It turns out there are a lot of questions, so I put half of them here, and half on my blog with my version of all 12 Aurifil blocks done in my Bobbins and Bits fabric. CLICK HERE to see.
I’m always sharing which of my radio shows the featured designer is on, well you can hear me on ALL the shows.. wink! To Listen to my All Quilting radio/podcast show CLICK HERE.
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block from our designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our Flickr page in the winner topics.
Let’s get to it!
Katie asked “What does your first quilt look like”
My first ‘first’ quilt has a quite a story. I debated for years about showing it to people. I had told the story in my early talks.. but really.. to see it is quite embarrassing! I was not making a quilt when I made my ‘first quilt’, but making a bedspread.. I did decided to write about it and share it in my presentations. You can read about it online CLICK HERE .… And yes.. that IS it and yes I do still have it!
It’s just too embarrassing to put a photo here.. instead I’ll share that I’ve come a LONG way ..this is a just a portion of the 30 quilt books I’ve written.
Jeanne asked “I am just getting started with your site and am finding so many nice ideas. How do you organize your fabrics so you know what you have? I have totes full of fabrics and it takes me forever to search for the best ideas. I have to line the totes up in the hallway so I can leave the lids off and do my picks. “
Jeanne I’ve sewn since about 1972… so I’ve had a lot of practice sorting my fabric for the most effective use for me. When I first sewed I made clothing.. and I didn’t collect fabric. I bought it, made a skirt.. got rid of the leftovers.
Then quilt making showed up in my life and fabric took on a whole new meaning. Collecting is part of the game and I am a GOOD collector! My fabric is kept by color in baskets on shelves. Then I can pull out the baskets that I want to work with. It also allows me to see my things. If I store them in huge totes stacked in a closet it’s too much work to get it. I tend to forget what I have. The baskets are a reasonable size and I keep them fairly tidy. The fabric is fabric stacked on end, which makes it easy to see what I have.
Mary asked “Realizing you design fabric and have a small studio, you must have a tip for organizing. You have said in the past you like things tidy. What is your secret to a tidy workspace?“
Mary this is a great follow-up to Jeanne’s question. First I am in my studio space 10 to 14 hours a day. So I need it to be less cluttered. When I start having piles I stop and put the piles away.
My area has designated spots for things. Rulers, paperwork, fabric in bins, fabric on bolts, and projects in progress. I don’t leave piles for long or I just can’t work. Those piles of things whisper.. then eventually yell at me to do something with them (yes.. they do talk to me.. don’t yours?)
So I might put a project in progress in a basket (I LOVE baskets). I might take a stack of books and put them on the book shelf. Fabric from a completed project goes back into the bins. Things do get out of control, and sometimes out of control quickly. So staying on top of it is a priority rather than letting it get crazy messy.
First.. remember this is a family business. Gregg and I work together full time in our business for 14 years and we do not have any other job. So like any business or family we divide and conquer the chores!
- Cooking – Gregg and I. it’s just the two of us. (ps.. if you ask Gregg he says he does most of the cooking.. this is an ongoing debate.. just so you know)
- Grass – Gregg! I have NEVER pushed the lawn mower and do not intend to
- Shopping – for food? Both of us, but Gregg does more food shopping than I do (remember there is only two of us!).. other stuff? I shop for almost everything else and I do a lot of shopping online which saves me a boatload of time.
- Clean – mmm… clean…. mmmmm… mostly me. We have a very small house, so it’s not hard to keep it clean.
For our business
- I am the Designer/Quilt Maker/Marketing Guru/Blogger/Product Developer/Social Media Director/Author/Teacher/Lecturer/Pattern Writer. That is my part of our family business.
- Gregg is the Accounting/Event planning/Shipping/Web work/Trash removal guy, he is better known as the Shipping Dept
Carol asked “I just marvel at how much sewing and quilting you get done when you are traveling/teaching/designing/blogging, etc. How do you do it?!“
I have to be very organized and plan out what my tasks are and when they are due. Sometimes I have friends help me sew, they are my angels when I have a deadline!
Dorte asked “If you don´t have quilts in your life, what have you done else. I mean what where you dream, when you where little. With love from Denmark“
What a fun question! When I was little Dorte I made things. I beaded, I made shoebox dioramas, I drew notebook after notebook of clothing designs, I hand stitched clothing, I learned to crochet.. then I learned to sew clothing.
I was always making something. My first job was in computers as a software engineer and then a project manager. I did that for over 20 years.
As a little girl I actually dreamed of owning my own business! Whenever I created something I looked at how I could market it. I even gave my mom ideas and told her to write Mattel toys with my ideas.. ha! I don’t think she did but I had the ideas and I was convinced they were great. So having my own creative business is a super fit for my personality.
Judy asked “What was your worst quilting disaster?“
I think it was when I was machine quilting a large quilt and didn’t secure the edge all around. I rolled over the quilt and batting with my chair. That pulled a huge chunk of batting out! It was not easy to get it back in there.
Lonormi asked “Do you think the walls of a sewing room should be painted in a restful, serene color, or an invigorating, bright color? I’m debating this back and forth in my mind, and am rapidly approaching “decision time”! 😉 “
I personally want lighter color walls in a studio.. right now mine are white but if I were to paint them I’d make them light aqua or pale grey. If you are a purist.. the color you paint will reflect and change the color of your fabric at times. So you may want to try hanging up some solid fabric in the color you want to see. Then you will know if it works for you in your space and your lighting.
Diane P asked “Do you always stay in a hotel when you travel for work.”
Yes we always stay in hotels for work. This is a business. Think of it this way. If a company hires a trainer from out of town to teach the new accounting software to staff. The trainer would stay in a hotel. The trainer would not stay at the CEO’s home in his son’s room with the dog.. wink!
To be honest, the days of professional business people staying in homes is over. You hire us to do a job. We are professionals that treat what we do seriously so that we can provide the best experience possible for your group. I hope you’ll have me teach for your group, I’d love to meet you! All my info is at my Event page CLICK HERE
Johnne asked “How did you get started in your quilting business? What advice would you give to others desiring the same? “
Johnne there are two interview articles that explain this at my website.. the short answer is that I just quit my job one day and there I was.. trying to figure it out! But there is way more to it than that. CLICK HERE to read the articles at my About Page.
I also wrote a post about the ‘Business of Quilting’. It’s a few years old now and I’ll be updating it in the near future.. CLICK HERE to read it.
Cindy asked “What is the strangest/weirdest thing that ever inspired you to design a quilt? and she also asked “What is your go-to comfort food? and do you ever allow yourself to eat it? What food do you crave the most often? “
number 2 is easy.. chips and salsa! GREAT chips and salsa to be exact! And I do eat them when we go out… life is short.. I don’t intend to save great chips and salsa for ‘someday’!
Number 1 is harder. I can’t think of anything strange or weird. Generally my designs happen on purpose. I plan to work on a design. I have a theme, a purpose.. a kick start. I not inspired by random things. If you hear my presentation I talk a lot about what inspires my quilts. (CLICK HERE to see where I am teaching or hire me to come visit your group!)
Kathy asked “What is your Radio show like”
I am so glad you asked! My online radio show is one of the favorite parts of my job! Each week I talk to 3 to 4 designers, authors, quilt people about their work. I learn how they found quilting, we talk about tips and tricks for better quilt making, and we learn insider knowledge right from the designer/Quiltmaker!
One of my recent guests was Lee Heinrich. She told me the story about the beautiful inspiration behind one of her favorite quilts. It is in the book she wrote with two of her best friends.. I loved hearing the story in her own words.
All the shows are recorded and available as download. You can subscribe by itunes or listen on your computer. Then download to player and you can listen while you are sewing, driving, waiting on someone. I even had someone listen to my shows while at the dentist.. she said it was a great to have something fun to listen to!
My current favorite Aurifil threads are in my two new Kits! Perfect Neutrals and Perfect colors! Ask for them at your favorite quilt shop!
There is another set of questions on MY blog — > CLICK HERE to read them
My block is inspired by the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”. My music taste is stuck in an odd time warp. I love those beach fun tunes from a time when I wasn’t even listening to music yet! But that is what really makes me tap my foot and sing along. Maybe it’s what my mom liked? who knows! I love this version on youtube that shows the recording session. I love this behind the scenes look.
And I will add another favorite for December is ‘Santa Baby’ from 1953 and Eartha Kitt!
All twelve blocks by twelve fantastic designers! I am so lucky to be the one to run this program and work with such great designers. Next year is going to be a blast, the team is awesome! Check back later this month for a peek at the fabric they will be using.
I decided the blocks need a 3″ wide sashing so that the Fantastic Laurie Tigner has some place to do her amazing quilting! The directions give you yardage for the light and the dark. But you can easily make the dark a scrappy set of all your left over fabrics.. That will be very cute for the HST border Then if you want a larger quilt, add a pretty fabric border!
CLICK HERE to read more Q&A’s that YOU sent me AND to see all 12 of MY blocks together!
I hope you join me, Pat Sloan, online at….