Welcome to our 2015 Designer of the Month program, I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan! Our September interview and mini quilt is from super talented Valori Wells from Sisters, Oregon. I first started following Valori’s work when she was writing books, then I discovered her amazing photography and her fabrics. Valori is also co-owner of The Stitchin Post Quilt shop, a place I must visit some day! Her approach to her work is amazing, I’d love to hang out with her for a week! When I interviewed Valori on 2/23/15 and 9/13/11 we chat about her designing, both great shows to get to know her better, and you will love her latest book, so be sure to pick that up. .. You can listen RIGHT at your computer to my podcast
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 Valori!
When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
I was born into quilting. My mom is a quilter and opened her quilt shop in 1975. I was 2 years old. I spent a lot of time in mom’s studio, which at the time we called the “dungeon”. Mom would put me in summer sewing camps when I was a kid but I didn’t really show any interest in quilting until I was in my last year of college. It was amazing to me how much I picked up over the years of just being around mom and around the shop. After attending Pacific Northwest College of Art for photography I moved to North Carolina. (following a boy of course…)
While I was in NC I ended up working at a quilt shop and getting my first fabric gig with Springs Industries Quilters Only line.
Mom and I had been working on a book, Through The Garden Gate, over the summer and I had decided to make a quilt for the book. To me, Memories of My Mother’s Garden, was my first quilt, from start to finish it was my own design. My mom cried when she opened the box and saw what I had made for the book. I shortly moved back to Oregon after that.
When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?
I don’t get to attend very many shows but I am a part of the largest outdoor quilt show in the world, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. My mom started this quilt show as a “show and tell” event with quilts hung outside the buildings of our little western town, in 1975.
It has always maintained that anyone can enter a quilt, there is no completion and every one gets a ribbon. With that being said I love all quilts because the show I see every year is designed for every quilter. Of course I am drawn to unique design and color play…
Did you have a career prior to making art?
I studied photography in college and I still use it in my work now. The one thing I don’t do anymore is work in my darkroom. (see Valori’s photos)
What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
Open Door…. Located just behind the shop.
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
My studio is above our two car garage and attached to the house, with vaulted ceilings and sky lights it is rare for me to use lights during the day.
My husband built me shelves out of “stair” wood for me to store books and fabric and yarn and such! I have a large table in the room that has a ton of storage and a wonderful plopping ground! It is great for all of the projects I tend to have going on at once.
My drawing table sits under the windows that overlook my garden and the canyon. Originally (13 years ago) when I was building this space I was going to have a darkroom, now my darkroom stores fabric, ink, screens, etc.
It is great for all the fabric bolts that I have… I still have a space to sew and to work on the computer….
Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip?
My best is this guy… he helps me clean and keeps me organized… HAHA! I am not very organized.
The shelves that my husband built me are a perfect for fabric storage and it is so easy because the wood is already cut the width of a stair.
What are your favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
Embroidery floss, and 50 wt.
Anything else you’d like to share?
September 25th is the release of my new fabric collection, Mystic. Mystic was inspired by a recent trip to Marrakech, Morocco.
What about your Month Inspired your mini Quilt?
I love indigo…. I love Kantha stitching…. I was pretty stumped on what to make for my mini quilt. I haven’t made very many and it was important that it was still me even though it was out of my comfort zone. After spring Quilt Market I had attained some great fabric swatches from the Robert Kaufman booth more apparel type fabric that just spoke to me.
The more I eyed and touched the fabric the more I wanted to use it. Months later… no idea for my mini and my new fabric collection, Mystic, arrived in the studio and I had to start working on new quilts.
I found myself drawn back to my trip to Morocco. This inspired me to take the little stack of fabric and add some indigo and Kantha stitching.
I used freeform piecing technique and a traditional log cabin block to create this funky little piece. I am totally in love with it!!!
And a few on the light side.
The Book you are currently reading – Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins (for the third time)
Favorite TV show – something that my kids can’t watch – HAHA…. I don’t really have one.
Are you a Dog or Cat person? Kitty for sure but I love our dog he is pretty amazing.
The snack you crave – cheese crackers of some sort…. If I am on a roll they will be homemade Cheese Its otherwise… something similar to it.
The Color you have always LOVED….. Turquoise (see her post here)
Visit Valori –
www.valoriwells.com/blog (my blog)
www.stitchinpostinsisters.typepad.com (Stitchin’ Post Blog)
Over at my page where I share how I made my simplified version.. And see my blocks 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!
*************************** JOIN our Aurifil Family ****************************
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 Podunk Pretties! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Also see her single block up close at our Flicker group HERE