A Newsletter from Meg Cox                                April, 2015
 
 

Lots of Tickets Left!

        

More than half the tickets have been sold for Quilters Take Manhattan, the fifth annual benefit for the nonprofit Quilt Alliance. Now, you don't have to be a member to buy a ticket.

The main event at the Fashion Institute of Technology runs all day on Saturday, September 26, led by keynoter Ricky Tims. The Alliance keeps adding new trunk shows, authors, quilt design contestants, sponsors and more. Join us for a full day of fun and inspiration. 

The Met Museum outing and workshops at Victoria Findlay Wolfe's loft are sold out, but there's room for you at all the add-on events. Go see the hot new Broadway musical, "Something Rotten" on Friday night, (here is the cast on the Today show) or attend the Moda meet-and-greet party at a Chelsea art gallery. Come with me to visit the brand new collection space for the American Folk Art Museum on Friday. Take a class at the City Quilter shop with Laurie Russman to make this NYC-themed tote bag --or check out our other workshops. 



A new museum outing and a new celebrity tour of the garment district are being added next week: Alliance members will get first crack!

Just a reminder: there are great group discounts for parties of 5 or more. Spread the word at your guild. For discounts, contact office manager Deb Josephs, admin@QuiltAlliance.org.

Go here to order tickets. Just remember: this event sold out last year in June. Don't delay!




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Who is Meg Cox?  

                            
Journalist /Author/Teacher

 

 

 President, Quilt Alliance
 

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April Giveaway!!!
6 Month Pass to Creativebug plus
Marie Bostwick novel & Meiko Mintz scrap bag

 
One lucky subscriber is going to win a six-month pass to any and all classes on Creativebug, plus Marie Bostwick's new novel, and a bag stuffed with Meiko Mintz's kantha scraps. 



 The winner will be chosen at random from e-mails received by midnight of May 1. To enter, send an e-mail to meg@megcox.com. (Only subscribers are eligible to win.) 
    
The March winner of the Creativebug pass and Victoria Findlay Wolfe book and templates was Sandy Day.

Dear Friends--      
       
 
I just got back from the first ever Slow Stitching Movement Getaway, which I co-hosted with the amazing Mark Lipinski. It was everything a great quilt retreat should be, and then some. I share some of my favorite moments below. 
        In this issue, I introduce you to Mieko Mintz, who makes stunning garments from the Indian quilts called kanthas. If you saw me on stage at either Quilters Take Manhattan or QuiltCon, the eye-popping red and black embroidered knee-length jacket I wore was one of hers. 
         You'll also find links to some other great resources. And this month's giveaway includes the usual Creativebug goodness, along with some Mieko Mintz scraps and Marie Bostwick's new novel. 
         Read on!

Mieko Mintz: A Designer Whose Garments Started as Quilts




 
       Mieko Mintz designed clothing for a big company in her native Japan for more than a decade, but she came to the United States to learn English and fell in love. 

       "I was a housewife for 4 years, but I was collecting ethnic fabric and making things and everybody said, 'Wow. Where did you get it?'" she recalls. She started making one-of-a-kind coats made from source materials like Japanese kimono fabric and old Kantha quilts from India. The Indian quilts are often made from layers of thin saris, stitched together with embroidery threads in bright colors, often in row upon row of running stitches. 

          Now, Mieko Mintz jackets are sold by 35 retailers nationwide, including Gump's in San Francisco. She no longer has a retail outlet of her own in SoHo, but fans of her work can buy jackets, hats and accessories from her website. Where she also sells bags full of either sari or Kantha scraps. 

        "They have 400 or 500 years of history in West Bengal doing Kantha work," says Mieko. "I go to India and comb through 6,000 vintage saris to find what I want: I have them make the Kantha throws to my order, because traditional Kantha quilts are too heavily embroidered and would be too thick to sew into garments and too stiff to wear. I pick from those saris to coordinate the fronts and backs of the jackets. The fabrics are like a marriage: I say, 'Oh, this is a good couple!'"

 


           Despite her Japanese heritage, Mieko says she actually prefers saris to kimonos. "I love the Indian sari more than the kimono. Sorry, my country, but this is true! I even made my wedding dress out of a sari, I did not wear a kimono."
   
           Mieko is not a quilter, but she certainly makes clothing that is a special delight to quilters and she certainly appreciates the craft. 

           Find out more about Mieko Mintz at her website. You can see a gallery of her garments, read a bio and check out her online store. Only Kantha scraps are available right now -- one bag of which is part of this month's giveaway. She also sometimes sells Kantha throws. 


Cash for Your Craft:
Webinar with Amy Barickman



        I'll be back with a longer feature next month, but I don't want you missing out on this hour-long webinar with Amy, founder of Indygo Junction, known especially for books and patterns. Amy is a savvy entrepreneur and she will share lots of specific advice about topics like product development and marketing. 

        She truly knows her stuff, and I recommend this. The webinar runs live tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28 at 1 pm. I apologize for the late notice, but once it has run live, it will be for sale again later on the Interweave site. So keep a look out, if you can't watch tomorrow. 

        If you go to the Indygo Junction blog you can learn more about Amy and her business, and there is a short video "trailer' about the webinar. 

Slow Stitching Retreat with Mark Lipinski



     
 
  I think some people don't know whether to take Mark Lipinski seriously. After all, he calls his fans cupcakes, includes jokes in his blog posts, and makes fun of himself at every opportunity. Then, this crazy dude whose quick and easy quilts have sold many a magazine, announces that we should all take our time, stitch with intention, and make "legacy" quilts?

        Well, I'm here to tell you that Mark is very serious underneath the goofing, and after working with him on the first Slow Stitching Movement Getaway, I'm in awe of both his message and the way he's delivering it. Mark walks his talk, and the retreat days began with a journaling exercise at 7 am. At noon, we were out walking through the quaint town of Lambertville taking photographs of scenes and details to inspire our quilting. 

        Many kinds of quilters came to the retreat, and they really loved the venue, where the gently flowing Delaware River right outside the ballroom window automatically reset their pace to a statelier one. Tutorials on paper-piecing with Liza Lucy and crazy quilting with Allie Aller were perfect for learning a new skill. There were also daily sessions with Mark where participants worked with strips from their stash and were asked to focus intently on the process, not the result.

         This wasn't a retreat where people bragged about how many quilts they completed but about the new appreciation they gained in making quilts that really matter to them. If you want to learn more about the Slow Stitching Movement and Mark's take on it, go to his website here. In addition to his blog, you'll find terrific podcasts and news about the movement. No, Mark didn't invent slow stitching, but I can't think of anyone whose leading this trend in a more forceful or thoughtful way.

          I certainly completed only a small amount of stitching, but came away feeling creatively nourished and newly inspired. We're currently evaluating whether to run more Slow getaways and if so, when: I promise to keep you in the loop (though I think pretty much every person who came to the first one would sign up again in a heartbeat!) 








Marie Bostwick's New Novel



     If you haven't read the novels of Marie Bostwick, you're in for a treat. I'm a special fan of her Cobbled Court series, whose characters center around a quilt shop of that name. Her newest one, The Second Sister is not part of the series and introduces a new character, a burnt-out political campaigner named Lucy Toomey. Quilting occurs in this book but isn't a central theme. It's more of a heartwarming family story about a woman rediscovering her roots, but like all Bostwick's work, there are some realistically dark hurdles.

       For me, this book came out just as I needed an immersive light read, and I recommend it. Enter this month's giveaway, and you may win a free copy.

       If you want to hear more about the book and Marie's work, go here. And if you want to read about how she "glamorized" a used RV for her book tour road trip, read this story from USA Today

 

    A million thanks to all my loyal readers and subscribers. I hope this has been a worthwhile experience for you, and I look forward to seeing you back here in May.   
    
    I love to hear your feedback, and ideas for future articles and investigations. What person or aspect of the quilt world would you like to learn more about next?

     Quilt on!
     Love, Meg