Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chuppah celebrated!

A while back I posted an entry about a chuppah (a traditional Jewish wedding canopy) in progress. I was commissioned to do the piece for two dear friends (Leslie Winner and Jerry Postema) who were about to be married.

Well, the chuppah got done in time to make its debut at the wedding.

You'll see, from the picture that the chuppah was held above the couple's heads, suspended from four wooden poles. As is traditional, the poles were held by those closest to the bride and groom - in this case their children and other beloved relatives.

I solved the problem of attaching the chuppah to the poles by sewing a fabric loop (heavily reinforced - but easy to remove at the end of the wedding) to each corner of the chuppah.

I threaded a binder ring, first through each fabric loop, and then through the "eye screw" found at the top of each wooden pole.

To pretty up the attachment, I passed streamers - made with fabrics used in the chuppah - through the ring binders.

The wedding itself was a joyous occasion...a celebration of two people finding each other, and love, in the 2nd half of life.

Here's the piece now...both the front and labels on the back.

I took off the loops, placed two sleeves on the quilt --- one for the hanging rod and a second on the bottom for a "weighting rod" (to keep the quilt hanging flat).

Of course, I'm looking forward to seeing the piece in Leslie and Jerry's home. But even more than that, I'm looking forward to watching them enjoy their lives together for many happy and healthy years to come.

Mazel tov!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Grading a Quilt

Nope, we are not sending the quilt to school for one of the infamous tests.

At yesterday's meeting of Fiber Art Options, grading came up. Some of our members were not familiar with the term or concept. Those with some tailoring background were familiar with it, and why it is used.

Grading is a tailors term and technique to soften the edge that is created under the top fabric when sewing multiple fabrics together.

To see an explanation of the technique, tools used and results, check out my blog


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shooting "The Quilt Show"

I went to Colorado Springs last week to shoot an episode of "The Quilt Show" with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. What a thrill to be on set with two quilters whose work I respect so much! “The Quilt Show” is an online TV show that can be viewed through the Internet by subscription. The shows feature fun interviews with all kinds of quilters and fiber artists, as well as lessons and information, and some great free stuff. 

I figured you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at my day. Ricky and Alex shoot some episodes on a set with a live studio audience, and some “on location.”

C&T Publishing had kindly provided copies of both of my books, Appliqué Petal Party (2009) and Point, Click, Quilt! (coming out in July). Actually, it was just a mock-up of my new book (the cover glued to the front of another C&T title), since my book has not gone to press yet. Here is the producer, Shelly Heesacker (below) holding the mock-up. Shelly produces segments for Oprah, and she was fabulous to work with, and a lot of fun.

Make-up on, quilts up, Ricky and Alex comfortably installed on the sofa in the Eaton’s family room, me squirming in an armchair, cameras rolling! We sat down to review with the crew how the interview portion of the show would run.

After that segment was shot, we moved to another room for the how-to parts of the show. Alex told me a funny story while I pressed the step-outs for the segment on creating bias vines that I shot with her:

Step outs are how you show all the different parts of the process you are demonstrating. (On a cooking show, they will show the ingredients, then some of them mixed together, then the batter in the pan, then the pan going into the oven, then the baked cake, then the iced and finished cake. Same concept here.)

Ricky found a piano and of course Shelly and I had to join in:

We even shot a little bit of me singing with Ricky as a lead-in to my segment with Alex. I have not sung much since high school (I starred in a few of my high school musicals), except in the shower, so I hope I sounded all right!

Alex and Ricky made shooting these how-to segments really fun and easy. Before each one, we set up all the equipment, step-outs, and the things we would use or talk about. Ricky patiently gave me a little lesson on how to use a high-end Bernina that has some features I was not familiar with because I don't have them on the Bernina I use at home. And yes, I had to free-motion thread sketch standing up!

Here is Ricky with the producer, director and crew watching me thread sketch to see if the camera was capturing everything from the correct angle:

This is a shot of me holding one of the projects (Nestling) that I demonstrated, which will be available from The Quilt Show as a free project when my show airs. I don’t know yet when that will be, but it will be part of the next season, which starts later this summer and runs through the end of this year, I think! Stay tuned and I’ll tell you the details once I get them.