Life has been crazy busy for the last year, leaving precious little time to blog, so I’ll let one of my students from the Festival of Quilts 2019, Birmingham, England, tell you about her experience. Take it away, Kim…
Having been quilting for a number of years I wanted to expand my skills and fancied having a go at a portrait quilt. At school I was useless at art – drawing – so my confidence level was really low. I wasn’t sure that I could do it but really wanted to have a go – do you know what I mean?
Looking through the Workshop list for the Festival of Quilts in August 2019 I saw a portrait quilting course by Lea McComas. Biting the bullet, I booked a place with severe trepidation. The course list duly arrived, and I began to feel really nervous. What if the tutor laughed at my failing skills? What if everyone else was so much better than me?
Putting on my Big Girl Pants I went along to the course.
Other participants were working on portraits of dogs, grandchildren, husbands, children friends etc. I had chosen to work on a portrait of my long-time idol – Donny Osmond (Husband and Dog assured me that they were not jealous at all)
So I spent a glorious two whole days working on my portrait, Lea being the most marvellous tutor. I will never forget bringing the portrait to life by adding the white of his eye. Obviously two days isn’t long enough to complete a portrait so there was some homework to do and slowly, slowly I plucked up courage to continue my project with lots of encouragement from Lea.
In October I went to London where I met Donny and showed him my quilt so far. I cannot tell you what he said about it as I was quite literally a gibbering wreck. I managed to get him to sign my label too.
Lea I want to thank you for your expert tuition, encouragement and friendship. To those of you who may not have done a course with Lea I really encourage you to do so – you will really learn a lot and expand your skill set.
Thank you Lea.
Kim Wood UK
Here is Kim with her Donny quilt. Some think it looks like she printed the image, but NO. This is a fused appliqué portrait. Want to learn to make your own? Take my online portrait quilt class.
I truly believe in the value of a shared journey with like minds. That’s why I recently hosted a group of my favorite Colorado Fiber Artists for lunch. This week I’m sharing a blog from Ginger Tatic, one of the attendees. Sometimes it’s fun to get someone else’s perspective on an event.
Artistic Opportunities Take Many Forms
As school draws to a close, my teaching responsibilities at Boulder High School give way to summer break. I’m gearing up for a fabulous summer of art. The possibilities are exciting and I’m hoping my fiber art friends will join me.
Artistic Opportunity: Be a Small Part of Something Big
First, are you like me? Worried about the discord and division that seems to be growing in the US. We have many important issues to address. Yet, we seem to struggle with the civil discourse needed to work our way to meaningful solutions.
The US/Mexico Border Wall is just one of these issues, but one that I want to tackle. I’m sponsoring the Border Wall Quilt Project; an art installation made of quilted bricks. I’m going to make the wall, but I need help with the bricks. If this is an issue of concern for you, I hope you will join in.
I’m calling on quilters to create 8×16 inch mini-quilts expressing their ideas, concerns, and opinions about the border wall and then send them to me. Anyone can submit up to 3 quilted bricks. This isn’t a juried exhibition. I intend to use all bricks submitted to create a wall about the wall. Interested? Read More
Follow the progress at BorderWallQuiltProject.com
Artistic Opportunity: Portraits in Colorado
Next, quilting and Thread-Painting people have been my art focus for many years now. It’s my passion and I’m taking it to some pretty interesting locations this summer.
I’m pairing up with eQuilter.com to offer two workshops in my own backyard. eQuilter.com is located right there in Boulder, Colorado and they are offering 2 workshops in their magnificent classroom space: Thread-Painted Portraits, July 16-17, and Appliqué Portrait Quilts, July19-20.
Artistic Opportunities Around the Country
Finally, if you can’t make it to Colorado, look for me in these locations:
Social Media: So Seductive
Social Media is like that handsome guy that is so attentive and charming in the beginning; and later, changes into a demanding, manipulative creep. With Social Media, like the creepy guy, I had to break it off. I had long felt that trying to keep up with weekly posts was draining my energy and creativity, and keeping me from my other important interests: family and art.
The real trouble started last June when I made a commitment to become proficient on various platforms (blog, Facebook, Pinterest) with such ease and efficiency that it would no longer be a chore, but a delightful daily routine—maybe something I did while I savored that first cup of coffee.
Social Media: Demanding & Manipulative
‘The reality: it never got better. Social Media was like, “Hey look at how much attention I’ve brought to you: so many likes, so many shares, so many followers. Now, give me something more to work with. Would it kill you to spend a little money on advertising? And maybe a little more attention to your SEO?” More, More, More!!! Never enough.
At the point that you are only making artwork so that you have something to take pictures of for your next post, you have lost your way. Can I get a “Woop, Woop!!” for this? (Don’t send it to me in a reply, just raise your hands to the sky and say it out loud.)
Now, after a long productive winter, I do miss connecting with other creatives, getting feedback on my work, getting sucked into a funny cat video when I’m supposed to be making a plane reservation. It wasn’t all bad; there were some really great times with Social Media. I want to reconnect. I just have to set boundaries and be firm this time.
Social Media with Sanity
Yes, I’m re-engaging with Social Media and I’m inviting you to join me. My new focus is on sharing a journey that is real. I’ll share with you what’s happening in my creative journey: inspiration, studio practice, creative community, and tips N techniques . One a month I’ll post upcoming events workshops, lectures. This is also the place where you will see the my newest works coming together.
See it here first! To subscribe, slide your cursor to the top of your screen and a pop up window will appear.
I hope you are enjoying a beautiful summer: picnics, camping, swimming, baseball…
But, when you are ready to come in, cool off, and do something creative, I invite you to join me in a portrait quilt class or workshop. There are spaces open in these locations:
CraftU Courses are once again open for registration:
- “Fused Raw-Edge Applique” begins August 1, 2016.
- “Thread-Painted Portraits” begins September 26, 2016
Buy both courses and receive 25% discount on the second course.
August 13 – Brigham City Museum, Brigham City, Utah.
- Introduction to Thread Painting 1/2-day workshop,12:00-3:00 PM.
- Gallery Gala, 6:00-8:00 PM. Artists talks and time to chat
September 30-October 2, 2016 – Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival, LaConner Quilt & Textile Museum, LaConner, Washington
- Preview Party, September 29
- “Fused Applique Portrait Quilts” – 2 Day Workshop; Friday, Sept. 30 & Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016
- “Thread Painted Portraits” – Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016
October 15-16, Jukebox Quilts Store, Fort Collins, Colorado
“Portrait Quilt Workshop” Sat-Sun, October 15-16, 2016. Call (970) 224-9975 for more information.
January 19-22, 2017, Road to California Quilter’s Conference, Ontario, California
I have 2 courses that are now open for enrollment at CraftOnlineUniversity.com OR CraftU,
for short. Here are links of you are interested:
Fused Raw-Edge Applique Portraits is a 6-week course that begins March 7th, 2016.
Thread Painted Portraits is an 8-week course that will begin April 18, 2016
Interested in BOTH courses?? Enter the coupon code THANKS25 when you purchase Thread-Painted Portraits and you will get $25 off the cost of that course.
I’ve done a lot of traveling in the last couple of months: spoke to several guilds, attended quilt shows, and taught a workshop. It has been wonderful to meet and talk with people about their quilting and to share my techniques. In between all of that I’m also hearing from people who have read my book. I love it when they send pictures of what they have accomplished.
One reader, Judy, sent me this photo of her with her friend Jane, and the thread-painted portrait she made of Jane. I was pretty impressed. Thanks for sharing.
Finally, here are photos of some of the ladies in my Thread-Painted Portrait workshop at Quilter’s Station in Lee’s Summit, MO. What a delightful group.
Now, I’m preparing for a workshop and some lectures that I’ll be giving at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England in August. Will I see you there?