Yes. It’s My Real Name.

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The truth is that I started this blog in January 2009 shortly after I had been released from the ICU and told that I would “never return to normal” and I needed “to prepare [my] family.” The physicians thought I had pulmonary fibrosis which is degenerative and fatal. “We’ve done everything we can…” were the words I was given when I was sent home. I was unable to speak in full sentences and gasped for air every few seconds. I needed to get off certain medications before they could test me for this deadly illness. It was a bleak scenario. I began this blog as a way to occupy my mind and feel productive because the medications prevented me from sleeping all but two hours daily. Bill took pictures for me and uploaded them to my laptop in bed. It was pretty much all I could do for those three months.

When my health improved I began wanting to write about things other than craft but was worried about losing the audience I had so carefully built. Last fall I began wanting to write with no constraints small posts daily and began considering new titles for my new blog. I settled on “Yes. It’s my real name.” because it is the question I am so frequently asked. I decided this title had the open-ended, light-hearted feel that I wanted to carry into my writing. My agenda for Yes. It’s My Real Name is simple: start off the day with a nice thought. I won’t be trying to sell you anything. I won’t have guest posts or advertising. I’m just writing for me and anyone else who’d like to drop in and join the conversation. Just Weeks and whatever is on my mind when I open my laptop in the morning. Hope you’ll drop by.

Questions and Answers about future issues of Modern Quilts Illustrated

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In Issue #9 of Modern Quilts Illustrated we explained that we will be making some changes in future issues of the magazine. Given that we get a lot of emails daily on this topic, it seemed wise to post the same information here as well.

“I have a subscription to Modern Quilts Illustrated through Issue #9. I don’t see a place on the website to renew and I don’t want to miss an issue. How do I renew my subscription for future issues?”

In the three years we have been publishing Modern Quilts Illustrated, questions about renewing subscriptions and issues related to subscriptions have required far more administrative time than we possibly could have imagined. This administrative time has taken us away from what we love to do most — designing and making. Shipping orders of magazines when people order them through our website, however, is far more straightforward and efficient for us. As a result, we will no longer be offering subscriptions for Modern Quilts Illustrated. All existing subscriptions were completed with the mailing of Issue #9 in July.

“So how am I going to know when future issues are available?”

To make it as easy as possible for our loyal readers to purchase MQI, we are in the process of reworking our website to allow you to add your name to an email list that will notify you when each issue is available. The email will include a link to our website to order the magazine and have it shipped to you.

“Will the publishing schedule be the same?”

No, we’ve decided to move to a twice per year schedule (end of January and end of July) but add additional pages to each issue, more like a booklet. This will reduce the amount of time we spend shipping while giving you the same amount of content over the course of a year.

“Will the rest of the magazine be the same?”

Yes. Adding pages will give us the opportunity to include longer articles and more projects. Modern Quilts Illustrated will remain ad-free on the same great-quality, recycled paper with helpful illustrations, inspiring projects and beautiful photography.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask below in the comments section, by messaging us on Facebook or by emailing us at sales@modernquiltstudio.com.

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…but I’m not creative…

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weeks-sketching One of the most frustrating things I hear on a regular basis in the quilting classes I teach is the sentence above or it’s close cousin, “I’m not good with color.” I talk about this in my Craftsy class a bit. I mention that I was one of those kids who was not labeled a gifted artist in kindergarten so I assumed that I had no artistic talent. That belief continued until I was in my mid-20s. It was a sentence in Betty Edwards’ seminal book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that truly changed my life. I wanted to get a masters degree in a design field but had not background in art or design. I got this book to learn how to draw so I could put together a portfolio to get into grad school. Betty Edwards wrote that while the brilliance of Picasso or someone of that level of artistic achievement may well be innate, the rest of us can learn to draw, not to his level perhaps, but to a level of competency through education and practice. It can be learned. One’s gifts are not fixed. We can learn new skills, including creative thinking, design and, yes, color. Although the topic of the article Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick is on how to praise girls, I found that as I read it, it also pertains to many of the students who take my quilting classes. Many of you know that Bill and I emphasize experimenting and maquettes to see what works as opposed to making decisions in your head. So I particularly liked this quote from the article, “If you have little failures along the way and have them understand that’s part of learning, and that you can actually derive useful information about what to do next, that’s really useful.” It’s not about knowing what decision to make. It’s about being willing to try a variety of options so you KNOW what will work best.