On April 13, we wrapped up taping the 2800 series of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting at the PBS studios in Des Moines, Iowa. We were joined by our old friends Patrick Lose, Mary Fons and Marianne Fons, who helped make this set of shows a blast! The series is set to start airing early this summer, and we can’t wait! We have a lot of goodies lined up for you in addition to these wonderful episodes, so stay tuned for those bonus tips.
Speaking of tips, if you’re looking for a little fun, listen closely during the tips segment of each show. The camera crew challenges Mary and Marianne to use certain words during that segment. For the 2800 series, the words were “levitate,” “hairspray,” and “corncob.” They managed to work in two of the three. We were all very impressed.
Episode #2801—Folk Dance
Mary Fons and Marianne Fons team up to teach Folk Dance (publishing in the Love of Quilting January/February 2017 issue), a staff quilt designed by associate editor Diane Tomlinson. Using our new Pickle Dish template set, this quilt uses the subtle curves of the pickle dish to create a big pattern! The dance of curves also leaves some wonderful space for quilting!
Episode #2802—Kin Coterie
AnneMarie Chany is the author of Sister Sampler Quilts (2015, Fons & Porter), a gorgeous, fun book that uses traditional blocks in a fresh, modern way. These ‘sister blocks’ are so charming, we invited her to submit a project for the 2800 series to showcase how these paired quilt blocks can work together in a quilt. Kin Coterie (publishing in our Love of Quilting September/October 2016 issue) is a small, crib-sized quilt, so it’s a quick, delightful way to play with sister blocks, but we also had AnneMarie’s Bonfire quilt from her book on the set. (We loved that quilt so much, by the way, we kitted it.)
Episode #2803—Dressed Up Patchwork &
Episode #2810—Quilting With an Accent
Gerald “Jerry” Granata appeared on two episodes with Mary Fons. Jerry, an award-winning art quilter, had so many things to show! In Dressed Up Patchwork, he actually used one of Marianne Fons’ patterns, Valiant Eagle, originally published in the Love of Quilting July/August 2010 issue, to teach how you can work with unusual fabrics. Whether you’re creating a memory quilt from old clothing, or want to jazz up your design with an unexpected material,Jerry gives you the skills you need to try any fabric!
In Quilting with an Accent (with Jerry’s upcoming quilt tour to Tuscany in October, we couldn’t help ourselves with that name!), Jerry got down to the details on needles, threads and embellishing your quilt. He showed us how to work with an image printed on fabric (silk, in this case) to make a truly customized quilt, and how to thread paint, and… and… Jerry packed in the information on these two episodes!
Episode # 2804—Anna’s Starflake
Nancy McNally joined co-host Patrick Lose to teach Anna’s Starflake (publishing in our Love of Quilting July/August 2016 issue). Nancy has a template set for this quilt, but because it’s a perfect quilt for paper foundation piecing and our viewers ask about that technique all the time, she agreed to teach it with that method. It’s a technique she knows well: “Remember, it’s just sewing—backward, upside-down and reversed!” she joked. Her approach highlighted the simplicity of this method, especially when you work with batik fabrics. (No wrong side!) To show how the shapes could be re-worked into a variety of designs, Nancy brought a throw-sized quilt as a variation. But it still needed a name. Something about the colors and the shapes reminded us all of a deck of cards.
“’52 Pick-Up’?” someone volunteered.
That’s not bad…
Episode # 2805—Freshly Pieced Vegetables
Kelly Bowser joined Mary Fons to showcase working with novelty fabrics (cute vegetable prints!). Paper piecing allows you to achieve some fairly intricate designs, which are… vegetables, of course! The blocks are perfect for a wall hanging (which is what we’ll be publishing this fall in Love of Quilting), but Kelly went a step further and worked out how to make adorable hot pads. Adding some decorative stitching to the binding is a bonus! Kelly—who is an Instagrammer, blogger, quilter, designer—is a ball of creative energy, even in the face of Spring allergies!
Episode #2806—Picnic in Provence
TailorMade by Design, a design team comprised of sisters Joanie Holton and Melanie Greseth, supplied us with a lovely, light quilt we call Picnic in Provence, which showcases both patchwork and appliqué. Some quilters steer clear of appliqué; we hope this quilt will change those quilters’ minds! TailorMade by Design’s clever technique for sewing the appliqué petals into place… Well, it was a surprise, I’ll tell you that! Together with their longarmer, they planned a quilting design that would trace around the petal shapes. The sisters merely basted the petals into place, and then the quilting design secured the shapes. It just goes to show that collaboration is the best technique of all!
Episode #2807—New Hampshire Nights
The sashing makes this one! Marianne Fons joined Mary Fons to teach this classic scrappy bonanza, which is publishing in our Love of Quilting November/December 2016 issue. The checkerboard pattern is all strips sets, and the sashing, which joins at the intersections to create stars, uses a striped fabric to make the design dynamic. (Don’t fear directional fabric—this quilt shows that stripes are worth it!) Marianne shared a tip, learned from a student, about stacking strip sets off-center before cutting so that your ruler doesn’t tilt off-course. So simple! Marianne often has tips she picked up from students. A good teacher is a good listener!
Episode #2808—Autumn Starshine
Lynette Jensen joined Patrick Lose for the 2800 series, showcasing Autumn Starshine (publishing in our Love of Quilting September/October 2016 issue). Lynette’s Thimbleberries Project of the Month Club launched in February 2016 (but, you can sign up anytime!), featuring all kinds of quilt projects in her latest fabric. We were so inspired, we asked her to join us with a quilt for the Fons & Porter audience. Autumn Starshine is a wonderful quilt, with so many fun techniques to teach we almost didn’t know where to start. The fact that the quilt is constructed in rows—not blocks—to create the star patterns was an eye-opener for a lot of the staff and crew. (Lots of sounds of “Oooooh!” when we got to that part of the run-though.) This one definitely landed on several To-Make lists.
Marianne Fons brought us Red, White and Gratitude as our Quilt of Valor for the season. Using a similar design concept to a log cabin quilt, Marianne and Mary Fons take this simple block, and play with it to come up with multiple variations. This is one for the design wall! Marianne and Mary will both be teaching at the America Quilts Expo coming up at the end of May here in Des Moines, Iowa. If you’re in the area, join us at the Iowa Events Center May 26, 27 and 28!
Episode #2811—String Me Along &
Episode #2812—Shattered Dresden
When we plan for the season, we pin print-outs of quilts to our design wall, so we can see the visual range at one glance. The designer’s name is noted on the back of the print-outs. We were utterly surprised when Shattered Dresden and String Me Along—both staff favorites—turned out to be designed by the same quilter! They’re so different! Now that we’ve met Dodi Poulsen, it’s no surprise. A beloved teacher, Dodi has a versatile design sense, and just loves everything about quilting. String Me Along (publishing in our Love of Quilting September/October 2016 issue) is a magnificent string-pieced quilt, and Shattered Dresden (publishing in our Love of Quilting July/August 2016 issue) is a delightful example of a Dresden plate design.
Episode #2813—Freemotion Designs with Patchwork Roots
A long-time favorite guest, Angela Huffman joined Mary Fons to show viewers how to adapt traditional patchwork patterns into quilting designs. Angela is such an amazing teacher! She created stories to explain the path of the quilting, and it was just mesmerizing. (After watching this episode, you’ll find yourself repeating, “Ladybug—ceiling, wall, wall…”) The luckiest of us were sitting in the control room, where we could laugh out loud without interrupting the filming!
Keep an eye out for Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting on your local PBS station. The 2800 series begins airing on July 11, 2016 in Iowa! For other areas, make sure to check your local listings. If your PBS station doesn’t offer Love of Quilting, try giving them a call to request they add it to their schedule. You can always stream previous episodes of Love of Quilting by visiting QNNtv.com.
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