This is me today at the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines --- by a poster featuring the edge of my* quilt! How in the world did that happen?
*I can't take all the credit. Wonderful friends turned pattern testers piece the blocks. Thanks!!! Then I made a few more blocks, set and quilted it.
It actually started a year ago. No, it started three and a half years ago when I started the We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler in May of 2011. I wanted to stretch my quilting skills and try new things and thought that a quilt along would be a great way to learn new skills and encourage others to stretch themselves too.
|Blocks from Flying Geese Month progressing from easy to challenging (L to R)|
The Skill Builder Sampler ran for a year (you can find all of the posts here) and I learned tons both about quilting and writing. I finally finished piecing the blocks into quilts a few months before my daughter was born (Sep. 2012) and it took another 6 months to get them quilted up.
So during the summer of 2013 with the quilts finished and the baby getting older, I found myself thinking about the sampler. I thought the idea of having different skills with easy, medium and challenging blocks was brilliant. Book worthy even. I started thinking about some changes I would make (I couldn't use other people's tutorials this time!) and worked on fine tuning the quilt block choices.
The only problem was that I had 5 kids (one who didn't sleep through the night) and a full life of other responsibilities. I would look up info on publishing companies and at writing proposals and then get overwhelmed and cry. I knew I wouldn't be able to really do this until all of the kids were in school...four. more. loooong. years....cue more crying.
Then Marlene, who had participated in the quilt along, emailed me. Her quilt had been accepted into the Des Moines AQS Show and had won second place! We set up a time to meet at the show (one year ago this week!). She was teaching a class based on the Skill Builder Sampler and we met later to discuss working together to turn the Skill Builder Sampler into a Block of the Month program that quilt shops could purchase and teach from. Marlene had written up tutorials for the first 18 quilt blocks and suddenly it seemed like it might actually be possible to get the sampler published.
|The King Sized Mock Up|
And on December 6th of last year I got a call saying they had accepted our proposal!!!! And then the crazy reality of writing instructions for 36 quilt blocks and sewing king, twin, throw and baby sized quilts in just a few months set in. It is amazing what you can do (and what you have to let slide!) when you have committed to something and have a deadline.
|Fabric Pull for the Throw Sized Quilt|
A few weeks after everything was turned in, I got an email asking for permission to use the twin sized quilt in some of AQS's QuiltWeek publicity. Yes!!!
And the rest is history...no, the rest will be written about next week. Right now it is time to make dinner. :)