How did you start quilting? About 10 years ago, while living in Azerbaijan, a friend invited me to a quilting group. There an American school teacher taught me how to patchwork and hand quilt. She showed me all the traditional blocks. However after my first quilt, which was a nine patch, I have never used the traditional blocks anymore!
Why do you stitch? Having made my own clothes for years, quilting made a nice change from that. The patchwork can give beautiful results quickly and I always think it is like opening a present taking out the basting stitches after quilting is complete.
Do you have a favourite colour? Although blue is definitely my favourite colour for clothing I find myself using lots of colours in my quilts. After using only bright colours so far I am now making a pillow cover in earth tones and black just to challenge myself.
How big is your stash? As I have been living in nine different countries since catching the quilting bug my quilting stash is limited to one big suitcase (besides a ‘few’ pieces of material I need to protect my sewing machine while travelling!). My husband keeps telling me I am the only quilter that uses material that has travelled around the world twice! However I am sure my stash will expand soon as we moved to material heaven India a month ago.
How many reels of thread do you have? Threads are not really my thing (yet) so I only have about 10 reels of quilting and machine embroidery threads. There certainly is room for improvement there!
Do you prefer hand or machine stitching? Until about one and a half year ago the answer to this question would be a firm: machine quilting. But I have recently done some hand piecing and quilting while watching my children play and I enjoy it a lot. However I am still working on ways to improve my machine quilting in order to increase my output. There are so many ideas for quilts zooming in my head.
Are you a member of any groups? Unfortunately, apart from the first group 10 years ago, I have not had the opportunity or the time to be a member of any quilting group.
How many hours a day do you sew? Not enough as I also have to sleep! At the moment most of the sewing is done while supervising my children in the same room. Another quilting moment is while talking to my family through the computer as I use headphones I have my hands free. And if I don’t have to study, I might do some in the evening as well.
Do you have a day job? Not a paid one! But my four and two year old daughters and husband keep me busy enough. And in the evening I am working on my masters’ degree in Health Psychology.
What are you working on just now? An idea that got out of hand. I thought I could do some hand sewing while supervising my children and English paper piecing was going to be the method. During a rare visit to a quilt show in the Netherlands, I found some nice animal material that would be perfect for a square inside a hexagon. Soon I found myself designing a single bed quilt for my eldest daughter with (half) hexagons and triangles. After nine months of piecing I decided hand quilting was needed as I was never going to get this bulky thing under my machine. Another nine months later and I am nearly done! And I must admit I am really please with the result.
Do you have a top tip for our readers? Challenge yourself by trying something new in each project you make. It could be a technique or a colour that you have not used before. Challenging and fun at the same time!
Do you teach, and if so what is your favourite subject? Not yet, but a city and guild course to become a teacher is on my ‘to do’ list after finishing my masters in Health Psychology (should only be another two years or so!).
Do you have a website or blog? Can you tell us about it? No, but I love looking at other peoples!
Update from Sandra! Just to let you know I found another reason to quilt! My two daughters have taken up yoga but did not like the feel of the traditional rubber yogamat. So I made them both a quilted yogamat! As they love butterflies and that also happens to be a yoga pose I adapted the 'Butterlfies' from Popular Patchwork June 2009 and I am very pleased with the result!