It’s a Beauty of a Pagent

steve harveyHow timely the staff of Martingale publishing was when they created the “Beauty of a Pagent” schoolhouses series. They shared the script from the pagent with me and you will see where Steve Harvey comes into play at the end of this post. If you would rather watch the actual schoolhouse session, our friends at Fat Quarter Shop recorded the entire shenaginins. You can view it here.

Some of the info was hard to hear with everyone laughing so I enjoyed reading the script. Hope you do to.

Live from the Convention center in hot and humid Houston, Texas—welcome to the Martingale & Moda Fabrics first ever Moda All-Stars “It’s a Beauty of a Book” party! To celebrate the December release of “All in a Row” we’ve got a lineup to share with you that’s truly one-of-a-kind. And how best to present the 24 rows and designers featured in the book? What else but a Moda All-Stars All in a Row Beauty pageant.

And KNOW that EVERYTHING you hear about the rows/patterns/books is most certainly true. And EVERYTHING you hear about the designers who made them…WELL, we’ll leave that up to you to separate the fact from the FICTION. But remember, in this pageant, sarcasm IS a form of WIT. I’m your hostess—Jennifer Keltner, Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer for Martingale.

Now without further ado …ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome the first of the “Miss All in a Row All-Stars.


Sandy Klop (American Jane) wearing her row SING YOUR SONG…Representing the great state of California and all people who wish their name was Jane, Sandy is a former winner of the

“Miss American Jane” pageant—primarily because she is the one and only American Jane. Her fusible applique design is stitched in place with machine zigzag and blanket stitches. Fun fact: If you place sheet music lines over Sandy’s row, the musical notes are perfectly arranged to play YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.


Sandy Gervais of Pieces From My Heart wearing her row THREAD AND PINCUSHION. Sandy hails from the great state of IOWA. Known for being the birthplace of education with the IOWA BASIC SKILLS test—Sandy makes sure to educate quilters on how they can have success keeping the corner points on those spools by using an easy flip-and-sew method to add corner triangles. Fun Fact about Sandy: She lives next door to the often imitated, but rarely seen, one-of-a-kind CANDY CORN FARM.

pat-sloan(had to insert different picture here due to FUZZY BLURRY PIC)

Pat Sloan wearing her row WASH DAY. Pat lives just outside of WASHington DC in Herndon, VA—one can only imagine her proximity to WASHington, led her to her design theme. You certainly won’t have any Wash Day Blues if hanging your laundry involves Pat Sloan’s fast & fun fusible bloomers, dresses and socks hanging from a rickrack clothesline. A speaking of rickrack, that brings to mind a fun fact about Pat—she is bilingual, speaking both English and Pig Latin…and her favorite word in Pig Latin…you got it :rick rack…which in Pig Latin is ick-rack-Ray….

sweetwaterKarla Eisenach (1/3 of the Sweetwater gang with daughters) wearing her row BLOOM. Extra, extra, read all about it. Please welcome a four-time citywide newspaper delivery girl paper-throwing champion (judged on how well she could hit the front porch from a distance of 30 feet)—All the news that’s fit to print on fabric can be found on Sweetwaters’ row. Newsprint fabrics are used as the background fields for red Dresden flowers with black gingham centers. The flowers are machine stitch onto the background and the flower centers are fused and hand-blanket stitched for embellishment. All adaptable of course, to YOUR favorite method.


Anne Sutton (Bunny Hill Designs) wearing her row SNOWY DAY. You know Anne well from the lesser known of Fats Domino’s hit songs “I found my thrill, on BUNNY HILL”…..but baby it’s cold outside on her row as five frolicking needle-turn snowmen are sporting a fashionable array of hats and scarves atop a pieced patchwork background. Fun Fact: Ann was the Winner of this pageants’ Haribou Gummy Bears Good Dental Health award? Why? Because when we asked Ann to tell us her go-to snack food for a full day (or night) of quilting—her answer: Haribou Gummy Bears….and I quote “but it has to be this brand.”


Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me & My Sister wearing their row FETCH. With talents too numerous to mention in a single runway walk—this sister/sister duo went to the dogs with patchwork pups and pinwheels inspired by Barb’s dog, Bella– the terrier. Personalize the pooches to match your favorite pet. Worried that they’ll only be known for their successfully simple designs, the sisters prepared a complex math joke for the talent portion of the pageant. Here it is: There is a fine line between a numerator and a denominator, and only a fraction of you people will understand this. {For those of you keeping score, they came in a close second to last on the talent portion of the pageant.}


Edyta Sitar (Laundry Basket Quilts) wearing her row BIRD ON A PUMPKIN. Winner of the Frank Burns “It’s Nice to be nice to the nice” award—voted on by her fellow pageant contestants, Edyta’s pieced leaves and fused pumpkins are the perfect combination of two techniques on her row. Continuing the combination theme, Edyta’s recently made the move from Michigan to California… and as a part/year resident of each state, she’s representing the new state of Caligan or was it Michifornia in today’s pageant.

carrieAnd speaking of combo state representatives, please welcome Miss ARIZ-EXAS–Carrie Nelson (Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co/Moda Multiple-Hat Wearer and Social Media Guru) wearing her row ROW HOUSES. Known for her literal take on almost everything, Carrie put her houses. “All in a Row”….get it  ALL IN A ROW. A part-time realtor wannabe, Carrie has some advice for re-creating her pieced houses. “Don’t worry about matching all the fabrics, Carrie says. Just pull what you like and go for it. Every neighborhood has that one house that doesn’t quite fit. And that’s what makes the neighborhood awesome.”


THIS NEXT GROUP IS FROM THE “Well-Seasoned” section—


Lynne Hagmeier (Kansas Troubles Quilters) wearing her row FALL. Lynne squirreled away some of her very best design juju for her row—featuring not only fall leaves and Acorns, but Bcorns and Ccorns as well. When asked to participate in the pageant, Lynne was the first to join in the fun replying, I wouldn’t want you to LEAF me out. (it’s okay to groan…Leaf me out…fall leaves…people, we need some enthusiasm, even late in the day.)

Lisa Bongean of Primitive GatheringsRepresenting the great state of Wisconsin, the Green Bay Packers, and cheese lovers everywhere, is

Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings) wearing her row NOVEMBER. While her quilt does appear in the seasonal rows section, it’s actually a television series that inspired her row….can you guess which one? Orange is the new black of course! Needle turn appliqued and embellished with a few hand-embroidery stitches… Lisa suggests her row could be made even quicker with wool or fusible appliqué.

laurieLaurie Simpson (the quilty half of the Minick & Simpson Duo) wearing her row SAND PAILS. Always and forever representing the USA with a red-white-and-blue color combination….Get ready to groan….Laurie’s appliqué skills are Beyond the Pale….(you were warned), get it? Laurie’s talent portion of today’s event included a poetry slam dedicated to her sister and business partner Polly Minick, whom Laurie describes as both the wind in my sail and the sand in my pail.

Corey had a stand in- Luke Haynes

Miss Corey Yoder may call herself (Little Miss Shabby) wearing her row BIRDIES AND TREES—but we know you’ll love her style and be all atwitter over the forest of fir trees and little fast-to-fuse appliqued birds on her row. After spending six years as Santa’s Elf at the local mall, its no longer possible for Corey to finish a holiday project without including at least one Santa hat—so look for that sassy little addition to one of the birds. Remind your inner elf that Christmas is coming soon and imagine whipping up one of these rows with a birdie to represent every member of your family. Let’s hear your sweetest bird whistles in salute to Miss Corey Yoder!

janet-clareThis next row may either delight or terrify you depending on your perspective. Cheerio and hello to Janet Clare (our one and only UK entry to the pageant ) wearing her row BUNNY PLAYDATE. If bunnies are your favorite woodland creature, you’re sure to be delighted her row. Unless, you’re a gardener and, like my husband, bunnies are public enemy number 1, then avert your eyes. But we think it’s all a romp through the meadow and chasing butterflies. Fast to fuse and stitch in place, Janet shares a brilliant tip in the book about using a small brass brad attaching the leg and body pattern pieces together to determine the bunny positions as you wish. That way, no two bunnies need to be identical as they hop across the row.

outlawDebbie Outlaw stood in for Brenda

Seven time international double dutch jump roping champion, and talent contest winner dazzled our judges with her ability not only to jump rope, but twirl her own two ropes while she did it…..It’s Brenda Riddle (Acorn Quilt and Gift Company) wearing her row GARLAND KNOT. Inspired by her unique talent, she chose to incorporate double nine-patch blocks and a knotted garland of leaves and berries. But don’t worry, you won’t be tied up in knots trying to complete this row. It’s simple, fast, and fun to fuse the leaves and berries and stitch them in place in no time.


Kathy Schmitz wearing her row WINTER FRIENDS and proving there’s no business like SNOW business—Kathy’s been star-struck over star blocks and the red-and-cream color combination since she was a kid. Her stem-stitch snowman embroidery block steals the show on her row in his French Knot Polka-dotted sweater with flakes falling all around him. Winner of the “Godiva or Go home” trophy, Kathy was asked to share what she’s doing if she’s NOT quilting. Her answer “I’m thinking about going to the gym or eating chocolate. “

kateWhy choose between applique and patchwork when you can do both as the lovely Kate Spain proves wearing her row HE LOVES ME. The devil is in the details on this attention getting row. Kate fussy-cut her flower centers to showcase the part of the prints she wanted most. An interesting side note: as a child, Kate spent lots of time watching movie classics such as My Fair Lady where she believed Eliza DooLittle was singing “The rain, Kate Spain, falls mainly on the airplane.”



jen-kAussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy Oy Oy—that’s the yell that invites in the one, the only Jen Kingwell wearing her row Meadow Rose row. She was the longest distance contributor for the book and the first to submit her row. You can’t keep a good woman who is passionate about hand-piecing and hand quilting down—she’s done both on this garden of patchwork flowers row. When asked if there were any circumstances under which she could not start a new project Jen answered—it’s never happened. I start new things all the time. I’m the queen of unfinished projects, I am. Well watch out Jen, I’m betting there’s some other royal subjects in the audience vying for that crown too!

hmdCamille does not have a beard, but she does have the power to have the President of Moda to stand in for her.
Isn’t he the greatest?

A celebrity stand-in will now represent designer Camille Roskelley (Thimble Blossoms) wearing her row Twinkle. Don’t be fooled, Camille is definitely a moda all-star and while she’s all Thimble Blossoms all the time, can you guess which half of Bonnie and Camille fabric line she represents? That’s right, she’s the Camille half of Bonnie and Camille. If she was here in person, she’d show you now….but instead I will just tell you one little secret about this mom of three boys. She can BOTH do the Whip AND the NAE NAE…’s true.

betsyEverything old is new again with our next entrant who loves bringing 19th century fabric prints and blocks into the 21st century—please welcome the often imitated, but never replicated Betsy Chutchian wearing her row Bitty Baskets—Appliqued Baskets large and small are interspersed with traditional pieced Duck and Duckling blocks (Also known as Pine Burr –but how much cuter is the image of baby ducklings)…you’ll want to follow along like little ducklings in a row (get it?) to re-create your own Bitty Baskets row in your quilt.


Barbara Brackman (SENT A STUNT DOUBLE) to wear her row DOUBLE STARS. Dos Equis may have the Most Interesting Man in the World promoting their brand—you know the guy, he doesn’t drink beer all the time, but when he does….” Well Barbara may well be “the most interesting Woman in the Quilt World.” She may not quilt all the time, but when she does…she works with Moda Fabrics and creates a classic row that is as timeless and captivating as the designer herself. Six scrappy double star blocks are unified by the choice of a single fabric being used in the centers of all six. Please give it up for Barbara Brackman’s stunt double.

almaAlma Allen (Half of Blackbird Designs with Barb Adams) wearing their row A TISKET, A TASKET. Representing the great states of Kansas and Missouri—and probably celebrating a ROYALS baseball return to the World Series….Alma and Barb and practically royalty themselves in the world of quilting—they’ve hit a home run with their row. Pieced baskets blocks have a long history in quiltmaking. Here are three variations (flower Basket, cake stand, and one simply named basket)—charmingly interrupted by a single appliqued blossom. Secret talent of Alma—able to applique with one hand tied behind her back. She’ll be demoing that in her booth I think.

french-generalOn the straight and narrow, please give a warm welcome to Kaari Meng (French General) wearing her row DRUNKARD’S PATH. Now I was going to tell you that the inspiration for Kaari’s row came to her while in France on vacation over a bottle of wine, and then another….but it wouldn’t be true. A true Francophile, Kaari is simply into the classics in every sense of the word. A two-color row that’s anything but plain—she keeps it scrappy using a combination of her French General fabrics, patchwork, and the classic quilt pattern –all united to create a delightful row as comfortable in a row quilt as it would be used alone to create a table runner. Merci Beaucoup!


Often mistaken for her royal highness and the heiress to the non-existent Fig Newton fortune…

Please welcome Joanna Figueroa (Fig Tree Designs) wearing her row WE ARE FAMILY. A business owner, designer, wife and mother, she knows a little something about making strong individuals blend together –so for her row, pieced star blocks stand by themselves…but when joined together and linked with a skinny sashing, form a strong chain of stars—much like a strong family. If you’re looking to hang out with Joanna—know that her fave snack foods when she’s quilting are chocolate, Doritos, and diet coke!


Last but certainly NOT least—Lissa Alexander wearing her BLENDER ROWS. Failing to win the Vita-Veta-Vegimin spokesperson role, Lissa took the blender by the blade so to speak and designed her own blend of terrific blender rows—9 of them in all! A true middle child in her family, Lissa’s peacekeeper mentality and “can’t we all just get along” spirit, led her to create the 9 rows that help all the others get along better. Need a spacer row to give you some relief between the 23 other brilliant rows in the book? Look no further than Moda Lissa’s row by row by row by row by row by row by row of options (if you get what I mean).


So you can see that we all had tons of fun. Since I made filler rows I did not think I would be walking the runway. I paniced and threw my quilt on as a “Super Quilt Cape.” I am good at filler rows and working under pressure! I don’t have a picture but it made my day when I won the wonderful blow up crown.

Now this is where Steve Harvey comes in , sort of.

Did Jennifer Keltner announce the wrong name? Should I give up the crown to the likes of French General or Blackbird designs? Are all my hopes and dreams ruined?


After the schoolhouse, I did get a copy of the script and lo and behold there was my name already printed as the winner. Not only is she brilliant but she must have been able to predict the future, naming me queen. If you had a chance to watch the schoolhouse video, then you know that Jennifer Keltner could MC the Miss America Pageant and be able to already predict the correct winner beforehand. Sorry, Steve Harvey, I still love ya.

Do you have your book ready? Have you started making your projects?

Be sure and include #allinarowquiltalong any where you share your pictures. I would love to see them.

The queen has got to go and do the laundry.

































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