Thursday, January 29, 2015

Member Interview - Let's Get to Know Mary Ann!

We are continuing our series called "Let's Get to Know You!"

Today we'll share an interview with RIMQG member Mary Ann Koblentz and gain some insight into how she became a Modern Quilter...

1. Tell us about yourself

My husband and I recently relocated from California to Rhode Island December 2013 to live close to our only child Kristin and her husband and our new grandson.  My grandmother started me sewing as a little girl around 7 years old.  I continued my sewing as I grew up and was in 4 H and home economics in high school. I often entered my sewing in the Los Angeles County Fair and still have the critiques and ribbons from the entries.  I made my own wedding dress completing it 3 hours before I walked down the aisle. Through my adult life I continued to sew and my one regret is that I never taught my daughter to sew. I am in the process of teaching her now. 

2. How did you learn how to quilt?

I have two friends in California who quilt and they started to teach me about 4 years ago.  Then I relocated to RI and was looking for a quilt guild and found the RIMQG.  I was taught the traditional way of quilting but have found that I love the modern approach that the RIMQG has to offer. It is not so rigged.  I love the freshness to modern quilting and the beautiful colors.

3. What type of sewing machine do you own?

My husband purchased me a Husqvarna Sew Easy several years ago and the stitches became so temperamental and I decided to purchase an old mechanical machine from the direction of Denise Lamb.  I searched on E Bay for about a month and found a 30 year old Bernina 817 for $250.  Denise's husband tuned it up for me and all that needed to be repaired was the bobbin winder for $13. The machine runs like a dream and the stitches are so pretty and consistent. I have to say I love this old machine and it reminds me of my grandmother’s old Singer. 

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

I have made several quilts. There are two that I love - The Eye Spy Quilt and the Nautical Quilt for my grandson.  

5. What kind of memories does it hold for you?
The Eye Spy has a special memory.  My quilting friends and I purchased 1/4 yard novelty fabrics about 3 years ago and when we exchanged our fabrics and I ended up with over 100 different novelties such as oranges, cows, fire hydrants, etc.  I designed, pieced and quilted it myself. I think the memories will be made for a lifetime with these two quilts.

6. If you were to do a quilt over, would you do anything differently?

I made a 5 patch Christmas quilt for my daughter and so-in-law for their Bridal Shower.  There were so many bias edges that the quilt top did not lay flat.  I took the quilt to a long arm quilter and she had to stretch it on her long arm.  Only I know that the quilt did not come out square.  It is very pretty and I had it backed with the plush fabric.  It's a great snuggle quilt.

7. What is your favorite quilting technique?

I am not sure that I have a favorite quilt technique.  I do need to be more precise when I am cutting and sewing and using a scant 1/4" seam allowance. I think for me I just need to slow down and not be in such a hurry.   I have done paper piecing and enjoyed the technique.

8. Do you follow a Modern Quilter/Blog/Fabric designer? What draws you to them?

I really enjoy Lisa Calle on Bloglovin’s Vintage Modern Quilts.  I love her style and love the colors.

9. What does Modern quilting mean to you?

Modern Quilting to me means there are no boundaries. I love the fresh new approach and if you make a mistake it's okay, that is what I love about this guild.  I also love that Modern Quilting is so refreshing and that there are young women quilting and carrying on the tradition.  This is what drew me to the RIMQG!

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

Tips for a new modern quilter is to learn the basics first, take your time and then go for it!

Thank you for this opportunity to get to know me.

Happy Quilting!

Mary Ann

Jenn Boyce, Interviewer

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