How did you start sewing / quilting? Who taught you?
- I learned to sew at a young age, about 8 years old. My mother sewed clothing, curtains, doll clothes, so as she sewed she taught me. Our sewing machine was set up in a corner of our kitchen, and my mom encouraged me to use it. She is a wonderful person and was a kind and patient teacher, How lucky am I! My grandmother, who conveniently lived next door, was also skilled at embroidery, rug hooking, knitting and crochet, so it was very natural for me to be drawn to sewing and hand work. I made a patchwork bedspread at about age 9, which my mother still has. I was about 11 when I made my first quilt, a little rustic with an old sheet for a backing, and tied with red yarn. It is still is use, as a sleeping place for my cats.
Aside from quilting, what other hobbies do you have?
- My other hobby is gardening. When it is rainy, or cold, I am inside sewing, and on sunny days I am outside in the garden, the best of both worlds. Needless to say, house cleaning takes a back seat. I learned gardening from my dad. I love native shrubs and perennials, and grow lots of flowers for butterflies and hummingbirds. My backyard is a little wildlife habitat.
Tell us something about yourself that we might not know!
- Something that you may not know about me is that I am a UCONN certified advanced master gardener. So if you have any gardening questions, feel free to ask.
Do you have a favorite tool / pattern / technique you find yourself using a lot or can't live without?
- My favorite tool without a doubt, is my Handi Quilter Avante with Prostitcher!!! Or as my husband refers to it, the “car” that was parked in my sewing room last year. I have been long-arm quilting for about 5 years, and just love having my own machine.
My second favorite tool is my Clover seam ripper. It is just the right size, and has a sharp point and a nice.flexible end.. it is white and large enough to find easily when needed. I am a little bit of a perfectionist, so I use it often..
What 5 items must you have in your sewing box?
- My must haves include Aurifil thread for piecing, Clover red clips, fine glass head pins - great for pinning through batiks, Creative Grids quick trim ruler and a small pair of sharp embroidery scissors (I have a pair of stork shaped scissors, given as a gift by a dear friend, they make me smile every time I use them.)
How has quilting impacted your life?- Quilting has impacted my life is lots of ways. It has been my sewing therapy through some rough spots in my life. Quilting has been a great outlet for creativity, through designing and sewing gifts for treasured family and friends. I have made many quilts for charity, fundraisers, and other worthy causes. It has been a wonderful way to give back to others, sharing kindness and warmth (literally).
I have also made wonderful friendships with the people I have met through quilting. And I have been able to go the the fabulous International Quilt Festival! If you have never been, this is a show not to be missed!