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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet this week’s Project QUILTING Guest Judge – Michelle of SFOQuilter

I was lucky enough to find another fantastic Guest Judge for this week’s Project QUILTING Challenge (the last one of season 1).  I wanted to let Michelle of SFOQuilter, tell you herself about her beginnings in and love for the art of quilting:

il_430xN.149297540Modern Framed Block Quilt in Amy Butler

 

For a whole bunch of reasons about 5 years ago I decided a hobby would add a new dimension and perhaps some better balance to my life that was at that time very focused on my career in marketing and all the travel that came along with it. It was serendipitous I think that during that time I strolled past a sewing machine store in my town and wandered in. I came home with a brand new sewing/embroidery combo machine. I had no real plans for how I would use it. I had taken sewing classes in high school but had never become a great seamstress and no one in my family was ever into sewing or quilting. I tinkered with the embroidery on the machine for awhile but reached a point where I thought I should make better use of my investment. One night I decided to go to Joann's for inspiration. I came home THAT night with a book called "The Quilting Bible", a small cutting mat, a rotary cutter and some pre-cut quilt kits. Literally, the rest is history.

il_430xN.112175797Painter's Canvas Quilt in Lantern Bloom from Laura Gunn

I read and re-read the book, did a lot of internet research and became hooked so fast it made my head spin. I discovered the existence of quilt shops, the unbelievable talents of fabric designers and their gorgeous lines, the huge number of online and offline quilting communities, quilting retreats and more. For two years, I made quilts for every person in my family and every friend. I couldn't stop. I would piece them and send them out to a wonderful woman for the quilting. Then, during a trip to the Nashville AQS quilt show 3 years ago I became enamored with what is now my Handiquilter 16. How wonderful would it be to make my quilts from beginning to finish on my own schedule! So THAT weekend I went home to the (almost) final piece of what was now a growing sewing studio. Suddenly I could make quilts in record speed (if I wanted to) because I now controlled every piece of the production. But every one in my family and all my friends already had quilts and I knew I wasn't going to stop making them and began to research an outlet for selling them.

il_430xN.154325141Pair of Decorative Toss Pillow Covers - 16 inches - Michael Miller

In April 2008 I discovered Etsy and now the rest REALLY is history:) From my very first sale to today, I love every part of the process. I love the piecing, the free motion quilting, even hand sewing my bindings...I love it all. Most all, like many quilters I have come to know, I love shopping for fabric the best. I became an early fan of Amy Butler (in fact, my first ever quilt sold on Etsy featured Amy Butler's Midwest Modern line) and today still love her fabrics along with Joel Dewberry, Basic Grey, Patricia Bravo and many more. Quilting has truly become a passion that was missing in my life and an immensely creative outlet.

il_430xN.149625719

Scruffy Christmas Lap Quilt in Fruitcake by Basic Grey for Moda

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