I was walking north on Michigan Avenue the other day and I took a picture. Here’s the picture:
I had given this man some change on my way past, partly because I do that when I feel like I can. Living in a big city, you just can’t give to every person begging on the street because there are so many of them. This is true in downtown Chicago, anyhow. But I gave some money in this man’s cup because he was covered in a quilt and it pulled my heartstrings, obviously.
The responses that came from my post about teaching the First Lady to make a quilt really surprised me. A lot of people thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea!” but there were more than a few that really…didn’t. The responses that were anti the concept varied from “Michelle’s got better things to do” to “There are people who need quilts more” to even one lady, who thought I was suggesting a quilt in the White House for my own benefit. Her post was so mean, so full of vitriol and insults, I didn’t approve it. Sorry, lady, but that was pretty gross.
The idea came from a love of quilts in America, plain and simple. As my mom has always said to me, “As long as people are making quilts, that’s a good thing.” She says this a lot, because that sentiment seems to need to come up a lot. If a traditional quilter looks at a modern quilt, an art quilt, etc., and says, “Well, that’s not a quilt” or when a more modern quilter or art quilter looks at a new, super traditional log cabin quilt, sniffs, and says, “Ugh! How unoriginal!” then it’s time for my mom’s point to make an entrance. That’s how I feel.
“As long as people are making quilts, that’s a good thing.”
The idea that a group of quilters, white, black, blue or otherwise — and whether I was part of that core of teachers or not — might visit our nation’s capital for a one-on-one lesson with the First Family (and as many other people as we might invite!) to teach the art of quilt making, well, I just think that’s groovy. Whether you agree with the politics of the people there or not, well, I just don’t think that matters. Are quilts Democrats? Republicans? Do they vote? No, they just make people happy and they are part of our history.
There are many charitable organizations that need quilts because there are people in the world who need comfort, care, and attention. I suggested a fun idea I had about the White House and would sincerely love to help make something like that happen because as long as quilting keeps being important in this country, I suspect that all those charitable groups will keep being able to make quilts for all the people who need them. Period.
Like this guy.
January 28, 2013 52 Comments
I was going through some pictures in my iPhoto library — I’m supposed to back that up, right? guh — and I found pictures of quilts from my trip to the Newark Museum. Wow. There were such incredible pieces there.
Just look at this:
Oh, man. The CROWN. The yellow flowers. Again, I’m swooning from the mastery of design and construction of the gals who came before we did. It’s not geeky to be stunned by great art, is it?
Going to sew for one hour. Then back to work — but this is too good to not jump into my own project, a king-sized quilt for a friend. What are you working on? And have you been to see the Newark collection of quilts? They may not be on display right now, but I think you can ask museums to set appointments with groups to view collections that aren’t in rotation. That would be a very, very cool girlfriend trip, no?
Happy Sewing, Y’all!
January 22, 2013 3 Comments
Hello, my fellow Americans!
I’ve been turning over an idea in my brain for a long time. Wouldn’t it be cool (read: incredible, amazing, v.v.v. good) if The First Lady made a quilt with Sasha and Malia? Wouldn’t that be amazing?? I’m betting there are a few quilts in The House already, but I’m betting they’re either stored deep in the archives or under glass, maybe on a wall in some guest room.
I think there should be a quilt in the White House. I mean, look at this family:
There needs to be a quilt on that couch, darn it! (And by the way, those girls get more and more beautiful every day, do they not?) I am hereby volunteering to travel to Washington, with my Baby Lock, if needed, and teach the family and any of the gal’s friends to make a quilt. Or maybe a group of us could go! How will this work? What should we do?
A petition. I think we should start with that. Until I figure out how to make an online petition, just let me know if you think this is a good idea. If the First Lady made a quilt, it would be good for her creative spirit. It would be learning a new skill, one rooted deeply in her/our American heritage. It would be amazing for the quilt industry, because a lot of media people would say, “Hey, that’s neat! Michelle Obama is making a quilt!” so there’s that. And it would be cool because I have a lot of respect for MO and she real pretty, too.
Thoughts, gentle readers? Petition? Do we make a quilt and send it as an extra incentive/attention-getting device?
January 8, 2013 73 Comments
Did you have a good holiday? Was it terrible? Did people fight or did people laugh? Some of both, maybe? Did you eat too much or did you practice some “noImgoodthanks” on some days? Did you find a balance or did you need to say to heck with balance? Did you sew or was your sewing machine dark?
No matter what you did or didn’t do, I hope that you had at least one moment in the past week that made you go, “You know, this place is a pretty nice place to be, sometimes…”
In the spirit of the “Why Don’t You…” column in Quilty magazine — Jan/Feb 2013 issue to hit newsstands SO SOON!!! — I was thinking about the idea of a New Year’s Quilt. What if you did one? What if you made a quilt every year in the first month of the year and it was…a vote of confidence. A goal, immortalized in fabric. Just an idea. Or a gift.
What’s she sewing? Maybe it’s a New Year’s Quilt.
This is a painting by Edmund Blair Leighton. Thanks, EBL. Can I get a copy?
December 26, 2012 11 Comments
Wanna be in Quilty magazine?
Each issue of Quilty features a full-page profile of a quilter who is alive on the planet, making quilts today. No matter what your style, if you’re a quilt maker actively making sewing, you’re modern to us. Some of our profiled quilters are famous, some are kids, some are ladies you might know from your guild, some aren’t members of any group. Quilters are all different, and the “M.A.M.Q.” feature celebrates this.
As I was slating people for the upcoming issues, I thought, “Hey, I should offer a slot to the readers of the blog!” and that’s what I’m going to do. If you’d like to be considered for a full-page picture and a (brief) interview for an upcoming issue in 2013, answer this question in the comments thread:
When did you realize you were a quilter?
I’ll take the best answers to the editorial team and we’ll select someone to feature! Depending on where you live, you’ll need to be able to get a high-resolution photo of yourself. If that seems like an insurmountable task, this might not be the challenge for you. But if you know someone who can help you or if you happen to have a quality photograph of yourself lying around already, do it! Feature or no, this question fascinates me and I look forward to the replies.
Best of luck!
Above: A screenshot from my computer featuring a PDF of the VERY FIRST “Meet a Modern Quilter” subject, Ms. Chloe Johnson. First quilter, best quilter? It may just be true, you guys. Chloe is wonderful.
December 11, 2012 46 Comments
Are you in Florida? Do you feel like going there? Like this coming weekend?
You probably should consider it strongly for the following reasons:
1. Florida is mysterious and full of alligators and fog.
2. Florida is warm.
3. There’s a 9 out of 10 chance you have relatives there. Everyone has at least one relative in Florida.
4. I’m speaking at a big Sew Worth It! retreat on Saturday in Sarasota!
5. Really, really good seafood.
Fore more information on #4, check out the Sew Worth It website and this particular page. I’m going to enjoy the day — it’s been a crazy mad dash to get about 600 things done lately. (At this point, I might actually consider a fight with an alligator a bit of a vacation, for reals.)
I hope everyone is enjoying December as it rolls along toward the holiday. All I want for Christmas is a longarm. I’ve hardly admitted it to myself, yet, but it’s true. I’m officially interested in a mid-arm, at the very least.
This could be dangerous.
December 4, 2012 5 Comments
It’s happening. You can now subscribe to Quilty magazine! Holy patchwork!!!
This is exciting. This is magic. This is so nice, because you can get the digital or the print version shipped directly to you, from us, and it’s not terribly expensive AND you’ll get 6 issues in 2013! Man alive.
Can I get a celebratory root beer, please?
October 25, 2012 23 Comments
Here are a bunch of things going on today:
- crazy fog out my window
- preparations for the big Houston quilt show this weekend
- my friend Ebony is releasing a book!
You know Ebony already as a frequent guest on Quilty the show and as our resident longarm expert in Quilty magazine. Here’s her purty face in case you need reminding:
Here’s what Ebony’s book is called: The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips and here’s why you should get a copy: it is, as my sister Rebecca would say, “totes amaze.” I’ll be a little more specific.
The book is for die-cutting enthusiasts OR people who are curious about the whole die-cutting “thing” and are just getting their feet wet or exploring it for the first time. The book isn’t a project book; it’s really more of a reference — an invaluable one, I’d wager, from someone who has been passionate about the die-cutting method for quiltmaking for a long time. Ebony preaches the die-cutting Way with full conviction — I got a personal lesson at her very own studio! It was pretty amazing, I gotta say.
The book goes through how to choose a die cutter, the various mats and add-ons and things, dies of course, how to prep your fabric, etc., and there are tons of tips and suggestions for other resources, too. It’s a bad mamma-jamma, this one.
Ebony, my friend, best of luck. It’s so neat that you have a real, live book!! I wish you the best and I do encourage folks to check out “The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips” if they have any interest at all in this very cool development of the die-cutting method within the quilt industry.
Getcher’ copy right here!
October 23, 2012 26 Comments
Yesterday was a great day. I know it’s reversed — maybe hold up your computer to a mirror?? LOL!
It’s the second issue ever of Quilty magazine and my advance copy is proof that it’s coming to a bookstore/craft store/newsstand near you! You can also buy the issue online right here. (Subscription info is coming soooon!)
And, also awesome yesterday, and exhibiting how SO COOL I am, here’s what I did on my Saturday night…
I was going to put the “Crown Of Thorns” quilt aside for awhile, but it kept bugging me. Watch for the finished product and the pattern in an upcoming issue of Quilty — I think March/April 2013… Isn’t it wonderful that in 2013 there will be SIX issues of Quilty?
I think it’s pretty neat. Thanks to everyone for reading and writing and sewing. Quilters are great and the Quilty fan is an extra special specimen.
October 14, 2012 11 Comments
Wanna see my very very first quilt?
I made this when I was, oh, six years old? It was made in my favorite colors, blue and pink. Funny, I made another blue and pink quilt many years later…
Help a rookie today! You never know where they’ll go in their quilt-making adventures.
Memories… Like the corner of my mind… Misty, cotton memories.
“Pink Waves” in process.
October 4, 2012 9 Comments