The discovery that beloved English writer Jane Austen (1775 – 1817) had made a quilt, and a visit to the author’s home in Chawton, England, was just the impetus that Karen Gloeggler needed to create a series of quilts (and a quilt book) inspired by Austen’s romantic novels. In this episode, Karen shares how to find, and then incorporate vintage fabrics, handkerchiefs, and doilies into your quilts to give them a period flair, and shows a clever technique for making a scrappy pieced border, perfect for a Jane-inspired (or any other) quilt. Then, in a field piece, we meet author and quilt historian Janet Finley, who has amassed the world’s largest collection of 19th- and early-20th-century photos of people with quilts, and the book she created to showcase them.
As a former commercial photographer, Leni Levenson Wiener still carries her camera with her everywhere, and her photos—particularly of strangers caught in ordinary moments—are a favorite inspiration for her fabric art. Now this talented author, instructor, and "artist's coach" visits the TQS studio to show how she evaluates and breaks down a composition for ease of construction, discusses the importance of value and "zingers" when selecting fabrics. She also demonstrates how to create a more organic look with freehand cutting. Then enjoy our off-site visit with well-known fabric designer Jennifer Sampou, who took a seven-year hiatus to move with her family to Mexico, and has returned brimming with ideas for new designs, including her latest, Studio Stash.
We return to Texas to rendezvous with quilt artist, author, and designer Cynthia England, who gives us a glimpse of what she's been up to since her last TQS appearance (Show 610). Over the years, Cynthia has achieved a well-deserved reputation as an award-winning pictorial art quilter who—amazingly—builds her design with piecing, not appliqué. Here she unveils the tools and techniques she uses for her "forgiving" methods, and demonstrates a clever technique for attaching a sleeve to a small quilt or wallhanging that requires no hand sewing. Then we head off to visit fiber artist, writer, and designer Wendy Mamattah, originally from Ghana, who shares her Africa-inspired silhouette and symbols quilts, as well as her charming one-of-a-kind pin cushions.
Australian quiltmaker, designer, shopowner, and teacher Carolyn Konig's favorite quilts are those of the 18th century, which she enjoys recreating in "old world" style with hand techniques and reproduction fabrics. In this episode, Carolyn shows the tools and techniques she uses to draft the medallion center for a reproduction quilt, and how she prepares and works on her hand appliqué, including a great tip for keeping it portable. Also, Alex reviews the importance of good pressing technique, including the difference between pressing piecework vs. appliqué or redwork
The TQS gang goes "on the road again" for a visit with author, designer, blogger, and self-described "scrapaholic" Bonnie Hunter, who made her first quilt using her grandmother's cardboard templates. Nowadays Bonnie, who still enjoys stitching on her beloved treadle machine, uses a webcam so that her followers can watch her at work in her studio! In this show, Bonnie shares her quilter-friendly system for cutting and sorting scraps, her technique for making quick 2"-finished half-square-triangle units from strips, and her ingenious "Leaders and Enders" technique, which makes thrifty use of leftovers and thread. In addition, Bonnie shows how she builds a quilt using fabric "strings" and phonebook-page foundations, and how to play with the finished blocks. We end with a field trip to meet Nebraska quiltmaker, author, teacher, and quilt judge Shelly Burge, who currently incorporates copper crimping in her quilts—while curating her collection of over 300 (!) vintage sewing machines.
Can you imagine being named artist-in-residence at several prominent US National Parks, including Denali (Alaska), Acadia (Maine), and Mesa Verde (Colorado)? That's the enviable experience of Colorado-based fiber artist Linda Beach! In this episode, Linda visits the TQS gang to show some of her amazing, nature-inspired, machine-pieced works, and to share some of the fabric-selecting and construction techniques she uses to create them, a process she compares to assembling a giant quilter’s jigsaw puzzle. In addition, Ricky shows how a traditional Sailboat block can be an inspirational springboard for a fun and funky new design. "Sail" in, settle down, and enjoy!
Quilt artist, author, teacher, musician, and TQS co-host Ricky Tims takes center stage in this project- and technique-focused episode, filmed on location at the AccuQuilt headquarters in Omaha, NE. Inspired by an antique Amish quilt spotted in a book he received as a gift, Ricky has created Northern Lights, a fresh spin on a Nine-patch strippie-style quilt. Discover how he quick-cuts and builds his nine-patch and triangular setting units, arranging the colors so they flow seamlessly from one to the next, and how to update a traditional top with a contemporary "fiddlehead-fern-feather" quilting motif. Then Shari Ruwe and Karen Ruwe (no relation!) demonstrate examples of their collaborative work on the Nebraska State Raffle Quilt, including Shari's technique for making and embellishing pleated poppies, and Karen's tips for adding texture and pizzazz to a quilt with metallic thread.
Quilt and fabric designer, author, and highly sought-after teacher Kim Diehl loves to combine unexpected elements in her traditionally inspired quilts, and she brings many of these "hybrid" pieces along to share. Then stick around as she offers some of her best time-saving machine-appliqué techniques, demonstrates how combining ‘big stitch’ quilting with machine quilting can give your quilts added visual and textural interest, and shows how to add a final pop of color to your finishing. We wrap with a field piece featuring quiltmaker, author, and teacher Christine Barnes who shares valuable insights into the properties of color, including value, temperature, and intensity.
It may sound like a quilter's dream, but it's "real life" for popular blogger, author, fabric and pattern designer Tula Pink. Within 24 hours of posting her first fabric designs on line, Tula was contacted by a major fabric company who wanted to produce the entire collection! The rest is history. In this episode, Tula—who loves to give traditional patterns a contemporary twist with current fabrics—shares a clever method for building a color scheme and demos how to "fussy cut the Tula way" using 1/4" masking tape and your rotary ruler. But wait! There's more! Award-winning longarm quilter Karen Marchetti also drops by with tips for expanding your machine-quilting repertoire—and your confidence—by building on the basics already in your toolbelt.
New York City quilt artist, blogger, and author Victoria Findlay Wolfe has made over 300 quilts (including Best of Show winner at Quiltcon 2013) and in this inspiring show, she shares her secrets! Discover how just 15 minutes of creative activity a day, coupled with scraps of fabric, orphan blocks, and other odd bits, can result in an impressive and satisfying collection of finished quilts. You'll also learn about a community service project that provides quilts for those in NYC who are transitioning from homeless shelters to their own homes. We finish with a tour of our beautiful location, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, just outside the historic city of Charleston, SC. How's that for inspiration?
Alex and Ricky welcome back quilt artist, author, and publisher Gyleen Fitzgerald (Episode 909) who brings us up to date on life since her TQS debut, shares some of her latest work, and offers loads of ingenious—and practical—ideas for sewing and pressing that are sure to be a hit in any quilter's sewing space. Also on hand: Connie Fanders, director of education and training for Bernina USA, who demonstrates how easy it is to piece a quilt top using a serger. You won't want to miss this!
Alex, Ricky, and the TQS gang travel to the Omaha, NE, headquarters of AccuQuilt, where they connect with Linda Pumphrey, global sales manager (and self-described "Global Passionista") for a show loaded with fabulous projects and techniques. Linda leads off with Fractured Triangles, a fast-and-fun, strip-and-triangle-based quilt made using AccuQuilt's efficient and accurate cutting system. (A downloadable pdf for this project will be available on the TQS website.) Alex joins the fun with a lesson on "squiggles" (Sorry! You'll just need to watch!), and Ricky shows how to create a stunning quilt that combines charm squares with sparkling slivers of color. Finally, we couldn't leave our location without a tour of AccuQuilt's wonderful facility, hosted by director of marketing, Lynn Gibney.
We're thrilled to kick off our 1400 series with a visit from quilt designer and award-winning quilter Janet Stone. Ever since childhood, Janet has been intrigued by typography, and her wonderfully original designs—including A-Z for Ewe and Me, our 2014 TQS Block of the Month quilt—clearly demonstrate this lifelong passion for all things "alphabet." In this show, Janet shares a "flock" of tips for stitching accurate and easy flying-geese and half-square-triangle units, as well as some terrific ideas for creating machine-appliquéd letters . . . all useful techniques for making your own version of the BOM quilt. Also, Ricky demonstrates how to spice up your bindings with a scalloped detail.