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Question of the Week -- May 28, 2017

Good morning!
Welcome to the start of a new week and a new month in a few days. It's also a three-day weekend for many people since tomorrow is Memorial Day. I hope we all can take a moment to remember and honor those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

My question for all of you this week is...

Can you name three people who have encouraged and inspired you the most with your quilting journey?

Please take a moment to share your answers with us in the forum. However you are spending the weekend, I hope you have a safe one. Take care!
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May 28 2017 10:56 AM

Too many to name.  And most of them live right here on this list.

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Can I say the whole MQR group? Well...I'm gonna say it anyway.  My customers.  Taking Carla Barrett's "Quilt Whisper" class and having her support and encouragement when I first started out.  

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I agree, the MQR family has been both a support and inspiration.  Especially you Jo Ann.  You've held this group together.

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May 28 2017 12:32 PM

Different people have inspired me at different points along my quilting journey.


When I first started out, it was Pam Clarke.  Her stuff was easy to understand, I got good results with it, my customers were pleased.

DeLoa Jones also had good stuff.  Her classes were excellent.  She was very organized in her teaching, building logically from one design to the next. 


Kimmy Brunner for her love of feathers

Renae Haddadin for her love of analyzing and explanation

Angela Walters for her love of life.


This road is a slippery slope.  I think I'll stop here, knowing that there have been many others who have inspired me over the years. 

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I think in piecing, drafting, and design, Marsha McCloskey.  I am very fortunate that she lives here in Eugene.  I've taken a few classes from her, and she's become a friend.  I've even quilted a few things for her.  In longarm quilting, I've had many who have inspired me.  I really latched on to Karen McTavish's style at the beginning, but probably the most inspiration and support has come from the Sunday/Wednesday night chat friends, Donna James, Michelle Wyman, Cecilia Hosford, Deborah Poole, and Bethanne Nemesh.  They put up with my whining and helped me get back on track when I had decided to throw in the towel.  I'm not totally back on track yet, but I'm getting there.


Michelle made me think about how I first learned to quilt.  I think I have nearly every episode of Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts on VHS tape.  I didn't take my first official quilting class until several months after I bought my longarm, so I was essentially taught by Alex and all her guests.

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Michelle Wyman
May 28 2017 02:50 PM

I, too, have way too many to only pick three.  But there were a few when I first started quilting that I found particularly supportive:



Nichole Webb and Jamie Wallen - these two co taught for quite a few years, way back when.  They were instrumental in my learning to trust myself for freehand work.  They still inspire me. 


Many of the great MQX/MQS teachers - Linda Taylor, Dawn Cavanaugh, Deloa Jones, Renae Haddadin, Pam Clarke, Karen McTavish (where I learned how to make my first award winning shadow trapunto wholecloth!).   These generous and talented ladies taught me basic and intermediate skills and were always willing to go the extra mile for their students.



Helen Baczynksi and Crystal Smythe - these two ladies know more about the IQ than I ever will!  They are both amazing teachers!



Fons and Porter, Alex Anderson, Marti Michel and many local teachers.  I teethed on Fons and Porter's classic instruction book - Quilters Complete Guide.  This was way before the internet, and my copy is dog eared with the binding coming loose. 


And of course, I concur that MQR (and before that, Longarmchat) is the most supportive, friendly and educational source for my day-to-day fix.  Thank you to every who shares. 

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Three? Nope nope nope!


Diane Tricka- a quilter local to me who came over to hold my hand when I got my new to me Gammill and no lessons. She was more than generous and saw to it that I started out with enough skills to not get OVERLY frustrated!


Suzanne Early...I took her Feather Boot Camp and that made all the difference. I still dont' do a 'hump and bump' feather, but my long arm feathers look pretty good if I say so myself. I LOVE to quilt them and would gladly quilt those quirky feathers all over every quilt I make!


The quilting teachers I have been fortunate to take classes from in person: Jamie Wallen, DeLoa Jones, Judy Madsen...I am sure I have taken more than that, but those stick out. I dont' like working on a different machine than mine or sharing a machine,  but I ALWAYS take lots of great ideas home...


And of course the quilters here- always ready with encouragement and ideas. Many times at odd hours and asked in desperation! I have never been disappointed..and always bolstered with ideas! I won't even try to name names. I know I would forget someone. Its a great place to 'speak quilting' and not be misunderstood!

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Helen Baczynski
May 28 2017 08:51 PM
Oh, Michelle! I'm blushing, and honored! Thank you! I've learned a lot from Crystal too - she thinks differently to me.

The year after I got my longarm, I went to my first MQS and filled my days with classes because I thought I'd never go again. I got my machine directly from Gammill so no dealer and no classes. That first year I taught myself, so when I got to MQS the people who had the most influence were Pam Clarke, Linda Taylor and Dawn Cavanaugh. The quilts that I remember the most were by Laura Lee Fritz. I took a class from her the second time I went to MQS.
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Nicole Webb and Jamie Wallen -- many, many moons ago when they came to Memphis -- like 1999 or so.  And Sally Terry, Sherry Rogers Harrison, Kim Brunner, MQR -- well, I can't name just three!!!!!

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Michelle Wyman
May 29 2017 07:44 AM
Joyce, I was in that class! What a great workshop! And the first time I had ever eaten at PF Change too!
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I remember that Quilt Whisperer class too.


I totally agree with Riley's slippery slope list--great inspirations and teachers.


A little closer to home--my Mom was a Home Ec teacher, who sewed.  She made only a few quilts, but I spent many an hour as a pre-schooler, perched on the edge of her sewing desk, doing dot to dot puzzles while she sewed--patiently telling me which number came next (I know now that feeling of doing whatever it takes to get some sewing time)--she made clothes for her and for us--she made me Blue Jeans!! and my grad dress, and my bedspread--and she made gifts---I very much remember the sound of the sewing machine as soon as we kids were all in bed near birthdays and Christmas.    So I wanted my kids to have that memory too, and that is why I started sewing and quilting.  (only one dress for oldest cured me of any sewing except for fleece hoodies and mitts).  And so the quilting began.


I'd finished one quilt,  and loved the surface quilting (as Jamie Wallen calls it), so when a quilting group was being discussed and explored at the church, I volunteered to quilt a quilt that was in need of a quick finish (and I had, after all, successfully meandered my one and only quilt--I was fearless LOL).   So, they not only trusted me with their completed top, one lady (Colleen) had to loan me her machine, since I only had my Grandma's old Kenmore that was neither high nor low shank, and thus I couldn't get a free motion foot for it.  That was the start of a very great friendship**, and what has become a very successful Quilting Ministry at our church, where we have taught many others to quilt.  Colleen was my first customer when I bought a short arm on a frame and she had quilts in my queue when I got my longarm, both before I thought I was ready for customers!!! Her faith in my skills has meant a lot.


So, that's my Mom and Colleen.  One more.....


Next, I guess, on my journey, was the yahoo group for the shortarm, and somehow that lead to me discovering Cindy Roth's Longarm University --which somehow lead to me discovering MQR--I'm thinking the link there was Kay Bell (who did mind blowing work on a 9" machine on a grace frame, long before she got her longarm) and the start of my 'internet friends' and going to MQX West in 2011 and meeting some of my internet friends (all while strongly admonishing my children NEVER to do that)


**friendship despite what happened next.  Now that I knew I wanted to quilt, I could invest in a machine, so I went and bought my BabyLock Designer choice DSM, and, of course, needed to test it out ASAP-- I decided to make a Christmas Tree skirt--asked Colleen if she had a pattern, and she handed me a Ginny Beyer book.  I'm pretty sure she snickered as she did so, but she denies it.  (for those not familiar, Ginny Beyer does amazing quilts with border fabrics and fussy cutting and exact matching--she does much of her piecing by hand, but you can often do it by machine--they are not beginner patterns, nor for the faint of heart--I'd actually be hesitant to take on piecing one of her quilts even now--many many years later).  But, again, I was fearless (didn't know any better) and made my tree skirt (which was all triangles,  ALL triangles--my second quilt.  The first was a crazy quilt.  I had no skills).   It was AFTER I'd done my tree skirt that Colleen shared her difficulties with Ginny Beyer patterns.   oh---and that triangles are hard.....

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I cannot name just three individuals.  But I can give you these: 


1.  My mother, without whom I would not even have started quilting.

2.  The wonderful people here on MQR, always willing to provide praise and share their immense talents with us all.

3.  My quilt guild, providing monthly speakers and classes from some very talented individuals.

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About 33 years ago I moved to a tiny community, I had just started quilting before we moved. My neighbor at the time,about a half mile or so away was also just starting to quilt. She had 4 friends also starting. So we all decided to meet once a month and work on our tops together. None of us know what we were doing. There were no " quilt shops" no guilds, and one fabric shop. After a few years most of them moved away or just quit but I persevered, I was hooked. In the tiny town next to us was a longarmer. She could pantogram like nobody's business, and cheap! As the years went by quilt shops came and went. There is a kind of guild, I don't belong. And several longarmers. I learned most on my own. But those 5 women and lots of books were my push. Many years later my husband bought me my Gammill, Gabby. She came with a 3 day class across the state. I went but it was not near enough time for a newbie as myself to learn much and to far from home to go again. So I struggled. A few years ago I was able to go to Texas and have semi private lessons, my friend and I, with Nichole Webb that was a crazy week. And then I learned about you tube and this forum. Wow how things have changed. I learned more in the short time I've been on here then the 30 years behind me. Thank to all of you who so willingly share your expertise and wisdom!
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May 31 2017 11:18 AM

I have been inspired by so many - and those on MQR have always inspired me.  


When I first started with my longarm, I wanted to be able to quilt like Jamie Wallen, Kim Brunner and Ronda Beyer Scott.  Those were very high marks on the wall, but that got me started.  I learned the tools, techniques, what works, what doesn't and the freedom to give it a try from those three at the very beginning of this fun journey.  

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Vicki in MN
May 31 2017 11:27 AM

For longarming I can honestly say Suzanne Earley influenced me with the feather class I took at her house when she was just starting to teach. From there so many, which include each and every one here on MQR.  For modern quilting, first was Judi Madsen and Angela Walters. Now many more along the way.  


For piecing-my mom, way back when I was 7 yrs old she taught me to sew and then I picked up lots along the way here and there.

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I feel like I get so much inspiration and encouragement, it's hard to narrow it down to just a few people! My friends and family are so encouraging, I'm extremely lucky to have all of them. Next up would be MQR which provides so much of both that it's my favorite Web site. So many wonderful people who are so giving!!


To mention some specific people, I think I'd have to start with Karen McTavish. Even though I quilt on my DSM, her influence in both classes and books pushed me to go outside of my safe space when quilting. I designed my first wholecloth quilt in her class at MQS. Another inspiration is Pam Holland. I'm not very artistic, but I really want to be and she is just incredible! I try to take one or two classes from her in Houston every year. She always has something new and exciting to try! To pick a third, I think I'd have to say Angela Walters. She really opened my eyes about making the most of negative space. Before her, it never dawned on me to do anything other than a single background fill, but now I'm trying to be more innovative with those spaces. I'm really looking forward to taking my first in-person class from her in a couple of weeks at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival!


There are so, so many more, but those are the three that come to mind right now.

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