Hi there! The weeks keep flying by, thankfully next week is our spring break – finally! The local schedule was delayed in the fall for the new high school, it wasn’t a big deal at the time, but parents, students and teachers are feeling it now. We are all looking forward to a week off!
Our featured quilter today is Margaret! Her Quilt Festival entry is impressive, and I hope you enjoy getting to know Margaret better.
1. When did you begin quilting?
I made my first “quilt” in 1987 when I was still in college. My mother taught me to sew and embroider when I was a young girl though. Throughout highschool, I made many of my outfits including shorts, suits and even swimsuits. The need to quilt came when I needed to have something new on my bed! Over the years, my skills improved. I made many quilts for Christmas, birthday, graduation gifts. I’ve made so many quilts that I can’t begin to count. The number is in the hundreds though.
2. Why do you quilt?
It’s fair to say that I quilt because I have an insatiable need to create and to express myself through this craft. I love to see pretty things on beds and walls too! I love learning and testing new techniques, and working with the never-ending supply of gorgeous fabrics available. I am a romantic and am old-fashioned at heart, so I always think that a handmade gift is ten times that of something from a store.
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
I don’t have a specific “tip”. My best suggestion is that practice will bring perfection (or if not perfection, then satisfaction!). Love what you do. Try new things. Don’t be afraid.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
I didn’t have an inspiration per se, like some other quilters did. My entry for the festival was a collage of pictures taken from a “quilt show” of sorts. I had donated 53 quilts to Project Linus the previous month, and had displayed them all over my back yard for a photo shoot. One blogger coined it the “Sea of Love”.
In January of 2007, in an effort to thin down some of my stash (which in retrospect was miniscule!), I made a few flannel blankets for Project Linus. I had not sewn too much in recent years except for making draperies and a couple baby quilts. I was suddenly hooked again. I asked all my friends and family that may have scraps if they were willing to donate them to me to make more Linus quilts. I had SO much fabric I hardly knew what to do with it. It was fun to quilt and create and not need to worry who I was going to give that quilt to! Since 2007, I have donated over 100 quilts to this charity.
5. Do you sew other things?
Yes, definitely, but buttons and hemming are not in that repertoire! I have made draperies for my house, those dreaded Halloween costumes each year, and many heirloom smocked dresses for my daughter and my two nieces.
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I have hosted several successful swaps in the last 3 years including the Four Seasons Quilt Swap and Spring Fling Round Robin, each of which had many sessions. Both included fantastically talented quilters which motivated me and challenged my quilting abilities. The swaps were a great avenue to test new techniques and to grow as a quilter.
In the fall of 2009, I started a longarm quilting business. The internet clientele has been instrumental in my success, with nearly 90% of the quilts I have quilted to date coming from fellow bloggers all over the US. I currently participate in three quilting bees (blocks only), but my swapping days are in the past due to the time constraints of a business.
Margaret, thank you so much for sharing your quilts and your story with us! I love seeing the “Sea of Love” and your suggestion to keep trying and doing new things, is brilliant. :) I wish you much success with your long arm business!