Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Finalist Christa Hitchcock

    Christa Hitchcock

McCall's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Amateur Category

Christa Hitchcock
Plymouth, MI







How long I've been quilting... I have been quilting since the mid-80's. More accurately, I have been "topping" since the mid-80's, as I have many more quilt tops to my name than completed quilts. I have a good supply of quilt tops to practice on when I finally get my longarm machine, which is one of my goals.

Baby Quilt Elijah, designed by Christa HitchcockI began quilting because... I began sewing as a teenager, making clothes and home-dec-type items. However, when I was blessed with three sons, I realized that they were not going to wear clothes I stitched for them for too long. Quilting allowed me to continue to play with fabric and create things...without all those fitting issues.

My quilting style is... Traditional, but unpredictable. I love the idea of taking a basic block but doing something a bit different with it, whether it's changing out where the lights and darks should be or piecing it using a different method or changing the dimensions just a bit. And I prefer to use more rather than less fabrics in a quilt. Even if you use the same shade of orange in the same position in a block, using different orange fabrics for each block gives the quilt more interest.

Winter Twisting Fun, pieced using the Twister toolPeople who inspired me... I have two close friends who inspire me on a daily basis. One is the most caring, unselfish person I know. She is forever reminding me to believe in myself, that I am better than I give myself credit for at times, and to continue the baby steps that I need to take to reach my goals. And she's just fun to spend the day with quilting. It was her encouragement that caused me to join McCall's Quilt Design Star. The other friend also encourages me on a regular basis in my quilting endeavors. She forces me to think outside the box, to see the endless design possibilities and to strive for precision piecing. They both make my quilting experience so much richer.

Baby Quilt, designed by Christa HitchcockI draw my inspiration from... From life. Ideas for color combinations and quilt patterns can be found each day, just by observing what is around us, whether designs in nature or man-made designs. I've gotten ideas for quilt blocks from seat cushions at a restaurant, ideas for a balanced quilt from a hotel room door sign, quilting patterns from architectural ironwork and color combinations from a dinner table. Daily walks give me the time to think about how to put them all together.  

My Favorite techniques... No doubt my favorite technique is just simply accurate piecing. Cutting fabrics into small pieces and sewing them back together and having all your intersections meet...what fun is that! How to achieve that precision piecing is definitely part of my thoughts when planning a quilt. Unfortunately, it also means reverse sewing at times, too, but the finished product is well worth the extra time spent. I also enjoy needle-turn applique, and a Baltimore-album-type quilt is on my to-do-sometime list, but I have not been able to find the time to commit to that project.

Colors or fabrics I'm attracted to... I like bright, clear, vivid colors.....greens, blues, oranges, yellows, purples and pinks.

My fabric stash... Totally out of control. I seriously have to take the time to organize it. So often, when I'm looking for a particular piece of fabric I know I have, I find others I've forgotten about along the way. If my stash were organized, I wouldn't have that opportunity.

Oriental Raffle, designed by Christa HitchcockMy quilting community... Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This group of approximately 350 quilters meets six times a year. On odd-numbered months, we have a speaker come in to speak to our guild at our Saturday meeting as well as hold workshops on Friday and Sunday. We have a quilt show in even-numbered years, and during odd-numbered years we have three days of workshops with a variety of teachers, allowing each of us to take classes that interest us. We produce quilts and raise funds for SafeHouse, a local organization assisting the victims of domestic abuse.

Plymouth Piecemakers, in Plymouth, Michigan. This group of approximately 35 people meets once a month to share and inspire each other. We sometimes have demos from various members or local teachers, but mostly it is getting together and sharing what we've been doing, with an occasional challenge or mystery quilt thrown in.

Oriental Raffle, designed by Christa HitchcockI attend a weekly get-together of quilters in Canton, Michigan, which meets in a room in the township hall. It's very casual, with between three and ten people attending each week. Some people bring their machines and do some power sewing, and others bring handwork. It's the perfect opportunity to hand-stitch the binding on a quilt. And if we want to just show up and socialize for a bit, that is acceptable, too. 

I have been participating in the on-line Block Swap Adventure. Each month we are assigned a partner, and we exchange 12-1/2" blocks, based on our partner's likes/dislikes. It's a fun way to collect a variety of blocks and get to know some fellow quilters.

My other hobbies and interests... When not quilting, I like to spend time gardening, cooking, reading, traveling, and, best of all, spending time with family!

I entered Quilt Design Star™ 2012 because... I had been asked to do a quilt for an fundraiser auction. I found a collection of large-print floral fabrics, and, because of the size of the print, I wanted to design a quilt that would showcase those fabrics. As I was making the quilt this spring, I was encouraged to enter the contest. Overcoming my fear of rejection, I submitted the application and photo. At some point I would like to give up my day job and be able to support myself doing what I love, quilting. Designing patterns for others is one path to that goal.

What you should know about me… That I think quilters are some of the neatest people around!


Gardens of Vista Maria (below) is Christa's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Amateur Category entry quilt.

Gardens of Vist Maria by Christa Hitchcock

A Star for Scarlett (below) is Christa's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Amateur Category Challenge 1 quilt top.

A Star for Scarlett by Christa Hitchcock

Where's the Paisley? (below) is Christa's Quilt Design Star™ 2012 Amateur Category Challenge 2 quilt top.

McCall's QDS™ 2012 Christa Hitchcock Where's the Paisley?



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