Featured Designer: Nan Baker
How did you get into quilting?
I was a needlework designer. I found that many of my designs would translate very easily into appliqué quilt designs. I had sewed all my life and loved working with fabric, so why not? I called my local quilt shop and said I need some help. They gave me a quick basic course and the result is below. You will find that most pictures of my quilts have cats. This is Denny. More about him later.
I will admit that I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t understand all the terms, but took lots of notes. You don’t just learn these things overnight (well you might – but I don’t). It took awhile, but finally the light bulb went off in my brain and it started making sense. I haven’t looked back. My quilts are both appliquéd (machine) and pieced. I must admit that piecing is my favourite, but I am learning to do hand appliqué as people have told me how relaxing it can be. So we will see.
How/when/why did you transition from a quilter to a designer?
I guess you can say I transitioned from a needlework designer to a quilter when I made my first quilt from a needlepoint design! It is called Spring Fling Monkey. It includes appliqué and lots of ribbon embroidery. I was still holding on to the handwork which I love. I knew I had a long way to go with so many things to learn.
Which quilt is your favourite? Did you design it? Why is it your favourite?
My favourite quilt is Denny’s Hopscotch Quilt for many reasons. Yes, I did design it and it was all done by hand. It was my first hand quilt. I had lots of little 1 ½ inch squares that were given to me and they were just crying out to be stitched together. I had been wanting to do a hand quilt so I could sit and stitch in the evening with husband and cat nearby (or cat in lap). It just kind of came together.
I made it for my husband to be used as a lap quilt when we have cool nights. (Yes I know I live in Florida, but in the northwest part – so we do get some cool weather.) It is my favourite quilt because my cat, Denny, soon claimed it as his own and my husband lost out. He loved this quilt and I have many pictures of him enjoying nap time on the quilt. We lost Denny in February 2012. He was diabetic and had to have insulin shots twice a day for two years. He was a brave little cat and fought a good fight and we miss him greatly. He was 13+ as he was a rescue kitty when he came to live with us in 1999. So you can see why I love this quilt. It is kind of a tribute to him.
How many UFOs do you currently have? This page is not long enough!!!! Lots of UFO’s!
What size of quilt do you prefer to make/design? Lap Quilts
What colour do you use most often in your quilts? Yellow & Orange are my favourite colors, but blue seems to turn up in many of my quilts.
Favourite one-sentence tip for a new quilter: It doesn’t have to be “purrfect” the first time or ever.
Favourite size and brand of rotary cutter: Olfa – size 45mm
Favourite quote or mantra: Busy hands are Happy hands!
Block Party #39 – Just Plain Nuts
Here’s Nan’s block: Just Plain Nuts. It’s an excellent block for using up your scraps. Head over to her blog to download the tutorial.
See the previous free quilting blocks!
Nan has three prizes that she’s giving away.
The first prize is a year’s subscription to The Quilt Pattern Magazine. This is an online magazine that has been dubbed “awesome” by subscribers! Click on the magazine to learn more.
The second prize is a pattern of Nan’s favorite quilt – the one she talked about in my designer profile – Denny’s Hopscotch Quilt – and the third prize is 3 fat quarters.
Visit Nan’s blog to enter the give-away.