Posts Tagged ‘Sue Reno’

Giving Sue Reno’s Video a Whirl for the Pi Project


If you are looking for a way to add your own personality and interests to a quilt, then Sue Reno’s Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt video will set you on the right path. Bottom line: If you want to try four easy printing techniques on your next quilt, here’s where you can buy the DVD or download it directly to your computer. I don’t believe you will find a better teacher to start you on your printing journey.

First of all, Sue is obviously an expert in all of the printing areas she demos: Cyanotype, Heliographic prints, Collography, and Thermofax. Not only that, she also shows you her own artwork incorporating the printing techniques and talks about what makes an effective design. Sue was also very clear in her words and samples about how much thoughtful stitching adds to the successful conclusion of an artwork.

It’s easy for someone showing four techniques to show TOO much detail and lose a beginner who just wants to try a variety of techniques. This is not the case for this Quilting Arts Workshop video. Sue keeps it simple, so all the processes can be understood and easily tried. Sue’s “You can do it” attitude is one of the delights of this DVD. Don’t have fresh foliage to lightly press for heliograph printing? No worries, she uses some foliage from a florist and you can do the same.

Sue encourages experimenting and so even though I didn’t have the same paint or set-up she did, I thought I would give heliographic or sun printing a spin. Have you heard about the Pi Project?

I adore quixotic projects like this:  Next March 14, the date will be 3/14/15, which matches the first five digits of Pi: 3.1415. Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is arguably the most significant number in history. Many celebrate Pi Day each year, but this next Pi Day is special. This alignment of digits will not occur again for a century.We are celebrating the number Pi by creating a fabric ribbon of its digits, stretching as long as we can make it, whether that be 20 feet or 2000 feet. The digits will be sewn on in the actual order they appear in Pi.Help us by creating as many numbers as you can for this fiber happening.

Sue recommends Profab Transparent paint for Helioprinting, but I had Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Paint. I didn’t have a plastic covered piece of insulation board, so I used a small bulletin board covered with a piece of butcher paper, shiny side up.


I used a large stencil to trace my number on a piece of Bristol board. Something heavier would have been better, but, hey, good to try it. Now I know. With the number pinned down, the bulletin board was carried outside.

Unfortunately, 2 p.m. sun in Illinois in October isn’t the strongest, but it WAS sun. And as you can see below, the Bristol board made a pretty good resist:


I’m happy with the result. Sue says not to worry about pin holes, so I didn’t. I used a market to make little red dots all over my number which disguised which dots were pin holes:


So, there it is, my unique heliograph 9.5″ square with one numeral on it – sent on its way to the Pi Project.

Please stop by Cynthia St. Charles blog tomorrow for her take on Sue Reno’s extremely useful and helpful video: Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt.


11 2014

Sue Reno’s “Surface Design Essentials” Blog Tour – Starts Today


Sue Reno’s new Quilting Arts Workshop Video, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt video is now available on a DVD or as a download.  To celebrate, Sue asked some of her fav artists and bloggers (I’m honored to be included) to review the video as part of a blog tour.  I’m up on Monday, November 10th and I’ll be sharing a fun heliograph project.

Please join us starting today:

11/5/14: Sue Reno

11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp

11/7/14: Allie Allers

11/8/14: Diane Doran

11/9/14: Vivien Zepf

11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel (You’re already here :))

11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles

11/12/14: Natalya Aikens

11/13/14: Lyric Kinard


11 2014

Blog Tour – Mark Your Calendar!


Sue Reno’s DVD on surface design is now out and what better way to celebrate than take a little tour around some of our fav artists’ blogs. You know it will be a fun event with this great lineup of artists.

It all starts in November; mark your caldendar so you don’t miss a day!

11/5/14: Sue Reno

11/6/14: Susan Brubaker Knapp

11/7/14: Allie Aller

11/8/14: Diane Doran

11/9/14: Vivien Zepf

*****11/10/14: Virginia Spiegel****

11/11/14: Cynthia St. Charles

11/12/14: Natalya Aikens

11/13/14: Lyric Kinard


10 2014

In the Studio with Sue Reno

Sue Reno

Sue Reno is known throughout the art quilt world for her use of cyanotype and heliographic prints. Her rich and intricate art quilts are inspired by her surroundings, incorporating images of plants and animals that inhabit her extensive organic garden and the surrounding woods. Sue also works with architectural subjects, including a series documenting the transformation of the beaux-arts style Watt & Shand department store into a hotel and convention center.  Sue’s artwork has appeared in numerous magazines, in solo shows, galleries, and art centers.  She also serves as a lecturer and juror.

1.  How do you find/make time to be in your studio?
I’m always trying to find that elusive balance between time spent in artistic endeavors and the commitments I have in the rest of my life.  One of these days I may get it right!  In practical terms, I eat well and exercise to keep my energy level  up, I’m not afraid to let non-essential household tasks slide when I have deadlines to meet, and I get a lot done late in the evenings when I get a second wind.  I keep a daily log of time spent working on art and art-related paperwork and web work, and review it periodically to see where I can make adjustments.

2.  Describe your studio in five words.
Peaceful, inspirational, functional, organized chaos.

3.  If you could pick only one thing from your studio to represent your art practice, what would it be?
The materials I use to make cyanotype prints.  I am continually delighted by the process and intrigued and stimulated by the limitless possibilities it presents.

4.  What would make a “dream studio” for you?

A helio print drying on my driveway (outdoor studio space).

I could always use more room, but aside from that I love the space I have now in my home.  It has all my stuff in it and it’s well organized.  I’ve got good light, my machines, two big work tables, movable design walls, and a half bath with a sink.  Best of all, it’s got sliding glass doors that open into my backyard.  The outdoors provides much of the inspiration as well as the raw materials for my work in the form of the plants and flowers in my extensive organic garden beds.  It’s also my adjunct workspace for much of the year, where I make cyanotype and heliographic prints and hand paint fabric.

A view of my garden (my inspiration).

5.  What would you advise someone setting up a studio for the first time?
Don’t be discouraged if it’s not ideal.  A dream space is a wonderful luxury but not a necessity. What’s more important is the commitment to make the work that’s important to you, in whatever increments of time you can manage.

Sue is donating three Fiber BONUSES for Foto/Fiber 2012.
Read all the details about her Fiber BONUSES on her special blog post; you won’t believe all the fiber treasures that Sue is fitting in to a 6×9″ padded envelope.

6.  Any new exhibits or projects we should know about?
I’m excited to be working on my entry for Seasonal Palette, an invitation juried SAQA exhibit that will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX this fall.  I’ve started documenting the inspiration and construction process of my summer-themed quilt on my blog, see the tab at the top.  I’m also thrilled that I will be the juror for an upcoming SAQA exhibit curated by Kathy Nida, I’m Not Crazy.  It’s going to be a wonderful, meaningful, and well travelled exhibit, and I’d like to encourage everyone to read the prospectus and consider preparing an entry.  The prospectus can be viewed here.


01 2012