Tag Archives: Teaching

New Work: Dogs & Cats

My last blog entry was last summer when I gave a teaser about my new work, and now, we’re fully in the winter holiday season. Has it really been that long?  The winter solstice, at our house, is a time to stop and reflect on the events & accomplishments of the closing year, and set goals and expectations for the approaching year.

Body Building

I set a goal last year to lose some weight and get in shape (sound familiar?). My body building efforts were really about  building up a body of new work.

Got Kibble? at CF Gallery opening,

Got Kibble? is just one of the new works that I completed this year.  It was a hands-down favorite at my show in the Creative Framing Gallery in Louisville, CO in Sep-Oct.  Pet compositions are fun to show in the Boulder area is because we are such an animal oriented community.

 

 

Cat Nap, 44″ x 24″, fabric & thread, © Lea McComas, 2018.

Not to be left out, that other favorite pet, the cat, is featured in my new piece, “Cat Nap”.  This work was inspired by a photo I took while traveling in Greece, back in the mid-1990’s.

Pet Portrait class sample

Previously, I completed a couple of small studies using this image.  Two versions were made for my online Pet Portrait class. Here is one with a tetrad color scheme. Prior to that,  a small work was donated to a charity event. Finally, after 20 years, the full up composition has come to fruition. Now, it’s subtle charm makes it one of my new favorites.

Cats VS Dogs?

At the show, a survey of viewers revealed that cats are more popular pets than dogs. Now, I’m getting a lot of pressure (and fun photos) for a series featuring cats.  What about you? Are you a dog person? or a cat person?

I’m thinking dogs rule.

    Cats rule, Dogs drool!

Stay tuned, there is more work to share in a future blog. In the meantime, if you’ve been inspired to attempt your own pet portrait in fabric, check out my online Pet Portrait Memory class with The Quilting Company.

No time for that?!?  I do commission work.  Contact me and let’s talk about capturing a favorite image of your pet in fabric and thread.

Border Wall Quilt Project

Can’t write a blog without mentioning the Border Wall Quilt Project.  We’re still accepting bricks and the wall continues to grow.  

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Let’s Make Faces

Look what I did!

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: 

 August 13 – Brigham City Museum, Brigham City, Utah.

Jo's self portrait

Jo’s Self portrait

September 30-October 2, 2016 – Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival, LaConner Quilt & Textile Museum, LaConner, Washington

October 15-16, Jukebox Quilts Store, Fort Collins, Colorado

Portraits on Parade

Portraits on Parade

 

“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

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See Me on The Quilt Show

I recently taped an episode of TheQuiltShow.com with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  Subscribers to that website got to see that episode last week.  Many thanks to those of you that sent kind words through email and Facebook.

sitting talking

Photo by Gregory Case

Now, I can share a link to that show with the rest of you. Click on the link here and you can watch too.

Watch The Show

This link will work until May 11, so make a cup of tea and sit back to enjoy.

Let me know what you think Also, for those of you that subscribe to The Quilt Show, I have a new series of lessons in the “Classroom” section of the website.  This course is on “Contemporary Batik”  If you’ve ever wanted to try batik, but were afraid of the mess, check out this class.  It will be FUN, and EASY!! http://thequiltshow.com/learn/classrooms FTI: you have to be a subscriber to the website to access this class.

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Judging a Book by its Cover

Panning CoverAfter working on my new book all summer: sewing samples, photographing the stages, and explaining it all with text, it came time to design the cover.  I thought that using a photo of my work, “Panning for Gold” would be great since it has won a couple of awards this year.  That’s when I discovered the benefits of having a great editor and designer looking out for me.

It was pointed out to me that the cover I proposed was drab in color and portrayed an old, poor man, working hard in an icy mountain stream–No joy there!!  I was also forced to consider how the cover would look on a website where it would appear only a few inches high.  Details are lost, and colors blend together.  A cover has to work at full size and in miniature.

Another consideration is how the book will be displayed in a shop.  Often books are stacked on shelves that allow only the top 2 inches of the book to be seen.  This means that those top 2 inches are prime real-estate.

Finally, I didn’t want to add a subtitle.  Sometimes those seem to go on forever.  I like short and sweet.  Again, my team showed the value of using this opportunity to further define my book topic for those who are not familiar with my work.

I can’t say enough good things about Janice Brewster, editor, and Karen Sulmonetti, designer.  They are The Creative Girlfriends.  If you are thinking about writing a book, click on their link and get started.

With all of this in mind, it was back to the drawing board, and sewing machine, for a new and improved cover.  Here is what we came up with:

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Multiple Lives

A few years ago I wrote my first article about making portrait quilts.  It appeared in the July 2011 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.  Just in case you missed it the first time, the article has found a second life in a new ebook available from Interweave Press.  The ebook is a collection of four articles that have previously been published.  This is a great chance to review several artists’ perspectives and techniques for making portrait quilts. Check out the Quilting Arts website to download your copy.  Then, please, let me know your thoughts, and send pictures if you make a portrait quilt of your own (especially if you use  my technique).  My email Send your pics to mccomasfiberart@aol.com

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Smile, and Look at the Camera

This last week was crazy hectic.  I welcomed Lilo Bowman, Editor in Chief, and Production Manager of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims to my studio to tape several lessons that will be posted this fall and next spring on their website.  The days before we taped were filled with getting samples ready, and the days after were all about sorting out the mess and getting the studio back in order.  In between, it was fun, work, fun, work.  I have to say that I was very nervous at the beginning, but, with Lilo’s help, I soon relaxed and began to really enjoy the process.

Posing for the camera

 

Smile and look at the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lessons we taped will be posted in the TQS “Classrooms” section of the website.  Look for my Portrait Quilt lessons to begin sometime in the fall (I’ll keep you posted).  Then, look for my contemporary Batik lessons in the spring.

Good times!

 

How does it look

 

 

 

 

 

 Now, I’ve got to pack a bag and head to England for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.

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