Friday, March 25, 2011

Will this issue arrive in your mailbox?

The May 2011 issue of American Quilter (shown above) is at the printer now and will arrive in AQS members’ mailboxes during the first few weeks of April. Many of the email messages I receive each day concern magazine subscription inquiries and AQS membership. As editor-in-chief, I do not have direct access to the membership database so I always forward these inquiries on to our member services department for follow-up. However, I would like to address several common situations here.
"I joined AQS two months ago and haven't yet received a magazine."
That is possible! There are six issue of American Quilter published per year, and your subscription always begins with the next issue published. Each issue is published two months prior to the named month on that issue: the March issue is published in January, the May issue in March, etc. For new members, your AQS membership must be processed by the last business day of the month BEFORE the next issue is actually printed in order to receive that issue. That is because the magazine mailing labels are printed on the first day of the month of issue publication. So, someone whose membership was processed on January 2nd would not receive the March issue, which is typically published early to mid January and mails in mid to late January. If that same person had joined AQS on Dec. 31st, they would have received the March issue. Using the same example, the January 2nd new member’s six-issue subscription would begin with the May issue, published in mid-March.
If you are a new AQS member and would like a magazine before your first issue arrives, you have two options. The complete digital version of the issue can be read online, or you can contact member services and purchase a copy of any issue still in stock.
"I didn't get the most recent issue and I'm an AQS member."
Most times when we get this inquiry, the member has simply forgotten to renew his or her subscription. Members receive a reminder inserted in the last issue remaining on their membership year. If you renew promptly, there will be no break in service or missing issues. Several other reminders are sent out to you after the first one. Depending on how long you delay renewing, however, you may miss an issue because of the same timetable described above. But remember AQS members can read digital issues online or purchase any earlier issues still in stock.
"I tried to renew my membership online but couldn't get it to work."
It is quick and easy for members to renew online at, but you can only do this by logging into your online “account” with your AQS username and password, which can be sent to your email account. (Of course you can always renew by mail or phone.) In addition to being able to renew your membership quickly, there are many other reasons to visit our website. You'll get updates on shows and AQS news, have access to all digital issues of American Quilter, and find many free patterns not in the magazine. Members can purchase books at a discount and read reviews of recent titles. You can view the Readers' Quilts gallery and enjoy photos of quilts made by our readers from American Quilter patterns. One of the most valuable resources is our online magazine index, which goes all the way back to 2001.
"No one in my local guild has received the current issue and it's already on newsstand."
When a large number of AQS members from a small geographical area inquire about a missing issue, it is typically a post office situation and not a membership problem. This happened recently in the Rockford, Illinois, area. Your local post office receives magazine copies for all the members in that zip code area at one time. Because magazines are considered periodicals and are not first class mail, the post office has flexibility in when those issues are actually put on trucks and delivered to customers. The issues usually go out promptly, but occasionally the post office will hold them for days or even weeks if they are overloaded with other periodicals. If this problem happens in your area, please inquire at your local post office and then contact AQS.

Want to avoid missing any of our top-rated issues? Please renew your AQS membership promptly and establish an online presence to enjoy all the many perks of AQS membership. For specific inquiries or other membership inquiries, please contact

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lancaster show winners announced

Congratulations to all the winning quiltmakers at the second annual AQS Show & Contest in Lancaster, Pennsylvania! A complete list of winners plus photos of the winning quilts are now posted at
Best of show was awarded to Cindy Seitz-Krug of Bakersfield, California, for her quilt SIMPLY SANTA FE (photo above). Before starting the day’s tasks, this mother of two and owner of a commercial catfish farm gets up early and quilts from 5AM to 7AM every morning. “Quilting is my favorite part of the quiltmaking process,” Cindy says, “and I start thinking about the quilting as soon the quilt is designed.” As she did in this quilt, Cindy often chooses Cherrywood Fabrics for their rich appearance and how well her quilting shows up on them.

The quilt design is Cindy’s original, as are the feather quilting motifs and the hand appliquéd flowers in the quilt center. The intricate quilted background fillers are adaptations of patterns Cindy learned in classes with Diane Gaudynski and Sharon Schamber. Cindy loves the symmetry of traditional quilts, but admits the colorful ribbon border presented sewing challenges posed by all the bias edges. She quilts on a BERNINA 440 without a stitch regulator, and estimates that the quilting took between 300 and 400 hours.
Congratulations, Cindy, and thank you for entering your quilt in this AQS show.
It's not too early to start sewing for next year's AQS shows. Here are the 2012 show dates:
Lancaster, PA             March 14-17
Paducah, KY              April 25-28
Grand Rapids, MI       August 22-25 
Des Moines, IA           October 3-6

Monday, March 14, 2011

Announcing the Mystery Quilt contest winners

Congratulations to Amy Allen, Cynthia Felts, and Beth Schillig, the three winners of American Quilter’s Beyond the Block Mystery Quilt contest! And special thanks go to every quilter who completed the challenge within the short time frame required. You can see photos and read descriptions of ALL contest quilts in the Readers’ Quilts gallery located under the American Quilter tab at or use the link below:

MYSTERY, 58" x 74", by Amy Allen, Honaunau, HI

DANICA’S PINK BUTTERFLY QUILT, 54" x 73", by Cynthia H. Felts, Rolla, MO

A MORNING IN MARBLEHEAD, 50" x 66", by Beth A. Schillig, Columbus, OH

It’s not too late to make your own special Beyond the Block quilt! The first installment of the mystery quilt pattern, designed by those “Crafty Ol’ Broads” Linda K. Johnson and Jane K. Wells, was published in the September 2010 issue of American Quilter, with the remaining two parts published in the November 2010 and January 2011 issues. All three parts are available at to AQS members.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Online now: American Quilter Magazine 2010 Index

Want to locate a specific article or pattern you've seen in a recent American Quilter magazine? We've made it easy for you by posting a complete listing of every article and project published since 2001 in our online index. Go to and you'll find the indexes by year in the drop-down menu under the American Quilter tab on the home page.
Each index is divided into two sections: the pattern and project index, and articles by subject. The pattern/project listing specifies the type of technique along with the quilting skill level required. Projects are also categorized by the primary technique. (To see thumbnail photos of all projects published after 2006, look in the January issue of the following year. For example, photos of the 2007 patterns are in the January 2008 issue.) 
Within the subject index, you can find specific articles by topic, author, featured quilter, or quilt name, depending on the article content.

Friday, March 4, 2011

In memoriam: Jean Ray Laury

The quilt world has lost one of its icons; Jean Ray Laury of Fresno, California, died March 2nd. My sincere condolences go to her husband and family.
I was privileged to know Ms. Laury through occasional encounters and meetings at quilt shows, museums, and other quilt-related venues. As someone who began quilting in the 1970s, I always had the highest regard for Jean; she was instrumental in the renewed 20th century interest in quilting and expansion of the quilting industry. Jean was smart, accomplished, generous, and had a wonderful sense of humor, quite evident in both her quilts and her writing. I always enjoyed our conversations and and admired her extensive knowledge and creativity.
I will miss her.