1. How did you come to be a quilter?
My Mum taught me to sew quite young and I am very thankful. After a number of years of sewing and making clothes we both ventured into making quilts. It’s wonderful to have that connection with my Mum and we help each other and discuss fabric frequently. About 8 years ago we bought a shortarm quilting machine and frame but as it was older I wasn’t able to make it do what I wanted. With more than 20 quilt tops between us we wanted to be able quilt them. I now have a long arm quilting machine so those quilt tops are getting done along with many others from other people.
2. What is it that you love about being a quilter?
I love seeing what everyone creates and the colour combinations and fabric choices they use. Each quilt is unique. In 6years of professional quilting I have only seen the same design 3 times. I could never make as many quilts as I see so I live vicariously through my clients.
3. What are you most proud of from your quilting experience?
Learning that I am capable and can really help people complete their quilts. Sometimes it’s daunting to start on a client’s quilt, but I know it looks even better when I’ve done my part too. I know they put so much time and effort into making their quilt, each quilt becomes mine for a time. That’s how I view them.
4. What’s the one piece of advice about quilting that all new quilters should know?
It’s fabric and thread. It can be washed and /or unpicked. There are no quilt police, your quilt, your choices, Go for it!
5. Who’s the quilter(s) that inspire you at the moment?
I regularly stalk Judi Madsen and Jamie Wallen on social media. I also watch what Jenny Pedigo does and Belinda Betts. They are all long arm quilters as well.
6. What quilting challenges would you like to conquer in the next 12 months.
A shadow trapunto wholecloth and some thread painting a la Jamie Wallen style. I was inspired when I took his class in Adelaide last October. Maybe they could be on the same quilt, that would save some time…
I am always trying to improve my skills and so I don’t think I can narrow this down to 3 quilts, I have a few that have made me grow as a quilter, some are mine some aren’t. I’ve been trying to narrow down the pictures I would share while I was writing my responses, this is the hardest question I think.
8. If you weren’t a quilter, what other creative endeavour would you like to master?
I’m working on improving my stitching or embroidery in my limited spare time. I enjoy quilts with a bit of stitching in them. I also want to spend a bit more time making myself some clothes. I used to make quite a few of them but my time demands have changed. Kids and quilting does that!
9. What is your favourite kind of pie?
Anything I have not made! My cooking mojo comes and goes, probably depends on how much quilting I want to get done. My MIL makes a good apple pie. I love meat pies which have yummy gravy in with the meat.
10. What holidays, traditions or religious occasions do you celebrate in your family at this time of year?
I love the school holidays being on and by this stage we are ready for a change of routine, or rather the lack of one. I enjoy not having to be up and ready in the morning and making sure the boys are ready for their day. In fact we do quite a few pajamas days in the Christmas holidays. As a Christian family we celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect on what this means for us. After a short service with our church family we head back home to spend the rest of the day with family and friends. Christmas day is usually fairly quiet, perhaps even some time for sewing.
11. Do you listen to music, watch television or prefer the hum of the sewing machine when you sew?
I am a background noise person. I have the radio going even when I am quilting, I can hear it when I stop, and I sing along when I can. If I am stitching I’ll have the TV on and watch while I am working. I find it hard to sit still and do nothing.
I love hearing about a project and the how’s and why’s of the creation process. What were the elements chosen for and then did they achieve the effect they were wanting. Quilting being such a visual craft, pictures are wonderful to see.
13. How important to you is learning a craft? How do you think we can keep the craft alive?
I think learning is an ongoing thing and we never stop. We can always improve and expand our skills. Learning a craft helps you appreciate the work done by other craftsmen and women, whether we are talking fabric or timber. Time and skill go into each creation.
We need to teach the next generation about our craft and be prepared to share our knowledge with those who are seeking. We have a number of generations now where is has not be the norm that Mum sewed and made clothes or knitted etc.
14. If you had to pick any designer to sit down and chat or work with for the day who would it be and why?
I don’t know the designers that well, if I like it I use it. Any designer would be interesting to spend the day with and learn from.
15. What’s your favourite colour combination to work with and why?
I’m a tad partial to red at present, 2 colour quilts look great, plains or areas that allow the quilting to show are a plus, and I like grey at the moment too.
16. Do you have any quilting goals for 2015, what are they?
I am going to, yes you heard correct, I am going to finish my 40th birthday quilt. I asked for and was given a lovely selection of red and white fabric for my significant birthday and I am yet to make the quilt. I’m a little bit older now.
More time will be spent on designing and creating for Sunflower Stitcheries as well
17. Do you prewash your quilting fabrics?
Yes, especially the red ones, and blue, and most dark colours, and I really don’t want it to shrink a t different rates, so yes I do.
Once is a mistake, twice is a design feature.
19. Do you have any favourite tools that you love to use?
My quilting machine and some lovely thread, wonderful clients who give me wonderful quilts to work on and sometimes free reign with what I do on their quilt. That sounds really selfish but I am extremely appreciative and I treat each quilt like it is my own. Sometimes I don’t want to hand them back!
20. What are you hoping the festive season will bring for you?
This festive season I would love to see my family all get along swimmingly (4 boys in this house), wonderful memory creating times, some time to sew and be creative, and time with friends, old and new.
Thank you Raylee for sharing with us!