Jinny juggles many professional duties as designer, author, teacher, quilter, and lecturer. Perhaps that is why it is so amazing that Jinny has exclusively pieced and quilted her creations by hand since the early 1970s. She recommends that quilters always have one hand-piecing project to carry with them for those inevitable waits at doctors' offices, airports, car repair shops, or soccer fields.
Wherever Jinny and her family lived abroad- Borneo, Nepal, India, and South America- Jinny would sew clothes for the family with local fabrics. In India she became fascinated by the dark, richly colored hand-blocked prints sold by the piece. Shortly before leaving India in 1972, Jinny was seeking a new project. When a quilter gave her a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt pattern, she began her first quilt by cutting out 600 hexagons of Indian fabrics in reds and blues. When Jinny showed her Indian Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt top with the navy background, the other quilters were very surprised at her color choice, but it was well received. The "Jinny Beyer look" was born.
In 1978, Jinny entered Good Housekeeping magazine's Great American Quilt Contest, winning first prize for her Ray of Light quilt, which catapulted her to national fame. This magnificent medallion quilt was featured in the Good Housekeeping's March 1978 issue. Reflecting on the creation of Ray of Light, Jinny remember that she was hand-quilting it right up until the UPS man knocked on the door. She had worked on for ten months straight to meet the contest deadline.
Jinny continues to be active, writing books, leading tours, sharing her love of quilting with others and making beautiful quilts.
"A quilt is a piece of art, and for me, there can be no compromise. I want to be proud of it and I want my children and their children to be proud of it."
Jinny Beyer, Quilters' Journal, vol. 1 (Fall 1977)