A very special “thank you” to Margaret Fleisher for her inspiration in developing this program. Also to past participants for sharing their work with us. If you’d like to see more of Margaret’s work, watch Episode 2 of Quiltfolk‘s Virtual Show & Tell.
Join us for the second intake of our beloved Block of the Month, Patchwork & Prose! Back by popular demand, this virtual, yearlong journey will be hosted by our own queens of quilting Jenni Smith and Kay Walsh—and will feature an inspiring lineup of special guests, including novelists, award-winning quilters, and more!
In each monthly workshop, your favorite books will provide the inspiration you’ll need to create a one-of-a-kind block that is totally new, and totally “you!” By the end of the year, you’ll have an incredible, unique quilt that pays tribute to the books closest to your heart.
Join us for LIVE Q&As on the third Wednesday of each month to review lessons, ask questions, and celebrate work from the group.
New workshops will be made available on the first day of each month for you to view at your leisure. Each lesson will begin with a book-related prompt so that you can play to your strengths and learn new skills every step of the way. You’ll learn the basics of improvisational piecing—aka “no-fear” improv—as well as skills like embroidery, appliqué, and more.
Month 1 Lesson: Interpreting Book Covers – The Literal Approach
Month 2 Lesson: Interpreting Book Covers – Working With a Single Element
Month 3 Lesson: Interpreting Book Covers – All About Layout
Month 4 Lesson: Interpreting Book Covers – Create a New Design
Month 5 Lesson: Adding Detail – Free-motion Embroidery
Month 6 Lesson: Marvelous in Miniature
Month 7 Lesson: Needle-Turn Appliqué
Month 8 Lesson: Adding Detail — Embracing Embroidery
Month 9 Lesson: Adding Detail — Writing Words
Month 10 Lesson: Sashing and Borders
Month 11 Lesson: Quilting and Binding
Month 12 – “Happily Ever After.” No more teachers, no more books … It’s time for our graduation party! We’ll enjoy show-and-tell and toast our creativity with literary-themed cocktails!
THE FIRST LESSON
Your first tutorial will be available on April 1, 2023, in the Attendee Hub. During this time, we will provide you with all of the things you need to prep for the next year of fun!
JOIN THE LIVE Q&A
On the third Wednesday in April, we will host our first LIVE Q&A. These live sessions, led by hosts Jenni Smith and Kay Walsh, are recorded and available for lifetime access.
This is a virtual BoM—no camera required—so find a comfortable location and simply log in to your Attendee Hub. (Shortly after registering, you will receive an email from Quiltfolk with login instructions.) In the Attendee Hub, you can view pre-recorded lessons and watch live and/or recorded Q&A sessions.
Jenni Smith, the eclectic quilter.
Kay Walsh, the cheerful bookworm.
Mary Fons, the passionate quilt historian.
Margaret Fleisher, the calm educator.
Known for their warm demeanor and patient teaching style, dynamic duo Jenni and Kay will guide you, step by step, through the Patchwork & Prose experience. They will encourage your creativity with prompts to fire up your imagination and celebrate the books at the heart of your story. They will also provide focused lessons on piecing and quilting to realize your creative desires.
Each month, writer, editor, and researcher Mary Fons will drop in to share fascinating historical and cultural context behind quilts in literature. If you don’t think history can be entertaining, you haven’t heard it from Mary!
Margaret Fleisher will share her top tips and tricks for constructing book-cover quilt blocks as well as how to continue your sewing journey in new and exciting ways.
We’ve also invited other special guests to join us along the way! Expect to meet novelists, A-list quilters, and others for whom quilts and books are at the heart of what they love most.
Welcome & Graduation Gifts:
Each participant will receive a few special gifts, including a special-edition notebook with brass wire-o binding, a waterproof cotton bookcloth cover featuring a gold debossed “Patchwork & Prose,” and smooth 70# paper. You’ll also receive two Blackwing 602 pencils, which feature a firm and smooth graphite core, plus the iconic square Blackwing ferrule and eraser. A bespoke enamel pin badge will be sent out in the final month.
Access to Private Facebook Group:
You will also be given access to our BoM Facebook Group, and we invite you to share your work across social media with the hashtags #QuiltfolkBoM and #PatchworkAndProse.
The recordings for each monthly workshop and Q&A session will be available in the Hub for lifetime access. That way, if you would like to revisit the recordings at a later time, you can do so as often as you would like!
What will the finished quilt look like?
Everyone’s quilt will be different—and that’s what makes this BoM so special. During Patchwork & Prose, each participant will create their own one-of-a-kind blocks. By the end of the year, you’ll have a quilt that may be more “you” than any you’ve made before.
So, can we make it any size we want?
Yes! Your instructors will be making blocks too, so for those who want more parameters, just follow Jenni and Kay’s lead. If you do, you’ll have a lap-size quilt perfect for the next time you curl up on the couch with your next favorite book. Those who want to see where the project takes them can make whatever they wish — even if it’s not a quilt. (Who knows! Jenni’s blocks could end up in a crazy book-quilt dress!)
Is there a reading list, or do we choose our own books?
This is a choose-your-own-adventure BoM! It’s up to you to choose your own books, but rest assured there will be plenty of guidance to help your decision making and sewing along the way. Our hosts will provide prompts to get you thinking about previous reads or book covers that speak to you, then help you bring them to life with skill lessons and tutorials.
Between our hosts, special guests, and BoM members, there will be no shortage of book recommendations. While we won’t be reading the books together, you would be very welcome to read them and comment in the Facebook group as we stitch together.
Is there a kit?
This BoM does not include a fabric kit, no. Instead, your hosts will talk you through how to make the most of your current stash! If you’re a beginner or starting without a fabric stash, Jenni and Kay will provide guidance on purchasing any materials you might need to maximize your creative options (while being mindful of budget, of course).
I’m skeptical there is no pattern! How do I know if this BoM is a good fit for me?
If you have passionate curiosity, you don’t need to focus on the fact that there is no pattern. Your host Kay loves rules and patterns, but she is embracing the opportunity to try new approaches to making. On the other end of the scale, Jenni buys all the patterns and never actually ends up following them in her quest for finding a personal style. Be assured that there will be guidelines and tutorials, and we are working small, so the aim is to capture that essence of fun from when we were kids (before we were scared of the unknown). Most importantly, your fellow BoM members will have your back, and your hosts will help with any worries along the way. If you love quilting and reading, then this BoM is most certainly for you!
How does billing take place?
You’ll pay a $60 reservation fee upon signing up, then just $20 on the first of every month for the 12 months of the BoM, starting April 1, 2023 and ending March 1, 2024. This amount will be automatically processed on the first of every month during the program.
Patchwork & Prose offers everything you love about virtual BoMs: community, dedicated sewing time, and a great quilt by the end of the year. But Patchwork & Prose also allows your imagination to run wild!
Each month, Jenni and Kay will lead you through fresh, fun workshops on “no-fear” improvisational piecing, providing expert wisdom, skill lessons, prompts, and guidance on specific layout options and sizes for your finished quilt. This blend of creative, freeform improv and structured prompts—with your community of fellow quilters and your favorite books as your guide—will result in a surprising, story-filled quilt that you will surely cherish for years to come!
The popularity of our past workshops showed us that so many of you crave quilt history and context. No one is better at delivering that content than our own Mary Fons. Each month, Mary will present a dynamic presentation on different works of literature that contain quilty themes. Plus, guest instructor and the inspiration behind Patchwork & Prose Margaret Fleisher will join us to share her experience as a quiltmaker in combining great books and fabulous fabric. We’ve also invited other special guests to join us along the way! Expect to meet novelists, A-list quilters (Frances Dowell, for one!) and others for whom quilts and books are at the heart of what they love most.
“A Block of the Month programme is the opportunity to invite people on a journey rather than a short trip: to nurture ideas, give them time and space to grow, and to see them flourish. But a fresh start can be daunting—the unlimited possibilities of a blank canvas can feel overwhelming. Patchwork & Prose is different. Why? Because it all begins with books and, therefore, even before your first stitches, you not only have visual inspiration from the covers, you also have a story. When a quilt has a story, there is so much to explore. This BoM will enable people to bring new levels of meaning into their patchwork, to take unexpected turns down unfamiliar roads, and to connect to the quilt blocks they make in a more personal way. In essence, book covers are the road map to a quilting adventure that has an unknown destination—scary maybe, but definitely worth seeking out! Here at Quiltfolk, sharing and celebrating each quilter’s journey gives us the greatest joy, so this BoM is a gift of exploration from us to you.”
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