Our May mini is by Designer Lynn Harris of The Little Red Hen. Besides being a wonderful designer with her first book just out, she is an amazing photographer. What I love about Lynn’s work is the COLOR! She makes amazing quilts with loads of color and lots of resting area to see it. She also does great things with scraps, which is what her new book is all about. I highly recommend you start following her website to see what life on the farm for a modern day quilter is all about! In my interview we’ll get a glimpse of this and I tell you I’m hooked on Lynn’s designs and site!
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 Lynn!
Where do you live in?
I live in an old farm house just outside of Chelsea, Michigan.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?
The first quilt I remember was the one my grandmother had spread in the back of her station wagon. It was a double wedding ring quilt made by my great grandmother. The background was lavender and the rings were lots of different
sweet 1930’s prints.
Back in the days before child restraining car seats, my sisters, cousins, and I would ride in the back of the station wagon on the quilt. When I left home, I eventually rescued that quilt when my grandmother was going to toss it out. It still has purple melted crayon spots on it. My sisters and I learned to sew in 4H and made our own clothes. With the coming US bicentenial celebration in the news I started making a quilt.
Using leftover garment scraps I traced around a square cardboard template with an ball point pen and cut the squares with scissors. I made a strip of squares and stretched it over my bed to test for the correct size. I kept building strips and adding them until the quilt covered my bed. I still love that quilt because all of the fabrics in it hold memories for me. Memories of clothes that my mother made for me and my sisters. Memories of my sisters and I spreading out fabrics and pinning patterns for our 4H projects. That quilt takes me back in time. I finished the quilt in time for the 1976 bicentenial celebration.
When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?
At quilt shows I am drawn to antique quilts. I love to study old quilts and think about what keeps those designs relevant today. I am especially drawn to scrap quilts or quilts that have many different fabrics in them. Tiny pieces also make my heart skip a beat. I get weak in the knees looking at antique quilts with tiny half inch sawteeth borders. I incorporate scraps and tiny triangles into my own quilts when I can.
Two color quilts are also a favorite of mine, the design elements are boiled down to just the basic lines of dark and light. They are so visually striking and can have a lot of visual energy.
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?
I have an engineering degree but am not a working engineer. I do use the skills I learned in my Industrial Engineering
work in setting up my studio space and my work habits. My favorite class in school was Geometery. I always loved the homework that involved a compass and straight edge.
I also worked for a time as an activity therapist at a children’s hospital and always had crafts for the children to work on while in the clinic. All along, I’ve had a love for making. I enjoy all kinds of needlework, sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, tatting. My family will be quick to tell you that I can’t just sit with my hands still. I am always working on or making something.
What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
Chelsea, MI is the home of Chelsea Milling. It is the only place in the world where Jiffy Mix is made. I take all of my out of town guests on the Jiffy Tour. I love watching the old equipment at work. The box builder machine is mesmerizing.
When the weather is nice we also like to take early morning outings in our canoe or kayaks on some of the small lakes in the area.
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
I am lucky to have an entire room of our house devoted to my sewing adventures.
When I got my newest Bernina I also got a sewing table that the machine sits down in. This was a huge change for me and made a big difference in the quality of free motion quilting I am able to do. I love all of the space the table has around the machine to support the quilt.
The large sewing table is also a big help when I’m string piecing with scraps. It is nice to have a place to spread out the scraps and to easily see which piece I want to add next.
Do you have a GREAT storage tip?
I struggle with keeping my studio tidy and organized. Scrap quilts are my passion so there are often large piles of fabric and scraps out. It does help to keep the smaller tools and notions where I can find them. I keep my sewing machine feet organized in an old aurifil thread box.
If I have to choose, I’d say my favorite Aurifil thread colors are 5015, 2588, and
4651. I go through 2021 by the cone; it is a great neutral that goes with just about
everything. I use it for both piecing and quilting.
and use every last piece in your scrap bin.
What about your Month Inspired your Quilt Block?
After a very long and cold winter here in Michigan, this mini quilt is inspired by the hope of bright spring colors and warm outdoor sewing weather. The background is built from a collection of bright scraps. The black and white triangles, reminiscent of winter, tie it all together.
And a few on the light side…
● The Book you are currently reading – On our spring break trip we listened to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. It was very enjoyable and made me homesick for the mountains in southwest Virginia where I grew up. I highly
● Favorite TV show – My current favorites are Call the Midwife, and Bletchly Circle.
● Are you a Dog or Cat person? We currently only have chickens.
- Visit Lynn at –
- Website and blog: LynnCarsonHarris.com
- Instagram: LynnCarsonHarris
- Flickr: Lynn Carson Harris
- Facebook: The Little Red Hen
Here is my Mini… It’s getting exciting to see them all together!
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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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
Our RANDOM pick this month grabbed Charlotte’s sunny block! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread!
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