An Art Quilting Pattern of Success: Q&A with Helen Gregory

6 Dec 2011

pokey bolton and helen gregory
Helen and I joke around on the "QATV" while
tech guru Alan tries to adjust her microphone.
pokey boltonLast week, my colleague, friend, and co-conspirator Helen Gregory took over the reins as Editorial Director for Interweave's Quilt, Paper, and Sewing Group.

Many of you know Helen from working the Make it UniversityTM area at International Quilt Festival, where she has always been game for dressing up in '80s prom gowns, silly hats, or beach attire, in addition to answering your questions and generally keeping things running smoothly.

Or you may know Helen from her behind-the-scenes coordination of the guest artists (and me) at "QATV" and, in the last couple of seasons of the show, for her on-screen appearances in segments where she demonstrates the finer points of sewing construction, free-motion quilting, and more.

I am always inspired and enlightened by her talents. Helen is a whiz at deciphering quilt patterns and creating small quilting projects, especially patchwork quilt projects (she was editor of 101 Patchwork Projects + Quilts).

Today I thought I might have a little convo with Helen in order to give you, our loyal readers and viewers, some insight into how the transition will go and what you can expect from Quilting Arts in the coming year.

PB: What's your new role with Quilting Arts? Will you be interacting with artists/readers at all in person?

HG: I am fortunate to be able to work closely with the Quilting Arts team, as well as with the Cloth Paper Scissors, Studios, and Stitch teams. I will continue to be able to interact in person with artists and readers when I travel to Quilt Market. And I hope to be able to continue to be an occasional guest on "Quilting Arts TV." We have a good synergy during those tapings, Pokey, and I absolutely love meeting all of the incredibly talented quilt artists who are TV guests.

PB: I'm sure people are wondering when we will be announcing a new editor for Quilting Arts? Can you give us a hint?

patchwork quilting pattern
Helen demonstrates her patchwork quilt
pattern for free-motion stitched place mats.
HG: We will be naming the new editor very soon! We are extremely excited to be able to hire an editor who will be dedicated entirely to Quilting Arts Magazine! You wore so many hats here, Pokey, and you're absolutely irreplaceable, but I know you're as enthusiastic as I am to know that the new editor's focus will be completely on Quilting Arts. And we're all delighted that you, the founder of the magazine, will continue to consult with us on this very special publication.

Everyone, stay tuned for the announcement!

PB: What kinds of themes, techniques, trends, do you see in Quilting Arts Magazine in the coming year? What are you most excited about trying?

HG: One of the many aspects of Quilting Arts I love is that it's always on the cutting edge with respect to new surface design techniques. I am certain that over the next year we'll see plenty of free-motion machine quilting, unique surface design work, and more creative use of fabric, stitch, and embellishment. As we're just approaching the snowy season here in New England, I'm excited to try some snow dyeing this winter. I'm also contemplating a quilting getaway to somewhere mild this winter . . . Houston, perhaps?

PB: That would be fun! You're obviously going to be very busy, but when you get time in your own studio, what projects will you be working on this year?

HG: Yes, I will be very busy. But I can't imagine a more inspiring place to work. I'm surrounded by creative professionals, both here in the office and further afield with all the talented contributors. The first project on my list is a free-motion stitched patchwork place mat set—you remember, I demonstrated making one when I was a guest on "Quilting Arts TV" series 900; now it's time to finish them!

PB: What's the one thing you would like our readers/viewers/participants to know about the coming year of Quilting Arts?

HG: We are going to continue to deliver the same exceptional content that our audience expects from Quilting Arts. We'll have an enthusiastic new editor at the helm, and you and Assistant Editor Ellen Seeburger and I will be working closely with the new editor. There are great things ahead!

You heard her, people: great things ahead for Quilting Arts Magazine. This would be a perfect time to renew your subscription (or give one as a gift) to be sure you and your art quilting friends don't miss out on all the wonderful art quilting projects, stitching and surface design techniques, and the inspirational gallery art coming in the year ahead.


P.S. Have you met Helen? What has been your favorite "Helen moment"? Leave a comment below.


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Comments

Jane LaFazio wrote
on 6 Dec 2011 9:11 AM

huge and well deserved congratulations to Helen! She's wonderful. Kind, warm and witty. Oh yea, and smart too!

on 6 Dec 2011 10:08 AM

My favorite Helen moment has got to be during a surviving the runway event a few years ago when she did a little solo dance in the QA booth! Helen ROCKS! xoxo

on 6 Dec 2011 10:29 AM

Can't wait to "meet" the new editor!  My favorite Helen moment was at Spring Market in Salt Lake when I walked into the booth to meet Pokey and Helen was busily typing away on her computer.  As Pokey and I chatted for a moment Pokey said something to Helen and she acknowledged her comment and continued to type.  Helen had a deadline and she would not be distracted!  Go Helen go!!!   I know everything will be in good hands and I look forward to seeing where Quilting Arts, Cloth Paper Scissors and Stitch are headed under Helen guidance.  

franciv wrote
on 6 Dec 2011 1:45 PM

We need you back on TV in the Columbus Ohio area.....Please Please Please

Kim DeCoste wrote
on 6 Dec 2011 2:25 PM

Congrats! to you Helen. The QA team will be under great leadership. Have fun and keep producing the great publications we've come to expect.

Kim DeCoste