations Thereon." My favorite part of her post talks about pre-planning and runs through a great list of questions to ask yourself before signing up for a workshop. It's a great idea to know ahead of time if you are looking for a technique or a project class. Do you want to just understand and absorb the thinking of an artist you really admire? Are you happy to just hang out with friends? Do go and read her post - it's chock full of great information.

Most of the classes I teach are technique classes with a bit of a project thrown in. Projects seem to appeal to the more traditional quilters who have a little niggling desire to be an artist hidden away in the corner of their heart. That's my personal crusade these days - helping those desires to come out of hiding. 

In that vein - here is a link to Fabrications - a week long retreat from Aug 30 - Sep 4. I'll be teaching "The Elements of Art" for the entire week and I couldn't be more excited. It will be a chance to delve deeply into the visual language, to learn the principles of good design.  We'll start from the very beginning (a very fine place to start...) and work until we have a good understanding of the basics (do, re, me...). By the end of the week you'll have a good start on a composition and have lots of supportive feedback so that you can keep the creative juice flowing when you get back home.

I'd love to see you there - and happy spring!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And They're OFF!!!

The DVD's showed up last night and I stayed up lated getting them boxed, labeled and OFF!

It was worth it.

I carried a huge bag to the post office this morning and couldn't help but tell everyone how excited I was about it. Crazy lady alert.

These are all the ATC's I have left of the extras I made.
I'd love to send them out to good homes!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Race Against UPS

The UPS tracking says that your Surface Design Sampler Platter DVD's will be delivered to me on Wednesday. I've got boxes all labeled and ready to go for you and will turn them around to you immediately.

I'm determined to get every ATC (Artist's Trading Card) ready to send out by then so there are no delays! I might get carried away and make more so that everyone who orders from this batch gets their own little piece of Lyric Art! If you are still thinking of ordering - by all means do so before this energy gets directed elsewhere!

I had a lovely note from Jeanne over at All Things Quilty and popped over for a look. She has a lovely blog and has given a review of my DVD - so you don't need to take my word for how much fun the techniques are!

Here's a little preview of the DVD for your viewing pleasure.