We’ve been chatting with Deonn Stott, designer of the cover quilt Sheep Shape from Quiltmaker’s May/June issue, on its way to subscribers and newsstands now.
I asked Deonn if she’d used her dimensional hexagon techniques (she calls it hexagami) in other quilts. She sent me a photo of Hexagarden (below) and said she’d be teaching it as a class at HMQS in May. I’ll let Deonn tell the rest of her story below.
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From time to time, a line of fabric or product or gadget needs a little promotion, and Riley Blake invites me to come up with something to highlight in a blog post or class.
It’s how my series of Snippets (simple projects and gift ideas) evolved, which I taught at Riley Blake’s Fabric Fest in Las Vegas last fall.
I spend time working on my own blog, learning new things every day. It’s loaded with more free tips, tricks, tutorials and small projects. I enjoy participating in blog hops and link parties, and have made some terrific friends around the world that I may never get to meet in person.
Editor’s Note: I first met Deonn several years ago at an AccuQuilt event. I asked her to tell the AccuQuilt story.
One year for Christmas, my husband drove all over the city to find a copy of Electric Quilt design software. I was so surprised! AccuQuilt had just announced their 2nd Barn Quilt Design Contest. I had never seen a barn quilt, but I noticed from pictures that they were usually symbolic of that family or farm, simple lines, bold, clear colors.
I had been thinking about making a quilt for my son, who was halfway through his tour of duty serving in Afghanistan with his combat engineer unit, sweeping for mines. (Talk about Momma Trauma.)
I used that idea and my EQ design software for a block I called “A Soldier’s Star” and submitted the design. It placed second in the contest! The prize? A shopping spree at AccuQuilt. I bought my Go! Cutter with the proceeds.
The winning block design would be made into a 17-foot billboard for the AccuQuilt headquarters in Fremont, Nebraska. There was to be a big Barn Quilt revealing party, complete with Eleanor Burns and a three-day AccuQuilt Go! retreat.
Then I discovered that the second place design would get a 6-foot billboard! I wished I could go, but my husband was out of work at the time. My friend Debbie said, “They’re putting your design on their building! Get in the car, we’re going to Nebraska!” So we drove 14 hours to Fremont, Nebraska.
My son returned home safely from his tour, thank heaven. I did eventually make A Soldier’s Star into a quilt and gave it to my son. He loved the yellow “explosions” of color in the block. (Then I borrowed it back to enter in the AccuQuilt AQS Quilt Week Go! contest, where it placed second in Piecing, and has been traveling to AQS Quilt Week events for the past year.)
I asked Deonn to tell me about one more important part of her life.
I love to sing – my mother taught me to sing harmony when I was six – and I moved to Salt Lake City after college to someday join the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Then I got married, and four years later, we had four children that needed my attention!
But…before it was too late, I finally went through the rigorous audition process and training. You can be in the choir for up to 20 years or until age 60, whichever comes first.
I still can’t believe I get to sing with this organization. It’s an incredible experience each week as we prepare and broadcast (Music & the Spoken Word) as they’ve done since 1929. And thanks to technology, I can upload and rehearse each week’s music at home…while I’m working on my longarm!
Quilting has been a way of connecting the generations together in our family; a “common thread”. So often I can picture my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother peeking over my shoulder – they would have loved using a rotary cutter – the longarm, all the cool tools and gadgets that simplify the process!
I think there’s an inherent desire in all women to create something beautiful. And I think we quiltmakers infuse a part of ourselves into our quilts – we stitch our lives into the cloth – then it becomes something more than just a blanket or something pretty to look at. When you give a quilt away, you get so much more back in return. And whether you are just starting your quilting journey or continuing a tradition, a quilt is full of emotions and memories. A quilt is a warm hug full of love.