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Behind the Scenes: Quilt Expo 2016

Quilt Expo 2016 is just around the corner, Sept. 8-10 at the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. In advance of the three-day expo, Wisconsin Public Television spent the day with Nancy Zieman to find out what goes into making Quilt Expo the ultimate quilting adventure. From storing contest quilts to prepping samples to making media appearances, preparing for Quilt Expo is a year-round production.

Escape, Create and Celebrate at Quilt Expo. Purchase discounted advance tickets at QuiltExpo.com through Sept. 5. Admission tickets and registration for remaining class openings will be available on-site during Quilt Expo.

A New Season of “Sewing With Nancy”

September is an exciting time at Wisconsin Public Television! A new season of Sewing With Nancy premieres 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on WPT, and the three-day Quilt Expo, co-presented by WPT and Nancy Zieman, takes place Sept. 8-10.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until September to enjoy Sewing With Nancy or start planning your Quilt Expo adventure. The first episodes from the 34th season of Sewing With Nancy are now available on wpt.org. Click here to watch Best Sweatshirt Makeovers, Favorite Scarves to Sew and more (just in time to get cozy for fall).

Planning ahead for Quilt Expo is almost as much fun as attending … almost. On her blog, Nancy talks about what she’s most looking forward to at this year’s expo — from must-see lectures to shopping for the latest notions to the Kids Quilt Challenge and everything in between. As Nancy says “It’s a big deal!”

There’s another benefit of planning for Quilt Expo in advance: Discounted prices are available for Quilt Expo advance tickets and class registration purchased through Sept. 5.

Watch the premiere episode of Sewing With Nancy below, and mark your calendars to join Nancy at the 2016 Quilt Expo.

Meet Nancy Zieman & Learn New Techniques at Quilt Expo

Registration for Quilt Expo 2016 is officially open! Every year, guests flock to Quilt Expo to Escape, Create and Celebrate. The three-day event, presented by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman, invites all quilt lovers to learn, laugh and draw inspiration from each other.

Quilt Expo | Sept. 8-10, 2016
Alliant Energy Center in Madison
Register early and save:
Register here.

Nancy Zieman, beloved host of WPT’s own Sewing With Nancy, which has been on the air since 1982, will appear at the Wisconsin Public Television booth to meet with all Quilt Expo attendees!

Don’t miss Quilt Expo’s 10-category quilt contest exhibit, showcasing the incredible talents of quilters from across the country. In addition, attendees can view this year’s brand-new Black & White Plus One Challenge, which spotlights unique ways of creating fabric masterpieces using only three colors.

Nearly 200 vendors at the extensive vendor mall will offer the latest machines, kits, fabrics, threads, notions and more. Additional highlights include a raffle for fantastic quilt-related prizes, as well as a community service project — Quilt to Give, led by Nancy Zieman — which invites attendees to donate their materials and skills to create bed-size quilts for those in need.

Visit quiltexpo.com for full details and to register for lectures, workshops and evening events! We hope to see you this fall.

Streaming Favorites for March

A lot of my favorite national dramas from PBS recently wrapped up, including Downton Abbey (let’s all share a moment of silence), and Mercy Street. In my search for great streaming content, I decided to bring it back home and focus on some of our locally-produced shows. So much of the quality content we broadcast at WPT is also available to watch online, so if you missed an episode – or if you’re a spoiled viewer like me, and only watch shows on-demand – check out some of our great, locally produced shows online.

Wisconsin Foodie
Kyle Cherek goes all over the state in a quest to discover the hidden gems of Wisconsin’s culinary scene. From cheese makers to beer distillers, Cherek shows us why it’s great to be a foodie in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Life
When you feel like you’re in a rut, Wisconsin Life can show you a new perspective and share some of the incredible, adventurous things going on across the state. This show highlights how diverse, creative and fun Wisconsinites truly are!

Continue reading Streaming Favorites for March

Garden Expo: Dan Tyler’s Search for Abundance

“This is a great way to spend a cold February day. It has us all looking forward. Ken Burns called it ‘the fond expectancy of spring.’” – Dan Tyler, Garden Expo Volunteer and Speaker

BackyardBlueberries

Each year, the Garden Expo brings thousands of people in from the cold to share their love of gardening. We wouldn’t be able to organize this event without the help of dedicated volunteers, folks who are passionate about their experiences and willing to share with others.

I sat down with Dan Tyler, an avid gardener and Madison resident, to talk about his personal experiences and his presentation on maintaining small-scale eco-yards.

DanTylerWhat inspired you to start presenting at Garden Expo?
I’ve come to the Garden Expo for years. I enjoy getting a lot of ideas and sometimes pick up a little equipment, but I especially love the opportunity to be on the stage.

I’m a volunteer; I’m not sponsored by anyone or selling any product, but it’s important to me to tell my story. I’m a younger homeowner, and I think it’s part of the American dream to own some land of your own. I always looked forward to that, and it became an enjoyable journey from a quarter-acre of lawn to a quarter-acre of abundance.

You use the word abundance a lot; can you talk more about that idea?
The notion of abundance – and I’m not talking about higher production rate – is the notion that the earth gives so much when you tend to its ecosystem, even on a small scale. Even a small yard can do a lot for you.

A lot of people today, we don’t have a lot of want in our life. We have so much going for us. Some people discover abundance out of need, but the more I study or contemplate it, I see that it’s about spending time on projects that are meaningful. I’m here at Garden Expo because I like to share that with people. Continue reading Garden Expo: Dan Tyler’s Search for Abundance

Behind the Scenes of Quilt Expo: Award-Winning Artist Cindy Frese

“Everybody loves everybody at Quilt Expo. Strangers are like best friends. I usually go with a few other ladies from the quilt guild, and there are vendors who are like family to us.” — Cindy Frese, Kenosha, WI

When Cindy Frese, one of the first-prize winners from last year’s Quilt Expo, says she’s “quilted in some odd places,” it’s an understatement.

“I did 20 years in the Navy and met my husband there. He worked with the State Department when I retired, and I followed him around to different embassies,” Frese says. “We lived in Nigeria for a couple of years, and were there for their first democratic election. We were in Egypt on September 11. We lived in Mexico and Mali. The first day after I retired, we went into Kuwait. That was in 1991, and the oil fires were still burning. So I’m taking two toddlers in, the first family to go back in after the war.”

Frese started quilting after the birth of her first daughter, and despite distance or difficulty, Frese took her hobby wherever she went.

“Kuwait was great for quilting because you could go to the open markets – there were no stores open at the time,” Frese says. “The ambassador’s wife and I were the only ones there, as far as government families went, but we met some oil company wives. We had nothing to do, so I taught them to quilt.”

Throughout her travels, Frese has found a way to work sewing and quilting into her life.

“My husband knows I pack more fabric than clothing. I can always sew something if I need to,” Frese says. “One time I did turn quilting fabric into evening gowns. Barbara Bush came to visit in Kuwait, and suddenly everyone needed something to wear.”

As she became familiar with different cultures, Frese began to appreciate the unique aspects of each region’s fabrics.

Are you ready for Quilt Expo this morning? Here’s a very fast 15-second sneak peek at the quilt contest exhibit. We hope you’ll get to spend a bit more time with these beautiful quilts today through Saturday!

Posted by Quilt Expo on Thursday, September 10, 2015

 

Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Quilt Expo: Award-Winning Artist Cindy Frese

Preparations for Quilt Expo are Underway

Every year a ton of work goes into making Quilt Expo a great place to “Escape. Create. Celebrate.” and one of the most rewarding tasks — processing entries in the 10-category juried and judged Quilt Contest — is now complete.

With hundreds of entries, it took a jury a full afternoon and most of the evening to sort through all the quilts and to choose the best order for displaying them. It’s a grueling task, but I can assure you the jury was looking forward to spending hours scrutinizing every stitch and detail of the quilts.

We snuck into the jury room and snapped some photos to give you an idea of how they make their decisions. Check out the photos below, and remember to see the quilts for yourself at the Quilt Contest exhibit at this year’s Quilt Expo, Sept. 10-12 in Madison. Continue reading Preparations for Quilt Expo are Underway

PBS Healthy Lunchtime Challenge sends Appleton girl to White House

When Jennifer Ganser, a health coach for ThedaCare in Appleton, first read about the PBS Healthy Lunchtime Challenge on Epicurious, she knew right away that it was a good opportunity for her family.

“I love cooking and so I thought, ‘hey, we could probably do this together,’” said Jennifer.

The nationwide recipe contest encourages children to cook and eat healthy and culminating with a state dinner hosted by first lady Michelle Obama, with winners attending from each state and territory.

Jennifer’s 10-year-old daughter, Anna Ganser, jumped in right away, and the family started collaborating on recipe ideas.

“I just thought it would be neat to meet the first lady and go to the Capitol. I like roasted vegetables and cucumbers, so we started there and decided on the Mediterranean idea,” said Anna.

After choosing several finalists, chefs re-created each recipe in Washington for a panel of judges who rated each dish by taste, nutritional value and affordability. After weeks of waiting, the Gansers were able to celebrate.

“When heard the news, I came home and told (Anna) in person,” Jennifer said. “All of her sisters were home, and it was a big party for a while.” Continue reading PBS Healthy Lunchtime Challenge sends Appleton girl to White House