Quantum Leap for blog

Quantum Leap photo by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Here I am at Quilt Market, the trade show for the industry. This is where all of the new and trendy stuff just is. I’ve been posting pics of facebook for both Generation Q Magazine and myself. To say that I am having fun would be an understatement. To say that I’m working hard would be an understatement. My feet ache, my arms are sore and my mind is swimming and my heart full.

badge with author ribbon

Here’s the big news

While today is the final day of Market there are moments of generosity that took my breath away and moved me to tears. Yep, tears.
it’s hard to say thank you for a gift of art from a cancer survivor
the gift of joy from another cancer survivor
the gift of generosity and kindness and concern for how others are treated
the generosity of teachers and shop owners and vendors.

the “welcome to the family!” from an unexpected source and

the joy of explaining “Days for Girls” As soon as I have the time, I’ll write more about this and how GenQ  is organizing an event to help out this organization,

I finished Quantum Leap. Barely. Just in time for Jeanie to be able to hang it in her booth. It’ll come back to me eventually so that I can bind it again and for a little tweaking. Overall I love this quilt. We had our moments let me tell you.

And for my big news.

I am going to write a book.
Yep. I know a few of you have guessed this. I was waiting to share this wee bit of news for a  bit longer but when Roxane Cerda said, “hey go get your author ribbon at the C&T booth” I realized that this is time to just admit it and get down to the business of writing.

I am so stinkin’ excited. This is with the company that I have always wanted to pitch and work with. There are a lot of great companies out there that would be fabulous to work with but this, this is the dream. There may be gaps in the blogging and I know you’ll understand. There will definitely be gaps in what I can share of the work I’m doing. I’m not the first quilt blogger turned book author and won’t be the last.

Happy Quilting!


Ponder 1With the extensive blogroll on the side here you can see that I check in on and read a lot of blogs. There are more that I subscribe to including Seth Godin and Bernadette Jiwa of The Story of Telling and a few more. Bernadette wrote What Will Your Verse Be about the death of her hero Robin Williams. Side note – one of the best eulogies here: Russel Brand

There are a couple of things that Bernadette says about Robin that spoke to my heart:

He cared about doing that. He knew it mattered. He understood that he was here to contribute a verse and that doing it meant facing his fear of failure. I’m glad he did.


Despite his genius Robin Williams was no exception, he experienced the fear of not being good enough as we all do.

There is so much running through my mind right now: how he has been part of life for so long I can’t quite remember a time when he wasn’t there; he mattered; he gave life; brought us joy, touched our hearts. Oh I could go on. I could share how Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, Mork & Mindy and Patch Adams touched my heart. I could touch on how depression and mental illness are so misunderstood. (they are) Robin’s mind and heart, his love and humor will remain for a long time.

I am a quilter. And I want to speak to quilters: what you do matters – whether or not it’s public. We wrap people up in love, make art for their walls, keep them warm, bring a smile to their faces, offer comfort in tough and downright ugly times. That’s what matters.

That fear of not being good enough – it’s there, right under the surface for all of us. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it, to express it, own it. I’d like to sit here and say just relax, it’s a quilt, it’s thread and fabric and batting. But it’s who we are, like Robin, on stage (quilt shows, blogs, magazines, patterns, fabric, thread collections) for all to see. And sometimes that fear  that we’re not good enough is realized in the comments other people make. I’m not calling out anyone in particular or referencing anything specific. Though with several recent events I could. Oh wait, I’ve called myself out before for being less than kind in my words.

It is exactly this fear that “giving quilters permission to do whatever they want” hopes to address. Seek your own path, find joy in your quilting, quilt for you, quilt because you enjoy it, quilt through the troubles, quilt through the fear, (and yes I speak to myself as much as I speak to you). Ask questions as much for what to do as what Not to do. Quilting is a journey of the heart and to the heart. And your heart is precious. Your mind is amazing.

I also want to say make quilts for here and now – not 100 years from now. That quilting for 100 years for now adds so much stress and anxiety to our quilt making. I do not care one whit if my quilts last 100 years, I quilt for here and now with as much passion, heart, soul, and joy as I have in this moment. Quilts are for now. They bring joy here and now.

Now go quilt your day. I’m going to write, try out new rulers, write some more, review a book or two, write another blog and send a big email and search for inexpensive plane ticket.

Go quilt your world!


Aurifil smilieEnjoy



i’ll be quilting and working

and quilting some more after work Meadowlark chevron vines

what about you?

there’s a few more days before

Just a few more days to enter the drawing for some of Melanie’s Meadowlark fabric!

Happy Quilting!


could you be any cuter

I did one of those fb quiz type things and this was the answer…how fun!

Hand dye by Laurie TignerThe last few weeks have been creatively busy with behind the scenes stuff that is really amazing, some for me, some for Generation Q Magazine and some for BERNINA University.
It’s really a lot of fun.
In the next 5 days:
Two days at the shop where I work
There are quilts that will mug it for the camera.
Words that will be written.
Kits prepared.
handouts printed
little sleep – that’s what plane rides are for
and great joy at getting to do the quilterly things I love.
Last night I opened a package to find this gorgeous hand dyed piece by Laurie Tigner. There are several faces in it. Oh did we have fun finding them. this one looks like  a dancer!

Tomorrow I’ll show you where I accidentally found a magnet on my BERNINA 780.

Happy quilting!


tulip surpriseSpring and Autumn are my times of the year.

I love the color.

hyacinth bloomsI love the fragrance.

I love feeling the earth come alive with glorious beauty once again

dogwoodthe tulips start blooming

and daffodils

hyacinths and


the seedum changes color

the mocking birds build a nest in our arbor and serenade us

And I am renewed

And grateful

Happy Quilting!


IMG_0423When quilting goes well the back and the front both look good.
That’s our goal as quilters.
I love the back of Tilde. I love the subtle play of color of the gray on the yellow/orange.
Did you know that my original intention was to use a bright teal blue on the back?
I wanted that dancing color contrast. You know where you see movement.
As I started quilting the teal kept popping up to the front. I’d tweak the tension.
Blue popped to the front.
After the 5th time I quit using the blue and switched to the gray.IMG_0422
The blue was a 50 weight cotton; the gray is a 60 weight polyester. A lighter thread.
Thread change – no more pokies – a happier quilter.Happier Quilt.

happy quilting!


PS wait til you see Keith’s next quilt!

Aside from letting you know when I’m teaching I refrain from talking about things that happen at work. In part because most of the time it’s helping quilters choose fabric, helping customers purchase machines, find the right fabric for a pattern their making or teaching free-motion machine quilting. Though I do get very excited when a quilter has that light bulb moment and just gets it. That to me is the best moment ever.
We had a bit of a slow moment the other day allowing me to spend a bit more time with a customer. She needed a dress for a party, a limited time to get it made and needed a simple pattern that one of the seamstresses we recommend could turn around in two weeks. Amy (not her real name) had a pretty clear idea of what she wanted and truthfully she’d look beautiful in whatever she chose. Like all of us there is this one thing holding her back from getting the style of dress that she had in mind because…  After looking around at fabrics and choosing a gorgeous green silk with some pink undertones (one of those lovely reversible silk that could be pink with green undertones), we set that aside and went to look for patterns. I showed Amy the patterns giving her a little direction of where to look then helped a few other customers. When I returned I helped her look, pointing out a few patterns that would work. Because Amy had a clear idea of what she thought she needed to do – well she hesitated. We both agreed on one pattern but it was the same problem – it needed this one thing to be perfect. Well.

with Gen Q Mag at the City quilterI’m going to pause here and share something with you.
I am a
short (I can’t do anything about this)

fat (I have struggled with weight for-ever! and please don’t make this a food/exercise issue it’s not entirely that)

quilter (and a pretty good one at that)

I’ve said this for a long time to one of the teachers at work. It really bothered her until I explained that this is not a put down of myself on my part. It is a statement of reality and an acceptance of what is. After years and years of up and down weight and struggling with it I just finally decided to stop beating myself up and be happy with myself. I am beautiful just as I am. Once the teacher realized where my mind and heart are she stopped chiding me.
I shared this with Amy and did the whole visual. I stood up, showed her where I like to wear skirts in the summer – shocking! above the knee – and told her that I wear them because I like them. I’m comfortable. What else really matters? I went on to say if the style of dress that you like is going to allow you to feel beautiful and pretty then go for it. No one is really going to be looking at (insert whatever here). They will see your beauty and your confidence. And THAT is more important than anything else.
Amy left to go shopping and get the dress she wanted. She had a huge smile on her face and walked out with a great sense of confidence and purpose.
I did ask to see a photo of her in her dress I do hope she comes back in.

Dear Quilters – this is the one thing I hope to, want to, desire to instill in you as I teach.
This is hard won on my part.
This is hard won on anyone’s part.
Be confident, act confidently.
Know that the skill will come over time.


Go quilt your world!


PS – this post isn’t about ME, or Amy. This post is much about how our words effect others. I have said things I’m not proud of either. A quilter recently posted on fb that someone told her that because she uses patterns she’s not creative. She was hurt deeply. I nearly went ballistic. I did comment on this and I’m very glad this was not said in my presence because I’m not sure I could have held my tongue or said something charitably.


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