Every day is new and different for this professional quilter -- author, instructor, certified quilt judge,
and quilt show organizer.
Bonnie's Bio - Short Version
Bonnie has quilted since the late 1970's, and since that time she has taught and judged across the U.S. and around the world. Her travels have taken her to Australia, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland, Turkey, and most recently to Keqiao, China.
Bonnie is a certified quilt judge and a certified Zentangle® teacher. She currently is working on a book combining Zentangle drawing and quilting. She has authored twelve books on quilting and one family cookbook.
In her writing and teaching, she like to share good basic quiltmaking techniques so the quilts being made today are constructed so they will last for generations. She is well known for her techniques in applying borders and making them fit your quilts. Bonnie also enjoys sharing a variety of techniques for adding interest to the edges of the quilt.
Bonnie is employed as the Executive Show Director at the American Quilter's Society, a position she has held for the past 20 years.
Bonnie's Bio - Long Version
Bonnie is employed (1994 to present) as Executive Show Director at the American Quilter's Society (AQS), Paducah, Kentucky. She is the author of twelve quilting books, published by AQS, and one family cookbook.:
Triangles at Play (w/Phillis D. Miller), 2013
Easy Paper Piecing, 2013
Cooking with the Kirklands, 2009
Borders & Finishing Touches 2 , 2006
Vintage Quilt Blocks: State by State, 2004
Designs on Freedom, 2003
Any Body Can Learn to Quilt , 2001
Playing with Triangles (w/Phyllis D. Miller), 2000
Paper Pieced Patterns, 1999
Flowering Dogwood Patterns, 1998
Borders & Finishing Touches , 1997
Ribbon & Threads: Baltimore Style, 1996.
Bonnie's mother, Mary Kirkland, taught her to sew. Even as a young girl, Bonnie loved creating things with her hands. The family tradition of creating a new Christmas decoration each year is continued to this day. The Browning's Christmas tree is covered with all hand-made ornaments; sometimes they are all angels, or there may be a variety of ornaments. It is a joy for Bonnie to make and give hand-stitched gifts to her family and friends.
Bonnie made her first quilt top in 1979 in a Welcome Wagon needlework group in Burlington, Iowa; like many quilters who make a sampler as their first project, that quilt top has never been quilted but it was a great learning tool. The first quilt Bonnie finished was a project for a college design class. Weathervane designs were drawn and silk screened onto muslin squares; those squares were combined with red print squares to make the quilt.
She has won numerous awards with her quilting, including a third place in the Other Techniques category at the 1986 AQS Quilt Show & Contest, Paducah, Kentucky. That quilt, A Little Bit of Candlewicking, is now in the collection of The National Quilt Museum. Bonnie's quilt, Smitten with Flowers is also in the National Quilt Museum's Miniature Quilt Collection. Bonnie also has two quilts in the Artists of Iowa Collection, Waterloo, Iowa; her quilts were the first textiles to be added to this collection that includes works by Grant Wood, Mauricio Lasansky, and other artists from Iowa.
Bonnie was a member of the DBQs, a group of seven quilting friends, in Dubuque, Iowa, in the early 1980s. The DBQs were the first group to develop a quilting challenge and publish the process - in the Spring 1989 issue of American Quilter magazine. Since that time, quilt groups all across the country have challenged their members to make quilts in similar quilt challenges.
She shares her quilting knowledge by teaching for quilt groups and conferences across the U.S. and abroad - Australia (1997), Turkey (2000), and Japan (2002 & 2003), joined 80 other national teachers in Switzerland for the Bernina Teachers Reunion in 2006, Canada (2007), and Bali, Indonesia (2008), and she has traveled to Cairo, Egypt to select applique art made by the Tentmakers of Cairo, and a trip to Keqiao, China to attend the China International Quilt Festival there. Her philosophy in teaching is to choose a small project to teach a technique that can be used by her students in other quilt projects.
In 2011, Bonnie became a Certified Zentangle Teacher to make Zentangle Art - a drawing method devised by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts. She combines her love of drawing and quilting by making Zentangle quilting designs.
She was instrumental in starting the popular Quilt Camp for Kids at the National Quilt Museum (Museum of the American Quilter's Society), held each July for children from first through seventh grades. Bonnie served as a technical director for the AQS quilting television show, American Quilter, that aired in 2005 on Lifetime Real Women.
Bonnie was named a Duchess of Paducah in April 1996 by Mayor Albert Jones. Her husband, Wayne, was named a Duke of Paducah too.
Bonnie has appeared on several quilting television programs and other films on quilting, including:
Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics
The Landmark nine-part documentary series created by Shelly Zegart.
Why Quilts Matter made its DVD debut on September1, 2011...and has been creating buzz ever since with its unprecedented in-depth exploration of the diverse, kaleidoscopic world of quilts and "quilt culture."
Dry history? No way! Whether your passion is making quilts, collecting quilts, talking about quilts, women's art, quilt or women's history, you'll find much to love, to think and to talk about in Why Quilts Matter.
Several segments of this series were filmed during the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, including the interview with Bonnie Browning.
Stitfched: The Film... Behind every Stitch, there is a Story...
Stitched is a fun-filled documentary following three quilters racing to complete their entries for the International Quilt Festival, the largest quilt show in the nation. The Houston show draws more than 50,000 quilters including three artists who created some controversy with their work. Quilting legend Caryl Bryer Fallert was the first to win a major prize for her quilt made with a sewing machine. She mentored Hollis Chatelain who caused a stir when she won an award for a painted quilt. And Hollis mentored Randall Cook who sparked controversy with his quilt of a male nude. In this 72-minute documentary, these quilters create their pieces to compete in the 2010 quilt show. Bonnie was interviewed for the documentary at the 2010 AQS Quilt Show in Paducah.
American Quilter (January to December 2005 on Lifetime Real Women)
#106 Quiltscape segment: A Day in the Life of the Show Director and Savvy Quilter segment, shaped borders with piping
#110 Nashville Quilt Exposition
Simply Quilts on HGTV
#124 Quilting Bees Then & Now, visit the NQA quilt show in Riverside, California, with competition judge, Bonnie Browning
#418 Finishing Touches, border and edge treatments from Bonnie's book, Borders & Finishing Touches
#526 Warm Hug rice bag, Jewelry pincushion, and Album cover, from Bonnie's book, Any Body Can Learn to Quilt
#641 Stardust Quilt, a quilt designed by Bonnie for the AQS program, Teach America 2 Quilt...Again!
#661 Presidential Redwork by Michael G. Buckingham; Bonnie assisted Michael by demonstrating using redwork on his designs
#802 Wind Mill quilt; from Log Cabin With A Twist by Barbara Kaempfer, Bonnie demonstrates how to make the Wind Mill Quilt used in the opening of the Simply Quilts program. This quilt received a lot of fan mail and I was happy to share how to make it.
HGTV Special Program
Quilts, Secrets Hidden in Fabric (which originally aired in July 2003). This program features quilt blocks from WW II that were given to Bonnie. She researched the designer of the blocks and continues to try to locate the women whose names are embroidered on some of the blocks. There are still many unanswered questions about these blocks. The blocks traveled 6,000 miles before they arrived on Bonnie's desk and she stitched them together. She has prepared a lecture about this quilt and its makers that is perfect to celebrate patriotic holidays (July 4th, Veteran's Day)
Sew Young, Sew Fun on PBS, sponsored by Husqvarna Viking
Bonnie taped a program on sewing with children that will air on PBS in 2003; part of the program was taped at the 2002 Quilt Camp for Kids at MAQS Quilt Museum in Paducah. Bonnie's Fabric Line with Marcus Brothers Textiles She developed a line of fabric, Traditions -- Collection of Bonnie Browning, with Marcus Brothers Textiles of New York. The classic red/white, and blue/white, yellow, and green fabrics are out of print now (June 2004).
Now who wouldn't like to have this much fun doing exactly what you love to do - QUILT!