Member spotlight: Marie P.

 Tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is Marie and I live in NE Minneapolis with my husband and our brand new baby boy. I grew up at the very tip of the state in Grand Marais, MN, but left for the 'big city' to go to college and have been here ever since. 
Do you have a blog, Etsy shop, or other quilt-related business?
I have a delinquent Etsy shop that has faded as I changed jobs and had a baby in the last year, but I would love to return to a quilt-related business in the future!! I also have a blog that I may go back to in he near future It was my creative outlet for a long time, but right now I'm trying to focus a bit more on this little family instead of the internet.
Do you have any other hobbies, crafty or otherwise?
I love to create, so you can find me making artwork for my house, jewelry, and pretty soon, Halloween costumes for baby!
How long have you been quilting, and how did you learn to quilt?
I've been seriously quilting for about five years. I am mostly self-taught, but did take a class to learn some basics when I first started. My first quilts were a disaster, and I'm sure that my current projects would raise a few eyebrows for some unorthodox methods, but that is what works for me. I learn while doing, so I try to push myself to learn new skills with each project. I started making quilts when my friends started having babies and baby quilts are still my favorite project to work on.
How many quilts do you think you have made? How many are still UFOs (unfinished objects)?
I have made around 25 large and small quilts (including mini-quilts and pillow-tops) with about 5 unfinished projects. It actually doesn't seem like a lot when I add it up, but looking at all the past projects does make me realize how far I've come. I get a bit distracted by other sewing projects, so I'll go a long time without making a quilt - sometimes I need to make a bag!
How many hours a week do you spend quilting on average?
Not many. Like I mentioned in my intro, I had a baby in April, so I'm still figuring out what my new average/normal life looks like. Not that I'm complaining - right now it looks pretty good! I'm hoping to get back to my sewing machine again this fall/winter. I'm sure that I won't be there for hours on end at first, but returning to a creative activity in my free time will be wonderful.
Describe your first quilt. 
I have a few 'first quilts', but the one that really sticks in my mind took 3 years to finish, but was completed before really getting into quilting. I think i found it on the HGTV website - This wall hanging is completely different from anything I have done since, (I followed a pattern, which I never do, and there is a load of applique, which is possibly why it took three years), but I still love it because of the colors and whimsy. I think it proves that quilting can be whatever you want it to be - art, modern, color, style.

Which of your quilts is your favorite or are you most proud of and why? 
That is a really hard question. I'll just show you my latest quilt - I'm always in love with that one. 

Where do you sew? Describe your space and your favorite quilting accompaniments (music, tv, wine, etc). 
I sew in my basement guest bedroom. I've been working on setting it up so the space is split equally, but the sewing mess often takes over and I have to frantically throw fabric in the closet when guests come to town. My latest organization for this fabric has really helped the 'cleaning' process - stackable mesh drawers from IKEA organized loosely by color. I don't even have to fold the fabric! As far as what I need while I quilt - I either listen to music or watch terrible tv online while I sew. If I'm quilting, some wine is usually involved as well
Describe your fabric buying habits and stash. How do you manage your stash?
I used to buy fabric without concern about project or style. It caused a lot of purging to happen before the baby came. But lately I've really scaled back on buying - I've been creating a lot of things using what is in my stash and it's been working out. Sometimes I really love the combinations that I'm forced to make because I have the fabric - not going out to find the perfect fabric to match a project is a good challenge.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about quilting?
I love starting projects and designing the quilts as I go. I have a hard time finishing projects, which makes my UFO number unbelievable.
What are your current and/or long-term quilting goals?
Get back to my machine and find my style again.
What is one (or more) quilt technique you would like to learn or are afraid of?
I would love to learn more about free-motion quilting. I'm not afraid of it necessarily, but I think my machine has started to limit the things I can do and would love to find tips and tricks for making it work.
Who or what inspires you most in quilting?
My grandma is still THE quilter in my life, but there are so many others, including my mom and aunt that inspire me. We all have completely different styles, but I love the fact that it's something we can share between generations.
What advice do you have for new quilters?
Just get started. It can be really scary and intimidating with so many amazing things happening in the quilt community, but find your own style and methods and have fun!

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