I’m curious to know how many of you have made it through all the links in the festival!  I added a quick poll to the sidebar just to see :)  Today’s quilter is Thearica of Pigtales and Quilts – I hope you enjoy getting to know her better!

1. When did you begin quilting? 
I made my first quilt blocks at the age of 8 under the guidance of my paternal grandmother. At the age of 19 she called me and asked me to come to her house because she had sashed those blocks together after so many years and that we were going to quilt the top. My sister rode along with me and she and I, along with grandmother, granddaddy, my aunt and uncle, we quilted the entire quilt that day. It isn’t the prettiest quilt in the world but to me it is Priceless!

Shortly after that, I made my first quilt from scratch and put it into a consignment shop where it sold the following day. It was from the pattern, Little Farmer Boy. The customer ordered another quilt as well so I made that one as my 2nd quilt. My 3rd quilt was an appliqued Strawberry which was traded for a handmade wooden jelly cupboard. And the rest is history! I have no idea how many quilts I have made over the past 30 years! I do know that between my 2 grandchildren, they have 15 quilts. And that number does not even begin to cover the bottom of the bucket!

2. Why do you quilt? 

I am happiest when I am quilting! It is also my sanctuary! Whenever I am feeling blue all I have do is go into the studio, turn on my classical music, turn on the machine and quilt and forget about my troubles! 
I love creating art on fabric! I love every part of the quilting process but the greatest joy is turning the quilt to the back once I am finished with the quilting! I have always done this…I have no idea why…but there is nothing any sweeter than the satisfaction one feels, when they see the beauty that emerges!

3. What is your favorite quilting tip? 

If you cannot see it from a galloping horse, then noone is going to notice! (from a fellow longarmer)

4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt? 

My mother was my inspiration for the Quilt Festival. She was diagnosed with cancer in November 2007 and passed away on September 1, 2009. My friends from the HGTV Quilting and Needlework Forum all made heart blocks and sent them to a friend in Massachusetts. She enlisted the help of another friend there and they put the blocks together into a quilt. They shipped it to Texas, where another friend quilted it. She then mailed it to Virginia to another friend and she hand delivered it to me. Of course, I cried when it was presented to me! There is nothing like the love of friends when you go through a death. I use the quilt every evening when my husband and I lie on the couch watching television. It is like getting a huge group hug every single day!

5. Do you sew other things? 

Over the past couple of years I have began to do a lot of Crazy Quilting. The largest project to date was a block that I made for my mother in law for her birthday in April. I had it framed and presented it to her a few days before her birthday. I couldn’t wait to give it to her. She loved it!  I also do a little bit of knitting, cross stitching (small projects), and make a few art and craft items.

6. Anything else you would like us to know about you? 

I love charity work and believe we all should use the talents that God has given us to help others. I head a yearly charitable event along with the help of the quilters from the HGTV Quilting and Needlework Forum. At the moment I am hosting our 7th annual raffle which will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This is our 3rd year to work for this wonderful organization! The RMH will be presented 100% of the funds from the raffle in September of this year. We have 36 quilts up for grabs in the raffle, all of which were made by the quilters of the HGTV forum. They also sent along 10.00 each for postage to get the quilts to the winners. Last year was our biggest year to date, raising a whopping 4,000.00!!! We would love to pass that amount this year and with everyone’s help, we can do just that! We invite everyone to purchase tickets for the raffle and in turn help this great charitable organization! The Ronald McDonald House Charities help so many people each and every day! You can find the pertinent information on my blog.

I have been self employed for the past 23 years, running a custodial business for the first 18 years of that time period. I retired from that line of work in 2004 and now run a professional longarm business here in Henderson, NC. I am married to a wonderful man who is by trade a tobacco farmer. I have 2 wonderful daughters and a beautiful granddaughter and charming grandson. I am originally from Alabama and moved to NC in 2003. There are 650 miles that separate me from family but we go home every chance we get. Life is good!

Thank you Thearica for sharing, and many blessings in your RMH efforts!

Have a great weekend~
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