Meet Ruth from Sew it Seams to me! a couple months ago this young lady approached me with an idea
for interviewing past bloggers. I shared with her this would be her little project and I would support her but she would have to manage this baby...and she was more than prepared for the challenge...She will be managing a brand new baby soon, as she is expecting! Sew she may have her hands full at the moment, but her hands are firmly on the wheel and she is moving forward.
I asked her to come up with 20 questions and we would highlight some of the best. I then gave her a list of names to approach and she did that. She has been dilligent in her task and I am proud of her. This is her first interview. Each month Ruth will be highlighting our guests. Please welcome her with all the warmth you can muster as she sets out on this new adventure. Actually many adventures!
Meet Nan Slaughter. you know her from Pots and Pins... The lady who monthly leaves us in stitches. The lady who staples quilts on her wall, the lady who feels 30 ft away from a quilt is perfection...You gotta love a lady who loves life and quilting and cooking like our Nan.... Hi Nan....under those covers, your mock tail is waiting for you..
1. How did you begin quilting?
When I was 17 I went to a football game with some bloke who could barely hold my attention, especially when I spied a very stylish gal wrapped up in a pieced denim quilt! I could hardly take my eyes off of her, and while my date must have wondered about my "orientation," it was the quilt that fascinated me, not the girl! I was barely smart enough to know how to use scissors but I wanted a denim quilt! In my undeveloped brain, making a quilt seemed to me an easy thing to do...cut up some old jeans, sew them together and presto-chango, by the time the next football game rolled around I could be the girl wrapped in the quilt! The fact that I failed Home Ec didn't stop me...not knowing how to use my mom's new Kenmore sewing machine didn't stop me...not having a clue as to what I was doing didn't stop me...but SOMEONE or SOMETHING should have stopped me - thereby saving me from a lifetime of being totally addicted to quilting!! But I was hooked/smitten/in love with my denim quilt...so much so that I thought adding some embroidery would really make it (and me) look cool...sew I set about embroidering all over the thing...and then I backed it with a "flower-power-circa 1974 cotton-poly sheet" and tied it with yarn. Then I waited for someone to ask me to a football game. It was a long, long wait...in fact, my quilt never did get to make it's debut in a football stadium - instead it ended up being a picnic quilt, a lap quilt, a car quilt and eventually, after incessant begging from my sister, my sister's quilt (she always wanted what I had!) My sister and her tribe used it and loved it for years. Then one day I went to visit her and discovered it in her GARAGE on the FLOOR being used as a DOG QUILT! I removed the dog, grabbed the quilt and brought it home where it's now waiting to be lovingly restored to it's former glory!
2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration when it comes to quilting?
What have they taught you?
I can't point my finger to any one thing or one person...my inspiration just came from a love of quilts - how they made me feel when I looked at them. How they transformed a room, a bed, a sick child. The feeling of a quilt, both real and imagined, has always been my inspiration. I love traditional quilts, they speak to me...I've had an on-going conversation with quilts for years, sew I guess you could call me a Quilt Whisperer! I probably shouldn't have said that out-loud, or written it, but by golly, it's who I am! I was taught the "proper way to quilt" by Peg at The Country Peddler in Minneapolis in 1984. I was such a good student...did everything right...until the class was finished and then I began making small adaptations to the rules...and while I can't blame Peg, she did her darndest to turn me into a real quilter, I'm just not a rule follower...I come from a long-line of non-rule-followers, so I can't help myself. Peg's motto was, "Do it right the first time." My motto is, "You get what you get." And it works for me!
3. What collection or stash have you not been able to cut into and why?
Oh nothing is sacred when it comes to fabric! I'll cut into anything for any reason! However, there was ONE fabric that did sit in my stash for about seven years. I petted it on a regular basis and entertained ways to use it until it was all I could think about! I only had two yards of this fabric and I didn't want to "waste" it on just any old thing...seven years after I purchased it in Paris, France, I was finally ready to cut into it. My French Quilt is the result...however, I didn't have enough fabric due to a slight miscalculation!! The top was 80% pieced together when I realized I was short - so I patiently waited for a miracle...and ONE YEAR later my neighbor flew to France for a vacation and bless her heart, she stopped in the fabric shop near Notre Dame and bought me another yard of fabric! My French Quilt was NINE years in the making! But at that point, no one was counting!
4. What quilt clearly disappointed you when you were completed and why?
Oh where to begin?! Well, I'll let the picture of the quilt speak for itself. It was NOT supposed to be wonky. But somewhere along the way it went awry only I didn't notice it. I was at a quilt group meeting when someone said, "I love the wonkiness of your quilt" before reality smacked me in the face! Hey...wonky happens...shouldn't there be a bumper sticker that says that?! Being the maker of one wonky quilt would be fine, especially if it were intentional...but unfortunately I have more than one wonky quilt...truth be told I could be the poster-child for wonkiness...but let's not dwell on what we can't fix!
5. Can you show us a picture and tell us a story about your FIRST quilt.
ahhh go back to question 1...lol
6. Tell us about your favorite/can't live without quilting tool and why it's so useful.
My favorite/can't live without quilting tool? Well let's see...I guess I would have to say magazines!! That's right! My name is Nan and I'm addicted to Magazines! Oh, this isn't a 12-step program for weening one's self away from mags?? Because that's what I need! I love magazines of all kinds and I look to them for the latest and greatest ideas on decorating, food, and quilts! And then, just because I'm not a rule follower, I like to take a picture from a magazine of a quilt or even a painting that I like and change it up a bit to make it "mine"...I don't like having the same quilts as everyone else - I want my quilts to be unique, different...yes, just by me SEWING then makes them unique and different but it's fun to put something personal into a pattern. Oh, for the record, I don't buy quilting magazines, I love finding pictures of quilts in home decorating mags and then figuring them out. For example, Pottery Barn had a quilt in their catalog that I just loved - just seeing the picture was all I needed to re-create their simple quilt!
7. What kind of machine do you sew with? Does he/she have a name
and can we see a picture of it?
My very first sewing machine was a Singer Stylist 834 and it cost $200.00, purchased in 1980; I named her Suzie. I sewed with Suzie for twenty years, loving every stitch, until one day Suzie hiccuped, sputtered and died. I took her to the Singer Surgeon and after a look at her insides he told me if Suzie had an odometer she would have well over a million miles on her...it was time I let her rest. I was very sad about Suzie...even more sad when I realized how much sewing machines had gone up over the years! I couldn't afford a Cadillac (Bernina), so I purchased a faux-Bernina, the Pfaff Tiptronic 2030 for $1,200.00. And I pray every day that Patty keeps on going and sewing! (Pictures of both machines attached, Singer #5782, Pfaff #5783.)
8. What is your favorite quilting block?
I love pinwheels. Love pinwheels IN pinwheels even more! My red and cream pinwheel quilt is one of my very favorites!
9. What is your favorite fabric line and or designer?
Oh I don't play favorites...I like what I like, which changes almost as much as my underwear! One day I want darks, plaids, home-spun-cabin-looking fabrics and the next I'm sewing up pink cupcake quilts! I do love scrappy...that way I can use "everybody" at once!
10. Tell us your favorite thing to make - a lap quilt, a table runner, a king size quilt.
I love making small quilts/baby quilts because I like seeing results quickly. But nothing beats a real quilt...a quilt that evolves, takes time, and that's made with love in every stitch - whether it be small or large. A real quilt is a quilt that's made for personal reasons or maybe no reason at all, but it's a quilt that tells a story. A story so compelling, so gratifying, so comforting that it's the one I'm going to reach for to curl up with. It's the one I'll grab if there's ever a fire...it's the one my kids are going to fight over after I'm gone. I wish I knew the secret to making a real quilt every time I start a new one, but I don't, I just know that when I'm done, if it's real, I know it. (Picture of "real" quilt and me attached, red, log-cabin, #5795)
I hope this is what you're looking for! Thanks again for this great opportunity - I love Stash Manicure - I enjoy it daily with my morning mocktail!
I love the ride both Ruth and Nan took us on..And there is nothing as profound as honesty
and the stories behind the quilts and the ladies who tell them
Thank you both for your efforts...SEW appreciated..
Let them know what surprised you the most....
Thanks Ladies U R D BEST !