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Interview with a Quilter

I thought it would be fun to start doing little features from time to time on some of the talented, creative people I know. Quilters, painters, photographers, knitters, writers… some are professionals, and some create simply for the love of it. I’m curious about what got them hooked on their particular art or craft and what inspires them. Hope you’ll enjoy meeting them!

Shirley Jones, Quilter

My first subject happens to be my mum. She has made quilts for each of her four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, as well as for herself or friends. Gifts for new babies, graduations, weddings…  55 quilts to date. (“Not that many,” she says.)  She’s very knowledgeable about her craft, has taught classes, and puts a lot of attention into the details.  When you look at her hand stitching up close, you’d think it was done by a sewing machine.

So, mum… how did you get started in quilting? Eons ago, probably  around 1976.  Aunt Jane and I attended a “craft night” at our church.  People took anything they had been working on.  We saw a Grandmother’s Fan quilt top made by a lady called Mo and we were both hooked.  Just like that!  We spent lots of time buying up pieces of fabric and began cutting and piecing.  I look at that first quilt now and “what was I thinking” comes to mind, but I guess the fabrics are typical of what was popular then.

What do you love most about quilting? Fondling my fabric stash and perusing quilting books and magazines. Working with the wonderful array of fabrics available. Hand applique and hand quilting.

Who or what inspires you? Other quilter’s accomplishments, especially Jinny Beyer, Nancy Zieman and Joan Colvin, to name a few.

Do you have a favourite project you’ve completed, or one you are most proud of? The Block of the Month Quilt through “The Quilt Show” – Alex Anderson and Ricky Timm’s online show.  I am proud of this one because I actually finished piecing the gazillion little pieces, and it turned out quite nicely!

What is your favourite tool you like to use? My Olfa cutter and mat, also my silver thimble – a gift from you know who!

What’s on your wish list? Oh, this is a hard one.  On the high end a larger studio but otherwise a really good design wall.

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