Quilt Design Star 2011 Finalist - Norma Sue Evers
How long I've been quilting… My first quilt was finished in 2003; it had been in progress for about 2 years. It was a special project and I never expected to make another one. Following that one, my sister sent me a chain letter for purple charm swap and I felt obligated to honor it. After that I was hooked. I’ve been making quilts pretty regularly since 2005. Total, I guess, about 10 years.
I began quilting because… In 2000 I saw a quilt that had been made by my great grandmother. It was redwork done in hand embroidery of her and my great grandfather’s names and the full names and birthdates of their eighteen children. The 20 block quilt was sashed in solid reds from several different fabrics, each of which faded differently. In spite of the flaws, I thought it was wonderful and I decided since I couldn’t have the quilt, I would do the next best thing and pick up where she left off with my grandfather and his descendants. That Family Names quilt was the first one I made, finished in 2003 and was a wedding gift to my daughter.
I learned to quilt… My mother sewed all of the clothing for my three older sisters and me. Although I never was drawn to it, I did make a shirt in the fourth grade. Because of that experience, that first names quilt I made had 5/8” seams pressed open! The ladies who hand quilted it for me quickly informed me of my felonies and misdemeanors. After that, when I was looking for ideas to make that purple charm quilt, I started surfing the Internet for instructions and stumbled onto Bonnie Hunter’s website, which not only has some neat ideas, but also details for techniques. I learn something new every time I make a quilt.
My quilting style is… Traditional. I love old quilts. I like blocks that stand out with an element of contrast and I like quilts with an all over pattern that moves.
Person who inspired me… My mom didn’t make quilts but her sewing was perfection. She believed there was a right way to do things and she worked at it. I often think of her when I’m tempted to just leave that little error. Then I rip it out and do it over.
My imagination is sparked by… I take and read several quilting magazines and I attend a number of quilt shows each year. Many of the ideas I get are “but why did they do that when it would have been so much more fun to …”. I spend a lot of my recliner-sitting time with a pencil, a pad of graph paper, and a calculator in front of me, just doodling ideas. I also have two really good friends who quilt and sew with me and they are forever coming up with ideas for projects for us to make together.
My favorite techniques… Strip rotary cutting and string piecing are great innovations in quilting. I love a great mitered corner where the pattern meets to perfection. I love tube piecing with its endless variety. I love innovating creative piecing techniques. Not among my favorites are appliqué and paper piecing.
Colors or fabrics I'm attracted to... I seem to always end up with earth tones and true colors. Not so much with pink or purple fabrics. There probably aren’t more than four pastel pieces in my entire stash. I like the softer but tighter cotton fabrics.
My fabric stash... I have more fabric than would make sense to a reasonable person, probably between 150 and 200 yards. Besides the good quilting fabric, I own several bolts of cheaper fabric which I can merrily use to try out an idea without dreading the waste of a good piece of fabric. My stash is very mixed. I usually buy fabrics in 3 or 6 yard cuts. I have a few dozen fat quarters, and leftover pieces in lots of sizes plus bags of strips of various widths and boxes of leftover half-square triangle blocks. A piece of fabric has to be really small for me to throw it away.
My quilting community… There are two quilt clubs in Carthage and I belong to both of them, as most members do. Panola Squares meets second Thursday mornings and the Busy Quilter Guild meets third Thursday evenings. The morning club is a little more formal in meeting style but both clubs have similar program styles. Programs usually run about an hour and are typically presentations of a particular pattern or technique.
In addition, a small group of friends and I have formed a sort of quilting Bee that meets every Monday evening to hand quilt one or the other of our quilts. We call ourselves “Women in Stitches” because of the fun we have.
My additional hobbies/interests… I like to play golf, but “hacker” doesn’t begin to describe it. I garden, can and pickle when the tomatoes and cucumbers are in season. And my husband and I like to build things. Among our successes are a lake house, a garage and shop, and my quilt room where my friends and I hand quilt. I laid all of the bricks on the outer walls of that room… he mixed the masonry and delivered the bricks.
I entered Quilt Design Star™ 2011 because... I was excited about the Tube Pieced Compass Blocks. The entire pattern is my original work. The technique is so easy and fun and I thought the result looked great. When I saw the ad in McCall’s Quilting it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Links... I co-chair our local annual quilt show, the Piney Woods Quilt Festival. We are in our ninth year. It is an open show and we award nice prizes. I do not have a personal or business page, no blog, no facebook.
What you should know about me… My friends would be quick to tell you that I like math. I’m a retired chemistry and physics teacher and still enjoy a challenge.
Tube Pieced Compass Blocks (below) is Susie's Quilt Design Star™ 2011 entry quilt.
Box of Chocolates (below) is Susie's Quilt Design Star™ 2011 Challenge 1 quilt.
At The Fairgrounds (below) is Susie's Quilt Design Star™ 2011 Challenge 2 quilt.
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