I have to admit I'm shaking a little as I type this, because I found out this morning that I am a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards.
Those of you who know me, know how big of a fan I am of Martha. And I seriously owe her for making me a better baker, a better maker, a better crafter, a better home keeper, and a better decorator. And to be chosen a finalist is a huge honor, in and of itself.
When I nominated myself, I had to submit a 1500 word essay on my American story. I'd like to share it with you here:
My name is Heather Jones and I am a designer and modern quilter. As the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, I love to encourage and inspire others. My inspiration comes from everyday places and non traditional things that many people wouldn't notice (think an old metal silo, works of art, or a painted grid in a parking lot), and I'm always excited by the challenge to translate that inspiration into my work. Three of my original quilts were chosen as winners of the Modern Quilt Guild’s Project Modern Challenges, a year-long national quilting competition.
My creative business, Olive & Ollie, began after the birth of my first child, and I made clothing for children. I created fresh, modern designs that I sold in my etsy shop and at select retail locations throughout the US. While I love designing for children, my passion has shifted to quilting and I am now focusing on creating modern quilts and producing patterns for sale. I recently completed my first line, currently available as PDFs, and I plan to produce them on paper for wider distribution.
Additionally, I have launched a line of handmade quilts. I make each one with the finest fabrics and the utmost attention to quality. I have a great respect for the art of quilt making and I feel profoundly responsible to carry on the American craft of quilting, with a modern design sensibility. As such, I am beginning to teach courses on modern quilting in a number of venues across the country.
Now, I'm asking for your help. There will be grand prize winner of that will be honored at the American Made event in NYC next month, will be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine, and receive a $10,000 grant. The Audience Choice Winner will be selected, in part based on audience vote, and I would love your support. You can vote once a day through September 24, and here's a link to my page on their site:
If I win, I will use the money to produce paper versions of my patterns so that they may be distributed through stores around the county, and perhaps even around the world. I will also use the funds to start a series of handmade workshops that I've been dreaming up, and to have my first booth at the International Quilt Market.
Thank you in advance for your support. I appreciate it more than you know.