Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Grand Sponsor Guest Blog: Judy Martin


Hi everyone,

I’m Judy Martin. I design quilts. I make quilts. I write quilt books. The first was Log Cabin Quilts, written with Bonnie Leman in 1980. The most recent was Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts, released last fall. In between I wrote 20 other books, including Scrap Quilts, Pieced Borders (with Marsha McCloskey) and Stellar Quilts. To see those books and many others, click HERE.

Over the years I've invented 5 tools, the most popular of which is the Point Trimmer. It allows you to trim the nub off any patch that comes together at a 45-degree angle. This helps you perfectly align neighboring patches and helps reduce bulk. I've also designed several fabric lines.

The most unusual quilt-related thing I've done is design a game called Quilt Show, which has only recently been released. My husband and I are avid game players, and in 2009 we entered Quilt Show in the Rio Grande Games Design Contest. Our game was one of four winners. Our prize was to have the game published by Rio Grande Games, the leading American publisher of European-style games. Quilt Show is a game for 2-4 players. The things you do in the game are the same things you do as a quilter: You collect fabric; you turn the fabric into quilt blocks; you turn the blocks into quilts; and you win big cash prizes at the game’s three quilt shows! 

Right now I’m working on a quilt for a contest. Until this year all the quilts I made were specific projects for whatever my next book was. It didn't hurt that I really liked most of them, but there was always that other motive: It had to be appropriate for the book I was writing. Let me back track and tell you about the last quilt I made.

"The Fabric of My Life: 1969-2014"
Featured in Quilters Newsletter
Dec/Jan 2015 issue
Earlier this year I designed and made a quilt for Quilters Newsletter’s 45th Anniversary Contest. The quilt had to be exactly 45” square. Since I have been making quilts for 45 years and used to be a senior editor at Quilters Newsletter, the contest was just calling my name. It was a labor of love. I plowed through my fabric, itself the accumulation of 45 years, and cut one patch from each of about 2100 different fabrics. Each fabric almost dripped with fond memories of where it was purchased or how it was used in previous quilts. It was like finding an old scrap book in the attic.

So I made this quilt, in part to enter it in that contest, but primarily because the project spoke to me. The quilt will never be patterned in one of my books. I simply made it because I wanted to, and what a wonderful feeling that was! Oh, and the quilt was the first runner-up in the Quilters Newsletter contest and will be on display at Quilting LIVE! in Atlanta, September 11-13, 2014.

Now back to my present project. Since that Quilters Newsletter contest experience was so good, I didn't hesitate when another contest piqued my interest. I suppose there is a chance this quilt I’m sewing right now could end up in one of my books, but it doesn't matter. I’m enjoying the process of making it.

I choose to support the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for a couple of reasons. First, I can’t imagine the horror of watching a loved one succumb to this terrible disease. The mother in me wants to help in some small way.

The other reason has to do with giving back to someone whose products I use. I use Quilters Dream Batting for all my quilt projects. So when Kathy Thompson (owner) of Quilters Dream began this program, I was naturally more receptive. It’s human nature to help those who help you.

It would be nice if a year from now I didn't have to sponsor the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge because a cure for ALS had been found and the disease had been eradicated. More likely, one more year isn't going to be enough to wipe out ALS. But one year can make a difference, and eventually we’ll get there.

You can join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QuiltingWithJudyMartin

Read about Judy our Featured August #battgirls

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