Today’s a GenQ day

GenerationQ LogoIt’s a weekly meeting kind of day. We talk business, and catch up with each other. We do this during the week as well, however this is focused.

After the meeting there are more emails, and phone calls to follow up with much of what we talk about. There are some big things we’re working towards.

I’m attending Quilt Market next month to see what’s new, look for trends, support friends in their Schoolhouse presentations. If you’re going and will have a booth with new product or would like to chat for a bit please let me know

Happy Quilting!


Sweet Dreams are Made of these

This Nike commercial popped up into my fb newsfeed:

The Cubs win the World Series. At this point in the day this is not news. As a Yankee fan I’m happy for them. They worked hard, the played the game hard, they won. Kids all over will be sleeping in this morning and quite frankly they should be excused. It’s been over 100 years. There is something really amazing about realizing a dream, completing a goal, making your mark.

The commercial is about that dream, it’s about that goal, and kudos to Nike for talking up the dream. For recognizing that kids have dreams and these dreams can be encouraged and nourished. Dreams give hope. Dreams give us goals to attain. What I love most is that this kid is practicing, practicing, practicing. No one is on the field with him and there he is, practicing. He’s doing the work that realizing his dream involves.

A Pair of Blocks #bernina #piecing #quilting #terilicasquilts

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As I watched the commercial I realized that, like this kid, I still have quilterly dreams and goals. There is work to get there. There are a few curve balls thrown in at the moment. But those dreams are still there, giving me something to work toward. I’d like to win big at Houston. I’d like to be Editor-in-Chief of Generation Q Magazine (yes, Melissa knows this and we have another 20 years before that happens). I want to write that book, the day will come when that happens.

His happy dance at the end of the commercial is very much my experience when I achieve a goal, or watch someone that I’ve helped connect in some real way, or encouraged in some tangible way experience the achievement of their own dreams and goals. I feel that way when my students ‘get it’ finding their way to the better quilting they so desire.

Always hold onto your dreams. Let them bring you hope, rather than discouragement. I know it’s hard reading comments from judges sometimes, or hearing negative comments from other quilters, or having someone be mean to you for no real, tangible reason.

Put on Your Favorite Dream and fly!

Happy Quilting,


PS Pinwheels and Friends starts in less than a week! Will I see you there? Rumor has it that there will be prizes for my students. Click here to sign up for Doodling Your way to Better Quilting.



Quilt Market has something of a frenetic pace. Places to go. People to see. Meals to eat with people you get to see once, maybe twice a year. Leading up to Market there are things going on behind the scenes that have us all arriving tired, wanting to make sure all the eyes are dotted and the tees are crossed. Is everything packed? Will the copies of the magazine arrive in time. Will we have enough? And the ever popular, will people like the products that we have to put out there.

Then we get there, one by one, sometimes in groups, on-time, late, early, snoozing. or making one last check of a presentation that is the last thing that needs to happen. And then it all falls into place.
photo_20161030_180753Melissa Thompson Maher, Editor-in-Chief and Tracy Mooney, Senior Editor of Generation Q Magazine with the after Market glow – a mixture of tired and inspired. We were at the airport having dinner, and talking about the things that excited us. We’ll be sharing on the blog and in our newsletter Stashed! over the next little bit.





I had a meeting with the every lovely Melanie Testa! Melanie and Carol Soderlund have a new book coming out later this year. As soon as I get the details I’ll be sharing more about that. She showed me quilts, as the Community Editor I’m really excited about what I’m seeing here. Melanie was putting all of her quilts back into the carry-on and demonstrated the best technique for making this work.


I visited the BERNINA booth to check out the new BERNINA 700 Embroidery machine. Oh my goodness! it’s a beautiful machine. I love that technology is helping us to do the work we’ve always wanted to do. The B 700 gives so very many options and over time the technology will be moving up the line. It’ll take a little while for BERNINA to make this happen as there is a lot of testing behind the scenes to make sure this is right.


I got these pins from BERNINA. I love the stylized scissors. I think they may actually be tailoring scissors of some type. If you know…please let me know.

Perusing blogs this morning Quilt Shop Gal shared the video Lisa Calle and I made a few years ago. BERNINA now has a ruler foot for the home sewing machine. Check out this video:

The foot should be in shops soon.

On Friday afternoon I had a chat with Cheryl Sleboda. I can not thank her enough for her generosity and her time. Over the next few weeks I will be making a few changes to the website, the first is a simple change in tagline “Creating Confident Quilters one Stitch at a Time”.  Taking one stitch at a time is how I learned confidence in quilting and I love passing that onto you, my student and my friends. I’m also taking a very hard look at my class descriptions and a few other things. I’m looking forward to sharing and showing more.

I’ll be at Pinwheels and Friends Friday November 11th to teach Doodling Your way to Better Quilting. Doodling helped me become much more confident in free motion machine quilting. During the class we work with our dominant and non-dominant hands, and figure out those quilting motifs we want to stitch out. I’d love to see you there!

Happy Quilting,


On having “the talk”

tiara silkFirst up: it’s Thankful Thursday! Time to thank a quilter who’s made a difference in your life. Today’s gratitude goes to: Melissa Thompson Maher, C0-Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Generation Q Magazine. Melissa has a long history in the publishing world, she sees trends happening, has the skill of making a writer sound more like the writer, is a fab mentor, and has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever met. I am privileged to work with her.
I’m heading to Houston for  Quilt Market this morning and will have breakfast with Melissa tomorrow morning. While I enjoy seeing everything at Market, I’m giddy that Iget that time alone with her. Tomorrow afternoon Generation Q Magazine has a Schoolhouse Presentation with Sizzix at 3:10.

If you’ve ever taken a class, or purchased a sewing machine from me, it’s entirely possible we’ve had “the talk”:

You are a smart, intelligent woman, and you’ve got this.

I’m specifically referring to skills and techniques in quilt making or teaching people to use their sewing machines however, this applies to life in general. I tend to take the approach that if I can do whatever this technique is, that anyone can do it. So often the talk is accompanied by an experiential story such as how I learned how to be careful using my rotary cutter, and rulers. Let’s just say that no stitches were involved, and I’m still quilting, and I’m very careful when I cut.

Sometimes I tell the story of making “When Alex and Jinny met in NY, Beauty Happened” and I kept cutting the wrong piece of fabric. I can see myself sitting at the sewing machine, the smaller mat, a ruler, and a rotary cutter next to me. I can feel the frustration as I cut that wrong piece yet again. I remember walking out of my sewing room vowing to sell every piece of fabric that I owned at a serious discount. That was over ten years ago. And now I’ll teach paper piecing.

new york beauty

Quilt making, teaching quilt making, sewing, garment construction and teaching garment making are skill sets that are acquired over time. Each skill improves over time. We all start out trying to cut correctly, and piece correctly, and then quilt correctly. A funny thing happens when we begin to see “mistakes” as an opportunity to cultivate a desired skill set. When we stop, take a look at what’s happening, perhaps ask someone, or several someones some questions, think through the answers and get stitching.

Now you’ll probably note that when I answer questions I can be a bit, mmmm indirect. If a question is about technique, I’m more likely to be direct, and give clear information. When a question is about the artistry I’m more likely to start asking you questions, to get information from you to help you see, that like Dorothy, you have the answer but just need some help getting there.

And there are moments when I give myself the talk, when doubt creeps in. When I’m trying to finish a quilt and I just see every.single.mistake. that is being stitched into that quilt. Or when I’m teaching and a student is struggling and I’m having a hard time figuring out what to say or do to help them understand whatever I’m trying to teach.

On this Thankful Thursday, as I depart for Quilt Market I thank you for being part of my quilty world. You’re helping form me into the quilter I long to be. If you’re so inclined, thank a quilter for helping form you in the quilter you long to be.

Happy Quilting!


Oh yes! I did

Have you ever wanted to do something. And did it because it would be fun. And then couldn’t stop giggling when you think about it because you did it. I got onto an elevator, four people were facing me (the door were going to open on the other side) so I said, “okay everybody let’s sing!” It took a minute but Tracy started giggling. I still can’t believe I did this!

I’ve long been a fan of Marcia Derse, check this panel out!

New from Marcia Derse. #quiltmarket

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It’s so great! Some of the artwork is created by her grandchildren. Marcia is sweet and fun sized! I wish I’d gotten a picture with her, but the panel will do for now.

I’ll do another Market post down the road, in the mean time I have some followup work to do.

Happy Quilting!


Quilt Market: a personal report

Quilt Basket owners Cathy and Sarah with Debby Brown sharing their Cutie Patterns. Check those out here:

I love going to Quilt Market. There isn’t quite the buzz of Quilt Festival or one of the other larger quilt shows, however on Saturday afternoon I heard it. That buzz we all listen for at a quilt show. That level of quilter talk that just says, yes, this is it, this is happening, life is good, and we’re quite quilters and thrilled to be here. Slight difference: we’re either looking at lines for the next several months, notions that catch our attention, new sewing related furniture with which to display our sewing machines to their best advantage and make them useful in an easier on the shoulders kind of way.

I love being with my Generation Q Magazine peeps. I love the blur and exhausted happiness that comes from several days of hard work. I love that I get to share the fun of this magazine with amazing people in this industry. I love stopping in aisle to visit with friends and make new ones. I love the support and encouragement we are to one another.

Mandy Leins talking about her book Wanderlust Quilts. I wish her presentation was longer. She packed a lot into her schoolhouse.

I love meeting new-to-me teachers and getting to know their style. Listening to authors share the story of their books and how shop owners and other teachers can use the information in their own shop. (I’m listening closely here!) I love seeing quilt shop owners carefully and thoughtfully deciding what fabrics will adorn their shelves to inspire and encourage us as quilt makers.

Kathy Doughty’s husband John videoing her presentation

I love talking with vendors about how their time is going. This often gives some insight into our industry as a whole.

I love helping to make connections and this Market was particularly special in that regard.

I managed to see Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession talk about her new line of fabrics with Free Spirit. I’ve loved the quilts coming from Australia for the last few years. The use of prints is simply inspiring to me and have me jonesing to make a quilt in that manner. I didn’t get to spend the time I would have liked with her however…there will be another opportunity.

Kathy showing her new line.

I got to see Debby Brown too and found her “twin” in the Brewer Booth. Oh did I ever. Ann Bates is funny. Getting Debby, Ann, and Melissa K (GenQ Ad Sales Manager) together would be a hoot! I’m thinking like the time I was with Melanie and Elizabeth where we were laughing so hard the people at the next table were glaring at us kind of fun.

And a book update…it’s still in process. We’re looking at a Quilt Market 2017 release. It is a year later than intended but I’ve learned a lot in the last several months, including getting some clarification on some big things with the book, step outs and images. Hang with me friends…this exemplifies my word of the year, Journey, like everything else that has been worthwhile in my life.

Happy Quilting!


today is…

quilt market signToday is rainy and raw. I love rain so I’m not terribly bothered by that. Rainy icky days are great for tidying up, for thinking, for catching up. So today is a catch up day.
Catching up will involve
A quilt top I’m making
A post or two for Generation Q Magazine
Some thinking about quilts I need to make for the book
Getting ready for a test drive for GenQ
And some other things, tidying up.GenerationQ Logo
Checking a friend’s sewing machine and cleaning that up and maybe writing directions for her to make tote bags…we’ll see where the rest of the day goes.
Then there’s planning for Quilt Market. I’m looking forward to going, meeting friends, both long time and new.  I’ll have my press creds, so be sure to tell me all your exciting news whilst we’re together.

Happy Quilting!