FREE eBook on Modern Quilting

Just for you, Q-bies…a FREE e-book about Modern Quilting! Plus, three great patterns exploring the best of this fun, fast, bold style of quilt design. Just follow the link and the directions to sign up for your very own downloadable copy.

The e-book's patterns showcase some of the best, including designers Scott Hansen, Elizabeth Hartman and Modern Quilt Guild co-founder Alissa Haight Carlson. We'd love love love to see what you do with these trendy patterns! When you make your very own versions, send us a picture and we'll post it on our blog and Facebook page. Deal?

Modern Quilt Primer e-Book | Quilter's Homewww.quiltershomemag.com While traditional piecing is still all the rage with many quilters, one of the hottest quilting trends right now is modern quilting. Spurred on by easy-to-make quilt patterns, block designs and bold prints, modern quilting is set to be your new favorite type of quilting!

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Ty-ing One On

So, have we mentioned that the life of a magazine editor is hard? There's the planning, the deadlines, the unexpected problems, the complaints and the budget (oh, the
constant budget), which is constantly never enough. Yep, woe is we, we say.

Then again, there is nothing cooler in the world then getting paid to do what we do! And that has never been so obvious as this week, when we finally get to spill what we've been doing at Quilter's Home.

You know that hottie, Ty Pennington? The Mr. Blue Eyes of the Home Remodeling world who hosts ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?

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Move Over, Mr. OCD!

We've all got our private rituals for detoxifying from the holidays and starting the New Year with a fresh mind (and a few extra pounds). Me, well, I take stock of what I've managed to accomplish over the last 12 months, and what I haven't–but fervently wish–I had finished. And in terms of my quilting life, man, is there a lot to be said!

As an editor of Quilter's Home, a quilt magazine that's lived through many major changes over the last two years, it's a crashing understatement to say that my partner, Melissa, and I have been busy. It's also obvious to say that in doing this job, we seem to eat/sleep/breathe quilting and creativity in all forms. But it seems we don't get to do it as often as we'd like.

And that's a big fat problem. See, I'm a list maker. I've kept copious, anal-retentive-symptomatic check-offs for years. One of my favorites is my list of finished projects. (My husband, Mr. OCD, just laughs when he sees me making lists. Hey, two can work at this organization thing!)

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Quilty Encounter in Kansas

My sweet dog, Priscilla, and I took a break from Quilter's Home biz and headed east for New Year's to Wichita, Kansas, where we rang in 2011 with my family and friends. Wichita–nicknamed Doo-Dah by many residents–is my hometown, and the location of one of my favorite sculptures, The Keeper of the Plains.

This iconic 44-foot sculpture designed by Native American artist Blackbear Bosin is is even more impressive in person. But then I digress…

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Weird Presents?

Presents are wonderful at any time of the year, but sometimes at Christmas, the sheer mental overload of having to come up with lots of presents causes some gift-givers to fry a few brain circuits. (Okay, we're being charitable here…)

But now that we've brought it up, what is the strangest gift you've ever received at Christmas?

Quilter's Home editor Melissa Thompson Maher can't come up with a single weird Christmas gift from her past. (Early on, she coached hubby Pat to avoid any gifts that had electrical plugs. Jewelry, of course, is conveniently free of electrical plugs.)

 Quilter's Home editor Jake Finch, however, has this to offer: "My stepmother, every year, even as an adult, would give me underwear. I never knew what to do with that, especially as an adult."

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A Novel Quilt Retreat

Hey, everyone! Quilter's Home columnist Meg Cox, who writes the skinny in each issue, is our guest blogger today. Here's her insider item on quilty novelist Marie Bostwick:

Marie Bostwick has quilted for a lot more years than she's been writing novels, which is one of the reasons her book series set in a cozy quilt shop has been such a hit with quilters. We know she's one of us because of the way she writes.

Her fourth Cobbled Court Novel, Threading the Needle, is due out May 31, and still follows the adventures of Evelyn Dixon, a survivor of breast cancer (and a cheating husband) whose successful quilt shop provides enormous solace.

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Cookie Time!

Is that the sweet smell of cookies coming from your kitchen? If so, invite us over already!

If not, well, do forgive us…we've got cookies on the brain, after interviewing designer Elizabeth Hartman, whose new book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker (October 2010, Stash for C & T), debuted recently. In addition to being a Modern designer par excellence, she's also a cookie queen this time of year, and makes at least 100 dozen for the cookie party she and husband Chris give every year for friends and family. It's
hard to pin her down on one favorite flavor of cookies, but chewy definitely wins over crispy.

You can read all about Elizabeth on her blog, and in the upcoming February-March 2011 issue of Quilter's Home, but meanwhile, check out the innovative shortbread versions we've got in our December-January issue, just for your tasting pleasure. 

And here's a favorite cookie shared by reader Darci Linkey Bodin of Diamond Bar, California.  She works for the Orange County Fire Authority and occasionally drops off cookies for the guys at Station 34 in nearby Placentia. And she says all three shifts swear these cookies are their favorites.     Thanks, Darci!

Chocolate Chip
Macadamia Nut Bars with Shortbread Crust

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

 

For Crust:  Preheat
oven to 350o F.  Blend flour and sugar in food processor.  Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. 

Transfer mixture to 8" square glass baking dish.  Press mixture onto bottom and ¾ inch up the sides of dish.  Bake until crust is golden brown on edges, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare filling by whisking sugar, flour, eggs, butter and vanilla extract to blend in large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Pour filling into warm crust, smoothing surface.  Bake until filling is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 50
minutes.  Transfer dish to rack; cool completely.  Cut into squares. Doubles nicely to fill a 9 x 13 pan. Enjoy! (Thanks, Darci!)

So, we given you cookies today, but we can't let you go without one more delish treat–and this one is calorie-free! Check out this sweet babe and his custom-made iPhone app, er, "nap" quilt. (You're curious, hmm?)

Check back in later for more quilty fun, and enjoy the holidays, q-bies!

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We’re Finally Here!

Hey, everyone!

We're glad to be residents of blogland, and hope you'll keep an eye on our cyber chit-chat, as well as toss your own comments into the mix. We want this blog to be an extension of the craziness and creativity we are privileged to bring you in each issue of Quilter's Home. My editorial alter-ego, Jake Finch, and I (Melissa Thompson Maher) will do our best to share the quilty drumbeats we hear, as well as give you glimpses into the inner Quilter's Home world. We might even have a few guest bloggers from time to time, keeping things stirred up.

Our mission for the magazine and the blog is just what the swirly, colorful intro art on this page claims: Life = Creativity. Quilter's Home is about how you live your creative life as someone who loves fabric, thread and self-expression. Creativity colors everything we do right down to the very way we look at the world. Pretty much wherever you go, whatever you see, whomever you meet are all inspiration for your creative life. Dang, we've even known some quilt artists to be inspired by rows of donuts on a baker's shelf! (Car pool? Well, that might depend on how many sticky granola bar wrappers you find stuffed in the seat pocket later.)

***

The December-January 2010 issue just barely landed on our desks, but it seems to have unleashed the floodgates for all the gift catalogs trying to tempt us to part
with our holiday dollars.

But whaddya know? The new HearthSong 2010 has its q-priorities straight. This purveyor of cool, creative, "think-for-yourself" toys, crafts and games has  three different quilt kits and two sewing machines-one an 8-stitch function student model by Singer.

Tough to stuff that in a stocking, but what a great gift! Two of the quilt kits are those fleece tie jobbies, but the other is a rainbow of pre-cut flannel squares to be designed and sewn into a fringe quilt however the young quilter desires.

***

To Market, to Market! In about 48 hours we'll hoist our bags onto the airline check-in counters and board flights to Houston, that fabri-mecca for Fall Quilt Market.

Look for Quilter's Home in Booths 1838 and 1939. The lovely LaRita Godfrey can help you with subscriptions to Quilter's Home, as well as its sister pub Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting.
You might also catch Mary Fons, one of our newest columnists (The Bee) and occasional guest host of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting television show with her mom, Marianne Fons.

For those not Houston-bound, keep your cursor pointed to this page. We'll bring you occasional blog posts about all the Houston action. And if you see Jake or me in the aisles, don't hesitate to stop us for a free tattoo celebrating Quilter's Home and our new blog. You know you've just gotta have one!

Quilt forth!

–Melissa

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