Introducing a New Editor: Paula Stoddard

Quiltmaker is pleased to introduce its newest staff member, Paula Stoddard.

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QM's newest Associate Editor, 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.

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Paula's quilt pattern on a Connecting Threads cover

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.

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Paula's children some years back

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Paula's kids more recently

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.

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Paula's stash of embroidery floss in various fibers

Here’s my block from Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. I used cottons but it could easily be interpreted with wool applique.

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Paula's block, "Flowers for Ewe," from QM's 100 Blocks Volume 2

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!

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"Seasons" is a free pattern at Pacific Patchwork

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.

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"Love is..." is a free pattern at Pacific Patchwork.

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?

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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.

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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.

About Diane Harris

I'm Interactive Editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I've been writing pattern instructions and product reviews, and doing a host of other tasks necessary to help produce a national pattern magazine. Now I work remotely from rural Nebraska to generate some of our online content. I manage the QM Scrap Squad, our blog tours and our Quilt-Alongs. I have one of the best jobs in the world.
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