Thursday, February 28, 2019

My First Month As A New Author

It's the last day of February and with the release of my new book, Stitching for the Seasons, this has been an unprecedented month of firsts.



This month, for the very first time, I saw a book of mine for sale in a quilt shop.  Quilted Threads in Henniker, NH is a bright, beautiful shop with something for every quilter. It was a featured Quilt Sampler shop in 2011, but I loved it long before then.  A couple of weeks ago, I visited the shop hoping to see my book.  I walked all around the store without finding it and was working up a little pitch about the book when I caught sight of a rack of new books near the cutting counter.  I walked over, heart pounding, spun the rack around, and sure enough, found 6 copies of my book.  What a thrill!!  I introduced myself to the shop owner and we had a great conversation about the book, during which I found out that she has her own connections to the book's publisher, C&T Publishing.  The quilting world is a small one!



For the first time this month, I found a copy of my book in a big bookstore, the Barnes & Noble in Nashua, NH.  It was a single copy nestled in among dozens of other quilting books but the binding leapt out at me at once.  And I was reminded of spending a lot of time (and a bit of money) in bookstores when I first started quilting, thumbing through colorful books filled with gorgeous projects, trying to soak it all in—those books were my eye-candy and sources of inspiration.  It was a shock and a joy to find a book that I wrote in company with so many other beautiful books.



And just last weekend, I experienced my first book signing.  My local library, the Dunbar Free Library, hosted the book signing for me and it was an amazing culminating experience.  Several of my friends, who are not even quilters, but who are unbelievably generous and supportive showed up with books for me to sign.  Quilters from nearby towns came see the projects from the book and to share their stories.  And unsuspecting library patrons took time out from their morning errands to enjoy the quilts and to chat with me.  It was the highlight of my month.



I had a great conversation with a little girl scout who was trying to decide to which seasons the mini quilts on display belonged.  She made the connection that the quilts on the table were also in the book beside them and I told her that I'd actually written that book.  When she walked away with her patient dad, I was delighted to hear her say, "I've never met a real author before!"  



I also spoke with a couple of older gentlemen who had clearly come in only to exchange books.  Because I was set up near the circulation desk, they couldn't help but notice my quilts and both seemed compelled to talk with me about how their mothers were quilters.  And I was reminded in the most poignant way of what I love most about quilting—the tradition, the continuity and the shared experience.



So as I wrap up February, my heart is full.  I'm thankful that C&T Publishing saw promise in my ideas and helped me to bring this book into the world.  I'm so happy that quilt shops and booksellers are making the book available to quilters, new and old.  And I'm enormously grateful for the support and kindness shown to me not only by my family, friends and local community, but also by the larger quilting community online.  Truly I am blessed.

—jen

Friday, February 8, 2019

5 Sew Sweet Pillows for Valentine's Day

If you're looking for ideas for quick Valentine's Day projects for this weekend, here are five of my favorites:

1.  First off is my Have a Heart pillow.  I love the interlocking hearts in two shades of pink and best of all, this pillow looks just as cute flipped over to have the darker pink on top.  You can find the downloadable pattern for this 12" x 20" pillow (and notes for a 12" x 16" version) in my Etsy shop.



2.  Here's my Love Birds pillow.  Raw edge appliqué makes quick work of two birds atop a branch silhouetted against a full heart-shaped moon.  The downloadable pattern for this sweet project is also available in my Etsy shop.


3.  Next up is my Bee Mine pillow.  This pillow features simple piecing, raw edge appliqué and embroidery.  You can find the pattern for this little cutie in the January/February 2019 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine available on newsstands now.  Print and digital versions of this lovely issue are also available online through The Quilting Company.


4.  Here's Heart to Heart, a reversible pillow featuring scrappy hearts in pink and ivory.  You can find the free pattern for this simple pillow on my blog.



5.  And finally, if you're short on time, here's a sweet pin cushion (essentially a tiny pillow!) featuring a square-in-a-square block and simple stitching.  The free pattern for this little project is also available on my blog.


Happy Quilting and Happy Valentine's Day!

—jen

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Giveaway!

Who's in the mood for a giveaway?!



Quilting Quickly magazine has become Fons & Porter's Pre-Cut Patchwork!  And I'm thrilled to have my new quilt, North Star Trail, in the pages of the inaugural issue!  The January/February 2019 issue is available now both in print and digitally.



North Star Trail is a fun and easy pattern made with a charm pack of 5" squares and a yard of background fabric.  I made my version using the whimsical Way Up North fabric collection by Jill Howarth for Riley Blake and I love the colorful end result!


To celebrate, I'm giving away a bundle of Way Up North fabric to two lucky quilters!  Each bundle contains 18 - 10" squares of fabric—one from each fabric in the collection.  


I'll be giving away one bundle on Instagram and one on Facebook.  To enter on Instagram, follow me @jendalyquilts, like the giveaway post and tag a friend.  On Facebook, like my page and the giveaway post and share with a friend.  Enter by midnight on Friday, January 25th.  The winners will be selected on Saturday and notified via direct message.

Good luck!!

U.S. shipping only please.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

It's Here!!!

At long last, my new book Stitching for the Seasons has arrived!!



I'll make it available in my Etsy shop as soon as I can, but in the meantime for a sneak peek inside the book, click here.

 Sneak Peek Inside the Book


Happy, happy!!

—jen





Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Stitching for the Seasons: Living with Quilts

I had an idea in mind and 4 projects under my belt, but absolutely no idea how to write an entire book.  So I started by thinking about how I live with quilts.

My youngest son once commented that other peoples' homes don't have quite so many quilts.  It may have been constructive criticism, but I took it as a compliment.  He was right, I do have quilts everywhere!  Tiny quilts that I hang from door knobs, quilted pillows in chairs and on benches, mini quilts hung on the walls and displayed on tables, lap quilts draped on the couch or over the stair railing, and oh, the table runners... I LOVE table runners!!

And while I have a few favorite quilts that I keep out year round, for the most part, I change out my quilts depending on the holiday, the season, or even my mood.  I love the rhythm of packing away and pulling out quilts as the year progresses.

Think Spring Pillow

I decided that my book would have four seasonal collections of quilts, with projects that could be rotated as the seasons changed.  In addition to the Little House quilts, I wanted to make a pillow, a mini quilt, a table runner and a lap quilt for each season.

Strawberry Blossoms Mini Quilt

I wanted projects that would convey the look and feel of a season not only through the use of color, but with different quilt blocks and wool and embroidered embellishments.  I also wanted to make sure to vary the complexity of the projects to make them accessible to quilters of all levels.  And because I enjoy experimenting with different quilting techniques, I thought it might be fun to include a bit of paper piecing, raw edge appliqué and dimensional appliqué for quilters looking to try something new.

Pumpkin Spice Table Runner

In the end, I decided to just make what I love and what I wanted to have in my home.  The projects in Stitching for the Seasons make my home feel warm and inviting, and remind me to savor the season I'm in.  But there's more:  when I look at the quilts I've made, I remember the experience of making them and the sense of accomplishment that I felt when I finished and I'm inspired to continue creating.

Flurries Lap Quilt

It's my hope that Stitching for the Seasons will inspire you, my fellow quilters, to warm your homes with quilts, to personalize your projects with wool and stitching, and perhaps to try a new technique, but most of all, to celebrate not only the seasons, but your craft.

—jen