A Newsletter from Meg Cox                        March, 2017

Quilters Take Manhattan 2017
Tickets Selling Fast!

The 7th annual Quilters Take Manhattan benefit will take place on the third weekend of September. The main event at FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology, runs all day on Saturday, September 16. 

   Tickets went on sale to the public recently, after a week of member-only ticket sales. Already, more than a third of the tickets are GONE, so if you want to join the fun this year, you better make a move. The ticket site is here. The keynote speaker for 2017 is Sherri Lynn Wood, author of the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. Check out her blog/website here

    Hear engrossing quilt historian Marikay Waldvogel talk about the roots of modern quilt designs, and watch Carolyn Mazloomi, who captivated audiences last year, interview the amazing artist  Michael Cummings. Plus, a new fun feature this year: find out how to participate in a fashion show/contest using Quilt Alliance themed fabric to make a garment or accessories beforehand. 

    The main event always includes a special Quilt Alliance tote bag stuffed with sponsor swag, and an ongoing auction of  tempting fabric and other goodies. As in previous years, there are plenty of cool add-on events both Friday and Sunday. This year, quilters can choose between TWO Broadway shows, "School of Rock" and "Amelie" (or see one musical on Friday night and the second on Saturday.) Also new this year is a visit to New York's Tenement Museum. There will be multiple tours of the Garment District on Friday with celebrity quilters, a chance to tour the fabulous textile center at the Metropolitan Museum, and because the Garment District Scavenger Hunt was so popular last year, it'll be back again this year.  

     I hope to see you there: it's always a blast! And, groups of 10 or more can get a juicy discount. For details on the discount, sent a message to admin@quiltalliance.org. 

Go to Moda's Cutting Table blog for the full details and rules. 

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March Giveaway!

         The Moda fat quarter bundle this month is Tiki Batiks, 35 different, gloriously bright batiks.  Plus, this month's winner will get a copy of Blair Stocker's wonderful new book, Wise Craft Quilts: A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork. 

           For a chance to win, please send an e-mail to meg@megcox.com using the subject  line Contest Entry so I can separate the giveaway entries from the comments, story ideas and other messages. Entries must be received by April 10. Winner chosen using a random number generator.  Only subscribers can win, and the prize will only be shipped within the U.S.

        The February prize went to Janet Bergman.

   Thanks for reading my newsletter. If you are not a subscriber, I hope you'll click the "Join Our Mailing List" link above. 
    I'd love to hear your comments and article ideas: I keep trying to make this better. 
   Go to my website to check upcoming appearances, www.megcox.com. See you back here in April!

    Quilt on!
    Love, Meg

Dear Friends-- 
     Welcome to all my new subscribers! I had a big uptick in readership recently and I hope you find the newsletter inspiring and educational. 
       In this month's issue, I'm going to tell you about an exciting new development at the nonprofit Quilt Alliance that will allow you to share your most cherished quilts on video -- captured by your cell phone! I've also got an interview with designer/teacher Blair Stocker about her wonderful new book, Wise Craft Quilts. And now that I'm settled into my new house, I'm giving a virtual tour of my new quilt studio. 
       I'm thrilled to announce that Constant Contact, the platform I use to produce and transmit this newsletter, gave me a coveted "All Star" rating for the third year in a row. That means that I'm in the top 10% of the company's 600,000-plus newsletter-providers in terms of how many subscribers open my newsletters when they hit in-boxes. 
       Thanks for your support, and for all the lovely messages and responses people send each month. Because this list is growing fast and I don't want to miss any comments, please write "Contest" in the subject line if you are entering the draw for the monthly giveaway. You can still add a comment when you enter, but then I'll be sure it gets counted for the prize.

Got a Cell Phone? Record a video today & show the world your favorite quilt!

     The mission of the nonprofit Quilt Alliance is to document, preserve and share the stories of quilts and quilters. The organization has been doing that since 1993,  including  through a series of tape-recorded interviews with quilters archived at the Library of Congress. But the Alliance has long wanted to provide a simple platform for everyday  quilters  to record and share their own quilt stories. So I'm excited to announce the launch of a DIY option for the Go Tell It at the Quilt Show project. 

You may have seen the Alliance's director of oral history projects, Emma Parker, standing behind a video camera at QuiltCon or International Quilt Festival, or other quilt shows. Hundreds of these short interviews have been recorded in just the past few years, with quilters telling the story of one special quilt they either made -- or own. These Go Tell It interviews are available to watch on YouTube, with new videos added frequently.

But now, anyone with a quilt to share only needs a cellphone --and a friend to hold it-- in order to participate in this wonderful project. As the instructions explain here, you need to start by saying your name and the city in which you're telling your quilt story. And, the cellphone should be held horizontally, not vertically to record a video of 3 minutes or less. Once you have the video, simply upload to the link provided. The  Alliance will review your video, add the organization's logo, and post the video on YouTube: this should only take a few days (maximum of a week if volume gets heavy). As soon as it's posted, you'll get a link so you can share your video with friends, family and fellow quilters. 

Here's my thought: I think this would make a terrific project for guilds, to organize members and save time at each meeting to record a few Go Tell It videos. It's like show and tell, but with the whole world as your potential audience!

    But honestly? you can record your Go Tell It video anywhere you wish: Earamichia Brown , a quilter who serves on the Alliance board, recorded her Go Tell It  recently on a beach in Hawaii! Here is a link to my Go Tell It , which was recorded in my home quilt studio (with my BFF Mark Lipinski holding the phone.) I talked about a memorial quilt I made for my husband's granddaughter (see the label below.)


Must-Have New Book: Wise Craft Quilts

       As someone who has researched and written about ritual for years and who also quilts, you can imagine that this book's focus feeds my soul. Blair Stocker's book Wise Craft Quilts is full of heart and joy, as she shows how to make quilts that recycle everything from worn jeans (see cover photo) and vintage handkerchiefs to Tyveck bike race numbers and a used wedding dress. 
       With a strong background in apparel design, Blair began working on creative, family-oriented up-cycling projects when her children were little: they are now 18 and 15. When she began blogging, her husband came up with the name "Wise Craft," she says, and for her, it stands for "thoughtful making." 
       That thoughtfulness shines through everything she does: Blair says she makes quilts to tell stories, and the quilts in this book recycle baby clothes, men's shirts and children's artworks, among other things. One charming pattern that features rows of pieced pine trees is called "Spirit" and one of the 35 trees is made from plaid fabric that came from a favorite skirt: she has husbanded that beloved fabric carefully and stitched a patch of it into handbags, pillows and quilts-- for years. 
        Blair describes her process as "approachable," and many of the pattern designs are quite simple. A lot of what this book does is inspire us to consider thrift shop textiles, outgrown clothing and other humble fabrics as touchstones of our fabric collections. 
        I also love what this author/teacher is doing next: Blair Stocker has started a public FB group in which she'll remake each of the quilts in the book with different fabrics in the coming year, to show the versatility of her designs. It's also a good place to see what others are making from this book, and find out if Blair is teaching near you. 
        I'll be giving away a copy of this charming book to whomever wins the Moda fabric in this month's giveaway.
        Go here for Blair's blog, and here for the public Facebook page.

Behind the Scenes: My New Studio

I continue to build my new life: the closing for my old house was last week, and after eight months in the new place, my quilt studio and adjoining office are shaping up. Here are a few photos to give you a glimpse: the top one shows my fabric stash in Ikea shelving and the Ikea kitchen island that I'm using as a cutting table. To the right of the double doors that house my heating & AC units is my first ever design wall. Behind the bookshelf is a sitting area that includes a pullout sofa for overnight guests. 

My goal is to spend some unstructured play time every day in my studio, while working on a backlog of UFOs. Now that I've started making memorial quilts from my husband's shirts and gotten over the hump of cutting these personal fabrics, I'm finding it a satisfyingly meditative process and am currently working on one (below) just for me. 

I'll share more of my workspace in a future blog post, but below is the wonderful Jamie Fingal quilt that hangs on the French doors separating my office from the studio. This place offers me fresh inspiration to make quilts and pursue new opportunities to write, speak and create. Stay tuned!