My Cup Runneth Over…

I just found out two very exciting pieces of news today, and forgive me if I can’t help but put them out there for all the world to see!

Excitement #1 – Colorful Chevrons Takes 3rd at Paducah!

Thanks to my friend Linda H. for sending me this phone pic. She just happens to be there covering the story for AQ magazine and was able to show me the good news. The funny thing is, I couldn’t remember when QuiltWeek started and had my dates confused. I was thinking I wouldn’t hear anything about it until at least next week!

AQS Paducah Modern 3rd PlaceColorful Chevrons won 3rd place in the Large Wall Quilts – Modern category.
Click here for a list of all the winners.

Excitement #2 – I’ve Been Nominated for Teacher of the Year!

I’ve been nominated for 2014 Teacher of The Year, presented by the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. Although I didn’t win, I’m in total agreement with who was chosen. In fact, after reading the email announcing the 8 nominees and the winner, I’m completely awed and humbled to be among those who made the final list.

teacher of the year image

No, I’m not going to spill the beans and spoil any surprises yet. The winner and all of the finalists will be given coverage in the Spring Issue of The Professional Quilter, and it will be up to any of them if they want to announce it publicly first. 🙂

My cup truly runneth over….

Christa’s Soap Box – Teach a Friend to Quilt….

Teach a friend to quilt… and you’ll have a fabric-friend for life.  My longtime friend Janice popped in over Christmas and she asked the best favor that any friend could request – she asked me to teach her how to machine quilt!

Janice Quilt

Janice and Her Quilt

First a little backstory – Janice and I have been friends since just after I got married and she’s always been crafty. In fact, I’ve mentioned her on my blog before and we’ve swapped a few artistic creations over the years. Way back in those days when I started quilting I told her I’d make a quilter out of her someday… and now that day has finally come!

Janice reads my blog on a regular basis and recently told me she was inspired to learn to quilt because of my quilt alongs. Living across the country from me, she sought out her local quilt shop and signed up for a class. Although her beginner’s class only focused on piecing the top, she proudly showed me her beautiful piece. (Why, oh why, do shops not teach how to make the entire thing from start to finish?? That’s another soap box post for another day!)

Minky on the back

Minky on the back is super cozy!

She backed it in soft minky and had the shop quilt it for her in a pretty swirly design. Then she promptly sat me down and asked me for a lesson in free-motion quilting. Yay! 🙂

So I started her off how I usually do when introducing machine quilting to my students, with a paper and pencil, and we set to sketching out some interesting designs.

Quilt Doodles

Doodling on paper is so fun!

First she filled up a page with some simple stipples…

Janice Quilts

Practice on paper first!

Then we went to town trying all sorts of fun motifs like pebbles, swirls, geometrics and loops. After a few pages, she had the rhythm down and started to make that muscle memory connection between her brain and her hands. After all, the hardest part of machine quilting is knowing where to go next!

Next, it was time to hop on my machine and try out what she’d learned.

Janice Quilts

FMQ can be fun!

While she practiced, I made sure to tell her all about my favorite FMQ tips and I gave her a mini tutorial on binding by machine. I mentioned that it may take awhile to get the knack for free-motion quilting, but she can feel proud of doing it herself!

(These pictures remind me that I really should pretty up my hands when I quilt, LOL!!)

Janice Quilts

By George, I think she’s got it!

I fully expect that when Janice comes out for her annual visit next time, she’ll have completed her next quilt completely – from start to finish. I can’t wait for the show and tell!