The short version:
Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m never short on words (height –yes) but I will try:
· I’m Fabric Quilt Girl
· I’m from New Jersey but I’ve lived in 5 states.
· I love to: Sew, Travel, Read and hang with friends.
The long version:
I’ve been sewing since my early teens. I started with clothes (which you couldn’t pay me to do now). In college, I moved onto custom curtains, drapes, etc. Then in the late 90’s, my grandmother talked me into giving machine quilting a try. I loved it. After my first quilt, I was hooked! I’m not sure if it was all the fun in going to the fabric store or seeing my friends and family's faces when they open the bag to find the perfect quilt.
I grew up in South New Jersey. I lived in NJ until my mid-twenties, mostly the suburbs close to Philadelphia but I spent my early twenties at the shore (south –not that crazy shore stuff you see on TV).
In the mid-90s, I moved to Connecticut, I lived near Mystic and loved it. I was about 2 ½ blocks from the shoreline. When I wasn’t working, at the beach, I’d spend time traveling the fabric stores throughout New England with new friends that I found and shared the same love of fabric. At this point I was still very much into draperies, slip covers, duvet covers and pillows. However, while we were touring the New England shops, I started falling in love with quilts I was finding, and at that point started collecting older quilts.
After about 3 years, I moved to eastern Pennsylvania, about 30 miles east of Philadelphia. It was then that my Grandmother mentioned that there was this new trend in quilting called machine quilting and they had these “pizza cutters” that eliminated the template cutting (which was always my detractor from getting quilting). I took my first class, and found my world just exploding. I was able to create what I considered art, with fabric.
After about 1 year, my employer moved me to Boston, Massachusetts. It was a major project and took me away from friends, family and my new love of quilting. I knew I needed to make a change. Luckily after a year in Boston, my employer allowed me to move back to PA. It was then that I married my husband who I met during my first move to PA, So just after 911, my husband (a former marine) and I got married just outside Washington DC.
We set up shop in PA, and just I was getting settled and finding quilt shops in the area, getting involved in classes… You guessed it, my job transferred me to Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago was great!!! It was there I got the "true" quilting bug ... the Chicagoland quilt shops are awesome! All the job transfers has taught me that I could find new friends by seeking out quilt shops. I found three quilt shops that I loved and went there all the time, taking classes, joining clubs, I couldn’t get enough. After three years there, the job called again and wanted to move me back to PA. We had mixed emotions as we wanted to get back closer to family, but Steve’s bowling hobby and my quilting hobby had flourished.
Believe it or not, we ended up staying in PA for over 5 years. While in PA, I found excellent shops, but not many of them ran the clubs I was used to back in Chicago. I approached several shop owners and they told me that women would not want to come out on Friday nights to sew. That is all it took, I know it could be done, and if no one else was going to do it, I would. Therefore, in 2007, I organized a Friday Night (Fun) Quilt Club in Pottstown, PA. I contracted hotel conference space once a month. Figured out if I could get 8 women to split the $106 charge, we could make it work. I reached out to several of the ladies I had spent time in classes with and I got my 8 members.
Within a year, I had over 20 members, double the conference space and double the days. In addition to the monthly meets, I created a Fun Quilt Club blog to allow everyone to keep in touch during the month. We’d exchange ideas, challenge each other, brought in instructors, and took turns instructing. I love my quilting peeps. We continue to get together once a month.
In 2011, the job market forced my husband and I to move to NJ, so I could take a job in Manhattan. While in NJ, I would make it over to PA about once every two months. Since that wasn’t enough quilting for me, I decided to take on some new adventures in NJ:
· I created my own blog, Sew On the Go (since I’m always on the move).
· I decided I wanted to teach a few classes, so I reached out to the shop owner, Jan Crane, at Pennington Quilt Works, in Pennington, NJ. Jan was extremely supportive, along with Arlene the Store Manager.
· After renting a long arm at Olde City Quilts for over 2 years, I purchased my own Gammill to machine quilt my own quilts.
· At first, I took on the Saturday Stash Club @ PCW, finding patterns that used fat quarters, jelly rolls, etc. After about 6 months, I got my quilting instructor legs and asked Jan if I could start teaching more classes; I wanted to take much loved patterns and show people how to do it easier using my much beloved Deb Tucker Rulers.
· In the beginning, I took popular patterns and figured out how to make them with Deb Tucker’s tools. My first class was the Swoon Pattern and after my first class, I had people on the waiting list for my next class. The class attendees told friends how great it was and again I was hooked.
· I did a few other patterns/classes with similar success and then when the DT Lemoyne Star ruler came out, I really got my confidence. I wanted to make my own patterns. I started off making the “Constellations Quilt“ on the ruler packaging and couldn’t stop. I ended up with a Galaxy. Since making that quilt, I have taught/sold out several Lemoyne Star classes to date, and every two months I repeat that class.
· I’ve had similar success with my other patterns/classes; Holiday Hunter Star (Large Hunter Star), Victorian Hunter Star (Petite Hunter Star), Blooming V (using the V Block) and a cute Fly Me Away Tablerunner (Fly Geese). I’m currently working on a quilt using the LeMoyne Star and Spot Light Ruler.
A few months back, I got an offer to take an awesome position in Stamford, CT. I couldn’t turn it down. Again I was torn; I had established myself at Pennington Quilt Works, teaching... However, after going back and forth between NJ and CT, I realized that the distance wasn’t too great.
It has been tough with the transition, but things are finally getting settled.
Long and short of it; I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, however I’m very excited to see what lies ahead. I'm hoping to join you for the adventure.