Hello all, I’m back. Mary Ellen here.
I’ve been doing a lot of stitching lately. I’m getting my samples for my seminar class (Get out of the ditch, class K) ready. Actually I have many samples of the quilting techniques around my house in a variety of projects. Your friend the walking foot is capable of many fun designs, once you free yourself from the “quilt in the ditch” box. I’m making up another set of the placemats we’ll be making in class to use as bases for the quilting. It’s hard to choose which fabrics will photograph well for our website, and to choose the 4 quilting motifs to use that will entice you all to take my class. I’m certain you’ll be pleased with the class if you attend, but I need to get a good teaser prepared to convince you of that. I’m also finding that all of those lovely photos in magazines which show off the quilting to such an advantage are not so easy to achieve. I’ll be bringing samples to our guild meetings as well so you’ll be able to see “the real thing”.
I’ve also been stitching on a Drunkard’s Path variation for a class I’ll be teaching at a local shop. It is amazing to me how much variety in layouts you can achieve with a single block-either by value placement, or some simple rotations and translations of the block. I think it will be great fun to see this block “perform” in the different colors and layouts that the students will be working with. I’m using up a batch of 30’s style fabric scraps I have been
hoarding saving. They work so well in this block.
This morning while walking I listened to a recent Pat Sloan/American Patchwork and Quilting (APQ) podcast. It was the podcast celebrating the magazines 20th anniversary. The first issue of the magazine came out in April of 1993, having 30 pages, at a cost of $4.95. The price hasn’t climbed much in 20 years but the size of the magazine sure has. The editors talked about some of the features of the magazine that have changed and others that are still in each issue. If you are a fan of this magazine, you’ll know these features. How about Laura Boehnke’s color variations for each quilt? Laura started as a technical editor there with issue one, and has been there ever since. American Patchwork and Quilting prides itself on careful editing and testing of the patterns, and I’ll say that any pattern I’ve used from the magazine has been error free. That is not something many other magazines can be proud of.
Rotary cutters were relatively new at the inception of the magazine (invented in 1979)-every pattern in APQ came with templates back then. A column called Rotary Magic appeared for a while, touting the advantages of rotary cutting. “Imagine cutting your quilt pieces without tracing a pattern”. Now many of us can’t imagine making a quilt where pattern/template tracing was a requirement!
I’ve been a reader since issue 1 of the magazine. Do you save all of your issues? I used to have them all (like many National Geographic readers do), from issue one up to present, but recently (for our guild auction in January) gave away many of my back issues. There just is a limit to how much shelf space I can give to magazines I don’t look at anymore. I was beginning to worry that my guest room upstairs, where the bookshelves are, would be crashing down to the first floor any time now! I now am keeping just the last 5 years, so each January I’ll be giving away a bundle of back issues. Although I love old quilts and traditional patterns, I decided that I didn’t use the magazines for that sort of resource. APQ is the only magazine where I save the entire issue; for all my others I just tear out whatever article interests me and save those in notebooks. (OK, I’m a little obsessive about that, I’ll admit it.) I haven’t been converted to digital issues of my favorite magazines yet-I like to turn the pages, fold down corners, put issues of several side by side. The whole tactile thing, you know. Are you a reader of quilt magazines on your computer or iPad or whatever? How do you like it?
What is your favorite feature in American Patchwork and Quilting? Or perhaps you don’t like the magazine-what is missing from it in your mind? For me it’s not really about the patterns. I enjoy reading about the designers, the shops, the historical features, and love to see the photos of readers with the quilts they’ve made.
We’re still needing liaisons to some of our neighboring guilds. If you are a member of a local guild in addition to AMQG, and would be willing to share our information, about seminar and all our activities, with the members that guild, please consider volunteering for the position.