Tell us about yourself, e.g. family, kids, pets, day job, have you always
lived in MN?
lived in MN?
I married Jane in 1976 and have 2 brothers, 2 sons, and 2 grandsons. I grew up in Northeast Minneapolis, and have spent my married life in St. Paul. I design, develop, and support software for airlines and airports. As part of my job I do get to travel internationally, but unfortunately spend all my time in the airport.
Do you have any other hobbies, crafty or otherwise?
I collect 18th century English tokens.
How long have you been quilting, and how did you learn to quilt?
After we were married Jane taught me how to embroider and crochet. Jane made our first quilt in 1977 (machine pieced and machine quilted) and shortly after we started to make baby quilts for family. Jane would sketch a design which I would refine to make the math right, Jane would piece the top and I would embroider transfer images on the top. Jane would then do the quilting and finishing. In 1983 I started my first quilt which won Sweepstakes award at the 1984 state fair. That quilt is now owned by the Minnesota State Historical Society. The quilt also won me a free membership with Minnesota Quilters. For many years I've also been the quilt judge at the state fair, the last few years I've alternated with another judge.
How many quilts do you think you have made? How many are still UFOs (unfinished objects)?
I've made more than 100 quilts and wall hangings. For many years I was deeply involved in Minnesota Quilters, I served as President and was on the board for 13 years. I chaired 2 of their quilt shows and worked on 14 show committees. I also participated in most of the Quilt Discovery Days held around the state as part of the Minnesota Quilt History Project board of directors. During those years I did not get many quilts finished, but I've been quite productive since I retired from committee work. The last 2 years I've made a concerted effort to reduce my UFO count but there are still around 20 to finish + about 10 tops to quilt.
My style is all over the map. I enjoy doing modern designs, traditional, "civil war", Amish" and just about everything else in between. Red ends up in most of my quilts.
How many hours a week do you spend quilting on average?
Now that the kids have left the nest and married and I am no longer deeply involved with Minnesota Quilters I try to quilt 15-20 hours per week. Jane and I also do several quilt retreats with a group of close friends.
Describe your first quilt.
12 pieced baskets set on point - red, white and blue. I used a Jinny Beyer border print for the baskets. Hand pieced and hand quilted as was expected back in 1984. It took a year to make, most of the time spent on the quilting.
Which of your quilts is your favorite or are you most proud of and why?
I've done so many it is impossible to choose, but my first quilt and the quilt I did for my oldest son (started in 1985, finished in 2013) would top the list.
Where do you sew? Describe your space and your favorite quilting accompaniments (music, tv, wine, etc).
Jane and I both sew on older, metal body Berninas. I sew in one of the kids bedrooms, Jane sews in the other. However, most of the rooms in our house are at least partially used for quilting. I normally have some type of background noise going, either the tv or my iPod.
Describe your fabric buying habits and stash. How do you manage your stash?
Shop owners love seeing Jane and I enter their shop. Most of our stash is neatly folded and sorted by color/style in Jane's sewing room. The rest - not so much.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about quilting?
I love piecing, don't really do applique. I even enjoy binding a quilt.
What are your current and/or long-term quilting goals?
Hopefully some day I will get to make a quilt for a granddaughter :)
What is one (or more) quilt technique you would like to learn or are afraid of?
Someday I will learn to do needle-turn applique.
Who or what inspires you most in quilting?
The close friends I've made over the years through quilting.
What advice do you have for new quilters?
Just do it. The joy in quilting is in the people you meet, the joy of the recipients of your quilts and the enjoyment in the process and finishing.