Let's Get to Know Denise.....
I'm Denise Lamb of Sterling, CT I am strictly a hobbyist, (but who knows?)
I’m a wife, mother of 6 children (1 biological, 5 adopted (1-Korean, 4 Chinese) – with a 12 year old and special needs 20 year old still at home). I’m a semi-retired professional organizer, and happy, happy sewist/quilter.
- How did you learn to quilt and how old were you?
I began sewing when I was 7 years old, and remained primarily a ‘sewist’ for most of my life. If it can be made of fabric and thread, then I have probably made it. This fascination led me to a degree in Textile Science from URI. In the 90’s I learned English Smocking and French Sewing and got really good at that. I had dabbled in quilting here and there, but only since joining RIMQG have I decided to seriously pursue quilting as a hobby.
- What was your first machine and do you still have it?
I got my very own sewing machine (a Brother) when I was about 12 because my mother couldn’t STAND the mess I made of her sewing room. In 1980 I bought my first Bernina 830, so that I could make my wedding gown. I’m really happy to say that the machine remains in the family! My sister-in-law in Oregon bought it from me when I decided to upgrade. It still sews like a dream. I have owned 4 Bernina’s over the years and now sew on the B710; Mary Ann Koblentz named her “Big Bertha”.
- Can you tell us about a favorite personal quilt?
A favorite quilt? That’s like asking “Who is your favorite child?”. Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll bring up three favorites? My mother had started a simple quilt in the early ‘60’s made of 3” squares, all corduroy. I finished that in the early 80’s, but God knows where that is now. Another quilt was a design of concentric half-square triangles cut by cardboard template that my husband helped put together – just to prove he could! And another that I dearly love, is one I made from all the scraps from my oldest daughter’s handmade childhood dresses. It’s a Drunkard’s Path with center appliqué. You can see it in the photo behind my longarm – it’s on the far left. A neighbor hand quilted it for me (for $20!!!) in 1984.
- If you were to do this quilt over, would you do anything differently?
Nothing…it’s charming and full of sentiment. I think my best quilts are those made with sentiment and love. When each of my children flee the nest, they get a ‘love quilt’ from me – to take all of Mama’s love to their new home.
- What is your favorite quilting technique?
A month ago I would have said “piecing”, but now , being the proud new owner of a Nolting longarm, I can’t wait to get a top done to practice machine quilting.
- Do you follow a Modern Quilter/Blog/Fabric House? Why do you like them?
I don’t follow any blogs, not really sure what’s out there. I do admit to being a Pinterest Addict.
- What tips would you give a new quilter?
Be Organized!!! There’s a difference between creative chaos and an uncontrolled mess. I can’t think clearly if I can’t find my tools. I am by NO means a ‘neat sewist’ - My sewing room can get to look pretty disastrous when I’m in the middle of a project. But, that said, I won’t start a new project until I have completely cleaned up my space. Everything in the room has a ‘home’, so when I get the urge to tidy up, I can do so very quickly. (like when Jodi asked me to send pictures of my sewing room!) I have a large shelf under my cutting table, that works like a junk drawer – and that gets cleaned up at least once a month.
My last daughter moved out last year freeing up the largest bedroom (13’ x 20’) for my new sewing room. It’s a storage heaven, with two large fully shelved closets and a built-in bureau with 8 deep drawers. My sweet hubby, (who fully supports my all- consuming hobby), not only re-designed my cutting table, and perfected the mechanics of my longarm, he has also installed 4 banks of track lighting with a total 13,000 lumens of LED daylight bulbs – did I say it’s well lit? There’s also a table and sewing machine available for when a friend wants to come over and sew. I’ve always had a sewing room, but this new space is absolutely incredible. Sometimes I just go up there and sit and stare. It was worth the 35 year wait.
- What does modern quilting mean to you?
Modern Quilting, to me, means “Challenge”. I’m thrilled to the core when I explore this new area of sewing, designing and quilting. It forces me to work and think outside of my “box”, really stretching me and challenging me to grow.
- Please show us some pictures of your sewing area.
- What is something you love about Rhode Island?
What’s not to love about RI? Family, first and foremost – I am fortunate enough to still have my happy, healthy 86 year old parents living in Warwick. Also, two of my brothers are moving back to the area. Food! Yeah – RI has some of the greatest restaurants on the planet. And, living in RI allows you to be within 90 minutes of 3 major cities; within 3 hours of the white mountains, not to mention that the beach is in your backyard!Thank You Denise!