Since opening a quilt store in 1985, Sharon Hultgren has gone on to teach around the world, write quilt books, produce quilting videos and develop quilting tools. Inner Circle, Sharon's quilt using her newest ruler, the Easy Circle Cut, appears in QM's All Time Favorites–Winter '06. If this special issue is no longer available in quilt shops near you, order a back issue online at VillageQuiltShoppe.com. Read more about this talented quilter in this interview from Quiltmaker magazine.
How did you decide to make working with quilts a career?
When I first opened my quilt shop, we were drafting patterns and cutting with scissors. When the rotary cutter was introduced to the quilting market, we started making quilts faster and women were back behind their sewing machines FOR FUN! At this time I started developing quilting tools. EZ Quilting by Wrights, produced and distributed them. I developed the Easy Angle™ in 1989, and I now have 13 different rulers on the market. I wanted to design, teach and write!
What led you in that direction?
I have been sewing since I was a little girl. I once tried to make some shorts for my little sister without a pattern and they ended up fitting my doll!
What inspires your work?
Some of my inspiration comes from a new tool or new fabric. I love the color of our fabrics, and I enjoy having different shapes come together to create a pattern.
How do new ideas come to you in quiltmaking?
First I go to the computer. That saves so much time. After I get a design planned, I work with the fabric. New fabric is always so exciting. I have jumped out of my traditional box and love the new bright colors. I remember when we used a solid, a print and then a tone-on-tone to make a quilt. Now, a true solid looks very lonely when mixed with other prints.
If you could offer one piece of advice for quiltmakers today, what would it be?
"Life is a journey, perfection comes at the end! So get sewing!" I say this often when teaching a class and someone can't get a stitch just where she wants it.
Sharon Hultgren's Inner Circle quilt pattern appears in the special Winter 2006 edition of Quiltmaker's All-Time Favorites magazine.