16 April, 2002
Mahwah , NJ ñ A change in her favorite color gave Regena Baker, Janome dealer at Sew Much More in Brentwood, TN, the inspiration for a successful Quilt Challenge. She needed an idea that would get customers excited enough to sign up for the contest and then follow through with creating their miniature quilts.
"To have a successful Challenge, you need a theme that people will enjoy interpreting," says Baker, "and the color purple kept coming to mind. I remember hearing that as women mature, they start to like the color purple. My favorite color used to be yellow. Now it's purple."
Baker remembered reading a poem about this stage-of-life color change. And she soon found Warning by Jenny Joseph. The poem begins "When I'm an old woman I shall wear purple." Written in England, it has become immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Baker knew she'd landed on a winning theme.
"The idea was for each entrant to interpret what the poem meant to her on her quilt," says Baker. She made up signs for her store, announcing the contest. Each entrant received a contest kit in a purple bag, which contained the contest rules, two pieces of fabricóred and purple, and a copy of the poem.
The rules were simple. Each contestant had to interpret the poem on a miniature quilt (no side longer than 40"). They had to use the two pieces of fabric from the contest kit, and they had to do a nine patch somewhere on the quilt. The quilt could be completed by hand or with a machine.
The contestants had about three months to complete their quilts. All entries were then displayed in the store for judging customers. The winner was determined by a week of public voting.
Baker was happy that she didn't have to choose the winner. "All of them were works of art," she says. "The three dimensional effects were marvelous. And it got so many customers involved. Even those who didn't make a quilt could participate by voting on their favorite."
Building on this success, Baker plans on holding another quilting challenge to be completed in time for the holidays. The inspiration for this one will be "'Twas The Night Before Christmas."
All of the contest entrants' quilts can be seen in the Fall issue of Janome Digest Magazine, the official publication for Janome owners. Information on the Digest can be seen at www.janome.com.
Janome America, Inc. (formerly The New Home Sewing Machine Company) is an industry leader in innovation, having produced the first programmable computerized sewing machine, the first computerized sewing machine to offer Professional-Style embroidery, and now the groundbreaking Memory Craft 10000. Janome sewing machines are recognized throughout the industry for their ease-of-use and unsurpassed stitch quality.