We’re mid-way through taping Quilting Arts TV so I thought it would be fun to share my journey with you thus far. Let the pictures do the talking…

I had to chuckle when I boarded my flight to the taping and saw this on the back of the seat in front of me. We’ve all seen this critical, life-saving tip a million times before, but it’s one I never really considered until now. Having never hosted a TV show, never seen the set before, met the crew, etc., I think subconciously I was hoping for some sort of life line.

The first hurdle: The Set

Kathie Stull (owner/producer of the show) invited me to be a part of the design process for the set and I was honored to be asked. She and I consulted with my friend Bette Troy who is a world-renowned photo stylist and has styled TV commercials as well as some of the fashion catalogs we all love. Since Bette knows me well and she’s also a fiber artist, she came up with a clean, invigorating look that she presented to Kathie and me. Fabrics, paint colors, accent pieces, furniture…we all wanted them be fresh, fun, artful––something that would be indicative of Quilting Arts and also my dream studio. However, when you talk about concepts and colors over the phone, you don’t have that visual sense for how things will come together on the set. And I’ll admit, I didn’t get much sleep the end of August before I left for the taping because it was so important to me how the set looked.  Imagine my delight when Kathie created this set…

The walls are apple green, one of my favorite colors. And there’s bead board!

And a hutch!

And a window accented with nine-patch blocks my editorial staff made (thanks Cate, Barb, and Helen).

This is my studio with my design wall before I clutter it with all the things that inspire me. I was so overjoyed when I saw the set, I started to tear up. It was exactly what I’d want for my own quilting studio. (John, you’d better be taking notes…)

Day Two

I’ve just completed taping all 13 openers. (I’m smiling because it was my first task and I lived to tell about it.) I love this jacket (lots of hand stitching on in). The morning after I purchased it, I saw Meredith Vieira wearing it on “The Today Show.” Hey…if it’s good enough for Meredith, it’s good enough for me!

The next day the fun began because I have guests/friends with me. Every single one of them did a bang-up job on camera and we created quite a raucous in the green room.

Here my friend from St. Paul Wendy Richardson (Quilt Tapestry Studio) and Michelle Muska from Wrights realize they have a connection  from the past (this pin cushion has quite the story behind it). When it dawned on them they knew each other, they screamed so loudly, we heard them in the sound-proof studio. Leave it to quilters to make so much noise…

Laura Cater-Woods, Pam RuBert, and Wendy Richardson glamming up for the camera. They all did so well in their segments, these are smiles of jobs well done!

Laura Cater-Woods and I after the end of a hard day’s work.

From left to right: Me (obviously having a bad hair moment), Judy Coates Perez, Frances Holliday Alford, and Lesley Riley.

Here’s Frances and me getting ready for her segment. Check out all of the bead/found object mixes Frances has on set. You will NOT believe what she’ll put on a quilt. (I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. It’s top secret until the episode airs.)

Here Lesley Riley is talking to herself as she practices her segment. Isn’t she cute?

Shelly Stokes from Cedar Canyon Textiles. You would never guess she hadn’t been on TV before. Total natural…

The only shot I have of me with my good friend Beryl Taylor. I swear I’m not about to punch her.

Alison and Tracy Stillwell, the ArtGirlz. They NEVER fail to make me laugh. They promise me that when I’m ready, they’ll give me a mohawk, which they’ll happily do in their own backyard. “It’s so freeing,” Tracy told me. After all of the hair problems I’ve had on set, I’m looking forward to it.

But what really had me laughing was what the ArtGirlz gave me. Tracy, Allison, and I have had many deep, philisophical discussions about…well… the reality show, “Survivor.” I have a handful of TV shows I’m obsessed with–“Sopranos” for one (:::cough:::cough:::) and also “Survivor.”  Imagine my glee when Tracy and Allison gave me my very own Survivor buff! How many quilting hosts can boast they’ve been gifted their own Survivor buff?!

This Survivor buff will most definitely make a cameo appearance at Make It University next month (preview night of Quilt Festival begins on Halloween, after all).

We’ve been having so much fun and we’ve still to tape such art quilting celebrities as Jane Dunnewold, Susan (“Lucky”) Shie, and others that will bedazzle you.

Direct blog links for guests who have blogged about their Quilting Arts TV taping so far:

Pam RuBert

Lesley Riley

Judy Perez

Natalya Aikens

Elin Waterston

Frances Holliday Alford

Laura Cater-Woods

Will report back when we’re finished!