Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nice to meet you - Stephanie Cole

 Hi everyone!
Time for yet another "Nice to meet you" interview, so we can get to know each other even better. This time, our lovely Treasurer, Stephanie Cole:
1. Lets start from basics - how about you in 3 sentences?

I'm Stephanie and I am the current treasurer of the WNYMQG. I'm a 30-something wife and mama to 2 little boys (Milo, age 5 and Parker, age 2) and a puggle dog named Bella. I could live entirely on coffee and Dr. Pepper (with a little wine thrown in for good measure.)  
Heart quilt made as a gift for her cousin's wedding

2. What part of WNY you call home?

I live in Hamburg (which is in the Southtowns), all of 3 miles away from the house where I grew up and where my parents still live. (Which, by the way, 5 or 6 years ago I would never have expected to answer that way. I didn't think I'd ever want to move back to Buffalo, let alone live practically down the road from my parents!)

3. When and how did quilting enter your life?

I hadn't really sewed since the home ec class in middle school until shortly after I had my first son, when I had an idea to make something for him that I just couldn't buy in the stores.  A few months after that I got sucked into the rabbit hole of beautiful fabrics and discovered the blogs of some modern quilters totally by accident and was hooked. It inspired me to take a beginning quilting class just so I could have a good reason to by fabric and the internet taught me the rest as I've gone along.
4. If you would have to describe WHY you quilt, what would you say?

I have always been a creative person, starting with ceramics and painting in high school and in the beginning of college. I love that with quilting I rediscovered my artistic side and that it is something functional as well. Making pretty things keeps me from losing it in the sea of laundry and diapers that is life with little ones!
Cousin Nick and Holly's anniversary quilt
5. What type of quilts (or other sewing items) do you mostly make?

Quilts are easily my favorite thing to make, and lately I've been loving scrappy, or something with a sort of scrappy aesthetic, if that makes sense. I'm also currently having a love affair with solid pop color binding. Other then quilts I make baby blankets and burp clothes that I sell on Etsy and some other random things as the mood strikes.
Laptop and Kindle pouch
6. What is your design process?

I have no problem admitting that I typically use a great tutorial or pattern. I have a lot of ideas for designs in my head but chances are I can find something similar that someone else did so I don't have to work out the math or anything on my own. And if not, at this point in my life I'm just a little too scattered to try to figure it out on my own. Small children will do that to you!
Scrap Vomit - Christmas edition
7. What are you still dreaming to make?

I really want to make a dress! I have been pining over the Staple dress pattern thats been going around the blogs lately but I am too chicken to even buy the pattern. But my goal is to get over that sometime this year, since there are some talented ladies in the guild that I can turn to now!
AMH Super tote
8. Do you have a favorite part of the process?

Well, I can say that cutting and trimming are my LEAST favorite! I like all the rest of the process but I do think that there is nothing better then sitting down to hand stitch the binding because I love being able to "test it out" with the kids while I'm finishing up that last part! (Because you totally have to do the snuggle test before you can call it done, don't you?!)

9. How about top 3 inspirations?

So so many blogs, really too many to name! But I think my most favorite blogger is Katy Jones at I'm such a crazy fan girl of all the stuff she makes and I think we really share a similar aesthetic! Tula Pink and Elizabeth Hartman are my favorite "famous" quilters.

10. Now lets talk about your fabric addiction (no denying here!) - size of your stash? favorite type or designer? where you love to shop - local, internet, shows? Oh and any  good 12-step program you can recommend?

I love fabric but I don't really stash much, just purely for budgetary reason. (Kids! Needing things like clothes! And food! Unbelievable.) All the quilting fabric I have can probably fit in a 12x12" cube. I mostly shop online because I tend to buy for a specific project and there's not enough modern fabric options around here for me to be able to get what I want without dragging my kids all around.

My favorite fabric designers from their beginnings have been Tula Pink and Jay McCarroll - they can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. And most recently, Anna Maria Horner has come onto my radar when Field Study came out. I know she's been around forever but I never really noticed her before that collection, but I'm a total fan now!

11. Do you love to take classes and workshops? What are the things you would still love to learn?

I love classes and stuff but I have a hard time making the time to go to them. Its just how life is right now in our family but I hope as the kids get older I'll be able to do more of the stuff.

12. Traditional quilts - any opinion, inspiration, favorites?
13. Modern quilts - love them all? still exploring?

I think I need to answer these 2 together. I am a huge fan of modern quilting. But I think MY PERSONAL definition of modern quilting is much more narrow then most would say. So, I love all modern quilting, that falls in the scope of my personal definition. I didn't even really have any frame of reference of traditional quilting when I first started, but I have found some of my favorite quilts actually do a traditional block in a really modern way.  I think the really old traditional quilting like the Amish quilts, and the Gees Bend stuff is what our modern quilting is based on and I really love that stuff, its amazing! 

But its the calico, appliquéd, look but don't touch side of quilting that I can't ever really wrap my brain around getting into, simply because its not my aesthetic, but I certainly appreciate the skill some traditional quilters have. 

Now a few months ago I would have said I don't much love art quilting, but then it turns out our secretary Anne calls herself an art quilter and I love her stuff so maybe I actually love art quilts? Or at least certain types for sure.

Also I  find my tastes certainly evolve as I'm exposed to more, so its always changing.

In summary of that long winded nonsense... I love quilts! Maybe not all quilts, but I don't like all couches or t-shirts either so its cool.  BUT, I make no bones about the fact that I hate quilts you aren't supposed to touch. It's fabric! Chill out and let me touch it! 
14. How did you get interested in Modern Quilt movement/ style? How does it speak to you?

There is no history of quilting in my family. And I can't really even think of any quilts that people in my family had. So my first real exposure to quilting, when I actually noticed it, was modern quilting! Its what really brought quilting into my line of vision.
15. How about WNY MQG - what are your hopes and wishes for this quilting community?

I am so excited by the future of this group. This was something sorely needed in this area and I'm so grateful to Rebecca for stepping up and getting things going for us. I really just want us to grow and be able to "infiltrate" the quilting shows and stuff around here that are so skewed towards traditional right now. There is not a lot of respect for the modern quilter in WNY's quilting communities from my experience and we can change that. 

16. Show and tell time! YAY!!  Tell us about few of your quilts and please share some photos!
Milo's Chain reaction

Scrap Vomit quilt
Tommy's Atari quilt - My very first finished quilt, actually!

17. What is your all time favorite fabric collection that you would forfeit the rest of your stash to get your hands on?

Field Study, hands down. No contest. Its perfection. It speaks to my soul. End of story. 

18. Tell us about your quilty friends? Are you the only one of your friends who quilts? 

I didn't have any "real life" quilty friends until I joined the guild! And I only have 2 friends who do any sewing at all, one of whom lives all the way in CA. 

And now for Stephanie's question for all of you: 

19. Show me your sewing space! Post a link to a picture of your sewing space in the comments.... and keep it real folks! (Because I want to know that I'm not the only messy one out there!)
Steph's sewing space
OK ladies, how about showing you sewing mess...I mean SPACE! Let's see it - great question Steph! :)
Thank you Stephanie for such a great interview and peek into your creative world - this really is so much fun! Anne Anderson, our lovely Secretary will be next - stay tuned!
Have a lovely week and spooky Halloween,

No comments:

Post a Comment