I have been sewing clothes and purses since I was in high school in the mid-’70s. Quilting seemed so laborious at the time since all the instructions were to cut your templates from cereal boxes, trace onto your fabric and cut with scissors. I attempted it but soon lost interest. Speed forward to the ’80s, I started working at Patagonia in Ventura Ca, and happened on a large quilt show. I was amazed at the vendors selling rotary cutters and rulers with mats. I just had to have a set! Although my first patchwork quilt with these new tools was a cover for my down comforter (which I made from a Frostline kit) it was made from 6” squares from fabric I had leftover from my garment making, fabrics from a sportswear company I worked for in Seattle and new fabrics from the quilt show. I spent time arranging the scraps in a gradation from light to dark, much like the “watercolor” quilts designed years later. After that, I started challenging myself with snails trails and log cabins blocks. Then I discovered foundation miniature quilts… which was my next adventure in quilt making.
What is your favorite quilt-related project to date?
My favorite quilt would have to be the Wyoming Whirligig quilt I made in the early 2000s. I made it as a replica of one we had when I was a kid. Apparently, it got destroyed so I made another one. It still needs to be quilted but I love the way it looks.
What does quilting mean to you?
Quilting is a colorful creative outlet for me besides the clothing I make. Sewing and quilting construction comes very naturally to me, and I like to challenge myself to new patterns or blocks. I love to put on my favorite music or podcast and sew for as long as I can. Watching all the fabric I cut into small pieces, come back to life in a new big, or small, quilt top. The feel of the fabrics, the colors, the seams. Hand stitching around the binding knowing that is the last step and when I make that last knot and bury the thread….I can crawl under it and take a nap.
What do you wish you knew when you started quilting?
I wish I had not bought so much fabric and learned to be more selective…once I buy fabric, it is hard for me to get rid of it thinking I might need it, just that perfect piece or color for a future quilt.
What is your next project?
I have so many next projects…..I love traditional piecing, modern piecing, and fabric collage quilts. I have a couple of each already started…so I have to finish one of those before I can start a brand new quilt.
What is your dream project?
The project I dream most about is one that has piecing, and applique, and might tell a story. I want it to be a medallion quilt with a center vocal point, then blocks and applique around it in borders.