Welcome to our 2015 Designer of the Month program, I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan! Our July interview and mini quilt is from the super talented Ebony Love! If you have not meet Ebony and followed her really fun sew alongs, you are in for a treat. Ebony is an expert in die cut machines and you can learn a lot from her books and lessons on getting the most from your machine. Plus she has run the ever popular Downton Abbey sew alongs and see at the end what’s next! I interviewed Ebony on 4/1/13 and 2/11/13 .. you can listen RIGHT at your computer to my podcast HERE We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a block from our 2014 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 FLICK GROUP HERE Let’s get to know Ebony! Ebony where do you live? I live in Northern Illinois – so close to the northern border that my real estate agent said to me when I relocated there, “You might as well stay in Wisconsin.” But I love my neighborhood, and now that my shrubs have grown a bit, I can almost pretend I don’t have neighbors when I’m sewing. When was your FIRST quilt sighting? I really have no recollection of my first quilt sighting. I didn’t start out as a quilter; I was more of a fashion/accessories/home dec stitcher. I think my very first quilt was a t-shirt quilt, and that was just born out of necessity. I had all these shirts that I couldn’t bear to part with, but I also could no longer wear. I mean, at some point, you do have to give up your high school freshman spirit shirt. I didn’t know anything about quilting, so this one is pretty bad, but it served its purpose. Do flirt with the idea of taking it apart and doing it the right way (even really, really quilting it) but I haven’t gotten up the nerve yet. I didn’t start making quilts in earnest until my friends started having babies. I remember when I gave a baby quilt at a friend’s baby shower, it was all anyone could talk about. Best gift ever! I didn’t think it was that great, but a few people from the party wanted me to make them quilts too. So I did. And that’s how I got started. When you go to a quilt show, what types of quilts are you drawn to? My secret confession is that I rarely even see the quilts when I go to shows; I’m way too busy and exhausted to walk around the actual quilt part of shows because I’m usually teaching or vending. Because I do that so much, I don’t really go to shows just to go to them… quilt shows are “work” for me. Sorry to be the party pooper. On the rare occasion that I do get to see quilts, I’m first drawn to use of color. I love making quilts with bright colors myself, so I’m naturally drawn to the ones that I most like making. I also adore geometric shapes and symmetry (or lack of it.) I love lines and how they interplay and intersect. I love deconstructing quilts in my head and figuring out how they were made. Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it? Do you still do that career while having your design business? My whole life has been a blend of art and other pursuits. I’ve always been making, so it seems natural to keep doing that even as I continue to pursue my career. I think they balance each other out. When I’m not quilting, I work in information technology for a large consumer packaged goods company. The sweet thing is… my main client is the group of folks that create recipes for our products, and I always get to sneak in and eat whatever they happen to be cooking up. Yum! I am a degreed engineer (like Lynn Harris, Industrial Engineer) but only apply my engineering skills these days to the quilting process. I’m always looking for efficiencies, which is why I primarily die cut my quilts, why I have so much fabric on hand, and why I ultimately bought my own long arm (its most recent incarnation is as an HQ Infinity named Buzz Lightyear.) What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it? My studio is colorful and absolutely stuffed to the gills with fabric. The only thing I would change about it would be to make it bigger – isn’t that typical? The studio is no longer one room; it’s spread across three floors of my house. I bought this house for the studio space, thinking I would confine it to the main room. Then it took over the basement too… then the living room… and I have contemplated moving my couch & tv into a spare bedroom so I can just take over the entire first floor too. Do you have a GREAT storage, organization, or label making tip? I have so many favorite ways of organizing and storing things, but my favorite has to be my tackle box of needles. It may be a little over the top for some people, but for me, the right needle & the right thread combination have been really critical parts of my sewing success. I never like to be in a position to wish I had the right needle for the job, and this way, I know exactly what I have and what it’s for. I’m also pretty obsessive about my project storage. I keep every project in its own numbered bin, and I keep an inventory on my website. I try to only have a couple of projects active at one time, so that I stay focused and finish things. I also track where the project is, either in the studio as a UFO, or in the Buzz’s room waiting to be quilted. What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread? Oh gosh. That’s like making me choose a favorite color of Kona. But if you push me, I’d have to say
- 2310, because it is my go-to neutral thread, and all of my quilts have this thread in it somewhere.
- After that, 1100 and 4182, because they are just so luscious. Plus they match my logo.
What’s new? I just launched the latest Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt Along called Hampshire Holiday (sign ups are still available), which is my 3rd mystery quilt for DA. It won’t be the last, but before we do another I’ll be hosting the Little House on the Prairie Mystery Quilt Along, Dear Laura. That’s still a couple of months away from launching, but I’m super-excited about the fabric line and the story. We’re going to have a blast! What about your Month Inspired your Quilt Block? July is usually pretty blazing hot, and I just wanted something blazingly bright and cheerful to greet me in the studio. I also wanted a little bit of a challenge, and this quilt challenged me to work small.
Download Jungle Gym by Ebony Love for Aurifil
And a few on the light side…
- The Book you are currently reading – Finders Keepers by Stephen King, the sequel to Mr. Mercedes. I have read just about everything this man has published. I’d probably read his grocery list if he published it. I’m a voracious reader though, so before this is even published I’ll have finished it and probably one or two others.
- Favorite TV show – Again, with the favorites? How can I pick just one? Let’s just go with Masterpiece. That covers a pretty wide swath. And NYPD Blue. And whatever I happen to get hooked on in Amazon Instant Video.
- Are you a Dog or Cat person? – I’m a cat person… as long as that cat lives at someone else’s house.
- The snack you crave – Wint o Green Lifesavers. I can seriously eat an entire bag by myself, and have done so on many occasions. I’m starting a new workout program soon, which will basically ban my consumption of this tasty treat, which will likely cause me to crave it even more.
- The Color you have always LOVED. – You know, I actually want to tell you about a color that I have always hated, and then came to adore. Pink. I remember vividly my mom trying to dress me in various shades of pink (bubble gum pink being the most offensive) throughout my entire childhood, teens and into college, and I just couldn’t bear it. Turquoise though, and all its hues and shades and variations, THAT has always been my favorite, and you can tell by the number of shoes, handbags, jewelry, and clothes that I own. I’m tempted to paint my car a shade of turquoise, but I stopped short because I want to make sure it’s the color I want to live with.
Find Ebony at all these spots! Website: lovebugstudios.com Blog: lovebugstudios.com/blog Newsletter: Cut. Quilt. Love. News. YouTube: lovebugstudios Instagram: lovebugstudios Facebook: EbonyLove.Designer Facebook Group: Quilt Along with Ebony Love I need help deciding fabric for my July Mini! Come over to my page and help me select! Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you! *************************** JOIN our Aurifil Family **************************** EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICKR PAGE HERE Our RANDOM pick this month grabbed Kathleen! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! And look at how clever she is with Barb and Mary’s block from last month (found HERE) Sign up for the Aurifil Newsletter… scroll to the NEWSLETTER box Become a member of the AURlfil fan page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aurifil.quilt.thread
Thank you very much Mr. Random for picking me this month. I had a lot of fun with the blocks and building my orcas.
Thank you for sewing with us Kathleen!
Really love the quilt for this month!
Can’t wait to see yours!
Super fun interview! I love that Ebony is just about ready to commit her entire first floor to quilting!
Yay! I met Ebony this past March at CABS. I so enjoyed learning more about her. I wish I had a whole first floor for my sewing studio. I loved her “how I got into quilting” story.
Wint o green lifesavers, I always have a pocket full. 🙂
love the block, thanks much Ebony and Pat ♥♥♥
I appreciate Ebony’s efficiencies. I read everything she wrote for a year while considering a die-cutting machine. I’ve used my GO machine for two years now and love how it helps me cut through my stash so quickly.