That Quilt has a Story
As the new host of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, Sara Gallegos knows how to bring a quilt’s story to life:
“That’s an important thing to talk about,” says Sara. She is holding two, pinned-together patchwork units, and flips them so that the Flying Geese unit is on top. Sara points to where the seams cross to form an X. “We want to stitch right over that intersection. That’s what ensures perfect points on your triangles.”
It’s day two of filming the 2900 series of Love of Quilting at the Iowa Public Television studios, and only Sara’s second day as host of the show. Her guest is Emily Bailey whose bright, clever quilt called “Cactus Blooms” hangs as a backdrop behind them.
All four cameras are running. Sara holds the pieces steady in the center of the sewing table. That’s the sweet spot for the overhead camera, which can pick up the sewn details on the patchwork pieces. Even while holding the pieces in place for the overhead, she looks at the center camera to talk directly to the audience.
She knows this gives the director plenty of angles to choose from when the show is edited.
The Changing Face of Quilting
Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting has been airing on PBS since 2003, and on QNNtv.com since 2006. The simple, successful format hasn’t changed—taking a quilt featured in the pages of the Love of Quilting magazine and really exploring the techniques to make it—but the face may be new to viewers.
With the 2900 series, which began airing January 2017, Sara Gallegos joins the Love of Quilting crew as host.
She has some pretty big shoes to fill. Although they both sometimes appear as guests (to the delight of viewers), Marianne Fons and Liz Porter have both retired from hosting the TV show. And Mary Fons, to whom the set of Love of Quilting was practically home, ultimately decided to leave the show in order to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing.
So the show needed a host, one who could stay true to the traditional roots of Fons & Porter, and also welcome in a new generation of quilters.
Enter Sara Gallegos.
Behind the Scenes
Sara Gallegos has an enthusiasm for sewing that is contagious. A veteran instructor, Sara has the sewing chops to keep the most advanced quilter engaged and interested, and also in-depth experience with teaching newcomers to get the most out of their sewing machines.
Sara is no stranger to instructing on camera, either. In addition to hundreds of tutorial videos, she hosts two shows with QNNtv.com, Absolute Beginner Machine Embroidery and My First Quilt. This explains how, by day two, she already knows how to work with the different cameras, and what the viewer wants to see.
As an instructor, she also knows how to prepare. Weeks before the 2900 series was set to film, Sara talked with each guest, learning about the quilt they would be presenting.
“You’ve got a story about one of those blocks,” Sara says to Emily Bailey when the cameras are rolling. This is how we learn about that one, sly little patch that doesn’t quite match the others, and adds character. It’s a good story, and Sara knows quilters will enjoy hearing it.
She knows it brings the quilt to life.
The Amazing and Talented Angela Huffman!
Angela Huffman, known by many viewers for her regular appearances as a longarm quilting instructor, takes a turn as a guest-host in the 2900 series of Love of Quilting.
When Sara Gallegos’ earlier trade show commitments presented a scheduling conflict, Angela gamely agreed to pinch-hit as host for four episodes. She was the natural choice to host the longarm show, with guest Karen McTavish (two longarmers on one show!), and she also got to join Marianne Fons on three episodes, as well as at the tip table!
For more of her fabulous quilting instruction, be sure to catch Angela’s online courses at Craft University. Sign up for her bestselling Longarm Fundamentals with Angela Huffman, or try out her brand-new course, Express Lane to the Free-Motion Quilting Highway.
Visit PBS.org to see local air times, or visit QNNtv.com to view your favorite episodes. If you don’t get Love of Quilting on your local PBS station, let us explain. Take a peek at our blog, Your PBS Station Doesn’t Air Current Episodes of Love of Quilting and Here’s Why…