Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's time to dance!

The long awaited book is here. As the author, I got my first big shipment before the shops and large book retailers. Your favorite quilt shop will have the book about April 15th. I'm quite pleased with the cover, and how it turned out. The designer chose a detail of my quilt called Summer Sanctuary. It really sets off the title. There are many photos of my quilts, along with colorful tips and informational charts.  Summer Sanctuary is below:

When I am machine quilting, and everything is going right, the textures and patterns are emerging from my machine, I get a creative high. I feel like I am dancing! This is a wonderful sensation. In the book I explain how I create my free-spirited quilting designs. And try to help the reader find their own individual quilting style so they can dance along with me.

The book begins with my comments on free-motion quilting, a gallery, lots of how-to information and a problem solving chapter. You may read more about the book on my website. I would be glad to sign a book for you if you place an order. Ann Fahl's book page is the place to go.

This is a very exciting time for me, I hope that I can settle down, and get back to quilting tomorrow!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creating Small Quilts

It's about time, I settled down to making quilts. Currently I'm quilting a beautiful blue piece, but you'll have to wait to see it.

Because I travel so much, my studio time is very limited. If I'm staying in a motel, I pack a small pair of scissors, 1 or 2 pieces of fabric for backgrounds, and a baggy full of scraps with Wonder Under on one side. After spending all day in class I may be tired, but I am also inspired and energized by the students and their projects! I need to design something too. So this is a small piece from my "Motel Series."

This little piece is called Buds and Beads. is a link to a short description and a larger image.  To create these pieces, I just start moving pieces of fabric around, cut and trim the scraps until I find something interesting.

This is a very improvisational style of designing. If I have quite awhile to work, I can create and fuse several pieces in an evening. When I get home, I  have some small pieces to embroider, bead and quilt. This makes my time on the road a little more enjoyable and productive.

At home, in the evening, I love to hand bead, so this is a satisfying way to use my motel pieces. I hand bead using Nymo thread after the embroidery is complete. This way all the knots and messy stuff aren't visible on the back of the quilt. I baste the piece together, machine quilt, bind, and the quilt becomes a little beaded wonder.

Ann Fahl

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Fiberistic Journeys

The Anderson Art Center can be found at  The curator and staff are very supportive of the quilting arts. There have been quite a few Art Quilt exhibits in the recent past.

The quilts of all six artists are mixed together in the various galleries.  Here is one of Robbi Joy Eklow's exhuberant pieces.

Here is a corner view of one of Rachel Wetzler's pictorials, Denise Havlan's granddaughter, and my tea party quilt with my cat.

Beth has occassionally designed quilts about controversial or political topics. Here is the one she made about the holocaust.

From a lighter point of view, here are two very colorful pieces also by Beth.

Upstairs is a tiny little hallway, where the curator Candace Hoffman always tucks something interesting. L to R, work by Denise Havlan, Rachel Wetzler and myself.

Walk around another corner and there is the daughter's bedroom, also with Italian marble fireplace, where we find 2 floral pieces by Denise Havlan and Annette M. Hendricks on the right.

My camera batteries died, so I wasn't able to completely photograph the exhibit.

Since this is my blog I will finish up with one of my lifetime favorite quilts: On the Nile.

Thanks for visiting my blog and my gallery visit. As an artist, it is so important to support the galleries and museums that display quilt art.

Ann Fahl

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Big Show

Fiberistic Journeys, the quilt exhibit at the Anderson Art Center in Kenosha WI is almost over. It concludes March 21. I drove there for a 3rd visit and took some pictures, enough for at least two blogs!  The building itself is a lovely mansion on Lake Michigan which is a lovely setting for artwork. The lake is on the left side of the home.

The parlor on the main floor has a lovely Italian marble fireplace, interesting wood moldings and a wonderful view of the lake and the gardens to the rear.  I would like this room for my personal studio!  I would also like to have a butler and cook to bring me my cup of hot tea and prepare meals for my family.

When you walk through the party room, there is a circular stairway with curved plaster walls.  At the top is a railing and a large hallway and display area. Here are Rachel Wetzler and Beth Gilbert's work.

In the master bedroom, which would also serve as a wonderful studio, there is a view of the lake from the second floor.  In the corner of this room Rachel Wetzler's wonderful quilts are beautifully set.

As I step back I realize that these pictorial pieces create a new room of their own.

In my next blog, I'll show you more of the quilts.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ann is Dancing on her Quilts

It has been awhile since I've blogged. I spent a wonderful week teaching at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove CA. The workshop was 5 days with the same group of women, it's a very creative time. To make it more interesting, we had a  beautiful view of the ocean, beach and surfers out the window of my classroom. For a girl from WI, this was great.

After being home a few days, an advance copy of my book arrived on a FedEx truck. A little while later, flowers were delivered from my publisher, C&T. Here I am with the very first copy of my book, a card from all my editors and a beautiful Azalea plant.

I feel like I'm dancing. This is now two books that I've had published in a very short time. The title of my new quilting book is Dancing with Thread. The title is similar to my first book, Coloring with Thread. This first book was about free-motion embroidery. Now, the Dancing book is about free-motion quilting.

I love the quilting process, in fact it is my favorite part of making a quilt. As the wonderful patterns and textures start appearing on the surface of my quilt, my designs and embroidery come to life. I find this very exciting and when all is going well I feel like I'm dancing on my quilt. In this book, I've shared many of my quilts,  ideas and tips to help others become more free spirited quilters. Anyone that would like to machine quilt will find something of interest and help in my book.

You can't purchase this book yet. The book in my picture is only one of 10-12 copies in the USA. The rest are on a ship somewhere on the Pacific. The exciting part for me, is that after a year of writing the book, another year of editing,  the book has finally become a reality. The quilt on the cover is a detail shot of Summer Sanctuary  which just won a "Best Pictorial Quilt" at MAQF 2010 in Williamsburg,VA. It has been a good week for me.

In the meantime, I'm busy embroidering a new blue quilt with trillium. It's wonderful to be working on a beautiful new piece, the sun is shining, and everything seems to be going well in my life.

Stay tuned, for my announcement about book availablity.