Charity Quilts


February Member Spotlight - Bobbi Brekke

Bobbi has been a been a member of the Austin Modern Quilt Guild since February 2010. She served as web admin for the guild from May 2010 'til May 2011. You can find her blog over at

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – where you are from, etc.
My family is from northern Minnesota, but we moved to Arizona when I was six. Since my parents are teachers, we spent our summers with family back in Minnesota. When I was in junior high, my dad began building our family's summer cabin on an island on the lake. It took about 5 years to finish and they still live on the lake during the summer. I always visit every July. I have to say, island living is the best! I've been driving a boat since I was 13... I can even parallel park a boat. Not many people can say that.

2. Tell us about your quilting history – how/when you got started, who introduced you to quilting, what was your first quilt, etc.
Both of my grandmothers were avid sewers. My maternal grandma always made my mom's clothes when she was a little girl. My mom remembers she would go to bed and when she woke up in the morning, her mom had made her a new outfit in the middle of the night. (My grandma was an avid coffee drinker back in the day.)

My paternal grandma introduced me to quilting. As a child of the depression, her quilts were built upon fabric scraps like old clothing or even old quilts. They weren't pretty, but very functional. One of my favorite quilts she made was a lap size wool quilt. It's super 70s, yet very modern. It's backed in a turquoise heavy wool-blend, the front is a mixture of greys, orange reds, and turquoise, and its tied with red yarn.

My first quilt was my project for the gifted program in high school. I had no idea what I was doing, but luckily I had a book to tell me what to do! I still have that book. One day I'd like to go back and make another quilt, but this time use modern fabrics.

3. What is your favorite thing about quilting? What is your least favorite?
Favorite part about quilting? Picking out fabric. My fabric stash (aka hoarding) confirms that!

Least favorite part? Anything after completing the top. I'm really good about starting projects, pretty good about finishing a quilt top, okay about quilting, and eventually I'll bind the quilt. My New Year's resolution is to finish WIPs this year. :)

4. Is there a technique on your list to learn this year?
Definitely. Long arm quilting. It's my present for finishing graduate school in May!

5. Do you like to have multiple projects going at once or do you usually finish one before starting another?
I am always juggling projects. Not counting the unfinished WIP quilt tops hanging in my closet, I'm in the process of quilting a charity quilt and piecing a baby quilt. And I just finished a baby quilt.

6. Do you have a stash? If so, any big plans for it?
Oh... do I have a stash! Half of it is out in our storage shed in the backyard. I have to tell you, you will not dent into your fabric stash when it sits in the storage shed in the backyard. The fun half of my stash is in the house. My resolution for 2012 is to not add to the stash. Luckily, I stocked up on extra fabric and batting back in November 2011!

7. What was the best thing you brought into your sewing room/studio to help you organize it?
Since my other resolution is to organize, I bought a hanging shoe organizer at Target. Most of my fabric stash is in a closet, so why not take advantage of vertical space for organizing? I'll let you know later how it goes.

8. What is your current fabric obsession (color, line, style, etc.)?
Besides my love for Kaffe Fassett, I am loving Crate and Barrel's Marimekko line. During my late 2011 stash add, I bought about 20 yards of assorted Marimekko from the Crate and Barrel outlet. It was $4.95 per yard. How could I not buy it, right? The colors are rich, the fabric is fun, and I think they will make good backs for quilts. I've already used one on a baby quilt in 2012!

9. What tool could you not live without?
My rotary cutter.

10. How many sewing machines do you have?
Two. Originally my mom's 1975 Viking Huqsvarna. That went out in 2010 and I replaced it with a Bernina Activa 220. I love my Bernina! Still trying to figure out what to do with the broken Viking. Any advice?

11. Do you do any other sewing besides quilting?
My sewing skills came to the rescue over the 2011 holidays! I was asked to alter a Christmas present for my 3 year old nephew. All he wanted for Christmas was the RED Power Ranger Samurai costume. "The one with the swords." Turns out, lots of kids did too. The family could only find the kid's size large costume for sale, so I hemmed the legs and arms and added pockets to his costume. It was a big hit!

12. What are you currently working on?
A baby quilt for my cousin and his wife. The gender won't be revealed till birth, so this is a gender neutral quilt.

13. What else do you want us to know about you?
I love living in Austin! My two favorite things about Austin are live music and the Austin Modern Quilt Guild. I am sew happy to have joined AMQG! Yes, meeting local quilters has not been kind to my wallet... You ladies are total fabric hoarding enablers. But I love ya just the same!


  1. This is a great post! Bobbi, thanks for sharing; I had no idea people parallel parked boats. You always seem to working on a charity quilt, I think that is great.
    And I think you'll love long arm quilting! It gives you so many more options and the size of the quilt is no longer an obstacle!

  2. First, congrats on the graduate degree! Second, how cool to have an island cabin in a cool place instead of July in Texas. Third, it's reassuring to know that there are so many of us fabric hoarders out there.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us.