Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. November’s Designer of the month is award winning Quilter Laurie Tigner. Laurie’s work is show stopping. It’s not wonder she has won countless awards for her quilts. I’ve interviewed Laurie twice and you MUST listen in! The first time she revealed what happened when she attended her first quilt show, super funny!! And she also talks about using fabrics other than cotton. Want to know how she get’s that shine to her quilts? Well it’s not cotton!
Laurie has been on my Radio show Oct 1, 2012 and July 15, 2013. To Listen to my show CLICK HERE. then scroll down until you see the Green “Disco” ball. Once the shows load.. scroll the radio player to the date Laurie was on the show with me.
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block from our designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our Flickr page in the winner topics.
Let’s meet Laurie!
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?
When we married, we were given some quilts that my husbands grandmother had made many years previously. They were all hand quilted. We used them constantly, and when they became worn and a bit tattered around the edges, we retired them. Now that I know what a quilt is and how much work they are, I wish we had been more gentle with them.
Do you still have your first project you ever made? What was it?
No, I don’t even remember what my first quilting project was. But I have one of the first. I bought the pattern because it had piecing, paper piecing, and appliqué. I figured I could learn all the techniques in one quilt. I made three trips to the quilt store in one day because I kept messing up the paper piecing part and ran out of fabric. (About 20 miles each way). I had never seen paper piecing done and had no clue what I was doing. It was quite an experience.
When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to?
Color and overall first impression are what draws me first. Some quilts are absolutely perfectly executed, but lack pizzazz. I would rather see something with nontraditional methods or slightly off workmanship wise (within reason) than something that doesn’t have the “wow” factor.
Appliqué and painted surfaces are always a bigger draw for me. The beauty of quilt shows is that you see some new technique or combination of colors…the possibilities are endless.
We all have parts of the process we ‘prefer’ more than others. What part of quilt making do you ‘Prefer’ most? And which the least?
The planning and the making, especially if it is a new technique are my favorite parts. Always. I love taking an idea and making it work. There is an excitement there that is just fabulous and focused. Finding the right fabric is also so much fun and probably why so many of us have an “out of control” stash.
The part that I prefer the least would definitely be binding. I love a good binding, but the work is so repetitive, so by that stage of the quilt, I am already chomping at the bit to get started on something new. Now that I add so many embellishments to quilts, I have found it easiest and least painful to put the binding on and then add the fancy bits…..kind of like making yourself eat your Brussels sprouts before getting your ice cream!
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it? Do you still do that career while having your design business? If you’ve always done art, did you do another type before quilt making?
Originally, I got a degree in Art Education and taught art for two years. I knew fairly quickly that 30 kids throwing clay in a classroom was not what I wanted to deal with for a career, so I went back to school and got another degree in Nursing. I loved it and got to travel a lot and do so many things in that 28 years, 9 of which were in the Air Force.
I didn’t plan on staying in that long, but they kept giving me great assignments. I retired about six years ago to start my own business and have no regrets. During the time that I was a nurse, I continued to paint, throw pottery, do porcelain painting, stained glass and paint icons. When I started painting icons it sort of took over the other hobbies. I have always sewn, but it was more for making clothing and household items, until I got hooked on quilting.
When you want to ‘recharge your batteries’ what do you do, where do you do this?
Being a perpetually “busy” person, I don’t slow down very often. In the unlikely event that I want or need to recharge my batteries, I will sit and watch a movie or read a good book. I don’t like general television. If I am going to try to sit still, and enjoy it, it has to be something really good. Traveling is always good and one of my favorite things to do.
Do you have a tip or trick to make your quilt making easier?
Every quilt is obviously different and I learn things with every one. Right now I am working at finding a way to really “like” piecing. It is the repetition that just kills me. Pins get in my way and are not working for the accuracy that I want.
Had a brainstorm the other night about using a couple of small dots of fabric glue and ironing pieces together. Heck, you just sit there and glue/iron all those bazillion pieces and you are done in no time. Then when you sew, they will stay in place and not shift. No pins. It may take a tiny bit longer, but I think it will be worth it.
If you read this and try it, let me know what you think. If you like it, remember you saw it here first. If you think it is crazy, you heard it somewhere else!
Do you have a process you go through to get your ideas started?
Wow, am all over the place with this one….I have always drawn, and have sketch books from 40 years ago. It is fun to go through them every couple of years or so to see if there is something that I had “planned” to do….and take it to reality. We also have suitcases and boxes full of photos from our travels.
They are a great source of inspiration. Lots of times, I will see a color combination or a texture or scene that just speaks to me. If it keeps popping in my head, I will at least write or draw it down. Last night, my granddaughter was coloring and three colors she had put together almost dropped me to my knees. No, I won’t tell you which ones, but I WILL make a quilt made in those colors someday!
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
Green, Gold, white and red!
Do you travel to teach?
So far I have concentrated on building my pattern business and so have within a few hundred mile radius. Like most teachers, I started out teaching at quilt stores. Then retreats and the state guild shows. I really like the retreats because there are always those who like to work later into the night. I love that. Total immersion. I feel like the participants get so much more and have more fun than when you try to fit it all into a few hours.
I am a fairly laid back and comfortable teacher, maybe because I have been a teacher most of my career. Now I am at the point that I would like to teach more and have started applying to teach at the bigger shows. Will be teaching three classes at MQX this spring. I just had my website redone to be more user friendly and have a spot for classes, just need to get some time to get everything updated. I would love to come teach at your retreat or show!
What does your studio look like?
Right now??? They are in work mode, so are a mess! I love a neat and tidy work area, but I clean between projects, never really worrying about it while I am working on something. One studio is strictly for designing, sewing, and painting.
The other studio is for my longarm, fabric, and pattern storage. Both are pretty large rooms and every inch is filled. I need another room!
If you could train with, or work with, or follow one person for a day.. who would it be and why?
Phillip Jacobs or Tula Pink. Would love to see their process of turning their ideas into fabric. Sorry I can’t pick just one. They are both just so fabulous! Funny, I was pulling into the loading dock at Market once, right behind the Tula Pink trailer. Was so excited, I took a picture!
What is the Rock and Roll Song that Inspired your Quilt Block
Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan. I love the Byrd’s version as well, but Bob sings it best. My favorite line is, “to dance beneath the diamond sky, with one hand waving free”. I love that. So let’s name it Mr. Tambourine Man. Keep it simple.
Listen along to the live version with Bob, I totally love the stage guy in his button up shirt fixing the mic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeP4FFr88SQ_
It is so exciting to see all the block coming together!
And a few on the light side…
The Book you are currently reading – The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (third time of reading the series)!
Your Favorite Movie – Can’t do it. I have too many favorites and it just depends on my mood at the time. Each time I see a move that is wonderful I will swear it is my favorite of all time, until I see another that I love.
The Color you have always LOVED..… FUSCHIA !!!
Where to Find Laurie!