Monday, August 27, 2012

Member Spotlight: Robin

I'm happy to announce that Member Spotlight will be a new segment on our blog! I gathered interested email addresses at our August meeting and sent out a list of several questions to be answered (if you are interested and didn't receive an email, feel free to email me at and I'll send you the easy instructions :) ). I'll be posting about one a week - so far I have enough to fill September!

Robin was the first to answer! She is our secretary, and was also the host of our last Sewcial get together in July.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I learned embroidering when I was a Brownie (a la Girl Scouts) by my grandmother and great grandmother. This turned to sewing of all kinds of sewing although "craft" and "bag" sewing are my absolute least favorite types. I enjoy bonsai, cooking (baking too), hiking (Western US), and traveling. I trained with a few chefs and had a catering business when I was a wee bit younger. With each of my hobbies, I take information and use it in another hobby. Bonsai training is a big influence in how I design with fabric. I love dressing tables with table runners, small quilt tops, etc. It appears that I figure out a way to add fabric to my other hobbies!
Robin's take on improv piecing

How long have you been a quilter, and why did you start?

I have been quilting since 2007. I went into a quilting store in Oregon with my friend and fell in love with Kaffe Fassett's stripes that were used in a quilt on display. I bought fabric and then had to learn how to make a quilt!

Which of the quilts you have made is your all-time favorite? Tell us why and what it means to you.

My all time favorite so far is one that is getting to the final stages … it is a quilt using Japanese woven fabrics (taupes and creams) and printed fabrics. I hand pieced the dresden plates and machine pieced the background that the plates were hand appliquéd. I used the Japanese kurumi buttons in the centers of the plates since I saw them in Tokyo at the Quilt Show. I love the old fashioned pattern with unorthodox fabrics (non-American ones). I have machine quilted in the ditch and have to finish with hand quilting because of the "buttons" since they will get in the way of the foot on my machine. The quilt is for my younger son who appreciates what I make. He went to the Tokyo Quilt Show with me and took photos since he knew how to use my camera. This quilt is a combination of my hand and machine work so it blends my love of low and high technology in sewing as well as a special quilt for my son.
How would you describe your style?
I like to make things that have my spin on them. When I make a pattern, I vary rarely make it as it is written and purchase them for ideas (diving board) instead of following directions. My favorite fabrics are taupe and clear (creams). They are pleasing and soft. I tend to be monochromatic or sharp contrast when choosing colors. I love silk thread and use it or silk fabric wherever I can. I also love linen fabric. My garment sewing background influences me in quilting.
Quilt made for Robin's son

What else do you enjoy sewing, besides quilts?
I enjoy sewing garments, home dec, tailoring, and heirloom sewing by machine, and hand needle turn appliqué, embroidery and ribbon/beaded embroidery.
Quilt for Robin's grandson - she reproduced a digital image of him, as you can see on the back!

 'Fess up. How many WIPs (works in progress) do you have right now?

I actually have a spreadsheet since I purchased my first BERNINA and started quilting …. on the spreadsheet there are over 2 dozen in various stages … some just require binding! I have completed over 122 projects since 2007. (The reason for "over" is that sometimes I listed more than 1 item on a finished line.)

A modern quilt
What project are you working on right now?

It would be great if I were only working on one! They would be completed more methodically. I am actually working on finishing binding on 3 quilts that are quilted, binding and then hand quilting another, and finishing 5 other ones. I set some ridiculous goal of finishing off a dozen quilts by the end of the year! I rotate them so I don't get bored and then they will be done.

Thanks so much, Robin! I love your takes on both traditional and modern quilting. I can't wait to see that dresden quilt finished at one of our future meetings :)
Tune in later this week for some Flickr inspiration!
-Jess H.