Quilting and National Library Week

I have been very busy this week at my part-time job as a Reference Librarian. Before I was a Librarian, I was an HR Manager for two large law firms in Manhattan, which was a great job too. Although I had one graduate degree, I made the decision to go back to school and earn a degree in Information and Library Science. I am a lifelong learner, and I love it. And the library is one of the best places to research, learn and become inspired.

Besides books, I borrow DVD’s, CD Audiobooks to listen to in the car and musical CD’s. I also read magazines and newspapers in the library or on my iPad through the library’s digital resources. 

And it’s all FREE. Your tax dollars pay for this amazing resource and these borrowing privileges. Your public library offers free programs too. Chances are if you are the teaching type of quilter or sewer, you might be able to offer your library programs in hand sewing, embroidery, knitting and crocheting, while earning a fee, and increasing your visibility. 

This week is National Library Week. Yes, there are “unlimited possibilities” at your local public library. Last week and this week, I visited four out of the thirty-eight libraries in our consortium. I looked to see just how many quilting books I would find. Many. And I mean many. In one of them I found four very large shelves, packed with quilting books.

And this photo shows about half of one shelf.

Often I check out a quilting book, before I buy it. If I decide to buy it, I know it will become part of my permanent quilting reference library, and it’s money well spent.

I have also found undiscovered treasures, not just in the quilting and crafts sections, but others too. Have you ever looked for a specific book at the library and it’s not owned by any library in the consortium? You can ask your library for and ILL.

Many of you may know this, but if not, most libraries offer an Inter Library Loan service; an ILL.Your library can put a request out, and possibly borrow it from another library in the U.S. This is a great service, especially when trying to find very old books.

So to celebrate National Library Week, tell me what your favorite book is, or the last book you finished, and why you liked it. My favorite is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It’s told in letters. Very difficult to write a great and memorable book using that technique. And do you prefer reading a book or do you prefer reading on a device or computer?

Happy Quilting and have a great weekend.

Interview with Amanda Murphy

I am really excited to share this interview I had with Amanda Murphy. 

About six months ago I reviewed her book Color Essentials. Amanda is also the author of Modern Holiday: Deck the Halls with 18 Sewing Projects Quilts, Stockings, Decorations & More.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your sewing and quilting career.

1.    Tell us about your family, kiddos, husband, pets.
I live with my husband and two kids in North Carolina. 

2.    I read that you started quilting at an early age.
Well, I started sewing at an early age, but I didnt start quilting until    after my kids were born – about a dozen years ago.

3.   Tell us the story of how did you get started? Did someone influence you?  What was the tween Amanda like?
As a child my two favorite subjects were art and math, so I guess the fact that I like quilting and fabric design is no big surprise!  I also always loved history – decorative arts museum are my favorite.

4.   Where did you grow up? Where did you attend college, and did your major in fine arts help you with your quilting career ?
I grew up in Virginia and attended college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was actually an industrial design major but ended up working in print multimedia.  That experience has definitely helped me in terms of being able to keep up a website, put design patterns, etc.

5.   What inspired you to write Modern Holiday and Color Essentials? Are there any other books on the horizon?
Modern Holiday was inspired in part by all those gorgeous holiday fabrics that are now available!  I wanted to do a holiday book that was very graphic in nature – bold and fun.   
    Color Essentials is reflective of the work I did with color in college and also the incredible range of colors in the Kona cotton line. It walks the line between art and quilting for me. (And there are more projects on the horizon, but I cant talk about them yet.)

6.   Tell us about your relationship with Craftsy. How did it begin?
Craftsy originally recruited me at Market to teach classes in machine embroidery.  Now I also teach an appliqué class!

7.  Tell us about your classes with Craftsy, in particular your newest one.
I have two classes in the machine embroidery category – Elegant     Machine Embroidered Bags and Elegant Machine Embroidered Quilts.  It is so fun to pick threads to match quilting fabrics to make something really unique.
My 20 Fresh Appliqué Techniques is just that!  I teach your a variety of techniques that will really make your machine appliqué sing!  


Some are traditional and some are more unusual.  We make 4 small projects – all with a modern flair.  And we learn to embellish with thread and stitches beautifully!


8.   Are appliquéand embroidery your favorite sewing and surface techniques and what draws you to them?
They are some of my favorite techniques – yes.  I tend to love whatever I am working on at the moment!  Im fortunate to work in such a creative industry.

 9. Please show and tell us about your favorite project to date? 
My favorite project to date is my most recent quilt, Flower Power!  It uses a lot of the stitches and techniques I teach in my Craftsy class.  (A coordinating pillow is part of the class.)

10. How did you begin your business Amanda Murphy Design, and how did you grow it?

    I began by sending some design ideas to fabric companies and then started designing patterns. The books, the classes, and my relationship with BERNINA followed.
Modern Lace Fabric – Cool Tones Designed By Amanda Murphy                              
Modern Lace Fabric – Warm Tones Designed By Amanda Murphy

11.What do you see as emerging trends in fabric and quilting in the next 1-2 years?
I see a merging of the modern and traditional movements.  The modern aesthetic is definitely having an influence in the traditional quilting world and the techniques familiar to traditional quilters are seeping into the modern movement.  Also, the embracing of technology by the quilting community is bound to continue and it will be interesting to see where it leads.

Thank you so much for spending this time with us.

Thanks for having me.

Amanda has generously offered a give-a-way; a free link to her recent Craftsy class – 20 Fresh Applique Techniques.  In order to enter, please leave a comment in my comment box telling us what your favorite pattern line is

I will announce the winner on this blog on Friday, July 18 in the morning, EST. Please be sure to leave me your e-mail address so we can get in touch with the winner. Good luck!!
On Another note, Plum & June’s New Quilter’s Blog Hop is containing. I participated and posted on June 3rd. There are many more great quilt bloggers to meet, so please click on the Plum & June Button on my sidebar.