Friday, November 14, 2014

It's Not an Illusion!

I'm so happy to be able to introduce you to another new book, Optical Illusions:  Innovative Designs for the Modern Quilter published by Kansas City Star Quilts.  It's a unique concept and contains quilts from nine quilters, many of them from my Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  Can I say how proud am I?  I'm happy to be one little stop on this tour through the book.

The beautiful photographs throughout the book showcase the quilts and the scenery of Lawrence, Kansas.  This books makes me feel like home both in the location and the aesthetic of the quilts.  

 Jamie David's Aura quilt is my favorite in the book and I'm not surprised that it was chosen for the cover.  It's spectacular in both color and design.  I don't say this often about a quilt in a book, but I will make that quilt.
 I also love Mary Kay Fosnacht's Tangerine Tumbler.  I love the illusion that her quilt creates.  It's simple and complex all in one and has such a strong visual impact.
Take a look at Jessica Toye's Water Ripples quilt.  Isn't that a fantastic illusion of movement in this quilt?  Stunning, and constructed with only one simple block.

Optical Illusions contains just nine quilts and their instructions, but it is a tightly written, well curated set of quilts and I think for those of you who love graphic, interesting quilts, it's a book you would love as well.

Be sure to check out the whole tour and I have a Kona color card to giveaway to my readers today just for reading about this new book, so if you're interested, leave me a comment on your thoughts on this new book.  I'll choose a winner on Monday.  Enter by Sunday, midnight central time.

The winner was Anya!  Congrats!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A New Brand?

I'm thinking about changing my branding to my name.  Maybe something like this.  What do you think?
Based on your feedback, I did a little tweaking adding my first name.
Thoughts?




Orange has always been my fav color and is my preference.  It always seems to be viewed as a risky choice.  I think this was written with me and my philosophy in mind.  From an article on color choice in logos:

  • "Orange is often see as the color of innovation and modern thinking. It also carries connotations of youth, fun, affordability and approachability."





Monday, November 3, 2014

Quilting the New Classics



"...a single quilt does not exist in a vacuum.  Every quilt is tied to past quilts and past traditions, to other forms of visual culture, to its maker's ancestors, to its future use, and to all the stories we collectively tell ourselves about quilts...Every quiltmaker and every quilt is part of this ongoing conversation of adapting, innovating, and contributing to a larger, more beautiful whole."

from the foreword by Janneken Smucker

This quote from the foreword of Michele Muska's new book eloquently sums up the philosophy behind her new book, Quilting the New Classics.  Michele chose 10 traditional blocks and asked a group of quilters to interpret them in both a traditional and modern way with a touch of each quilter's personal stamp resulting in an eclectic mix of beautiful quilts.  I am happy to be a part of Michele's book and I am also proud to be a contributor to that "more beautiful whole."

There are ten traditional patterns featured in the book.  Each has its own chapter and Michele shares a brief history of the pattern along with historical examples and then a traditional and modern interpretation of the pattern along with instructions for each.  Whatever your quilting aesthetic, I'm sure you'll be able to find a design in this book that will intrigue you.


My assignment was a modern interpretation of a log cabin block.  I was paired with the incomparable Pat Sloan.  You can see our quilts side by side on the back cover.  My quilt, Hot Flash, is a minimalist interpretation of a log cabin and you can guess the inspiration from the title.  The quilt is lovingly subtitled, "My Hubby Wears Wool Socks and a Sweater in the Summer". 

When you get your copy, be sure to check out Michele's beautiful yoyo quilt made with Kona solids.  I never thought I could fall in love with yoyos, but that one intrigued me for sure.  I also loved Elisa Sims Albury's interpretation of the Bear Paw with her mama and baby bear blocks.

I am the last stop of the tour for Quilting the New Classics.  If you'd like to win a copy of the book, please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday at noon central time.  I'll choose a winner from the comments, or you can purchase a copy of the book so you'll be sure to get one.  

My greatest takeaway from participating in Michele's book, is that we don't own these designs and techniques, we share them, and we should be encouraged to use, adapt, redesign and put in our personal touch as we make what we love.  

The rest of the tour is listed here in case you want to hop around and check out everyone's thoughts on Quilting the New Classics and don't forget to listen to Pat Sloan interview Michele this afternoon on Pat's radio show.  Enjoy!

Nov. 3rd Jacquie Gering You're here now!
Nov. 3rd Pat Sloan 4:00pm eastern time  American Patchwork and Quilting radio show!

Comments are closed.  Winner announced tomorrow!





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Good People = Good Business

Many of us would know this logo anywhere and have spent many happy hours perusing and shopping the Pink Chalk shop.  I'm sad and happy at the same time that the Pink Chalk team will no longer be one of my go to online shops.  Kathy Mack, owner, proprietor, mentor and model business woman has decided to change direction and forge a new path.  She explains her decision in this post.
I can't let this moment in time pass by without letting Kathy and her team know what they have meant to me.  I have enjoyed the support, encouragement, terrific customer service, not to mention quality products from the Pink Chalk team. I will miss the small and not so small bundles emblazoned with the Pink Chalk sticker. 

The title of this post is Good People = Good Business and Kathy is the epitome of that statement.   She has taught me and many others how to be a business woman and modeled for us all how to support others as makers.  I have appreciated her generous spirit, vast knowledge and her enthusiastic support of the making community.  

I wish her all the best in her new venture and want her to know that I'll be there, watching, learning and hopefully participating.  You go, girl!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Running Man

I'm home for a bit and I'm hoping to focus only on sewing.  It's so easy to let paperwork and other distractions get in the way of studio time. That means leaving the phone on the floor below so it's not tempting to check it.  It means limiting email to three 30 minute sessions, morning, noon, evening.  It's time to focus.  It also means picking one project and sustaining through to a finish.  That is not my forte when my head is swimming with ideas.

On the design wall right now is "The Running Man" quilt.  This piece is inspired by my husband.  I've tweaked the position of the prints to death and now I'm committing to the design and sewing it together.


I will say I don't need any more practice sewing and pressing LONG straight lines.  I'm pretty happy with how straight everything is staying.


Just in case you're interested, on Tuesday I'll be doing this Webinar for the MQG.  If you're still confused about how to identify a modern quilt, be sure to join me.  MQG members, sign up on the community site. See you there!





Sunday, September 21, 2014

A New Place to Be - The KC Studio Reveal

Two moves in two months has finally brought me home.  It's been exhausting and exciting all at the same time. While we've been working hard to get settled it's been mostly boring work (foreclosure fix-ups) like electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, locksmiths, and trying to convince an internet provider that our place does exist and needs internet. It's all stuff that needs to be done but doesn't make anything prettier and isn't fun to blog about.  

I've built a pantry in the kitchen (since whoever designed this place didn't think kitchens needed cabinets to put things, added storage shelving in the under stairs closet to store quilts (doesn't every house need this?), and knocked out a wall and rebuilt it (with the help of my son) so that the built-in desk area would fit my sewing table.  We're getting a handle on what still needs to be done and that feels good.  

The priority for me now is to create an inspirational space to create and sew.  My studio is the "family room" space in our place.  It is 15' x 15' and has one true wall, one full wall of windows to the balcony, and two sides that are railings where I can see to the floors below.  Being scared of heights I tend to hover around the one real wall.  The great thing is the light...so much light and high ceilings.  That all makes me happy.  It's the best part about our new place.

I took a bunch of pictures so you can see the studio as it is today.  In a few weeks its been rearranged about twenty times.  It's hard to find the right configuration especially in a room with only one wall and no closet or built in storage.  Quilters have lots of stuff and I like most everything at my fingertips, but put away.  I don't like clutter, so getting organized in this space was challenging for me. I've made use of the master bedroom closet to store batting, scraps, teaching materials and teaching sample quilts.  I don't have that many clothes so it works for me.

It may not stay this way, but for now, I'm ready to make things again.  Enjoy and hopefully finished pieces will be flowing out of the studio soon.

The studio from the top of the steps.

Rulers at hand in a letter holder I found at Target.

This is a studio/office space.  I do paperwork here in addition to making things.  

I love having a comfortable place to sit, to ponder work on the design wall, to curl up and read or sketch or to have a friend join me in the studio.  And yes, it's orange.

I have two machines set up.  This is my primary machine which I use for about everything.  I reupholstered my stool and covered my desk pad in fabric to match my chair.

I made a cutting station with two cabinets from Target and a piece of MDF from Home Depot.  I painted the cutting table a light aqua blue to add some color to the space.  The cutting table top is attached to the cabinets with industrial strength velcro so it doesn't move when I'm cutting.

The two Target cabinets are placed in an L-shape that gives me more horizontal space to put things and opens the space between them for more storage options and a more open feel in the room.

It's a bit crowded on my desk so I bought the blue cabinet to give me some extra office storage in addition to my file cabinet.

Vashon sits next to my desk.

One shelf is filled primarily with books, magazine and a bit of fabric.

I hit the new IKEA in Kansas City and got this clock.  I'm a modern clock collector.  My kids think I'm nuts to have multiple clocks in one room.  I disagree.  There can never be enough clocks.

Special things inspire me.  Want to go for a ride in my van?

I use my Pantone magazine holders to hold all sorts of things.  I hook on my water and best press so they're right by my ironing board when I need them.

Yoda watches over me.

Fabric is stored on these two shelves and in the Target cabinets.  I've reduced my stash of prints significantly in this move.  

Storage of all my solid color cards.

You can never have enough Yoda.

This is the built in desk area where my son Ben and I ripped out an ugly desk, rebuilt the wall to make more room and tada, built in sewing nook in the hallway.  We had to rip out the carpet too and look at the great job Ben did putting in a new floor.

I use the sewing nook area only for quilting.

The thread cabinet my dad built hangs over the sewing nook.


With only one true wall, finding design wall space was a challenge, but a priority.  I have an 8' x 8' design wall area with a great view from the orange chair.  The rug was another IKEA find, so cheap, but adds so much great color!

I painted the back sides of those Target cabinets with the aqua paint since they were ugly brown particle board.  Spruces it up nicely and adds more color.

The new teal cabinet gives me some hidden storage which I love and a place to put my printer.

The Target cabinets each have three drawers and shelves behind a sliding door.  They were easy to build and again give me lots of hidden storage for all those things I need to work, but don't want clutter up my space.  I've got some fabric in there too.

Fabric is organized by color with stacks of prints with stacks of solids.

Tools I use all the time are on my cutting table at my fingertips.

I'm back to traveling again after a few weeks at home.  I've updated my teaching/travel schedule under the Schedule tab.  Check out where I'm going to be in the next year or two.  I'm going lots of great places.  I might be near you. 

Happy to be back! 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Coming Back for a Cause...The Fifth Annual Action Kivu Fundraiser


Action Kivu is an organization close to my heart and that I've supported since I found out about its work from my friend and fellow quilter Alissa Haight Carlton.  For the fifth year, Alissa is holding a fundraiser on her blog to raise money for Action Kivu.  Each year I have shared this event with my readers because I would like all of you to join me, in whatever amount you can, in support of this amazing organization.  Our goal this year is to raise $15,000.  I know we can do it!
If you're new here, the mission of Action Kivu is to "provide the Democratic Republic of Congo's victims of violence the opportunity to rebuild their lives on a foundation of hope, dignity and economic self-sustenance." 

Hope, dignity and economic self sustenance come in the form of a sewing machine and a school book. Our money provides sewing machines and the opportunity to learn skills to make a living to women who have been victimized by unspeakable violence.  What we take for granted will change the lives of women and children in the Congo.  We can change lives.  We have changed lives.  We can continue to help women and children, but we have to give!  Every donation makes a difference.  

The faces of these women say more than I can about the joy and power that comes with making.


In case you need a little motivation to give, I have donated the Radiate quilt to the cause.  For a $100 donation, you'll be in the running to win this quilt.  It's a version of the Supernova quilt and is about 55" by 55".  
It's got some of my signature straight line quilting.
 It would love to come and live with you.  To have a chance, you need to give.  I'd love there to be lots of $100 donations this year to help that thermometer fill in all the way to $15,000.
There are many other prizes for donations that fit any budget.  Please head over to Alissa's blog to check them out , read more about the work of Action Kivu and to give.  Give generously.  Please remember what sewing and quilting have given to you.  This is a good time to pass those joys on to others.  
I'd also appreciate if you would help me spread the word on social media.  Share this fundraiser on facebook, twitter and instagram.  The more we involve, the more money we will raise!  Use these hashtags #akfundraiser, #sewing, #congo, #actionkivu


Friday, June 27, 2014

Essential Guide...It's a Good Thing!

Folks ask me all the time if I'm going to write a new book.  This one isn't all mine, but I wrote a chapter in it and I'm pretty pleased to be a part of a book like this, The Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making.


There are a couple of things I love about this book.  It focuses on technique and the "essentials" and it's a "guide" rather than a recipe for making modern quilts.  There are ten workshops in the book along with sixteen patterns.  The workshops are written by a group of well-respected modern quilt makers. 


My workshop in the book is on The Alternate Grid.  I'm pretty passionate about breaking the traditional grid structure and in my workshop I teach many of the ways I create quilt tops outside of the grid. Breaking free as I like to say.

My quilt in the book is "Burst".  It's a simple, black and white linear quilt with strong, graphic appeal.  It's so me.  


If you think this book is for you, now is the time to snap it up.  The Taunton Store will provide a 20% discount on your order with the code EGQM20.  The code is good from 6/23 - 7/21.  I think you'll love it.

Check out the tour and get the skinny  from the workshop authors. 
6/23 // Chapter 1: Principles of Color // Teacher: Kari Vojtechovsky
6/24 // Chapter 2: Working with Solids // Teacher: Alissa Haight Carlton
6/25 // Chapter 3: Working with Prints // Teacher: Dan Rouse
6/26 // Chapter 4: Improvisational Patchwork // Teacher: Denyse Schmidt
6/27 // Chapter 5: The Alternate Grid // Teacher: Jacquie Gering
6/30 // Chapter 6: Circles and Curves // Teacher: Cheryl Arkison
7/01 // Chapter 7: Paper Piecing // Teacher: Penny Layman
7/02 // Chapter 8: Large-Scale Piecing // Teacher: Heather Jones
7/03 // Chapter 9: Modern Machine Quilting // Teacher: Angela Walters
7/04 // Chapter 10: A Study of Modern Quilts // Teacher: Heather Grant