This day started a few years ago to honor the editors and publishers who work so hard to make the publishing world go round. As a writer please accept my assurances that a good editor will hear the voice of the one writing, offer suggestions, and make an author sound more like you.
As a now infrequent writer for magazines I’ve had the pleasure of working with:
Jake Finch, Melissa Thompson Maher, Tracy Mooney on Generation Q Magazine
Pokey Bolton, Vivika DeNegre, and Helen Gregory with Quilting Arts
Kathie Stull (producer) KS Productions (so many sewing/quilting/craft related shows)
So I started this post the other day, having something on my mind that “she said.” I’m fairly certain it was good and funny because I’m kinda hilarious like that. Tracy Mooney and I tried to host a GenQ Happy Hour, technical difficulties prevented the full happy hour from happening. Eh whatever…so I had a quick facebook live:
We have so much more to share, and are planning our next Happy Hour. And I’ve offered to answer machine quilting questions so please feel free to visit our facebook page and post the question there.
Several years ago I started Editors and Publishers Day, December 16th in gratitude for, well, editors and publishers. The cast of characters is long, and as the quilting world leads, I meet and interact with more of both, and learn to appreciate their skills and respect their work.
There are moments when writing like Jake is a long term goal. She’s a good reporter, with a clear, and well developed style. I sent her copy one night to look over before I sent it somewhere, the conversation included a distinct lack of commas, and how they allow the reader to breathe. This got me thinking about how I speak as well, there is an ingrained habit of asking rapid fire questions that the listener doesn’t know which one to ask first. Often this is nerves on my part, or a distinct curiosity, either way you go. Breathing, and commas play an important role for both the writer and the listener. I can assure you writing differently would make it easier for both Jake and Melissa when I write a post for the Generation Q Magazine blog, or an article for our pages.
And then there’s Melissa who has two unique talents I long to develop. The first in an ability to edit the writer so they sound like more of who they are. It’s a beautiful thing being able to tweak someones writing that way. The second is an uncanny ability to see trends, of her many talents my gut says this is the one I have the greatest chance of learning from her. Well that, and better writing skills. I may have mentioned that I’d like to be Editor-in-Chief of GenQ someday.
And while I’m at it Tracy, our Senior Editor, is pretty dang talented as well. Between herding kittens, editing blog posts, writing copy for our pages, and coming up with projects for the We Sew 2. As a long time quilter Tracy sees trends, and knows a lot of quilters. She also has a gift for words so live or recorded video is fun. Together I think we keep Melissa and Jake on their toes, and occasionally doubled over in laughter. Okay, more than occasionally.
For my part there is a lot of room for growth and I’m open to it. I’m grateful to Jake and Melissa for taking on the role of mentor to anyone on our staff. Yes, yes, I know the leading, guiding, directing, editing, and occasionally pulling the hair out is part of the “job” however, there’s something more to this mentoring. And this blogger, writer, quilter is truly grateful for their influence.
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.
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!
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.
Melissa 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!
First 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.
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.
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.
Jake Finch, Melissa Thompson Maher, Scott Hansen, Tracy Mooney, Bev Mabry, Debi Knight, Jamie Mueller, Melissa Kanovsky and me. Okay, let’s not forget our printer. Not to mention the quilters who submit projects or write articles, and staff who have left their mark on who we are.
Every two months this group of slightly snarky (but never mean) crew puts together a magazine complete with patters, fabric lines, an adult beverage recipe, and timely/timeless articles. Let’s not forget our Nosy Poll where our readers and friends voice their opinions. We’re more of a quilting life-style magazine, recognizing that quilters live a whole life and quilting is incorporated into said life.
Our staff spans the entire width of the country from NY to CA, living in every timezone. All four of them Easter, Central, Mountain and Pacific. Weekly meetings are a must and often individual meetings one on one with Jake or Melissa. Most of us have at least one other job, or a couple of part-time jobs. And yet, somehow, with all of this going on we manage to build each issue, piece by piece, coming together, sometimes at the last minute…off to the printer and out into the world.
In-between issues there is blog content that leads back to the issue, offers newsy bits, book reviews and challenges. We’re always looking for trends, searching for quilterly modern/contemporary quilt patterns. It is amazing to me that the whole magazine comes together with our various locations and crazy work schedules.
It is also amazing that we do this without a big publishing house behind us. We are one of a few, if not the only INDEPENDENT quilt related magazine in the quilting industry. That’s right. We are independent. Our “salaries” are not paid by a parent corporation. Generation Q Magazine (subscription page) is very much like your local quilt shop. Quirky and independent, filled with great content and generous people. I like being independent, it gives us a level of freedom to be who we are and bring you great content. If you’re interested in advertising with us contact Jamie email@example.com or Melissa K firstname.lastname@example.org. The most basic ad (business card size) is $150. Jamie and Melissa can give you all of the details.
We’re getting ready to go to Quilt Market, the November/December issue will be available at Market. I’ll do the big cover reveal while we’re at Market. My backpack will be full of issues, subscription information for shops, and ad information. Hope to see you there!