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Ricky and our editor, Rick Mahal, have been working to improve our lead in to the new shows. I'm (Capt'n John) thrilled! Take a look.

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Every year in mid November I host two back to back retreats in Livermore Ca. The original retreat got started because of my Internet friends. "We" had all met on my old message board (alexandersonquilts.com), and several people decided a retreat was in order. This original gathering has grown to 2 back to back retreats. This retreat is essentially a quilters gathering where you "do your own thing". If you want serious teaching, this is NOT for you - if you want to hang out with like minded folks and have a fun extended sewing time - this IS for you! Each year we have a theme - this year "scrap quilts"............in the end you do what ever you want to do. This year is full (although sometimes folks have to cancel at the last minute), so we are starting a list of folks who are interested for next year. Go here to learn more about the AAQ retreat, and perhaps we will see you next year.

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Ok - you might have noticed we now have a new play area on the site - The TQS challenge page. Over the past few days we have tested the area to make sure it is sea worthy - and YES it is!!! So, you tell us - what should our first TQS challenge be? ARJJ will decide on a few finalists, then you will vote - In addition to spear heading the first TQS challenge the winner will also receive a single series subscription!

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As the day drew to a close on Sunday I realized that I needed to make a mad dash through the nursery and get photos for all of you.  The local artist's work was fantastic and fun.  You will be able to see a quick sample of quilts and views as the sun was throwing shadows around the garden.  Click here

I hope you enjoyed the tour. I also hope that many of you are able to join us next year with featured guest, Laura Wasilowski. (Episode 303)

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Photo by Gregory Case

Gregory Case (Photo Man) shares a wonderful sneak peek at upcoming Episode 308, featuring the award-winning quilt work of Gina Perkes. Gregory also captures priceless photos of unsuspecting crew and audience members as they "test drive" a Gammill long arm quilting machine. View all of the images in our Slide Show here. "Tune in for the complete episode when it airs on Monday, October 13, 2008.

 

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...Melinda got a book, The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting, by Marguerite Ickis, 1949....

Read More, Click Here

See her Quilts at Quilting In The Garden

Put your mouse on the picture to make it larger and see a description.  Then click on the picture for a full screen view.

Visit her website at www.melindabula.com

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Melinda Bula

At 19 years old, Melinda was studying art in college and had her first job in a fabric store. It seemed a lot of customers were coming in for fabric for quilts. Why not make a quilt? Her great-grandmother was a quilter and she had been designing and working with fabric since she was 9, so it just fit. Melinda got a book (The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting, by Marguerite Ickis 1949), cut out cardboard templates and made her first quilt.

A few years later she was a stewardess for Western Airlines. There was a lot of downtime so what do you do? You make another quilt. How about a double wedding ring? She didn’t know it was hard, she just loved the curves. Waiting between flights she continued to make quilts totally by hand. On the side Melinda started designing wallpaper. Soon she had a full business and was shipping designs across the country. One of her designs ended up in the model penthouse of the Trump Tower in New York.

Melinda and her husband Joe decided that she needed to give herself fully to art. She wasn’t sure what that exactly meant yet, but they decided to sell the business, move to a new area and give her full attention to art. One day she found herself inside because the dog wouldn’t walk with her in the 108 degree weather. She was new to town and didn’t know anyone yet, so she turned on the TV. There she saw this woman talking to quilters. Every morning from then on she watched Alex Anderson on “Simply Quilts” and quickly made 5 new quilts. Melinda found herself at a woman’s luncheon and told someone about her quilting. The person mentioned that she should get into a guild. She had no idea that there was such a thing as a quilt guild.

Melinda advises, “Take all the classes you can. Even the ones you don’t think you'll like. You never know what you will learn.” Melinda soon began incorporating her design background into the quilts and then brought her love of painting to the process using thread instead of paint. Besides beautiful quilts, Melinda also designs wearable art.

Melinda is now an award-winning quilter. Her sense of color and design has won her numerous ribbons. Most recently she won Best of Show, 2008 at Road to California for Monterey at Dusk. This quilt also won 3rd place at IQA Houston 2007. She received 2nd place at the same show with her flower quilt Romance.

Melinda’s first book came out in 2007 called Cutting Garden Quilts, published by Martingale Press.

Visit her website, www.melindabula.com

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So, how did Joen get into quilting?  The same way many of you did---

Click here to read more...  See her Quilts at Quilting in the Garden

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Joen Wolfrom

Joen is a great quilting teacher because she started as a teacher. Joen has been in the elementary classroom, worked with learning-disabled students and as a teacher/consultant for gifted students.

But how did quilting get into the picture? The same way as for many of you—she was invited to a class by a friend and couldn’t figure out how to get out of it politely. The class was once a week for 15 weeks. Each week was a different project. At the end of 15 weeks Joen had one pot holder to show for her efforts. She ended up taking the class 3 times.

Joen was contacted by an acquaintance to tutor her child. Later this person started a fabric store and asked Joen to teach quilting. Of course her answer was—no. At this time Joen was worried she would be just one step ahead of the students. They kept asking and Joen kept saying no. Then she thought of her Dad’s caution, “People often close the door to opportunity before they realize it has been opened for them”.

So she became a quilting teacher. She worked two days a week teaching 3, three hour classes a day. This lasted for 3 years. One day she received an invitation to teach in San Diego, California. Joen was happy in Washington but made the trip. Suddenly she was receiving invitations from all over. Well, why not? Quilting is a small interest and it will surely only last for about 1 year. This was 1984. Since then, Joen has taught all over the world.

Her interest in nature, color and photography has greatly influenced her quilting style. Her books include Color Play, The Visual Dance, Landscapes & Illusions, The Magical Effects of Color, Patchwork Persuasion, and great help for the mathematically challenged Make Any Block Any Size.

JWD Publishing is Joen’s new venture. She brings you great patterns from today’s top quilting artists. You can see Joen in action in Episode 103 “Visualizing Color” or check out her classes next week, October 8-11, at APQ in Des Moines, Iowa. 

www.joenwolfrom.com http://www.jwdpublishing.com


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All weekend we will feature a selection of the Quilts at Quilting in the Garden. Alex has given you a video overview. (If you haven't seen her videos, they are in two blogs below this one.) Today we feature Joen Wolfrom. Click on "Challenges" on the Purple bar and then hit the "View Entries" button.

Put your mouse on the thumbnail and it will get bigger. Click on the thumbnail and it will get even bigger. There are descriptions telling you more about the quilts. Come back later today for an update on Joen.


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