Archive for March, 2010

Digital quilting, a winner, and alpacas

Lura Schwarz Smith and Kerby C. Smith are celebrating the release of their new book, Secrets of Digital Quilting: From Camera to Quilt. What an intriguing title! My interview with Lura and Kerby is now on Valley Fiber Life online magazine.

The book is available from Lura (autographed copies) and C&T Publishing.

One of Lura and Kerby’s digital quilts was recently juried into Quilt Visions 2010, one of 40 artworks selected from 600 entered.

The winner of 500 Art Quilts from my review/drawing is Heather.  I very much enjoyed the comments with links to inspiring artists/artwork.

My review in brief: Beautifully designed and beautifully printed, 500 Art Quilts will definitely entice those unfamiliar with art quilts to learn more, inspire those new to art quilting, and be a must-have addition to the library shelves of any fiber art enthusiast. The book is available at your local bookseller, Amazon, and B&N. Topping out at 432 pages, 500 Art Quilts is an uber-bargain with retail around $25.

And to wrap up our little potpourri of publications, this article, Quilting and Alpacas:  A Wonderful Combination, came about because an e-mail from quilter Nancy Danielson had a signature line that included the name of her business, M&M Alpacas. It’s not every quilter who also has alpacas in her backyard.


03 2010

500 Art Quilts – A Review and a Giveaway

Cover artwork by Nancy Murty

I know it is somewhat awkward reviewing a book that includes my own artwork, but Lark Books sent me an extra copy.  So I’m going to do a little review and then give the extra copy away to one lucky reader.

But first, let’s look at the book.  The 500 Art Quilts’ editor is Ray Hemachandra and the juror was Karey Bresenhan. The 8×8″ book fits my great-to-look-at-in-bed criteria (not too big to hold up to peruse while reclining gracefully) and most of the art quilts are shown one per page. Each artwork is featured with the name of the artist, title, date, size (in inches and centimeters – a nice touch), materials and techniques. A lot of thought was obviously given to the placement of facing art quilts for maximum compatibility.

The subtitle of 500 Art Quilts is An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work. This IS a great book for those seeking inspiration; it is almost overwhelming seeing so many art quilts. 500 Art Quilts the kind of book to keep at hand and peruse just a few pages at a time; there would always be something new and interesting with each turn of the page.

I did notice, whether due to the technical demands of printing or just as a sign of the times, that almost all of the artwork is in very saturated colors.  The dates for the art quilts go back to at least 1989.  I don’t think art quilts from more than ten years ago are intrinsically more or less interesting than those made in the last two or three years, but I would have liked to have seen newer work from all the artists.

This book is part of the 500 Series by Lark Books focusing on, well, what Lark Books focuses so well:  fine craft.  So on one hand, I say BRAVO that art quilts are receiving some much needed exposure in such an upscale format.  On the other hand, I do think we need to give a little more thought to what exactly we want art quilts to be known as – art or fine craft.  I did notice the little suggestion for bookstore shelving on the back cover is ART/QUILTING, so that gives me hope.

But the comments above should be read as mere quibbles beside the fact that such a fine survey book that can only bring more exposure to our art form. Beautifully designed and beautifully printed, 500 Art Quilts will definitely entice those unfamiliar with art quilts to learn more, inspire those new to art quilting, and be a must-have addition to the library shelves of any fiber art enthusiast. The book is available at your local bookseller, Amazon, and B&N.  Topping out at 432 pages, 500 Art Quilts is an uber-bargain with retail around $25.

There are always those artists who are pushing the art quilt form in new and interesting directions.  Leave a comment with the url of an artist or a specific art quilt that recently intrigued you and you will be entered to win my extra copy of  500 Art Quilts.  Deadline to post a comment midnight (CST), March 25.

Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear right away.  I have a spam filter in place and may need to approve your comment before it appears.


03 2010

“Wild at the Edges” special preview

If you are tired of books full of projects and are more curious about the inspirations and motivations of an artist, then my book is for you.  Wild at the Edges: Inspiration from a Creative Life is stuffed full of artwork, photos of nature and my studio, essays, photos, and poems. But don’t take my word for it, here are comments from some of my readers:

It is such a RICH book. (I love this comment as this was exactly my intent in creating the book — to have something new to look at, read, or study each time you opened it).

Your spectacular artwork, combined with the enlightening text, and the beautiful photography; this book is a treasure!

I realized how powerful (at least to me) your art is when coupled with the photographs. You really should do an exhibit of both!

If the special preview doesn’t work for you, just click on the link above the preview to be taken right to all the details.


03 2010

Snail mail and other delights

The photo above of a small creek near my house doesn’t have anything to do with this post.  It is just one of my fav photos.  The beauty of the waning of winter.

I just mailed out my new postcard yesterday.  I am more and more leaning toward very specific communications with my Patrons and Art Friends.  If you would like to be added to my snail mail mailing list, just send drop me a line with, obviously, your snail mail.  I love receiving postcards from other artists, so do let me know if you maintain a snail mail list and I will reciprocate.

The link to my online March e-newsletter has also gone out to subscribers.  The e-newsletter includes a rare photo of Joe and I with our new companions, plus news of an artwork to a permanent archive, free shipping on my book, and, yes, alpacas.  Just send an e-mail message with SUB as the subject line to Virginia(at) if you would like to receive my free e-newsletter.


03 2010

Free shipping and more – “Wild at the Edges”

I love Blurb books for a variety of reasons, not the least because they offer specials periodically. If you have been thinking about ordering my book, Wild at the Edges: Inspiration from a Creative Life, now is the time.  Blurb is donating Free Ground/Economy shipping on all orders placed by March 22.

Just enter the promo code below at checkout and your book will be in your hands in about a week. Be sure to use the appropriate currency, based on your location.

USD $ promo code: WESHIP
GBP £ promo code: WESHIP2
EUR € promo code: WESHIP3

Here are the caveats: Offer valid through March 22, 2010 (11:59 p.m. PST). Offer covers Ground/Economy shipping costs for up to $7.99, £3.99, or €5.99 up to five books in one order, shipped to one address. This offer is good for one-time use and cannot be combined with other promotional codes or used for adjustments on previous orders.

Need MORE reasons to click over and check out my book?
1.  Check out the price.  Since I retired FFAC, I have reduced the price on Wild at the Edges as I donate to the ACS in other ways now. Wild at the Edges is offered in both soft and hardcover. If you can do the hardcover, it is well worth it.
3.  Self-publishing is great for a book like Wild at the Edges.  NO projects, but a quirky, personal sensibility. I choose each photo and placed it to enhance each essay or poem. Reading Wild at the Edges is meant to be a journey, one that you can savor, study and enjoy in small moments of time.
4.  I have heard from many readers that Wild at the Edges is a great gift for artists of all types.  Many of the essays focus on what it means to be an artist –  the disappointments and the triumphs.


03 2010