Monday, June 1, 2009

Nine Patch Media Makes DVDs, Vogue has New Patterns

Hooray, I have something to crow about--HP sent me a replacement printer and it works! Finally I can scan again so I can do reviews of artwear books and patterns and DVDs! I had to send back the original printer but when I got to FedEx they were closed for the day (businesses close early around here, something I haven't gotten used to yet.) So I made "lemonade." I went across the street, got out my camera, and took photos of Mt. Konocti and Clear Lake, CA. Here's one for you (and yes, anything I post in my blog is copyrighted automatically.)

Making Nine Patch Media DVDs
Elizabeth Phillips, Chris Manuel, and Sharon Pederson are partners in Nine Patch Media which makes instructional DVDs. I reviewed their work when I told you about Pamela Allen's DVD. I have been wanting to review Carol Doak's DVD among others from this same company, but first I will share with you Sharon's description of what's involved in making these DVDs. Now that you've seen how Rachel Clark uses traditional quiltmaking in her garments, you might be even more interested in the DVDs.

Nine Patch Media
by Sharon Pederson (including photos from Elizabeth Phillips)

These are photos of Sharon Pederson on the DVD set.

A little over a year ago, when my pension checks started arriving, I thought it might be time to start thinking about retiring from my "job" of teaching quilting and writing quilting books. So, when I received an invitation to do a DVD from a woman I had met through a mutual friend, I thought it might just work in with my thoughts about "slowing down." I could make a DVD and then stay home but still "teach" via the DVD. Seemed like a great idea.

Fast forward 15 months or so and my schedule doesn't look the least little bit like that of a "semi-retired" person, which thrills me to death. With my two friends and partners, Elizabeth Phillips (who sent what I thought was an invitation to shoot a DVD), and Chris Manuel, we are now Nine Patch Media. Her invitation, which I misunderstood, was to form a partnership and create high quality DVDs with North American quilt teachers and wearable art teachers. Their jobs were to handle the technical and marketing ends of things, and my job was to contact the artists--many of whom were friends I had worked with. Hmm...tough job! So now I get to work with my two new friends, the highly talented Chris and Elizabeth, and with my old friends who have to come to our studio on Vancouver Island to be "shot."

Sharon on set with Barbara Olson

My participation in the project has opened my eyes to a whole new way of teaching. To be able to spend time with some of my favorite people while they are in the studio is way more fun than retirement could ever be.

Sharon on set with Barb Shapel

Sharon on set with Ionne MacCauley

Imagine my job: I meet the teacher/friend at our brand new little airport in Comox, BC, ferry her (so far it has all been women but we would love to have one of the "guys" come and do a DVD with us) to the motel (a very nice, inexpensive place about 10 minutes away from the studio), get her settled, and (here comes the hard part) take her to one of the many great restaurants for dinner. After a good night's sleep I pick her up and drive her to the studio where we go over the day's schedule, pick the quilts/garments for the backdrop, check lighting and sound levels, then dive right into filming.

Ionne MacCauley hard at work with Sharon.

Typically, the first scene consists of the artist getting used to the camera and the "artificial" feeling of talking into a lens. Usually by the second scene they are pros and we sail through the morning's takes. After a quick, nutritious lunch we're back in the studio for the afternoon's work. By five-ish we are all ready to call it a day and we're off to yet another nice restaurant in Courtenay or Comox then back to the motel for beauty sleep. Our usual shoot lasts two days (unless it's me in which case it takes days because I live here and we don't have the pressure of getting everything done before the artist has to catch a flight back home).

For me and the visiting artist the work is mostly done, but it is just starting for Chris and Elizabeth who do all of the editing and post-production work. When they are finished making it all look and sound pretty, I get to edit it for content (as does the artist) and then it goes off to be replicated.

Our reception by quilters has been phenomenal. It appears that in these troubled financial times people are looking for a way to satisfy their need to take classes without having to travel long distances to catch up with their favorite teachers. The reviews we've read all mention the luxury of having the teacher at home with the student, and her availability, day or night, to repeat the section that was a bit troublesome. The production values are superb, and the ease of finding the right chapter to watch either a repeat of the lesson or to laugh again at the outtakes is top-notch. Every production includes a trunk show and many also include a tailor-made EQ6 lesson.

Our distribution network is astonishing for a company that didn't exist until early 2008--our titles are carried by major distributors all over North America, Europe, Great Britain, and Australia, and orders are being shipped all over the world. The disks are "region free" which means they can be played on television sets or computers anywhere, unlike some movies which can be viewed only in the country where they were purchased.

We are proud of our "little company that did," and we hope that after sampling the titles we have produced, that you'll want to go out and get a copy of your favorite title for yourself. The list of fabulous teachers with finished DVDs available includes: Margaret Miller, Carol Doak, Pamela Allen, Jackie Robinson, Barbara Olson, Barbara Shapel, Lorraine Torrence, Ionne McCauley, and myself. The list of upcoming titles includes repeat visits from Margaret Miller, Lorraine Torrence, and Barbara Shapel, and first timers Marti Michell, Karla Alexander, Mimi Dietrich, and Mary Covey. (If you're not familiar with the work of Sharon Pederson, check out The DVDs are distributed through Martingale & Company ( or Nine Patch Media (

New Vogue Patterns
If you are interested in the latest Issey Miyake pattern, go look here:
However, I am thrilled by a whole bunch of new Vogue patterns that you can see at this site. (They're having a $5.99 sale online June 1-3.) Among my favorites are the Koos caftan, a Rucci top with a very interesting back (I'm probably too small and pudgy to wear those sleeves), a couple of patterns from Lynn Mizono who has her own take comparable to Issey Miyake, and a new one under the Miyake label. I like the Sandra Betzina tunic but don't want to play at adapting a pattern for knits to woven fabric. Marcy Tilton also has a t-shirt pattern, this one with side interest.

I've been in Lynn Mizono's studio and loved her small but important details that made her clothes extraordinary, so I'm delighted that she has put out patterns and I want to try them out. She works with rectangles and circles so you'd have large spaces for surface design. The garments I saw were made in white linen but I'll bet we could even piece the fabric and make it work. There are two other new designers worthy of note--I'll have to check them out more. Right now I didn't want to go to that extreme. Take a look so you'll see what I mean.

The Fashion Show on TV
Speaking of extreme, how are you doing with that new tv show, The Fashion Show? I was disappointed that they aren't running the whole series online after all. I'll have to wait for reruns, if they have them. For me there's a certain charm missing. Is it that the combination of Tim Gunn and the others holds to a more classy standard on Project Runway? The new show feels somehow uneven, clumsy, even inept. They put the designers through hell with their little quick challenges. How would you like to fix a zipper while everyone is watching and you're working against the clock? I'm glad they finally disbanded the teams. The little chats in the hallway come off catty--maybe just because of the setting. And unfortunately, I haven't gotten to know the competitors well enough either in the quality of their work or as people, to begin to care. Is the camerawork that different? Are we missing more close-ups and sewing details? I have to see all of it again to be more objective, but when I'm more interested in watching Chimps of Eden, something is wrong with The Fashion Show.

Sundyes with Karren K. Brito
Karren Brito, dyer extraordinaire, is giving classes in her Entwinements Studio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Dye small projects in a fully equipped studio, Sundays, 1-6 PM, $15 in advance, $25 at the door. Email Karren at June 7 is Dip dye a skein, June 14 is Paint a skein, and June 21 is Indigo Vat. For more details online, go to

And in additional news...
My 20 year old cockatiel, Squirt, broke his wing and can't fly, but the vet says he's fine, just very old and needs lots of TLC. I'm a caretaker already so what's another soul in my hands. I have to crochet him ladders and ramps so he can get around without falling. I thought somehow that was appropriate. I'm using jute and nylon ropes and a variety of crochet hooks to see what works best. Please speak up if you can suggest something better. Till next we meet, cheers, Rosalie

No comments: