Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Finalist Cheryl Adam

    Cheryl Adam

McCall's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Professional Category

Cheryl Adam
Bloomington, IL







How long I've been quilting... This is my 30th year.

I began quilting because... My plan was to make a wedding quilt for each of my two children and then be done. At the time my oldest was 1 1/2 years old and I was pregnant with my second. It didn't work out quite as planned.

My quilting style is... I am known best for my bright geometric quilts although I love to try almost anything when it comes to quilting.

quilt to be installed at 1st high speed rail station in country, Normal, ILOther quilt design contests I've entered... In 1993 I entered a block design contest for Wal Mart and was one of the winners. They made a poster of all the winning blocks and I won a $100 savings bond.

People who inspired me... My mom has always been my inspiration. She was an unbelievable seamstress and took up quilting after I started. She always said she wished she could design like I did but the truth was she always "made a few (not so) minor changes" to her work so they ended up as her designs. She also taught me the importance of good construction when sewing anything.

I draw my inspiration from... Math, science, and architecture have always fascinated me and I quite often use these influences. But like most quilters, just about anything will make me think about making a quilt.

My Favorite techniques... Piecing. I go between big bold pieces (currently know as modern quilts) and very intricate pieces. When I have the time I love to needle turn applique but that doesn't happen very often.

Colors or fabrics I'm attracted to... I tell everyone that purple and green are my favorite neutrals. Let's just say calicos, pastels, and reproduction fabrics are not my favorites but I can and have used them all.

Where the magic happensMy fabric stash... I try to keep some of all colors and values as I never know which I will feel like using in my next piece. When I buy fabric it tends to be in 1/2 yard cuts because I prefer to use many of the same color in a quilt instead of just one.

My quilting community... I belong to the Hands All Around Quilt Guild in Bloomington, IL. We have about 300 members. We are large enough to be able to afford some wonderful speakers and have great workshops at a very reasonable price. We have a quilt show every year featuring about 200+ of the guild members works. We also do a huge amount for various charities including valor quilts, stocking for soldiers, clothes for orphanages, lap quilts for nursing homes, and even quilts for babies born on National quilting day.

I also belong to a small group of quilter's named Magic Needles. We meet once a month to sometimes work on projects but mostly to talk and have dessert!

My other hobbies and interests... I love to cook and bake. At Christmas I make about 14 kinds of cookies, put them in my freezer and have them available any time a family member needs cookies to take with them. My youngest son is an expert barbecuer and smoker so we colaborate on dinners occasionally. I also like to knit.

I entered Quilt Design Star™ 2012 because... I love challenges and this sounded interesting. I wasn't thinking about the time constraints and now I have to balance the design star challenge with work. Like Tim Gunn says on Project Runway- I'll "Make It Work".

What you should know about me… My degree is in architectural engineering and I worked on a construction sites as a project manager for many years. It was during this time that I learned to quilt. Because of my schooling I started to design right away. After all, piecing is just geometry. When the last recession hit in the late 80's I was laid off from project management and transitioned into designing quilts. In 2003 my book "Off Center Patchwork" was published. 

My publishing history... Currently you can find my work on a couple websites but it's not always easy. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to be published in various magazines like McCall's Quilting and Fabric Showcase, AQS engagement calendar, AQS address book, and my book "Off Center Patchwork".  Various companies have also used my quilts in project brochures and advertisements.

I would also like to share... Everyone can design. The only reason most people don't is because someone, at some time told them it would be hard. Many quilters don't realize that when they change the block layout or border of a quilt, they are starting to design. I always encourage everyone to be creative and don't be afraid of trying something on their own.


That's a Lot of Purple (below) is Cheryl's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Professional Category entry quilt.

That's a Lot of Purple by Cheryl Adam

Terra (below) is Cheryl's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Professional Category Challenge 1 quilt top.

Terra by Cheryl Adam

Argyle Revisited (below) is Cheryl's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Professional Category Challenge 2 quilt top.

McCall's QDS™ 2012 Cheryl Adam Argyle Revisited

Beauty and the Beast (below) is Cheryl's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Professional Category Challenge 3 quilt.

McCall's QDS™ 2012 Cheryl Adam Beauty and the Beast



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Cheryl Adam design
I found a quilt years ago called Behind the Picket Fence. I was able to print it off but only in black and white. Is it possible to find this again and post it? It was a Log Cabin Wonders quilt. Thank you for your help.
Thanks Cheryl
I truly enjoyed reading your article and seeing the pictures of some of your designs. Thanks do much for sharing! Blessings, Terri


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