"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.