August 2013 Member Spotlight #5–Danny!
Many of you may already know this member from a few months back when she taught us embroidery stitches inspired by her amazing elephant creation–our next member spotlight is on Danny!
Q: When did you start quilting?
A: My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 13 years old but I didn’t become interested in quilting until 2008. I always loved quilts. I remember coveting all those cute patchwork quilts in Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters catalogs but seriously lacked the funds to purchase one myself. Eventually my best friend got sick of hearing me whine about how badly I wanted a quilt and signed us up for beginning quilting classes. Shortly after joining the class, I learned of a local group making quilts for people with cancer and I joined that too. A few short years later, I was running the group!
Q: What would you tell a newbie that you wish you had known when you started?
A: Relax. Cotton is forgiving. Perfection is not mandatory (or expected). Enjoy the craft and you will be much happier with your finished product.
Q: Have you always considered yourself a “modern” quilter?
A: The first quilt I ever made was not “modern” by any stretch of the word. But while I am typically drawn to more traditional designs, I find myself violently pulled toward modern fabric design and color. There is always controversy over whether someone is truly “modern” or “modern traditionalist” or “traditionalist with modern tendencies” but the fact remains that very little in our craft is new. I’ve seen many modern designers peddling patterns and fabrics that are knockoffs from 40 years ago. Personally, I don’t care where I fall. I am an artist. I am inspired by what moves me. I have a great appreciation for beautiful textile art regardless of whether it is constructed with batiks or dusty civil war prints or all brightly hued solids. So, to answer the question more directly, I am a quilter who happens to belong to the Modern Quilt Guild because of it’s acceptance of creativity over structure.
Q: What’s your favorite sewing/quilting tip?
A: Use starch! Seriously changed my life.
Q: Do you have a favorite quilt block, pattern or designer?
A: I don’t. I treat quilting like any other medium. I dabble in this. I play around with that. Then I mix it all together and make it my own. I don’t use patterns very often, but I love seeing all the great patterns out there and absorbing the inspiration!
Q: Do you have a favorite notion or tool you can’t quilt without?
A: Rotary cutters and audio books.
Q: Do you quilt your own quilts?
A: I quilt most of them myself. I will occasionally have the odd quilt that I just can’t envision quilting and that’s when I pass it off to someone else to create on. I don’t like stifling the creativity of others so if I do send a quilt out to be quilted, I don’t give directions.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the quilting process?
A: Fabric pulling; it’s a strange fetish. Sometimes I browse my fabric collection and pull fabrics out just to see them together, then I put them all back. It always puts me in a good mood.
Q: What part of the quilting process do you dislike or struggle with?
A: I hate binding. Hate. Loathe. Despise. Abhor.
Q: Do you design your own quilts?
A: Most of the time. But I have to admit, Pinterest has made it difficult to design my own when I could just steal other people’s amazing ideas!
Q: What inspires you to create?
A: Color. Hands down. Friends and family are the driving force behind my creations though, since I am always making for them. I really need to make myself a quilt!! I still haven’t done that yet.
Q: Do you do any other crafts? Which ones?
A: I used to scrapbook. I still have all the gadgets and tools and stickers and glue, it’s just too cumbersome to have to put away all my sewing things to pull out the scrapbook supplies. I haven’t scrapbooked in well over a year even though I really do enjoy it.
Q: How many quilts have you made?
A: Oy. Too many to count. While making with Comfort Quilters, I worked on multiple quilts at a time, sometimes bringing home eight quilts to quilt in a weekend! Now that I am no longer working with them, my productivity has slowed immensely! I make quilts without due dates so I take my time. I also make more intricate designs and try new techniques, but my family comes first, so if Clara wants to play dress-up, I drop what I’m doing and go play.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have a few things going right now. I have a commissioned wedding quilt in the works. I have a medallion quilt designed and ready to be started. I have a queen sized flannel quilt ready for squaring and binding (ugh). I have a bajillion and a half baby quilts to make because it seems like everyone I know is pregnant right now, and I am still making progress on my appliqued heart quilt, which I’m hoping to finish before Valentine’s Day 2014.
Q: What do you wish you knew how to do (quilt related) and hope to learn?
A: Loaded question! I normally don’t think I need to change my techniques until I see one that’s far better than the one I’m using! I guess I want to learn everything! There is always room for improvement.
Q: Do you have quilt related business that you want to share with us?
A: Nope. I take commissions but I don’t advertise anywhere.
**If you want to be a spotlighted member, please answer the questions above and email them and pictures to [email protected] THANKS!