Hi friends! Today’s featured quilter is Janet! Janet blogs at What comes next, and has some fantastic quilts to share, along with some great words of wisdom. I hope enjoy getting to know Janet better –
1. When did you begin quilting?
I started quilting many, many years ago, making small bags, pillows and pot holders when I was still in high school. I did a combination of machine and hand piecing, and some very rough hand quilting. My mother still has one of these potholders hanging on the wall at the cottage, never been used. That’s going back some 35 or so years, but now I’m dating myself! The first quilt I made was for a wedding present for my best friend from high school and was made in 1983. Machine pieced and hand quilted. I haven’t seen that quilt in years, but I cringe at my recollections of it! Let’s just say, it could have done with a lot more quilting! After University, quilting took a back seat to life and it wasn’t until the 90’s that I turned back to it.
I love to create – I’ve always had some type of creative project underway, sewing, knitting, crocheting, tole painting, embroidery, but I always come back to working with fabric. I love taking an idea from a rough sketch to a finished project. I love challenges and trying to come up with new ideas and ways of doing something. Quilting gives me the chance to stretch my creative brain and come up with something that is both pretty and functional. I love the process!
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
I used to be too scared to do my own quilting, but then I realized that if I didn’t jump in and try, I would never progress. I am so glad that I made that decision. Yes, there has been a lot of practice involved, and a lot of frustration, but by sticking with it, I am now at the point of being very comfortable with my quilting. My tip – make up a baby quilt and then just practice. Make it a donation quilt and you’ll double the benefit – you get to practice on a real sized quilt, and someone gets a wonderful little quilt to snuggle with and love. We are our own worst critics and really, no one else is going to be looking at those stitches as close as we do when quilting it, or even going to care if a corner is cut off or the seams don’t match they are just going to love to snuggle under it. The majority of us learn by doing, so just do it!
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
My entry into the Fall Quilt Festival was my “There’s Medication for That” quilt, which was a result of the Robert Kaufmann, Kona Solids challenge which the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild took part in. We were given a charm pack of the Dark Solids and told we had to use all the colours in our project. We could add other fabrics, but the charms had to remain the focus of the quilt. I had an idea right off the bat, and sketched it out and then created it in EQ6. I took all the fabrics to a retreat to cut, and when one of the ladies heard what I was doing – cutting my charm squares into 6 pieces just so I could sew them back together, her comment was, “You know, there’s medication for that.” I loved it and called the quilt that. I was thrilled with how the quilt turned out.
I have done a lot of personal sewing over the years – most of my sewing was clothing or home dec for many years. Then when my step daughter needed Irish Dance dresses to compete in, I took on the challenge of making those. That was quite the undertaking, but it did teach me a lot of things – including how to work with slippery fabrics, sequins and fancy threads. These days, the majority of my sewing is quilting related, with the odd bag or pillow thrown in. I keep buying fabric to make clothes for myself, but it’s been a few years since I’ve used any of it, so it might start making its way into my quilts!
I’ve decided I’m a Moditionalist – I love the look of modern quilts with their freshness and open spaces, but I also love my traditional feather quilting! I’m married to a wonderful guy, and we are going to be first time grandparents this year. More excuses for more sewing and quilting, as if I needed any!
Moditionalist! I love that – and I’m sure there are lots in the same category! Visit Janet for more details on her Challenge quilt and follow along to see what she’s working on next!
Have a great weekend –