One of my reasons to start a blog was to research and learn more about various aspects of quilting, machine embroidery and sewing. I don’t want to ever come across trying to present myself as an expert, as I will never be an expert at anything. But I do so enjoy learning from experts in their field.
To me, Sharyn Craig is certainly one of the most outstanding quilting experts in this field, and I think she has contributed to help an endless numbers of quilters develop their skills as well as providing a written legacy that will help many quilters in years to come.
Many realize that Sharyn has an excellent background. She obtained a BA in Home Economics from San Diego State University. She has taught quilting since 1980, as well a became a famous author of a numerous amount of books and magazine articles.
While rumors about Sharyn’s retirement led myself and many others to believe Sharyn would completely leave the world of quilting with her retirement in 2009, it really is a matter that Sharyn has retired from traveling and teaching. While she may agree to an emergency substitute teaching at a conference, or something along these lines, her retirement goal is to no longer focus on traveling and teaching. She continues to be an active quilter and writer. She is active in a Prayers and Squares chapter, and views this is a wonderful reason to make quilts.
Not spending so much time traveling and teaching, Sharyn is finding more time to enjoy spending with her two grandchildren (nearly 10 and almost 7) that live in Germany. She now has time to travel to Germany, as well as enjoys being in town when they come to visit! She is really enjoying her freedom by not making 25 trips a year for teaching.
As a quilt book author, Sharyn pursued a unique style of writing. She didn’t focus on writing pattern books, but her goal was to help teach quilters how to do it on their own, by focusing on techniques and providing a lot of pictures. While all the books that Sharyn has written are truly wonderful, and very helpful, her book “Setting Solutions”, is one that should be viewed as a must have in every quilter’s library. Setting solutions helps quilters learn techniques to fix problems with blocks (size differential, color issues, orphans, etc.).
In addition to the 13 books that Sharyn has published to-date, she continues to write. She will have four new titles coming out this year: two at Spring Market, one mid-summer, and one due out at Fall Market. Sharyn will also be making at Cozy Quilt Shop on May 30th at 10am for a presentation, trunk show and book signing of two new books, published under Cozy Quilt Designs: Half Log Cabin Quilts and Layer Em Up Volume 1.
Chitra Publications was the first publisher that Sharyn worked with. Her writing actually started when the owner of that company sat in her living room and said “What book do you want to write? I want to publish it.” . . . well, the rest is history. She published 3 books with C&T: The Art of Classic Quiltmaking (co-authored with Harriet Hargrave), Setting Solutions, and Great Sets.
Martingale & Company will be releasing her book “Quilt Challenges: what if ideas for color and design” this summer. It was co-authored with Pam Mostek. And Cozy Quilt Publications will be releasing 3 of her books this year (Half Log Cabin Quilts and Layer Em Up Volume 1).
While Sharyn has officially retired from teaching, you may be lucky enough to see her when she travels for book promotional tours. She will be at Spring Market, the Quilt Festival in Long Beach, and signing books at local quilt shops.
I always struggle with what to say when I meet someone as talented and famous as Sharyn Craig, but I have learned that she is a very warm and thoughtful person, one that truly likes to give of herself to help others. I believe this has been visible to anyone that has taken a class with Sharyn. And for all of us, her gift to us is now the legacy she offers us through the books she writes for us. If I were to meet Sharyn I would say, you are “inspirational”, your quilts are “real and attainable”, “I loved your teaching style”, and I also “love your books”. But the main thing I would want to say would be “I’m happy for you that you retired, and I’m also happy you are continuing to write”.
I’m going to be eager to read Sharyn’s books this year, and will definitely look forward to future book releases in coming years, for they will always have “new” techniques to help me!