Welcome to the very first instalment of a new part on the blog, called Feature Friday!! I’ve met some amazing and inspirational quilters through the online world, and I’d love you to get to know them too.
First up we have Angie of Gnomeangel, who has graciously agreed to be my first interviewee…. Not only is she an amazingly sweet person, but she is generous both with her help and advice, as well as encouragement. She has endeared herself to over 1500 followers on Instagram and she has an online fabric shop too where she sells a carefully curated selection of treasures. Her fingers are on the pulse of what’s hot in patchwork right now!
First off, how did you start quilting?
I have long lusted after quilts that I would see in movies, books and television and I’ve always wanted to live in a house that has quilts – there’s just something about the tradition of handing down hand made items and being able to curl up and surround yourself with something handmade that appeals to me.
When I was in high school I failed Home Ec – to the point where the teacher would let me sit out of the lesson and work on my art portfolio instead – so I always had this battle in my head between my desire to have quilts around me and my preconceived idea that I was crap at sewing.
A couple of years ago my Nana sent me her sewing machine (she’s upgraded and didn’t like her new machine so she sent it to me). It was the best gift I ever got and didn’t realise it at the time. Having that machine made me decide to take a beginners quilting class.
I rocked up to the class (which was held in a very traditional quilting shop) and proceeded to shock and awe my teacher with just how bad my hand stitching and sewing skills were. At one of the lessons she actually told me that “maybe sewing isn’t for you”.
I never finished that class.
I went home and tried to forget about wanting to make a quilt. It didn’t last. I was in a LQS buying supplies for making a bag (because if I can’t sew a straight line I can totally make a bag!) and I saw a quilt hanging up that I thought I could make. I bought the pattern and all the supplies.
I went home, made the quilt top and then took it to a long arm quilter to get her to quilt it for me.
When I picked that quilt up from the quilter and saw what had become of my quilt top I was hooked. Hooked!
I went home and a few weeks later I made another quilt (this time for my Nana) and took it back to the long arm quilter. While talking to her she casually mentioned that I could probably do with a few lessons and recommended a teacher and class to me.
I went home and signed up to do that Beginners Course. The teacher was amazing. Lovely, patient, encouraging – everything you want in a quilting teacher. It was her love of quilting that fuelled my love of quilting and her patience and skills that taught me how to stick with it and improve. (I made the black, yellow and white baby quilt in that class.)
The quilting class changed my life in so many ways and I’m so very thankful I was able to do it. Nearly three years on and I’m making all sorts of quilts, meeting amazing quilting friends and having a blast.
What’s your favourite project you’ve completed so far?
That’s a hard one… I really love “Samuel’s Technicolour Yawn.” I made it following Katy Jones’ pattern “Scrap Vomit”. I had such a blast collecting all the fabrics for it. I organised and hosted a number of online swaps to get different fabrics (there’s over 1500 different fabrics in it) and swapped with so many cool people.
I made the quilt so that our son would have a quilt he could use when he wasn’t feeling well (he was all of 1 when I made it) but we use it on our bed at the moment. Every time I see it it makes my soul smile. The three of us spend hours looking at it and playing iSpy with it. It’s just so much fun.
Design crush – whose studio would you gatecrash for a day?
I have a major quilt crush on Katy Jones (I’m a Ginger Monkey). She’s just so lovely, giving of her time and knowledge and looks like she’d be fun to hang out with. Like me she’s a topper (doesn’t do her own quilting) which I really love – she makes it ok to not like doing the quilting!
I’d also really love to see how Tula Pink works. The level of detail in her patterns is just amazing and I’d love to see how she makes that happen.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I love to cross stitch – although I go through phases where that’s all I’ll do and then not touch it again for months. I made a decision when I decided to really get into quilting that I could only have one hobby (storage, money and time issues) and so I got rid of everything else. I keep cross stitching because I think it helps with my hand and eye coordination and hand stitching.
I play World of Warcraft when everyone else is out of the house or asleep. I just like to switch off for awhile and it appeals to my compulsion to complete tasks.
I used to read a lot but since having a baby I don’t get the time like I used to – I now read a lot of kids books.
Seam open or not?
I’m a “what is going to help me make this block work” seam presser. Sometimes I’ll press them open to try and remove bulk, assist with making the points meet or to help with scale. The majority of the time I press to the dark side. I’m lazy and clumsy so this way is the path of least burns.
Thanks Angie!! I cannot believe you’ve not even been quilting for 3 years. Amazing!