I thought I would tell you how I got involved in quilting for a living. When I started quilting seriously (not just as a hobby) I made some goals for myself. This was after one of my quilts had been on the cover of the "Miniature Quilt Magazine". My goals included working with fabric companies, writing articles for magazines, having more quilts published, and having a quilt in the AQS show in Paducah.
Every year "Miniature Quilt Magazine" had a Miniatures of the Heart contest and in 1998 I entered one of my minis. It did not win a prize but did end up on the cover. (My quilt is the red, white, and blue quilt at the center bottom.) That was such a rush for me! I had designed a full size version of it for my son's band raffle and miniaturized it for a dinner auction. It was auctioned off for $50. After I found out it was going to be on the cover I tried to buy it back from her but she wouldn't sell it to me!
I then started entering the contest every year. This quilt won a creativity award for my quilting. I couched variegated metallic threads over a heavy black thread.
This quilt won a machine quilting award. It is hard to see the quilting but it was quilted very simply with a clear metallic thread. This is the quilt that inspired me to write my St. Louis Stars book.
|Stars Over St. Louis|
I had also started entering the Hoffman Challenge. My second entry won a second place ribbon. I'm not quite sure why it won, the fabric that year I thought was pretty ugly. (Can something be "pretty" ugly?) It was the orange floral print.
Anyway, I had been going to Paducah, KY for a few years, to the AQS show in April, admiring the quilts and thinking maybe one day I could have a quilt in the show.
In 2005 I had entered a quilt in a contest that was sponsored by "Quilter's Newsletter". It did not win anything but I thought it was finally worthy of entering in the AQS show. That year they had a new category; First entry division. That is when I entered my "Celestial Crowns" quilt. I received a call from one of my friends on the day of the announcements and she told me that it had won a first prize ribbon! That was my crowning glory!
It was then I set some more goals: To write a book and get a quilt in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. I wrote my Stars Over St. Louis in 2008. I stopped doing competition quilts at that time, thinking I would never make anything else like my Crowns quilt worthy of entering in the show and completely immersed myself in designing quilts for different fabric companies and many of the major quilt magazines.
Now in order to get a quilt in the museum your quilt had to be chosen as "Best of" in each category. Seeing how stiff the competition is, I was resigned to think that it would never happen.
However, every year the museum has a challenge called "New Quilts from Old Favorites". They pick one traditional block and you have to make a quilt using that block in some form. Well this year the block challenge is New York Beauty. If you know me, you know that this is one of my favorite blocks so.....I decided to enter a quilt.
With my passion for fussy-cutting and paper piecing I came up with a design and entered it. From the entries they pick 18 quilts to be in the exhibit.
Guess what???? It was chosen as one of the entries!!!! I was elated. I finally got a quilt in the museum! Even if it was just for a short time. (The winning quilts from AQS become permanent property of the museum.) My husband named it "Ocean Deep".
I will find out on the 15th if it won any prize. I will certainly let you know if that happens.
So why did I tell you all of this? In honor of my winning quilts, today's special will be 20% off all of my symmetrical fabrics. That includes some of Paula Nadelstern's newer collections. (Click on the caption to go to my website.)
Okay, I rambled on long enough! Tomorrow I will tell you more of how I got into quilting. As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Please share with your quilting friends. Thank you for reading, Toby Lischko