Meet Jessica Plunkett, Programs Specialist We’d love for you to get to know the MQG Staff! Every few weeks, we’ll highlight one of our eight staff members. We’re quilters too, and we each made a quilt using a pattern from the MQG Resource Library to share with you. Once the quilt is made, we will donate it to a local organization or raise money for a cause through the sale of the quilt. This week, Jessica Plunkett, Programs Specialist shows us her version of the Criss Cross Chain quilt by Wendy Chow. How long have you been quilting? I have been quilting for 10 years. My great-grandma left me a really beautiful quilt after her passing. Even though I could have learned about quilting from her, I didn’t have any interest and never asked her about it. About 12 years after her passing, I moved to a new state, walked into the local quilt store, and asked to sign up for an intro to quilting class. I wanted to learn this craft that my great-grandma loved – I took the class and have never looked back. I understand now why she liked it so much! Do you have any quilting friends? (By quilting friends, we mean pets that like to hang out on your quilts!) I have one cat, Kit Cat. She’s not allowed in my sewing space, but she does use the couch quilts more than anyone else in our house. Do you have a favorite block or technique? I really like the sawtooth star block as well as lone star designs. What about non-quilty hobbies? Anything outdoors – running, biking, hiking, kayaking. My husband and I used to spend all of our weekends racing (running, orienteering, mountain biking, adventure racing). As the years pass, and our family needs change, racing has taken a backseat to other adventures, including sharing our love of hiking and biking with family. Tell us about your life before the MQG. I spent 15 years working at a tech agency. I was a project manager for 7.5 years and a digital strategist and marketer for the other 7.5 years. I worked with hundreds of clients across all kinds of industries to help them better utilize digital platforms for their business. Connecting qualitative and quantitative data to provide a sound strategy is my jam. As I found a new career path at the MQG, I love taking parts and pieces of my previous career and combining them with my love and knowledge of quilting. Did you make any modifications or additions to the quilt pattern? I did not modify the pattern – I hosted the MQG Sew Along this year, where we made the Criss Cross Chain quilt designed by Wendy Chow, and I needed to stay on track with the pattern so that I could make step-out images and videos. Where are you donating your quilt? My quilt will go to Children & Families of Iowa, an organization that provides a wide range of family services for those who are in crisis, those who are feeling hopeless, and those who need a helping hand.