Member Spotlight: Annik M.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Annik (Ah-neek). I live in Minneapolis with my husband and our three children. My oldest son is 9. He loves sports and video games. My second son is 7, and he's all about Legos. My daughter is almost 3 1/2. Like many girls her age, she loves pretending to be a fairy princess and playing with stuffed animals. Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I studied Studio Art in college, then went on to work in banking as a systems analyst for about nine years.

Do you have a blog, Etsy shop, or other quilt-related business?
Yes, both. I blog (not often enough) at I also sell fabric and some handmade items at

Do you have any other hobbies, crafty or otherwise?

Besides making quilts, I enjoy sewing clothes for my children and occasionally for myself. I've been know to knit the occasional hat or pair of mittens, too.

How long have you been quilting, and how did you learn to quilt?

My mom taught me how to sew in elementary school, however, I only started quilting about four years ago. I always thought quilts were stuffy and boring, however, I became obsessed with the modern quilting movement thanks to Flickr and blogs. I learned basic quilting techniques through online quilt alongs, but local quilting friends have absolutely taught me the most.

How many quilts do you think you have made? How many are still UFOs (unfinished objects)?
Truly, I have no idea. I finished 13 quilts in 2011, although this year my pace has slowed quite a bit. As for UFO's, I believe the pile currently sits at at least 5 quilts plus bags, apparel and a bunch of other home dec stuff. Frankly, I love UFO's. Sometimes you need a little time to think things over, or maybe learn a new technique, or be inspired by another quilt before you know how to proceed with your project. There's no shame in putting a project down until a lightening bolt strikes.
How many hours a week do you spend quilting on average?

An hour a day if I'm lucky. I'm not always lucky.

Describe your first quilt.

Like Rebecca T., my first quilt was the Mod Sampler by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! fame. I used all sorts of Amy Butler prints from my fabric stash. Most of my quilts are really bright, so I always laugh when I see this earthy number.

 Which of your quilts is your favorite or are you most proud of and why?

I'm not sure if I've made my favorite quilt yet, though I've really enjoyed making challenge quilts with the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild. The black and white challenge was so fun. It was fun to see what others made with the same fabrics.

The Kona Solids challenge was another favorite. Making all of those teeny tiny pinwheels was time consuming but completely worth the effort.

 Where do you sew? Describe your space and your favorite quilting accompaniments.

I have a sewing room. It's jammed packed with shelves full fabric, a cutting table, an ironing board, plus two sewing machines, a serger, a cover stitch machine, and a computer. It's a tight squeeze but it's my favorite room in the house. I've started a "remodel the basement" fund in the hopes of one day having a larger space with room for a design wall.

Describe your fabric buying habits and stash. How do you manage your stash?

For five years I had a business making tote bags (called Lemonade Bags). During that time I amassed an insane amount of fabric. These days I try to be more selective with my purchases. I absolutely couldn't resist the new Liberty of London quilting fabrics at Sewtropolis, but otherwise, I'm doing pretty well on my diet. As for managing the stash, I've started refolding my fabric using Flaun's method. Most folks keep their stash in order by color, but I organize by designer, then manufacturer. Strange, I know.

A fraction of the stash - some organized, some not.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about quilting?
I love pressing my seams because the block/quilt absolutely transforms. I also really enjoy hand sewing the binding. It's slow and meditative and the reward is a beautifully finished quilt. Least favorite thing about quilting? Squaring up my blocks. Ugh.
What are your current and/or long-term quilting goals?
The first is to dedicate more time to quilting and designing new quilts. I would also really like to start writing patterns. I have several in progress but I seem to have trouble finishing them. A class in Adobe Illustrator would probably help...
What is one (or more) quilt technique you would like to learn or are afraid of?
I would like to get better at free motion quilting - move beyond the basic meander. I'd also like to tackle a quilt with curved piecing. I'm not afraid of curves, I just haven't gotten around to them yet. So many quilting techniques, so little time!
Who or what inspires you most in quilting?
Elizabeth Hartman is definitely an inspiration. I love her books, patterns, her style. And I'm inspired by architecture and graphic design. Oh, and color. Love color.
What advice do you have for new quilters?
Ask questions. Seek advice from experienced quilters. Find yourself a mentor. While our aesthetics may not be the same, we new, modern quilters can learn a great deal from traditional, experienced quilters.
Anything else you would like to share
Thanks for reading. See you at the next MMQG meeting :)

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