Monday, April 14, 2014

The Nest is A-Burnin'! Robin Koehler is in the Hottie Hotseat!

Jingle Penguin, Nestlings by Robin

Welcome to April's Hottie Hotseater, Robin Koehler!

Robin is a pattern designer whose designs are just as sweet and lovely as she is. Let's get the down and dirty on the real hottie behind the designs!

Name: Robin Koehler 
Business Name/Title: NESTLINGS by Robin, Owner
 Location: Tarpon Springs, FL
# Years in Business: 10

Current Quilt project:

Hawaiian quilt for Mom.
I am currently working on some miniatures for a book submission, pre-rejection. (Editor note: We certainly hope it is pre-ecstatic party!) I am also binding a 40 plus” x 60 plus” Hawaiian applique quilt for my mother, as well as designing a fun and secret quilt for my youngest who will graduate from college this May- YAY YAY YAY!                       

Question 1:  Tell us about the worst quilt you ever made.
It's a happy sun. - BH
Answer: My worst quilt, in retrospect, is my first quilt and to be fair, I didn’t know how to quilt at the time.  It is also the quilt I start my ‘How Hard Could It Be!’ trunk show/lecture with because it REALLY shows that we all start somewhere. It is a sun-theme quilt that was much loved until I finally got around to making a brand new king size quilt for us.

Question 2:  If I came to your house unannounced, could you give me a tour of your studio, or would it be such a disaster you would make up an excuse as to why we couldn’t go in?

Answer:  I could and would give you a tour about the creative space of an ADD quilt designer if you were so interested. It will not look anywhere near its best (usually doesn’t), but you would be welcome to poke around curiously.There aren’t any excuses that another quilter wouldn't  believe anyway.
Looks pretty normal to me. -BH
Question 3:  What do you love about your studio? What would you change?
Answer:  I have been extremely fortunate to have a designated space of my own our last 3 houses with each one getting better and better. In my best Goldilocks voice, “Too small, but great cabinets; Bigger, but NO cabinets/closets; Just right!”
My current studio is just lovely with lime green walls and black molding and flooring. I know it sounds ghastly but it just fuels me! The funny thing is that according to my mother, green and black have been favorite colors of mine since childhood. 
The story goes that my kindergarten teacher (I think) came to my mom concerned about me because while all the other girls were drawing rainbows in all the pretty colors, I used a lot of green and black to color most things. What’s a girl to do? Go with what you love!

Butterfly Cabin, Nestlings by Robin
As to what I would change?  Not too much other than a design wall.  The room itself isn’t huge but since we no longer have children at home, I have the guest bedroom to use as well.  That queen bed makes a great design layout area and my ironing board is right there too.  I just have to climb onto a stool to get a distance perspective sometimes.

Question 4: What is your favorite meal to feed your family when you are desperately trying to meet a deadline?
Answer: My guilty secret (not-so-secret with our friends who love his cooking) is that my husband is a great cook and has taken on most of those duties since the very beginning of our 25 year marriage. Now that the kids are out of the house, there are days he doesn’t feel like cooking and I graciously tell him that I will do it and would he like Chinese or pizza? 

Question 5: I am going to give you a two for one here-
Are you more likely to sing or to dance while quilting? 
What is the nerdiest thing about you?

Please tell me the man has finally cut his hair. -BH
Answer: These two go hand in hand for me because one of the nerdiest things about me is that I am a huge Broadway Musical/ Musical Movie geek. Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, any of the Disney musicals, etc. I love to spend a day of sewing while singing my off-key heart out at the top of my lungs. My pups are either tone deaf or very forgiving. This cannot be done on a designing or math day for that music needs to be wordless and usually in the new wavey-electric harp genre of Andreas Vollenweider, etc. Yes, I may even listen to Yanni if they play him on that station. 

Thanks for sharing your innermost thoughts and lovely designs with us, Robin!

Gingko Romance, Nestlings by Robin
Tropical Bluebells, Nestlings by Robin
Want more? Visit Robin at her Facebook page or her website and tell her I sent you. Maybe she'll give me a kickback.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sewing Machine Repair: The Musical

More than once in my life - three times now that I can think of - I've had a very unfortunate experience with very unfortunately insulting mechanics, each encounter leaving me ready to call the BBB and/or wave sharp objects dangerously close to their crotchal regions and watch them yelp in horror.

My sunny outlook on the subject may have you correctly guessing that the third and most recent experience was this week. We'll get to that in a moment. But first, a trip down memory lane to examples one and two.

1. 1995. My almost new Plymouth Neon (ie Barbie's Dream Car) is not braking properly, and I am just about having to stand on the brake with both feet to avoid slamming into anything in my way. Concerned that this is a major problem as stopping is not generally optional in city driving, I take it to the local repair shop. Not naming names, but it is in Woburn MA and shares a name with a famous roast beef chain in the Boston area.
File:Kelly's Roast Beef Revere.jpg
I've actually never been, although I hear Ben and Matt love it.

I arrive and explain why I am there. Without even looking at my car, mechanic laughs and says "Oh, you must just not know how to brake properly. With women it is usually their high heels getting in the way."

Can. You. Even?

I could not, and stormed out. Mr Quilting Hottie, who at the time was just plain old Mr Me and just barely that as we were just barely married, takes my car to the same place the next day whilst standing on the brakes with two feet at every stop sign, demands an apology and for someone to actually look at the car before passing judgement on his wife's braking abilities and/or shoe choices. Cue "I Need a Hero." Lo and behold, my rotors were so far out of alignment that the pads were barely able to touch whatever it is they touch in the wheel to stop the thing.

Score one for me not being an idiot, beyond not knowing how a brake/tire combo really works. Score negative one for certain good old boys.

Not the culprit. Wear your heels confidently, hotties.
 2. 2010 - 2012. In another American-car related debacle during which time I pledge over and over again to Mr QH that I am putting a flag pole in the front yard and proudly waving a Japanese flag every day until he promises we will never again buy an American car*, my Buick Rendezvous goes through an 18 month period of randomly speeding up while I am driving, without benefit of my putting the foot on the gas. I kid you not, I more than once drove from my home to Nashua NH, more than 12 miles away, without ONCE putting my foot on the gas and continuously hitting the brake to slow it down about every 30 seconds. When put into park, the engine would rev up to about 4000 and the car would buck like a drunken bull. The girls were forbidden from walking in front of it even when it was turned off. Conveniently, every time we made an appointment to have it brought to the shop, this behavior would stop. However, the mechanics at a local place that shall remain nameless but it doesn't matter as they are out of business now anyway, checked it out and could find nothing wrong.

You know where this is going. The conclusion drawn by mechanic: "Are you SURE you are hitting the brake and not the gas? Because there is nothing wrong with this car and I wonder if you are mixing them up."

How is this for an explanation - You are an !@#(**^ to suggest such a thing. I have been driving for longer than you have been alive and unless the gas and brake have been switched by elves overnight, think of another possibility.

After 12 months of on and off revving engine syndrome, cue "Greased Lightening," finally one day I managed to pull into the repair shop parking lot while it was happening, throw it in park, and for the first time ever IT KEPT REVVING FOR THEM TO SEE! I ran in to grab the young buck who thought I didn't know my gas from my elbow (see what I did there?) and he was in shock and awe over what was happening. It must have been magical for him. I mean, after all, my foot was nowhere near the gas. How could this possibly be happening without my stupidity playing a role?

The mystery could not be solved. Apparently apologies for blaming my natural stupidity when driving could not be mustered, either. They replaced a part and crossed their fingers and hoped for the best, but it kept happening. Eventually my father, who is neither chauvinistic about female drivers nor an auto mechanic, suggested the idea of a frayed wire. Which I told them to check out and which it turned out to be - cue the "Hallelujah Chorus". The look on their faces when my suggestion of what was wrong after their many looks at it turned out to be true was stupendous. Cue the band for "Who's Sorry Now."

Score another for me, and take several away from these mechanics who need a charm school lesson.

 *Eventually we will get to the sewing related debacle. But first, lest you think I am a horrid unpatriotic human being, know that between the Neon and the Rendezvous, we also owned a Taurus for 16 months which really wasn't awful other than the fact that it made me feel about 85 years old, and an Explorer, which was in the shop more than it was in the driveway and whose back window fell out TWICE, once on my head while I was trying to get the stroller out at Kohl's, and once in the lot of the repair shop right after they had called me to tell me it was ready to pick up after some random repair. Imagine my joy, when after I had called a friend to come help me pick it up and we had strapped two infant car seats into her car, they called back and said "Oh, Mrs. Helfter, sorry. Don't bother coming. The rear window fell out again and is in one million pieces all over our parking lot." 

I can't make this stuff up. Also know that we've had two Nissans, one of which we had for 13 years and the other we just replaced it with 3 years ago. Neither has been in the shop more than twice.

I rest my case.

Cue a choir singing whatever the Japanese National Anthem is. Say what you will about me, but I love their cars.
 But enough about how much I hate just about every car I have owned. Unfortunately this week I discovered that a tendency for mechanics to think women aren't at all inclined to have a clue extends to the sewing machine industry.

Longtime readers of the blog know that I came into possession of a mid arm industrial quilting machine about a year and a half ago. For $100, it seemed like a great deal and really has been, so despite the fact that it is made by a now-defunct company and came with the most ridiculously unprofessional "instructions" one has ever seen, it has helped me quilt some of my larger quilts in record time and with minimal swearing, so it has been $100 well spent.

Just a little something I quilted yesterday, as proof this story, as long as it is, has a happy ending.

Unfortunately, the fact that it was made by Design-A-Quilt, a company that went out of business apparently overnight and with no warning several years ago, and the fact that it is at least 150 pounds and set into a table 8 feet long means that any repairs needed are, in a word, a PITA. The parts list I have is full of numbers that mean nothing in modern day industrial machine world when I google them, and finding someone in the repair business who will make housecalls? Cue "You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy."

 Recently, I was sewing along, quilting my little face off on a fabulous creation (of course), when this piece of machine, the tension knob, came flying off and hit me in the face.

That's going to leave a mark.
 I tried to put it back in. It fell out immediately. I tried twisting when I put it back in. The machine laughed at me. I told it to shut up.

After a few days of mourning the loss of the use of the machine and wondering how I was going to get it out of the studio and where I could junk it for free because wow that wall it is against would make a great big huge design wall and think of the shelving I could add, I made one last ditch effort to find a repair person. In the event, I found a person. There is no need to describe him with "repair," but we could describe him with "insulting to my intelligence - AGAIN!"

Since I couldn't take the whole machine in, I drove over 35 miles to the nearest shop specializing in industrial machines to show them the part. I was told upon arrival that the man who knew I was coming in did not bother to show up at work that morning, but that I could leave the part. Cue "You Gotta Be Kidding Me."

It's a real song. And had I known it at the time, I would have sung it loudly.

With no other option, I left the part. I was called two days later and the following is as accurate a transcription of our conversation as I can remember:

Part guy: There is nothing wrong with this part.
Me: But there must be, as it popped out of my machine and won't go back in.
Part guy: It's a tension knob. (silence)

Me: I know that. The note I left you in my own handwriting says that. What does that have to do with why it won't stay on?
Part guy:  Well, it should stay on.
Me: But it won't.
Part guy: It isn't broken. There is no reason it shouldn't stay on.
Me: Obviously if it isn't staying on, there is a reason. Can I bring you some photos of the machine and that general area so you can maybe give me some guidance?
Part guy: Sure, I'm in the shop on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Me: Great.

Not the best convo ever, but despite my feeling like he found me stupid, I managed to keep it civil. So on a Thursday, I brought it in.

Guy was not there. The best I could do, after internally screaming for 25 seconds and reprising "You Gotta Be Kidding Me" in my head, was a repeat of the conversation above with the lady working there, who also assured me there was nothing wrong with my machine "because he couldn't see any problem with this part" and I began to wonder if it is just considered normal in the sewing biz for parts to fly off without warning and if maybe I'm the only person who thinks this all might be a problem. Cue any Headbanger song from the 80s, because I did a little of that. And then I left, deciding mechanics of every ilk need to stop assuming everyone is inherently dumber than dirt.

I may also have begun to dream again of my big design wall.

When I arrived home hours later, I sadly attempted again to put a round peg in a round hole and get the thing to stay in.
The round hole. As we can all see, there is nothing in there to grab a peg and hold it. But let's all remember, there is nothing wrong here.

 As a last ditch effort, I looked around for a screw or something that might hold things in place. On the underside of the machine, I found a small screw, and throwing caution to the wind, I unscrewed to see what might happen. Because if worse came to worse, I was shopping for shelving.

And what did I find? The part pictured above can be removed! There is a set screw in that part! Put the parts together and tighten and VOILA!

Well, there goes my design wall.
 Screwed the whole thing back in place, and suddenly the machine was working just fine. I thought about wearing some safety goggles just in case random things popped off again, because apparently this is now considered normal according to machine people, but thankfully nothing happened. Cue the Hallelujah Chorus Reprise.

Shout out to Angie
 Score one for me, take several away from repair people who not only refuse to be available in their shops, but also insist nothing is wrong when clearly something is.
Shout out to Anne because if she is still reading and laughing in her office today she is my new favorite.

And once again, a Happy Ending. Cue "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar"
 So what have we learned?

  • A good repair person who doesn't immediately assume we have no idea what we are talking about is extremely hard to find and may well be non-existent.
  • When you see a screw, unscrew it.
  • I won't be getting my design wall and shelving any time soon. 

Thank God there is always wine. Cue "The Theme to Cheers"."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Really Random? My middle name is Random

Read my friend Kelli's blog today, which is my favorite of all blogs ever except my own and you need to read it, and I was introduced to the idea of Really Random Thursday in blogland.

I am nothing if not random, and nothing if not a constant attention whore, and nothing if not always looking for a new blog post idea, so I am stealing Kelli's post outline of this list to let you in on my life as it is, today, Really Random Thursday, 3/27/14

Making : After a few days of sheer hell spent making countless diagrams to the point where I wanted to put my eyes out, I whipped up most of a table runner yesterday that has been in my head all year. Nothing is more exciting than a full day of sewing and loving the result.

Moditional Christmas tree
Cooking : Homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner. Yum!

Drinking : Before 10am  - gallons of tea. After 10 am until 5 pm - oceans of water. Happy hour - standing date with J Lohr and friends. (Fun fact - My father in law went to high school with J Lohr. His name is actually Jerry. Impress all of your friends at your next cocktail party.)

 Reading: Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White - picked up for 50 cents at the library book sale last weekend and worth every penny.

 Wanting: To have a reason to use my Eiffel Tower fabric

 Looking: Every day while out and about for any of the black bears in town that refuse to show themselves to me, but everyone else in town has seen them. Thinking of buying a whole mess of birdfeeders to lure them in.

Brynn's bear

Kirsty's bear

Joy's bear
 Playing: Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series on Audible while I sew.

As always, you are very welcome.
 Deciding: What to do about dinner tomorrow night, when I'm helping a friend by staying with her post operative 13 year old while she drives one of my girls to dance and another of my girls needs to somehow get to her 4:30 call time for a 7:00pm performance of Schoolhouse Rock and two of us really need a haircut and God forbid there not be a hot meal waiting on the table at 6:30.

In other words, just another day.

 Wishing: I didn't obsess about stuff I can't change.

 Enjoying: Watching dress rehearsals for Schoolhouse Rock and seeing how happy it makes my daughter to be on stage.

 Waiting: And waiting and waiting and WAITING for the release of "This is Where I Leave You," movie adaptation of my very favorite book of all time by the same name starring my very favorite smartass of all time, Jason Bateman. I may die of joy while watching it. If it ever comes out.

 Liking: The fact that I went outside without a coat on today and did not instantly freeze to death.

 Wondering: When someone will finally come up with a sarcasm font. Observe:

"I really enjoy how emotional my daughter gets over her science homework."  - ie, It is so great that my daughter loves science, wants to eat, sleep, and breathe it, and will cure cancer someday.


 "I really enjoy how emotional my daughter gets over her science homework." - ie OMG, this child needs to go to bed before we both end up in the crazy house.

See how helpful a sarcasm font would have been to let you know immediately that Paige was in bed by 7:50?

 Loving: How silly my girls are when they are not freaking out over science homework.
I also love that they still enjoy being quilt models.
Pondering: How amazing it is to me that I hit 900 fans on FB this week. The fact that anyone gives a hoot about my design life is just insanely crazy to me, but I love it!

Photo: Oh what a lovely and exciting thing to discover this morning! Kiss kiss!
Seriously nuts.
Considering: Going to swim laps tomorrow morning. Convince me.

Smelling: I hope I don't smell. In fact, since about fifth grade my nose actually doesn't work well at all, which is more a blessing than a curse. But in any case, I am currently and usually am at any given time smelling nothing.

Wearing: Well, it's after 8pm on a weeknight, so pajamas.

Noticing: How crazy hot my husband is. He's no Jamie Fraser or anything, but he'd make the cut if my guild ever made a Hot Husbands of Squanicookies calendar. More importantly, he'd be totally onboard. And even though he's not perfect, he still makes me laugh and makes me happy after almost 19 years, so that must be a good thing.

Knowing: The truth of this statement used to make me say "Oh God please tell me I'll feel that way ever." and now it makes me cry a little because this was just yesterday, wasn't it?

The Days Are Long, The Years Are Short.

Admiring: My pretty teal toes. Tis the season! Toes and Ovarian Cancer Awareness!

Buying: I still need a new Crock Pot because even after asking where everyone got theirs on FB the other day, I have not had time to actually go to the trouble to purchase one. Damn the other one for dying after 11 hard years of use.

Getting: Pumped to sew all the extras to Paige's dance competition and wondering why these things never come finished? For 85 bucks a pop, not only should there be no sewing left to do, the costumes should be encased in gold.

Feeling: Blessed that any of you cared enough to read this far.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Allow me to draw you a diagram of hell

Never for a second back on that fateful day of third grade where we had to write instructions for doing a task (tying a shoe, building a snowman, etc) did I think that assignment, which I totally rocked, btw, was going to be part of my daily life in my chosen profession. Thank you, Mrs. Crego, for challenging me to explain how to bake a cake. Had I been forward thinking enough, I would also have explained how to clean up the kitchen after said baking, and could have laminated my assignment for use as a handy guide for my own children someday.

I'm really happy with the balance my patterns have between holding your hand too much (Now that you have pressed the first block seam, please press the second. Now that you have pressed the second, please press the third. Do you need to go potty? How about a cookie break? Please turn the page, etc etc) as I know you are all very intelligent people, or throwing a photo of the finished quilt on the front, the supply list on the back, and the words "Have at it!" in the middle, as you would create some colorful and not so flattering new names for me. But that balance I have found between architectural line drawings and verbiage (that's fancy for diagrams and words), as much as I am happy with it, is still a challenge with every. single. pattern. And I get halfway through and end up doubting myself every. single. time.

I've spent the last couple of months hard at work on "Happy Jacks," my group project block from January which will be a pattern in three sizes the moment after God decides to allow me to declare it done, but the last five days or so have been what I like to call "Sheer and Utter Hell." Indeed, each time I reach Sheer and Utter Hell in the pattern production process, I rededicate myself to being the best mom, the most loving wife, the kindest human being, and most amazing Christian ever because should I fail, my eternity will undoubtedly be spent in front of a computer kerning text and rotating shapes and trying to fit 2" tall diagrams into a 1.75" tall space on the page and in general having to answer questions such as:

  • How many times is too many in one pattern to say "Press seams open"? (In HJ, I have said it at least once a page. Because you know if I leave it off a page, someone is going to say "How do I press this? Why didn't she bother to tell me???")
  • Is it possible to have too many diagrams? (I'm guessing no.)
  • Is it possible I may just curl up on the floor in the fetal position if I have to draw another diagram? (I'm guessing absolutely.)
  • When will this be over? I have so many other creative ideas in my head and I just can't wait to start them!
But I feel you are really still not understanding the full magnitude of the whole process, so allow me draw you a diagram of hell.

I've based my diagram of hell on this drawing I found, simply by googling "Diagram of Hell" (Isn't it fun to google random things and actually get hits? I love that.) which is from the website "The Bible Way Online" and seems fairly straightforward.

Flowcharts. Also something for which I can thank Mrs. Crego.
 Now, whether you believe in heaven and hell, whether you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Aethiest, Wiccan, etc, I love you all and want you to be aware that I am not posting that above flow chart as a statement, but as the model for my parody of the same, which is as follows:

Really, who doesn't love a flow chart?

I've spent most of the day between the fire and "Ready as I'll Ever Be." I'm ready to move on.

Tomorrow, please join me as we google "What cats wear to bed" or similar.

Monday, March 17, 2014

So It's Done...Now What Do I Do With It?

We all know the feeling of putting that last stitch in the binding, finishing a project that was either started last Tuesday (I'm talking to you, Angie), one that was languishing in the UFO basket for years, or something in between. Obviously we quilters, being the generous and giving sorts that we are, usually know where the quilt is destined to end up even before the first fabric is yanked from its place on the shelf or the bolt lovingly stroked in melodramatic ecstasy while standing in line at the quilt shop cutting table, but sometimes we actually make a quilt just to make a quilt. And those of us who design for a little profit as well as fun tend to do this often, and also have to store all of those quilts that we have to keep at the ready for lectures and shows.

I did mention I have well over 85 quilts in the house at last count, right?

Because I would prefer my family not have to live with piles of quilts just hanging out in the middle of the living room or stacked on the dining room table, I am always on the lookout for some cool new storage ideas. Not that I'm at a total loss for places to stick a quilt or two in my own home:

I do adore my apple ladders. Almost as much as I adore purple and teal. Extra props for those who saw this post on my Facebook page and recognized my sarcasm font.

Another joy of scrap quilts - they often go with everything! This one hangs out in the living room, but I could just as easily put it in the family room, bedroom, or even the garage if I was a fancy girl.

Turing this treadle into the powder room sink was our January project. This photo was taken this morning. Make lemons, hotties. 
Okay, okay. Stop the begging. I'll show you a photo of that quilt up there that you are dying to see. Another size is off to the quilter this morning, and pattern should be done very soon, thank God.
You thought you'd get the whole thing didn't you?
Side note - I was binding this baby at dance the other day, and all these dance moms kept exclaiming over its beauty. When I explained that they were exclaiming over the back of the thing and then turned it over so they could see the front, it was quite obvious that they liked the back better. And yet I am undeterred, because they are not quilters, and the quilters who have seen the "Happy Jacks" quilts in real life are much more enthused and some, who like me have no filter, have exclaimed "What a perfect backing fabric!" which we all know is Quilter for "Oh, which shop had that on their bargain rack, and Thank God you didn't put that on the front or you would have ruined it." This also taught me that dance moms like old lady fabrics. I'm a fan of learning something every day, but that was even more eye-opening than usual. I'm wondering if all the sequins have somehow ruined them for scrap quilts. It all left me wondering how many quilters are also dance moms besides me. Shout out if you are! I think we need to band together!

But back to quilt storage and display ideas. I know mine are really not the be all and end all of creativity, and I knew I could find more by dedicating a few hours to a Pinterest hunt. I was not disappointed. Check out these cute ideas!

 From Girls in the Garden
This is too pink for me, but I do love the concept. Thinking I might search some garage sales for a low bureau this spring!

 From Homegoods:
Don't everyone run out to the mall at once!

 From SisBoom:

Mom currently has her yoyo quilt hanging on the headboard of the 'girl' guest room. It's damaged, and missing chunks, so this way she can display it without risking it being messed with.
Apparently this yoyo quilt was too damaged to use as an actual bedcovering, but no one ever said you couldn't use one as a headboard.
 From a Flickr link

The Cupcake Quilt....could be a great runner or a one square mug rug also.
Cute cupcakes, even cuter hanging method!

 From Apartment Therapy

We do indeed have an unusable dropside crib in the basement-- love the idea of putting it to use.
This one left me saddened that I sold the cribs years ago.

 And if I ever get bored with my ladders standing against the wall, this idea from is pretty cool too:

Beehive Quilts: Great quilt display idea
Apparently some people even paint their ladders!
 As you might imagine, Pinterest has nine billion quilt storage ideas. These are only the ones that made the cut in my mind as doable and a little different. If you are looking for something crazier, I say go for it and be sure not to blame me when the project starts involving 27 trips to the hardware store and your March project becomes your July nightmare. Not that I know anything about that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Hottie Hotseat Is On Fire with Northcott Silk Fabric Designer Michele Scott

Welcome to March's Hottie Hotseater, Michele Scott!
Michele is a well known pattern and fabric designer whose designs have been featured in umpteen magazines and whose fabrics might just be hanging out in your stash. Let's get the down and dirty on the real hottie behind the designs!

Name:  Michele Scott
Business Name/Title: The Pieceful Quilter/owner
Location:  Deptford, NJ
# Years in Business: 15 years
Current Quilt project: Block of the Month for AQS

·       If I came to your house unannounced, could you give me a tour of your studio, or would it be such a disaster you would make up an excuse as to why we couldn’t go in?

I love my studio and would be jacked to have anyone come and visit!  I always have it in decent order because I’m way too OCD to have a lot of crap lying around.  I get nervous when things aren’t in order.  The reason why I love it so much is that my new husband created it for me.  Well, he’s not so  gwill be 4 years this summer.  When we got back together after dating 25 years ago and decided to get married 2 weeks after our first date, I wanted a studio.  The next day, he began transforming his den into said studio.  Right there, I knew he meant business.  I have everything there – my computer and “business” stuff, a badass Horne cabinet for my machines and a great cutting table.  It’s a place I love spending time and that’s so important when you have to spend so much time there.

·       How many completed quilts are there in your home?
This display is a brilliant space saver! - BH
I have over 100 quilts in my home.  The majority of them are hanging in one of the spare rooms, ready at any time to take to my lecture.  I like to bring LOTS of quilts to my lectures.  I hate slideshows.  They’re boring. I want my fellow quilters to really be able to see and feel the work.  Once, while my ex-husband was loading up the car with my 70-80 quilts to take to a lecture, he asked why I couldn’t just take pictures and do a slide show.  This is why he is “ex”.  Current husband does this for me without question.  That’s love, baby.   

The house isn’t over-decorated with quilts, though.  A designer told me that you should only have one quilt per room, so I stick with that rule.  Our absolute favorite, however, is the flannel lap quilt.  We love to snuggle under during winter months.
·       Who is your famous person doppleganger?

I’ve been told years ago, I resembled Glenn Close.  I guess I can see that.  I like to think I look more like Michelle Pfeiffer.  I guess I do...that is if you are drinking wine, stand about 10 yards away, and squint.
I'm not even drinking wine and I can see it. - BH

·       What is the ugliest fabric in your stash?

Flamingo Fling by Michele Scott
None!  I actually don’t have a fabric stash.  The only fabrics in my stash are mine!  I design fabrics for Northcott Silk, so I always have a bunch of it around.  When I travel, people always ask me how big my stash is...I MUST have tons and tons of fabric.  They find it hard to believe that I don’t.  Again, it goes back to the OCD.  If I’m not using it, I don’t want it around.  And I mostly only make stuff with my fabrics!  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I’m currently doing a Block of the Month for AQS and I needed a fabric that had longevity, so I chose a new staple fabric from my Northcott design mentor, Deborah Edwards called Shimmer.
More Flinging Flamingos
It’s this amazing collection of metallics.  I’m using 18 fabrics.  Writing the directions with 18 fabrics is a friggin’ nightmare, but it’s a cool quilt.

Michele was kind enough to offer us a sneak peek at her latest line of fabrics, "Dino Pals" for Northcott, which she told me "has consumed her entire winter." If only real dinosaurs had been so cute, perhaps they would not have become extinct.

·       What is the nerdiest thing about you?

About a year and a half ago, I began running.  Other than fabric design, it is the one thing of which I’m the most proud!  In the past 18 months, I’ve completed countless 5Ks, a 10 miler, and most recently, the Philadelphia Half Marathon. What the nerdy part is that I LOVE to run to show tunes.  And if I’m feeling particularly good during the run, I will sing rather loudly, oblivious to anyone around me.  I swear my neighborhood thinks I’m out of my mind.  For fun, I will play some of my running playlist for friends.  They love to laugh at me.

Thank you, Michele, for this fun look at your real person side. I'm sure any of us would love to have you run through our neighborhoods belting out show tunes! Thanks for sitting in the hotseat!

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