I just returned from Spring Quilt Market which was held in Salt Lake City, Utah this past week. It is always fun to meet up with friends I have made over the years and some of our favorite vendors. It is refreshing to see the influx of young people who have entered the business and to see some of their innovative designs and ideas.
I came back excited about several people I met for the first time, and with new products and “gadgets” that we will share with you in the coming months.
Do you have a large stash of fabric, some of which you now know you will never use? Well, one of the people I met has the perfect solution. She is Phyllis Hause and she has a business called Aunt Philly’s Toothbrush rugs. The rugs are made from strips of fabric and have the appearance of a braided rug. The advantage of her technique is that you do not create braids that then have to be sewn together. You just build the rug, sort of like crocheting, but different.
Phyllis has had her business for more than 30 years and learned how to make the rugs from her grandmother when she was a child. I had such a delightful time talking to her and she has agreed to come to our shop this fall and teach some classes. We don’t have the dates or specifics yet, but if it is something you think you might be interested in, contact us and we will let you know as soon as we have the details.
I always enjoy seeing Kathleen Thompson from Quilters Dream Batting…our favorite batting!
RJR’s booth was delightful, with a large heart made for shelves with fabric covered books. They showcased my new Marrakesh quilt.
It is always fun to stop and have a chat with longtime friend Alex Anderson.
Now that I’m back I have to get busy and pass some of what I found on to you.
Sometimes around the Studio in an effort to straighten up, items are put in a “safe” place and temporarily forgotten. Such was the case with a large box of 10-inch square fabric packets prepared for last year’s Quilters’ Quest. You can imagine our dismay when we found them. We certainly could have used them at the time. But now, the question became what to do with them. The idea we came up with is a fun opportunity for you and the chance to win a great prize.
These packets feature six fabrics from my Carnival collection relating to our 2015 Quest theme, Sunset Over the Potomac. They were just part of the color palette the “questers” could collect as they traveled to all 10 Quest shops. Here is the entire palette.
If you purchase one of these packets or still have one from last year’s Quest, here’s what we’d like you to do. Design and make a quilt (or quilt top) using these fabrics. We must be able to recognize at least a piece of all six fabrics in your quilt. You may add whatever other fabrics you’d like. Take a picture of your project and post it on our Facebook page by June 18th.
Each member of the Studio staff, totally untrained in any kind of quilt judging, will vote on her favorite. The quilter who gets the most votes wins a $100 Studio gift certificate.
The 10-inch square fabric packets are available on our website here. Because supplies are limited and we want to give as many of you as possible a chance to participate, we can only allow one fabric pack per order. Domestic postage on only the fabric packet is less than $2.50. The $100 gift certificate can be applied to any Jinny Beyer products (fabric, books, notions), classes or shipping.
This idea was inspired by one of our favorite customers. You’ve often seen Margo on our Facebook page with the many wonderful quilts she makes. A couple of months ago, she came in with this quilt which started with those same 10-inch squares. So let the Marvelous Margo inspire you and get to designing.
I taught several classes at my shop last week and we were doing hand piecing as part of the lesson. There was a discussion about hand piecing and hand quilting and how pleasant and relaxing the handwork is. I was surprised at how many of those in the class said they loved to hand quilt.
For a long, long time, people have shied away from hand quilting and moved to machine quilting, either doing the machine work themselves or sending it to a long arm quilter. There are many beautiful machine quilted quilts out there. But I have always loved the relaxation of hand quilting and it seems that there is a trend back to it. More and more people simply like the process.
It also seems that more and more people like the “feel” of hand quilting. A machine quilted piece with a lot of detail gets very heavy and stiff from all the excess thread and is often better for display than for cozying up under on a cold winter’s night.
I have not done much hand quilting in the last few years, as I have been too busy designing fabric and quilts for those collections, but recently, in anticipation of baseball season, I put my Calliope quilt top in the frame. I forgot how much I look forward to sitting down and just taking a few stitches when I have a free moment.
Looking at the colors in my Calliope quilt, my choice of thread colors was an easy decision. I’m using grey, black and red YLI hand quilting thread. Besides thread, on the underneath side of the quilt, I use the TJ’s Quick Quilter Spoon to protect my fingers from getting pricked.
Being the avid baseball fan that I am, I look forward not only to the game each day but also to sitting at the frame while my beloved Washington Nationals play and getting in a couple of hours of stitching, enjoying two of my favorite pastimes…baseball and hand quilting.
What a treat it was to leave our three feet of snow and head off to beautiful, sunny Costa Rica. I’ve been back less than a week and am already suffering withdrawal.
I traveled to Costa Rica to be one of the teachers in the first ever “Cocoon” run by Jim West and his company, Sew Many Places. The cocoon concept is to have four teachers, each doing one day workshops. The participants are broken into groups and take all four workshops, learning a new concept from each of the teachers.
It was great being able to reconnect with teachers I have known for more than thirty years, but haven’t seen recently. Pepper Cory, Kaye England and Judith Montano were all fantastic presenters and the students had nothing but praise for them.
I taught my diamonds class, Pepper did Sashiko, Kaye taught hand applique and Judith did silk ribbon embroidery. Lots of handwork which I love!
In addition to classes and lectures, we visited the Doka coffee plantation and the village of Sarchi which is famous for their beautifully decorated ox carts. There is lots in the country to love and to be inspired by. I just need time to implement some of those ideas! Stay tuned to see where they turn up in quilts and fabrics.
By now, you have all heard of our blizzard this past weekend which has been nicknamed “Snowzilla.” The snow started around noon on Friday and didn’t stop until the wee hours of Sunday morning depositing over two feet of snow in most of the region. Of course, one of our official totals is only about 18 inches taken at National Airport but they lost their measuring stick in the snow early Saturday evening. Really. They lost it in the snow.
Obviously, this amount of snow is not something we are used to in this area so we are without all of the big, wonderful snow removal equipment which many of you take for granted. When big storms hit, we hunker down and, as quilters, our snow days become sew days.
There were lots of emails going back and forth among all of us from the Studio. In one, Dana passed along an e-mail from Quilting Adventures: “A CEO isn’t what you think. It refers to a Completely Executed Object, what you get when you finish up all those UFOs (UnFinished Objects)or NESOs (Not Even Started Object)or CUPs (Completely Unstarted Project)!” It seems we all have lots of those UFOs, NESOs and CUPs on hand so I thought I would share some of the projects my staff and I worked on while the snow flakes fell. Marion is preparing last year’s Craftsy BOM quilt to “quilt as you go” on her home machine. It will be a first for her which she says, “I experience often with quilting, so the confidence is not there yet.”
Rebecca has two projects she’s working on. She took a “Lone Starburst” class from Kimberly Einmo this fall and here are her blocks. She used the Palette Tropics pixie strips and a Palette fabric for the background. She has been rearranging the layout of the blocks on her design wall and this is her current favorite.
She is also working on a “One Block Wonder” from the book by Maxine Rosenthal. A group from her guild decided to make this with each making their own using completely different fabrics. They got together to do the first round of cutting and plan to get together again at the layout stage.
It seems quite a few people are working on two projects. Diane just finished this cute purse and is now working on the applique for Calliope.
Nancy is working on getting one project ready for basting and finishing up the binding on her fat eighth quilt (from this week’s web special).
Linda put a her “Sunset Walk” quilt in the hoop and is looking forward to having a hand project to work on this winter. It is made from my palette #8 collection and she says when finished it will be a perfect quilt for her guest room.
Julia shared this UFO she’s working on now – Foundation String Pieced Eight Pointed Stars – started in a workshop with Fran Kordek of Elkins, WV in the spring of 2004. It has lots of older fabrics. And yes, that is a “Perfect Piecer” she is using to mark the intersections of the pieces. She said she will keep making stars until the green strips in the box are used up.
Janet says she is always working on multiple projects. She decided to share this one that she started after Christmas. She is hand piecing “Ballet with Kaffe Fassett” from Millefiori Quilts 2. “But I should call it Ballet with Jinny Beyer! So far this is all I have. Get back to me in a few years when it is further along! The pieces are quite small, so it is time consuming, but I’m enjoying sewing it.”
Others are busy on other projects (but we don’t have pictures) and I even took the time to baste my Calliope quilt and have started quilting it.
I sent my son-in-law, Rob, who made my quilt frame, a photo of the quilt in the frame and said I FINALLY had time to put a quilt in it after several months. This was his response.
“It’s nice when time sort of stops and you can get to do some things you wouldn’t have done otherwise.”
Time stopped for me this weekend and I’m enjoying doing some quilting!
We have had an amazingly warm November, December and January so far, but it looks like winter is finally going to catch up with us as weathermen are predicting a blizzard with up to two feet of snow this weekend. Many of you will be affected as well, so I hope you have a nice quilting project to keep you busy.
As it is the middle of winter, it is hard for many of you to imagine that we are already in the throws of planning for our two shop hop events this coming year. Row by Row has been a lot of fun and we have already signed up for 2016 and have designed our row. The theme this year is “Home Sweet Home.” Once we finish the row and send the image to the organizers, we will share it with you.
Many of you may be new to quilting and may not know what Row by Row is. The event runs from June 21 through September 6. It is a very different shop hop with stores in all 50 states and parts of Canada taking part. Each shop designs a “row” quilt design that finishes 36” wide and up to 9” tall. All you have to do is go into one of the participating shops and collect a free pattern for that shop’s “row”. Then make a quilt with at least eight different rows from 2016 and be the first to bring it to one of the shops and win 25 fat quarters! People have planned their whole vacations to allow them a route that will take them to participating shops. We look forward to the event as it brings a lot of new faces from all over the US and Canada. Check it out and come see us this summer!
Just this week we had the organizational meeting for our annual Quilters’ Quest shop hop. The ten participating shops (all in Maryland and Northern Virginia) meet once a month to plan the event. We have already started planning the shop hop fabric design, the Scavenger Hunt quilt and the Block of the Month quilt which will be free to Newsletter subscribers.
In addition to those projects, each year we plan a color scheme for the Quest. Each shop prepares a set of swatches made up of some of the colors and participants either buy the swatches or get them free with a purchase of a certain amount. The shops get together and trade so each one has a complete set (the same as what the participants will have). Then the fun begins. Each shop designs a quilt using the swatches and then writes a pattern for the design. The pattern is free to anyone coming into the shop during Quest. That is 10 quilt designs to choose from using the quest swatches.
Many people enjoy the Quest by letting us do the driving and most shops already have the dates for their bus trips. We have many people from all over the US sign up for these buses, so we hope those of you from far away will want to join us for this great event.
Last year our quilt and free pattern was for Calliope. I was working on it when my granddaughter was visiting and she fell in love with it and asked if she could have it. How can I resist? I plan to baste it and put it in the frame so I have something to do during the upcoming blizzard. It has been a long time since I had a quilt in my frame and I am looking forward to getting started.
As the year winds down I’m reflecting on all that has gone on during the last twelve months and all the wonderful people in the quilting world I have met. I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday season.
Be safe and enjoy family and friends.
P.S. Don’t ask me how the promised clean up of my work space went this past year.
This week Craftsy released the last segment of the 2015 Block of the Month class. It has been quite a journey over the past 20 months from the time they first contacted me with the proposal to the final lesson.
The first few months were spent working out the details of the contract and deciding on the direction of the quilt. The contract was not signed until late May and filming of the lessons was scheduled for late August. There was a lot to be done in a very short period of time.
I designed the quilt, did a digital mockup, and received Craftsy’s approval of the design. Diane Kirkhart tested the pattern and made the actual quilt. She worked with me to make the step-outs and both of us worked non-stop on the project throughout the summer of last year. I never could have made the filming deadline without her help.
I was assigned a producer who basically created the script for the class. For two months, at least four times a week, we had phone conversations of up to two hours going through all the details of production, what would be done when and what props and step-outs we needed.
From the get go, I wanted to design a quilt that had a lot of different techniques so that there would be something new each month. Blocks were organized by technique and difficulty with the easier ones being in the first months and the more complex ones coming later. Both hand and machine piecing tips were explained as well as two different applique techniques. Most of all, I wanted to pass on my love of hand piecing and the relaxation simple stitching by hand can bring.
For the filming I was told I needed 12 different outfits. I have seen shows where the clothes of the presenter clash with the quilt or project being shown, so I was determined that what I wore would coordinate with the colors of the quilt. I went through my closet and found some things that would work and then I went shopping to fill in the gaps.
I spent a week in Denver in August of 2014 with the producer and the filming crews. They were all wonderful and it was quite a hectic time. But we filmed all twelve months of lessons during that time, spent time on publicity shots, had to shut down for a period because a thunderstorm with hail pelted down and wreaked havoc on the sound system. But in the end we made the deadline. They were a great group to work with.
Was it a lot of work? Definitely yes! But when this note was posted the day the last class aired, it made all the work and effort involved worthwhile.
“Jinny, thank you so much for such a wonderful class. I loved that it forced me to slow down and enjoy the process. I found hand piecing to be very relaxing and forgiving as well as very sturdy. I always assumed it would not be as stable as machine quilting but I was wrong. I also love the softer feel of the hand piecing. I just can’t believe the talent you have and obviously the patience it took you to design this quilt. I am so grateful that you shared your talents with us……”
It is messages like that which warm the heart of any teacher and make all of the hard work worthwhile.
The 2015 Block of the Month class will remain on Craftsy as a free class. If you didn’t sign up, you still can do so. You can go back and watch segments over and over. Even if you don’t want to make the quilt, you may learn some new tips by watching the videos.
If you enjoyed this class, in January we will be debuting my 2016 Block of the Month quilt, Cosmos. The quilt pattern is free to JINNY BEYER STUDIO newsletter subscribers and each month there will be a link to the pattern for that month.
I have been talking for months about the annual shop hop in our area called “Quilters’ Quest”. There are 10 shops in Maryland and Northern Virginia who get together each year to plan this event. We have just finished the “Quest” and I want to let you all know how successful it was…so many people from across the country have come year after year and make it almost a pilgrimage.
I love seeing the familiar faces of those who have become friends over the years. I especially enjoy the pairs of mothers and daughters who do the Quest together. One mother/daughter combo participate in the Quest each year and the mother has especially caught my fancy. I love the fact that they do this together and that the mother travels to this area to do the Quest with her daughter. I never see them at any other time but instantly remember them when they come through the door. This year when they came in I immediately gave the mom a hug and told her how nice it was to see her again. She said in her feisty way, “you can’t really remember me—if you can, tell me where I am from!”
“New Jersey” I gave right back at her, and we both had a good laugh.
The shop hop is the one time a year that I set aside time from teaching, designing, etc. to be at the shop every day. It is such fun to see the amazing stories that emerge.
Three women and a gentleman came into the shop during the Quest. They did not know the shop hop was going on but were excited to be a part of the festivities. I told them that anyone coming into the shop was eligible for our daily door prize so please enter. They had an interesting story.
It started with Jane Sparrell, a quilter, who traveled to Washington DC with her husband who was attending a conference. One evening of the conference they had dinner at a table with another woman attendee, Virginia, from Sacramento, California. During the course of the conversation, the two women discovered that they were both quilters and had an avid conversation about quilting. The next day, the non- attendee of the conference was on a tour of DC and met the acquaintance of another woman and her husband, Laurie and Rob, from Savage, Minnesota. The two women soon discovered that THEY both were quilters.
The bottom line is that the three women, Jane, Virginia and Laurie, and the husband made the trek out to our shop. No sooner had they left than I noticed that Jane had left a bag behind. I called her cell phone and agreed to mail it to her.
Later that day, believe it or not, it was her name that I drew for our daily drawing prize winner! I called her yet again and said that we must be new best friends with my second call to her in a day.
Thank you to all of you who attended the Quest. I love the chance to meet and talk with so many of you. The Quest always reminds of how much I love being with quilters (as if I could ever forget)!
This is the tale of two Quilt Market rookies and our trip to Houston with Jinny. We, staffers Dana and Nancy, have taken over Jinny’s blog to give you an inside view of the Fall Quilt Market in Houston which we had heard so much about yet never attended.
It is at Market that fabric manufacturers, designers and all who create quilting products present their goods to shop owners. It was our job to help Jinny select goodies for the Studio and for our Weekly Web Specials. We did not, however, begin with shopping.
We spent our first day attending many of the almost 300 “Schoolhouse” classes offered covering a wide range of topics including new products and techniques, marketing and business education. Of course we made sure not to miss Jinny’s two classes.
Heather Spence didn’t know she was pitching her pattern to Jinny Beyer until Jinny commented that it was her fabric in “Dan’s Climb.”
Day two was a day of shopping for items that the Jinny Beyer customer would like and appreciate but it was so much more than that. We enjoyed seeing the wonderful mix of modern and traditional ideas and people of all ages. We found it very inspiring to see how vendors presented themselves and their products with such contagious joy and excitement.
It was fun to hear the stories told by the vendors and people we met of how they discovered quilting and sewing and where life has taken them! And, of course, there was the people watching.
What probably made the biggest impression on us was what happened by just hanging out with Jinny. To us, she is just Jinny. We forget that out there in the quilting world she is Jinny Beyer, the legend. We can’t count the number of times where individuals, from famous quilters to small shop owners, came up to Jinny (and to us) to say that she has influenced them, inspired them and helped them to grow as quilters. Many were brought to tears. And we saw the joy on Jinny’s face when she spoke to the next generation of quilters seeing that the love and joy of quilting is being carried on.
Thanks so much, Jinny, for letting us tag along.
Editors’ Note: Jinny will ask us to take out the last paragraph because she is very modest. However, she did ask us to write this blog today AND she doesn’t know how to post them. We do that for her. Sorry Jinny!