Jacquie, the quilter behind the Tall Grass Prairie Studio blog, graciously agreed to do an email interview with me. She is one of the twelve contributors to the book Block Party–The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog, & 12 Improvisational Projects. I asked her some questions about her quilting, the upcoming book (I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon and it is estimated to arrive by June 23rd), and modern quilting. I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit about Jacquie!
|When did you begin quilting? Were you influenced by a particular person or event?
I made my first quilt a little over 3 years ago. I saw the Gee’s Bend exhibit and was taken by the freedom and creativity expressed through the quilts. I bought the book at the exhibit and reading the stories of the women ignited something in me. My visit to the exhibit happened at the same time I decided to quit my job. I had a stressful, time intensive job and I went from 15-20 hour days and constant traveling to having nothing but time. I’ve always been a creative person and have exercised that through decorating my house and being creative with my kids, but with some actual time I found I had pent up creative energy. I pulled my sewing machine out of the closet, dusted it off and decided to make a quilt. Quilting has filled a part of me that I didn’t even know was missing.
How did you meet (or have you met) the other contributors to your upcoming book, “Block Party”?
Is there a story to how your exchange became a book? Did you collaborate together or separately?
The Block Party book idea was Kristen’s and the book became the focus a few months into the bee. We all got to know each other as we exchanged fabrics, made blocks for each other and made our quilts.
Can you explain the premise of the book? Does it emphasize quilting and patterns with some back story or vice versa, or something else altogether?
The book is unique in that it does both. There are blocks to learn and quilts to make, but the focus of the book is on the women in the bee and the collaborative and personal relationships that can develop online by quilting together. Alissa and Kristen have done a wonderful job capturing both the quilting and personal aspects of the virtual quilting bee.
You have beautiful photos on your blog! Do you do your own photography? If so what equipment and software do you use?
It’s funny that you think I do good photography. I take all my own photos and the best advice I have is to take a bunch. I have an average camera, an unsteady hand and a Mac. My husband travels and so I don’t have anyone to hold quilts for me, so creativity and ingenuity is a plus. I sometimes tweak photos a bit on i photo, but for the most part the photos are what they are. I try to use natural light and I’m always standing on chairs or climbing a ladder trying to get a good shot.
Do you have any advice for newbies?
My best advice is to make what you love. There are so many roads to take in the art of quilting, so many things to discover and try. Making a quilt takes effort, and putting effort into something you love is so satisfying. Second piece of advice; learn the basics and keep learning. However you learn best, searching online, classes or trial and error and teaching yourself, taking some time to understand the fundamentals will serve you well and many times prevent some of the frustrations that can be part of being a quilter.
Do you consider yourself a modern quilter? What does the term mean to you?
I do consider myself a modern quilter. For me, modern is an aesthetic choice. My home is an eclectic mix of vintage and modern pieces. My quilts reflect some of the elements of modern art and design: simplicity, clean lines, graphic shapes, minimalism, bold use of color.
Modern quilting is also about attitude. It’s a do what I want, what I love, and how I want to do it kind of thing. It’s not rejecting was has come before me, but taking traditional quilting and spinning it in a way that works for me both in method and aesthetic.
The quilts I made three years ago are nothing like I’m making now. I think that’s part of being a modern quilter, growing, changing, and evolving as an artist. I’m constantly trying to find, articulate and refine my own quilting voice.
Peeps: stale, fresh, or no way? Cute, but not for human consumption. Might make a nice art piece.
TV: comedy, drama, or reality? I’m more of a music person…but I like anything on TV that relates to art and design. I’m a Project Runway fan for sure! HGTV is the go to channel in my house.
Interior decorating: Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or Ikea? All of the above with quirky vintage and resale shops thrown in for good measure.
Shoes: heels, flip flops, or boots? Gee, my closet has all 3, but where I live boots are a must.
Vacation: staycation, the beach, or the mountains? Any vacation is good, but my dream vacation, New York City, a boutique hotel, a Broadway show or two and a small bistro with fabulous food. A girl can dream, right?
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Jacquie!!! Be sure to visit Jacquie’s lovely blog and say hi