And I am in a place I want to be, the AQS Show in Lancaster for the day, and then will see friends who got married about a month after my sweetie and me. I met Jules in PA, though it wasn’t until we were living in GA that our friendship blossomed. And she’s stuck with me now. After this long it’s not likely that we’re parting company any time soon. She quilts too, so bonus!
Today though is one of those days that holds deep, life long memory. Ten years ago today we said good-bye to our dad. It was Palm Sunday. My sweetie and I usually go to Church late in the day, and oddly I was showered and dressed in the morning. When my sister called to let me know what was happening I was able to get ready, and get out of the house, on my way in less than 20 minutes. I know my Sweetie helped facilitate that. And for that I am so grateful. Dad left on his favorite day of the year. April Fools Day. Oh how he loved getting over on his kids, writing Rotten Poetry, writing letters. Today I will have Coke in his honor, and memory.
Look for a couple of facebook live vids from the show floor at least one on the Generation Q Magazine page and one will be on my personal page. If you’re there please say hi. Meeting quilters is a favorite thing.
Starting with gratitude this morning. I’m grateful for batiks. (If you follow me on Instagram this, and all the photos in this post, may look familiar.) These one and a half inch strips are being stitched to orange and purple solid to create 9 patches, that may be set on point, though I’m not quite set on that yet.
With the exception of making the quilt for the Yvonne Porcella exhibit, this is the first quilt I’ve made in a really long time. Not quilting has been very hard on this quilter. Not having time and energy to be creative, to do the thing I love the most while promoting quilting and encouraging others…well that part has helped. I love quilting. I love writing about quilting, I love encouraging others to quilt, so my creative energy has had something of an outlet, not quite the one that feeds the quilterly energy and focus.
Each stitch is made with intention. The feel of the fabric in my hands, the sound of the machine running, the stacking of the strips behind the needle. This is an experience that is renewing, refreshing, invigorating. Because of the lack of time to stitch over the last year or so I’ve experienced these moments of complete loss. Wanting very much to go spend some time in my studio but not having any energy to quilt, not knowing what to stitch, not having any clue how to move forward. Part of these moments of complete loss have included the whispers that perhaps I should sell off all of my quilting supplies and leave quilting as “this was once part of my life and is now not part of my life.” Yep. I’ve been there.
My sweetie has firmly said, “No, you’re not giving up quilting.” The conversation is always way more intense, involving tears, and angst, and anxiety. I’m grateful for his patience as I’ve moved through all of this stuff. Much more than a lack of time contributed to this awfulness. It involved people whom I once respected, people whom I loved, and people whom I love deeply. Several things have sustained me – teaching people how to use their machines, helping quilters choose their own fabrics, new friendships, the moon, and the light at the end of the tunnel. Even now that light is at the end of the tunnel, while I’m not sure how close I am to exiting, I know deep down in my bones that the light is there, that I’m moving towards it and this movement is good.
I’m reminded as I stitch that a little care goes a long way. Slowing down, being mindful, caring about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. When I race the machine (for me about 3/4 full speed) the strips aren’t as accurately pieced as I prefer. Right now I’m moving forward because of the great joy I’m experiencing while stitching. Sometimes the simpler things bring us back to, closer to a sense wholeness.
As I look at how this quilt is coming together, as I write these words, and get ready to write and post things for Generation Q Magazine I am reminded that the gift of quilting in my life extends far beyond my sewing studio. You are part of my quilting life. If I’m having a difficult time I’m sure some of you are as well. If I’m doing well, then some of you are as well. I’m reminded of how we, as a community sustain each other.
So, I’m off to write and stitch and be the quilter I’m intended to be!
UPDATE: The Random Number Generator selected #52 – Alison in Alabama! Congratulations! I’ll be in contact in the next few days.
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a blog tour on TerifiCreations, as I write most of the Generation Q Magazine book tours. This one is kind of special because a friend, John Kubiniec, wrote the book. Over the last couple of years I’ve watched John work on this book. I’ve watched him struggle, grow, become, move, write, and name quilts. And here his is, A New Spin on Drunkards Path is ready for you to run to your local quilt shop and get it.
I was surprised to learn that John uses 3 pins to stitch these curves the placement is key to how well this works. I must admit that when I saw it I did the whole *facepalm* why didn’t I think of that! And. . . it makes so very much sense. I so want to tell you this trade secret but book, it’s all about buying the book, and this tip is worth it.
Then there’s the patterns, the spins or to have a little fun, the hacks on this block are fun. Having fun with a curved pieced block yields this:
A dynamic, beach ready quilt. And yes, go ahead, take the quilt to beach.
Nightfall is one of the most dynamic looking quilts in the entire book. It looks so difficult. But nope. John adds half-square triangles to the corners, spends a little time getting the placement right by alternating the curve of the drunkards path block and the results are stunning. I may even make this one, when I have some time for quilting.
Okay so what you really need to know is that I’m really proud of John. While he doesn’t exactly say it out loud in the book there is a sense of play, and permission to do what you want. Here’s the technique, here’s a great pattern, and go.
So I get to give away a copy of the book! In the US it’ll be a softcover copy; outside the US an e-book. Ya gotta comment and tell me something fun that you’re working on. I’ll draw a winner on or about October 4th.
UPDATE – Congratulations comment #53 Ramona! You’re the winner of a copy of John’s book. I’ve sent you an email.
Happy Monday Quilting Peeps! I do hope you are well and enjoying your quilting. I’ve got a guest blogger today, Gina Perkes! I’ve had the privilege of meeting Gina and sharing breakfast with her, and her delightful mom on more than one occasion. As a long time admirer of her work, I consider Gina to be one person who has influenced my free motion quilting.
Beginning a new scary, yet exciting adventure…shop ownership/longarm dealership – The Copper Needle. So the bottom line is this: I love quilting and have a lifelong commitment to the art of quilt making. I love all things and people associated with and related to this amazing craft. I feel completely blessed to have
the ability to do what I love as a means to support myself and my family. What began as a hobby almost eighteen years ago, has evolved into so much more. In fact, my quilting business was actually requiring not only eighty hours per week from me but also a good fifty percent of my living space. Though I am certainly not complaining, I came to the realization that I needed a separate space away from home. My dog and kids were walking around with threads attached to them everywhere they went and folks in my small town were starting to talk…lol !
Here is what I have learned about running a successful quilting business:
You must become an expert in designing, creating, adapting, reinventing yourself, marketing, photographing, writing, accounting, and staying relevant…no pressure. I guess I am a sucker for a challenge.
Living in a town full of quilters with no quilt store means that I have a great market here but I do hope that my reach will be much larger than just my small Arizona town. My goal is that quilters will want to visit from all over the country to learn, shop, become inspired, etc. My space is beginning small with 1,500 square feet but as the business grows, so will the facility. I will be carrying fabrics, patterns, threads, batting, notions, and a huge selection of machine quilting tools designed by me and other machine quilters. It is my goal to not just promote my own designs and tools but to highlight other teachers, designers, and quilters who have great classes, products, and tools that they’ve developed as well! This is one of the great things about our industry: networking and sharing ideas!
Longarm quilting: My business began with longarm quilting and thrives with this as the center. I provide both computerized edge to edge and custom hand guided longarm quilting services out of my shop. My turn around time is three weeks for edge to edge designs…custom quilting takes up to two months depending on my schedule.
I am now an Innova dealer and my shop will serve as a training center for those wanting to learn about longarm quilting. I am quite busy with my rental services as well. There are many people who do not have the space or budget to purchase a longarm machine but still want to complete their quilts on their own. They complete a training day so that they can receive a “driver’s license” then they come to my studio to complete their projects.
Luckily, I have a wonderful support system and sta who help me to manage all of these ideas that I want to implement. This support allows me to continue to travel all over the country teaching my techniques and writing books for quilters. I have three new books this year! Tips for Longarm quilting was just released in February and was published by American Quilter’s Society. It is a wonderful resource for longarm quilters and a wealth of information about helpful tips and tricks to make our lives easier. I also have an iQuilt class that will be launching this month. It is called Quilting on the Grid and explores techniques for both longarm and domestic quilting, ruler work, free motion quilting, and more. My other two books will be released in the Fall /2016. You can follow me for more information on my crazy, quilty life by subscribing to my blog through my website: The Copper Needle and I hope that you will connect with me through social media. I do instagram (@ginaperkesdesigns), facebook (gina perkes & the copper needle/business page, and coming soon Twitter. I enjoy sharing ideas with other quilters through these social outlets and regularly post photos of quilting eye candy and ideas for inspiration!
Teaching – On the road you can and me at HMQS, OSQE, MQS, Quilt week Grand Rapids, and more…check my website calendar if you’d like to say hi at an upcoming show or sign up for a class:)!
Congratulations Gina! I look forward to seeing you at HMQS!
I am a blog reader. When I open WordPress in the morning the Reader is there showing me who’s recently posted, allowing me to comment, like, or move on. It is mostly quilt related, though I have a travel blog I read because she’s a good writer and she commented on my blog a long time ago and I went to see what she’s about. Each blogger is in the Reader for a reason from work related, admiration, faith, humor, photography or simply darn good writing.
The first blog in my reader this morning is Pokey Bolton’s Crafting a Life. I admire Pokey and respect her work in the quilting community. Today’s post Call for entries! Celebrating Yvonne Porcella captured something, not so much for the call for entry, but for the photo of Yvonne & Pokey’s hands.
This morning I remembered that I promised to go look at a blog. Sharon, from Tailor Chick and the Sewing Machine, is a real hoot. I love her joy and love her work. She has a shiny new BERNINA 740 and is loving every moment with this machine. I did mention that I love her work…she showed me a photo of a wedding dress she’s working on. Oh M Gee! her attention to detail is awe inspiring. What I love more, seriously, is the joy she has in her work, it’s quite catching.
I met Jenelle Montilone at a BERNINA Ambassador Reunion in 2014. Being the early risers we enjoyed coffee, and a quiet chat with one another. Her blog is TrashN2Tees where she shows her work both in sewing and the environment. She’s done her research and knows her stuff. Her most recent post speaks of environmentally friendly products that are already on the market.
I believe I first learned of Jaye Lapachet’s Artquiltmaker blog from Linda M. Poole. The most recent Creative Prompt is Chicken, these are fun, provocative, thoughtful. My mind goes in several different directions with these prompts. And someday I’ll actually make a quilt from one.
Vicki Welsh’s Field Trips in Fiber is color inspiration, quilting and more. Her hand dyed fabrics are simply gorgeous. Vicki has an etsy shop to order these beauties. I like that she speaks of life and books and so much more.
I’ve been following Tim Latimer for a while. I do like his quilting style, and his dog, Teddy, who gives each quilt the “sit test”. It’s kind of sweet. Right now Tim is free motion machine quilting on a treadle. He’s doing incredibly well with this making me imagine the possibility of quilters way back when. Perhaps there will be a historically inaccurate story down the road of a rogue band of quilters from the late 1800’s inventing free motion machine quilting on their treadles, art quilting, and writing letters to one another how they hide their work so as not to be discovered….oh the possibilities.
And recently someone told me about Sippican Cottage. This guy if from Maine, has a wicked sense of humor and leaves me in awe of his writing abilities. I mean who wouldn’t follow someone who knows the correct usage of “ersatz” and isn’t afraid to use it.
Leanne Cole consistently inspires me with her photography. Simply Wow! She visited the US in 2015, the pictures captured something beautiful. I appreciate that she speaks of her process as well as sharing the photos. Her blog has me thinking that when life and time allow I would like to get something more for a camera and work on capturing something beautiful.
Some of the friends include Debby Brown, Lisa Calle, Paula Reid, Melody Crust, and Mandy Leins. There are a lot more however time prevents me from sharing more.
The blogs I read have changed over the years. Some bloggers have stopped for lack of time, family obligations, major life changes. There are new bloggers to follow who inspire, engage, make me laugh, and quilt.
Today is Yonkers Philharmonic, and catch up day. Someday soon I’ll speak of my work as Community Editor with Generation Q Magazine. One fun thing has been happening over the last couple of weeks on LinkedIn, I’ve been receiving congratulatory messages on being with GenQ for 2 years. I love this…the messages and that I’ve been working with this magazine for 2 years. I’m still as giddy now about this work. I work closest with Melissa Thompson Maher and I have to share that I am the better for it. She’s patient, kind, and a damn good teacher. I’m not saying anything here that I have not said to her already. It’s always amazing to me that we live in so many different places, have other jobs, and get this magazine published.