Monday, December 28, 2009

Perfect Timing

Every once in a while you do better than good when it comes to giving the perfect gift; you hit a grand slam.

That's what happened in my family this Christmas. I gave a Janome AQS-2009 25th Anniversary sewing machine to my 20-year old nephew. I just had a feeling that this creative, artistic kid would take to it like a duck to water, and he did! I was counting on his interests in air brush painting (art), welding (using his hands) and cooking (following directions but with flexibility) to give him a "Try anything! Try everything!" approach, and boy-oh-boy, was I spot on.

I wrapped all the family gifts in fabric secured with straight pins and bundled the leftovers for a "starter stash." He was fondling fabric all day! (And the rest of the gang enjoyed the fabric, too.) I also gave him a craft organizer; a rotary cutting mat, cutter and ruler; neutral thread; and pins. Told him to buy his own scissors as these are highly personal tools people are fussy about.

We spent a couple of hours getting him acquainted with the machine, which is a nifty little gem, lightweight enough for classes and retreats, if he goes that route. He's got enough to get started playing around with the machine, making a sampler of stitches he likes and seeing what that baby can do.

He may never make a quilt or use the machine in typical ways - whatever those are - and that will be fine. He will have a blast using yet another set of tools and techniques to learn new skills to unleash even more creativity and imagination.

I may never again find as perfect a gift as this one, and that's OK; it really was the highlight of the holiday for me. I imagine all of us have some wonderful "first" memories related to quilting. Feel free to share those here!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Keeping Secrets and Great Gift Ideas

If this is the season for sharing, as noted in the most recent post, it's also a doozy for keeping secrets -- or trying to! Just as you can be thrilled to have finished a quilted gift and can't wait to see someone receive it, we are delighted about what's ahead for AQS book releases.

But I can't give the details!! Except to say that in January and February (and through the Spring) we will have wonderful new books available you are sure to love. And we're working now on books for next Fall. This is such an exciting time of year -- if you can stand the wait!

Throughout the year we are happy to receive book proposals (and American Quilter and The Quilt Life, respectively, are happy to receive article proposals). Look under the "Authors" tab at for proposal guidelines. If you have any questions, as always, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Now is absolutely the best time to give or request a book from AQS. Our list of titles contains a wonderful array from hand work and history to machine work and contemporary. AQS merchandise is perfect for showing off how you really feel about quilting. And what about giving someone a multi-day admission to an AQS show! Not sure what the quilter on your list would like? You can purchase a gift certificate in any amount online or by calling Karen at 1-800-626-5420.

Whatever you do, enjoy the sharing of the season, try to keep your secrets (!), and give a gift from AQS to a quilter you love.