Keep it down! We’re about to start taping!
When I was just a little girl (cue the orchestra!) I had a love for Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movies. Remember the fun they had? They were always knee-deep in hijinks and “putting on a show.” I always wondered how they coordinated the costumes, dance routines, and comedy so effortlessly… and now I know. They didn’t: it took a Hollywood production team to make those kids look good.
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes to bring a quilting show to a TV station (or online channel) near you?
Putting on the Show
As the person in charge of coordinating the creation of Quilting Arts TV, I’m intimately involved with all aspects of that show. But what about the long-running Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting show? I spoke with Vanessa Lyman about her involvement… who knew we had so much in common?
Vivika: QATV is filmed in Solon, Ohio at KS Productions studio with a large set, camera crew, and editing suite. Kathie Stull has been our producer since the first episode, and she keeps us all on track!
It can be grueling with early morning starts, but we try to keep it low-key for the 9-10 guests with “backstage tours” of the set and studio, walkthroughs of their segments, and lively dinners. What do you do to make your guests feel at home?
Vanessa: We have fewer guests on LOQ than QATV, but we do certainly enjoy dinners with them! We also plan phone conferences with myself, the guest, and our host, Sara Gallegos, to walk them through what to expect. I usually pick them up bright and early before the taping.
Vivika: Guest preparation is key to being relaxed and ready to tape. On our end, prep work starts months ahead of time. I work with QATV host Susan Brubaker Knapp to choose the guests, plan 13 episodes for each season, and fine-tune scripts. Between the prep work and follow up, it takes my team just about the same amount of time and effort to produce this show as it takes to create a magazine issue. What is your process?
Vanessa: Most of the LOQTV content is brainstormed between hosts Sara Gallegos, Angela Huffman, and me. I then present our ideas to Lori Baker, who is both Acquisitions Editor and the Editor of Love of Quilting magazine. All the projects are either provided as downloads or published in Love of Quilting magazine. We discuss fabric options and the publishing schedule, as well as the techniques and designs our viewers and readers might be interested in seeing. Then there’s the sewing, pattern writing and diagramming, scripting, and more!
Vivika: We also provide free content on our website and incorporate projects from the TV show in Quilting Arts magazine. I love how all the TV and magazine content intermingle and complement one another. We are just about to tape the 2400 series that will be released this summer. How about you?
Vanessa: We just shot our most recent series right after Saint Patrick’s day, the first we’ve filmed here in our very own studio in Golden, Colorado. We built a brand-new set, and I adore it. (I hope you all like it, too!) But to be honest, my absolute favorite part of Love of Quilting TV is opening, reading, and editing the tips for Sara and Angela to read. It never fails to bring a huge grin to my face. I know it’s a good tip if I can’t help saying, Oh! Smart! or Well, THAT’s cool. And often, I get a little misty-eyed by the nice things readers say. What’s even better is seeing Sara and Angela read the tips for the first time… And hear them say, “Oh, that’s smart!”
Yes, we certainly DO have lots in common. Both Vanessa and I love “Putting on a Show!”
QATV lover and Editor
Wouldn’t you love an opportunity to see one of these fantastic shows in the comfort of your own home?
You can “Put on the show” any time you like by watching a DVD or digital download of Quilting Arts or Love of Quilting shows. Both are available at the Quilting Company website. Join in the fun and watch with us!