When Rhonda and I started talking about doing this quilt along together, she asked if she could interview me for one of her podcasts. You'll be able to hear my interview on the 21st but I thought it would be fun to turn the tables on Rhonda and do a little interview of her too! So here it is:-
Rhonda, tell us a little about yourself.
I am 41 years old with one child left at home. She is a junior in high school and a varsity cheerleader. I just celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary to the most amazing man! When we married he had three grown children (almost my age) and I had one very young child. Then together we had one more. Through the course of our marriage we adopted one more (not legally since she was almost grown but nonetheless, she is one of ours). So together we have 6 wonderful children, 11 grandchildren and a great grandchild on the way.
We currently live in the beautiful town of Cumberland Gap (pop. 210). We moved here 2 years ago from Michigan and a much larger town (pop. 21,000). It was a culture shock for my daughter at first but now we all love it and cannot imagine being anywhere else.
How long have you been sewing/quilting?
I have been quilting (I don't sew) for just over 15 years. Over the years there would be times when I wouldn't do much quilting because life would get in my way but it was never longer than 6 months. Since I was about 10 I have been doing crafts of some kind - crocheting, lacy stuff etc. BUT quilting is the one thing that STUCK. Funny thing... when I was pregnant with my daughter, I decided I wanted to make myself a dress. I bought a pattern, material and all the hoopla. You should have seen the mess that I ended up making. I would have to have been in a freak show to wear it ... the sleeve ended up on the chest (but only one of them). Again... I don't sew!
What kind of machine do you have?
I have a Singer Quantum XL100. I bought it on Ebay about 8 years ago for $300. I got a great deal on it and it has been a good machine. I have taken it apart twice myself (amazing it still works!) but it is VERY difficult to find parts for now. It it ever breaks down I am in serious trouble. It has many bells and whistles so to purchase a comparable I would need to sell one of the kids - anyone interested?
What do you enjoy most about the quilting process?
The planning part is my favourite. I love putting all the fabrics together, cutting it all up and preparing it for sewing. I don't mind the sewing part either. I love watching it all come together. Actually, I don't mind any of the "parts" as long as another idea doesn't come along before that project is finished. New projects distract me very easily. Thus ... UFOs galore!!!
What is your favourite thing you have ever made? Was it for you or did you give it away?
Ooo that is a tough one! It would have to be my very first quilt - my sampler. I think the reason it is my favourite is because I know some day my first grandchild (biological for me) will get it and that she will cherish it because Nana made it. It has a great label on it too. I named it Genesis because it was the beginning of my love of quilting.
Favourite ever fabric line? Favourite fabric designer?
Wow, these questions are hard ... are my questions this hard? (Rachel: Uh, yeah!) Ok, let's see...
My current favourite fabric is Spotted Owl by Alexander Henry. My current favourite fabric line is Taza by Dena Fishbein for Free Spirit (Rachel: Ooh, one of my faves too!) But Alexander Henry is my favourite fabric designer because he is not afraid to go off the beaten path. I love his Ghastlies line. That to me is the epitome of his design work. Love his stuff!
When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in January 2011 mainly because I was missing my quilting friends from Michigan. I don't have any here in Tennessee and I needed to have people with similar interests to chat with. I found a few blogs online and knew that was my answer. I followed those blogs for about a week and didn't like that they were dominating the conversation. So I started a blog!
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Oh, this one is easy ... it is that I have quilting friends again. Ok, so they are not sitting in my studio having coffee (at least not in the flesh - only in my mind) but I have people with whom I can share my quilting (and sometimes life) dilemas and victories. People who can help me through the best way to finish a project (even if they don't know they are doing that). People who will tell me the truth (at least I hope they are - I think I want the truth?!?!) I still talk to my quilting friends in Michigan but they lead busy lives (and don't have blogs and rarely check their emails!) Now, with blogging, I don't need Tennessee quilting friends - I have friends all over the world.
What made you decide to start podcasting too?
I started podcasting for very much the same reason I started blogging. A couple of months after stumbling upon blogging and starting my own, I found podcasts. This was perfect as I could listen while I was sewing (I couldn't read blogs while sewing - it became dangerous!) Well, a couple of months after that I decided I didn't like that the conversation was one sided. It took me a bit to figure out what my "niche" would be even though other podcasters said I didn't need one (but they all had one and I wanted one too!) This was all around the same time I was working on my Lilys Quilts Dresden Plate. After watching Lynne's amazing work I knew others needed to know more about her and my idea blossomed ... interview bloggers. I decided to do that every other episode out of fear to be honest. I wasn't sure I would have enough people willing to answer my questions. That has proved not to be a problem and instead I am interviewing more than I am doing general chatter. I can't give up my general chatter episodes though... I have to much I want to say (regardless if people want to hear it hehehe!)
As well as quilting, blogging and podcasting you also work full time - HOW do you fit it all in?
I wish I worked full time. I think I actually work a couple of full time jobs rolled into one. The problem (maybe that is a bad choice of words) is that I work for family. so when I see a problem and I have the means to fix it... I do it! That is what family is for... right?
To be honest, I am not sure how I fit it all in. There are times when I have to let something go. One thing that I had to decide was that I would not do a daily blog post (Rachel: Does anyone?) Sometimes I am not even a weekly post blogger, but I post what I can, when I can. I am not sure what my readers think about that though. I have never asked. Additionally, there are times when my podcast was late being posted. That is life. Podcasting can be a time-consuming process (one that is rewarding but only internally); but, I love it so much that I am ok with that. I love chatting with friends and "bringing my town to yours".
And finally, which is your favourite holiday? - as the QAL will be running over Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas - in the UK we obviously don't have Thanksiving (but I think we should!) and Halloween isn't such a big deal here either, so I am quite curious about this!
Well, let me start by saying I am NOT a huge fan of Halloween at all! (Rachel: Me neither - we don't "do" it at all in this house!) I would not be disappointed if that holiday just disappeared. BTW, is it really a holiday?
I love Thanksgiving because I love to eat! My problem with it is this... I have get to eat with the very people I work with every day. Doesn't that sound like fun? Hehe and that is all I have to say about that.
BUT CHRISTMAS... I love Christmas ... this one is my favourite by far!! There are numerous reasons but the main one is my religious beliefs (of which I won't go into here). This holiday is a big deal for us! AND I get to watch my kids and grands enjoy each other's company. That does a Nana's heart good. The presents ... honestly, I could do without that part but I deal with it. Oh, if only I could get all those UFOs finished for presents ... NAH... no point in setting unrealistic goals. LOL
Thank you so much Rhonda! It's been great to find out a little more about you. You can find Rhonda's blog here and you can also find her podcasts there, or listen to or subscribe to them on itunes - search for Quilter in the Gap's Podcast.