I am honoured to continue my Feature Friday with one of the nicest and most fun quilters you could ever meet, Penny Poppleton. We have been getting to know each other through Instagram, and have a love of quilting, naptime and the Marvel Universe in common, just to name a few. She was kind enough to come to my rescue when I managed to throw out a vital block for my quilt, and it’s just that sort of generous nature that has endeared her to the Australian quilting community. Best of all, she has the most amazing mermaid hair!! I swear I die of jealousy every time she posts a picture of it!
Breaking news would be Jenn’s amazing ribbon she received this week at the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair. So freaking amazing!!
So, first off, how did you start quilting?
I started “sewing” at the age of ten. Literally no one around me sewed so I had no support or instruction, which led to some pretty interesting clothes! My little sisters were always willing guinea pigs for my clothing experiments. A quilty aunt took pity on me and taught me some basics and I bought a basic sewing machine in 2003 – my very first one. I didn’t do much but make the occasional dress or skirt for myself until I fell pregnant in 2010 and knew I wanted to make a baby quilt for my little one. After that, I was hooked. I bought my Bernina 440QE in November of 2011 and since then I’ve really felt like a quilter.
What’s your favourite project you’ve completed so far?
Can I choose two? Of my own work, I really love my Shattered Star quilt. I made it for a friend of more than ten years for her wedding. We’ve grown together as friends despite the distance of a whole ocean, so as I pieced it, I kept thinking of all the wonderful strides she had made and how much I had learned from her friendship. I had quite a hard time sending it away in the post — I wish I could have given it to her in person!
(And if I’m allowed a second project: I oversee the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild and last year we coordinated a massive rainbow hexagon group quilt. It was not an easy thing to get 49 different blocks, made from over 1650 hexagons, from 20 different people…but the end result was just amazing. We raffled it off and made over a thousand dollars for the YWCA.)
Hexagon mini quilt inspired by the Sydney MQG raffle quilt
Design crush – whose studio would you gatecrash for a day?
I have two! I’m so terrible! Even though I have met her personally and even had perfectly normal conversations with her, I find Sarah Fielke to be such a huge inspiration to me that I turn into a total fangirl whenever I see her. Material Obsessions II was my first quilting book and every time she posts a picture of her stash I sigh with envy. My second choice is Melody Miller – I live in awe of her gorgeously simple and perfectly coloured designs, and I really just want a tour of her house.
Do you have any other hobbies?
Seam open or not?
Press open if you want to reduce bulk in seam corners (especially handy with HSTs). Press to the side for nested seams (nine-patches especially). Or do what you want, I’m not your mother! 🙂
Finally, what makes a modern quilt?
I’m not even close to making the rules, but for me, modern quilting is about approaching the art of quilting with a view to design, color, stylistic choice, and overall usability. Modern quilts are functional, stylish, and fresh, and like a good piece of art, you will want to stop and stare…but that is any beautiful quilt, isn’t it! 🙂
Thanks so much Penny for sharing your beautiful work with us and letting us get to know you a bit better!