Today’s featured quilter is Karen of Sister of the Divide! Karen has lots of beautiful quilts, and a strong desire to encourage the next generation of quilters. I hope you enjoy getting to know Karen better —
1. When did you begin quilting?
I started quilting in high school…I got my first sewing machine at age 5 and a bag of scraps so if that counts…then age 5. I was the hit of the neighborhood and made Barbie Doll clothes for all my friends. I have always loved to sew, my mother bought me a Singer for my sixteenth birthday, I think she thought it would keep me off hers. I’ve been crazed ever since. We made 12 quilts that year for our cabin up at Lake Tahoe.
I love the freedom of expression that it provides, it’s my artistic outlet. The feel of the fabric, the colors, the puzzling of it is what I love. It’s a Zen meditation for me, calming and soothing, I am literally transported to someplace very pleasant as I sew.
3. What is your favorite quilting tip?
Gosh there are so many, I think my favorite tip is to Take Your Time, don’t be in a hurry, enjoy the process…less seam ripping that way… haha. And I think it’s very important to measure twice and cut once…just like a carpenter.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
Actually, it started out as a swap project, as it progressed, I decided that it wouldn’t suit my partner so I scrapped it and started over, coming back to finish it later. We live in the mountain, there is not a lot of ambient light here so the stars are amazingly bright, this little quilt makes me think of the sky, that one bright star that you can see in a heaven of twinkling lights.
5. Do you sew other things?
Yes, I like to sew utilitarian things, things you would use around the house, not just bedding. Placemats, potholders, coasters, wall art, pillowcases, table runners, throw pillows, curtains, aprons, drapes, storage containers, doll clothes, baby clothes, you name it, I have probably sewn it…
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
I am a cancer survivor, grandmother of 5, mother of 1, step mother of 2, loving wife, Sunday go to Church kind of gal with two kitties that are amazing quilt helpers…I can have something on my design wall, all laid out and in the morning it will be all rearranged for me, it’s like magic! If I am binding a quilt, well, there are two helpers holding down the corners so they don’t fly up unexpectedly. And when it comes to picking fabric for a project, well, let me tell you, they can dig to the bottom of the scrap pile faster than a dog ever could. It’s a wonder how I ever got along without them. In January 2012 I will be teaching a beginning quilting class at our Church here in Foresthill, CA. The class will meet monthly for 9 months to learn a new block each month, in month 10 we will put the quilt together. (done, finished and put to bed before the holidays!) The information will be online on my blog for those that cannot make the meetings, so everyone can participate who wants to. It is important to me, since I do not have daughters, to pass my skills along to the next generation. I thought this would be a fun way to get folks involved in a non threatening way, to impart basic sewing skills, basic quilting skills and let them have a feeling of accomplishment. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. We have quite a few signed up already, so I am preparing for that right now and looking forward to the first meeting in January!
Thanks for sharing Karen! Measuring twice is always a great idea!
Have a safe and happy New Year friends!