It felt like a natural progression for me. I wanted to use fabrics in my quilts that didn’t really exist, so I designed them. Plus, I use code to design a lot of my quilts and patterns, and that code lends itself well to designing repeats. So I used it for a few of the prints in True Love (e.g Wound Up, Pony Boy, Mathcore) while drawing and painting to make others (e.g. Flash, Venom, Dark Matter). Fabric design is a new and fun challenge.
Do you have a favourite local quilt shop, and do they treat you like a celebrity when you go there?
My favourite local quilt shop is The Workroom. I remember when it first opened and I was so excited about the space. That’s where I first learned to quilt – I took one class taught by Johanna Masko and I was hooked! Karyn, the owner, is so talented and has great taste when selecting fabrics for the shop. They don’t treat me like a celebrity – more like a regular – and I’m good with that.
How did you get into sewing?
I remember watching my mom sew us clothes and costumes. She taught me how to hand sew when I was quite young and I’d make all kinds of Barbie outfits. I really learned my way around a machine in Grade 10 sewing class. That was the best class I took in highschool. (Typing was a close second.)
What do you find most rewarding about the work you do?
I love exposing people to my work who normally wouldn’t think much, if at all, about quilts or quilting. To make people aware that it’s a craft that’s alive and well, that’s valuable and still relevant in the 21st century, that it’s an art form that requires skill and consideration.
It’s also rewarding to teach other quilters new skills and share my patterns with them. To see how each person makes one of my patterns into their own, and how they interpret them…and the fact that people want to make my patterns at all…it’s incredibly humbling.
Do you ever get creative blocks? What do you do to get out of those funks?
I do get creative blocks. I lose motivation to sew and sometimes it can happen at unexpected times. If I’m not on a deadline, then I just wait it out until I feel ready again. If I AM on a deadline, I try to set goals for myself. I’ll take time to get fresh air and clear my head. I’ll try to make/sew/create during the hours I know I do my best work.
Who is/was your role model and why?
My grandfather was a role model for me. He built steam engines, was great with math and engineering. I loved watching him work in his workshop, making things with his bare hands. Most importantly, he treated everyone he met equally and with kindness. He was a real fixture in our community. Unfortunately, he passed away when I was only 13 but the impact his life (and death) had on me was immense. So, these are the things I now try to bring to the quilting community – encouragement and positivity. Being open to new people and ideas. I don’t always feel like I ‘fit’, but I do try to make a positive contribution. That’s basically how I go about life in general.