I’m so glad to see this Friday! How’s your week been? I met today’s featured quilter Emma
, when I was assigned as her partner for a Doll Quilt Swap
has beautiful quilts, and blogs at Sampaguita Quilts
– I hope you enjoy getting to know Emma
1. When did you begin quilting?
My Gran taught me English paper piecing when I was about 15; that’s 18 years ago. Other than that, I’m self-taught; mostly through trial and error, as I like to figure things out for myself. My first machine-pieced quilts were made by tracing cardboard templates onto the fabric with pen, and I cut the pieces with scissors. They were pillow-cased, not bound, and completely unquilted. The first one I tried to quilt was a large bed quilt, with impossibly thick poly batting, and not basted in any way – needless to say, it was badly out of shape by the time I was done! Although it spent many years on my bed, and still gets used around the house, I’ve never been able to unpick it all (despite numerous attempts) and fix it, because the thick batting meant the stitches were microscopic.
2. Why do you quilt?
I have to quilt; I love the fabrics – a fact to which my stash will attest! I enjoy drafting quilt blocks and playing with colour schemes and patterns at the design stage – I see it as a bit of a logic puzzle which challenges both sides of my brain. I love piecing a quilt and seeing it come together. And there’s not much better than creating a secondary design at the quilting stage and running my fingers over the newly-formed texture. I even enjoy hand-stitching the binding. Then there’s the warm, fuzzy feeling when you give someone a gift designed and made especially for them. And of course, seeing my quilts appear in magazines is a nice feeling, too.
3. What is your favourite quilting tip?
Doodling. The more you draw a quilting pattern, the better you’ll be at quilting it. I could never quilt feathers until I practiced drawing them over and over. Plus, it’s a great way to fill in meetings! I’ve always doodled, but now I call it doodling with intent; I repeat feather shapes, design new fillers, scribble border designs, practice swirls. My daily notebook at work is half notes, half quilting patterns – and plenty of those have since made their way into my quilts.
4. What was your inspiration for your Quilt Festival quilt?
I’ve made quite a few beach scenes now, initially inspired by the fact the my husband’s family all enjoy sailing – four of the beach quilts have been made for his brother and sister’s children. I like to make each one a bit different, so I’m always looking for new shapes to incorporate. One day I just sat down and wrote out a list of shapes and layouts I hadn’t already used, and the portholes were a natural flow-on from writing ‘circle’. My list also included triangle (a design concept I’m still developing), which then morphed into triptych (which is all designed and awaiting some time).
5. Do you sew other things?
Not any more. I used to sew a lot of clothes, but haven’t for nearly 10 years. (I don’t think a library bag for my son to take to school counts!) Before getting married, I couldn’t wait to have children, so I could make them clothes. James is now 6 and Eleanor 4, and I’ve not made a single item for either of them – though they both have a number of quilts! My time is more than filled with my family, work, and making around 20-30 quilts a year.
6. Anything else you would like us to know about you?
As a skier in Australia, I get impossibly jealous every summer of all the snow-filled photos showing up on European and North American quilters’ blogs. I’d love to be able to photograph my quilts in the snow the way so many of you do, but it’s a long drive for us, the car is way too full for extra quilts, and the skiing time is too precious to lose.
Thanks for sharing your quilts with us Emma
– they are beautiful!!
Have a great weekend everyone -