December 2010 - Posts

Greetings from our nation's gorgeous capital.

I'm here in D.C. with the husband, as I gave him/us a trip here for Christmas -- this is one of our very favorite places in the country and that's saying something, as we're pretty exhaustive American explorers. We went to the Military Bowl game yesterday, then saw a show at Woolly Mammoth, where I performed for a month last year. This morning we walked to Georgetown and I bought amazing tuxedo pants very much on sale (!) and then hoofed all the way to the glorious National Portrait Gallery, the museum that I would most want to live in year round. 

The food in D.C. is killer, and on my list to visit was Teaism, an absurdly delicious tea cafe that makes my soul delight and sing. The tea is extraordinary of course, but the food is almost better. Piping hot bowls of udon noodle soup will warm the cockles of your heart -- even the sub-cockles -- and the sweet potatoes, the seaweed salad, the seitan stir-fry... It's all ridonk-a-donk good and I could eat there every day if someone would let me.

While we were enjoying our meal, I noticed a group of happy knitters at a corner table. Indeed, they were a Ravelry group and seemed to be having fun. I introduced myself and asked if I could take a picture for the blog. They were sweet and agreed. I take it upon myself to extend the hand of friendship between quilters and knitters -- so many of us cross over, but there is more connecting we could/should do. 

Thanks, girls, for the picture and for hearing a bit about Quilty. Watch for the show to launch online here, at, and elsewhere on the web next month. And everyone should watch this space -- we'll be migrating to a new site soon. You'll be automatically taken there when you click on the Quilter's Club link, so no need to hunt for anything new. But we'll have a pretty new layout, a dedicated space, and lots of great information and lovely news for rookie quilters. Know any? 

I saw a huge -- HUGE! -- display of FAKE QUILTS at Bloomingdale's the other night.

I consider quilts to be fake when they meet any or all of the following criteria:

- they were produced in a factory setting
- they have been created in quantities over 1 (one)
- they have a tag
- they have a tag that says "Made in China"
- they are sold for under $100

There are other criteria, I suppose, but that's a decent start. Here are a few of the fakers. Log Cabin, even! Have they no shame??

I'm so sorry I've been gone for a bit. I'm sick! It's sorta like this. 

Except that I'm not an 8-year old boy and I don't have a bunny like that. But the sentiment is definitely the same. It's a nasty, nasty cold and I really don't get colds that often! I think the stress of the Quilty shoot -- we filmed on Sunday and it was so exciting, even with the hacking I did between takes -- and the season that it is just felled me in a big way. But I'm back in the saddle, and my saddle has a box of Kleenex and a bottle of DayQuil on it, so we're good. 

Merry Christmas to all and to all: Wash your hands!

The snow is swirling and curling around outside our apartment windows. Chicago is being blanketed by the beautiful white stuff and I'm feeling incredibly cozy and happy. The mountain of work on my plate is looking at me with a cocked eyebrow. It knows that my reverie won't last long. It can't. 

We're shooting the first "season" of Quilty a week from today. 

This is huge news! Here's the Quilty mission statment:

"Quilty is a weekly quilting show offered online that seeks to inform and inspire the next generation of quilters. Hosted by Mary Fons, daughter of well-known and widely respected quilt educator and author Marianne Fons, Quilty delivers great quilting instruction with humor, zest, and respect for the art of quilting.

Many of today’s newer quilters come to the craft with little to no knowledge of quilting basics; the home economics classes our mothers took were replaced by computer classes when we were in school. Therefore, Quilty will teach rudimentary quilting skills in addition to more advanced techniques, in hopes that after seeing just one episode, every viewer will be excited to make a quilt of her own. Quilty passionately supports independently owned local quilt shops.

With style, class, and a sense of humor, Quilty aims to ignite new passion for the American quilt."


As dates for the first episodes are released, you'll be the first to know. Well, I think you will be. Things are happening so fast, I think I'm probably going to be learning stuff right along with you. But I do know that the first episodes will begin in January, which is really just a few weeks away. I am passionate about Quilty and believe that it's a needed, valuable commodity. If you're reading this, you're already likely a pretty good quilter. But think of the future of the industry. Who will quilt when we're not around? We have to connect with the next generation of quilters where they are, at their level. 

Hint: They are at the computer. And they are at Level One. Maybe Level Zero. 

Here's a photo from the pilot shoot we did a few months ago. I look professional, no? Really, I'm just caught mid-sentence, looking out the window. Maybe I was looking at the mountain of work and feeling optimistic.


I write to you from onboard the M.S. Westerdam, one of the many fancy ships in a fleet owned by Holland America. This is my first-ever cruise and I’m getting quite an education.

There are about 100 ladies here (some have brought their husbands or friends along with them) for the Fons & Porter quilting cruise program. There are about 2,000 guests onboard in total. Aside from a week-long class built around a project – there were two to choose from – the quilters have gotten a big bunch of goodies, the fabric to make the quilt they chose to tackle, and lectures given by my mom. There have been private cocktail parties for us and shopping opportunities, ports of call and lots of good food, of course.

Here’s what I’m loving about this cruise:

1.     Hanging out with my mom (we’re roommates, too)

2.     The room service

3.     Meeting quilters (nicest people in the world)

4.     The margaritas

Here’s what I’m not loving as much:

1.     I’ve been pretty sea-sick most of the time (Lesson: I do not have sea legs. I only have regular legs.)

But it’s okay! I’ve got the sea-band thingies on my wrists and I’m taking the anti-nausea medicine they have onboard. Eating helps, too, which is good because there is food everywhere, all the time.

I’m doing the lecture with mom tonight and I’m excited to get up there. The internet in the middle of the ocean is pretty rickety and slow and I can’t seem to post pictures. But when I get home, I’ll post lots of them. You’ll love the class “action shots” in particular...


Okay, Quilty isn't exactly going on a cruise (yet) but I am! 

My mom, F&P's Love of Quilting editor-in-chief/friend Jean Nolte, and Jodie Davis and I are all headed to Ft. Lauderdale today because we're teaching on a cruise ship! I've never been on a cruise in my 31 years on the planet, so I'm pretty stoked. We'll be teaching and giving talks and hanging out with quilters in the beautiful Caribbean for a whole week, and I plan to do some serious project work. 

Stay tuned for lots of reporting from the open sea. Here are my goals:

- Eat something that I've never tried before, preferably Caribbean local cuisine.

- Begin my mother-in-law's Christmas quilt.

- Get even one-half of a shade more color than I usually have this time of year. (I am a pasty, pasty girl.)

- Swim a little.

- Work on the Quilty show outlines, the e-blasts, and all the other pre-launch business.

- Watch the sunrise, every day.

I'm off to the airport, folks! See you in Florida!