First of all, I want to give a big thanks to Jennifer, for asking me to be a part of her party here. I’m most honoured! Although I’ve read similar interviews with other quilting bloggers (or blogging quilters!), this is the first time I’ve been the one in the spotlight. It’s been an enjoyable challenge.
How did you get started quilting/modern quilting?
I grew up with sewing all around me. My mom is an accomplished seamstress. She sews everything from tiny and adorable doll dresses, to covers for the trampoline! I dabbled with the sewing machine a bit as a child, making the occasional Barbie dress (can you think of a worse project for a beginner?!).
Here’s my first quilt. It was made for my Barbie when I was around 10 years old. Thankfully I’ve learned about ¼” seams since then! I had quite a few tomboy years where I completely lost interest in sewing. Then, when I was 17, I was offered a job at the local quilt shop. On a whim, I decided to try it out. The owner/operator of this shop is a talented seamstress and quilter, and I credit her for any quilting skills I’ve learned. I put together samples for the store, and am so thankful that she saw promise in me and allowed my sloppy beginner sewing to be displayed in her store!
I worked at that quilt shop for about 5 years, and then quit to become a stay-at-home mom. One day I had the idea that I should look on the internet for some quilting ideas. I still remember coming acrossCrazy Mom Quilts and with my eyes glued to the screen, I read through her entire blog! And really, the rest is history! (or rather, I’ve gone on long enough so we’ll stick with that).
What’s your favorite fabric line and what’s on your fabric wish list?
I really believe that almost any fabric can look awesome in the right spot, so that’s a tough question! I don’t know if I can name one specific line of fabric, but right now I’m loving the workhorses in my stash.
That would be these tone on tone, but geometric shaped fabrics which read as solids but have some great texture. I use them all the time, and never have enough of them. This is likely because when shopping online, I’m always more drawn to the large bright florals and funky novelty prints.
Color! I almost always choose colors before designs. I have a bunch of color ideas swirling around in my brain at any given time, although I honestly couldn’t say where most of them come from. As far as the design of my quilts, I’m usually inspired by other quilts, or components of quilts I’ve seen in books, Flickr, or blogs.
What type of machine do you sew with?
Bernina Virtuosa 153 QE. It was a wedding gift from my parents, and likely the most wonderful and well-used gifts ever!
Describe your dream sewing studio.
It would be a room off of my kitchen, with lots of windows and built-in shelving. A huge design wall and cutting table, a long arm quilting machine, a mini-fridge stocked with Diet Pepsi, and a maid to come in and sweep up my threads every evening! In reality, I’m very thankful that I actually have a room all to myself for sewing, even if it is in the dingy basement!
What is your favorite go-to tool and why?
Hmmm… I stay pretty basic. I don’t use many tools beyond the rotary cutter and my sewing machine and iron. Some thing that beginning quilters may not have is a design wall, (I know I didn’t) and this is a wonderful tool. Just a piece of batting pinned to the wall is all it takes!
Tell us about your favorite completed quilt or sewing project.
That’s kind of tough for me to know, and not for the reason you might think! I sell or give away most of the quilts I make, and rarely get attached to any of them. My favourites are ones that others have made for me.
But I will say that this one here gave me a pang when I shipped it up to send to its new home! I had so much fun putting it together, and the colors and fabrics are some of my favorites.
What traditional pattern do you like to put a modern twist on?
The log cabin! I know some people may grumble that this design has been overused in the ‘modern’ quilting world, but I’ll continue to happily use it.
Do you have a process for choosing fabric for a project?
I tend to be slightly chaotic in my thought processes as well as my actions when creating. So no, I don’t have a clear cut procedure that I always use. When I have a few minutes and I need a bit of time out from the stresses of everyday life, I’ll go stand in front of my shelf of fabric and just gaze at it. I’ll start pulling out fabrics and putting them in stacks together, adding and subtracting as I go. These piles tend to sit around for weeks until I decide to have a clean up day! A few combos end up in quilts, but most don’t.
What work in progress are you most excited about?
As I said earlier, I make most of my quilts as gifts or to sell in my shop. Therefore I don’t have many projects on the go at any time. In the beginning of this year though, I decided I’d like to tackle a few larger quilts that I could work on now and then throughout the year. This liberated baskets quilt is one that I’ve been enjoying a lot. I’m planning on adding a scrappy piano key border and then it will be ready to quilt.
I used many of my favorite fabrics, and since I plan to keep this one at our house, I’m hoping this will help alleviate the slight panic I feel when I want to use a beloved fabric in a quilt. It really has seemed to work for me. With every basket I’ve made, it was like a release from the need to hoard that particular piece. Now that I have a little scrap of it that I can look at every day if I so desire, the need I felt to keep it sitting on the shelf waiting for the ‘perfect’ project has dissipated. (Go ahead and laugh at me!)
What’s your favorite part of the quilting process?
Choosing fabrics and patterns, basically the whole design process, would definitely be my favourite. Although I appreciate that each part of the process helps to bring it all together, I really dislike the tedious parts. Sewing block after block after block is just a bit hard for me, and I’m always SO over my current project while I’m sewing it, and already dreaming about the next one. On the other hand, if I just designed the quilt and had someone else put it together, it wouldn’t be any fun either. So maybe I do like the piecing and ironing and pinning more than I realize!
What’s something we don’t know about you?
This is tough! I mean, what DO you know about me? That I like to quilt, obviously. That I didn’t pay attention during English classes (or maybe I just like run on sentences and crazy punctuation).
Ok, here’s something: We don’t have a TV in our home. Now before you get to feeling sorry for me, my husband and I both come from a conservative background, and neither of us had TV growing up. We honestly never think about it, except for the occasional time when someone gasps in amazement. So if anyone makes a reference to a movie or show, I’m completely clueless!
I always love to read these types of interviews from other quilters, so I hope you’ve enjoyed my perspective as well. Happy Quilting, and thanks again to Jennifer for having me over!