I had sew much fun this weekend on my trip to Golden, Colorado where I had the opportunity to tape an episode of Sew It All TV Season 4. Taping was at the offices of Creative Crafts Group where they publish a myriad of popular sewing and hobby magazines including: Sew News, Sew It All, Creative Machine Embroidery, Love of Crochet, McCall's Quilting and many more. I had the opportunity to meet editors of some of the magazines that I had not met previously, see thier offices, meet the art department and see a sneak peek of my upcoming article in Sew It All (due out in June). It is a lovely 4 page spread on one of my coolest projects- also what I filmed for Sew It All.

So here is how it all happened:

I developed this amazing project last summer and started teaching some classes on the design. (I am keeping it a secret for now). I loved it sew much and I have written for Sew News in the past that I sent the idea to Ellen. I guess they loved it so much too that they did a lovely spread in the magazine and early last fall Ellen asked me to come on the show with my design. My taping date was April 30th but we started planning months in advance.

Prior to visiting the studios (which by the way are ADORABLE!!!!!) there is a lot of prep work. Time is limited so you have to prepare partially completed samples to jump to (aka the magic of television), so we email back and forth with questions, and I created many versions of my design in various stages. You also have to make doubles and triples of some things because if you mess up, or if there is a technical difficulty (like camera man forgets to push record- ok I don't know if that really happens) but you have extras for the just in case moments.

Fast forward to taping day:

So on the day of taping (I was so excited) there is a lot to do before you even record on camera. When you arrive you layout all your step out samples and press them all so they are camera ready. HDTV picks up everything. Then there is hair and make up. Now my hubby laughs at me because I am very animated and love being in front of people not a bit nervous, but I was nervous about my make up. I am kind of known for my smoky eyes, but they had me in a minimal color palate  that I never wear  (TV is different then real life)  so I have to admit I don't think I look anything like my normal self. We will just have to wait and see LOL! This is my normal look.

After hair and make up we did a run through with Ellen and then a run through with the director so we could work out any bugs, answer any questions and know the general order of things.


First I can't believe how fast it goes. I ran through my episode at my studio and it timed out at 30 minutes (you all know I talk a LOT). I email Ellen telling her I think I might go long. She reassures me it will go fast. That is also what the run through is for. We discussed parts to cut out, extras to add if we have time (I never need extras when I talk because I always have so many tips and tricks I run over I can't help it). We can't start taping because hair and make up keeps having to run from the computer room pull my hair out of the microphone (I have this problem everywhere I go the hair is such a DIVA). Finally we slick it off to one- side (I hope that is flattering on camera LOL). ACTION- wait stop Joi look at the camera for the intro when Ellen is talking. LOL I though I was being polite by looking at her. Ok I can fix that.

Action again: And we are off- we get one shot if you cough, burp, sneeze whatever just keep going they tell me.  Ok none of that happened to me, but I have to make fun of myself right?? Usually I am a total goober with really corny jokes but somehow in classes and person I make people laugh. So I tried not to do that on camera. I was comfortable the entire time, but I think I got right down to business so I don't think I was funny at all. I think I was just down to the project.  Plus, you want to look up but you have to look down at your project. I think I repeated the phrase "let me point out" three times LOL, at least I did not say "like" 50 times in a row like this and like that (and I like have no idea how to like even punctuate that sentence.)

For TV you have to cut out certain things, and make sure you hold your hands low to the table, work upside down so it is right side up for the camera, don't bang the table as that is picked up by the camera and it might sound like gun fire, hold your hands back from the sewing machine, move hands slowly etc…  Ellen does a wonderful job of moving you along through the progression of the project.  The lovely Kim Saba has the job of giving Ellen her time cues (which as the guest you don't pay attention to- I guess they don't want you making weird faces off camera trying to see the time or saying "huh?"). Apparently We were getting close and I say to Ellen "let's go to the table" not knowing we did not have the time, then we finish our last step and she guides us to the HERO or finished project. In my mind I was thinking we were under time. To my surprise we were really close to running out, but we get it all in the first shot. 

Overall, I had such a great time, learned a lot, taped TV wearing hardly any make up (never thought I would do that). I feel like I was down to business and maybe not my totally corny self and that is ok. Hopefully I was not a total goober and that when it comes out you all will enjoy it.

I think my episode got bumped to be the first episode in Season 4 and starts in October on PBS. Hope you like it!

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