Monday, June 25, 2012

Charity Challenge

Last year I moved across Canada leaving my wonderful quilt guild and my post as ABC Quilts Coordinator where we distributed up to 600 quilts per year. Although I have become involved in several wonderful guilds in my new local area, I have found a bit of a void in my life. I miss the charity quilt program. There are a few such programs in my area run by wonderful women so I have decided to take on a self-imposed challenge. For every class I teach, I will invite the students to donate a fat quarter 18" x 20" or less of their least favorite fabric in their stash. Something they've grown to hate or fallen out of love with...something they are sick and tired of having around. Then I will take these fabrics and make every effort to use them in a beautiful way to make charity quilts.

So here are the fabrics from my first class of donations. I was pleasantly surprised that some were so lovely! So watch for upcoming posts on the results! And if you want to donate your least favorite fabric to my charity challenge just drop me an email through my website at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Workshop - Landscapes with Sun Feature

What a fantastic class yesterday. We had a packed house at the Dogtown Coffee Company in Okanagan Falls and the place was rocking! Again, this is a brand new class, so testing out the 3 hour time frame was a must and it worked out very well. There were 15 students and we had a great time playing around with sun features. Dogtown was a fantastic venue with food, snacks and amazing coffee available throughout the evening.

This class touches on colour, depth, and layout of design as well as several hand stitches and a variety of art techniques for a sun feature.

Here's a shot of Karen, Eileen and Heather from the Summerland Material Girls with their hand stitched landscapes. All they have left to do is choose one of the sun feature techniques they've learned today, implement that into their design, and choose a frame. Voila! Some serious fibre artistas!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Workshop - Embellished Fibre Art

We had so much fun today for the first Embellished Fibre Art Workshop. The women were so on top of the techniques, it was fantastic. This was a test class for the timing and supplies and everything worked out to the minute. My lesson plans are getting more and more succinct as I go on. Hooray!

Here is a mother and daughter duo Maggie and Bethany with their finished pieces. And below is a close up of the class sample.

If you'd like to book this 3 hour workshop for your quilting guild, contact me at Brandy Lynn Designs. It is a super fun hands on class that explores colour, layout, stamping, couching, single bead, 3 bead bunches, cross stitch, rice stitching, linear rice stitching, and the signature backstitch. It is perfect for those traditional hand quilters who want to try something just a little bit artsy. No machines required! Students walk away with a finished piece wrapped on canvas ready to hang - plus a huge smile!

Happy Father's Day Weekend to any fellas who happen to be perusing my blog! I hope you get spoiled rotten tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Photo Shoot - Pattern # 1

I had so much fun doing a photo shoot today at Fresh Take Furniture in Summerland. John and Candy, the owners, have such a fantastic display of antique and unique furniture and accessories, it was like shooting on a hollywood set with props galore. They even had an antique sewing chair! Check out their new Facebook page at Fresh Take Furniture. At one point I was sitting on the floor trying to get a shot when a customer walked in. Awkward! Here's a sneak peek at one photo I love (but won't be using because it suddenly hit me that the potpourri should really go in a bowl!) So hilarious, and plus you can hardly see the silk screen which is the whole point of the pattern.

Coming soon...this DIY Screen Print Table Runner pattern will be available in local quilt shops, and on my website. If you love the design, and want to try silk screening encourage your guild or local quilt shop to book me now to teach a class in your area. I'd love to meet you. Just click on Brandy Lynn Designs for a direct link to my website. 

Saint Germain Opening

Thank you to everyone who came to the art opening at Saint Germaine Cafe Gallery!

I met some fantastic new people from the Okanagan and from all over the world. And it was such a joy to see so many familiar faces out to show their support. The work of Carol Munro (encaustic) and Gillian Tucker (acrylic) was exceptional and I am very pleased to have my fibre art displayed among such talent. It was inspiring to hear them express the details of their work and I loved sharing my inspiration as well.

A true highlight was thumbing through the guest book after closing time and spying this lovely comment...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes

My sewing machine has been taken over by my son today. A wonderful part of my day, every day is that my son rushes downstairs after school to see what I'm working on in my studio. He often sets up his homework on my business desk while I whisk away tasks at the sewing machine. Today, though, was a bit different. The moment he walked in the door he called me upstairs with an urgent plea to "make a craft, something to sell so I can save money to buy things."
This little idea had been mulling over in his brain since the day before when I explained that I was making  baby blankets to sell at the upcoming quilt show boutique.

By the time he finished his homework, I had an idea of what he could make for the boutique. I found some 5" leftover backsplash tiles so we embarked on a project to put quilted covers on them to make into coffee coasters. We made wonderful progress, getting them cut and sorted and the first bits sewn. Here are a few quick shots of his tiny fingers and toes at my sewing machine.

So cute! I'll keep you updated over the next few weeks as to how his project is going. We have plenty of time since the show is not until October.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Landing an Art Exhibit

Today I am doing the final prep for a cafe/gallery exhibit at Dogtown Coffee Company in Okanagan Falls, BC. I am always happy to be in the final stages of prep because most of the hard work is already done and now it is time to share and enjoy. 

Here are some quick tips on finding a venue to exhibit your fibre art:

1. Start small. You do not need your first exhibit to be in the city's main gallery. Search out small cafes, local businesses, or even dental offices that exhibit art. If you notice places with blank walls, start up a conversation. They just need to be willing to accept payment on your behalf including taxes if that is required for your business. Having them hand out a business card so the buyer can find you doesn't always translate into a sale. Buyers want to take the piece now. 

2. Approach the places you love. If they have great food or a great setting, and they recognize you as a loyal customer, you may have a better shot. Consider how your fibre art would fit in with the decor of the place. You don't want your art shoved in between signed hockey jerseys in your local barber shop. 

3. Layout the guidelines. Small exhibit spaces may take from 10% to 30% commission. You should never pay a monthly space rental with commission on top. Some cafes even take no commission in exchange for a nice rotation of trendy art on their walls. 

4. Get it in writing. Even if it is as informal as a list of the fibre art pieces with titles and prices, the length of time they will exhibit, and what the agreement is if a piece is lost, damaged, or stolen, there needs to be a contract and both parties need to sign it. 

5. Provide the cafe with a customer info form. If the cafe can collect the buyer's basic information for you, then you can add it to your contact list or send them a hand written thank you note. Also, when a customer buys your work, they should receive a receipt, your business card, and care instructions for the art at the bare minimum.

When you do land a space to display your work, now is the time to blast your social media connections, but also, be sure to sit back and revel in the joy of it. The owner of a cool trendy spot has accepted your work! (that means they love it!) It also opens up the door to new income which is what we are aiming for. Now get creating, and good luck!