Every Year One Stands Out

Last week while back in Massachusetts I picked up a few essential Christmas mementos to send to our new Colorado home. As I was packing them up at Quilting Arts headquarters, people gathered around to comment.

The sight of John's childhood Christmas stocking brought out everyone's nostalgic side. A look at the tree skirt I made for the first issue of Quilting Arts Gifts reminded us all how fast time flies, especially in the publishing business.

But it was when I pulled out the set of his-and-hers stockings I pieced and embroidered in the crazy quilting style early in our marriage (and my art quilting career) that we all felt the presence of the Ghost of Quilting Arts Issues Past.

"That looks like the art on the cover of the first issue!" someone piped up.

  It's not, but the styles are very similar. And I have to say that although the magazine's focus has been on contemporary art quilting for the last few years, the first issue, like a first child, will always be special to me.

Of course, immediately after saying that I feel like I have to apologize to all the other issues. I get asked again and again which issue is my favorite, and I always explain that it's like trying to choose a favorite child. I've only ever shown a very slight partiality to one or two issues when pressed. And I'm talking "pressed" like someone has a sledgehammer poised over my Bernina and is threatening to smash it if I don't give up the goods.

But now that we've reached the 10-year birthday of Quilting Arts and the 48th (48th!) issue of the magazine is on newsstands, I've decided I'm willing to at least highlight one issue for each year.

2001 – Obviously, the first issue. No surprise there.


2002 – Given the marquee names of the artists featured together, it would have to be Fall: Robbi Eklow on the cover, a profile of Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, and articles by Ellen Anne Eddy, Jean Ray Laury, Lucky Shie, and Nancy Eha.


2003 – Our famous Dr. Jekyll/Ms. Hyde art doll challenge was a major highlight of that year, with many, many amazing dolls submitted. The results debuted in the Summer issue. It was one of the biggest photographic challenges, too, as we posed all the Dr. Jekyll sides of the dolls, ID'd them, and then turned each one around making sure to place them in exactly the same spot for the Ms. Hyde shot.

  2004 – I'm a sucker for embellishment, so I'd have to go with the Spring issue. It contains an article by Andrea Stern on "Extreme Embellishment," Heidi Lund's "Bitten by the Embellishment Bug" piece, and the very popular "Art-to-Go" Chinese food containers how-to. This issue also introduced that still-popular format, the Artist Trading Card (article by Janet Ghio) and led to another very popular reader challenge.

2005 – Here again, the nod goes to the issue with amazingly creative reader challenge results (I see a theme developing): the Winter issue with Creative Self-portraits inspired by Yvonne Porcella.

2006 – This one's a very tough call, but the Spring issue contains some gorgeous wearables, including lacy accessories created from felt and stitch by Elli Woodsford and a classic article on creating an abstract art quilt design from a photograph by Liz Berg.

  2007 – It's possible that the April/May issue of this year might be my favorite issue of all time, due to the absolutely drop-dead gorgeous artwork assembled in it by some of the top contemporary art quilters in the world. In fact, one quilt contains the artistry of Vickie Hallmark, Judy Coates Perez, Julie John Upshaw, Frances Holliday Alford, and Kathy York.

2008 – Again, a reader challenge tips the scales: the August/September "Going Green" issue shows just how innovative contemporary quilters can be. Also,I love the "Being Pet-ty" portraits by Karen Winter, one of which is shown on the cover.

2009 – For sheer variety, and as a nod to my love of rock 'n' roll, I'd have to go with the April/May issue. Inside we featured the results from our "Rock On!" art quilt reader challenge, plus image transfers, pieced landscapes, thread painting, Kenyan fiber traditions and more.

2010 – I'm going to go for the obvious again here: our current issue celebrating our 10th anniversary. It includes 10 of our favorite innovative art quilting techniques as well as an article from two of the most innovative artists I know, Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn.

Where will the journey take is in 2011? Well, we will be moving in some interesting directions while still providing you with the most high-quality, cutting edge techniques, artists, and galleries full of inspiration.

What will be my favorite issue; what will yours be? There's only one way to be sure you don't miss anything: Join us as we begin the next decade of Quilting Arts…I promise we will inform and inspire you!

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2 thoughts on “Every Year One Stands Out

  1. Pokey, I am so honored to be featured in your favorite issue of 2007 with all my bestest art quilt girlfriends for our quilt Fauna. QA did such an awesome job photographing it and showing all the details. Thanks again for sharing our work with the world and making us look so good!
    xoxo judy

  2. I was going through a ‘transition’ time in 2007, and it was a bit of a rough time. I was floating in a sea of ‘what am i supposed to be doing’, when wandering aimlessly through a newsagent I came across a Quilting Arts mag. In it was a quick workshop on applying acrylic paint to fabric then machine sewing and embellishing the image. The image was a gateway. (very symbolic) All of a sudden a light went on! It was time to rediscover art, I had left my creative side packed away in boxes 5 years previously and I realized this is what was missing in my life! I have subscribed to each issue of QA and CPS ever since, I now have my own little shop on Etsy and have found my place.
    Congratulations on 10 years and a Big THANKYOU to you Pokey and your wonderful staff and the amazingly creative artists that you feature.

    Julie (Australia)