1. When did you begin quilting?
I began quilting about 4 years ago when my daughter was moving from a crib into a toddler bed and needed some new bedding. I had always loved quilts, but had not done much sewing beyond HomeEc in middle school and a few easy Halloween costumes. I read tons of blogs to learn everything I could about quilting and jumped right in. That first quilt had me totally hooked. I have since taken over the guest room as my sewing room and use quilting as a creative and relaxing outlet.
2. Why do you quilt?
As a mother of two little children, I felt that I was stuck in a cycle of doing and redoing the same chores over and over again (cleaning, cooking, laundry, repeat, repeat…). One day I read a quote that resonated with me. “A woman should do something every day that can’t be undone.” Quilting became that “something” and a much needed creative outlet.
For my first quilt, I used a pattern but decided to make the quilt using fat quarters instead of the jelly roll the pattern was written for so I wound up basically redoing the pattern and all of the quilt math. I found I loved this aspect of quilting almost as much as actually making the quilt and so I starting writing and publishing my own patterns.
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
My favorite tip would be to relax and not stress over each stitch. Before you take a seam ripper to some piecing or a chunk of quilting, wait a day and then take a look at the quilt again from a distance. What you think of unacceptable from 6 inches from the quilt top, does not look so bad when you take a step back.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
One of my fall Quilt Festival quilts was “Oh the Places You’ll Go” (above). It is a mini quilt (18” x 20”) that I made for the Michael Miller Cotton Couture Challenge. We were given fat eighths of various Cotton Couture pastels and I challenged myself to make the quilt top using only those fabrics. When I started playing with the fabrics the colors reminded me of the cover of the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” so I used the curved pastel strips from the cover as my inspiration for the quilt. I was excited to find out that the quilt was juried into the QuiltCon 2015 show.
5. Do you sew other things?
Most of my time is spent quilting, but I do have little obsession with making cathedral window pincushions. I loved seeing how all of the different fabric combinations came together in the window pattern. I made so many that even after I gave a bunch away I still had way too many so I started an etsy shop so that I had an excuse to make more. I now also sew matching needle books and thread catchers to go along with my pincushions. I find that having some quick finish items balances out my longer term quilting projects.
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
When I am not being a mother, wife, and quilter I work as a chemical engineer / patent agent for a private textile company. So even when I am at work, I can often be found tracing knitting stitches or writing patents on new fabrics for tires, ballistics panels, wind turbines, and filters. I enjoy the technical side of textiles almost as much as I do playing with them in my sewing room :)
Thanks for sharing Cheryl! I always encourage new moms to find a creative outlet, I’m partial to quilting, but encourage anything that peaks their interests :)
Have a great weekend!