Please join me in welcoming Vanessa Wilson as today’s guest blogger. She shares with us her very busy family and quilting life. She’s also giving away two patterns to two lucky winners that leave a comment here. See below for details.
Hi there! My name is Vanessa Wilson. I am the wife and mother behind Crafty Gemini, a blog dedicated to creativity on a budget! I post dozens of my FREE step-by-step text and video tutorials for beginning sewists and quilters. I also host giveaways, quilt alongs, and post product reviews of quilting devices, notions, etc.
So, who am I and where do I come from? I am a 27-yr old, wife and stay-at-home mama by day and a college law professor by night. My family is from the Dominican Republic. I was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Miami, Florida. After graduating from high school I attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL (GO GATORS!) and received a BA in Anthropology. Since I couldn’t do much with that degree I decided to attend law school at UF as well. After one year in law school I was in desperate need of a creative outlet.
Having always cooked, baked, decorated cakes, thrown pottery, etc. I really needed to get back into some kind of artsy hobby. So, I called my mother and (once again) begged her to teach me how to sew. I was 22 years old and had literally been asking her since I was 8. She always refused because she thought I was going to sew my fingers! The trauma behind that is that when my mother came to the U.S. at age 14 she worked in a clothing factory in New York city. She was such a speedy seamstress that sometimes she would sew her finger. OUCH! After her experience she didn’t want us to make the same mistake. Understandable. I assured and reassured her that at 22 years of age I was pretty sure I could keep my fingers away from that needle! She agreed and brought over a 1966 Singer sewing machine and taught me how to thread it and sew straight stitches. That was the beginning of my new obsession.
I immediately began repurposing old jeans into purses, and shirts into aprons, etc. A few weeks later I discovered a sewing/quilt shop in town and signed up for a pillow sham class, then a Christmas stocking class, etc. One day, an employee at the shop recommended I try quilting. I was completely lost and literally asked, “what is that?” Can you believe it?! I didn’t even know what a quilt was. I know.. I know… shame on me. But where I come from I’ve never heard of or seen a quilt. In Miami, I rarely even slept with a thin bed sheet. In Dominican Republic, of course, no one uses quilts. It’s just way too hot in the Caribbean. Anyway, I was enlightened and have been hooked ever since I made my first pink & purple nine-patch lap quilt. I remember rushing out of my law classes to make it to my quilting classes on time. My friends thought I was crazy!
In May 2008 I graduated from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, and soon after met my husband. After a few months of dating he saw how serious I was about quilting and offered to buy me my very own longarm machine! I knew then he was a keeper! Shortly after that we married and went on a fabulous Costa Rican honeymoon. The next year we welcomed JRW, our son, two days before my husband’s 30th birthday and have been enjoying our little family every day! I love these guys so much! We recently went to Crescent Beach to celebrate JRW’s 1st birthday and my hubby’s 31st. We had a blast!
Now, I spend my days chasing JRW during the day, teaching law classes in the evenings and blogging, quilting, drafting patterns, and designing new quilts late at night (think 10pm- 2am after everyone in the house is fed, bathed and asleep). I have a few e-patterns for sale in my shop now and am continuously working on new ones. I also offer longarm quilting services for which I do all my designs free-hand.
Sometimes when I’m really busy I even get a helper!
My goal is to eventually have my own quilting show! In the meantime, I post video tutorials to spread my love of sewing and quilting with the world. My videos cover a variety of subjects from how to make toddler pants out of a t-shirt to loading a quilt on you longarm frame. My YouTube channel has had great success with almost 180,000 views and about 1,150 subscribers worldwide.
I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about my fabulous and crazy life! To follow more of my quilty ventures check me out at the Crafty Gemini blog.
Now for the giveaway!
I wasn’t ashamed to show you a picture of my first quilt. The piecing itself was near perfect but I tried to quilt it on my regular sewing machine and well…. it puckered up everywhere! Now, it’s your turn. Leave a comment telling me about your first quilt. What type of design? what fabrics? colors? Was it perfect or a hot mess? Tell me!
Two lucky winners will receive copies of BOTH my Delightful Tweets and Up, Up and Away quilt e-patterns! You have until midnight on Monday, October 11th to enter. Winners will be randomly chosen on Tuesday.
55 thoughts on “Meet Quilter Vanessa Wilson (and a Give-Away too!)”
My mom, when a child and ill, was covered in a simple quilt, made of wools and velvets, in squares and rectangles. She said she almost wore out the velvet, fingering it when she didn’t feel well soothed her. She covered me with that same quilt as I grew up, whenever I was ill. By the time I got to High School it was a pretty fragile quilt, so I decided I needed to make my very own ‘sick quilt’. By making a pattern from the original,I did so successfully, if not perfectly, and was able to cover and comfort my own children through the years.
I don’t even remember my first quilt, but it was just made up of scraps of random fabric my mom had. I sewed them together and then we tied it at the corners. Eventually I learned how to hand quilt, and now I’m trying to learn how to machine quilt. Thanks for sharing your story! :0)
Enjoyed your blog. I always said I was a “sewer”, not a “quilter”, until I made my first crib quilt. It was in circus colors, starting with strips, then cut into shapes. It turned out quite well for a first quilt. It was made for my granddaughter, who was a “miracle baby”. Since then, I have been “addicted” to quilting and fabrics. I don’t do much actual quilting now that I can send off quilts to be long arm quilted. Thanks
Hello Crafty Gemini,
Enjoyed seeing one of your videos on U Tube and want to wish you lots of success! We have two daughters who graduated also from UF. Your story was very inspirational to me. My husband & I were also born in the Caribbean and never knew what quilts were until we moved to the U.S. with our respective families. Am so glad that you are passionate about your business. God bless.
Good story, I’m also from the Dominican Republic and planning to moved back soom I just worry about my quilting group.
I hope I could find some quilters there.
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