Quiltmaker is pleased to introduce its newest staff member, Paula Stoddard.
We discovered Paula at a local quilt guild meeting and quickly determined she’d be a good fit for QM. Paula is one of our Associate Editors. I asked her a few questions recently.
Please tell us about your background in sewing, quilting and creativity:
I started quilting when I was pregnant with my youngest child, about 17 years ago. I took a few classes and quickly discovered that I liked making traditional quilts. Eventually I started tweaking patterns to fit my style.
I went to work for the Connecting Threads retail store, which led to longarm quilting, then designing. I started designing for real, and settled in with publishing quilt patterns and books for my own company, Pacific Patchwork. It was the perfect job for me while I was raising my family.
What are some of your favorite fibers?
I’ve tried lots of different fibers – beads, bling, painting, etc., but I keep coming back to cottons, flannels and wool. I like adding buttons and beads to my quilts, but making artsy quilts is just not my thing—although I love looking at them. I just like warm and cozy quilts you can put on beds and snuggle under. I am addicted to embroidery floss.
Here’s my block from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. I used cottons but it could easily be interpreted with wool applique.
How did your love affair with wool begin?
I had a friend who designed with wool and I fell in love with it. She is a big believer in all wool quilts—appliqueing wool on wool. But I found out that those quilts are really heavy and really expensive to make!
So I started playing around with wool applique on flannel and cotton, and found I just love it.
The whimsy and fun that wool can add to a quilt is awesome. Wool colors and textures are just yummy, and I find a way to add wool to most of my quilts.
Describe your design process:
Sometimes I see something that sparks my interest—a picture, a tile floor, an interesting shape or image in a magazine, and I start doodling on the computer—I can’t draw with a pencil at all! But, the start of most of my quilts comes from a quilt block that I find that I want to play with.
It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but my favorite bedtime reading material is block books. I think I have every block book that was ever written and they are all in a pile by my bed. I fall asleep thinking about blocks, how I can tweak them, turn them, stretch them, and add something with them to make a quilt. Often by the time I wake up in the morning I have an idea that I can start playing with.
What was the best idea you ever had?
Probably my “Here a Sheep, There a Sheep” quilt. It’s my best seller by far, and I still get emails and comments about it at quilt shows. And it’s my favorite quilt too. It started my whole “sheep thing.”
Any thoughts about going to work for Quiltmaker?
I am really excited to work for Quiltmaker. It’s like a dream job. I love the people that I work with, and the projects that we are working on, but most of all I love learning something new every day. I feel really lucky.
I understand you have some pets you’re really crazy about.
Yes I do! I have two Boston terriers. Oreo is 11 and he is the grumpy grandpa. Sami is 3 and he wants nothing more than to play with the grumpy grandpa.
I’m totally gaga over them. They are great snugglers and are happiest when they are each laying on either side of me under a quilt. They are so cute I can hardly stand it and I LOVE THEM.