Counting down to Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, I’m featuring quilters from last fall all week long! I hope you enjoy getting to know Sandra better ::
1. When did you begin quilting?
I began in 1998 and then my life really changed in 2005 as I started on my journey as a quilt appraiser and historian. In 2008 I became an American Quilter’s Society certified quilt appraiser, one of the first two in Utah (quite an honor as there are only about 95 in the entire United States). What a dream job – people actually pay me to look at their quilts. It is gratifying to help people learn more about history through antique quilts and also to realize the value of their newly made quilts and their hard work.
2. Why do you quilt?
How can one resist. It is a joy to play with fabrics and to channel earlier quilters while reproducing their works of art with my own twist. I feel very connected to them and learn a lot about quilt history by closely examining their work. And it is delightful to share both my antique quilts and reproductions with others. I really enjoy doing antique quilt lectures/trunk shows and teaching quilt history classes.
3. What was your most recent fabric purchase?
Surprise- antique reproduction fabrics. We are lucky now that there are lots of very accurate reproduction fabrics available. I tend to focus on the early fabrics as I like to collect and remake 19th century quilts (1800 to 1899), they make my heart sing.
And speaking of reproductions–I have a cheddar star quilt which will be featured in the 19th Century Star Quilt Book from the American Quilt Study Group and Kansas City Star Books coming out in April 2011.
4. What is your favorite quilting tip?
Look to the past and do what you love. You can learn a lot by studying old quilts and one thing I’ve learned is if you are having fun with a project it shows on the quilt. This antique circa 1850 Rose of Sharon with birds applique quilt is pure quilted joy and that is obvious even after more than 150 years. So don’t forget to breathe and enjoy the process.
5. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
My festival entry is an antique circa 1890 school house quilt from my collection. I was drawn to the funky piecing (the maker had some interesting sewing techniques) and the care taken to find small scale fabrics which don’t overwhelm the blocks as they are midsized about 9 inches. I especially like the one schoolhouse (1st block, top row) that was done in a reverse color scheme-just too fun. Blue and white is traditionally the most popular color scheme in quilts and house blocks are also very popular so this quilt is a double winner.
6. Do you sew other things?
I don’t really do any other sewing as I devote lots of time to quilt history research. I’m currently studying my dated 1850 antique Quaker signature quilt from Pennsylvania. It has over a 150 signatures, genealogy, drawings of birds and heart and even poetry. One of the drawings is of a whale and I learned that Quakers were heavily involved in the whaling industry — who knew.
7. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I am pleased to announce that my quilt “Virginia is for Lovers” just won 3rd prize in the national Alliance for American Quilts 2011 Challenge (quite an honor since there were more than a 100 quilts). It is based on a charming c. 1845 heart themed crib quilt from Virginia. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted. It will be traveling this year with the Alliance and debuted last month at the AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky.
Beautiful quilts Sandra – thank you for sharing them with us!