Meet Our Recent Contributors
Alma Barkman (issue 12/2020)
a maiden name decidedly Scottish, scrap quilting appeals to
my thrifty nature. While I enjoy looking at the beautiful
endeavors of artistic quilters, my personal satisfaction comes
from fulfilling a certain waste not, want not
mentality. Growing up on a Canadian prairie farm, one of my
best memories was snuggling down under patchwork quilts when
the temperature dropped to 40 degrees below zero. Those quilts
were pieced together with whatever odds and ends my mother
could salvage from her meager resources. On quilting days,
one of my favorite pastimes as a youngster was ironing scraps
of percale cotton with a flat iron heated on the McClary wood
stove. I then watched my mother sew them together into crazy
quilts on her Singer treadle machine.
My other hobby is writing. I have
authored nine books, the contents of which combine humor,
nostalgia, and Christian inspiration. Feel welcome to visit
Anna Branch (issue 6/2021)
Anna Branch is an avid quilter who,
with her husband and little dog, is enjoying the benefits
of country living. She has been a writer for many years and
is currently being published in the Almaguin News
and in Quilter's Connection Magazine. You can
read more about her life in the maple bush on her blog. Anna
also has a web site where you can see her patterns, get tutorials,
and enter her contests.
Barbara Chojnacki (issue
been stitching in one form or another for most of my life.
After having dabbled in all types of embroidery, knitting,
crocheting, and even bobbin lace, I discovered quilting and
I began my own pattern company, Six
Gables Designs, in 2005 and shortly thereafter became
a founding member of the New England Quilt Designers Cooperative.
In 2010, I created the Outside the Grid rulers, and I recently
published my first book, Tidbits & Twiglets;
Stash-busting strategies for creating quilts from five easy
I love working with scraps, especially
other quilters' unwanted and unloved scraps. I can truly say
I have never met a scrap I didn't like. The uglier the fabric,
the more I want to play with it! I even hosted an ugly fabrics
challenge on an online quilt group a while back.
I live in Westerly, Rhode Island and
belong to guilds in Rhode Island and Connecticut. I teach
locally and vend and demo at quilt shows throughout southern
By the way, my house DOES have six
Barbara, quilt pattern designer,
teacher/lecturer, art quilter, and author, became a quilter
at the age of 8 when her grandmother outfitted her with a
cardboard template and pencil to begin her first Nine-Patch
quilt. Over the years, she designed her own blocks and quilts
for personal use and taught classes for the major fabric store
where she was employed. After resigning from her long-term
managerial position in 1999, she began her quilt pattern design
company, Stone Cottage Designs. Though she teaches
far and wide, her favorite teaching venue is in The Dungeon,
her in-home studio space with its rock-lined walls and fireplace.
Dee Eisenman (issue
I began my pattern design company,
Snuggles Quilts, in May of 2003. I have been quilting for
over 30 years and have been designing quilt patterns about
that long. I love to design seasonal and everyday patterns,
many of them scrappy. My web site, www.snugglesquilts.com,
showcases all of my designs.
I teach many classes in quilt shops
and at quilt guilds around the country. My classes are based
on two of my favorite techniques needle-turn hand appliqué
and wool appliqué. I also lecture and do a trunk show
of my work focusing on scrap quilting with a bit of color
theory thrown in. Many quilters have a hard time choosing
fabric for a project and it is my goal to help them get over
My work has been published in many
quilt magazines since 2006, including McCall's Quilting,
American Patchwork & Quilting, Fons
& Porter's, Primitive Quilts & Projects,
and The Quilt Pattern Magazine (an online publication).
My book, Blooming Patchwork, is available in
my online store.
Kathryn Errante (issue
I have been sewing since I was about
12. While raising my three children, I loved making clothes
for them. In the summer of 2013, I started quilting when I
retired from teaching special education (after 35 years).
I love learning all the new skills that quilting brings. I
also love to hand embroider and combine those techniques into
my quilts. I am so grateful to have found TQPM and
Pastiche group. It's an honor to test patterns
Gavlick Hartnett (issue 2/2021)
since I was a child, I sewed, crocheted, embroidered, and
made my own clothes. Thats when I found my love of textiles.
As an art major, I added batik and weaving to my interests.
My career was spent designing embroidery,
lace, and emblems for manufacturers and for over 30 years
designing and constructing costumes in my own business Costumes
by Barbara (which I retired from in March 2018).
Creating quilt designs are fun for
me. I have been working on my designs for almost 40 years.
My grandmother, my mother, and my aunts were all hand quilters.
(I like to think I inherited that gene.) Although I learned
to quilt by hand, I found myself more interested in the design,
color, and construction of the quilt tops.
I enjoy seeing my designs come to
life and I am always humbled when others appreciate my work.
After decades of practice, I still feel like a novice.
Belinda Jones (issue 1/2021)
Jones is an avid sewer, teacher, and reader. Her mother, grandmother,
and great-grandmother taught her different forms of handwork,
and she has taught classes in smocking, shadow work, and embroidery.
Belinda received a sewing machine
for Christmas during her junior high years and was soon making
her own clothes and experimenting with quilting. After her
marriage and move to south Louisiana, she began taking quilting
classes and was soon begging her grandmother to teach her
how to hand quilt. Today, Belinda makes quilts for family
members and friends, enjoying the creative process as much
as the finished product.
Connie Kaufman (issue 3/2021)
Connie is a quilter/designer/author
living in Nappanee, Indiana. She has a love of color and design
and enjoys creating a wide variety of projects. Many of her
patterns appear in books and magazines. She has published
6 books: Piecefully Amish, 24 Kids Quilt Blocks, 24 Sunbonnet
Sue and Overall Sam Quilt Blocks, The Scrap Savers Solution
Book, Put Some Charm in Your Quilts, and Little Gems.
Visit her website and blog at:
Jaci Lawson (issue 3/2021)
I was 9 , I saw a knitted bikini in a magazine. I thought,
I can do that! I've been creating ever since,
and my projects tend to ensnare husband, family, and unsuspecting
An art quilter from Dover, NH, I made
my first quilt in 2009. My quilts have since been shown in
local art exhibits, local and regional quilt shows, and a
local craftsman outlet. I have also designed other craft projects,
including a luggage tag design published in Quilts and
More, Summer 2011, and have given demonstrations on
art quilting techniques, fabric collage, and other art techniques,
including a 3-D challenge at the Cocheco Quilt Guild
Art Bee, of which I am a founding member. I am currently
working with a partner to create Zentangle®-style
My greatest achievement is living
happily with the same husband for over 30 years, despite dragging
him into every home and garden project I could dream up. He
lives in fear of 5 words: Honey, I have an idea!
We have 3 extraordinary daughters and 3 exceptional grandchildren.
Truly, the Lord has been good to us and blessed our home.
Jane Lay (issue 7/2020)
I first got into quilting in Europe
twenty years ago while my husband was posted to NATO. I learned
from an international group of ladies and was hooked. I have
always loved sewing and knitting, but quilting is my passion
now. I especially love to do difficult piecing patterns but
recently have branched out to appliqué.
Having a family full of engineers
has had a huge influence on my quilting and has led to quilts
with very intricate geometric designs. My daughter has often
approached me with a suggestion from her mathematical background
and away we go. I have been teaching locally for a few years
and have just started designing. As a pattern tester, I have
discovered how difficult it is to put pattern instructions
down on paper. My mind races with new ideas and I look forward
to designing more patterns in the future.
Kari began needlework early through
knitting and crochet. Her first sewing project (age 6) was
a doll dress (donated back to the Salvation Army once clothed).
From ages 7 to 12, she embroidered a willow pattern tablecloth
as her first serious project and the only thing (other than
reading) she would sit still for. After completing a velvet
evening gown and vest for her orchestral performances, Kari
saw a Lone Star quilt pattern when she was 16.
Her love of stitching has taken her
to master counted thread, crewel, needlepoint, bobbin lace,
and tatting in addition to piecing and appliqué She
has created hundreds of pieces, many of which have won first
place ribbons. She enjoys teaching and has numerous ongoing
projects, not to mention a sizable stash that she refers to
as her "retirement plan"!
I started quilting in 2001. I needed
a hobby to keep me busy as I had some life-changing events
happen. I went to a sewing machine dealer and they were having
classes. I watched for a while and then the teacher asked
me if I have ever quilted. Of courseI said no. I had an older
machine at the house and barely knew how to use it. A week
later I took that old machine to the dealer and traded for
a newer computerized model. I was hooked! I kept taking classes
and was feeling more confident. I have made over 100 quilts
since then. Some have gone to charities and friends and family.
In July 2015, I joined TQPM and in August 2015
I became a tester and I love it!
Nancy Noah (issue 4/2021)
have always been part of my life. As I grew up, handmade quilts
were often the only blankets we had. Most of them were made
to be "used and abused", although there were special
quilts used only on the guest bed.
I started quilting in the early 1980s
to relax from what was, at times, a high emotional energy
vocation. I taught my first beginners quilting class
in my local church and then at a local fabric store. I was
asked to teach more techniques, and being very conscious of
copyright laws, I designed quilts to illustrate those techniques,
using verbal directions in the classes.
When asked for written directions
for a pattern, I discovered pattern writing is not as easy
as verbal and visual demonstration, so I began testing patterns
to get a feel for writing them. Since then, I have discovered
I enjoy the technical side of quilt making.
Amy Stirrup (issue
I've been a cross stitcher, crochet
fan, knitter, and quilter as an escape from teaching elementary
school for many years. I was a serious cross stitcher after
retiring, but my primary focus shifted to quilting as therapy
after my mother passed away. It has become a passion. I enjoy
the designing, making, quilting, and especially the giving
of myself through the quilting process.
Zsuzsanna Sziva (issue
I started quilting in 2013 when I
took a class in the heat of the moment. I was hooked immediately.
In 2016 I bumped into the possibility of testing for TQPM.
I love the inspiring and encouraging community around this
magazine. While I tested a couple of patterns for TQPM,
I sewed many other patterns too. Usually I modified them slightly
following my own ideas. Maybe these were the first steps of
designing a pattern. The other inspiration was seeing my daughters
drawings about planets. Some of them are really great for
appliqué. I chose Plútó and his friends
as a base of my first pattern. I live in Budapest (Hungary)
with my supportive husband and two wonderful kids.
Noémi Sziva (issue
I live with my family in Budapest.
I am currently in high school. I love reading and drawing.
(I even had drawing and painting classes when I was younger.)
I have never sewn although I often help my mother with choosing
colors for her quilts. Once I started to sketch a series of
planets with personalities. (When I was younger, I was very
interested in space and planets and used the knowledge to
create personalities for the design.) Some of them have too
many details, but others can be sewn. Plútó
was one of them.
Donna Westerkamp (issue
my name is Donna Westerkamp and I am the mother of one daughter
and five sons. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.
My career began with making cloth
dolls for craft shows. I was also published on the cover of
several major magazines for my original designs. Then, I freelanced
my sewing and craft ideas with a team of designers for Ben
Franklin Crafts magazine and Leewards Creative Craft
stores (now Michaels).
As life got busy at home, I found
quilting by hand was all I could do in doctors offices
and on sports fields. I taught myself how to use the computer
and became proficient in EQ.
I have been designing quilts for local
quilt shops and Internet stores ever since. In 2008, I started
my longarm quilting business and learned the art of free-motion
quilting. I am a member of the Faithful Circle Quilt Guild
and past President of Northern Illinois Longarm Guild.
Thank you for reading my story. Please
visit my website for more information.
Cinzia White (issue
White has been quilting for over 30 years and has taught throughout
Australia. She has published numerous patterns in most Australian
patchwork magazines and some American.
Influenced by her mathematics teaching background, Cinzia
enjoys designing traditional quilts based on geometric designs.
With perseverance and a desire to explore new directions,
she has created many award-winning quilts.
Cinzia enjoys working with colour
and with no prearranged plan. She has a tendency to incorporate
points and curves into her intricate patterns that alternate
between two distinct styles: one scrappy and haphazard, the
other involving intricate handwork.
It is through her love of handwork
that the quilt Raconteur - The Storytellers Collection
developed. It is this quilt that lead to the publication of
The Storytellers Sampler Quilt by C&T.
Cinzia lives in Gerringong, NSW Australia.
To learn more, visit her website, www.cinziawhite.com.
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