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We caught up with Alison from Cluck Cluck Sew last week and here is what she had to say.
How did you end up becoming a quilter and how did you learn to quilt?
I started quilting June of '08 when I saw the cover of a magazine featuring a quilt made with Katie Jump Rope fabrics by Denyse Schmidt and HAD to have it. My mom has always been a quilter and helped me make my first quilt, and after that I was hooked. I did a lot of research online about techniques and free motion quilting, and later that summer I did free motion quilting for the first time. I never ever though I would be a quilter, honestly I thought it was only for Grandma's...but I'm so thankful that I had the desire and help to give it a go.
Tell us a little bit about your creative workspace?
I am lucky enough to have a seperate room in my home that I have deemed the "sewing room". We just moved a few months ago, so I have finally finished organizing fabric and getting everything put in its place. I can't stand sewing when my space is messy or disorganized, so I have a lot of shelves in there where I can hide my mess and pretend its not there. I used to lay my quilt blocks out on the floor, but after having sore knees all the time I decided to make a design wall. Nothing fancy...just a piece of white flannel tacked to the wall.
Out of all the quilts you have made, which is your favourite?
My favorite quilt by a long shot is the quilt on my son Ben's bed. I think i called it Ben's quilt (naming quilts is not my talent!) and its colorful, happy, and I still can't believe how all those fabrics I used came together so nicely. It makes me happier every time I see it, which means its doing its job!
How many quilts have you made? Who do you make quilts for? Do you store quilts at home or are they all in use?
Your making me think! I have made about 55 or so quilts now, some small, some big and one or two art quilts for the walls. I really don't ever have a person in mind when making quilts unless I'm wanting a new quilt for my home, so I make them and hope that someone will have a baby or sell them on etsy.
I store most of my quilts at home in a large buffet with open doors so they can peek through and I can stare at them all day. I have a few in use around my house, 3 in my living room and four or five in the bedrooms on the guest bed and in the boys room. I think that quilts should be used and loved, so I rotate quilts quite often so they all have a chance to be loved. You wouldn't believe how many times I've opened up my quilt cupboard and found a quilt I'd forgot about completely!
Which sewing machine do you use?
I mostly use a Bernina 1008. Its a manual machine and some serious gusto. Older Bernina's are my favorite, my Mom has a Bernina 810 that is 25 years old and it is my very favorite to free motion quilt on. I will save my quilt tops until my next visit home just so I can use it. Right now I'm using a PFAFF triptronic also. It does a fabulous job of patchwork, but a lousy job at free motion quilting.
Who inspires you?
Who inspires you?
Where do I start??!! I get inspired a lot by other bloggers, as well as my blog readers that motivate me everyday. Above all though, my own Mom inspires me and is my biggest fan. She raised her children and took the time to nurture us, but also was a great example of the importance of taking time for yourself too.
Do you work from craft books (which ones), online tutorials, bought patterns etc.?
I only own a few craft books and I have only ever purchased 2 patterns, probably because I can't follow a pattern to save my life! I enjoy the process of seeing a quilt or thinking of a design and figuring it out myself. I've always found that the math side of quilt designing comes easily, so I've never found it too challenging to figure them out myself. I do use online tutorials if its something I love, and its always nice when the math is already done for me and I can just cut and sew! I tear a lot of pictures out of catalogs and magazines for inspiration, and if I see a quilt I love I will snap a picture of it and file it away for future use.
What other creative pursuits interest you?I enjoy gardening, photography, I enjoy scrapbooking (but now I'm so far behind its stressing me out), and some cooking. This year I would like to try fabric dying and bleaching...but with two little boys running around it sounds like a mess just waiting to happen! I would also like to get better at sewing clothing, but again...patterns and me are not friends.
Thanks Alison for taking some time out to chat with us, you can see more of Alison's wonderful work at www.cluckclucksew.com