Author: Rhonda Rosales, 2021 Guild Treasurer
I have always been a crafter. As a kid, my grandmother made us clothes to order and taught us to sew clothes, crochet, and cook. Beyond that, I think she instilled in me the idea that you can learn to do anything you want. Since then, I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like. This includes making Barbie doll furniture and crocheting slippers as a kid, to refinishing furniture and silkscreening sweatshirts in college. I definitely have a craft room, not a sewing room.
I think I technically started quilting in about 2005 when I was given boxes and boxes of upholstery samples. I used these to start making throws and baby floor blankets for friends. They featured upholstery pieced fronts, flannel backs, fluffy polyester batting and satin blanket binding from the store! I was really just making it all up as I went. But they were cute and got a lot of use.
Quilting in earnest started 2015. I started mostly with baby quilts from simple patterns and liked using precuts.
In 2017, I joined SVMQG and was inspired by the range of quilts being shared by members…so many patterns, fabrics, techniques. Since joining, I have been in charge of Philanthropy, Challenges, and for the past 2 years been Treasurer.
That same year, I did my first Quiltcon fabric challenge; this was my first experience at designing a quilt. Ripples shows my dogs swimming in the pool and remains one of my favorite projects. I’ve gone on to do a couple more of these challenges. I find the structure of the restrictions (use only these fabrics) a fun challenge to work within and I like designing unique pieces this way.
Another concept that came from my exposure within the guild, is the idea of improv quilting. This started with a couple of projects where I was given a few blocks that weren’t enough to construct a quilt. This gave me the opportunity to build around these blocks in an organic way, based on a loose plan, that I enjoyed. I have since taken improv-based classes that have shown me how to build structure into an improv project to create a cohesive design.
2020 marked my first quilt-along with our mystery BOM. This gave me the opportunity to make my largest quilt to date, but more importantly a chance to work on my layout skills. I had fun designing about 4 different layouts from this set of blocks. I am definitely drawn to negative space and alternate grid layouts.
A class with Michelle Wilkie really opened my eyes on quilt design. I find myself thinking more and more about design, designing many quilts on my computer while only choosing a few to actually make. I have several projects I want to finish this coming year, but quilting a series of original pieces inspired by a single photo is my big overall goal.
Beyond quilting, my love for crafting continues. These days, my main focuses are all things paper craft, especially making shrines, splitting my time in the craft room between my sewing machine and my Cricut Maker. Currently, I’m working on a mini quilt for a guild challenge and crafting goodies for our virtual retreat.
Thank you, Rhonda, for sharing your quilting story with us!
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