Monday, November 8, 2010

Quilter Maggie Judd

A delectable delight displayed on a seasonal quilt by Maggie (Pine Cone Appetizer, blue and cream cheese with almonds)

1. How did you come to be such an accomplished quilter?

" I have three sisters and one took a class so I decided to try it with her. I have always sewed and love to craft and in 1991 my husband signed me up for a class he thought I might enjoy. And so it began...I am in a group called Seven Sisters whereby every year someone picks a fabric, a color, and a theme for a Challenge Quilt and each person works on a square reflecting their own creativity. Some themes were: "Joie de Vivre", "To Thy Known Self Be True". You develop a good sense of color and design the more you are exposed to others and the more you quilt. I participate in a Round Robin whereby a person works on a block for a month, sends it off to another to add a border, then to another and so on, round and round. One 'round' could be triangles, another 'round could be appliques. The first person to begin the 'round' ends up owning the quilt. It is this communal effort that makes it so special."

2. What is it about the process of quilting that inspires you?

"It is very meet a lot of nice people, build friendships and a sense of comradeship. I especially enjoy the fact that you are accomplishing something specific on one quilt, and you have other quilts going at the same time, all at different stages. So it never gets boring."

3. Do you have a role model?

"My mom loved to knit and sew; she sewed our clothes when we were young. My grandmother and my sisters were quilters."

4. What is your idea of mastery?

"I don't feel I am there yet. I am accomplished yet I always look to those who do things better. I guess you could say it is the process of challenging yourself to excellence that eventually leads to mastery. I have completed 100 or so quilts, ten made specifically as Wedding gifts."

5. Tell us the best and the worst part of designing and completing a quilt.

"The least favorite part is basting - putting the three layers together, with the backing, batting, then top. It is important to make sure everything is smooth before pinning it all together and basting it. I only use cotton fabric (and thread) because it wears well. Polyester thread will cut through the fibers at the seems and eventually fall apart. It takes a couple of days to assemble a quilt and a day to layer it. The quilting time depends on complexity of the pattern. I do both hand quilting as well as machine quilting. It could cost as much as $100 to send a queen size quilt out to be uniquely quilted with the use of a special darning foot that accommodates all that fabric. And, fabric for that quilt could cost $100 or more. So, you see, a price on a hand crafted piece is akin to purchasing an original work of art; most quilters do this as a hobby.

The best part of designing a quilt is choosing color combinations that compliment a specific quilt pattern. I enjoy the process and the challenge so much that when I am done I feel ready to give the quilt up and begin something new and exciting. There are many patterns to choose from, including: Harmonic Conversions, Nine Patch, Four Patch, Flying Geese, Lemoyne Star, Sawtooth Star, Half Square Triangles, Jacobs Ladder, Triple Irish Chain, and Pennsylvania Block to name a few!"

6. What would your colleagues be surprised to learn about you?

"I am an Engineer with a Masters in Computer Engineering. Math plays a big part in the quilting process, with lots of accurate measuring and precisely dissecting pieces into patterns. Corners must match up!"

7. Tell us about your typical day.

" To really accomplish something, four to five hours of time is important, although I 'll take two to three if that is all I can get. I spend the time quilting when my boys are in school; you need a good block of time just to set up."

8. Name a pet peeve.

"The corners need to match! That is the Engineer part of me speaking. I will take something apart and redo it if it is not right. The quality of the assembly and stitching is important to me."

Maggie is a member of the Merrimack Valley Quilters , Plastow, NH. All of her quilts are signed on the back with the name of the quilt, her name, the town she lives in and date completed. She sells at Trunk Shows and can be reached at .
Thank you Maggie for this delightful insight into your world of quilting. I, for one, am inspired!


Bohemian said...

Thank you for visiting my Blog about Lighting and leaving your story about your Grandmother's beautiful Chandelier... those items that have a personal story attached to them make them even more precious and priceless don't they? Now I'm settling in to visit your Posts... who doesn't love the Art of fabulous Quilting!?!?!?! I recently scored an old Victorian Crazy Quilt *posted about it* and I'm amazed at the creativity and stitches used... such a labor of Love!

Dawn... The Bohemian

Anonymous said...

Wonderful interview! Her quilts are fabulous. The thing that really hit me though was how little it cost to get a quilt machine quilted where she lives! It would cost more than $100 in Texas to get a queen sized quilt machine quilted by a professional quilter. So, it apparently varies widely in different areas of the country. That's interesting. I didn't realize that.

I also loved some of the quilt pattern names she gave you. I've never heard of a few of them. I'll have to look them up.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful interview with me. I loved it!


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