4.11.2012

April Member Spotlight - Heather Scrimsher

Heather has been a member of the guild since 2010. She is currently the head of the AMQG planning committee and will also be hosting the Piece-A-Long at this month's meeting. She can be found blogging at fiberosity.com and tweeting at @fiberosity.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself – where you are from, etc.
My name is Heather, my favorite color is blue, I've been married for 19 years and have 3 daughters ages 15, 13 and 10. I'm from Oregon, in a fairly small town about 90 miles south of Portland. Although the location had moved, all my girls were born in the same hospital I was born in. I never planned on leaving that area, I loved the tall trees, cool evenings, rain, mountains, cold sparkling streams and the amazing stuff to do outdoors. Although I didn't realize it at the time, I should have relished the lack of fire ants too. My husband's job moved us here. Its different, but thats not necessarily bad. I like experiencing new things.

2. Tell us about your quilting history – how/when you got started, who introduced you to quilting, what was your first quilt, etc.
I've always been fascinated with sewing. I remember my mother sewing at the dining room table when I was very young. One day she got up to stir dinner that was simmering on the stove and I took the opportunity, jumped into the now empty seat, stuck a leather key holder under the needle and pressed the gas pedal. I know I at least broke the needle, perhaps other things, but I remember my mother screaming at me. And being banished to hand sewing for years. When I was about 10, my parents loaned me $25 to buy an old used Singer in a cabinet. I had to repay them by washing cars and doing dishes for a whole summer. But I had my own machine. I wish I still had that machine. I was ummm blessed with a larger than normal bustline and I started making a good portion of my wardrobe by the time I was in high school because nothing fit off the rack. I was doing a full bust adjustment without even knowing what it was. My graduation present was a newer sewing machine. I took a few years off as I got married and did other things in life, but I started sewing again when I couldn't find any cotton nightgowns for my toddler. Then I bought a serger. And kept sewing. My husband upgraded my machine for me when my youngest child was born. It came with a quilting foot.....so of course I needed to take a class. My first quilt was a snowman wallhanging I made in that class. Even though it was a super traditional pattern, I did cut some corners and omit some really fussy parts. The instructor laughed at me because I refused to do the "snowballs" in the corners cause I thought they were ugly. I made my children's entire wardrobes except for socks when they were younger (yes, even underwear and winter coats). As they got older it wasn't as fun and they weren't as excited about it, so I moved to sewing for me and right now quilting is fulfilling that need.

3. What is your favorite thing about quilting? What is your least favorite?
My favorite part is buying the fabric and dreaming up the quilt. Oh and binding, I love to sit and hand bind quilts. My least favorite is towards the end of the piecing when I am dying to see how it turns out.

4. Is there a technique on your list to learn this year?
I really want to do y-piecing and a hexie project. I also want to learn how to better decide what the quilting is going to look like. Its always a stumbling block for me.

5. Do you like to have multiple projects going at once or do you usually finish one before starting another?
Definitely multiple. I get bored easily, I get way more done when I switch projects within a day.

6. Do you have a stash? If so, any big plans for it?
cough, cough....yes. But some of it is garment fabric. That makes me feel better. My husband can tell you stories about how much of the moving truck was labeled "sewing room" when we moved. It was very scary. I have no plans for it, but I do enjoy petting it.

7. What was the best thing you brought into your sewing room/studio to help you organize it?
My husband found a free standing kitchen island in the corner of a furniture store. It wasn't what I was imagining, but it has so much storage that I don't think I could do with out it now. It has large doors that open on both sides to shelves. And on each side drawers and pull out baskets. On one end I have mounted an IKEA magnetic knife bar that holds all my large scissors and rotary cutters.

8. What is your current fabric obsession (color, line, style, etc.)?


I have Kate Spain issues. I'm a huge groupie and will buy anything from her. I've also been into orange and blue lately. I just bought a lot of Curious Nature by Parson Gray and I'm loving the hand of the fabric. So beautiful. Oh and I'm building up my solid collection. Okay, I should just say it, I have yet to meet a fabric (produced within the last 5 years) that I couldn't welcome into my stash. I know I have issues. I really do.

9. What tool could you not live without?
My beloved Juki sewing machine. My mother bought the Juki rebranded under the Babylock name when I taught classes for a local dealer. She had surgery right after we moved to Austin and I flew back to cook for her and my dad for a week. I sewed on that machine and couldn't get it out of my mind. It only straight stitches, but I was obsessed with having one. I got one last year. Cutting edge rulers are wonderful and I love those. Oh and my seam ripper, unfortunately we have a close relationship. And last, but not least, my sterling silver thimble. I invested in a sized thimble about 10 years ago and it makes hand binding so nice.

10. How many sewing machines do you have?
Ummm, I have 13. I currently have 14 in the house so that it's not an unlucky number. Of course I count vintage and sergers in that count, so its not like I have 13 *sewing* machines.

11. Do you do any other sewing besides quilting?
Yep, I garment sew, craft sew, etc. I think if you can name it, I've tried it or bought a pattern or book.

12. What are you currently working on?
I want to produce my own patterns and I'm working on that. Oh and a dream quilt, meaning one that I can envision and hopefully can actually create.

13. What else do you want us to know about you?
Hmmm, I love red wine and dark chocolate. "Awesome" is my favorite word, with "seriously" as a close second. If you talk to me for more than a few minutes I will probably say one or both of those. I have Multiple Sclerosis, commonly called MS. I am gluten and sugar free 98% of the time. I have a blog, www.fiberosity.com. I just had a pattern published in "Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders". I'm a very messy sewist and I spread out quickly, don't share a table with me at retreat, really don't. I don't have a day job so you would think that I get tons of sewing done, but there always seems to be something to do for the girls or my husband. Oh and I will have two quilts hanging in Houston at the Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit. I still have to pinch myself whenever I say or type that.

3 comments:

  1. Heather, so glad you joined the AMQG when you moved to Texas!

    Does your banishment to hand-sewing as a child have anything to do with your now love of hand-sewing the binding on a quilt? :)

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  2. Great article Heather, thanks for sharing.
    My grandma sewed a lot when we were kids but I was always too busy playing outside with my cousin Ryan to realize that I could have tried out her machine for myself!

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  3. I LOVE your cutting table. I want to know more about this magical thimble that makes binding so dreamy. That was super nice of you to offer to bind all of the guilds volunteer quilts :p Congrats on having 2 quilts in Houston! Represent.

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