Paris (and some thank yous)…

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Please forgive me for letting things lapse these past few days. Yes, the blog tour has continued on, and the last few posts have been wonderful.

Amy Smart generously took the time to take part even though she is about to launch her own book: Fabulously Fast Quilts.

Sara Lawson took time in the midst of getting to launch her new fabric collection with Art Gallery and a slew of new patterns to share the Modern Quilt Perspectives love.

Kim Niedzwiecki of Go Go Kim, posted to the blog tour yesterday with her usual kindness and, well, effusiveness, and even threw in some Aurifil (because I always love my Aurifil and buy it by the box).

And today, the brilliant Rashida Coleman-Hale joined in the blog tour, dusting off the blog and taking time away from the preparations for the big Cotton + Steel coming out party at Market in Pittsburgh.

I am so enormously grateful to each and every one of them, and certainly owe them a long post of love, but you see, right now I am Paris, in bed, with a fever pushing 104. Actually we are all sick. We hit EuroDisney with K having what seemed a bit of a cold, and we hit Paris proper and promptly called for medical help (which came to our flat) and we found that we are all rather ill. K and Bee are ill, but slightly human, Babbit is sick, but taking it is his usual baby stride, but I am feeling the effects of a high fever on my HKPP, so here I am in bed, vaguely coherent.

So, for the time being this expression of my gratitude and my love may have to do. I am sorry for the sudden drop off around here, and I am sorry I have not posted the love that you all deserve. Perhaps you will forgive me if I bring you candy to Market. That always helps, right???

But for now I am going to crawl back deeper under the blankets and hope I can be human tomorrow. Paris awaits, and K surely needs some help with the kids…

-t

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Teresa Coates (the Modern Quilt Perspectives blog tour)…

(Go read Teresa’s post for the Modern Quilt Perspectives blog tour; it is a beautiful post, and Teresa is just awesome…)

I have this list. Well, I haven’t actually written it down, but it is in my head and that is a good as writing it down, at least most of the time. It’s the list of people I want to work with all the time if I ever hit the point where I can actually afford to work with people all the time and stuff. It may sound like an arrogant list to have, but I don’t think small; you should know that about me by now. But back to the list…

It isn’t a very long list because in general I am pretty skeptical about people (another thing I assume you all know about me by now). It is not that I am the suspicious sort; if anything I am too trusting, which has time and again gotten me into trouble, or at least left me pissed off. Nonetheless, I have this list, this short list.

One more thing about this list though, it isn’t the list of everybody I like; there are a bunch of you out there. This is a different list, a strange one, one solely populated by the people I somehow think get the world in a way that would synch up amazingly with the way I do, people that get it right down into the fiber of stuff. It is the list of THEM, or perhaps US, or something like that. It is a very secret list. It is my list.

teresa coatesThat said, and to hopefully move this monologue into a less creepy golumesque direction, Teresa Coates is firmly on that list. I don’t actually know just when we first met; I know it was at Market, but pretty much every Market is a blur of exhaustion and medication for me. I have a vague recollection of talking too much and probably leaving her with the impression that I am stark raving mad (I leave a lot of people with that impression). But I was also left with the impression that this woman was someone to know, someone who saw bigger pictures, someone who had a vision for things that truly matter.

Whether it is her passion for this fabricky, sewerly landscape, or her abiding commitment to the children of the Tam Ky orphanage in Vietnam, or the basic reality of her making it through days, and ability I profoundly admire as I so often doubt my own ability to do just that, Teresa is one of the true inspirations in this industry. No, she isn’t the one who sets out to inspire, but for anyone who looks closely, who pays attention, it is right there. To put it in my usual vernacular: Teresa Coates, you are effing awesome and I want everyone to know that!!!

tam-kyAnd that is why Teresa is on that list, the usually secret list. Well, that is a little bit of it, but trust me the list of reasons Teresa is on that very short list is a very long list, but I will leave it to you to find out more, and hopefully add her to your list. And with any luck Teresa will be running this show (the whole quilty, fabricky universe) before long, ‘cause it would be a much better place if she did. Fingers crossed…

Much love, and thank you Teresa for taking part in the blog tour and for being awesome, of course…

-t

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Days…

Days are complicated things. They can start out one way and then turn on a dime and go another. This is a phenomenon I am generally used to with the whole HKPP thing and all with days crashing down around me as something sends me into yet another paralytic state. But then there are days that pivot for entirely unexpected reasons, a moment, a word, a bit of happenstance out of the blue…

Today was one of those days.

I don’t like those days.

I thought I liked today, but now I am not quite so sure. Perhaps another moment will pop up and turn it around, but as it has grown dark and the number of hours until the children will be up in the morning has snuck into the single digits it seems unlikely. But who knows; anything is possible…

Until then, I’ll leave you with this image, yet another of my requests for help in making the marketing people at F+W happy, and possibly getting me a lovely bottle of whisky at Market…

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And you know I must be serious because I really love both porcupines and metaphysics…

Now let’s hope tomorrow properly kicks ass, and not just until late afternoon…

-t

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Rachel May (the Modern Quilt Perspectives blog tour)…

(Head over to the Quilting with a Modern Slant blog to read Rachel’s post for the MQP blog tour. I am insanely honored to be included in her book, and grateful that she is taking part in the blog tour. Thank you so much Rachel…)

Almost two years ago I got an email out of the blue; it was from a complete stranger asking about doing an interview for a book on modern quilting. At that point it was just eighteen months since I had made my first quilt, so I was a bit flabbergasted (yep, I like that word: flabbergasted). Yes, I had come out with three fabric collections at that point, but didn’t really think I had done anything much of note yet. I had just signed the contract for Modern Quilt Perspectives, and I certainly had plans to do things around here, but really, interview me for a book??? That email was from Rachel May, author of Quilting with a Modern Slant, and lead to one of the best quilty phone calls I have ever had.

QuiltingwithModernSlantI couldn’t be more honored that Rachel did want to interview me; I am truly excited to be a small piece in what is an incredibly important book, though I wish I could replace the quilts I have in there now. It feels like centuries since I made those, and all the quilts I really wanted to include were going to be wrapped up in Modern Quilt Perspectives. But that is the way I always feel; I am pretty sure that in a year or two I’ll want to hide all of the quilts in this book. But I digress, yet again…

I am so excited for the success Rachel has been having with Quilting with a Modern Slant, and hope she is already planning a second book, Quilting with a Postmodern Slant, perhaps???

I could go on and on about Rachel’s book; in fact I already have. You should go read my post about Quilting with a Modern Slant right here. But I do want to pull an excerpt from my post here, a bit that I really think gets to the core of why I think Rachel’s book should be in everybody’s quilting library:

“she opens up a space in which we can explore just what quilting means to us today. It’s not so important to pin down exactly what modern means, but it is significant to recognize that something different is happening now, that the impulse to quilt in the 21st century is an impulse worthy of investigation. And throughout Quilting with a Modern Slant, Rachel offers that anthropological eye as she weaves together a remarkable perspective on the recent revival of quilting.”

It is my profound hope that Modern Quilt Perspectives can offer a little something to go with Rachel’s work, a view that goes beyond the aesthetic and may provide some answers as to why quilting is particularly relevant today.

And know what, it makes me crazy happy to see this on Amazon, the perpetual offer to pair our two books:

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So, in that vein, I am happy to be giving away a copy of Quilting with a Modern Slant on my blog while Rachel is giving away a copy of Modern Quilt Perspectives over on the QwaMS blog. Kinda awesome, right???

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For a chance to win a copy of Rachel’s book here just comment on this post. I’ll draw the winner on April 5th (‘cause we’re heading off to Paris on the 6th and I gotta wrap this up before then…)

So, thank you Rachel for including me in your book and having the confidence that I would deserve to be there. I am both flattered and honored. And thank you for taking part in the MQP blog tour. Now to actually find a time to hang out and get all geeky about quilts. Go-go Gadget academic quilters!!!

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Erin Sampson and Pellon (the Modern Quilt Perspectives blog tour)…

(Today’s stop on the blog tour is over at Pellon, who generously supplied all of the batting for the book. But more importantly, Erin works with Pellon and she is just awesome. Go read her unbelievably kind post about the book right over here…)

Way back at the same Quilt Market when the process of this book began during a conversation with Kelly Biscopink, I met Erin Sampson. I was still trying to figure out just what batting was and generally felt completely confused by the endless varieties of stuff that went into making quilts and all that. Pretty much what I had figured out at that point was that one sews thing together, does it pretty carefully, and tries to not make things that suck.

thomas-knauer-sews-pellonNow, I bring Erin into this context because she works with Pellon and she is freakin’ awesome, and I am going to tell you why. She quickly said something along the lines of, “Well, try some of these things and see what you like” and then we quickly got back to talking about making cool stuff. Right then and there I knew I totally dug her. And then I find that she went to Colby, and as I went to Kenyon, there is that whole liberal arts colleges where we just learn stuff because learning stuff is, well, fun, and whiz bam, off we went…

Now here is the crappy part; one of my favorite things about going to Market now is getting to hang out a bit with Erin, but since she has recently had an insanely adorable wee girl, and Market is not the most conducive places for babies, especially if one is actually working at Market, she is not going to be there, and that makes me sad. Now, I am going to try to find a way to bring Erin with me in some way, but still that just won’t be the same. My current favorite idea is that since I am considering a book party at the loft I am renting (it gives me space to actually pre-build my booth in the two days before Market since I am flying in from the UK), I may just have to have her as a Skype guest. But, as usual, I digress…

(I should totally do a book party, right? My place is just begging for it…)

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Suffice it to say Erin is one of the people I love in this business, one of the people I met in a professional context but am now incredibly glad to know. For any of you who read this blog regularly you know that I think a lot of crappy stuff happens around here in the quilt business, but Erin is seriously one of the White Hats, and I am so glad to know her. I love following pics of her two children (one four-legged), and I secretly harbor fantasies of Babbit and her E falling madly in love…

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So thank you so much Erin for being part of the Modern Quilt Perspectives blog tour, and of course thank you to Pellon for all of your support. All of the quilts in Modern Quilt Perspectives have the Pellon Magic in the Middle action going on. And if you know me at all you know I live with bolts of both Wonder Under and Fusible Fleece (I love using that as the batting for Babbit’s playmat quilts and the like). I am so grateful to Pellon for the material support for the book, and for their support for a whole lot of my projects. But more than anything I am simply glad to have met Erin and to get to call her a friend…

Thank you so much, Erin, and see you in Pittsburgh, even if it is only virtually… I love the heck out of you!!! And fingers crossed that I get to work with Pellon, and all that goodness, for years and years to come…

-t

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