I recently returned from Colorado after teaching for a week of quilting on domestic and longarm. I stopped in Littleton, Louisville, Longmont and Denver. I had the opportunity to speak at the Longmont Quilters Guild and was introduced by the raddest woman on the planet, named Rebecca Weise of Weise Studios. Here is the introduction Rebecca gave me at the guild in written form, and I must admit - I was impressed and a bit emotional hearing all those nice things. After the lecture the guild of 300 quilters, the guild gave me my first ever standing ovation - another moment where I was near tears.
"Tonight we are in remarkable company. Tonight our Guild welcomes the beautiful, eccentric and upbeat Karen McTavish -- a woman of extraordinary substance who is deliberate in action and word, self-reliant, fierce and afraid of nothing. As you will soon find out, her best asset cannot be measured, copied or calculated, it’s her energy, wisdom and mojo.
Sort of like love or happiness, Karen’s personal and professional success is a practice and has stayed on a steady, upward trajectory. In her youth, she faced struggles, found her bearings, submerged herself into the soothing effects of quilting and used those life-changing experiences to become the one of the greatest quilting mavens of our time.
Karen won’t tell you this (as she is perhaps the most low-key, humble, non-bragging, grateful professionals in the quilting world) but she is one of the most sought-after quilters in the professional circuit of quilting.
Other great and famous quilters and fabric designers hire and collaborate with Karen to quilt their masterpieces, including Judy Neimeyer, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Heather Givans of Crimson Tate, and the list goes on.
Almost all of Karen’s customers and students win ribbons and best-in-show at local and national levels.
And this year started off with Karen being awarded the 2017 Road to California "Outstanding Modern Quilt" Award and the 2017 Minnesota Quilter of the Year.
Beyond these merits, what I most want to share with you is the Karen inside here (touch heart) and here (touch head).
Karen has paved the way for so many with her great wisdom, deep wit, huge empathy, a spectacular sense of humor and a profound resonance and resilience you rarely see in any one, man or woman.
Karen is a total love and an artist of the highest order as she lives to express herself freely in all things that she pursues.
She has always been an artist by choice, a quilter by profession, and above all, an artist of life.
As a loving mother and daughter, she operates with a grateful heart.
And as a sage beyond her years, she has come to accept life as a process and is satisfied that in her ever-going process, she is constantly discovering, expanding and finding that there is something new to learn and be grateful for every day.
Karen believes that all knowledge is self-knowledge and finding your own personal authenticity carries great weight and ultimately becomes the only real measure of success. You must be YOU, and embrace your gifts, in order to make your life click and to rise to any challenge.
To be of quality in quilting, or any art form, means putting in lots of hard work, learning lots of lessons and giving all your dedication and attention to your skill. That is why Karen is sought after and that is why she remains at the top in our field.
Beauty, clarity, authenticity and singleness of purpose: These are the attributes I ultimately use to describe Karen and her priceless work.
Without further hesitation, please join me in welcoming the beautiful Karen McTavish"
- Written by Longmont Colorado Quilt Guild President - Rebecca Weise of Weise Studios