Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jena Moreno on Stitched: The Film

If you haven't heard about Jena Moreno and Stitched - it's about time you did! I have been following Jena as she discussed their progress on the film, from filming to now editing! I'm very excited for the release of thid documentary - if you're a quilter or a quilt artist you should be too!

I asked Jena to write a post for The Fiber Nation, to try and help promote the film:

From Jena Moreno:

Although I was born and raised in Houston, I never really paid much attention to the annual International Quilt Festival until 2005. That was the year Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans and thousands of evacuees took shelter in Houston's George R Brown Convention Center. Then Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

As a full-time journalist and a Houston resident giving shelter to two evacuees, months of my life were consumed by hurricanes.

Life seemed to return to normal when some 50,000 quilters descended on Houston and attended the annual quilt show at the convention center, which I pass on my way to and from work. The quilters all appeared so dedicated as they lugged their shopping bags and headed to the convention center early every morning.

I wondered what made these quilters so devoted to their craft? What would convince people to spend their vacation at a quilt show? It seemed like an excellent topic for a documentary, which I've never done before. However, I'm married to Tom Gandy, a cameraman and editor who can also write and record music.

I eventually convinced Tom to attend the 2009 quilt show and my best friend, Nancy Sarnoff, volunteered to attend the event and see if it was a viable project.

The International Quilt Association staff gave us incredible access. We met a fascinating group of quilters who welcomed us into their homes. We ultimately chose to follow Caryl Bryer Fallert, Hollis Chatelain and Randall Cook for a year.

Caryl won the Best of Show award in 2009 and she mentored Hollis who in turn mentored Randall. They illustrate the strong bonds of friendship that exist in quilting. We wanted to focus on some of the super stars of quilting who have stirred up some controversy with their work. Caryl was one of the first to win a major award with a machine-made quilt. Hollis was the first to paint a quilt and win Best of Show in Houston. She's won the award twice.

Randall created a quilt depicting a male nude, which turned some heads when it was displayed at the Houston show in 2007. We also wanted to include a male quilter in the documentary since more men are becoming involved in the quilting world.

We've traveled to several states and visited Paducah twice including once to the attend the American Quilter's Society show. We named the documentary Stitched and it will premiere in Cincinnati on April 8 at the International Quilt Festival. Later that month, it will screen 12 times in Paducah at the American Quilter's Society quilt show and the independent theater Maiden Alley Cinema. The process has been an amazing learning experience. We've learned what equipment to buy, how to fill out grant applications and how to market Stitched via social media sites.

We've received an enormous amount of support from quilters who seem hungry for a fun-filled glimpse at their lives, how some of their role models work and a behind-the scenes look at the quilt judging process. The Houston film community, including Aurora Picture Show, the Houston Film Commission and Cinema Arts Festival Houston has also been incredibly supportive, giving us tips about fundraising and screening short versions of Stitched.

Our family and friends have volunteered their time to help and given us cash to support this expensive endeavor. Complete strangers have given donations on fundraising platforms such as Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and RocketHub. We're hoping to raise a little more money to pay for the replication of 5,000 DVDs.

We hope quilters, documentary buffs and artists love Stitched and we can't wait to see if this drums up more interest in quilting industry.

--- Jena Moreno

I hope you will stop by the Stitched Website and check out the previews and clips available there!

The Fiber Nation (I) donated via the Kickstarter website, and was able to simply pay it via my Amazon account! Super simple! So, I'm asking you, if you have the means, stop by one of the links and give a little towards what looks to be a valuable documentary for quilters! If you donate on Kickstarter at the "Artist" level, which is just $25 dollars, you receive thank you credit as well as a copy of the Stitched DVD (available in April 2011.)

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I've followed Stitched on FB for quite some time and I'm excited to see it...I even saw the crew at the Houston Show this year! I wish it was coming out sooner to help me with my endevour to start a yearly quilt festival in my small town to promote quilting and young artists with scholarships and help educate the community on quilting and it's many facets! I think Jan is going to do a wonderful job at depicting this in her documentary!