On the set with Martha Pullen

One of the perks of my career as a professional designer is occasionally being on television.  Last week, I taped two segments sponsored  by the Warm Company (fabulous batting!) on “Martha’s Sewing Room” for PBS.  This show is hosted by Martha Pullen and demonstrates all kinds of sewing techniques – from hand sewing to machine sewing as well as embroidery and incredible hand sewn heirloom items. The show is filmed at the University of Alabama, my alma Martha’s Sewing Room set mater.

I find all the behind-the-scenes interesting and wanted to share it with you.  Some of the photos are dark, but even with the lighting on, its not very bright in the studio.

Maratha Pullen and Phyllis Dobbs on setThat’s me on the right, sitting on the set with Martha, a truly warm and charming lady.

What’s a TV show without bloopers! My blooper happened when I started to sew.  I reached for the pressure foot lever to lower the pressure foot and could not find it.  My hand was groping all around trying to find the lever when I hit the snap-on pressure foot and knocked it off. Of course, it turned out that the pressure foot lever was there all along, it was just higher up on the back.

I used my new fabrics, Sweetheart Ballerinas by Quilting Treasures for the items I created for the show.  Window Curtain Panel made with Sweetheart Ballerinas fabric by Phyllis Dobbs for Quilting TreasuresThis window curtain is quilted (using batting from Warm Company) to hang over the window by the tabs at the top.  Creating a window treatment is an additional way to use your quilting skills and this one is easy.

Outside the set, all the projects for the segments being taped are lined up. Projects lined up for taping on Martha’s Sewing Room for PBSThe 2nd segment that I was on featured a naptime roll-up mat for children to use for their afternoon naps.  It was made with the pink colors of Sweetheart BallerinasI also made the aqua pillowcase.

A huge workroom is needed to coordinate everything for the show. Martha’s Sewing Room For PBS workroomEveryone is working away on their laptops.  Martha’s producer, Charlotte Potter, is in the center. It was a very pleasant and fun day.

I hope you will watch for me on the shows on PBS, in addition to becoming a regular viewer of Martha’s Sewing Room.  One show will be shown after August 2007 and the other one will be shown after Christmas.

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  1. Phyllis;
    What a fun time that must have been. It’s amazing how many people it takes to produce a show like hers. Is her show on HGTV or DIY network or where might I see it?

    Your fabric line is fabulous, it makes me wish I had a granddaughter to make something out of it for! Good luck, AJ

  2. the show will be shown on PBS, Public Broadcasting. I don’t know the dates as they are determined by the individual stations.

    Thanks for you comments on the fabrics!!

  3. Kewl view discussing On the set with Martha Pullen. Thoroughly love your blog.

  4. I saw it today, Jan 19, ’08! I loved the play mat & the pillowcase. Your fabric line is just so darling! It would be very cute for Valentine’s day coming up too! Thanks for the inspiration! BTW, if they left that “blooper” in, I didn’t notice – you were great!

  5. Thanks for your comments! I haven’t seen either of the shows yet, but am supposed to get DVD’s. I really can’t wait to see it now that you said they left the blooper in!

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