Thursday, June 19, 2014

"Getting to Know You" Interview Series for RIMQG

Today we are launching a new series called "Let's Get to Know You"! We will interview a RIMQG member to get to know her better and gain some insight into how she incorporates quilting into her life.

Let's Get to Know... Sue Ahnrud

Sue Ahnrud, Chepachet, RI 
Professional longarmer  - fb -Ponaganset-Quiltery
Hobbyist piecer

1. How did you learn to quilt?

I am mostly self-taught.  My great grandmother was a maker of utility quilts in the 30's, but I never knew her. My mother made us a wedding quilt in 1974, but that was her first quilt.  I also started quilting that year after seeing a picture of an Ohio Star quilt that I loved.  I used cardboard templates, scissors, and hand pieced/quilted it.  Some of the fabric was polyester, and it had a solid black back.  It was an horrible chore, did not turn out too well, but my friend still loves it.  (The one labeled 1975 is my first quilt).  The thing that I love about quilting is pattern, color, and creativity.  Dreaming of quilts is so much more fun that making that 97th block, but putting it all together is worth it at the end.
1st Quilt - 1975

2.  What was your first machine?

I had a Montgomery Ward machine with cams for decorative stitches.  I got it in 1970, and used it until about 10 years ago when the bobbin winder broke off.  Then I had gotten my husband's grandmother's White in a cabinet. I wore that one out too.  Now I have a Featherweight, a Bernina and a Juki.

3. Can you tell us about a favorite personal quilt? 

It's hard to chose a favorite child.  However, the one I am most proud of is the Wedge quilt.  I had seen a picture of a bed-sized one on the cover of a magazine.  I was so impressed that I wanted to make one for myself. However, I did not want it to be bed-sized.  I had no idea how to do it, but after studying the photo for hours I finally figured it out.  I drafted it and cut strips to paper piece it.  When it came to assembly, I finally had to hand baste all the intersections so that I would be satisfied with the piecing.  It was work but worth it. It is about 30" square. 
  2009 wedge

4.  What kind of memories does it hold for you?

I pieced most of it over a retreat long weekend with some of my best quilting friends.  I love our yearly weekend together.

5.  If you were to do this quilt over, would you do anything differently?

There are some errors in color selection in the outside spirals, and the inside "dresden" blades are in the wrong order in one spot.  Oh well.  Also, I wish that I had had my robotics when it came to quilting this one.

6.  What is your favorite quilting technique?

My favorite thing is to try new things and not take a class to figure them out.  I also seldom buy patterns.  If I see something that I like, I figure out how to make it.  Of course buying a pattern would be more efficient, but where is the challenge in that?  I'm a cheapskate at heart.

7.  Do you follow a Modern Quilter/Blog/Fabric House? Why do you like them?

Not a blog follower - not enough time in the day.  I do follow the Kaffe Fassett Collective Facebook Page.  I love the color and pattern in those fabrics.  Kaffe is probably my favorite fabric line overall.  Modern fabrics really appeal to me though, with their fresh clear colors and interesting patterns.

8.  How did you get into Longarm Quilting professionally?

I started with a midarm because it was less expensive and I wanted to see how it would work out.  I had no intention of quilting for others at first.  I have upgraded 2 times, and when I got my present longarm, I added robotics.  This was a big expense, but I really like the accuracy and intricacy that can be achieved.  I sort of needed to take customers to justify the expense.  Also, at this point in my life, I hardly need any more quilts of my own, but I love to see them.  It is so much fun to see the quilts that people bring me.  Some are brand new quilters and some have been at it for a long time.  Each has something that I love to look at.

9.  What tips would you give a new quilter to Modern Quilting?

Have no fear.  Go for it.  Just be accurate.

10. Would you like to tell us anything else about yourself?

In addition to quilting, there are other things that consume me.  I am an avid sports fan, following the Red Sox and Bruins particularly.  I am a season ticket holder of the New England Revolution soccer team.  Indoor soccer keeps me busy year round on Tuesday and Friday nights and I try to run three days a week.  In season, I work in my garden every day. Brazil/Mexico World Cup soccer is on as I write this - go USA.  I live with my husband, my cat Wembley, and my dog Frieda on a lake in the boonies.

Thanks Sue! Great to hear about your love of quilting. 

Interview by Karen McCann, Communications for RIMQG 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Sue, I loved reading your "story." You quilted one of my first quilts, which now resides on my sister's bed in the fall/winter months. She gets so many compliments on it, and I know the long-arm quilting you did on it adds so much to the quilt, something I never could have accomplished on my little Brother, or even by hand-quilting it. Thanks for your hard work!