Our April mini is by Designer John Kubiniec. If you have not seen John’s designs they are fantastic! He is originally from N. Tonawanda, NY (suburb of Buffalo, NY) and now lives in Rochester, NY. What I love about John is his bigger than life personality. He ALWAYS makes me laugh and is amazingly generous with his time and skills. He designs patterns for all the major quilt magazines, fabric companies, and his own line. Plus he is an incredible longarm quilter.
On May 19, 2014 I chatted with John and you can listen to it right HERE on your computer!
We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a block from our 2014 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 FLICK GROUP HERE
Let’s get to know John!
When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
I really don’t know when I first spotted a quilt. We didn’t have quilts at home when I was growning up. My mother did crochet and there were all sorts of crocheted Afghans around the house. So there was always something to snuggle up with. She crocheted me an afghan and made it extra long so I could lie on the couch and be able to have my feet covered and still have some left to snuggle with up top. I still have that afghan!
I always did different types of crafts and needlework. I did some crochet, embroidery, crewelwork, cross-stitch woodworking, ceramics….. etc. Someone was always making something at home when I was growing up and I was usually in the middle of it all. I later got interested in ceramics and was doing that for a while. At some point I came across quilting – most likely on a PBS Craft Show and then Alex Anderson’s show on HGTV. I sometimes need to reach a “critical mass” before I actually do something. That was the case with quilting. I started buying quilting books through a book craft club.
Then I bought a sewing machine figuring if I had one I might learn to quilt. Well the machine sat in the closet for about three years and then I took a class at The City Quilter in NYC and finally learned to quilt. But I must say it took about two or three years of buying fabric for my stash before I really considered myself a true quilter (see – that “critical mass” thing!)
When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?
I look at all kinds of quilts – I especially like to look at the quilting to see how they chose to quilt their quilt. I also enjoy looking at antique quilts in museums to see how they were quilted and to try and figure out how I could do that today on a longarm.
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?
My formal training is as Church Musician. I worked as a music director in churches for MANY years. After reaching that mid-point in life I ventured into quilting and teaching. I still am involved in church music but in a more limited way. I presently am the organist at Gates Presbyterian Church. http://www.gatespres.org
What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
One of my favorite places is the Eastman School of Music – they have such great concerts for FREE.
You can find Ray and I down there on a regular basis taking in a great concert.
Another favorite place is my backyard – after living in New York City for 18 years I am enjoying having some nature around me and being able to do some gardening. The patio turns into my office in the summer.
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
Usually my studio is a disaster – fabric and thread all over the place, but then it gets to a point where I need to clean and organize. I am spoiled now –
before moving to Rochester I lived in a 600 sq ft apartment in New York City. Now my studio is nearly 600 sq feet.
I have an office area for my computer and some of my more frequently used books.
A wall of Ikea bookcases houses some of my quilt book collections – the doors below open to reveal some of my fabric stash.
I have a Handi Quilter 16 with a Pro-Stitcher – Under the machine I store fabric in plastic bins that I got from The Container Store.
One wall has been turned into a design wall
I recently installed peg board to hold all my templates (yes I have an addiction to acrylic) as well as some of my thread collection that I use frequently.
My cutting table is a make-shift one right now. I am going to custom make a table for my space. It will be on wheels so that I can move it around as needed.
Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip?
I like the peg boards that I installed on a wall in my studio. It allows me to have things in plain view. After putting this up I found that I was using more of these tools on a more regular basis – they were out and in sight and easy to get to. Also, it gave me a place to hang them up when I wasn’t using them so I have been able to keep my space “a bit” more organized. Also – the movable hooks allow me to rearrange things as needed –or if I just need a new look. Another hint – label your bins on the front and back – that way you will always know what is in them no matter which way you put them back.
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
I am a neutral kind of guy when it comes to thread – normally like my quilting thread to blend into the fabric. My favorites for quilting are 40 weight #2311, #2372 and #2626
What about your Month Inspired your Quilt Block?
When I received April as my month I was thinking Spring (well, Mother Nature sure didn’t deliver on that account this year!) and thought it should be something floral. I was thinking about designing a block that would resemble a flower in some way and then I came across this fabric line by Mary Koval “Tree of Life” for Windham Fabrics.
The main print was a wonderful floral pattern. So, started with that fabric and tried to decide how best to feature it. And the block “Walled Garden” was born! It really was fun designing on a smaller scale.
And a few on the light side...
- Favorite TV show – I am a PBS Junkie
- The snack you crave – Ice Cream (especially my homemade ice cream!)
- The Color you have always LOVED…..RED RED RED –
Visit John at
- Website: www.bigrigquilting.com
- Blog: www.bigrigquilting.wordpress.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/BigRigQuilting
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/bigrigquilting/
- Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bigrigquilting/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigRigJohn
- Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/sjxAz
Here is my Mini… well a peek.. wink!
Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!
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The winner this month is Sylvia C … She wins a Thread kit!
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICKR PAGE HERE
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