Pat Sloan – The Voice of Quilting

Pat SLoan, The Voice of QuiltingPat Sloan (“The Voice of Quilting”) is a quilt designer, book author, fabric designer and very popular internet radio show host. She runs her own design business, Pat Sloan & Company in Fairfax County, Virginia with her husband Gregg.

Although nobody in her family sewed (not even her Grandmother), Pat started sewing as a child (loved those doll clothes!) and continued to sew clothing for herself until she discovered quilting. On her website, she wrote the story of her first quilt, and bravely shared photos which are hilarious. — www.patsloan.com

A well-known designer and writer in the quilt industry, Pat designed several fabric lines with P&B Textiles. Currently, she is designing fabric with Moda Fabrics. She designs patterns to showcase her fabric lines and she has written 30+ books with Leisure Arts.  She is writing a beginner-friendly “Teach Me” series of books for Martingale Publishing.

“Let’s Go Sew” pattern by Pat Sloan

“Let’s Go Sew” pattern by Pat.

She also designs patterns for all the major quilt magazines: American Patchwork & Quilting, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, Quilters World, Quilting Arts, and the Fons and Porter magazines.

When asked to explain the secret sauce to her success, Pat says, “I really enjoy sharing what I do. I love to travel to talk and teach from my quilt designs. The best part about traveling around the country to meet other quilters is watching what they do with my designs in a workshop!”

Her weekly internet radio show, American Patchwork & Quilting Radio with Pat Sloan, is so popular, she has become “the voice of quilting.”  Pat says, “I never planned a radio show.  It was one of those odd things that sometimes happens. Six years ago I got an email from a lady who is a quilter and web designer. One of her clients was starting an all-woman internet radio station. They needed a quilt show and she recommended me.

I didn’t know anything about radio shows, or internet radio, or podcasts, but thought I’d give it a try! I had to interview with the station manager, who was also an experienced host.  He asked, ‘Can you really talk about quilts for an hour’?? Silly man! Of course I can!  I’ve talked about quilts for an hour, 45 weeks of the year, for 5 full years!  You can find a list of my guests at my website!  — www.patsloan.com

Live! The voice of quilting. American Patchwork & Quilting Radio

Live! The voice of quilting.
American Patchwork & Quilting Radio

I interview authors, museum curators, fabric designers, pattern designers; people who do unusual things like make documentary films about quilters.  My most unique interview was with Astronaut Karen Nyberg. Do you know how hard it is to get an interview with an astronaut? You don’t just email her. You have to write NASA and get it all organized.

Well I did, and she is amazing.  I was delighted to learn she is not the only quilting astronaut!  But she took her quilting into space as her personal payload — so that is the sign of a true quilter. I interviewed her on January 6, 2014.”  

Pat considers herself a geek, and she LOVES technology.  By her own admission, she lives, breathes and soaks happily in all things techy.  She began her professional life with a degree in computer science.  She wrote code, did project management and at one time had a staff of 40 people.
 
With the dawn of the internet, Pat was among the first to see the possibility of using it to create a community for quilters.  Her love of quilting and deep understanding of technology came together to create a cosmic explosion of community.  She and a like-minded individual from her quilt guild started a group on a forum for quilters.

In 1998, Pat started on Delphi boards, and then moved to yahoo groups.  When people started their own blogs, the world changed.  But it is hard to have community on a blog.  So Pat also had a forum. Her forum went up about the same time as Facebook.  She was one of the very first quilters to join Facebook and she started finding others as fast as she could!  She created her Facebook Classroom, Quilt Along with Pat Sloan, where she has over 56,000 quilters!

“My happy place is hanging out with quilters on the internet. And sew alongs, quilt alongs anything alongs are incredible fun. I can’t even tell you how many I’ve hosted or been in the last 17 years!”

 
The Spendid Sampler™

On February 14, 2016, Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson launched The Splendid Sampler™. The Facebook page quickly grew to nearly 20,000 participants!

The Splendid Sampler™ is an epic quilt-along — involving 83 different designers, releasing two original quilt blocks each week. Eventually, there will be 100 BLOCKS in The Splendid Sampler™, which is supported by its own website, Facebook page, blog, as well as tips and techniques from the participating designers linking to their websites, Facebook pages, etc.  The blocks are free until March of 2017. Then they will publish a beautiful book of the blocks, quilts, layouts and variations!!

So, how did the mother of all quilt-alongs — The Splendid Sampler™ — happen?  Pat says, “Jane  Davidson and I go way back. Many years ago she invited me to design a block for her, Desperate Housewife quilt-along, and we have been friends ever since. She is a very talented designer, and a longarm quilter with mad skills.  I love every quilt she makes, and she is fun to hang around!

Jane and I wanted to do something with a large group of our quilt friends. Designers, industry people and shop owners …something fun … something extraordinary.  At 2015 Spring Quilt Market, with those thoughts percolating, we sat down over a long cup of coffee (latte to be exact).  Jane had seen an exhibit of quilts made with blocks of different techniques that really inspired her.  We talk about this on my podcast of February 22, 2016 and she explains how that exhibit made her feel.  By the end of that coffee we decided to invite 83 people to join us for a 100 block epic quilt-along of 6” squares called The Splendid Sampler™ (we don’t know why 83, that’s just what happened!) .

We asked Moda Fabrics, Martingale Books, Aurifil Thread, American Patchwork & Quilting magazine and Handi Quilter to work with us.  
 
The Splendid Sampler™The Splendid Sampler™  took a lot of time to organize and plan.  Almost a year later, on February 14, 2016, we finally kicked it off — and the response has been overwhelming.

We are thrilled to have quilts shops running The Splendid Sampler™, designers sewing along to make their own versions, and thousands of participants sharing their blocks on our Facebook page.  Quilters are a sharing bunch — and tips are coming out about die cutting, sewing circles, or getting that perfect 1/4” seam.  We have an expert quilter on the team, and once a month she gives tips and ideas for how to quilt the blocks.  It is so darn exciting we can hardly stand it!

With this many people involved, our Facebook group grew like crazy to almost 20,000 in four weeks. It’s a wild and beautiful spot filled with quilt blocks from all over the world!

Because we are doing a book, things have to be done way up front so that the single blocks can be photographed. We have two colorways — so 200 blocks. I was flying to our publisher, and took the blocks with me. I hand carried them onto the plane as I was not taking any chances! Jane was texting me to be sure I had them on my person . . .  so funny!!  I had the blocks in my roller case, and when they announced that people might need to check their rollers, I took ALL the blocks out, and put them in my purse!”

The Splendid Sampler™ has received rave reviews from quilters all over the world.  On the  Facebook page, from Karen Johnson:  “All I know for sure is that this is the BEST quilt along I’ve ever participated in. Such great instructions so far, so much variety of techniques, etc. Thank you to all the quilters contributing the block patterns. Wonderful.”

Pat says, The Splendid Sampler™ is a journey, we know it will go on for a long time, maybe years. In the next few months we’ll be coming up with plans for the future, so stay tuned!”

 

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