Art Techniques for Quilt Design clip!

Here is the first bit. I was kinda nervous for a few seconds but then by some miracle…I wasn’t! So this clip captures those first few nervous seconds and I seem to blink a lot  and…ummm…I say, “umm” a few times. I do so like that little non-thinking word of exhale. Umm let’s us regroup. Umm is the tiny stop-gap we put in our sentences to buy some time for the brain to catch up with the mouth. But after all the blinking and umms in the first minute subside, then for the next hour I teach a lot of really fun material that I have learned over my life as an artist to help you make cool things in a direct and fun way–like drawing essentials including blind contour and gesture drawing, composition and fast, fun collage techniques. I truly believe that if you can draw you can do anything. Undoubtedly, the simple drawing techniques I offer will help you see the world better and more clearly and therefor your creations will be that much better. Even if you aren’t an artist and don’t really want to be one, drawing helps all of your creative products from sewing to quilting to graphic design. read more

Quilting Arts Season 1400 DVD blog party

Remember how I told you about being asked by lovely Vivika De Negre at Interweave to fly to Ohio because they wanted to film a DVD and three episodes of Quilting Arts TV with me? It was such an honor for me to be included and so much fun. I wrote about the whole adventure here and my very old fear of flying, but guess what? The whole season of Quilting Arts 1400 DVD is now out and ready for you to buy or download here (or you can watch the episodes one by one on your local PBS station as they air).  =&0=&

Independence of the Spirit

I had a pause today–a moment of quiet reflection–staring out the window…and I had some thoughts. On this day of Independence here in the US, I’m thinking a lot about freedom. Actually, I’m thinking about whether or not money buys us freedom. And I am feeling that it does. Certainly, it does. I know. But, at what price? What do we lose in the pursuit? Of course we must work and work hard…but at what? 

I have said and I maintain that I have never bought into the “struggling artist” paradigm. (In fact, I feel that if I am struggling at anything then I am probably doing it wrong.) Yet when I compare myself to others, I very much feel the loser. On paper that is. In the realm of stuff. But not in the realm of the spirit and the soul. There I feel very rich indeed, and not even by comparison. I dare say, I feel free. There are many routes to that freedom. For me, this moment right here with the keyboard under my fingers is my goldmine. Or being with my kids as they turn cardboard boxes into homemade foosball games and other contraptions, or lost in making magic in studio, whether painting, or sewing, or just gathering sticks on a walk to turn into something later, as we did today.

My life is not leisurely, per se. There is no, or very little, sitting still. Not much leisure, rest, respite, travel, or even reading. Not much time for reveries by the open window. But my life is the reverie. I am usually making something, cleaning something, emailing someone back (usually too late) or trying desperately to teach my children to eat healthy snacks and not clobber each other. Yet, it is all the dream. I feel terribly, terribly lucky to occupy this exact very life. I love it, despite the toiling, the constantness. Because my life is a creative expression of the love that lives in my heart. 

What we toil at matters. Where we put our love, energy and time matters, and it should feel good, although that isn’t always possible. Where I put my love, is where my life will go. So, I choose to go in the direction of my dreams. Don’t get me wrong…I so hope there is a pot of gold involved at some point of this rainbow, but there ain’t no use fretting over that too much. So I just keep showing up at work and play. I witness the beauty around me everyday and bathe in gratitude for the treasures I find in my family and in the world. Happy Independence day. I hope you have some freedom inside of you to follow your bliss, your passion, your Little Spark of creativity. If you don’t, go find it. It is there. Watch this video narrated by Alan Watts for some inspiration:



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Have you heard of Kraft-tex?

Have you heard of Kraft-tex? No? Well, let me introduce you. You are going to fall.in.love. I did. You know that little tag on the back of your favorite old pair of Levi’s Jeans? You thought it was printed leather, didn’t you? It used to be. But now manufacturers use products like Kraft-tex–a tough paper that performs like fabric. It is durable, flexible, washable, paint-able, dye-able, stamp-able, sew-able, emboss-able, fold-able…getting the idea? You can make almost anything with this stuff. And that’s what you get to see in kraft•tex Style–a new book I’m in by Roxane Cerda (coming out in September from Stash Books) which shows so many very cool Kraft-tex projects. 

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