Friday, December 24, 2010

Color Study

I am doing a series of reviews of books and tools that have helped me develop my use of color in my quilts. The series will be on my blog. If you are interested, please check out :

Here is the first book that I reviewed.

And Happy Holidays everyone.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

FAO Members at Mint Hill Arts Winter Judged Show

Nancy G Cook and Deborah Langsam have work at the Winter Judged Show at Mint Hill Arts in Mint Hill NC through December 30. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 3. Admission is free. Great gift shop for Holiday gifts created by local artists.

More details can be found on Nancy's blog at

Monday, December 6, 2010

Studio Spirit

One of our number has a new studio which we are all looking forward to seeing soon. I wanted to make a little "studio spirit" to give some good energy to this new place. Here are a couple of glimpses of what I created. Full photos to follow after the spirit gets to its new home. -PJ-

Monday, October 25, 2010

NFO-auction-logo.jpg"New from Old" Auction Begins on eBayTonight!
Thirty gorgeous little quilts to collect or give!

The AAQ's annual fundraising auction of 16"x16" quilts donated by artists from all over the US and Canada (including me!) begins tonight on, and will continue through December 6 with four one-week auctions. During the auction week go to the eBay website and search keyword "Alliance for American Quilts." All of the quilts for that auction week will be displayed and all registered eBay users can enter a bid (please note: if you search anytime before or after the auction dates, the quilts will not be viewable).

Don't miss this opportunity to pick out special gifts for the holidays or add to your own quilt collection. Click here to view all 118 quilts and read complete auction information. All proceeds support the Alliance for American Quilts, a national nonprofit organization documenting, preserving and sharing the rich history of quilts and quiltmakers.

My quilt "7 of 9" goes on sale in the second round starting on Monday, November 8th! -PJ-

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Denver Art Trail 2010 -- PJ's work at Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast

The Denver Art Trail is this Saturday (Oct 23 10-5) and Sun (Oct 24 1-5) on the west side of Lake Norman in/around Denver, NC. This year's trail features 44 artists at 11 stops. A new feature this year is the preview house provided by Keller Williams Realtors, with displays of art from all of the trail artists as well as art from local high school art students. Trail brochures are available before the trail at Honeysuckle Gifts, Lake Norman Flowers, Lake Norman Frameworks, Red Rooster, Sweet Vine Winery as well as all the trail stops on Saturday and Sunday.

Come see us on the Trail!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

AutumnFaire at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Some members of Fiber Art Options spent this weekend manning our space at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s AutumnFaire, part of their “Fall with a Flourish” celebration. We had two lovely days of clear October weather to display our goods and talk to shoppers.

“Look, Mom!” A youngster had fun at the pottery display in the tent next door:

There were horses to meet:

And carriage rides to take:

Here’s another wonderful reason to go to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden this fall. Nancy Cook’s beautiful “Seed Play” exhibition is hanging in both halls near the entrance:

For more details on Nancy’s show, see her blog here.

At about three o’clock on Sunday, the dark clouds were coming…  Time to pack up and head home!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Susan has a new DVD

I am thrilled to announce that my second Quilting Arts Workshop DVD will be released in October. This 70-75 minute DVD is called “Master Machine Stitching: Thread Sketching Beyond the Basics” and it follows up on the techniques I introduced in my first DVD, “Master Machine Quilting: Free Motion Stitching and Thread Sketching.”

Here’s more information from the blurb on the back of the DVD jacket:
Following up on the concepts introduced in her first DVD,
“Master Machine Quilting: Free-Motion Stitching and
Thread Sketching,” Quilting Arts columnist Susan Brubaker
Knapp delves even deeper, teaching you how to add color,
dimension, texture, pattern, line, and movement to your
quilts using thread. After a quick overview of the basic
materials you’ll need, as well as some helpful tools to make
things easier, Susan breaks down each of the six topics (from
color to movement) and provides step-by-step machine
stitching demos. She shows numerous samples that illustrate
the basic thread-sketching concepts being discussed. Prepare
to expand your view of the opportunities for using stitch on
your quilts.
Thanks so much to all of you who have purchased my first DVD. My oldest daughter has braces because of you! :-) 

Here I am on the set of Quilting Arts TV about three weeks ago. I was there to tape three segments for the TV show, and my DVD. All in one day! Whew; what a whirlwind! Quilting Arts managing editor Helen Gregory took this photo. (Thanks, Helen!)

Here are some photos of the projects I used to demonstrate techniques on the new DVD. This one is called Prepared for Takeoff:

The second project I work on in this DVD started with this photo of a Cripps Pink apple:

I used the photo to create a very simple pattern, with only two colors for the apple:

On the DVD, I demonstrate how I got from the simple fused fabric piece above to this:

I can’t say enough kind words about all the folks at Quilting Arts and at Beachwood Studios for helping me make this DVD. In particular, I must say many thanks to the smart, sweet, kind and incredibly helpful Helen Gregory. 

The DVD will be available for purchase from Interweave/Quilting Arts website, and on my website, sometime in October. I’ll keep you posted. I’m off to sip some champagne and celebrate!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Art Meets Science - 3 Quilts by FAO Members

Art Meets Science Exhibition Catalog

Susan Brubaker Knapp and Nancy G Cook have quilts in this exhibition. Susan has two pieces in this traveling exhibition, Coleus and Lepidoptera. For more details check out Nancy's blog.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quilting Arts TV taping

On Sunday, I flew to Cleveland to film three segments for the 700 series of Quilting Arts TV. Here I am with host Pokey Bolton on the set. All the shows I shot – #703, #707 and #712 – will air this fall/winter on many public TV stations across the country, and will be available on DVD at the end of the season.

One of the best things about doing this is that you get to meet all sorts of wonderful fiber artists, quilt designers, mixed media artists, and fabric designers… and hang out with them in the green room and see their work up close. Check out my blog to see lots more photos of all these folks, and read more details.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Whoo Hoo Best of Show

Pelton's Rose-Gentian

Just found out that Pelton's Rose-Gentian won Best of Show at the Aullwood Audubon Quilt Show. You can read details on my blog at

Please take a look and tell me what you think.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Janet and Susan teaching on

Janet and I are both teaching classes on Joggles. com this fall. Starting Oct. 1, I'll be teaching my Tyvek Explorations class. In four lessons, I will cover working safely with Tyvek; painting Tyvek; melting it with an iron and/or heat gun; manipulating Tyvek before heating to change the effects; making beads; and embossing Tyvek with rubber stamps.

The focus is on exploring the many ways this versatile material can be manipulated to create beautiful textural embellishments. You will be encouraged to experiment and share your work with fellow students in the class. You will need to be a confident free-motion quilter to complete the maple leaf quilt; the other projects involve only simple embroidery and beading.

After you learn the techniques in the first two lessons, I’ll provide detailed instructions for making a small art quilt with Tyvek maple leaves, as well as a bracelet, pins, and small Tyvek embellishments for art quilts, artists trading cards and postcards. 

Tyvek Explorations is a four-week class; the cost is $40.

Janet is teaching Dyeing Made Easy starting Sept. 23. This is an introduction to all over-dye techniques for cotton, rayon and silk. Learn to create your own fabrics using MX dyes. Starting with basics, learn step by step to mix your own colors and dye over all pattern and color to make what you need for your next project.

This introductory sampler class is for anyone interested who has ever been interested in learning how to dye fabric, using easy formulas and explanation, dyeing is very approachable. Using MX dyes you will learn all the basics of “small batch” dyeing.

After you have mastered the very basic, you move on to learn techniques to create those awesome crackle and parfait patterns and those coveted gradation collections. Now that you are a master of the dye pot, we will learn the basics of resist dying. Using techniques including: stitches and binding, wax, and flour paste resist, you will learn to create loosely controlled patterning with dye. MX dyes are perfect for dyeing cotton, rayon and silks. You can make fabrics using natural, white and even transform those “ugly” fabrics you have in your stash into something great for your next project.

Lesson 1. Introduction: Learn how to prepare fabric, about using dye and chemicals, MX dye safety, and start dyeing!

Lesson 2. Hand-dye Crackles and Parfaits: Learn about color strength and direct mixing to create a spectrum of colors on one piece.

Lesson 3. Dye me a Rainbow: Learn how to control color to dye a rainbow from primary dye colors, making “solid” colors, and how to make coordinated fabrics and gradations.

Lesson 4. Resists 1 – Getting started with resists: Learn to use tied, sewn and clamped resists to create pattern.

Lesson 5. Resists 2 – Water soluble resists: Learn to use paste made from your pantry as resists to create subtle crackle effects.

Lesson 6. Resists 3 – Drawing pattern: How to draw patterns and control color flow by using liquid resists such as: “gutta,” dish soap, jacquard resists, soy wax.

Dyeing Made Easy is a six-week class; the cost is $75.

If you have never taken an online class, you can read more about it on Joggles by clicking here. Basically, here’s how it works: You sign up and pay online, and about a week before class starts, you receive the supply list via e-mail. When the class starts, Joggles e-mails you information about how to get into the class forum, an online place where you can post photos, ask questions, share your work and get feedback from the instructor. Each week of the class, you receive a link where you can download a PDF of that week’s lesson. 

Barnful of Quilts 2010 is coming soon!

Here’s a wonderful event… make sure to mark your calendar! The eighth annual Barnful of Quilts will be held Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fox Family Farm in Waxhaw, NC. I’ll be there vending; I’ll have some of my art quilts, patterns, and my DVD for sale. This year’s show will feature the Charlotte Quilters’ Guild Best of Show winners, so two of my quilts will be on display.  Harbinger’s Hope (below) won a Best of Show ribbon in 2008: 

And Sunrise, Sunset won a Best of Show ribbon in 2006:

The cost is $5, and all proceeds benefit the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church. If you have never attended this event, it is really wonderful. There is usually nice crisp fall weather, and all the vendors and exhibitions are housed in a spectacular barn in the rolling hills of Union County, south of Charlotte. It is owned by Valerie Fox and her family, who generously offer it for this event. Church volunteers scrub the barn clean in the days before the show, and offer tasty baked goods and drinks at the show. 

There’s also a silent auction, raffle quilts, and quilts for sale. Vendors offer a wide variety of art and craft items, mostly quilt or fiber related, but usually there is fabulous pottery and jewelry as well.

You can see many photos of the past Barnful of Quilts on the Fox Family Farm website, or see and read about the 2008 event on my blog here and here. I participated in 2008 and 2007, but was unable to do so last year because Quilt Market in Houston was held early that year and the dates conflicted. I’m thrilled to be able to participate again this year. Please join me!

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Queen Charlotte" and "Pink Petal Party" Win in Asheville...

The Asheville Quilt Guild held its 28th annual quilt show last weekend at the North Carolina Arboretum.

It's a beautiful venue, a wonderful show, and lots of great people. And then there's always Asheville, a town that seems to have just about everything: the mountains, wonderful galleries and music, great restaurants.

The icing on the cake? Two pieces from Fiber Art Options members won ribbons.

Susan Brubaker Knapp's "Pink Petal Party" took an Honorable Mention in the Applique/Mixed Large Quilt category.

And Debbie Langsam's "Under the Watchful Eye of Queen Charlotte (II)" won first prize for Small Pieced Quilts.

(Thanks to Susan for the photos!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Art Meets Science

Nancy and I both have pieces in a Studio Art Quilt Associates’ (SAQA) exhibition called “Art Meets Science” that will have its opening at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, next month. Here is Nancy's Southern Hospitality:
… and my Lepidoptera:
and Coleus:

All of the quilts that are available for sale are listed on the SAQA website so even if you can’t get to one of the exhibition venues, you can see all the quilts there, and read about their connections to science.

An exhibition catalog will be available in the SAQA bookstore soon. The cover has a piece by Ita Ziv called Fire Fingers. SAQA always does a beautiful job on their publications.

The venues for this exhibition that have been announced to date are:
  • Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England, August 19 - 22, 2010
  • Pfizer, Inc., New York, New York, Sept. 16, 2010 - March 16, 2011   
  • Visions Gallery, San Diego, California, January 1 - April 1, 2012   
  • Global Health Odyssey Museum of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 1 - Sept. 1, 2012    
The juror for this exhibition was David W. Fraser, MD. He is research associate at The Textile Museum, and a consulting scholar in the Asian Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The curator was Jill Jensen, a professional fiber artist from Virginia  who works with cloth, paint, printmaking and stitch. She has worked extensively as an artist-in-residence throughout Virginia, and holds degrees in Chemistry and Metallurgy. Surely both of them are a perfect combination of art and science! You can read Fraser’s and Jensen’s statements about the exhibition here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

7 of 9 wins honorable mention in Alliance for American Quilts "New from Old" Challenge

Just learned that my piece "7 of 9" won an honorable mention in this challenge.

For all the winners, see

Earlier someone asked what 7 techniques I used. They are:
1) pieced 9 patch black and white areas
2) pieced 9 patch overall background
3) 9 patches in puff paint dots on circular appliques
4) iron-on 9 patches
5) stenciled 9 patches
6) 9 patch quilting around iron-ons and stenciling
7) 9 patch couched grid

All of these entries will be displayed at the upcoming AQS show in Knoxville. And, they will all be up for auction soon. -PJ-

More news on this piece. Just learned today (7/8) that it also won a C&T Publishing honorable mention!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stegall and Cook Win First Place in Mint Hill Arts Judged Show

After the Frost

Linda Stegall and Nancy G Cook took first place awards at the June Mint Hill Arts judged show. Stegall took first place in 3-Dimensional art for her fiber vase. Cook took a first in Mixed Media for After the Frost. This was an art show with most works being paintings, pastels, clay, photography and a few other pieces of fiber.

Mint Hill Arts throws a great reception, art work sells, and it is a real party, with some of the very best work in the gallery that can be found in the region.

The organization is moving next door to a larger, updated, AIR CONDITIONED space that will make it even more delightful for art exhibitions.

Is fiber art getting into art exhibitions in your area? Are you entering your fiber art into art shows? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

PJ's "7 of 9" piece

The Alliance for American Quilters is an organization whose mission is to document, preserve, and share the American quilt heritage by collecting the stories that historic and contemporary quilts and their makers tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. One of their fund raising events is an auction of small quilted pieces. This year's challenge "New from Old" seemed interesting to me, so I donated this little piece called "7 of 9". It contains 9 patch patterns made with 7 different techniques.

To see all the pieces that were submitted and to get more info on the upcoming auction, see


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Samples for my new class

This week, I finished three samples for my new workshop, Wholecloth Painting. In September, I'll be teaching it to the Cotton Patch Quilters of Athens, Georgia. In this class, students will learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. Students will be able to pick from one of these three projects, and will work from line drawings and my photos to recreate the image on fabric.

The goal is to teach the techniques, so that students can go home after class and work from their own photos to create original work.

These pieces are all little (all smaller than 8x12") because I needed to whip them up fast. But I'd love to do them really big. Wouldn't they look fabulous hanging together as a big triptych?

Here are some larger photos of each:


Painted Sunflower


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Susan’s quilt selected for 2011 QA Calendar

My “Candy Corn” art quilt has been selected for the 2011 Quilting Arts Calendar! Hmmm... I wonder what month they will use it?

It is painted on white fabric (Pimatex by Robert Kaufman, my favorite fabric for painting because it is very fine and tightly woven). The photo below shows the heavy thread sketching I did on this piece before I quilted around the individual candy corn candies. 

This is the third year that my work has been selected for the calendar, and I am no less thrilled this time than the other two years. Yippee!!! Just wait until you see some of the other pieces Quilting Arts has selected. (If you are a member of the Quilting Arts community, you can see some of them in the photo gallery section.) They are really spectacular, and I am honored to be in their company.

– Susan Brubaker Knapp

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

... and now for fiber arts beyond quilting!

The Red Sky Gallery in Charlotte is showing a collection of Janet's beadwork! Click over and search for Janet Lasher on their search tab!

This collection of beaded brooches using large cabochons, Austrian crystals, semi-precious stones, and pearls.

Each piece is unique designed to accentuate the cabochon stone. These vary in size from about 2.5" to 4" across. Janet starts with the special stone and a small collection of beads, crystals, pearls, and stones - beading a bezel around the stone to hold it firmly in place, and then begin to embellish the piece until it feels done. Then each is finished up with a beaded picot edge and back with coordinating deer leather.

She says that this work is a labor of love working in this small scale playing with repetition and color. One bead at a time.

Natural Turquoise, coin & baroque pearls, Swarovski Crystals

Chinese Chalk Turquoise, coin, baroque and rice pearls, glass mirror, Swarovski crystals

Chystaphase, glass mirror, baroque & fancy pearls.

She is expanding the collection of brooches that started using small divine feminine faces- like this one worked on this past fall.

Janet teaches beading in her studio and online at


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Save Our Signs" Show

A Post from Debbie -

For many years, Charlotte (NC) had the reputation as a "tear down" city. We tore down homes, factories, trees - if it was old, it was gone. And we made room for the new: big box stores, strip shopping malls, steel and concrete office buildings, and lots of parking decks. But over the last decade or so, things have begun to change.

We still have plenty of new development. Two fabulous examples are the breathtaking Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the inspiring Havey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture.

But the good news is that we're also starting to protect and celebrate the old.

This weekend I'm participating in "ARTevation: Save Our Signs," a show celebrating Charlotte's vintage painted and neon commercial signs. These are the iconic symbols of old roller skating rinks, Mom and Pop restaurants, full service garages, and neighborhood hang-outs.

artEVATION: Save Our Signs

May 7th, 2010 4 - 10PM (South End Gallery Crawl)

May 8th, 2010 10 AM - 4 PM

Atherton Mill, 2000 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC

The show is sponsored by the Historic Charlotte, Inc., a non-profit organization that works to promote and protect the region's history, as part of its National Preservation Month celebration.

From what I've seen, it's going to be a spectacular show. Plenty of great photography, painting, and a really amazing ceramic artist - all focusing their work around the sign theme. I'll be the only fabric artist, so that's exciting. The signs have a way of getting into your psyche; some of the artists moved away from the city years ago and still find themselves returning to those images for inspiration.

I'll be showing thirteen pieces. Four of them come from my "Queen Charlotte" photomosaic series. From a distance, each piece shows a different view of the Queen Charlotte statue in Uptown Cha rlotte. Here are two of them:

Close-up, the viewer sees 1/2" x 1/2" photos of Charlotte people, places, and events...and of course the vintage signs. They're printed on fabric and then pieced together to make up the larger image.

The other pieces focus primarily on the signs themselves....such as this one, of the JFG coffee sign (photo: Brandon Uttley).

It turns out that the removal of the JFG coffee sign, a longtime and much beloved Charlotte landmark, was the catalyst for the "Save Our Signs" movement. This has become a joint venture between Historic Charlotte and the JFG Coffee Company (they're putting up to $15,000 towards the effort to help save and restore some of these vintage signs).

For those interested in historic preservation, at least one happy ending is coming soon. The JFG sign is being restored and the company is about to announce the sign's new Charlotte location.

Watch for an update on (and pictures from) the show. And, of course, if you're in the neighborhood be sure to stop by and enjoy the artwork.