Welcome! My name is Mandy Leins, and I am a teacher of all things quilting: longarm and domestic quilting, and piecing. If you’ve found your way here through the BERNINA Ambassador blog hop, please you take a look around! I have tutorials and techniques over here, and my course offerings are here.
I was taking one of those quizzes the other day that promises to tell you *all about* yourself using on colors/appealing pictures/cat photos and the like, and I realized I already had a pretty good idea of what it would tell me: I love to learn, I love to find human connections in everything, and I love to share. I’m never happier than when all of these things combine. Making things with the work of our hands is a deep part of what defines the human experience, from our earliest origins. We have always found and made meaning in the material objects of our lives, adding art to our craft.
It is no surprise, then, that I love quilting as much as I do. Piecing, appliqué, quilting, I love it all! There is nothing so exciting as finding that perfect technique to make the quilt in your head, and then being able to follow through to completion. My philosophy is try everything once, and then twice to make sure! And then, the most important part: to share what I have learned and practiced with others. This is actually the key concept behind my book Wanderlust Quilts, which uses ancient art and architecture to inspire modern quilts that used intermediate and advanced piecing techniques.
For me, as a “Quilt Teacher”, I think about this long history and its exciting future. I can’t help it, since I was working to get a PhD in Classical archaeology once upon a time. These big questions, like” Where have we come from and what do we look forward to? What will be the new thing we incorporate? What will we choose to honor from the past? What are the connections from here to there?” are always in my heart and mind. In my teaching career, whether it’s Latin or history or quilting, I’ve asked these students from age 5 to 95, and while the questions stay the same, the answers are deliciously dynamic.
I’m also a gadget-loving woman. As a BERNINA Ambassador, I love that there are machines and accessories to fit every part of my quilting journey, from piecing to machine embroidery to longarming. I love my fellow Ambassadors are all as committed to the art and craft of quilting as they are to passing on their knowledge and experience, and that they are passionate and happy to do so. It’s a group I am honored to be a part of. With examples of quilting found in cultures around the world, it is a celebration of making, and part of what makes us human beings. Poor and rich, male and female, servant and master, quilts were in homes everywhere. They still are. By hand or machine or a combination of both, as their makers embraced new techniques and tools, people seem to have always delighted in the making.
If you’d like to see what I’m up to on a daily basis, make sure to follow me on Instagram @mandaleiquilts If you’ll be in Lancaster next week (3/29-4/1) for the AQS show, I’ll be demoing the Q20 sit-down and the Q24 longarm. Stop by and say hello!
And, please make sure to visit the other Ambassadors participating!