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Two Novices and a Legend Go to Market

Quilt market signThis 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.

Quilt market floor
Just a few of the many booths we looked through.

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.

Jinny at schoolhouseWe 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.

Cozy quilt designs
Daniella Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs uses many of Jinny’s fabrics in her designs.

Heather SpenceHeather 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.

Anna Aldmo
Anna Aldmo’s beautiful applique designs come to life with Jinny’s fabrics.
Who wouldn’t want to make espadrilles with quilt designs on them after listening to this great presentation.

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.

Julie Silber
Nancy, Jinny, Julie Silber, & Dana. Julie Silber sells an amazing collection of antique quilts.
Celeb Photo2
Left: Paula Nadelstern & Jinny; Right: Kaffe Fassett, Jinny, Dana, & Brandon Mably
Celeb Photo1
Left: Janet Lutz, Jinny, & Jenny Doan; Right: Alex Anderson & Jinny

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.

Edyta Sitar, teacher, author, fabric designer, who learned Jinny’s techniques from her mother-in-law told Jinny of the difference she has made in her life.
Edyta Sitar, teacher, author, fabric designer, who learned Jinny’s techniques from her mother-in-law told Jinny of the difference she has made in her life.
A quilter (so sorry I lost your name) currently from Sitka, Alaska, who learned to hand piece by studying Jinny’s book, Quiltmaking by Hand.

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!

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Staff Profile – Carole Nicholas

CaroleIf you follow my blog, you know that every now and then I like to do a profile on one of my staff members. Today, I want to focus on a woman who I have known for 25 years.  Please meet my good friend, Carole Nicholas.

Carole has been quilting since 1972. It all started when she was living overseas in Africa. There, the wife of the British High Commissioner invited her over one day and taught her how to English Paper Piece. A few years later, she was reading Good Housekeeping magazine and noticed the grand prize winning quilt in their “Great American Quilt Contest” which sparked her interest.  Carole ripped out the article, saved it and decided to learn to quilt. Little did she know that she and I, the maker of that quilt, would cross paths and become the best of friends.

Carole-Life's Journey
Life’s Journey
Carole quilts
Up Into the Forest Canopy & Tourmaline II

Anyone who has seen Carole’s work knows that she is a wonderful quilter. I loved her work, her energy and her enthusiasm so I asked her to join my Hilton Head Seminar staff in 1990. She later became the Seminar coordinator, holding that position for 15 years.

Carole with Jinny in India

Carole-Guts and Glory
Guts and Glory
Carole-Underwater Charm
Underwater Charm

Carole is very active with Habitat for Humanity and, since 2000, has traveled around the world working on builds. Her quilts are inspired by her travels, the places she visits and the people and cultures she discovers along the way.

Carole in Jamaica
Carole in Jamaica

A member of Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends, Carole has the opportunity to explore new ideas and techniques with her fellow members and together they have shared their work with others across the country. She is also involved in organizing Sacred Threads, a biennial exhibition of quilts which touches viewers “on both spiritual and personal levels.”

Carole is never afraid to try something new and is always looking for her next adventure!
Carole is never afraid to try something new and is always looking for her next adventure!


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Show & Tell

On the second Saturday of each month the Jinny Beyer club meets at the shop. We have show and tell, help with quilts people are working on, talk of new events and happenings at the shop and usually have an ongoing project throughout the year. The last few meetings I have been showing the progress and asking their opinion on our shop hop quilt. It is a learning experience for all.

I shared part of the design process in an earlier blog, “Design Dilemmas.”  The shading of the fabrics, what to use as a background, none of it ended up being what I had originally planned but I’m very happy with the changes I made.

photo for blogThe star is now complete. There is black in the center in the large hexagon and the quilt will be squared off with black as well. I plan to put applique in the center and the corners, using fabrics that will compliment the colors in the quilt.

IMG_5498I will be going on vacation with my husband for a week and plan to finish the applique during that time. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be able to share the completed top.

Don’t forget that the Quilters’ Quest shop hop is just around the corner.  You’ll find details at

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Quilters’ Quest 2015

QQ1In life you tend to have events which you look forward to every year. Usually, they center around special occasions which bring friends and family together. In the life of the Studio, that event would be Quilters’ Quest. The Quest, as we call it, brings in friends from near and far and is full of fun and activity. You may think of it as just a shop hop, but to us it means more.

This year’s Quilters’ Quest will take place November 6th through the 16th. Ten shops participate in our Quest and the planning starts just a couple of months after the previous one ends. First, a palette of colors is chosen. This year it is “Sunset Over the Potomac” with rich, warm hues.

quest chartEvery shop will have their Quest Cuts—this year it’s 10-inch squares—from a section of the palette packaged and available for purchase or for free with a $40 purchase. They have also designed and made a quilt which uses all of the shops’ Quest Cuts. You receive a pattern of each shop’s quilt for free when you enter that shop. A Quest exclusive batik fabric has been designed featuring motifs significant to the region.

QQ bus ladiesIf you don’t care to drive, most of the shops have buses available. Let me tell you, the quilters on those buses all appear to be having a marvelous time. On our buses, we always have a wonderful mix of quilters from our area and across the country, even from other countries!

Jinny during QQIn the Studio, we love greeting old friends and making new ones. I try to be at the door to greet all of our guests (I only take short breaks) throughout the Quest. I’m amazed at how far some of you travel!

This year as always, our shop will be stocked with the new Quest fabric along with a good supply of the very popular “monument” batiks from last year. We’re putting together fabric bundles to compliment your sunset fabrics, planning demos and bringing in lots of new patterns and notions for your 10-inch squares.

I’m also in the process of making our quilt which I have designed for this year’s Quest. Look for a sneak peak of the design in a future blog.

I hope you are planning to join us this November. For more information on the Quilters’ Quest, you can visit

To register for one of our buses, click here.

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The Sewing Room

Sewing Room, Work Room, Studio……whatever you want to call it, what does yours look like right now? As we approach the first of the year, I’m thinking about what my main resolution will be……I say this every year and every year it never gets done…Clean up my “Studio”!

Jinny's "studio" after the last "clean-up" 15 years ago.
Jinny’s “studio” after the last “clean-up” 15 years ago.

So what is my “Studio”? It is a long narrow room at the back of the house that attaches to the laundry room. It actually used to be the whole laundry room but I cut it up and made a workspace out of part of it.  There is a door that leads outside. Along one wall and around a corner is a long kitchen height counter to use for workspace with a couple of cubby holes to allow a bar-type chair to fit. Windows, over the counter, look out to the yard and drawers for storage are underneath. Opposite the counter are shelves for fabric storage. One wall, that has the door to the laundry room, is burlap covered and serves as a design wall. The door is also covered in burlap…….doesn’t sound too bad.

A lot of people would like to have a space like this. So why haven’t I used it in 15 years? Why, when I have a project to work on, do I spread it out on the island in the kitchen and work at the kitchen table?

Okay, I’m really going out on a limb here. I’m thinking that if I show you some pictures of what it really looks like now and declare my resolution in front of all of you then I can’t back down. I’ll have to save face and clean it up.

Sewing room2

My work room has become a catchall. I don’t sit at the counter or use this room as a “Studio” and work because:

*The counter is piled high with fabric and junk……the whole entire counter!

*A dog crate sits under one of the work cubby holes and fabric is stored in bins under the other, so there is no room for a chair to fit.

Dog crates make another great horizontal surface to hold “stuff!”

*Drawers and shelves are stuffed as full as can be with no room for anything else.

*My burlap covered wall has the second dog crate in front of it as well as a now defunct copy machine. Back when we still had cats, they liked to use the burlap as a scratching post……its pretty ugly right now.

Now, mind you, this won’t be a day project. I have to find a place for all that clutter or get rid of a bunch of stuff. In order to do that, I have to clean out every drawer and shelf so I have a place to put what I really want to keep. I’m going to have to clean the attic so I have a place to store things that I’m not going to use all the time. I’m going to have to replace the burlap wall with something else and dispose of the defunct copy machine……I won’t get rid of the dog crates because I love my dogs and they love their crates…..but I will make room under at least one of the cubby holes for a chair so I can once again sit and look at the nice view as I work.

So how many of you have a “Studio” that needs organizing? How many of you will take the challenge with me and send a “before” photo? Then during the year lets share progress photos…..we CAN do this!