Pellon: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Linda: When designing our children’s fabrics, Diana & I call upon our years of elementary and secondary teaching experiences. Also, rearing two children each, and now our 9 grandchildren inspire our themes as they have developed from infants to 10 years of age. Diana has a Specialist degree in Gifted Education which affords great insight into our design process. Often, the other classes I teach are inspired by the research for my three books on 4-block quilts. Usually, I am drawn to a large traditional appliqued or pieced block, then I draft it to fit my needs. But often as not, a motif from catalogue photo inspires a flower or geometric shape that begs to be a quilt!
P: What does your creative process entail?
L: The projects and quilts I make from our fabrics range from educational interactive toys, clothing and room decor, to using the high contrast geometric non-juvenile prints within the collections that art quilters and modern style quilters would love to have as part of their clothing and home decor. Several of my School House presentations at Markets involve using quilting and sewing tools in different ways other than the original intention just to show their versatility in creating unique quilts and projects with our fabrics. Specialty rulers always stimulate my creative juices!
P: Why do you enjoy sewing/crafting/quilting?
L: I find the creative process invigorating, not intimidating. When Diana & I brainstorm on fabric designs, my first thought is, “can I use this in a block or border?” Can a quilt maker sewist use this? Also, hand applique is very relaxing to me, especially if I can sit on my bed and watch TV. If I don’t have a sewing project in my hands, I feel like I’m wasting that TV time.
P: Do you create mainly for satisfaction, gifts, art or another reason?
L: Right now, I’m always working on class samples or marketing samples for our fabric lines. For my grandson’s 8th birthday, I did make him a Star Wars quilt, though!
P: What tips or tricks learned through experience can you share?
L: When hand appliqueing, either keep your thread above the shape being sewn down, or below it. Do not go back and forth as this will cause the stitch to loosen on top.
P: When and why did you start sewing/quilting/crafting?
L: I started sewing clothes in Jr. High, and my Sr. High graduation present was a Singer Zig Zag sewing machine! I started hand appliqueing and quilting 8 months before my oldest daughter was born so I could bring her home in a quilt I’d made. Of course, it was an applique’ kit quilt and I didn’t know I should hide the knots inside the batting. But when my husband got into Med School, Mom said, “Now Linda, you’re just going to have to find yourself something to do!” So I took a beginners quilting class, and that as they say, was history in the making.
P: What inspires you to start a project?
L: If it’s not a gift for a special occasion, these days, it’s a deadline for a magazine, new class or Market debut. But, I love the process from beginning to end no matter what the reason.