behind the scenes at The Quilt Show

behind the scenes at The Quilt Show

Patricia’s episode of The Quilt Show [see TheQuiltShow.com], No. 3210, will air on Sunday, May 7, 2023.

By Patricia Belyea

IRVING TX  Being a guest on The Quilt Show was thrilling. Not only did I meet Alex Anderson and the crew, I was treated like a star.

Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts with Alex Anderson, taping a segment for The Quilt Show

It was my choice to be the last one featured in a marathon of TV tapings—12 shows, two guests a day, for six days. Everyone was upbeat but I’m sure they were also exhausted.

My afternoon taping followed Irene Blanck’s session. Arlene, who created this year’s Block of the Month project for The Quilt Show, excels at hand applique´. Her designs and colors are outstanding. And what a lovely gal!

Irene Blanck from Australia in front of this year’s BOM for The Quilt Show

In the break after Irene’s session and before mine, we ate Mexican food for lunch while the walls were quickly spackled and painted. New rods were hung to match the width of my quilts from the series, Big Grid with Inserted Curves.

Prepping the set at The Quilt Show for taping a segment with Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts

Once the set was ready, producer Shelly Heesacker briefed Alex on my background story. And Shelly spelled my name phonetically for Alex—which is always a good idea.

Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts on set at The Quilt Show

The taping started with me sitting down with Alex on a comfy couch. We chatted for about 15 minutes. Today I have no memory of what we talked about but I do remember lots of laughter!

Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts on set for The Quilt Show

The next part of my segment was a demo about cutting up yukata cotton. I talked to Alex about hand-dyed yukata cottons from Japan and demonstrated how to confidently cut into the gorgeous fabric.

Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts on camera at The Quilt Show

I continued with a second demo. This time I showed Alex how to finish a quilt with a simple Designer Facing. Typically Ricky Tims would have joined me for this demo but he was sick at home.

Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts on camera at The Quilt Show

For the final 15 minutes of the show, Lisa Erlandson — an avid collector of quilts — talked with Alex about how to store treasured quilts.

Once Alex said her closing words “It’s a new day, every day,” the whole crew got in motion. Cameramen filmed my quilts, from top to bottom, before they were taken down. The living room was disassembled. The gear under the demo table got tucked into boxes. There were heartfelt goodbyes as the crew prepared to leave.  

Quilts by Patricia Belyea of Okan Arts at The Quilt ShowPacking up The Quilt Show, August 2022Alex Anderson of The Quilt Show

I signed out at the front desk of the TV studio and took an Uber to the airport before dark. My day in the lights closed with a late-night flight to Seattle. It was over in a flash but such a sweet memory.

The whole experience would not have been so smooth without the behind-the-scenes work of two powerhouses.

Lilo Bowman orchestrated all the logistics—travel, accommodations, quilt delivery, and more. She and I bonded as Lilo once lived on the island of Okinawa where she learned about Japanese textiles.

Lilo Bowman and Alex Anderson of The Quilt Show

Before I traveled to Texas, the producer Shelly Heesacker chatted on the phone with me for over three hours. Her job was to glean my story and simplify it for viewers.  Shelly, who names each episode, titled mine “Unexpected.” I liked that!

Shelly was on site, keeping everything on track for the content of the show. She encouraged us all and, off-camera, kept us laughing

Shelly Heesacker and Alex Anderson of The Quilt ShowHamming it up on the set of The Quilt Show, August 2022

Thank you to The Quilt Show for putting a spotlight on my quilts and my love of Japanese textiles!