Sew Long!

dianeharris Sew Long!

Diane Harris

After more than 11 years, tomorrow is my last day with Quiltmaker. It was my privilege to be the public voice of Quiltmaker for a number of years, so I wanted to take a few minutes to say good-bye to you, the readers who regularly visit Quilty Pleasures for entertainment and education. I will really miss you!

It has been a great run here at QM. When Editor-in-Chief Brenda Groelz (now Director of Marketing and Education for Handi Quilter) offered me the job in 2005, I had been a stay-at-home mom for two decades. I had a degree in communications and I’d been quilting for 20 years, but nobody was more surprised than I was to be starting a career at age 45. It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the right skills. It has truly been a dream job for me.

100blockspeeking Sew Long!

I’ve written many of the patterns for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.

Most of my days were filled with writing patterns for regular issues, and most recently, for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. This newsstand-only issue continues to be one of QM’s greatest success stories. We’ve just finished the patterns for Volume 14 which you’ll find on newsstands Nov. 15.

I spent several years as QM’s Interactive Editor, which meant that I interacted with readers online. During that time I did most of the blogging here and most of the social media on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. My posts will live on so you can still catch the most popular ones if you like:

sewingmachine Sew Long! Understanding Stitch Length (more important than you think!)

Machine Quilting: Practice, Practice, Practice (you’ll be inspired)

A Quick Quilt Label Method (who knew it was so easy?!)

label11 Sew Long!

A Quick Quilt Label Method

Managing the QM Scrap Squad was one of my favorite tasks. I got to choose a small team of readers annually and work with them over the course of a year to make scrappy versions of Quiltmaker designs. We had so much fun! I loved getting to know each year’s team, and a few times I got to meet some of them in person.

Dianes SS Quilt Collage Sew Long!

They surprised me with a quilt!

The first ever Scrap Squad surprised me with a sampler quilt at the end of their term. It was the first and only time anyone ever made a quilt for me. What a treasure! The Stars and Bars quilt is part of my “Make Extraordinary Scrap Quilts” guild program these days. It always gets a great response.

I’ve managed teams of sewers for QM’s Back to School parties and for the testing of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks—delightful women all!

I learned how to be comfortable in front of a camera while shooting many how-to videos for Quiltmaker. My Dresden Plate video has been the most watched. Take a peek:

We always had such a good time when we shot these. There were plenty of outtakes and lots of laughs.

Quiltmaker published a number of my quilt designs. Giddy-Up Go was an early pattern that is still available as a freebie, so grab it if you like.

82 pattern img Sew Long!

Get the free pattern for Giddy-Up Go

 All Drezzed Up started my love affair with Dresden plate quilts and led to a guild program called “Let’s Play Drezzup.” It appears in the March/April ’10 issue, still available as a digital issue (and it’s on sale for just $2.50).

All Drezzed up Sew Long!

Get the pattern for All Drezzed Up on sale for just $2.50.

You can’t imagine the fun I’m having creating more Dresden plate quilts all the time. They’ll supplement the program nicely.

SewfulThings Sew Long! When I made Sewful Things, above, I learned a trick that made me a better and more efficient piecer. I shared it in Better Piecing: A Perfect Match. Check it out because it’s a really useful tip.

13917 pattern img Sew Long!

Up, Up and Away was the 2012 Project Linus free quilt pattern from Quiltmaker, designed by Diane Harris

In 2012 I designed the annual Project Linus pattern for Quiltmaker. Up, Up and Away is one of 16 free patterns that are perfect for charity quilts or quick baby gifts. There are many others and they’re all winners.

About seven years ago, I answered customer emails for a time when we were without administrative support after a company downsize. I will always remember a customer’s complaint after we published the latest Patch Pal, designed by Denise Starck.

ruffpatch Sew Long!

Ruff Patch, designed by Denise Starck

Her exact words were, “I JUST HATE SEWING ALL THESE LITTLE PIECES TOGETHER!” I replied politely but what I wanted to say was, “Gosh lady, then why are you a quilter?!”

Diane Sew Long!

Quiltmaker’s Block Party events were great chances to get to know our readers.

I had the pleasure of teaching at Quiltmaker’s Block Party Williamsburg, and again in Portland, and on a cruise to Alaska. So much of our work is done away from our customers, and it was delightful to meet some of them and just hang out during these events.

qm1604 everybunny flat450 Sew Long!

Everybunny, designed and made by Diane Harris for Quiltmaker

Like they say, “It was a rough job, but somebody had to do it.” There’s a certain sadness for me as I move on to new adventures, but I wish Quiltmaker and my colleagues there only the best. I know those of you reading will continue to see good things in the pages of QM as well as online, where so much business resides these days.

QMMP 140200 DIANE 450 Sew Long!

Scarlet Spin by Diane Harris for Quiltmaker, Jan/Feb ’14

I’ll continue to speak, teach, write and design, using all that I’ve learned over the years. Those plans are still taking shape, but I hope that your path and mine will cross again as I move in a new direction.

I wish you well. Sew long!

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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39 Responses to Sew Long!

  1. Oh Diane we will miss you! It was a great privilege to be on the scrap squad under your direction and you made it so fun! Thank you for everything you have done for all of the quilting community! I wish you all good things in your future adventures!

  2. Moira says:

    You will be missed Diane! It was a pleasure to work with you as submitted blocks that were then accepted for several top 100 magazines! May your new adventures bring you joy.

  3. You will definitely be missed, Diane. Thanks for choosing me to be part of the “Scrap Addicts”! It was fun, it was a challenge, and you were there, cheering us on all the way!

  4. Donna Amos says:

    I wish you the best of luck in your new adventures! You have been Quiltmaker to me since we first made contact in 2011 when you started the first Scrap Squad. Thank you for choosing me to be one of that group. It has change my quilting life in so many ways and you have always been my inspiration. You made me appreciate “scrappy quilting” You have always amazed me how you could accomplish so many things and still have time for the little notes, and so on. Let us know what you are up to. Always like hearing from you. Thank you again!

  5. Peg Spradlin says:

    So sad to see you leave Quiltmaker-I admire your writing style so much and thought you did a fantastic job with Quilty Pleasures. It was good to get refreshed on all you did for Quiltmaker through the years. I know they’ll miss you. Luckily I live in your state so hope to see you off and on at quilter gatherings.

  6. Diane Paul says:

    Diane,
    I’m sorry to see you go. Your posts always had something very special about them. It felt like I was reading a letter from a friend. When I won the 10 mugs from the 1000 blocks giveaway it was such a surprise. The mugs moved with me to my new home last Feb and soon I hope to make 10 quilts to match them after all the UFO’s I brought with me are done . (That may take another 10 years though).
    Best of luck in your new endeavors. I retired at 56 and thought I’d miss working but I found plenty to keep me occupied.
    Diane

  7. Dana Gaffney says:

    Diane, this makes me a bit sad, I’ve read your posts for so long I feel like I know you. I wish you happy adventures and beautiful quilts.

  8. Judy says:

    Best wishes in your new adventures.

  9. Doris Rice says:

    Diane, I’ve been out of touch in the blogging world the last few months (I opened a quilting retreat facility in Texas). I was so shocked and saddened to see you go. It has been such a pleasure working with you and getting to know you. I wish you the best of luck on your new adventures. Quiltmaker will have a hard time filling your shoes. Quilt on my friend!

  10. Rita Weber says:

    Diane, I’ll never forget that first phone call with you about the “100 small quilts” program for our Kearney guild. I have enjoyed every article and program you have given. I am co-chairing Quilt Nebraska 2017 and I will be recruiting you as an instructor dear friend. You have so many great ideas and talents to share still. Good Luck, I’ll be in touch.

  11. Sandi says:

    Diane, it has been a pleasure to meet and sew with you and I hope as this door closes a bigger and better window opens up new opportunities for you.

    They don’t know what they will miss with you leaving.

    Hope to meet up with you again soon..all the very best in your new adventures.

  12. Kathie L says:

    Best wishes to you. May quilting continue to be a good part of your life.

  13. Nadia says:

    Diane, best of luck in your new adventures whichever direction they take you. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you on the Scrap Squad. I sure hope to see you around the online quilting world in the future. Happy trails! Cheers, Nadia

  14. Pam Cooper says:

    Thank you Diane. I have enjoyed your posts and your patterns over many years, as well as meeting you at the Block Party in Williamsburg. You will be missed. I wish you the best of luck with whatever new challenges come your way! Pam

  15. Irene Chandler says:

    Diane, I have enjoyed working with you first with QM’s Back to School and then with 100 Blocks. You will be missed. Best wishes for your new adventure!

  16. Karen Emerton says:

    I met you at the Williamsburg Block Party. What a great event it was! Thank you for all you have shared with quilters through Quiltmaker.

  17. Pam says:

    Good luck with you next adventure!

  18. We’ll always have Alaska, and Golden, and maybe someday New York or Nebraska. You know I’m a big fan of yours and will follow you wherever I can!

  19. Lavonna ZWB says:

    Blessings, Diane. I hope that you can put in more trips to visit the grandkids!

  20. Best of luck Diane and it has been a pleasure getting to know you. I truly enjoyed last year on the Scrap Squad and I look forward to your new adventures!

  21. Madonna Kay Sweeney says:

    Diane, all best wishes for the next phase of your quilting life! I enjoyed meeting you and taking your Dresden class in Portland and have enjoyed your contributions to Quiltmaker over the years. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about what you do next!

  22. Carolyn says:

    It has been an honor and joy to work with you for the last 11 plus years, and I’m really going to miss you! I wish you all the best and know that our paths will cross again.

  23. Whiskers says:

    I’ve been wondering what you are up to these days. Life keeps evolving whether we are ready for it or not. I’ve often wished I could be a little piece of thread on your lapel and observe all the different things you do in your job. Best wishes on your new fork in the road.

    Claudia of the golfing cows

  24. Carol Vickers says:

    Diane, it seems impossible I won’t be seeing your cheerful face when I visit Quiltmaker’s website. Your patterns and tips have been such an inspiration. When you selected me as a member of the very first Scrap Squad, I was thrilled…..and scared. My confidence as a quilter has increased a hundred times over from that experience and I will be forever grateful for your encouragement and support. May your future endeavors be filled with contentment and success. You will be missed! Hugs, Carol

  25. Pam Snow says:

    Diane,
    I will miss your posts and articles. You are a true inspiration to “sew” many quilters. It was a pleasure to work with you on both Back to School and Scrap Squad. Wishing you success on your new quilting journey. Please keep in touch and perhaps our paths will cross again in the future

  26. Carol B says:

    Diane: Thank you so much for all the fun “quilty stuff” – like the Bitty Blocks, the
    Alaska quilt cruise and all of your articles in my favorite Quiltmaker magazine. Will miss your articles. May your future quilty road be a smooth one with lots of fabric and thread.

  27. Judy walker says:

    Wish you well, I enjoy the mag.

  28. Terri Costa says:

    I really enjoyed working on the Back to School project with you five years ago. I can’t believe how time has flown. You have been an inspiration to me! Good luck in your future endeavors.

  29. Susan718 says:

    Good luck Diane! I have really enjoyed your posts etc!

  30. Anne Wiens says:

    The best part of quilting is the people it brings into your life. It’s been fun working with you on Scrap Squad, 100 Blocks and other quilty pleasures. Enjoy your new “Sewjourn”, my friend.

  31. Sharon Green says:

    Your presence will be missed! I have used your videos over and over to refresh my memory enough to complete a challenging quilt. I hope to see you again. Best of luck to you!

  32. Jennifer says:

    Very best of luck to you! I hope you’ll consider making an appearance now and then, I enjoyed your posts, patterns, advice and humor.

  33. Keri says:

    Diane, it was a joy to be part of your last Scrap Squad team. Your encouragement was invaluable. I learned much about blogging and appreciated your insight. Best of luck in your new adventures.

  34. Jean Tanner says:

    Diane, I will miss you. Quiltmaker is my main quilt magazine. I’m forever indebted to you for answering me so quickly when I requested a 6.5″ unfinished version of the little house block. I made many of those for our guild, who is providing quilts for Habitat for Humanity. I had so much fun that I used four smaller houses to make a neighborhood, and I’m still using that pattern. Blessings.

  35. Mary Ellen says:

    Diane, I’ve been a QM fan for a number of years and have enjoyed following your Blog posts. I have also been testing for QM’s 100 Blocks for the past 8 issues and have enjoyed working with you and the team to make these blocks perfected for each issue. My best wishes for you as you step out and discover new paths your quilting skills will open. I look forward to seeing what unfolds.

  36. Melva Nolan says:

    Best of luck in your new path. It has been wonderful getting to know you over the past several years in all of my various activities with QM. Blessings…

  37. Anne says:

    You have been the face of quiltmaker since I started quilting. I will miss seeing you! Many well wishes for your on going quests….

  38. Deb Praus says:

    Diane,
    It has been a pleasure working with you and you will be missed. Good Luck in your new adventures and be assured, I will be following you! Thanks for everything.

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