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