Winter Quiltfest recap


I had such a great time attending Winter Quiltfest in Logan, Utah last weekend.  I got to be around fun people, eat good food, hang out with my mom who came with me, and be around the wonderful Jen Kingwell and her quilts. Oh my goodness, the quilts. Don’t worry – there are lots of pictures.


Winter Quiltfest is hosted by Amy Maxfield who is so wonderful! She is assisted by her darling, helpful sons. They (and their Dad) also solved a major problem I had with my car on the last day so I could get home safely. Turns out I had a 3″ long screw in the front tire. Yikes! They are my new BFF’s. Also you know you’re among friends when you can walk around all day with a sweater covered in thread…

Amy Smart quilt trunk show

I felt so honored to be invited to teach a few classes and share some of my quilts. Fortunately Amy Maxfield’s sons were on hand to hold up those quilts. They were the best sports. (Quilts include the Virtual Quilting Bee quilts, Modern Buzz Saw from Fabulously Fast Quilts and the patchwork trees. Look at that teamwork…)


As part of the retreat I got to teach a few classes myself, including my new Watchtower pattern. One of my favorite things about quilt classes is seeing the same pattern in different color combinations. Here are a few from that class. (I’m hoping to finalize the publishing of this pattern by the end of next month for those who are interested.)

Winter Quiltfest friends

I also love getting to visit with other quilters who become new friends. Sandy (on the left) had me in tears telling me about her 90+year old dad, visiting France where he served in World War 2. (I’ve been on a total WW2 kick this year.) And Karen (center, right) came all the way from Ohio – we’ve been communicating for a long time and it was so fun to finally meet her in person. Also great to see Melissa from Happy Quilting. Stately Type sewing t-shirts and bags were also well represented. 😉

But the biggest highlight was having quilt pattern, fabric designer, and all around lovely person, Jen Kingwell there from Australia. Jen was such a wonderful guest and teacher. She really is just the most funny, real, delightful person. I think almost every person at the retreat took one of her classes and loved it.

Jen Kingwell Quilt Trunk Show

Here is part of her trunk show. SO inspiring. Seeing Jen Kingwell quilts just makes me want to cut up every piece of fabric I own and copy everything she makes. I felt inspired to try new color combinations and really think outside the box.


Here are some more. I’ll just let them speak for themselves. On the left is Gypsey Wife and top right is Green Tea and Sweet Beans (still on my bucket list!) Jen’s patterns can be found in lots of local and online quilt shops, as well as her own shop, Amitie Textiles.

Jen Kingwell trunk show part 3

These quilts are all from her book, Quilt Lovely. Quilts show include Glitter (which is properly pronounced “Glit-tah” 😉 ), Daisy-Do, and another who’s name escapes me…

jen kingwell sampler

We also got a peak and Jen’s latest block of the month – Long Time Gone. Just mind-blowingly beautiful. Kits are available from her shop.


I was SO excited to get to take Jen’s Steam Punk quilt class. This quilt has been another one on my bucket list for years. But I will admit to being intimidated by the curves. Learning from Jen gave me so much confidence! That is my own first finished block in the top right. I’m pretty pleased with myself 🙂 and can’t wait to make a bunch more.Jen Kingwell Halo Quilt

Jen also taught classes for another brand new pattern called Halo. Again with the fantastic fabric placement!

I have always been so amazed and inspired at Jen’s scrappy, eclectic use of fabric and color. Seeing her quilts makes me want to just take all of my fabric, cut it up, throw it into the middle of the room and start randomly start sewing it together. Maybe one day I’ll get as good as her. If you’re like me and wonder how in the world she does it, here is a little video clip I felt lucky to catch of her answering that very question. Also, you’ll get a taste of that lovely Aussie accent. (I’m an amateur at adding videos, so pardon the quality.)


Winter Quiltfest will be held again next January, in Logan, UT. It’s such a great time to take classes and learn something new, as well as meet a bunch of awesome quilting friends. A big thank you to Jessica and Leisa for the use of many of their wonderful photos!

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  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    January 30, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    There’s the Jen photobomb picture! It was great to finally meet up in person, and I am so glad your tire troubles were taken care of. Your selection of quilt photos is fantastic — so much better than the ones I took from waaaay across the room with my pitiful zoom lens. Thanks for sharing your perspective on the event.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Thank you so much for all the photos and the video of Jen Kingwell describing her fabric selection process. This seminar sounds like it will go on my wish list except it must have been cold there. I’ve complained about the cold here in southern CA and I know UT had to be colder. You have a great blog.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Wow, what a good time! I love the variations of the new Watchtower block. How neat to meet Jen Kingwell and see those quilts in person too 🙂 I have to say, your blog and book have taught me a lot about how to construct and deconstruct quilt blocks, and Jen’s work was a lightbulb moment as well, for fabric choices. What a combo– Fabulously Fast Quilts And the Queen of Slow Stitching! Wish I could have been there 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth McDonald
    January 31, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Thanks so much for including the little video about Jen’s fabric selections! It will be invaluable to me
    and was a wonderful way — along with your great photos! – of sharing the experience.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Thanks so much for sharing all this. It all looked so inspiring! What is that black quilt with the sunburst-like blocks? That immediately caught my eye. Also I really liked the clip of Jen’s description of picking fabrics. That’s kind of how I do it too, random at the beginning of a quilt, and toward the middle to end, I start planning and being very selective, to balance out color and pattern.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Looks like so much fun! If only Maine were closer to Utah 🙂 Congratulations on teaching Watchtower–your students are grinning from ear to ear!

  • Reply
    Rachel at Stitched in Color
    January 31, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m feeling inspired.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Wow! What an amazing weekend you had! So inspiring!!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

    So fun to see your recap and relive the fabulous weekend! It’s also nice to hear that curves actually intimidated you, taking two of Jen’s classes had me thinking I was in way over my head! Loved your classes, too!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      February 1, 2016 at 11:48 am

      It was such a fun weekend, wasn’t it? Thanks Joni – I was so fun to have you! And yes, I feel a lot more confident in my curves now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandra B
    February 1, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    What a fun post! Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us!!
    I love Jen Kingwell’s quilts, but have not tried one yet….I have been quilting for many years and feel pretty confident in my fabric combinations, but she puts waaaayyyy more fabrics together than I ever have!! I really like that Halo pattern, so maybe I will give that a try!!
    And I love your Watchtower!! I definitely see that one in my future!!
    Thanks again for a great post!!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Sounds like an inspiring weekend! Love the video too.

  • Reply
    Lara B.
    February 1, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    This looks like the most wonderful retreat Amy! I’m a fan of all of you, LOL. Thanks for sharing. Love all the quilts and the video of Jen – Very inspiring!

  • Reply
    Melissa Corry
    February 2, 2016 at 9:11 am

    It was such a lovely weekend and I was so glad to get to catch-up with you 😉 The only thing that makes me sad is I was one of those few who didn’t take a class from Jen. She is absolutly amazing!!! Next time, I needs to schedule time for me to take classes and not just teach them 😉

  • Reply
    February 2, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for posting that video. I’m pretty sure she once said or wrote something like 9 fabrics might not go together but 109 will. Kind of the same thing! Glad you got to meet her and see her beautiful quilts in person.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      February 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Yes! I loved when she said that – it rang so true! And she’s living proof. 😉

  • Reply
    Winter Quiltfest
    February 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for teaching for us!!! You are amazing and we loved having you at the retreat! What a kind blog post and so wonderful to read about from a teacher’s perspective. Glad you had a good time. And sorry about the tire 😉 Glad it all worked out though.

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