Quiltmaker’s May/June issue is winging its way to subscribers and newsstands now.
On the cover is Sheep Shape designed by Deonn Stott and made in fabrics from Riley Blake Designs. This quilt is rated “easy”, and in a post later this week, I’ll show you why.
Today I’m pleased to introduce Deonn and share some of her experiences and insights, in her own words.
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I come from a legacy of quilters and makers. I was raised on a little farm in southeast Idaho, the oldest of 11 children. My sisters and I spent a lot of time in the sewing room with our Mom – making 4-H projects, clothes and Christmas gifts. If I wanted new clothes I made them.
My grandmother always “had a quilt on” as they say. My great-grandmother was known as the town quilter, and everyone in Star Valley, Wyoming, would bring her their scraps and she’d stitch them into quilts for charity. She did this for over 50 years and I still remember little piles of squares out on the back porch where she’d sit and sew, with a pot-belly coal stove for heat.
As a young mom, I loved making my kids’ clothes, especially three little outfits for my triplet daughters, usually the same outfit in three different colors – until they told me not to.
Eventually we joined 4-H and they all learned to sew for themselves. Two of the girls really struggled in school, but I found that in the sewing room and in the kitchen, everyone was on equal ground. Consequently, we spent a lot of time in the sewing room as everyone could achieve the same level of success.
Around that time, my mother passed away. My sisters and I discovered a bag in my Mom’s sewing room that contained several Log Cabin quilt blocks along with the strips and fabrics to make a queen-size quilt. I brought the bag home and as I sewed more blocks and made the quilt, there was healing with every stitch.
What would have been Mom’s first pieced quilt became my first pieced quilt. I finished it and gave it to my Dad for Christmas. I was hooked.
I wanted to try it all, and make it all! (Still do – that may be the reason for the 87 or so UFOs in my closet…) I made five large bed quilts that first year. (Editor’s note: One of those happened to be a QM pattern, America the Beautiful, above.)
My friend Debbie, the county 4-H extension agent, asked me to teach 4-H sewing camp for kids and later a quilt camp. I began looking for the simplest ways to teach my own daughters, 4-H kids and adults. It’s become my mission to explore the best techniques, tricks and tools that will help anyone achieve success. “If there’s a simpler way, let’s find it!” That’s my mantra.
My girls have each become accomplished quiltmakers themselves, with a collection of quilts for their beds, laps, walls, and a nice collection of ribbons and prizes.
A few years back, the girls and I put together a Carpenter’s Star quilt for their dad. Each of us sewed together a quarter of the quilt, and we had it finished in a day and a half. (Get the pattern for Carpenter’s Star.)
I do some contract work for Riley Blake Designs, and write regular quilting and sewing tutorials at Cutting Corners on their website. When Lori Holt came out with a series of ruler/templates, Riley Blake gave me an assignment to come up with some fun projects using the new ruler sets.
About that time, Diane had written a blog post called “Hexagon Roundup” on Quilty Pleasures, and that eventually led to my “hexigami” techniques.
I considered using them as embellishments like flowers in a meadow, and the sheep just had to go into the meadow! I tried other shapes – a bear, a turtle, a pig…but nothing else really worked, because the hexagons give that fluffy look that only works for a sheep!
I brought the quilt top to International Quilt Market as an example of how to use dimensional hexagons. That’s where Quiltmaker came in!
To be continued.
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Part 2 of Meet Deonn Stott later this week on Quilty Pleasures!
Giveaway (open to anyone, anywhere)! We have fat quarters from Riley Blake Designs and a Hexie Half ruler/template, too—so you can have your own sewing/quilting/design adventure. And we’ll include the May/June issue of Quiltmaker! Deonn is also including a CD from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—more on that later this week. For a chance to win, please leave a comment here before midnight Friday, April 4. We’ll choose a winner randomly and announce it next week.
But wait! There’s more!
Deonn is also having a giveaway on Quiltscapes! Head on over there and show her some Quiltmaker love, okay?