Thursday, January 16, 2020

From Virtual To Reality

When the quilting community where is you live is so small, it makes it worth your while to take the extra effort to make real connections happen. I think that it's safe to say, that the majority of my quilting friends and connections have come via the Internet. The even more exciting part of that, is that I've had the opportunity to turn many of those online connections to real life ones.

I have actually followed Rachel's blog, Stitched in Color for quite some time now... falling into the all too common "silent reader" category, and only later on Instagram commenting back and forth more frequently. Since she has recently moved to Europe, we now have the commonality of both being American expats. I have to admit, that I am really glad that I have some of those challenges of living in a foreign country already behind me. Each step was a process, and I know exactly what she is going through having made the brave leap.

Recently my husband and I traveled to the Netherlands for our anniversary. In the days before our trip, it dawned on me that Rachel could be somewhere close by... when I googled it, I realized it was only about an hour from where we were staying!?!

Since I had been mulling it over in my mind for months to send her one of my quilts, I decided that our travels would take us too close to not see if an in-person hand over would be possible (how awesome is that, that your husband takes a detour to listen to you "talk shop" on your anniversary trip?!?)

I found her to be very warm and pleasant, exactly as she comes across on her blog. I got the feeling that she really cared about the quilting that she was doing... especially since she knew that this was to be a very personal quilt, and planned to be used frequently in our living room! 

Needless to say, I am super over the top excited about how the quilt turned out. Since I am more into organic and natural shapes, the plumage design was my first pick. I had the idea to make the design a bit bigger to give it a more modern feel. It was actually very helpful for me to talk it over in person, not to mention that we had some other fun quilty conversations too.

Welcome to this small, but open quilting community here... you might have to dig deep to find them, but when you do, you'll find that they are gold!

... and if you happen to be in Europe, Rachel is offering a €20 discount on her quilting services this week! Just use the code: jumpstart.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Happenings For 2020!

The last months for me have been relatively quiet...everywhere. My days have been filled with economizing decisions, that left me having to brush social media to the side in order to meet deadlines for some of the exciting things that I have coming up in 2020! So much of the last part of 2019 has been planning for this year!

The biggest part of 2020 for me, will be several teaching events here in Germany. A lot of time and energy went into scheduling, planning, writing class descriptions, and simply emailing other details back and forth.I will be teaching all my classes in German, which is a fun challenge since it is not my native language, but I am lucky that most Germans find an American accent to be charming. 

This will be my third year teaching at Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe, Germany, and I am really excited about the two classes that I will be offering:

"Reverse Applique Method” for combining Simple Piecing & Pieced Blocks.You most likely know that starch applique is one of my favorite applique methods, but reverse applique is a very close second... there are so many possibilities, and as I've mentioned before, can be a big short cut for some curved sewing quilt patterns. This technique becomes really exciting when it is combined with simple piecing or pieced blocks.

Combining Felt Applique with Quilting or Paper Projects. Adding felt applique can be a fun way to add interest and texture to a quilting project... or even mixed medium projects. Delicate and filigree cut out shapes can be achieved and highlighted with fun quilting fabrics using a reverse applique technique for that extra added surprise detail.

.. and now my full teaching schedule for 2020. I'm excited to get to cooperate with so many great shops and sewing groups... will I see you there?

Now, let's talk pattern releases: This spring and early summer will be a very busy pattern launch time. In March, my "Fly High, Dragonfly" and "A" Is For Apple patterns release, followed by "Purdy Bird" in June.

"Fly High, Dragonfly" will kick off the beginning of my teaching schedule in spring. I have a second version in the works to demonstrate the various steps, which has a more subtle and subdued feel than this one. This quilt is the perfect combination between traditional piecing and simple applique shapes.

Even though you've seen "A" Is For Apple before, I had to do some fine tuning and tweaking before it was ready for release. The pattern hits several techniques, including reverse applique and XXL applique... I've got another version in the works that I will be sharing soon... Granny Smith, anyone?

You may have remembered seeing "Purdy Bird" in the November 2019 issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Purdy Bird really is a mixed bag of quilting techniques, including paper piecing, curved piecing, and a New York Beauty block. The applique shapes are super simple, and this is the perfect project for an experienced quilter who would like to dabble in applique. If I have enough quilters that are interested, I am considering a Quilt-A-Long in the fall for Purdy Bird... are you game?

It's exciting for me to see the quilting community in Germany getting more connected to each other. Since quilting in Germany is not as well known as in the US, sometimes it can leave you feeling like a lone wolf. But now, because of groups like Das Quilt Kollektiv and Uta Hanson's Patchwork Online-Konferenz, more efforts are being made to connect online quiltling communities in Germany to each other.

I was so flattered that Uta asked me to be a part of her online conference, especially with her line-up of experts in the German speaking community. To sign up for the conference is free, and the interviews will be available for 24 hours. If you would like to watch the interviews after that, she has put together a package that you can purchase, and watch at your leisure.

You can hear my interview tomorrow on January 9th, 2020 (in German, of course) Find all the information on her website,

... so are you ready for 2020? I am!
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