Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall for These New Books!

Just in time for cooler weather and more time spent quilting are two new books from AQS.

Sarah Ann Smith has written a wonderful resource book on that most essential of quilting elements, thread. Not at all a dry, dusty treatise, this beautiful book is a great read with interesting projects to keep your thread knowledge at the top of the game. You may stand in awe in front of thread displays in the future, but it won't be because you don't know what you're looking at if you read Sarah's book, Threadwork Unraveled. AQS # 8029

If you love to piece you will love Donna Poster's book, Block Beauty. Much like quilters two, three or more generations back, Donna is happiest when she's working with a familiar shape but creating new designs with it. Each of five shapes - Rail Fence, X-Quisite, Texas Trellis, Peak and Drunkard's Path - is shown in four designs and seven possible quilt sizes with multiple border options. Talk about a resource book! Twenty quilts and "doodle corners" included so you can keep going with simple shapes that make fabulous quilts. AQS # 8023

Both books are available at or 1-800-626-5420.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Interview Delay

The interview scheduled with Kimberley Wulfert of has been cancelled for tonight. Atmospheric conditions, would you believe! We will re-schedule a time for you all to call in and talk with me about all things AQS and books. Until then, Andi Reynolds, executive book editor.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quilt Care and Labels

Somewhere along my quilting journey I became interested in quilt care. If we want to preserve our quilts and prolong their lives, there are simple steps everyone can take. I've boiled best practices down to a manageable quilt label size and sew the following label to every bed-use quilt. As always, if you have something to add or suggest, please do! There is more to quilt care than these bare-bones instructions can cover and it's always good to know more.

Quilt Care

To air a quilt, lay it outside on the grass between two white sheets for a few hours. Don’t drape it over a fence or hang it from a line.

If dusty, put the quilt on the dryer’s gentle cycle with no heat for two or three minutes. No fabric softener. Dust is bad for fibers, so this is OK to do occasionally.

Ignore little stains; the treatment is usually worse for the quilt. Treat obvious stains with an oxygen-based spray cleaner. Spot treat and rinse if possible.

Machine wash the entire quilt only when airing, fluffing and spot treating are not enough. Wash it alone. Use cold water and the delicate cycle, a very small amount of unscented gentle detergent, and no fabric softener. Use an extra rinse only if very soiled. Choose the most gentle spin cycle.

The quilt is weakest and most subject to damage when wet, so remove it from the washer carefully; do not let it hang or pull on it. The wet quilt will be heavy, so use a carrying basket or have help. Dry it flat between two white sheets. Pat it flat; don’t pull or stretch. Fans speed the drying process.

When not in use, storing the quilt flat on a bed is best, face down to prevent even indirect light from fading the fabric. Close curtains, blinds or shades as much as practical when the quilt is in use.

If the quilt is stored folded, use acid-free paper to stuff the folds and keep the quilt in an acid-free box. Folding on the bias is best; it won’t be nice and neat but it’s better for the quilt. Re-fold differently every three months to prevent creasing. Replace acid-free materials after five years.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

This Monday, September 21, at 8 pm EST, quilt researcher and historian Kimberly Wulfert will interview me, Andi Reynolds, AQS executive book editor. Kimberly provides a format that includes a phone number so people can call in with questions. Very 21st century! Check her website between now and then for details including the number to call: and also because it is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in women, quilting, history and culture. I might talk about Carolina Roses, the quilt shown here. Sixteen years in the making, all by hand, it is an anniversary gift for my parents. Glad they stayed together while I was making it... The interview will stay active indefinitely, so you may access it when it's convenient.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Denim Dynamite!

Look what the Denim Divas, Laurie Malm and Cheri Meineke-Johnson have done!

They've taken two favorite projects from the 2008 AQS show in Des Moines, where they debuted the Dressed-up Denim fashion show, which was a blast!, and put them into this nifty 6-page project booklet.

Now you, too, can add bling and embroidery to glamorize your denim and look like a diva. And if you can't get enough denim in your life, join Laurie and Cheri in Des Moines at the AQS show this October 28 - 31. They will have another Denim Divas Fashion Show on Thursday, the 29th! If you can't wait until then, order their Dressed-Up Denim project booklet from AQS online, item # 8135, or call toll-free, 800-626-5420.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Show Us Your Stuff!

Fairly often we receive nice notes or letters from quilters who have made one or more projects from our books. How much fun it would be to share these, especially the occasional photos we receive!

If you've made a quilt or project from an AQS book, think about sending it to us so we can post it on this blog. It might also end up on our Facebook page and in our coming-soon e-letter! A jpeg with a resolution of 300 for an image 3" x 4" would be great.

Email the evidence of your creativity to, and thanks for sharing!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Paducah 2010 is On!

Here's the latest news about the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah...

Press Release

American Quilter’s Society
Finalizes Plans for Paducah Quilt Show

Contact: Bonnie Browning, 270-898-7903, ext. 146

Paducah, Kentucky – September 4, 2009: The American Quilter’s Society announced that contracts have been finalized with hotels and convention facilities for the 26th Annual AQS Quilt Show & Contest in Paducah, to be held April 21 – 24, 2010. The Executive Inn attached to the convention center is now closed and will not be available during the April show.

The quilt show will be held at the Paducah Expo Center, the Julian Carroll Convention Center, and the new AQS Pavilion which will be located in the parking lot of the convention facilities. Quilt show admission will give access to viewing quilts and shopping the merchant malls in all three locations. Additional vendors and the AQS “Hurt” Book Sale will be held at the AQS Vendors on Kentucky in the Finkel Building (200 Kentucky Avenue in downtown Paducah). Special events will be held in the Carson Four Rivers Center (100 Kentucky Avenue).

The 2010 AQS Quilt Contest will award $125,000 in cash awards to quilters. Contest rules are available on the AQS Web site, The registration guide will be available in early November. To order a printed registration guide, send $2.00 for each guide to: AQS, Attn: (name of show) Registration Guide, PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290.

For lodging, please contact the Paducah Visitors Bureau at, or 1-800-PADUCAH. The AQS Home Bed & Breakfast program will be coordinated by the Visitors Bureau, starting February 1, 2010.

Tour groups can contact Marcelle Cashon or Laura Davis for information on admission and ticket sales for the AQS Quilt Show & Contest by calling 270-898-7903.

In addition to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, AQS will produce three other international quilt shows in 2010: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 24 – 27; Knoxville, Tennessee, July 14 – 17; and Des Moines, Iowa, October 6 – 9.

The AQS quilting community grows again! Quilters can now become fans of AQS on Facebook, and follow AQS on Twitter. Quilting information is also always available on the AQS Web site and the AQS Blogs (AQS Quilt News, AQS Publishing, and American Quilter Magazine).


Congratulations Sue and Pat!

AQS authors Pat Holly and Sue Nickels have won a major prize for their Tea at Tenby quilt. Exhibited at the Festival of Quilts Show in Birmingham, England, this beauty won First Place in the Group Quilts category. (Photo courtesy of the Festivals web site: )

These sisters teamed up to co-author Stitched Raw Edge Applique (AQS #6897), and Sue wrote Machine Applique: A Sampler of Techniques (out of print) and Machine Quilting: A Primer of Techniques (AQS #6299).

We are delighted to have these talented, creative quilters as authors and teachers. Congratulations, Pat and Sue!