Featured Designer: Benita Skinner
How did you get into quilting?
This is the very first quilt top I began at 13. I loved Little House on the Prairie and the quilts on their beds plus I was learning to sew on the sewing machine. Like many quilters, I was given my first needle and spool of thread at 6, taught how to hand sew and never looked back.
I had saved fabric scraps from my mom (who loved to sew clothing) to make into doll clothes. Without a pattern or instructions I made the 9-patch blocks from these scraps of fabric. You can see that they didn’t line up well at all, as I had not considered the variation that could occur…and I even used fake fur from a puppet my mom made for my brother. That’s the best part of this keepsake. There are fabrics from clothing and aprons my mom and even my grandma wore.
I didn’t make my first completed quilt until I was in my 30’s, and haven’t looked back since!
How/when/why did you transition from a quilter to a designer?
After making my first finished quilt – a simple checkerboard quilt – I joined several quilt guilds in 1991. The guest speaker at the second meeting I attended talked about architecture in quilting. This collided with my love of Victorian homes, so I went home and made my second quilt, the Victorian Manor quilt. This quilt impressed one of the guilds enough they asked me to make up a workshop to teach my method…and my Victorian House workshop & pattern was born.
Which quilt is your favourite? Did you design it? Why is it your favourite?
That question is too hard to answer because I’ve designed over 100 lovely samplers & quilts!! One of my most treasured quilts would be my first sampler that I designed, with a crazy quilted center.
How many UFOs do you currently have? No unfinished quilts, but I do have lots of tops that haven’t been quilted yet.
What size of quilt do you prefer to make/design? (e.g. table runners, lap quilts, bed quilts, etc.) I have no preference, and enjoy designing all sizes of quilts.
What colour do you use most often in your quilts? Green (my favourite colour) & rose, with a bit of moss green & burgundy.
Favourite one-sentence tip for a new quilter: Keep the rules in mind to guide you, but in the end let your heart drive the decisions!
Favourite quote or mantra: Believe
Block Party #2 – Autumn Pumpkin
Here’s Benita’s block, Autumn Pumpkin… love her fabrics! Head over to Benita’s site to download the block tutorial.
Be sure to spend some time perusing my site, Victoriana Quilt Designs for all the freebies I have there for quilters! And Did You Know… You will hear about the next ‘Featured Fabric Giveaway Day’ when you receive Benita’s Facebook page posts.
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