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Harriet Hargrave is no newcomer to the quilt world...
Harriet comes from a family of quilters. Her grandmother, mother and several of her eight aunts quilted. Her mother tried to teach Harriet to hand quilt in the early 1970s but to no avail. Harriet mastered machine embroidery in the mid-1970s and adapted machine quilting from those skills. She was machine quilting when the local quilt guilds in Colorado thought machine piecing was not kosher, let alone machine quilting!
Harriet was teaching machine piecing, appliqué and quilting through the adult education system by 1978, and opened her store, Harriet’s Treadle Arts, alongside her mother in April of 1981. The store started out to be about machine arts but quickly was taken over by machine quilting and piecing classes and supplies.
In 1983, Marti Michell saw some of Harriet’s antique reproduction pieces and was amazed at how hand quilted they appeared. Harriet essentially introduced nylon thread to the quilt world through those quilts. By 1984, she was demonstrating her quilting techniques at Houston Quilt Market and was teaching the last day of Mary Ellen Hopkins’ week-long seminars.
Marti Michell asked Harriet to write a book on machine quilting for her publishing company, then known as Yours Truly. The first edition of Heirloom Machine Quilting was released March of 1987. C&T Publishing published the second expanded and updated edition in 1990. The third edition was updated in 1995 and the most recent fourth edition was updated, re-written and re-released in 2004.
The first edition of Mastering Machine Appliqué was released in 1991 and then revised and re-released in 2002. From Fiber to Fabric, released in 1997, is the quilter’s bible for the care and keeping of textiles. The Art of Classic Quiltmaking which Harriet co-authored with her friend, Sharyn Craig, in 2000, is the ultimate reference book for piecing techniques.
Harriet has also worked side-by-side with Hobbs Bonded Fibers to develop an exceptional line of natural fiber battings to meet quilters’ needs. P&B Textiles has printed five very successful lines of antique reproduction fabric for Harriet.
In 1994, Harriet was chosen by a panel of her peers as one of the 88 Leaders of the Quilt World for a book that was released by the same title out of Japan. In 2006, she was nominated as Professional Quilter’s Teacher of the Year.
Harriet has taught worldwide since 1985, including teaching trips to England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and every state in the USA. She has definitely spread the word that machine quilting is okay, doable by anyone with the desire to learn. Our quilts are not machine quilted but “hand quilted with an electric needle™”!
Currently Harriet and her daughter, Carrie, are writing a series of books for beginning quilters. The first in the series, Quilter’s Academy Vol. 1 - Freshman Year, was released in September 2009. The second in the series, Quilter’s Academy Vol. 2 - Sophomore Year, was released in May 2010 and Vol. 3 - Junior Year will be available March 2011. The subsequent volumes will be released once a year after that.
Click here to read Harriet and Carrie’s Quilter’s Academy Blog. There you will find any corrections that have been found the in the Quilter’s Academy series books, additional information, responses to inquiries, and much more.