Monday, November 19, 2012

What I'm thankful for

The third week of November is set aside for a day of Thanksgiving, and to count your blessings.  Several of my facebook friends have been posting daily reasons to be grateful - which is a wonderful concept, and which can be started anytime of the year; it's equally applicable to either your family life or your business life. Given that this is a OQC post, I'd like to start off with a shout out to the ladies who have given me so much professional support throughout the years.
- Beth Helfter, the owner of EvaPaige Quilt Designs - did you enjoy her guest post blog last week, while I was recovering from A Quilter's Gathering and from the UnTangle Holiday Retreat? I've truly been amazed to watch her star rise, and am proud to be a card carrying member of her Quilting Hotties. The fact that I'm president of the Confetti Toss Fan Club only makes it sweeter.
- Sandy Steen Bartholomew - the original UnTangled girl herself, who has shown me that there is a little girl inside of me who loves to play with drawing...even if, sometimes, she has to pull me out of myself.  And she is stubborn!
- Kate Sussman, Sarah Glenfield and Marie Geary - my great friends and cheerleader squad who are responsible for the magic that it "A Quilter's Gathering".  The three of them are part cheerleaders and part
s a winning combination.
I am blessed with more than I can count here, but I wanted to start the week of Thanksgiving with a shout out to you all.  You'll always have a seat at my table.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

If they ever develop the Oscars of Quilting, and if I ever win in the category of "Least Likely to Care if All My Points Match", my speech would leave out tons of people who have helped me as my quilt design career has gone from "Hey, this is a cute design. Maybe I should publish it." to the 24+ patterns and several lectures and workshops that currently comprise EvaPaige Quilt Designs. The saving grace would be that I would of course look amazing while leaving everyone out.

As the calendar barrels toward Thanksgiving, and Facebook is full of people giving thanks on a daily basis for the basics and the extras, I think I'll take some time today to thank some of the many people I might otherwise leave out on Quilting Oscar night. But first let me insert a photo of myself so you can picture me standing in front of you while I give my speech. I'm even wearing this same shirt today so it is almost like real time. Almost.

"First, a thank you to Linda Pearl. Had she not asked me to guest blog today on The Patchwork Pearl, I might never have crossed paths with some of you. Linda and I have known each other for about 13(!) years, having joined our guild on the same evening way back in 1999, and our friendship was able to continue into the new decade when the world did not explode with Y2K insanity as had been predicted. Linda was one of my testers for my very first pattern, "Feelin' Hot Hot Pink", and I will never forget the look on her face when I handed a very traditional, country colors-loving, homespun quilter the test packet. Another early pattern, "Confetti Toss", was definitely more her style, and to this day Linda remains CT's number one fan, surpassing even myself. Every time I sell one I think of her. I thank Linda for her support of my crazy ideas and even for sometimes asking my advice, which makes me feel for a few minutes like I have a clue what I am doing.

Second, a thank you to the ladies of New England Quilt Designers Cooperative.

Left to right Barbara Chojnacki, me, Kristi Parker, Judy Damon, Terri Sontra, and Cary Flanagan. Perhaps you've heard of us. We were featured in the April 2011 issue of The Quilter magazine, and we will ride that 15 minutes of fame like bunch of  "Bachelorette" rejects for as long as we can. Our group was formed in 2006 with the purpose of sharing ideas, splitting vendor fees at regional shows, and cross marketing our wares. I have become a better quilt designer because each of these ladies has taught me new things and inspired me to keep going. We get into spirited conversations via our private yahoo group almost weekly, and have great fun together whenever we have a show to do or a group lecture to give. Without them I would have even more UFOs, not to mention be paying a lot more for booths at shows. They are amazing.

Third, we have to thank the husband, whom on my Quilting Hottie Haven blog I often refer to as "Mr. Quilting Hottie". Without him, I would not have been given the name Quilting Hottie to begin with, and thus I would not spend at least five minutes a day kind of annoyed that I can't come up with a way to put that on a six character license plate like we have here in MA. Having started EPQD exactly three months before finding out we were having an oops baby (and while we are talking about him, we should probably blame him for her) and not being sure how I would continue what I had started with two preschoolers PLUS an infant, he committed to helping out on weekends as much as possible in those first few years, not only because he truly believed I had talent, but also because he knew I was going to go out of my mind if I couldn't do something other than clean and feed small people. The girls are older now, but he still does all he can to avoid our having to pay too much in childcare when I go out of town, and is always the first fan of any new design I come up with, even if he has to fake it a little. It also doesn't hurt that he doesn't ask too many questions about the purchases I make in the name of EPQD, and recently figured out how to get a 30" machine through a 26" doorway with only one major oil spilling incident. He's pretty cool.

Finally, I want to thank the people who make me feel like what I am doing is worthwhile, whether it is an email saying "Hey, I made your pattern - here's a photo!" or a quick note on my EPQD Facebook page, or a compliment after a lecture or workshop....I definitely don't want to sound like I mean I need constant back-patting and reverence, but without the interaction I get with quilters who are doing things with my patterns I wouldn't be quite as inspired to keep going, and you'll never know how much you can make my day with some of the simplest things you all share."

So there you go. My Quilting Oscar speech. I can already think of 6 people I should have included but time is short and the band is playing.


Beth Helfter is the CEO and Chief of Everything at EvaPaige Quilt Designs, a pattern company dedicated to creating designs in her "fun over fuss" style to appeal to a wide range of quilters; machine applique, embellishment techniques, scrappy with a twist, and simple elegant designs are all represented in the pattern line. In addition, Beth gives lectures and workshops wherever modern transportation will take her and has unofficially crowned herself the "Jewel-it Queen".

You can find her on the web at her website, which she'll be honest she has a hard time updating, her Quilting Hottie Haven blog, which she updates a few times a week and is a better resource for everyone, and her EPQD Facebook page


Friday, November 9, 2012

What we can ALL do to help the victims of Sandy

I'll be back to my regular posting next week, but I wanted to get this post out this morning. All weekend at A Quilters Gathering, we ran into quilters who came up to the conference from the mid-Atlantic for a slice or normalcy in an otherwise chaotic situation. Truth to tell, I missed a lot of the news on this between working show set up and the actual show. What I've seen on the news this week (and have come to understand from conversations with some others who are working on other relief efforts) has shocked me. How can an event like this have had an effect on such a populated area?

For quilters who are looking for a way to help, I hope you've heard about the combined efforts of EQuilter and Timeless Treasures Fabrics...they have put together an effort to provide 5000 (that number still stuns me!) quilts to people who have lost everything in this tragedy. (please click on the link to learn more - they explain it so much better than I can) has mobilized quilters after disasters such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan, in addition to others. They have also partnered with Timeless Treasures fabrics (their web site appears to be down so I can't link you to it) to serve as a collection point for the effort. 

If you are interested in assisting in the efforts, or want more information about this, the best place to get updates and details for now appears to be the page I linked to above; please take the time to read carefully through the details page. If you would like to help but don't feel you can commit to a quilt, you'll be happy to know that has also pledged to donate a % of sales to assist in relief efforts.

Thanks to my friend, Cary Flanagan of Something Sew Fine Designs for posting this on her FB wall this week - that's how I found out about it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Quilter's Gathering finds new home

Good morning from New Hampshire. I've been working with the ladies of A Quilter's Gathering here at the Manchester Radisson all week to premiere the show here starting yesterday. I didn't get to post the video yesterday, but I'm going to be working more with camera today to bring you the sights and sounds of the Gathering. So maybe think of this brief blog post as 1 of x number. Not to mention experiment time - this is the first video I've tried to post through blogger.

I will tell you that the quilts are (as always) amazing, but it's the people who make the show the special event that it is. More coming...