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We at Quilters Newsletter are spoiled in terms of having access to famous quilters and designers, a nice perk to the job to be sure. But we also love meeting and telling you about people you maybe haven’t heard about yet but whose work deserves your attention. We had a very difficult time picking only 10 people to include in this Top 10 list of folks we featured in QN this past year — trust us, it was almost a Top 37 list. Read our list (presented in alphabetical order), then scroll to the end to learn how you can enter to win a giveaway.
1. Kathy Arroyo The designer and maker of our August/September 2011 cover quilt, All Because I Bought a New Rug, uses whatever tools and methods she needs to create her quilts, whether by hand or machine. “Quilts will talk to you if you listen, and they always guide me — most of the time in the right direction.” (August/September 2011)
2. Hortense Beck The late Beck combined a love of history with a passion for applique to create stunning quilts, both replicas of well-known quilts and original designs. When she died in 2009, 54 of her quilts were donated to the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. Because they can be displayed more often than their older counterparts and can be displayed outside the museum, they are now part of IQSC’s educational collection. (August/September 2011)
3. Michele David When David was forced to take a medical leave of absence from her work as a physician because of a debilitating illness, she turned to quilting for its therapeutic qualities. She looks to her Haitian background as a main source of inspiration for her art quilts. “Quilting heals because it’s soothing, meaningful and insightful. I found a joy in quilting that helped me regain my health.” (December/January 2012)
4. Jeanetta Holder Known as the “Indy 500 Quilt Lady,” a love of fast cars and quilting are a winning combination for this veteran stitcher and die-hard race fan. Holder has made a quilt for every Indy 500 winner since 1976 and is well known among the racing community, including Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Roger Penske and Rick Mears. “I’ve had drivers walk up to me and say, ‘You got a blanket? Hope so ’cause I’m gonna win.” (April/May 2011)
5. Jimmy McBride Art school-trained McBride merges a love for science fiction with traditional piecing and quilting techniques to make his “space quilts” under the guise of his intergalactic trucker alter ego. “I thoroughly enjoy making the quilts and love every aspect of them, although I don’t see myself as solely a quilter. The quilts are part of a larger story that I’m trying to tell.” (August/September 2011)
6. Karla Overland Known for the exquisite collections of gradated fabric she produces as colorist for Cherrywood Fabrics, Overland blurs the line between personal art and professional career. “I love that I can still make wonderful garments and quilts for Cherrywood, but also develop my own artistic style through my personal work.” (February/March 2011)
7. Sue Patten Self-avowed doodling addict Patten has a passion for free-motion thread art. Her whole-cloth quilts feature vibrant, detailed thread painting. “I love to create art on fabric with a single piece of fabric and a multitude of threads.” (October/November 2011)
8. J. Michelle Watts New Mexico quilter Watts describes the quilt that graces our February/March 2011 cover, Fiesta de Talavera, as her version of a Baltimore album inspired by hand-painted Mexican Talavera ceramic plates. She generously shared her design process with us. “I consider it my applique masterpiece.” (February/March 2011)
9. Barbara J. West Quilt artist West is inspired in equal parts by her love of textiles, a commitment to women’s creative expression and living in the Canadian Rockies. “Over the past couple of years, the sketchbook has become one of my most important tools.” (April/May 2011)
10. Rachel Wetzler We liked Tropical Radiance so much — and thought you would, too — that we used it on our October/November 2011 cover as well as included the pattern in our December/January 2012 issue. Wetzler shared with us how she designed the quilt using a palm block and careful attention to color and value. “I feel a deep sense of satisfaction when a quilt top is completed. I could just sit and stare at it for days.” (October/November 2011)
So again, tell us what you think. What profiles did you particularly enjoy this past year? Who would you like to see featured in future issues? We want to know! Leave a comment below to be entered for a chance to win a fat-quarter bundle of the Little Gatherings collection by Primitive Gatherings for Moda, a lovely set of small-scale, neutral prints in cream, taupe, brown and black that would be a great addition to any quilter’s stash. Leave your comment before 11:59 MST on Wednesday, December 28. One comment per person, please. This giveaway is open to people who haven’t won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days.
Good luck! And remember, the best way to learn about giveaways and contests is to follow us on Facebook.
UPDATE: We have a winner! The random number generator chose #15, Dorothy Holt. Congrats, Dorothy! Please contact us at email@example.com with a mailing address and we’ll ship your prize to you. Thanks to all who participated!