Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Meeting Jacquie

OK, I know it seems I've been MIA around these parts lately...we have had a fun-filled, travel-filled crazy busy summer and I have barely had a chance to catch my breath.  We were in Chicago for nearly two weeks, and when I knew our trip was on for sure, I could not stop thinking about trying to get together with Jacquie Gering, of Tallgrass Prairie Studios and co-author (with Katie Pederson) of  the newly released FANTASTIC book Quilting Modern.  I mean, I was going to be in Chicago (where I grew up), and she now lives in could I be there, just strolling about my daily business and NOT try to connect with her??  But all the classes she was teaching during that time period were out of town.  What's a girl to do??  Why, write her an email and invite her to coffee.  Which I did!  Can you believe it?!  Oh, but don't get the wrong idea.  I never actually sent the email to her... because I sounded like a crazy person!!  How do you not sound like a crazy person when you invite someone you've never met before to coffee??  But I just knew in my heart that she was a lovely person, and I'm a lovely person (at least, my friends say so), so why not??  But can you believe, the very next day after composing the email and NOT sending it, she announced she was doing a book signing at a fabric shop in Chicago the very day our flight was arriving.  Fate, I tell you!  Our flight landed, I got the kids settled in with the grandparents, and hubby and I scooted off to The Needle Shop - a hip, urban fabric shop in trendy Bucktown.

Here's me and Jacquie - she's holding a piece I made inspired by the Tipsy City Quilt from their book, which we also happen to be standing next to.  So many (all??) of the quilts from the book were there in the shop!  She welcomed us to hold, touch, and examine them, answering all kinds of questions, and I must say, teaching me a thing or two right on the spot.  LOVED it!!  She also had some of her other quilts there, including Building Bridges, which was so amazing in person.  The piecing and texture were stunning.  If you haven't seen it, please follow the link through - it is truly inspiring.
Here's Jacquie and some of the women from The Needle Shop - shop owner Rachel on the far right.  These ladies were so fun and helpful.  You can see from the pic below that Rachel displays her fabric on these wonderful rolls - I've never seen anything like it for quilt fabric.  She was explaining how it made more sense to her to display it this way - encouraging you to feel the fabric and describing how tactile fabric selection should be.  We do it for home dec fabrics, so why not??  Makes sense to me!  And those little pieces of fabric on the end of each roll you see hanging there???  Why, those are  fabric samples - have you ever heard of such a thing??   It was a magical place, I tell you, and I felt right at home.
Here's my haul from the day - purchased yardage and some freebies!

Oh, and I forgot to mention, Jacquie had this sweet fabric bundle for me - eeek! - for traveling so far to come to her book signing.  She's sweet like that!  Aren't these the cutest prints?!  I've already cut into them to put into my x & + know those will be some of my favorite blocks...
And as if my luck couldn't get any better, I WON a mini quilt made by Jacquie from a drawing they had at the shop!  ACK!  
It's a mini of the Fiesta Wall Quilt from the book and it's going on my sewing room wall!!!  I'm still on could nine about it, and it makes me smile every time I walk into that room.  (For what it's worth, in the book, it's hung like this one on the left, but I think I'm going to rotate it like it's pictured on the right...not sure.  Thoughts??)

All in all, I can say my time with Jacquie and The Needle Shop was a highlight of my simply couldn't help but be inspired by her - kind, generous, warm, and eager to share her knowledge of quilting.  It was great!  And for what it's worth, I think I could have sent that email inviting her to coffee without inciting a restraining order...