For the past many years I have been a wife, mom, teacher, engineer and quilter. My two sons are a joy in my life and while one is in college the younger son will soon be headed there too. I love teaching and math and I combine these two by teaching homeschooled high schoolers AP Statistics, online. I love to travel, to hike to a high peak or to sit and watch the birds fly about. Visiting a quilt shop along the way is always fun too. My husband is supportive of all these endeavors and encourages my diverse interests. And, yes I worked as an engineer for 20 years and hold five patents related to abrasive grinding wheels. How does an engineer become a quilter?
I certainly did not start out as a longarm quilt artist, taking pieced tops and turning them into beautifully quilted tops. Longarm quilting artistry is certainly something that I have fallen in love with. I enjoy doing freehand quilting or using technology to turn a quilt into a piece of art. There is a time and place for each technique on a quilt, and I enjoy seeing the quilt come to life as the quilting is added.
In the early ’80s I married into a family of quilters and I admired their quilts. A few months later my husband and I purchased our first home in the Clintonville area of Columbus, Ohio. Our daily walks took us past a little corner quilt shop. The first time I stopped in the owner shared that she was starting an 8 week quilting course (hand-piecing of course) that evening. What luck! I signed right up. It was during this course in 1983 I caught the quilting bug as I learned to hand-piece and hand-quilt from the lovely shop owner. For years I hand-pieced and at one point I even built a 10′ long solid-cherry quilting frame to use to hand-quilt my largest tops.
The years passed, we moved to Massachusetts and finally to Delaware where we now live. Sometime in the early ’2000′s I switched from hand-piecing to machine piecing. I even turned to machine quilting at the kitchen table with a walking-foot attachment on my sewing machine but it always seemed like there was just too much material and not enough sewing space. My unfinished quilt tops accumulated and I wondered what I was going to do. Should I send the tops to a longarm quilter or should I dive into longarm quilting myself?
At a quilt show about 2008 a dear quilting friend and I admired the longarm machines. She teased me that we should purchase one, keep it in my home since her home was too small for one. AnnMarie said she would come to my home and quilt, and we joked about the pleasure this would bring us. In 2010 with my oldest starting college I began thinking about what I wanted to do in the next chapter of my life. It was at this time that AnnMarie was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, and so my direction took shape. At the Lancaster Quilt Show in ’11 I purchased my Innova, and after a few practice quilts I worked through AnnMarie’s stack of UFOs. She saw just a few of her finished projects before she passed away in July ’11.
I enjoy learning from others so I attended ABM’s Innova training course in St. George, Utah. This three-day intensive training class was amazing! But I didn’t stop there. I took additional longarm classes at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA, at an AQS show in Lancaster, PA, the Quilt Expo in Philadelphia, PA, and MQX in New England. I continue to visit a few quilt shows every year, looking at quilts, gathering design ideas and chatting with other quilters.
In 2012 I teamed up with a fellow quilter making t-shirt and memory quilts. A few of our quilts are in the gallery too.
And that brings us to today. Wander through my gallery, see some of the quilts I completed for Ann Marie’s family, a few customers’ quilts and a few of mine. The photo to th left is one of AnnMarie’s sons pointing to the Eagle Scout quilt she made for him and quilted by me.
If you have a quilting project you would like to chat with me about, send me a note. ( send to carole ’at’ quiltsbycarole ‘dot’ com)
As a quilter for over 30 years I fully understand the effort and love one puts into piecing a quilt top and I will quilt your top as if it were my own, with love and care.