Wednesday, 2 October 2013

So I Might Be Addicted To Thread...

When I first started quilting on my longarm back in 2001, I thought I knew everything there was to know about thread. After all I had been a hand quilter for some 10 years. As it turns out I knew very little, in fact, the truth is I knew that waxed cotton thread hand quilted through a good wool batting like butter. When I started breaking threads and wanting to take a sledge hammer to my machine I thought it was time to educate myself, and so I did. I would like to share some of what I have learned about thread over the years in hopes that it will make your quilting and sewing journey less stressful and fun again. Last September my partner Jon and I had a few down days, so we hoped on his Harley and rode down to South Carolina to visit the YLI factory. We couldn't bring ourselves to jump back in the truck or hop on a plane, the bike ride turned the long hall into an awesome vacation rather then another business trip. And we enjoyed the wind in our hair and the sun on our skin and even found time to stop and take in some of the sights along the way.
We stopped for coffee and little boot adjustment along the way
And took in the awesome sights and tourist spots every chance we got
It was totally breath taking and when Jon suggested we take a walk down to get a closer look I wasn't thinking... walking all the way down... no problem, walking all the way back up... not as easy...
When we reached the bottom we took a few second to take in all the beauty around us.. but before I knew it... It was time for the long hall back up the stairs. Jon thought it would be fun to count the steps on way up, out loud, 1,2,3... the first 50 or so were easy.. 51,52,53...
98,99,100...almost there... or so I thought
176,177 and finally 178 step!!! I made it to the top!!
Jon celebrated the journey by going in to check out the welcome center while I found a nice soft place on the grass to catch my breath. I always find it funny how everywhere we go, with out planning it, we end up surrounded by quilts!
As the sun went down we called it a night. I could hardly sleep knowing we where soooo close to visiting a wonderland of thread!! We would spend two whole days visiting the factory where all my favorite threads would be row on row, stacked floor to ceiling, in all it's beauty!!! To my dismay, they never thought we'd arrive so quickly. I guess they thought the trip from Ontario Canada to South Carolina was really far so when we arrived... there was NO coffee waiting for us. Jim of course fixed that right away and our day of learning the art of spinning thread began.
Our first day was spent learning about all the 100's of products that YLI offers, from silk ribbon, to braided cording, every type of thread known to man kind, even shoe laces and fishing line. There was no end to the array of machines and products. We watched all different types of thread as they were being spoon onto dozens of different size cones and spools and met all the wonderful staff that work behind the scenes to make sure that the product we get is perfect.
We had a full day of fun and a full day of learning HOW IS THREAD MADE? All sewing threads begin as simple yarns. Twisting together short fibers or continuous filaments produces these yarns. This process known as “singling twist” is responsible for the strength and flexibility, which is essential in any good sewing thread. When two or more yarns are combined to make the thread, a “reverse twist” is applied to add balance. Without a reverse twist, the thread cannot be controlled during sewing. The individual yarns or plies would separate as they pass through the needle and the tensions discs of the sewing machine. Twist Twist is simply the number of turns per cm or inch put in the thread. A thread with too little twist may fray and break, one with too much twist can cause snarling, looping and knotting. Balance is the key and a good sewing thread has it. Twist Direction As threads pass through a sewing machine some additional twist may be added. For this reason the direction in which the thread is twisted becomes important. A thread with a Z-twist, or left twist, is engineered specifically for the sewing machine. The action of the sewing process tends to increase the twist of a Z-twisted thread, but can actually untwist a thread with S-twist, or right twist. Ply The number of component yarns that are twisted together to produce a thread is the ply. Two-ply threads, therefore, are simply two yarns which have been twisted together. Thread finishing After construction, the thread is finished to enhance its suitability for various sewing uses. • SOFT - No further processing to change its physical characteristics. It is only dyed and lubricated. “S” twist for single strand yarn“Z” twist for ply yarn • MERCERIZED - In this process cotton thread is treated in a caustic solution under controlled tension. This causes the fibers to swell, resulting in a greater affinity for dyeing. Mercerization also increases the luster and adds some strength. • GASSED - Passing cotton thread through a flame at high speed to reduce the fuzz is known as gassing. This process also produces a higher sheen. • GLAZED - This is a process in which cotton threads are treated with starches and special chemicals under controlled heat and then polished to a high luster. The glazed process results in a thread with a hard finish that protects the thread from abrasion and enhances ply security. • BONDED - Treating continuous filament nylon or polyester with a special resin that encapsulates the filaments is called bonding. The result is a tough smooth coating that adds significantly to the thread's ability to resist abrasion and greatly enhances ply security. THREAD TYPES Spun Threads Throughout most of the twentieth century, cotton thread was the standard sewing thread both industrially and in the home. When synthetics were developed, it was only natural to attempt to emulate the sewing characteristics of cotton. Spun polyester thread, made from polyester fibers cut to the same length as cotton staple, was introduced as a substitute for cotton. All spun threads are made up from staple fibers that are spun into single yarns and then plied to make a sewing thread. Mettler’s all-purpose polyester, Maxi-Lock®, Elite Premium Serger Thread®, Gutterman® and all cotton threads are examples of spun thread. Twisting together yarns made from short fibers, as we learned earlier, produces all spun threads. However the staple lengths of the fibers utilized can have an important effect on the quality, strength, and performance of the thread produced. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the staple length of the fibers, the better the quality of thread produced. YLI Quilting threads and Mettler's cotton threads are examples of cotton threads produced with long staple cotton. The highest quality spun polyester, such as Mettler® and Gutterman® are produced from longer staple fibers. Spun threads will have a more “fuzzy” surface, which gives them a soft hand and good lubricity characteristics. They offer excellent sewing performance, but lack the strength of continuous filament threads. Core Spun Threads This process seeks to achieve the strength of continuous filament threads with the sewing performance of spun thread. Core spun thread features a continuous filament polyester core covered with cotton or polyester fibers. Two or more of these composite yarns are then twisted to form the thread. The most common examples are Dual Duty® and Signature®. Continuous Filament Threads This process begins by extruding individual filaments of synthetic material. A singling twist is applied to these unbroken, continuous fibers. They are then brought together and a finishing twist is applied. The result is a strong, consistent sewing thread. The most common examples are most rayon and polyester embroidery threads and YLI’s Ultrasheen®. Textured Threads This process adds texture to the parallel continuous filaments of synthetic yarns, creating softness and bulk. The textured filaments are then twisted slightly and heat set. These threads provide excellent coverage for seams and rolled edges. Textured threads are typically used in the loopers of a serger or over locker. Woolly Nylon® is the best example of textured thread. Monofilament Thread This is a single synthetic filament extruded to a specific diameter. They are available in a number of sizes, .004 and .005 being the most popular for the home sewer. Wonder Invisible Thread® and Sulky’s® invisible thread are good examples.
WOW that's a lot of info for one blog, so I'll end it here and feature so more thread info and tips and trick for thread in a later post....


 
For more info on YLI Threads and where you can purchase it visit the website
 

A List of Sue Pattens Longarm Classes


New For 2014

Add, Alter, Delete and Change...

This new class will take six design concepts and turn them into DOZENS of designs for every area of the quilt top. Sue will teach the class to go beyond what they see to discover what each design can be if you add, alter, delete and charge it. This class covers takes each design concept and creates blocks, borders, sashing, background, and edge-to-edge designs or all over designs, covering the complete quilt any style all in one class. Students will have the chance to share a design they use all the time and have it transformed into a multitude of variations to fit every area of a quilt. This is a fast past, all out fun and exciting class that will leave students with a whole new way of looking at there designs and the design they will learn in other classes. Come see beyond what's there and discover what any design can become as we Add, Alter, Delete and Change the way we design and quilt!!!

**This class may be offered as a:
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Tips And Tricks 

After years of longarm quilting Sue has developed a few skills that she would like to share. She will cover mounting and floating, squaring off a quilt so that it is square every time, regardless of how “not so square” it may have been when it arrived. She will show ways of manipulating fabric on those not so perfect tops to make them lay flat with out causing pucker or pleat or stress. She will share her tips on getting perfect tension with every type of thread on every machine brand. Using the right size needle for the thread and fabric you are working with. Using 3 degrees of tension to achieve the perfect look for every quilt. How to make your borders look like they were quilted with no stop and starts with out ever turning your quilt. And so much more. So come join us and learn tips and tricks that are sure to have you smiling and saying.... No problem, I can quilt that out...

**This is offered only as demo class**

Classes for the “True Beginner”

Free Motion Possibilities For The True Beginner:

This class is designed to inspire and assist the beginner to become confident with their ability to use free motion designs and techniques for themselves and their clients. This class is packed full of info for the beginner. While mastering the skill of free motion quilting, we will discuss threads, tension, how batting affects the over all look of the quilt and where to place these new design concepts on the quilt to achieve three degrees of texture and balance. These designs offer a quick, easy and accurate way to finish any quilt top. So put away those marking tools and turn off that laser light and join us for this free motion block party!!

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Free Motion All Over Designs:

No Marking, No Pantos Needed !! Come learn how quick and easy those all over quilts can be. This class covers design ideas for every type of all over quilting challenge, and teaches you techniques to ensure that the texture and movement creates evenly distributed quilting every time. This class is designed with the true beginner in mind so we will discuss thread tension, batting, and how to quilt separate border designs with out having to turn or mark your quilt top. Imagine being able to complete those customer quilts in half the time with no math and designs that fit perfectly from start to finish. Come join the fun in this all out, all over, free motion extravaganza.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class 

Birds Of A Feather:

This is a three step class to help you master the beloved feather. If you are new to the longarm world or have ever wanted to learn the art of feathers with out the extra work of marking or the extra cost of stencils and panto, then this is the class for you. This is a free motion class that takes you step by step from stem to feathered finish. With extra tips and tricks and a multitude of inside feather filler designs. The feather learn in class may be used for borders, blocks, and sashings. So put away your feather fears and come fly with us as we master the art of the feather together!!

**This may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Simple Sashings and Border Designs:

It doesn't have to be hard to look spectacular! This class is designed with the new longarm quilter in mind and offers quick and easy free motion design ideas that will wow any client or judge. The designs taught in class are not your every day feather or fern, they are unique concepts that will compliment any quilt top that comes your way. We will discuss three degrees of quilting, when to “stitch in the ditch” and when to “ditch the stitch”, how to handle the corner stones, tension, and how batting affects the over all end result of the quilt top. Come explore the new age of free motion sashings and borders and learn to tackle those quilts with flair and confidence.

**This may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2hour drawing and design class

A Little Stipple Here and A Little Stipple There

Tired of the same old background fillers? This class is packed full of designs for the NEW longarm quilter. They are NOT that “oh so tired” scribble stipple... that's so last decade. Students will learn a multitude of exciting alternatives to the loops and stars scribbles while we discuss tension, three degree of quilting, batting and how to use the “stipplish” designs learned in class as inside fillers, and in small sashings and corner spaces. This will take your thoughts and ideas for stippling to a whole new level. So come join us for a little stipple here and there and learn that even stippling can be quick and easy.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Classes for Everyone, from the “Confident Beginner” to the “Advanced Professional”

** Please note the following classes are truly for every level of quilter, in addition to my standard hand outs for this class, I always have more intense variations and less intense variations for those students that may need more or less of a challenge to enjoy the class concepts. Each of the follow classes teaches a technique that can be applied to any design concept, although each set of classes includes dozens of new designs concepts as well. There are no repeated designs in any of my classes, each class offers my own unique and original designs that best suits the concept of the class. **

Free Motion Edge-to-Edge: This is my number one selling class

This fast-paced class is packed full of inspiration!! Come create a multitude of unique quilt designs for personal and client edge-to-edge quilts. With no marking and no pantos you can complete one of a kind designs in half the time and never have to worry about whether you'll run out of space at the bottom of the quilt. It's the perfect fit every time, with no math and no marking. This class also covers free motion borders for that added touch, with out ever having to turn the quilt top or pre mark a single design. We will discuss thread and batting choices as we work our way through this quick and easy three step concept for the perfect edge-to-edge design every time. Come discover how you can quilt those edge-to-edge quilts in half the time in this free motion Quilting Extravaganza !!

** This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class
 
Plunk And Play * This class takes free motion edge-to-edge, one step further

This class is full of unique and innovative ways to spice up those edge-to-edge and all over designs. Sue combines motifs, corner designs, thread play, and thread colour change to enhance and intensify with texture and movement. This class explores the use of everything from free motion quilting to computerized pre set designs. Sue will use stencils, acrylic rulers and thread play all combined with edge-to-edge and all over designs to create a stunning style that will wow even the judges!! Come learn to take that oh so common edge-to-edge technique to a stunning new level of WOW as Sue explores the endless ideas of Plunk and Play!! This class does not use stencils or templates in the traditional manner as Sue is not your average quilter, but she will show you how to use all those stencils and templates you already own in a whole new way

**This class works best as a 2 or 3 hour lecture demo class but may be offered as a 4 hour hands on class as well.

Every Little Bit Counts

This class is designed for the confident quilter. It is packed full of unique one of kind designs that we will micro stipple into 6 inch squares!! The designs used in this class may also be enlarge to create wonderful all over designs and can be incorporated to fit into small sashings and corner stones. There are 22 unique designs in all and ever hand out has step-by-step how to instructions to follow when you return home from your workshop or quilt show. This class takes the art of stippling to a whole new level of design and fun. Come join us and discover for yourself why every little bit really does count.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Stunning Sashings

Running out of sashing design ideas?? This class is a fast-paced class that explores the balance between design and texture. Students will build confidence in there free motion skills while learning new designs created to maximize the art of texture we use every day to enhance our quilt tops. These new and innovative designs will help you achieve that cutting edge in your client, personal and show quilts. We will explore the age old question to “stitch in the ditch” or “ditch the stitch” and discuss how to travel though out the quilt with less stops and starts. This class will charge how you view sashing, corner stones and ditch work forever. So jump in and join in on this exportation of Stunning Sashing.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing or design class

Spines With Designs: Sashings and Borders

We spend so much time planning the block motifs that we often ignore the sashing altogether. This class offers you all new design concepts that may be free motion quilted quickly and easily. Although this class offers dozens of my original designs it is a class that will teach you a new technique that you can easily apply to all the designs that you have already mastered, or that you have yet to learn. This technique can be used to intensify any style of quilting from the most traditional design to the wildest of art designs. It will teach you that there is more then one way to create texture to your designs and will have you looking at how you stitch out designs in a whole new way.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Spines With Designs: Blocks

This class offers new designs and concepts for full size blocks, corner stones, and triangles. It includes everything from “featherish” designs to feather alternatives with the added touch of new spine ideas that can be added and altered to any design you have already mastered or any design you will master in the future. This class is a free motion that will take your confidence level and precision to a whole new level. Come see how easy it is to create an entirely new design with these innovative unique spine designs.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Feather Alternatives ** Back By Popular Demand!!**

Not every quilt screams for feathers!! This class has been brought back by popular demand and pulled out of retirement... of course Sue has up dated some of the designs and added new ones to the mix as her unique and innovative personality demanded. This is a free motion class filled alternative designs to the oh so tired feather. With new spine ideas and the added touch of inside fillers these designs can be used to wow both traditional and cutting edge quilters alike. So come discover a world of designs that will add create movement and outstanding texture to all those quilts screaming for any thing but feathers !!!

** This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Tickle My Quilt With Feathers

This class is not your “Classic Victorian Feather” class. It is a class for the Wild at heart who want to offer Unique, Fast and Fun Feathers to enhance an art quilt or spice up a traditional pieced top. This class takes the art of feathers to a whole new level of design and texture, with cutting edge fillers, creative “stipplish” spines and an all out frenzy of new and innovative ways to tickle any quilt with feathers. This is a free motion class so put away those stencils, pantos and laser lights and come join in this frenzy of “featherish” designs adventure.

**This class may be offered as a
4 hour hands on class
2 hour lecture demo
2 hour drawing and design class

Speciality Classes

Art Extreme:

Have you ever wanted to thread art on your longarm? Come and see how fun and easy it can be. Sue will take you through step-by-step from outline texture straight through to full fill in thread art tapestry. Using a variety of different threads to shade and highlight designs, as seen on “The Quilt Show” and “America Sews”. She will discuss batting and thread choices and touch on revisable quilts using top and bobbin work. She will show you how easy it is to create beautiful works of art using variegated threads, and explore added texture with her unique background fillers to complete your future works of art!! Come experience a world of beauty created with thread in this high speed, heart pounding, thread art extreme! 

** This class may be offered as a 4 or 6 hour hands on class. It has a kit fee of $30 as I supply everything for the class... thread, pre marked top, batting and backing fabric. The hand out is included in this fee and gives them step-by-step instructions and all tips and trick discussed in class.

 ZenSuedled Whole Cloth Marking Class

This is not your grandma's whole cloth! This "hands on" marking and design class will see you mark a complete 45 x 45 inch ZenSuedle Whole Cloth that can be easily stitched at home. Sue offers a full array of templates, stencils, and rulers as she takes you step by step through marking your own "one of a kind" ZenSuedle. This is a technique Sue developed that results in a perfect balance of texture and colour every time. It uses artistic quilt motifs, fillers and designs combined with unique placement of variegated and solid thread colours to create a spectacular art whole cloth quilt, every time. You will need to bring 2-3 fine tipped wash away marking tools ( I recommend  Clover white wash away pens when you are working on black fabric) and a 45 x 45 inch of black fabric. Sue will supply everything else needed for the completion of the marking in class. The hand out for this class gives you step by step instructions to take home so there is no need to take notes or concentrate on any thing other then creating your master piece in class.

** This class may be offered as a 4 hour marking class
** This may also be offered as a 4 hour marking class followed by a 2 hour demo with tips and trick to completing the quilting at home.
** This class works for all forms of machine quilting (longarm or domestic) and makes for a wonder hand quilting project for those of us who still love the art of hand stitching.
 
If you are interested in hosting longarm classes in your shop, studio or at your quilt show please contact me at suepattenquilts@yahoo.ca for more info and available booking dates.


       



Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lights, Camera, ACTION!!!


Lights, Camera, ACTION!!!


This year PTQ is taking a journey into area’s unexplored and I am taking you along for the ride to share the ups, downs and all the in between. For the past five or six years my students have been encouraging, begging, emailing and posting on my facebook, requesting that I have my classes put on video. Now it’s not that I am camera shy, I’ve been on dozens of TV and On Line quilting shows in the past, and we often film live on the spot Utube videos for PTQProductions, it’s been more of a challenge to find the right camera crew. This might sound odd but I needed to know that the finished video would be, not only of the highest quality, but also that it would be as close to being with me in a class as possible. They say the hardest thing to do is to create the same energy level of a “live class” setting, on an “in studio” filming. This means that even after hours of endless takes and retakes and “A” shots and “B” shots that I needed to know that when we where finished taping you would still feel at least some of the crazy excitement that we share in class. I didn’t want the video to end up looking and sounding like a college instructor lecturing to class of sleeping students, and lets be honest, my biggest fear of course was that it would end up all work and no play! After all, my whole out look on free motion quilting is that it should be first and foremost FUN! Like I always say... It’s not brain surgery... It’s Quilting. I have been looking for the right film crew for the past five years... do you know how hard it is to find a film crew that understands not only quilting but quilters with my personality? Take it from me it’s harder then you might think. Then, last year I was asked to film half a dozen episodes for Linda V. Taylor’s “The Quilting School”. Before I was half way through the first episode I knew in my heart and in my mind that this was the perfect set up, the perfect crew, and the perfect everything to make the magic happen. 
The perfect crew !! The perfect place!!

 Knowing who you want to film your videos and where you want to film them is just the beginning. Before leaving Crazy Horse Production Studios, Jon (my partner and the business side of my brain) and I booked an appointment to meet with everyone that would be involved while we were all in Houston at Market and Festival. There where about six or maybe seven or eight, people at that meeting... I couldn’t tell you exactly who was there as I may have been to busy chatting with Linda and doodling in my note pad while I should have been paying attention. If there is one thing I have learned over the past 12 years, it this; know your strength’s and your weaknesses. Handle what you are best at and have someone else you trust handle the rest. I am not good at business meetings, contracts, any kind of paperwork that involves writing or typing or anything other then drawing really.  We can’t be good at everything and why would we want to be? My philosophy in life is simply this; Find something that you are passionate about and talented at and find a way to earn an income doing just what you love. Don’t miss understand me, you need to know it takes hours of hard work and strict determination to turn your passions into a business, but when you love what you are doing, the 24 hour, 365 days a year it takes to make a living with that passion, doesn’t seem nearly as hard as working a job you hate 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I LOVE to share tips, tricks, and new design ideas!

I LOVE to share my passion for quilting through lectures and trunk show!

 Jon took the lead at the meeting, knowing that I was just there to answer short yes and no direct questions. Jon, Rick and Todd discussed the over all feel of the videos, the time and length that the finished product should be, the money... who pays what, when and why. They agreed on a time date and location and before I knew it the business end of the planning was complete. Coffee time! I can’t remember if we signed contracts of intent but we probably did. Then the real work began. As soon as I arrived home the emails started flooding in. Todd needed a brake down of the classes, descriptions, content, some form of script, even though we all knew that I would not be using a prompter and that I would surely re-script as we filmed on the spur of the moment. He needed to know in advance what shots where the most important to capture and when and where I would be talking directly to the camera for my close up’s and when the camera should be focused just on my stitching! It was all very over whelming. I was sure the emails should have been going to Jon as they looked a lot like paperwork to me. When I filmed for the TV episodes I just had to have Jon send them my class outline and make sure that I brought lots of pretty samples to show. The hostess would ask me questions that I would answer while I was quilting out the techniques we  discussed, before I knew it someone would yell “CUT” and the episode would be complete.
Answer a few questions, quilt a little for the camera and Cut!

 So the emails kept coming and by the time we headed out to The Crazy Horse Productions Studio I had lots of “paperwork” printed out, ready to be filled in but nothing completed to hand to Todd when we arrived. Truth be told... the last few emails, I just printed with out even reading them, hoping that the quilting fairy would come along while I was asleep and fill in all the information for me...The fairy never came! The paperwork never got filled out...
This is where an awesome film crew that understands us (when I say us, I mean those of us who pay more attention to colour and design then questions and answers) comes into play... After we arrived Todd had me answer a few simple questions and write out a paragraph or two on what I wanted to see on the completed video. Then he worked it onto a “film sheet” and broke it down into takes, retakes, “A” shots and “B” shots. Of course I had no idea at this point what the difference between an “A” shot and a “B” shot was, but I can tell you now that one is the close up where I am talking to you or drawing on the white board and the other is me talking while you are watching a close up of the quilting. 
Oh did we start filming already? Oops!
No one can see that I am wearing my glasses right?
No one will know you have your glasses on, we're doing a ZenSuedle Close Up!


These are shot at different times and then edited together later to make it look like it is all happening at the same time. This allows the crew to reset the lights and camera angles for a clear, more professional looking video when all is said and done. The trick is remembering what I said when and where and which boots went with witch jacket and don’t even get me started on the earrings and bracelets and necklaces that went with each outfit. Oh and quick tip... remember to turn off your microphone between takes, you never know who might be listening in...
They think my designs are really cool.... I can hear them...



It takes about 4-6 hours to tape 1-2 hours of completed video with all the lighting and placement changes but it is well worth it in the end. We managed to shoot 6 full length videos all between 1 ½ and 2 hours in length in 3 ½ days, including all the photo shots for promotion, adds, and the video covers. We started at the break of dawn.  
Yes Coffee first!! Hair and make up can wait!!


 Each morning after breakfast Linda would decorate my nails, just one of the many perks at Crazy Horse Studio’s, while Rick and Todd prepared the lighting and the sets.
WOW it's like Linda is ZenSuedling my nails!!
 Then it was hair, make up and which outfit to wear. All the samples were pre arranged in staging areas, the longarm machine was loaded with jet black fabric (my favourite) and brightly coloured variegated threads and we were filming every morning by 9 am. We usually started with the close ups, the introduction and the thanks for joining us, and the step by step instructions either on the white board or at the table.

What! Am I saying hello and welcome to Quilt It With... or goodbye?



And here we go... bump-back-over


 Then it was time for a quick lighting change, a quick cup of coffee, and then onto the close ups of the stitch outs.
A cup between takes always makes me smile!

And just like we saw it on the white board we'll just bump-back-over

WOW that adds Awesome texture doesn't it?!?
 We averaged about 4 ½ hours per video which allowed us to complete one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Of course we had to stop for lunch, a quick clothing change and let us not forget that Linda re-painted my nails for every video, morning, noon and night!
I have never been so excited to here “That’s a Wrap!!” on that final day of taping. We were so exhausted we were lucky to remember our own names. Still the promo shots had to be done so a few quick clothing changes, some giggles and some smiles, and some fun super star poses close ups and I was sure we were done!
Hurry I have a leg cramp and I'm falling!!!
I'm too cool for my own good here but just couldn't find the strength to smile.



 But just when I thought we were done... it was on to all the final last minute details. We spent an entire day laying out the look of the video covers, front and back, choosing the right fonts for the headers, the perfect picture for the cover and the final details and descriptions on the back. Then it was onto the business stuff... when and how the videos would be released the cost of the finished product based on the length of each completed video, the brilliant idea to release a “limited edition” case that would include all 6 videos at a special pre order price... 

Then it was time for Jon and me to pack everything up and make the 37 hour drive home (I may have slept the whole time while Jon drove). Todd and Rick got right to work editing the footage and completing the cases, and creating the really cool intro we wanted. After all, you don’t think I’d do videos with out a really cool intro do you?
Now as Jon works on adding the video to our site, www.pattenthatquilt.com that is ready to be launched  and Todd and Rick complete the editing, I am working on the next group of video’s scheduled to be taped this July. I can’t wait to see what awesome nail designs Linda comes up with. All in all it was an awesome experience, but one that I would never have managed to get through with out the awesome help of Jon, Todd, Rick and Linda. If you have ever thought of creating your own videos to share and are looking for that perfect crew like I was, I highly recommend that you contact Todd Fletcher at todd@crazyhorseproductions.net at Crazy Horse Productions Studios. Although they specialize in quilting they offer a full range of video opportunities. I hope this blog inspires you to take the next leap through that open door of success and happy filming... And Remember...Smile there are real people on the other side of the camera and they are all watching you!!!

I would like to take this blog space to thank all my students that encouraged me to take this step and get these videos done. I would also like to thank Linda V. Taylor, Rick Taylor and Todd Fletcher at Crazy Horse Production Studio for making this such an awesome experience. Also, although it goes with out saying... I would like to thank Jon Vorich for arranging the opening of that door of opportunity, and handling all the business stuff, with out him the creative side of my brain would only have dreamed of creating a video to share rather then actually making it happen.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Call it what you will... Doodle, ZenDoodle, Zentangle, ZenSuedle... it is still the art of finding your Zen through design and texture... like I always say’ “a rose by any other name would still have thorns to protect its beauty”. What ever medium you use to channel your Zen Designs, it is still a work of art to be inspired by. I have been an additive doodler my entire life. It was the number one reason I was asked to leave class as a child and now as an adult it is the way I unwind at the end of a long day, rediscover my lost creative mojo, or pass the time during an endless meeting. My doodling has lead to countless quilting and embroidery designs, stencils, fabric line set to be released in May2012 and has even been tattooed on other people’s body parts. I have been known to doodle on any scrap of paper I can find, on my jeans, my shoes, the wall by the phone in the kitchen... if it’s in reach it can be doodled on. This article is meant to inspire you to create texture and designs regardless of the medium you choice.
Now don’t get me wrong I know the difference between art and doodling. What you need to understand is that it all starts with a doodle, a scribble, a movement created with a pen, a paint brush, or whatever your medium choice might be. In the last 11 years my simplest doodles have been used to create countless quilting designs, edge to edge panto’s, embroidery designs, countless quilts, wall murals, quilting idea books, stencils and fabric lines. Oh and let’s not forget that my designs have also been inked for all time onto peoples skin in the form of tattoo’s... ooch!        

From This:
To This: 
There are as many different ways to design as there are designers or uses for the designs. I would like to share my process with you in hopes that it may inspire you to take your raw doodles to the next level, what ever that may be. I doodle on everything, all the time, then at night when I am in my hotel room or in my limited spare time at home, I take all my doodles and sketches and lay them all out on a large table in front of me. I then start pulling design concepts that I think could go together, be revamped, or just played with until I like the end result. Some of my starter designs get filed away for future play and others get pulled from the pile and re-drawn.
I like to work with different sizes of sketch paper, a large light box, black sharpie markers ranging from ultra fine to thick and a full range of eye glasses to help magnify small areas so my eyes do not get strained. I also have a full array of acrylic shapes in every size imaginable. Most, well almost all of my shapes have been purchased from Quilters Rule. I will include a link at the end of the article for those of you who would like to check out there on line site. I also keep my stencils, and a few scrap booking border tools close at hand. Although most of my designs are free form drawings I use the tools listed above to create specific shape spaces to fill in and repeat.
When I am happy with the finished design I then start pulling variations or sections of the design to create repeats, background fillers, and complementary designs so the finished pieces can be used together to create a full line of fabric or on there own for other projects, such as stencils or embroidery and quilt designs. I like to have at least five pieces that go together. I then take them to my graphics guy and have the designs scanned to be sent to my computer and photo copied at least three times so I came colour them in. Be sure that the copies are done on good paper or your colour medium will bleed when you start to apply it to the copies.



What ever your style, what ever medium you work in, how ever you choose to tackle the creative process, my best advice to you is that you enjoy that process from start to finish. I design and create for me first and foremost; I never tackle a project with the end result in mind. This allows me to be free formed and have fun without bending to the end need for the doodle. When I feel the project is complete and I am happy with it I then decide how I will present it and it’s end purpose.
Well I hope I have inspired you to look at your doodles in a whole new way. A very awesome quilting instructor, Linda Taylor, once told me "let your quilting reflect who you are inside", and this is my advice to you... "let your works of art reflect who you are and never second guess your ability to create something awesome!"

A Special thanks to my good friend Dusty for sharing his tattoo's of my art work. To see Dusty's awesome quilting and design work go to www.cscountrystitchin.com. To view all the wonderful templates from my good friends at Quilter's Rule please visit www.quiltersrule.com