September 26, 2014

Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt

It’s here!  My Quilting Arts Workshop Video, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt, is available for pre-order. 
Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt
You can see a quick intro clip, read all about it, and pre-order a DVD and download bundle here.

This special package is available for a limited time only.

In this Workshop I give very clear and complete demonstrations of four of my favorite surface design techniques: cyanotype, collagraph, heliographic, and Thermofax printing.  I also show you how to incorporate your printed fabrics into art quilt designs, and it’s all illustrated with examples of my award-winning work.

To give you a feel for it, check out these 5 tips on my collagraph process as featured on the Quilting Daily Blog.
Sue Reno, QATV Workshop,  collagraph process
My goal as a teacher is to empower artists and quiltmakers to find their unique voice and follow their vision.  I want to help you make work that is relevant to your life and your worldview, and have a grand time doing it!  With this video I bring my knowledge and experience right to you, where you can learn, and review, at your own pace. 

I’ll have more to share about Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt in the weeks to come, so stayed tuned.

To get a glimpse of what it was like to film the video, see my previous blog post here, or click on the QATV tab above.
Sue Reno, QATV Workshop,  filming set up
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.  And if you have a friend who would enjoy this Workshop, please pass along the news. Thanks!

September 24, 2014

The Garden at the Autumnal Equinox

Sue Reno, Locust Sapling
I posted in the spring about the big changes in my garden—taking down a huge locust tree, and revamping the vegetable plot.  The autumnal equinox is a good time to report in on how things evolved from there.  In a word—fantastic!  The tree, and the shade it provided, were missed, but opening up the garden to the full sun, and removing the competition from the tree roots, gave me my best garden success in many years. It also helped that I rototilled in a lot of compost, and that the weather was cooperative, with plenty of sun and rain.   As an aside, the locust did not give up the fight readily, sprouting small saplings from the root structure all over the yard. 
Sue Reno, Cherry Tomatoes The tomatoes were excellent.  No blight or disease, and a big crop of 6 different varieties for snacking and cooking.  They are still going strong.
Sue Reno, Japanese Eggplant The eggplants exploded.  I had several varieties, the round Italian types and the long Japanese, and they were both abundant, tender, and sweet without bitterness.Sue Reno, Eggplant Flowers They are still covered with blossoms, although at this point they have little chance of maturing into fruits.
Sue Reno, Eggplants Art Quilt Years ago I made a small art quilt with a cyanotype print of eggplants from that year’s garden.
Sue Reno, Rainbow Swiss Chard I planted two long rows of rainbow swiss chard and have been overwhelmed by it, in a good way.  I put it in (almost) everything I cook, and eat the small leaves raw.  It will last until hard frost and then I will miss it terribly. 
Sue Reno, Kentucky Wonder Beans I had both bush beans and Kentucky wonder pole beans.  The pole beans grew so enthusiastically that I fell behind in picking them, and quite frankly I grew a bit tired of beans.  So there are a lot of them there to shell out as soup beans, if I find the time and make the effort.
Sue Reno, The Organic Garden, Detail Kentucky wonder bean vines are a cyanotype feature on my art quilt The Organic Garden.
Sue Reno, Marigolds In the spring I randomly planted marigolds here and there in with the veggies, and they have flourished as well.
Sue Reno, Black Swallowtail Caterpillars
The fennel still has a few Black Swallowtail caterpillars feasting on it.  These latecomers to the party will go into chrysalis form to spend the winter.
Sue Reno, Canna Lily Flower Each year I plant tall red cannas.  The rhizomes are not hardy here in Pennsylvania, so I dig them and store them indoors over the winter.  This year I had a bunch of them crop up unexpectedly in a bed some distance away; my assumption is that squirrels buried some seed pods.  This is very unusual in my experience.  Their blooms are all different shades of reds and soft oranges, proof that genetics is a wonderful thing.
Sue Reno, Black Eyed Susan Flowers
In the landscape beds, the black eyed Susan flowers had a good year. They are starting to fade out in a blowsy, lovely manner.
Sue Reno, Pink Japanese anemone flowers The ever reliable Japanese anemones are putting on their fall show.
Sue Reno, The Organic Landscape, Detail They are a cyanotype feature on my art quilt The Organic Landscape.
Sue Reno, Sedum Autumn Joy
Equally reliable and beautiful are the stonecrops; this one is Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.
Sue Reno, Goldenrod with Bee And last but not least, here is some goldenrod.  It is NOT responsible for hay fever allergies, its pollen is heavy and not windblown.  (The culprit is ragweed, which blooms at the same time.)  It is covered with bees and wasps of all sorts during the day.  As the sun sets, and the air cools quickly, some of the bees just stop and stay put until morning.

I am not showing you the weeds that got away from me, and the various few things that did not do well this year. That is the gardener’s privilege, to focus on the beauty and the joy and the satisfaction of a job well done.  Those will keep me fulfilled through the long winter, dreaming of next year’s glories.

For ongoing, macro image coverage of the local flora and fauna, check out my Flickr page.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

September 4, 2014

The White Cliffs of Conoy

Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 1 The White Cliffs of Conoy are the remnants of old limestone and dolomite mines in the area near Bainbridge, PA. The mine tailings were piled up in mounds 60 ft. high.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 2
The formations are next to the Susquehanna River.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 3  There’s a full, and fascinating, story about the formations in the local newspaper.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 4
It was closed to the public until just a few weeks ago, so we jumped on the chance to go see it. 
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 5 Along with the odd beauty of the cliffs, the main attraction is the view of the Susquehanna from the top.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 6
Looking down, you can see and hear the Haldeman Riffles in the water.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 7
There are deep chasms between the formations.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 8
Parking is at the boat launch in Bainbridge, and there’s a newly paved 1.5 mile trail to the site. Along the way there are ruins of the once-thriving village and factories that accompanied the mines.
Sue Reno, The White Cliffs of Conoy, Image 9 All of these images were taken with a fisheye lens on my iPhone.  I did break out the macro lens for this image of mullien flowers,Verbascum thapsus.
Sue Reno, mullien buds, macro image
I’ve made a series of quilts about the Susquehanna River, including In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs.  Now I’m thinking about the imagery and possibilities of these white cliffs. 
In Dreams I Climbed the Cliffs, by Sue Reno
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.