Hi friends! Today’s featured quilter is Flaun – Flaun was nominated in the Favorite Art Quilt category during the festival and blogs at I Plead Quilty. I love Flaun’s interview, and hope you enjoy getting to know her better!
1. When did you begin quilting?
I started quilting about 15 years ago, but had to let it sit by the wayside, being the busy working single mother of a little girl. She’s now my teen-aged sometime quilting companion – we like to watch shows and movies online while I sew, like Sherlock, Bones, and Glee. I picked quilting back up again in September of 2009 and haven’t looked back once.
2. Why do you quilt?
Boy, that’s a good question.
Short answer: I HAVE to create something. If I’m not doing something creative, I get very depressed. The feeling I get when designing, deciding on fabric, sewing, quilting, really the entire process of watching it come together, is my driving force.
Long answer: I was a very musical person in college (even dreamt of singing at the Met), but decided it wouldn’t support me or my daughter and stopped performing. For years, I felt sad and couldn’t put my finger on it until, one day, I sat on the end of my bed and cried for a lack of singing. The next week, I found a community choir to join. They welcomed me with open arms, and I still feel it’s my home even though I don’t actively participate. (Calliope Women’s Chorus in Minneapolis, if you’re curious.) In 2009, I took a free motion quilting class and my quilting REALLY took off. I would share quilts and flimsies I made with my friends at choir rehearsals, but found I was getting irritated that choir was taking time away from sewing, so I became a member at large. What really had me crying on the end of my bed was not a lack of singing, but a lack of creativity in my life. I’m very lucky to have a supportive partner who tells me with each quilt, “I think that quilt is my favorite.” Isn’t he sweet?!
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
If you’re feeling intimidated by quilting your own creations, have a drink. When I’m worried about starting to quilting something, I find a glass of wine will loosen me up. Not only am I not tightening up my shoulders, but the little wobbles we all make (even without the wine) that no one else will find in your finished project don’t seem like such a big deal. If tea does that for you, sip tea while you quilt.
My second favorite tip is to practice, practice, practice. Don’t worry that it’s not perfect; Even DaVinci started somewhere! I challenged myself to finish a quilt a month for one year with no restrictions on size. After the year was done, I went back to an unfinished small project and found that my old stitches looked horrible next to my new and improved ones. I had to take all the old, big and loose, stitches out. Thankfully it didn’t take very long.
4. What was your inspiration for your (above) Quilt Festival quilt?
When I first received the fabrics for my Quilt Festival submission (originally a competition entry), I didn’t know what to do – they were mostly traditional, not my style at all. Then, I started to think about several sets of friends getting married and how a double wedding ring (uber traditional) might look with those traditional fabrics in a modern interpretation. Separating the warm and cool fabrics, emphasizing the joining of two very different souls, set the piece on fire in my head.
5. Do you sew other things?
I don’t right now. The first thing I ever sewed was a shirt for my baby brother (I think I was about 7, supervised by my grandmother). Lately, though, I’ve been thinking more and more about sewing my own garments. I wasn’t ever very good at it, so it will take practice. I’ve also never tried sewing with knits, so that may be my first foray back into sewing clothes.
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I am not perfect, no matter how it may seem from my blog. My studio is a bit messy and I make lots of mistakes while sewing, but tend to roll with the punches. Sometimes, a “misplaced” bit of fabric really makes a modern design pop. Embrace the unexpected in your work. You never know when it might take a piece to the next level!
Thanks for sharing Flaun! I love your tips, practice definitely helps in all areas of life!
Have a great weekend everyone, don’t forget about the giveaway in this post –