In early 2010, the idea for Quilty was born.
I was at spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis and I looked around and thought, “There’s gotta be a show online that gives quilting instruction to beginners in little, friendly pieces. It’s got to look good, be entertaining, and teach basics and have guests… I think I can do it, if I have help from good people.”
And so it is — the good people part, and the help, and the short chunks of quilt-making information. Quilty is a thing! And a lot of people find it very helpful. For those who don’t, no problemo. I just hope those people will help teach in the way that they find helpful and we’ll all help keep quilting alive and strong.
The biggest challenge in making Quilty is getting each episode to share several teaching objectives in the time we have. We have about this much time:
We shoot for about 6-10 minutes for each episode, that is. And when you’re talking about making a quilt block or discussing the parts of the sewing machine, those minutes go really fast. It’s not that you can’t say a lot in that time — I hope that we do — but you gotta edit. And then edit a little more. And then (this is important) the whole, entire show overall needs to be enjoyable and engaging enough that the viewer will finish and episode and want to come back and watch another one to learn more. Because she’ll learn more.
We’ve got a shoot coming up next week and with 26 episodes to tape, I’ve got a lot of work to do, along with all the rest of the team. Thank you everyone, for watching Quilty. We strive to give you a good eight minutes of joy and information, every time.
May 30, 2013 29 Comments
Well, it’s all over. Mostly.
I still need to pack and get to the airport, but for the most part, Spring Market is wrapped up and boy, was it awesome. The fabric, the trends, and the best part, which never changes: the people. The donuts were good, too. And the crepe paper. And the enormous swan at the Michael Miller booth. That was pretty flippin’ cool, too.*
Thanks to everyone who works to make Quilt Market, OESE, QuiltCon, and all the awesome quilt trade shows happen. I can only imagine the work that goes into organizing such events. And to all the vendors, the attendees, the folks who stand at the door to check that you have a name badge… It’s a great industry and I’m honored to be a part of it.
* I have a confirmed, hot tip from a good friend that someone BOUGHT THE SWAN OFF THE FLOOR!
May 20, 2013 4 Comments
I did a video to show you just how random AND unscientific the process was! Winners, look for an email today with the good news — and I’ll get your address.
If you didn’t win, don’t despair; your name will stay in the hat for the next giveaway. WARNING: I just did this 5 minutes ago and I am not wearing any makeup. Note awesome BabyLock Tiara mid-arm quilting machine in background! Quilting is taking over my house…
Congrats and thank you a million to all the lovely, thoughtful, and HELPFUL feedback about Quilty so far.
Click here for the video: http://youtu.be/f2yN9cna-Zs
May 16, 2013 10 Comments
Okay, people. Here’s what going down:
I have 15 medium to large-ish boxes of goodies in my hallway. They contain a mixture of the following:
fabric (oh my, the fabric)
notions (oh heavens, the notions)
stabilizers, fusibles, etc.
thread (holy cats, the thread)
miscellaneous great stuff including scraps, blocks, Quilty demo materials, etc.
EVERYTHING MUST GO. No, really. I can’t take it anymore! I need to get outside! The only sensible, goodly, humane thing to do is a giveaway. I have personally put together 15 boxes of great stuff and I would like to give it to YOU, Quilty fan/reader/viewer/excellent + intelligent + attractive person.
Here’s how it’s gonna work:
1. Get an extra copy of Quilty and give it to a friend. We’re not going to make you prove that you did this, so it’s scout’s honor.
2. Comment on this blog post by answering this simple question: What do you like about Quilty?
3. Sit back and check in here on the blog because on May 15th, we’ll draw from all the entries and 15 of you will win one of these sizeable boxes of goodies.
Drawing will be 100% randomized. We are utterly unscientific and will be using no algorithm or computer aided-randomizing system, but I hereby swear to throw all your slips into a big popcorn bowl and draw with my eyes closed. (Seriously, that is how it’s going to work to pick winners.) We’ll ship out as soon as we get back from Market on Monday, 20th or Tuesday, May 21st, depending on how tired we are. (By “we,” you realize I mean “me.” Mary. I’m the one with the popcorn bowl.)
You deserve a little gift! Try your luck!
p.s. Need the magazine? I gotcher’ magazines right heh: http://fonsandporter.commercev3.com/product/quilty-may-june-2013-digital-issue/Quilty
May 12, 2013 252 Comments
It’s here, it’s here!
We got’cher Rookie Speaks, we got’cher Longarm Love, we got’cher 14 PROJECTS!!!, we got’cher Inspiration, LOOT, M.A.M.Q., juicy articles and tips — we gotch’er Spooly, too!
It’s the May/Jun 2013 issue of Quilty magazine, folks, and it’s yours for a song. We love being your favorite quilting magazine and hope to see you carrying around this latest, greatest issue wherever you go. Hopefully, that path will lead you to your sewing machine eventually, but we know you’re busy. You’ll get there.
May 7, 2013 13 Comments
Okay, it happened.
I have falling in love with paper-piecing.
I swore I never would! I said it was too finicky, took too long! I said it was a waste of paper, that I didn’t need all those teeny tiny points! I said it was for the birds! Or the paper-piecers! And that it was fine and dandy and important to know how to do, but no thank you, ma’am, I’ll stick with plain old piecing-piecing.
Then I started making a Rocky Road to Kansas quilt and, well, that was that. I love it, guys. I’m so in love with this method. It’s FUN! It’s fun and tidy. I love that trimming moment, you know? When you turn the whole mess over and swish! swish! swish! swish! You’ve got this gorgeous block. From chaos, order. From a mess, a clean kitchen countertop. You feel me, here?
And I love the way the garbage looks.
Picture of quilt to come, I promise. All my paper-piecers in the house say “Heeeeeeey!”
May 1, 2013 16 Comments
This blog post is a surprise. Surprise!
Folks, Abbie H. is a friend of mine who I met when she took a class I was teaching. It wasn’t a quilting class, but a performance class that I co-taught here in Chicago a few years ago. Abbie was just becoming interested in quiltmaking and we talked about the project she had started long ago, a quilt about her favorite video game character.
She finished that quilt and we featured it in the second issue ever of Quilty magazine and on the show, too (Episode #149). From there, Abbie’s been on a roll. Here’s her latest and greatest:
I’m so proud of her and so not surprised. Abbie’s been wooed by the power of quiltmaking like every one of us reading this. Creative souls, compassionate people — we’re quilters.
Abbie, I’m over the moon that you’re making quilts, growing in your design skills and color aesthetic; I’m so happy that you’re trying new things, learning new skills, continuing to say, “Hey, can you show me this?” and “Hey, I want to know how to do this better.” I hope that I never stop growing in my own skills, either, and I hope I never stop saying, “I wanna do this better. Can you help me?”
Maybe quilting is like being a doctor. Doctor’s don’t “do medicine.” They “practice medicine.” Maybe none of us just “quilt.” Maybe we all “practice quilting.”
April 7, 2013 10 Comments
I’m at the airport, headed to a wedding. One of my very best friends in the whole world is getting married this weekend in New Hampshire and I’m going to see it all happen in all its nuptial glory. She will be the smartest, most beautiful bride EVER.
Here’s a picture of me and Sar, goofin’ in NYC about a year and a half ago. We wanted to get a picture of us that was NOT SMILEY. Why do people always smile in photos? They didn’t used to. Well, we gave it a shot.
I’m working on several quilts right now, and I’m going to give Sarah and her new husband whichever one they like. They’ll get to pick! Fun, right? I’m pretty sure she’ll want one of them. It’s usually a pretty safe bet that a quilt is going to be welcome. That’s one of the wonderful things about quilts. They are typically not re-gifted. They are typically loved. They are typically The Best Gift Ever.
I love you, S.G. Always, forever, you make me smile. Congratulations!!!
March 29, 2013 7 Comments
Do y’all remember the movie Big Business?
It’s one of my all-time favorites and my sisters feel the same. We watched Big Business over and over again when we were kids. The movie stars Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin…and Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. It was made in 1988 — a great year for both these women, career-wise: Tomlin was all over Sesame Street and Beaches came out that year for Midler. Oh, those 80′s female stars. The comediennes of The Era of The Shoulder Pad. I love them so. They shaped my personality in many ways, to tell the truth.
The movie tells the story of twins separated at birth with a “city mouse, country mouse” theme. Hilarity ensues, partly because the special effects available in ’88 were…rudimentary, compared to what folks do today. So you get Tomlin and Midler interacting with weird, flat-ish mirror images of themselves superimposed on film. But it’s great.
Anyhow, guess what makes several appearances in Big Business? Quilts! Twice! And one scene gives a quilt center stage. I never realized it before, but I watched the movie the other night (while I was sewing, I’ll have you know) and took some screen shots to prove it. The first moment is when Sadie and Rose are in Jupiter Holler at a fair. Look at ‘em all!
And the second appearance is when Rune (!) comes to find the country girls in the big city. He brings a quilt to the hotel — he’s gotta have a quilt with him on the trip, of course — and the mercenary wonks who work for the OTHER Sadie and Rose see the quilt and ogle at it. One says to the other in this moment, “Look at the workmanship!” It’s awesome.
March 12, 2013 15 Comments
A QuiltCon report is on the way in a bit, but for those at the lecture — and anyone else who likes old pictures! — here’s the photo from my talk. There’s Mom, holding me as a baby in 1980. I’m wearing the “I’m a Quilt Lover” pin…the same one I had on yesterday!
Thank you all for coming to my lecture. I love talking about quilts and I very, very much enjoyed meeting all of you.
A Quilt Lover
February 25, 2013 14 Comments