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Author Interview & a Blog Raffle!

4 Dec 2008

Above: Debbi Crane, Pokey Bolton, and Cheryl Prater at Make It University! at International Quilt Festival/ Chicago in 2007.
We have a very special guest with us today: Debbi Crane, co-author of MIXED MANIA: RECIPES FOR DELICIOUS MIXED MEDIA CREATIONS recently published by Interweave.
Debbi, we’re so glad you could join us today! I must say, you co-authored along with Cheryl Prater a very chic mixed-media book! Interesting title, interesting concept. Tell me a little bit about the idea behind your book.

Cheryl and I were really committed to doing a book that retained our individual voices and art-making styles.  Cheryl does a lot with found objects and kind of sits down in front of her materials and makes what comes to her; I, on the other hand, tend to plan out every little step of a project before I even thing of picking up my scissors.  The combination of our styles might seem a little crazy, but I think if we were exactly alike there would be no reason for us to collaborate.  I hope we have shown our readers that the mixed media table is big and there’s room for everybody.

This arts and crafts book is a rare and welcomed treat because it is written with such wit and humor.  I love how each chapter opens with the banter between you and Cheryl. It's like a slumber party I want to crash.

Cheryl and I wanted the words to be as interesting as the artwork.  I have to thank our editor, Darlene D’Agostino for working so hard with us to get the dialogue just right, but Cheryl and I have had a natural sass in our conversations since we met in 2006.

What was your favorite part or project?

I love the design process – dreaming up new projects, writing the instructions, seeing the ideas come to life, working out the bugs and figuring out how slick I can make the engineering.

I know you're an art teacher by day. Now that you are an author, do your students treat you with celebrity status?

Not really, but maybe they will when my segment on Quilting Arts TV airs!

Note to readers: Debbi taped a segment with us at Make It University!™ this past April in Chicago. Her segment will appear in Series 300 of Quilting Arts TV, which begins airing nationwide December 26th.

Debbi, I have to tell you, I was inspired by your quilted clutch project. I love how playful it is and this weekend I am going to make a few for gifts.
In fact, I have a clutch in progress (below) and I'd love to give it away as a little blog raffle treat right now! 

  Better clutch

What question should I ask everybody to answer in the comments area, Debbi?

If you could have a craft date with any crafter or artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Ooooh, that is a great question! And a tough one! For anybody who would like a chance to win this quilted clutch, please answer the above question in the comments area by Monday 5:00 PM EST. I will then draw the winner and post to the blog Tuesday morning (along with some of your responses).

So, Debbi, I'm curious what is next for you down the pike. More books? Will you be joining us in Chicago and teaching a Workshop at Make It University!™ this coming April? Will you be writing more articles for us? Are you teaching anywhere?

I would love to do another book.  It was hard work, but the kind of hard work I love.  I am so delighted with the results. 

Yes, I will be in Chicago with my mom and daughters.  I am not sure the quilt show is ready for three generations of Crane women!

I hope to be in Cloth Paper Scissors again soon.  I always have projects in various stages of completion for potential articles, and I will be embarking on my sixth year of daily art in 2009.

 Debbi, I must ask: You know you have that rock star glam about you (I mentioned this in a previous post). Did you ever dream of being a rock star? If so, what band would you have joined? And are you going to participate in our Rock On! Art Quilt challenge?

I am a rock n roll girl, I must admit.  I listen to the radio way too loud in the car and sing at the top of lungs, much to the dismay of my girls.  I tell them – If it’s too loud, you’re too old! 

I would say that I’d join Fleetwood Mac or maybe Heart – my husband’s fave – but there always seems to be drama in a band, so I’ll stay a solo act. 

Yes, I’m doing the Rock On! Art Quilt challenge!  Love it!!

Debbi, thanks for being our special guest on the Quilting Arts blog today! For people wanting to check out Debbi and Cheryl's book, you can learn more here.

And don’t forget to share in the comments area who your artist/craft date would be!

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Andee Wasson wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 2:13 PM
If would want to have a craft date with Jean Ray Laury. In the 70's I was struggling with Agoraphobia, an d pretty much housebound, but I did get library books from a book mobile, the person who drove it brought me some of her books , sure I would love them after she had seen some of my own art work. I was so impressed I wrote to Jean to thank her for writing them. She not only wrote back over many months she encouraged me and taught me quilting and soft sculpture via snail mail. I have thanked her many times, but I would love to meet her in person to tell her what a difference her art and personal kindness and encouragement made in my life. I have been free of Agoraphobia and limits since 1989.
Lisa wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 4:09 PM
I am inspired by so many people that it's difficult to choose one person. If I could choose from any time period I would love to meet and play with Georgia O'Keefe. Her images are very inspiring. Thanks for the fun interview. I'm looking forward to the new season of Quilting Arts TV.
Naomi S. Adams wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 5:22 PM
It's hard to choose, but Jane Sassaman is always at the top of my list. Her work has so much joy and life to it, without the art looking laboured. I continually read her book to get inspiration. I know that my own work is inspired by hers! :) Naomi
Jane wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 5:39 PM
I would like to have a one to one with Mary Ellen Hopkins. I love her ideas and her sense of humour.
Lisa wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 5:49 PM
There are so many wonderful artists. Can I divide them up by categories? Couture: Madielenne Vionnet Art: Di Vinci Math: Escher Quilting: Ruth McDowell & Harriet Hargrave How can you pick just one????
Maggie wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 5:56 PM
Hmmmm? Since I've taken classes with Nancy Crow, Carol Taylor, Katie Pasquini Masopust I will take them off my list. I can think of so many artists- most I've met through your magazines! I'd like to meet Linda & Laura Kemshall because I'm doing a C&G course with them on-line. I'm planning on going to the Birmingham show one year!
Dot Highter wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 7:20 PM
Making a choice is difficult as I am a true fiber addict so individuals inspiring me are many. But a few would be Kumiko Sudo, Eleanor Pearce Bailey,Yvonne Porcella and all the contributors to both Quilting Arts & Cloth, Paper, Scissors. The interviews like this latest one are truly inspiring. Oh to have the time and resources to travel attending all the workshops available. Once again thank you for bringing all these artists into our homes by print and video.
Sue Perkins wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 8:34 PM
OK, so this may sound a little "brown nose", but I would choose Pokey Bolton. My reason is that she comes up with so many interesting ideas and she works with all of the other creative artist who share their tips and tricks with her. She is so generous in sharing what she does, and she seems like someone who would make a great friend and would be fun to hang out with.
Linda schiffer wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 10:33 PM
I think I would wish first for DaVinci. I'd like to sit off to the side and watch him work or just listen to him chat (suitably translated into contemporary English, of course!:). I'd love to hear/see what such a genius was doing at any given moment. Second maybe would be Van Gogh -- just to tell him he was great and not to be so sad. :) :) Linda
milkcan wrote
on 4 Dec 2008 11:38 PM
I'm a huge fan of Ruth Rae. I don't know her at all, but recently started reading her blog and I just love her work. I'd love to sit down and chat with her about her process. I'm very interested in how people create what they do. Do they sketch? Play? Plan? No plan? Love to know!
Bethel of Bethania wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 1:55 AM
G'day, Sorry I can't really name just one person, so ... I'd like to have the money, energy & strength to meet & do all the classes/workshops + all the goings on at the Make It University in both or either Chicago or Houston - what a ball that would be + such an educational curve... but then reality is ... I get both mags - QA & CPS + many of the books/DVD's + QA TV on DVD... so I just have to be content with that I guess. I'm very thankful I have a computer to bring all my favourites into my home each week some even come to my Gyrlie Shed to play too... OOroo ... Bethel
Katina wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 4:02 AM
Louis Comfort Tiffany...his work in glass, jewelry & metal is absolutely phenomenal and I have admired his art since I was very young. I would love to learn even one little thing from him. And then, that one "little thing" would be translated into my fiber art, just like everything else I have learned from all the other artistic endeavors I have played with over the years.
kathy wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 6:24 AM
Valori Wells......I love how she inteprets her photos into quilts and also her free style of quilting really inspires me.
Royce Vaughn wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 6:52 AM
DaVinci is one of my favs and I think very highly of Frank Lyod Wright, he influences my home deco very much. But for my date I'd have to say Carol Duval. Yea that's right - I've watched her on TV for many years and she has inspired me to try crafts I'd never try otherwise. She just touches on what can be done with a material and then you can let you imagnation run wild. I might never have tried poly clay, painting on cloth or so many other things if not for her show. My mixed media quilts pay homage to her. She jump starts my brain. I joke often when I grow up I want to be Carol Duval.
Carol Wiebe wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 6:53 AM
I would love to sit and learn PhotoShop from Maggie Taylor. She sometimes has 80 layers in one of her creations! They are so evocative, so dreamlike, with symbolism running rampant! I use Photoshop Elements a lot to design my quilts, and create collage elements for my quilts, so learning from the best would be a dream come true!
Patti Pasteur wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 8:03 AM
I would have loved to meet Georgia O'Keeffe and talk about her wonderful big flower paintings and the colors she used. Someday I'd like to take a workshop from Beryl Taylor or any of the fabulous artists featured in QA or CPS.
Mary K. mcGraw wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 8:15 AM
I would like to spend some time with four Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, and Marie Bracquemond. In their time they were treated with critical ambivalence and lacked major public exhibitions, though their works were as innovative as those of their male counterparts. They all overcame major obstacles to contribute to the development of Impressionism. In addition they challenged the conventional ideas of acceptable behavior for women of their time.
Judy Colpack wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 8:29 AM
I'd love to have a craft date with Pam Sussman. She taught a class at my Needlearts Guild last year and I fell in love with her techniques. She combines everything I love to do -- fabric, paper, beading, fancy stitching and book making. What else can you ask for!! I have her book and it's definitely shop worn!!! She'd be a great asset to one of your Quilting Arts segments.
michelle wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 8:41 AM
I would love to spend some time with Lynda Monk (aka Purple Missus). I am always drooling over her work in her blog.
Joyce wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 9:01 AM
This was an easy one for me! I want to meet Pokey Bolton IRL!! You have opened up such a new world to me! I appreciate all the wonderful artists and ideas you have brought my way first through Quilting Arts magazine, then Cloth, Paper, Scissors, and now I'm just loving the QA TV DVDs!! I play them while I'm working in my sewing room. I love the variety of projects you've exposed me to and the great instructions as well. Just enough to get me going. We could take a side trip to Blicks on our way to lunch. :)
Cathy Bullington wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 9:11 AM
Well if my craft date can't be with Debbi Crane, (who I am lucky enough to live in the same town with and have had craft dates with before) then I would want to have a chance to work with Yoshiko Wada and learn more about shibori!
Robbie Payne wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 9:13 AM
Well, obviously with Debbi or Cheryl! But I'd also like to be inspired with a full day of working with Beryl Taylor! I reference her book often in my work. Wine, chocolate and mixed media with Beryl in a sunny, wooded, fall retreat.
Beth M wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 9:34 AM
There are so many artists that I would love to meet and have "play" time with, each one for different reasons. Jane Balshaw, Carol Taylor, Deidre Adams, the Kemshalls, Rosalie Dace, Jane Dunnewold and many more. How do you pick just one? If I had to pick just one, I think it would be the Kemshalls. They work in such a different way than I do. I would love to hear about their thought processes and learn more about their journals that they make and about the different techniques that they use.
Patti Crane wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 9:41 AM
It would ,of course,have to be the beautiful and talented Debbi Crane. I always have lots of ideas and she has the talent and ambition to do anything she sets her mind to. She has been crafting ALL her life,therefore I want her all to myself for a crafting for mom day. I can see a beautiful glitzy jean jacket in my future if this were to happen.
Meg Rogers wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 9:56 AM
Leslie Riley, Pokey, Claire Fenton, Rayna Gillman, my daughter. All have pushed/encouraged me (even if they were unaware of it) to try new things and to remember it IS only fabric - so what if I mess up? And, I gotta say - if I could have Carol Soderlund to myself for an entire!
Jo Watkins wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 10:03 AM
I would love to meet Maggie Grey as she is such an influential figure in the field of embroidery, and now mixed media, especially in the UK. As she is continually experimenting with new products and ideas, a day spent with Maggie would be exhilarating.
Linda Kernodle wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 10:44 AM
Carol Duvall - She does a lot of repurposing, and quilters do a lot of repurposing. She might give some new insight.
Phyllis in Sonoma wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 10:55 AM
DiVinci would be my ultimate choice but then Nancy Crow and Laura Wasilowski would be my choice for people I'd love to spend the day with. I have to say thank you to Quilting Arts Magazine for continuous inspiration.
Sandy wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 11:39 AM
Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol (his early work), Piet Mondrian (his late work), Chagall + others. Philip Glass excites me, although he's a musician. I am drawn to found art and assemblages, minimalism, and painting/printing that takes advantage of it's strengths, i.e., being 2-dimensional, as opposed to representing 3-dimensions. (Altho' I am not opposed to it!) I do want to add that the artists' work I see in both Quilting Arts and ClothPaperScissors is very exciting and inspiring. I love new and 'unknown' artists because they sometimes have the newest ideas and take the most risks with the least self-consciousness.
Phylis Fitz wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 1:10 PM
My all time favorite artist is a mixed artist/painter here in Kentucky, Alice Gatewood Waddell. Her art is phenomenal and she has inspired me for many years. So when I became familiar with Beryl Taylor, it was the same reaction I got from seeing Ms. Waddell's art. I love it love it. It would be a dream come true to have a play day with Ms. Taylor.
alena mccruma wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 1:15 PM
My choice was so obvious that I did not need to think about it. Hollis Chatelain is the artist I would love to meet. I have tried getting into her classes but they are always full. She is a humanitarian and is trying to have quilts recognized as an art form to non-quilters around the world. alena
Donna Funnell wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 3:12 PM
I would love a studio date with Leslie Riley. I have admired her work for a long time.I also love how she works in a confined studio, her bedroom. I work in small spaces and its good to see that not all artists have a glorious and large studio. I find Leslie's artwork to strike a chord in my heart because of the memories of a time past that it invokes.
Regina Dunn wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 3:37 PM
I would love a craft date with Gustav Klimt. It would be wonderful to see how he would use fabric and fiber with his trademark patterns and colors.
alice wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 5:11 PM
I would have to choose my Great Aunt Mimi. I don't remember meeting her but she was famous in my family for crocheting, smoking and sucking on Canada Mints - all at the same time. She was one of a kind and believed that all would be right in the world if you just had a hook in your hand and made something. If I am stuck or unble to begin a project or just out of sorts I think of her ... get out some supplies and just start something. A great way to move forward.
bybethstudio wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 6:04 PM
I would like to have a craft date with my late Memere, Claire Ferry. She took up crocheting in her retirement and while she taught me a little bit of chain stitch as a young girl I would be much more into it now and would love to get a chance to see her again. I also would like to have craft dates with my late great grandfather, Sydney Eastwood and great uncle, Eric Eastwood who were both French Quarter artists. My great grandfather died way before I was born and his watercolors are beautiful;I'd love to talk to him about them. We recently discovered an unknown book of wood block prints my great uncle did. I never knew he was an artist. He didn't think he was good so he never showed anyone. He died when I was a child. They are the most beautiful intricate wood block prints I've seen....too bad we don't have the wood blocks! Those would make some awesome art quilts!
Kari wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 6:53 PM
I would love to spend a day with Lynne Perrella and learn how to make the paperdolls she makes. They are so layered and beautiful. Very close behind would be Beryl Taylor.
Jill wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 7:27 PM
This is a hard question! Pokey, I think it would be great to have a craft date with you. Or with Beryl Taylor or Carol Duvall or Tim Holtz. Or with Monet. But I think I'll pick the ArtGirlz (yeah, I know, that's two people!!). I love their art and I think they'd be really fun to hang out with.
Dale Anne wrote
on 5 Dec 2008 11:13 PM
Pamela Allen would be the person I'd LOVE to have a day with....almost a couple of times but family medical problems caused me to stay home. THANKS for this interview with Debbie!!!
maeve binder wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 1:37 AM
I went to Santa Fe for the first time in my life and painted in Georgia O'Keefe's favorite places. Visited her Ghost Ranch as well and just fell in love with New Mexico, period. BUT I would LOVE to meet and spend a day or two with Robbi Joy Eklow. First of all, her book FREE EXPRESSION is the best at explaining the intricacies of free motion quilting. Her articles in QA usually have me laughing out loud - I'd swear she is my twin sister separated at birth! Her ramblings in the Oct/Nov 2008 issue described me to a "t". Robbi gets my vote and a smile too!
Jessi wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 2:53 AM
I would probably choose my mom. We have a great time together, can relax, she can help me when I get stuck and there is no pressure! I just enjoy the process of learning and creating with her! Jess
Anita Heady wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 7:49 AM
We moved out of Florida in 2007 and I greatly miss my Wednesday bee, The Killer Bees group of Pensacola. Ann Root, Agnes Adkison, Barbara Goebel, Eileen Gudmundson, Dorothy Williams, Wynnell Shows, Mary Elma Smith, Pat Baker & her sister Susan and many others who became part of our group through the years were wonderful inspiration for me. I would not be the fiber artist I am today without them. They encouraged me to try new things, enter quilts into shows, gave me courage to eventually start my own fiber arts business in Georgia. Many of us have moved away and I would love one more months of Wednesdays (one day isn't enough) to be with them again.
Nancy in FL wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 10:27 AM
So many to choose from! But I'll pick Rose Hughes... her book "Dream Landscapes" is sitting in front of me now, and her quilts and stitching/embellishing methods are unique and fascinating.
Nancy in FL wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 10:29 AM
So many to choose from! But I'll pick Rose Hughes... her book "Dream Landscapes" is sitting in front of me now, and her quilts and stitching/embellishing methods are unique and fascinating.
candy grisham wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 11:34 AM
Right now, this week it would be with Carol Taylor in her studio. I just spent one day with her and want more. A week in her studio? That would be divine.
Kim Wulfert wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 12:42 PM
Without hesitation, Nancy Crow.
Fulvia wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 4:50 PM
Pocahontas Bolton, that's who!
Doreen Kinkade wrote
on 7 Dec 2008 12:47 AM
I would pick Lynda Monk. She is always experimenting and shows you how she does the fantastic projects.
kayla wrote
on 7 Dec 2008 12:48 AM
a date with jackson pollock would be so much fun...paint splattering everywhere and large canvases strewn across the floor of a huge loft...yum.
llb wrote
on 7 Dec 2008 12:44 PM
So hard to choose - lots of talented people out there ! I would love to take a class with Jane Davies - I love her collage and her collages w/ color.
Sue in Minneapolis wrote
on 7 Dec 2008 2:18 PM
My list is also very long, but at the top would have to be DJ Pettitt. Why? I had the great luck to have had one class with DJ several years ago. She is so willing to share, offer suggestions, and push you in your own direction. Not to mention that her art is superb.
Jamie V wrote
on 7 Dec 2008 8:45 PM
My dream craft date would be with Lenore Tawney - she was 100 years old when she died in 2007. She was an amazing fiber artist and sculptor. She definitely pushed the limits in the craft/art world and her work is amazing. I love her book - Signs on the Wind - Postcard Collages... Jamie V in MT
Joan J wrote
on 7 Dec 2008 10:56 PM
I'm a traditional quilter, though I admire those with the creativity to do art quilts! If I could spend time with someone I consider an "artist" in the quilt world, it would be Harriet Hargrave - master machine quilter and author of several books on machine quilting and machine applique. I've read interviews with her and just seems like someone I can not only learn from, but enjoy having a cup of tea with!
whitney wrote
on 8 Dec 2008 9:12 AM
I would love to meet the Kemshalls as well. I reread their book "The Painted Quilt" over and over again just hoping their talent will rub off onto me!
Trish C. wrote
on 8 Dec 2008 9:40 AM
For sure it would be Da Vinci. He was creative in so many areas that it would be wonderful to get into that mind and maybe find some new ways to "see" things. I like adding new techniques and materials to my arsonal and I am sure I would come aways with hundreds of ideas from him.
Denny Peterson wrote
on 8 Dec 2008 9:54 AM
This is a tough question! Today, I think I'd like to spend time with Beryl Taylor. She works with fabric (which is where I feel comfortable), but is also out there with other art things so that I feel brave enough to try those other things every once in a while to see what happens. And, she seems like she has a sense of humor so things aren't too serious along the way!!
Joanie Hoffman wrote
on 8 Dec 2008 10:27 AM
Carla Sonheim for a day & Karen Grenfell (of for a day would be a wonderous treat for me!
Sharon Eisen wrote
on 8 Dec 2008 1:37 PM
My wish list varies from day to day, but right now my tastes run to Vera Wang, Tina Givens and Linda and Laura Kemshall. Perhaps I am focusing on the season and the need to buy a gift for a friend who is a make-up artist and entertainer with a funky but restrained side to her. I think that these artists fit the bill. Not only that but they seemed focussed and ever so polite. Their verbal delivery is subdued, yet their style is somewhat bold. I would think that they could convey their message in a polite but controlled method and not scare the life out of me! I like the way that they deliver their message.
Janet wrote
on 8 Dec 2008 5:58 PM
FRIDA KAHLO.....she was like none other. She was beautiful, talented and her art makes you think.
Linda Richter wrote
on 9 Dec 2008 3:16 PM
There are so many I love! So I think the one that I would like to have back to craft all day with would be my mom! I think I missed the cut-off..must've been yesterday.