Quilt Design Star 2011 Finalist - Rebecca McCreary
I've been quilting since… As a teenager I helped my Mom make utility quilts from scraps. We made many of our own clothes and always had lots of left-over fabrics. I have always sewn and been interested in quilts, but really began to develop my art about 11 years ago.
I began quilting because… I love examining old patterns and blocks to figure out how they were put together. I tried to quilt off-and-on when I was younger but didn’t have the patience. After talking about wanting to quilt, a friend bought me a mat and cutter for my 40th birthday. I then made my first full-sized quilt. Shortly thereafter my husband bought me a really nice sewing machine. The rest is history.
I learned to quilt… I am pretty much self-taught. I read lots of how-to books and my mom and friends are always good for advice and an opinion.
My quilting style is… My catch phrase is “Old fashioned quilts made new-fangled ways”. More than creative, I strive to be innovative. My quilts may look old fashioned, the blocks may seem familiar, but every design employs a fresh idea or new time-saving technique.
I love the geometry of quilts. The other day, I showed a new design to the ladies in my quilting group. They were teasing me because there were algebraic equations written all over the paper. They refer to me as the mathematician in the group.
So in short, I guess my style is geometric and innovative.
A person who inspired me… One big inspiration is my mom. She still quilts by hand and makes beautiful quilts. She is always willing to help me out, either by whipping down a binding or giving a suggestion. She also inspires me because she truly believes I can do anything I set my mind to. I feel blessed to have her.
And I would be remiss to not mention my husband. His love and support is priceless.
My imagination is sparked by… Inspiration comes from everywhere. My tumbling block pattern came about because I was on an airplane and my family, sitting on either side of me, (why does Mom always get the middle seat?) were otherwise engaged. So I started doodling the fabric pattern on the seat in front of me. By the time we landed, the Y-not tumbling blocks technique was born.
Last Thanksgiving we were strolling through Shakespeare’s Garden in Central Park in New York and suddenly I stopped and stared. My husband knew enough to just stand there and not say a word. As I started to walk again he said, “quilt block?” How many other people walk past that fence in Shakespeare’s Garden and see a quilt block?
For a while I was having insomnia. To get to sleep I would picture a shape in my mind, maybe a triangle or diamond, and start to build on the theme. I would clear my mind of everything else except that shape and other shapes would begin to accompany it. Sometimes I would doze off. Sometimes I would come up with an awesome new design. Either outcome was a winner.
My favorite techniques… I have developed several techniques for making my designs; Pivot on the Rivet, Super Simple Circles, Nova blocks and Y-not blocks, to name a few. I would love an opportunity to share my blocks and techniques with McCall's readers.
Colors or fabrics I'm attracted to... In particular, I like bright colors and high contrast. When I made my tumbling block quilt I had to purchase light colored fabrics because there weren’t enough in my stash. I just about had to force myself to buy fabrics that were light enough to give the contrast I needed. However, I am always pushing myself to try new color-ways, so maybe there is hope for me.
My fabric stash... Abundant. Because I never use a pattern I never know how much fabric I need. I don’t like running short, so I always buy yards and yards. I mostly have brights and darks. I love tone-on-tones. I have a lot of novelty prints, not really sure why. I like to make scrappy quilts. My mom makes scrappy quilts too so I supply her from my stash. But no matter how many scrappy quilts we make it doesn’t seem to make a dent in the stash.
My quilting community… Des Moines Area Quilting Guild, a large guild in the Des Moines , IA area. We meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month. In October we have a large quilt show in conjunction with the American Quilt Society.
American Quilt Society, a national organization headquartered in Paducah, KY.
Stitchin’ Sisters, a small group of lovely ladies. We meet once a month for stitching, gabbing, eating, show and tell, moral support and friendship. These ladies are my quilting rock.
The Quilting Board, an on-line quilting community at www.quiltingboard.com. This is an ever-changing group of wonderful quilters of all different skill levels. Every single one of them is kind and supportive. On the quilting board you can post questions and pictures, stop in the chat room, send private messages to other members and make good quilting friends.
My additional hobbies/interests… Reading, biking, walking, sewing costumes, gardening, canning, cooking, fine wines, and entertaining. I also collect salt and pepper shakers.
I entered Quilt Design Star™ 2011 because... On the quilting board several people had commented on my avatar, a picture of one of my quilts. So I posted some pictures of it, including some close ups. One of the responders suggested I enter it in the contest. I had never heard of the contest but when I checked the McCalls web site, it was like the contest had been created just for me. So I entered.
Links... Sorry, no links. I design quilts in relative obscurity.
What you should know about me… I’m a mom from central Iowa who is an accountant by day and an enthusiastic quilter, wife, and friend on nights and weekends. My ultimate goal is to retire from my day-job and then… become a “Quilt Design Star”.
That Scrappy Thang (below) is Rebecca's Quilt Design Star™ 2011 entry quilt.
Pella Tulip Festival (below) is Rebecca's Quilt Design Star™ 2011 Challenge 1 quilt.
(below) is Rebecca's Quilt Design Star™ 2011 Challenge 2 quilt.
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