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Quilting Gallery Blog

Heidi Kaisand

Guest Blogger Month at the Quilting Gallery

Quilting is so personal to me. From the reason why I started quilting to the reason I quilt today, quilting is personal. In my 15 years of being the editor of Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, I heard lots of reasons why people started quilting and why they continue. For me, it’s personal.

My maternal grandmother Maurine Moore taught me to quilt. I was a young girl participating in 4-H and wanting to learn all about the crafts. I mostly did cross-stitch and quilting, but my 4-H club shared other crafts as well. Grandma Moore was a teacher for 45 years, so she had lots of patience. She showed me how to pull threads to cut the fabric straight. She showed me how to mark my 1/4 seams with a guide for easy hand-piecing. She looked over my shoulder as I hand-stitched the pieces together with very tiny stitches.

Heidi Kaisand Toddler with Quilt

Grandma didn’t own a rotary cutter. Her daughters gave her a sewing machine, but after collecting dust for many years in the closest she gave it to me. Selecting the fabrics and the pattern to put them in were among Grandma’s favorite parts of the process. I, too, find these steps fun and exciting. Grandma’s eye for color was wonderful. I hope that my color selections are equally pleasing to the viewer’s eye. Her quilts weren’t award-winning, but neither are mine. But our quilts are loved and cherished by those that receive them, and that is better than any blue-ribbon anyone could receive. I’ve never understood or needed to enter a quilt in a contest. I don’t need praise or criticism from others. And, I really don’t care if anyone else likes my quilts. Remember, for me, quilting is personal. It’s about how I like the quilt and how my recipient likes the quilt.

Broken Dishes

Grandmother's Flower Garden

Fortunately for me, I have been able to have my career focus on quilting, as well as being my hobby. I’m passionate about sharing quilting with others. Quilting touches everyone’s lives…they quilt themselves, or they saw their grandmother quilt, or they have an old quilt in their family that was made for a special occasion.

As editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilt Sampler, Quilt-Lovers’ Favorites, Complete Guide to Quilting, Quilting Ideas, Quilts and More, and other quilting titles, I was able to make quilting personal for others. Each month I saw hundreds of quilts and had to select just a few to be on the pages of the magazines. We focused on finding a variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and styles. We found stories about quilters that were fun to share with others. I wanted each issue to be so exciting to the subscriber. When the magazine landed in the mailbox I wanted the customer to run to the house to read every page. Most days we were successful.

In 2007 our family life changed forever as we welcomed the addition of identical twin girls–Goldie Maurine and Virginia Rose. Big brother Henry Jack has adapted well to his little sisters, and so have Mom and Dad. With a refocused purpose in my life I found a new job that was a better fit for me. Now, as National Sales Manager of APQS, I help customers find the long-arm quilting machine that best suits their needs. I was so fortunate to find a job in the quilting industry and one that still allows me to help customers make quilting personal.

Heidi Kaisand

When I changed jobs, I also had a chance to rethink how, when, and why I was creative. It’s been so exciting to try new things–like creating a web site, learning to long-arm quilt, hosting quilting retreats, and designing a line of fabric. Yet, it’s so comforting to do the things I’ve always loved to do–pick out fabrics and patterns, piece and appliqué. I started blogging as a creative outlet and love sharing tidbits of my life, whether quilting or not, with others.

Stockings on Fireplace

Wedding Quilt

Recent Project

Even with a full-time job and three kids, I MUST find time to quilt. I firmly believe that 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, will add up to finishing a quilt. And, having more than one project going at a time is a must! I’m currently piecing a quilt for a wedding present. I’ve got fabric pulled out for several more. I’ve got ideas for using my new felting attachment on my machine. I’ve got a sketch book full of ideas for a book featuring my fabric line. If only there were more hours in a day.

Give-Away

Because I have a little fabric in my stash. I would love to give you a sampling of it as a prize. So, I will pick 3 people that comment on this blog posting or on the link in my blog to receive a surprise package from my stash. Winners will be chosen February 26th.

Heidi's Fabric Stash

My hope for anyone reading this is to have fun quilting. Enjoy each and every part of the process!

Posted: February 22nd, 2009

Topics: Guest Bloggers, Quilt Gallery

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38 Responses to “Heidi Kaisand”

  1. Ferne says:

    I really enjoyed this post! I quilt for the same reasons…mostly personal. I was taught by my Grandmother also and when I quilt I feel as though she is still looking over my shoulder and giving me encouragement even when I make a mistake. “Mistakes add character”and “it can always be pulled out and you can try again” she would say. My Grandmother was a farmers wife in Iowa. I didn’t do much sewing for many years as things got busy with my life, but now it is slowing down and I have more time to sew and enjoy it!

    Thanks for sharing and the kids are adorable!

  2. Kathi says:

    Oooh, a chance to get more fabric?–count me in. Best of luck to you and your family

  3. Vanessa says:

    wow!! That fabric stash is amazing! I hope to one day have built up a selection like you! :o)

    keep up the great work!

  4. Heidi, I think you’ve hit the needle on its head! Quilting NEEDS to be personal. It’s what makes us truly love the craft as well as the art form. But more importantly, it’s what makes us want to quilt and to give those quilts away to others that we care about!

    I just love the vintage photo and its fabulous quilt…oh that does bring back some wonderful memories of quilts I have made and loved as well of my own children when they were little and we could ALL cuddle up under a warm quilt!

    Now, I primarily quilt for others. Simple quilting but straight from the heart. I quilt three days a week just for charitable causes and love just giving them all away with only a small tug in my heart.

    And what I get back from giving is so much larger than anything I might receive from hiding them away on a shelf just to be able to count them ! I believe that each and every quilt we give to another is tied by heartstrings from us to them and that we are forever bound together…..warm layers and levels of love held together by, and with our stitches.

  5. Kara says:

    Personal. Yes, completely! Sometimes when reading about quilting or watching shows, or listening to podcasts about quilting it seems to be all about the business and the competitions. But I bet for most quilters, it isn’t about that at all.
    It’s about grandmothers, and daughters, and babies, and comfort and all those personal things. Thanks for saying it.

  6. Eileen says:

    Heidi, Awesome post. I can relate to leaving a job you love for your family. You seem to have done it with grace. And I couldn’t agree more … if quilting isn’t personal, where’s the passion? (And collecting that much fabric takes passion!)
    Have a great day!

  7. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and your passion. Quilting is very personal….and it’s all about love. I’m proud to be a quilter, and proud of my work….something I feel every quilter shares.

  8. Shelley C says:

    I can’t begin to think of how you do it all!!!! Once my children started coming that’s when quilting was put away for a time when I had more time…of course I had six kids, but still I was a SAHM….Once they started off to college, I’ve had time to pull out my machine and pet my fabric and now the internet with all it’s eyecandy and inspiration! Thanks for sharing and keeping your passion involved in all aspects of your life it seems.

  9. Rachel says:

    Wow, I just stumbled across your blog, due to a recent addiction to quilting! My Mother-in-law may be trying to beat your stash, because hers is just as large. I was shocked to find it while searching for a hot glue gun yesterday in her crafting/quilting room. Wow, one day, when the kids are grown and we have a larger house, I too will have a stash worth while. I’m a newbie to the quilting world, but extremely excited to find treasures of fabrics and patterns. As my mother-in-law says it is a multi-sensory activity. You can’t go into a quilt shop and not touch the fabric. You heft it, caress it, sometimes even smell it. A good fabric is like a good book, you just can’t put it down. Thanks for the fun blog and the inspiration to find the 10 minutes here and there to finish all my projects! Now I’m off to stitch some more.

  10. Diana Reis says:

    Heidi, Fun to read your blog. I live in St. Ansgar area and new your grandmother. Her quilts were amazing and a woman ahead of her time for color selection and creativity. Her baking wasn’t too shabby either. I loved how she would comment on all the sugar and fats in a muffin while finishing it off. I have recently been focusing on finishing undone projects. I have numerous quilts that just need borders, binding, maybe even just backing selected to finish it off. My mother, LouAnn, has been nominated to help me acheive this goal. She has sewed up the last of these projects and therefore, I can start more. My mom has been a great quilter and also enjoyed visiting with you Grandma about fabric, quilting, patterns and just touching fabric in general. Thank you.

  11. upstatelisa says:

    Oh my goodness, that is quite a stash! And I remember when those babies arrived… my how they and their big brother have grown so quickly! enjoy!

  12. Nancy says:

    What a nice article…quilting is personal to me too and I love my quilts whether anyone else does or not…

  13. Leah S says:

    Oooh, surprise fabric! Sounds like quilting is definitely in your blood. :)

  14. Jolyn Olson says:

    I was trying to figure out which of your girls was on that first picture with the butterfly quilt and then realized – it must be you! I can identify with you on that quilting is a must. I think most of us want or need to do something creative and whether it’s cooking or decorating or best of all, quilting, we need to express ourselves. Right now I probably have enough fabric to keep me busy even if we’re snowbound all winter. The fun is in giving the quilts away! Even my daughters like to give my baby quilts away to friends! Doubles the joy!

  15. Sandy K. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing yet another portion of your life with your “fans”. I have enjoyed reading your magazine editorial each month until you left American Patchwork and also seeing you on Alex Anderson. You seemed like the kind of gal most of us could call a friend…like we’ve known you forever. I have enjoyed hearing about your adventures as well as your family’s from your blog. Thanks again for a great story.
    I would love to win something from your stash….please count me in.

  16. danna says:

    What a stash!! And what a commentary on quilting. Nothing comes close to my 3 and 6 year old granddaughters saying “Nana you made me a quilt!”
    I do enjoy your website and your John Deere boy and the little girls.

  17. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for sharing a glimse of your life. I’m a fan of your magazine and always look forward to a new one.
    Love those quilt photos and what a stash!

  18. Linda says:

    I’m new to quilting. So far I’ve made a baby quilt for grandbaby number six and a queen size for me. So far I haven’t used a pattern just as my Mom use to do. This is an addictive hobby!!! Count me in on your giveaway. I can certainly use fabric from your stash.

  19. DianeH says:

    Thank you for such a touching article.

  20. Mary Burn says:

    I loved reading your blog. I just happened upon your blog and am very interested in your giveaway. (You know we can never have too much fabric).

    Your children are adorable and so are your quilts.

    Thanks.

  21. Sue Cahill says:

    I loved reading your comments. I have been reading just about every quilt magazine I could find for the last twenty years so I feel like I know you ( in this vertual way). Thanks so much for all youv’e contributed over the years to the world of quilting, you really are appreciated.

    I would love to enter your draw, I have such stash envy.

  22. Christy says:

    What a lovely entry – I am a new quilter as I just picked up this hobby. It’s a great way for my mom and I to bond even more and I’d love to build up my stash. Thanks so much for the chance to enter!

  23. Dee Johnson says:

    My first guild meeting you were a guest speaker, representating Am. Patchwork. Since then, I have enjoyed following your blog and new career patch and family. Also, I am looking forward to meeting you once again, as you will be guest speaker at Deep Valley Quilters – yea! See you then. Dee

  24. Linda says:

    Heidi, I can so identify with your concept of “quilting is personal to me.” I quilt for me although I rarely keep a quilt that I have done. I don’t have a family quilting heritage. My first quilt was done just prior to the birth of my first child nearly 49 years ago. I don’t know what put it in my mind to make a quilt. No one taught me. No one that I knew did quilts, nor owned quilts. But I made one for my baby. It was the start of a satisfying journey that flourished many years later. Thank you for sharing your quilting journey.

  25. Darlene B says:

    I enjoyed your article. I know that my quilts will probably never win an award, but as I sit here covered in a quilt (because it’s cold in Chicago!) I know that my motivation for quilting is to make gifts for others and make sure we all stay warm this winter! I would much rather know that my quilts are being used often. I love your stash – I have fabric envy!

  26. Terry says:

    I have some serious stash envy going on right now! I enjoyed your article and would love to be entered in your giveaway! Thanks so much! :0)

  27. Patricia says:

    I have followed your career since you were the editor of American Patchwork and I have seen you numerous times on quilting shows. I have always admired you. Thanks for the wonderful article and giving me a glimpse into your personal life. I always read your Hens and Chicks website.

  28. Well said, Heidi! I consider quilting one of my love languages. :)

  29. Linda says:

    I enjoyed reading your ‘guest’ piece as I have always been a fan. Thank you too for the giveaway! Now I am going to check out your blog.

  30. A little? :O)
    I would absolutely love to see your stash in real life! I do have fabric, but mine is a bit “untidy” as I tend to spend my quiltinghours waving the fabrics, throwing them around and taking out more to find “the perfect fabric” for that project!
    Please put me up for the giveaway!

    Agneta

  31. Candace says:

    Heidi – thanks for a lovely guest post – I loved reading about your grandmother’s influence. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and am impressed by how you always find time for creating!
    Cheers!

  32. Lesley Moore says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog, I too learned my love of quilting from my grandmother with whom I made my first quilt by hand over 30 years ago. I know she would love all the tools that we have now as she would have been able to create so much more easily. Thanks for the giveaway.

  33. Jocelyn says:

    Heidi, I am so happy to find your blog. I have been a faithful reader of AP&Q for years, and I always attributed it’s success and beauty to your creative hand. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your little giveaway. I can now keep up with you on your blog ;-)

    http://happycottagequilter.blogspot.com/

  34. Judy in Michigan says:

    I loved your story in this Guest Blogger column. I agree that quilts should be made to please the quilter not the quilt police or the judges. This is a fun hobby…have fun and enjoy your fabrics and color choices. Thanks Heidi for sharing your life in Iowa, your beautiful children, and your quilting insights.

  35. I think I sew/quilt because I have to. I have a great longing to work with my sewing machine. I like you believe in 10 or 15 minutes here and there makes a quilt.

    Congratulations on your babies! How smart of your to take time to enjoy them.

    Love the colors in your stash. It’s a work of art!

  36. sandi a. says:

    It’s still Feb. 26th but I may be too late. That’s okay. Just wanted to say what a nice piece you wrote. Quilting is personal for me, too, and the group of friends I get together with for quilting, well, we enjoy just being together and the relaxing nature of quilting. I loved your comment ” having more than one project going at a time is a must!” I always do and am forever trying to figure out how to find time to start even more!! :-)

  37. Thank you to everyone that commented. I have loved reading how quilting is personal for you!

    My mom helped me pick the winners today. I had 36 posts here and 32 posts on my blog, so I had her pick three numbers between 1 and 68. And, the winners are…20, 33, and 52.

    That’s Mary Burn, Jocelyn, and Carol Lewis. E-mail me with your complete mailing address and you’ll be getting a surprise in the mail.

  38. Shirley Hadorn says:

    I am looking for August 2004 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting with the baby pattern Peekaboo Redwork

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