Featured Designer: Ebony Love
How did you get into quilting?
I used to do a lot of garment construction, making custom evening gowns and accessories for women. I had a dream of one day opening a bridal shop until I actually had to deal with a bride. Anyway, when you’re making evening gowns, you end up with a lot of fabulous, shiny scraps which I turned into the most horrid quilted projects.
I don’t have any photos of those early quilts; I wasn’t much interested in photographing my creations until I started blogging in 2006. Here’s a photo of the earliest quilt I could find. I took apart a few silk flower arrangements, crazy-pieced some patchwork blocks, and then mashed it all together.
How/when/why did you transition from a quilter to a designer?
It was a similar experience to the one I had when dealing with brides, only I was making custom quilts at the time. I had designed and pieced this really lovely quilt top, and then the client asked me to put pictures of her cat all over it. I ended up doing it for her, but I decided that the next person who wanted something like that would be doing it themselves.
When you make a quilt for someone, it’s always a 1:1 relationship – all the time and effort spent making that quilt only benefits one person. When you design something, there’s so much potential for it to benefit many people, and in potentially different ways. Maybe I turn the design into a pattern, or I make a quilt from it and sell it to a magazine, or I turn it into a tutorial, or make a video from it to demonstrate a technique.
I think I get a lot more satisfaction in teaching someone to make something than I do making it for them; once I realized that about myself, designing was a logical next step.
Which quilt is your favourite? Did you design it? Why is it your favourite?
I think my favorite quilt of the moment is called “QR Love”. I designed, pieced, and quilted it. It represents a quick-read bar code that says “Love” – but with all these bright colors & contrast in the wrong places, I doubt a QR Scanner would be able to read it. Still, I think it turned out pretty cool.
How many UFOs do you currently have?
58, in various stages of completion. The vast majority are in numbered bins in my studio; I have about 8 that are just waiting to be quilted, and 7 waiting to be bound. My oldest UFO is only from 2011 though; I get pretty mercenary about purging them. Periodically I host Orphan Adoptions on Facebook to get rid of projects, fabric, or tools I no longer want.
What size of quilt do you prefer to make/design?
I usually end up making lap quilts (around 60″) or smaller. Even though I have a long arm now to work on larger quilts, I think lap quilts are big enough for me to explore my ideas, but small enough so that I don’t lose interest halfway through. They also fit nicely on my design wall so I can photograph them.
What colour do you use most often in your quilts?
Pink. This is hilarious to me, since as a kid I absolutely despised the color pink.
Favourite one-sentence tip for a new quilter:
While accuracy is important, consistency is better.
Favourite quote or mantra:
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison
Block Party #43 – Snowflake Spinner
Here’s Ebony’s block: Snowflake Spinner. Yes, sadly, snow does arrive in Autumn too. Head over to her blog to download the tutorial.
See the previous free quilting blocks!
Ebony is giving away an issue of Love of Quilting, two issues of Quilty magazine, and a pack of 6 larger-than-fat quarters.
Visit Ebony’s blog to enter the give-away.