I was so glad to see that nearly everyone was excited about the changes I have dreamed up for Bloggers’ Quilt Festival! I’m looking forward to getting to know what everyone loves in the community!
Today’s featured quilter is Mary from Lillian’s Stitches – Mary seems to always have a project in the works! I hope you enjoy getting to know Mary better —
1. When did you begin quilting?
I began quilting in 2007, but I ended up scrapping my first top and reusing the fabric for something more meaningful and, had I known it, more ambitious! Thus my first quilt is a cathedral window chuppah (wedding canopy) stitched entirely by hand. Each “window” is 1.5 inches square, and this was before the days I knew about rotary cutters! But it was a perfect introduction to quilting, and the fact that I made it the way generations have in the past proved to be significant for my identity as a quilter.
2. Why do you quilt?
I quilt because I am an artist, and I am one of a long line of such artists! I have quilts from my great-grandmother and pieces from my grandmother. My mother made a cathedral window quilt, and now I follow in their footsteps. Quilting links me to my heritage and connects me to future generations. I love the beauty, practicality, artistry, geometry, planning, and yes, math in quilting. It is a metaphor for life, and it is an art form FULL of life–always brimming with ideas, possibilities, hopes and eventualities. And the joy when one is complete is unlike any other.
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
My favorite quilting tip is “DONE is better than PERFECT”. If you’re getting frustrated over your hobby, it’s time to take a step back and breathe.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
My Quilt Festival quilt was inspired by a desire to make something special for a friend who was getting married. I enjoyed the challenge of finding an idea that would work for both the groom’s Casablanca-esque style and the bride’s Mod 60s flair. I also enjoyed putting a lot of personal touches into it–hand-quilting, hand-dying, self-binding, and using fabrics that were significant to the couple’s lives. These touches were worth the effort as this couple is especially brilliant. He has worked rescuing child soldiers in East Asia, and she has worked to rehabilitate women in prostitution in London. Both held out for one another in ways unheard-of in our culture today. This quilt was a way to honor them for who they are and the choices they’ve made. And–update!–they are expecting a baby, due on their first anniversary! Guess what I’ll be making? ;-)
5. Do you sew other things?
I started sewing clothes for myself using my mother’s patterns from the 60s. I’ve never really gotten that out of my system. I also tend to sew all my purses. I’ve not bought a purse for years. For some reason, I can always make what I need or want much more easily than I could buy it.
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I joined my first bee last summer and have been part of my local Modern Quilters Guild since it began, and I’d recommend either of those experiences to anyone who wants to grow in their art. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone to try things I’d never considered, and I’ve realized first that I have a voice as an artist, and second that that voice is particular, strong, lovely, and enchanting.
Thanks for sharing Mary! I love your tip – I enjoy my sewing time so much more when I set my perfectionist side, aside and just finish my project!
Blessings to each of you this Easter weekend ~