Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Coming Back for a Cause...The Fifth Annual Action Kivu Fundraiser

Action Kivu is an organization close to my heart and that I've supported since I found out about its work from my friend and fellow quilter Alissa Haight Carlton.  For the fifth year, Alissa is holding a fundraiser on her blog to raise money for Action Kivu.  Each year I have shared this event with my readers because I would like all of you to join me, in whatever amount you can, in support of this amazing organization.  Our goal this year is to raise $15,000.  I know we can do it!
If you're new here, the mission of Action Kivu is to "provide the Democratic Republic of Congo's victims of violence the opportunity to rebuild their lives on a foundation of hope, dignity and economic self-sustenance." 

Hope, dignity and economic self sustenance come in the form of a sewing machine and a school book. Our money provides sewing machines and the opportunity to learn skills to make a living to women who have been victimized by unspeakable violence.  What we take for granted will change the lives of women and children in the Congo.  We can change lives.  We have changed lives.  We can continue to help women and children, but we have to give!  Every donation makes a difference.  

The faces of these women say more than I can about the joy and power that comes with making.

In case you need a little motivation to give, I have donated the Radiate quilt to the cause.  For a $100 donation, you'll be in the running to win this quilt.  It's a version of the Supernova quilt and is about 55" by 55".  
It's got some of my signature straight line quilting.
 It would love to come and live with you.  To have a chance, you need to give.  I'd love there to be lots of $100 donations this year to help that thermometer fill in all the way to $15,000.
There are many other prizes for donations that fit any budget.  Please head over to Alissa's blog to check them out , read more about the work of Action Kivu and to give.  Give generously.  Please remember what sewing and quilting have given to you.  This is a good time to pass those joys on to others.  
I'd also appreciate if you would help me spread the word on social media.  Share this fundraiser on facebook, twitter and instagram.  The more we involve, the more money we will raise!  Use these hashtags #akfundraiser, #sewing, #congo, #actionkivu

Friday, June 27, 2014

Essential Guide...It's a Good Thing!

Folks ask me all the time if I'm going to write a new book.  This one isn't all mine, but I wrote a chapter in it and I'm pretty pleased to be a part of a book like this, The Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making.

There are a couple of things I love about this book.  It focuses on technique and the "essentials" and it's a "guide" rather than a recipe for making modern quilts.  There are ten workshops in the book along with sixteen patterns.  The workshops are written by a group of well-respected modern quilt makers. 

My workshop in the book is on The Alternate Grid.  I'm pretty passionate about breaking the traditional grid structure and in my workshop I teach many of the ways I create quilt tops outside of the grid. Breaking free as I like to say.

My quilt in the book is "Burst".  It's a simple, black and white linear quilt with strong, graphic appeal.  It's so me.  

If you think this book is for you, now is the time to snap it up.  The Taunton Store will provide a 20% discount on your order with the code EGQM20.  The code is good from 6/23 - 7/21.  I think you'll love it.

Check out the tour and get the skinny  from the workshop authors. 
6/23 // Chapter 1: Principles of Color // Teacher: Kari Vojtechovsky
6/24 // Chapter 2: Working with Solids // Teacher: Alissa Haight Carlton
6/25 // Chapter 3: Working with Prints // Teacher: Dan Rouse
6/26 // Chapter 4: Improvisational Patchwork // Teacher: Denyse Schmidt
6/27 // Chapter 5: The Alternate Grid // Teacher: Jacquie Gering
6/30 // Chapter 6: Circles and Curves // Teacher: Cheryl Arkison
7/01 // Chapter 7: Paper Piecing // Teacher: Penny Layman
7/02 // Chapter 8: Large-Scale Piecing // Teacher: Heather Jones
7/03 // Chapter 9: Modern Machine Quilting // Teacher: Angela Walters
7/04 // Chapter 10: A Study of Modern Quilts // Teacher: Heather Grant

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It All Comes Full Circle

It all comes full circle

I left Kansas City three years ago and next week I'm heading back.  I don't call it home because right now Chicago is home.  Kansas City will be home again, but it's going to take some time.

When I arrived in Chicago, I was scared.  It was a new place, a huge city, an unfamiliar environment and I didn't know a soul.  My husband, because of his job had a built in circle of colleagues and soon to be friends.  I was alone in my little room with my sewing machine, but not for long.  Before I even moved from Kansas City I received this email:

Hi, I'm Beth, the current president of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild.  Sarah let us know that you are moving to Chicago. How exciting!  I've lived here 14 years now and love it.  If I can be of help in any way with your transition, let me know.  I am a stay at home mom for the next year and have some time on my hands.   I know you were in town looking for housing. Do you have an idea of where you will be living yet?  I'm looking forward to meeting you when you get settled.  Again, if I can help in any way, let me know.

When I arrived in the city I received another email from Beth inviting me to lunch with a few other members of the guild.  I said yes and Chicago was no longer a very big lonely place.  I joined the guild and those women were my first friends in the city and though I haven't been a very good member of the guild (or friend) since I work on weekends and we meet on Sunday afternoons, but I've made connections and have been supported by my guild in more ways than one.  I've missed more meetings than I've attended but it doesn't seem to matter.  I've met some amazing folks and I'm grateful to each of them for being a part of my Chicago experience.

Thank goodness our apartment didn't have enough storage space.  I illegally put the giant box that my Bernina 820 was packaged in, in the front of our car in our parking space in the garage.  My friend Tricia, who parked a few spaces down in the garage spied my Bernina Box and reached out and asked if I sewed.  I did. She did.  I invited her to guild and the rest is sewing history.  I'll miss her terribly.

The other day I received an email from the current Chicago MQG President, Sarah, asking if we could meet for lunch so she could say goodbye.  Again, I said yes.  We talked family, quilty things and guild business.  It's like I saw her yesterday.  I reminded her that years ago she asked me to come teach in Chicago and we couldn't work it out because at that time the guild was so young with not much cash on hand for speakers.  She was the Sarah that told Beth I was coming to Chicago. 

It's always amazing to me the difference that one small gesture can make.  We say it in Kansas City, "the modern quilt guild changed my life."  It did back in KC and it did again in Chicago and I have a feeling it will again back in KC. 

Thanks Chicago.  Hello Kansas City!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

QuiltCon Registration Day....Fast and Furious

MQG member registration opened for QuiltCon 2015 today and like expected it was fast and furious.  I'm so proud of our staff for their efforts to make this happen.  As you can imagine it is no small feat.  There are a lot of moving parts and overall it went well.  There were a few glitches, but that's to be expected when computers and humans try to work together.  We're working to do the very best we can.
QuiltCon 2013  Fun!!!

Workshops sold fast, but there are still a few that are open.  Remember, workshops are only a small part of the QuiltCon experience.  There is loads of room in lectures.  At QuiltCon 2013 the lectures were my favorite part.  I learned so much.  There is the Quilt Show, the vendor hall for shopping and of course, so many quilters to meet, connect with and learn from.  I'd love to see you in my lecture:  The Art of Teaching:  Advice from an Expert.  You might get a tip or two and laugh with me.

And's an amazing city...lots to do.  Tattoo anyone?

I can't thank our members enough for their patience and support.  See you in Austin!! (I'll be the one in the cape!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Finding a Nest

I know I'm a nester.  I don't like to be transient, I don't like not to be settled.  We've spent the last 24 hours in Kansas City on a marathon house hunting expedition.  I'm tired, it's hard, but I need a place to lay my head.  Pictures are worth a thousand words, but they lie too.  So many places are not what they appear to be.

I know I want it to be modern.  I'm not opposed to doing work.  We'd love to be in a neighborhood that is walkable, artistic and nut bread.  We want to be in the city.  We're not suburban people.  This is the one place we found that might work for us.  It's a foreclosure which is a risk and it needs work on kitchens and bathrooms but as you can see it's got an amazing view, some great spaces and the location is perfect.  Bruno will struggle with the stairs.

It's hard to pull the trigger.  Thought I'd share the possibility. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Because Dad Said.

It's Father's Day and I'm thinking that I'm a pretty lucky woman to have a great dad who reminded me today that I haven't posted in a long time.  Some times you do things because your dad says you should.  He's usually right. This is for you dad.

Can a life be updated in a few words in a blog post...maybe, but probably not.

Some of you know we're moving from Chicago back to Kansas City.  Long story, sad and happy all at the same time.  I love this city and I'm going to miss it, but what could be better than being close to your family?

We got the condo ready to sell, put it up for sale the day after Memorial Day and low and behold in four days it's sold and I'm supposed to be out of here in 15 more days.  It's hard to pack the studio I worked so hard to create, but I have to remember there's a new studio some time in my future.

No, we don't have a permanent place to live.  We're moving in with our children, though since they're on tour with the band, for a bit we'll have the place to ourselves.  No, they don't want to live with us either.

Since the last post I've...
Traveled to Newfoundland; London, Ontario; Asheville NC, San Diego, CA, Paducah KY, Wilmington, NC, and Orlando, FL
Met and taught so many GREAT people.
My new Craftsy class has gone from 0 to almost 7000 students since the last post.
Packed and unpacked a lot of quilts.
Spent a bunch of time in airports.
Saw my first iceberg.
Taught at Paducah and experienced The Quilt Channel in my hotel room.  Yes, they have a quilt channel on TV during Paducah.
Made a few quilts, but haven't had the time to share or write about them.  The quilt below is a variation on the Supernova quilt.  It's called Radiate and Jessica Levitt sent me this photo of it hanging at Quilt Market in Pittsburg.  Thanks Jess!
Had a new book come out that I wrote a chapter for, The Essential Guide to Modern Quilting from Lucky Spool Publishing.  I'm proud of what I wrote and the quilt in that book.  I'd share a pic, but the quilt is already packed and ready to move.  You'll see more of this book soon.
Oh, and I was named the 2014 National Quilt Teacher of the Year.  I'm pretty proud about that!

Had a really proud day today as a mom.  My youngest son, Jonathan wrote the freestyle music for his uncle and his dressage horse Zenith.  If you want to see something spectacularly beautiful and inspirational, watch Nick Wagman and Zenith perform here to music that Jonathan composed.  It'll make your day.  It sure did mine.

Speaking of kids, I've got two amazing ones and one of the reasons is that they have a great dad.

How did I do, Dad?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My New Class is Live

My new class on Craftsy is live today.  Use this link to get $10 off!  It's all about the quilting with the walking foot.  I'd had fun filming it and I hope you enjoy it too.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hexagon Quilt

I realized that I never posted this finished hexagon quilt.  The hexagons are machine pieced using my tutorial.  I love the soft colors and the texture of the quilting.  I'm working on getting the hexagon portrait quilt quilted this week.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Seeing the World Through Someone Else's Eyes

Sometimes I crack myself up.  This is what happens when I take a weekend off. The design was inspired by my new friend Candy's work in my stitch and flip class in Lincoln.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Sinking Sun

Sometimes experiments turn out better than I think.  Last spring I was playing with some precision slicing and inserting and this small quilt was the inspiration for Alissa's Bursting with Pride quilt that I made for Spring Quilt Market.  I decided to finish this up as another class sample.
 I think the addition of the fabric on the base turns these two blocks into an interesting design.  It reminds me of the sun sinking over the ocean.
 I quilted the semi circle to emphasize that there is a partial sun there.  I love how the quilting supports the design of this little quilt.
This piece is only 20" x 30" but I definitely think it has potential to be a much larger quilt.