Randall Cook – a Stitched Star!

Have any of you seen Stitched – The Film?  The tagline for the film is “Behind every Stitch, there is a story.”  To quote from the Stitched website,

“Stitched is a fun-filled documentary following three quilters racing to complete their entries for the International Quilt Festival, the largest quilt show in the nation.”

It IS a fun-filled documentary! We have watched it a number of times and never tire of it.  Watch the trailer below and you will understand why.  You can get your copy from the Stitched website.

We are lucky enough to have one of the stars of the film live in the Rochester, New York area where we are located.  In fact, Randy Cook is a friend of our web master.  Upon the occasion of Stitched being shown in Western New York, Corinne called Randy to catch up and find out what’s been happening in his life as an art quilter.

Randall Cook

QW:  Let’s start with the film.  Where and when is Stitched going to be shown?

Randy:  The screening is being presented by O’Susannah’s Quilts and Gifts in Watkins Glen, New York on Sunday, January 29, 11:30 a.m. at The Glen Theater.  I will be introducing the film and doing some Q&A at the screening. (Tickets are $20, and include lunch.  See O’Susannah’s events page for more details.)

QW:  How does it feel to be a quilting celebrity now?

Randy:  In my daily life, I don’t notice much at all.  There was an article in the paper this morning about the screening.  When I went to the gym and walked into the weight room, people were calling out to me.  Prior years at the International Quilt Festival, I could walk around the convention center and a few people familiar with my I Remain piece stopped me.  But last fall, after Stitched was screened, I was constantly being stopped.  “Hey, you are the guy in the movie!”

QW:  Congratulations on winning an Honorable Mention in Houston for Fractured Self.  I was thrilled to hear that!

Randy:  Thank you.  So was I.

Fractured Self by Randall Cook

QW:  You and the gang from Stitched have another DVD out called Stretching for Quilters.  How did that come about?

Randy:  As you know, Hollis Chatelain is my mentor.  She works with small regional groups for a 5 year (and sometimes longer) period.  I am in the New England group.  Since I am also a part-time fitness instructor, I volunteered to teach some stretching exercises to the group. People really liked it; Hollis said I had a calming voice.  So when Stitched started happening, I pitched the idea of doing a stretching DVD to Jena Moreno (the Director and Executive Producer of Stitched) and her husband Tom Gandy (Director of Photography).  They liked it!

QW:  Someone must like it!  I keep seeing it sell out on it’s Facebook page.  So what are you working on these days?

Randy:  I am working on two pieces.  I may submit them to Quilt Festival this fall.  One is completely abstract and the other is abstract with some figures.  It’s completely bizarre.  I don’t know how well received they will be, but I like them.  I need to finish them first, then show them around.  One of them uses a new technique incorporating knit fabrics.  I don’t think I am ever going to do it again!

QW:   What if you don’t like the pieces you are doing?  Then what do you do about a submission to Quilt Festival?

Randy:  Since I work full time as a project manager plus have my part time teaching fitness, there is not really time to start anything new from scratch.  So this is it.  One piece is large, quite large!  It is 92″ x 95″.  It might be able to be used as bed art, as a very large bed quilt.  Or it could be wall art.  It is 3/4 of the way done.

QW:  Now you have me intrigued.  I may have to sneak into your basement to take a look!  What about your Dance series.  Did you finish those yet?

Randy:  Three of the five panels are done.  Panels 1 and 5 were accepted at Festival.  The third one hung in the Stitched booth at Quilt Festival.  But when I was in Houston, I was thinking about the final two panels.  I considered finishing them right off, but they seemed too similar to last year’s pieces to submit.  So I postponed working on them until after I get done with my current projects.

Dance 1 with Dance 5 by Randall Cook

QW:  Let’s get back to Stitched again.  I think they did a really great job on the film.

Randy:  I think they did an outstanding job!  I had seen it before the showing in Houston, but never in a crowd.  But it was great to be in the audience and see the reaction by over one hundred people.

QW:  What was your favorite moment in the film?

Randy:  Definitely the outtakes at the end.  I was very self conscious about the fact that my sewing studio is in my basement.  There seemed to be a lot of footage of me with the washer and dryer.  In the outtakes, there is a scene where I am talking and the sump pump kicked on.

QW:  I remember that!  That was funny.

Randy in his basement

QW:  I also thought the skiing pine cone was hilarious.  To take this story about an elementary school art class and turn it into an animated stop action scene was great.

Pine cone skiing

QW:  Since QuiltWoman.com is in the business of selling patterns, have you ever thought about doing a pattern?

Randy:  No, I have never thought about it.  Most of the things I do have are more art, the fabric has been dye painted.  They aren’t pieced, they are whole cloth painted, one of a kind sort of pieces.  But that might be something I should consider at some point.  I really would like more time to quilt, definitely more than 5 hours a week!

QW:  Good luck at the screening down in Watkin’s Glen.  I can now say I know a Quilting Celebrity!

Check out all Randy’s work; art quilts and traditional pieced quilts, at http://RandallCookStudios.com.

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