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The quilter selected for our May showcase is customer Elaine Ellsmore. We are continually impressed with Elaine's artistic expressions in both traditional and art quilts.

1. How did you get started in quilting?
I started sewing in high school (last century). The first quilt pattern I learned was the Log Cabin. I made a set of placemats for my family. I loved learning about all aspects of sewing from my teacher, Jackie Seidel, and was proud to receive the Bank of America Home Economics Depth Honors award in my senior year. I returned to quilting in the summer of 2020 when I decided to make my husband a quilt for our 13th anniversary.

2. What is one quilting notion that you can’t do without?

Notions that I can’t do without... Well, so many are essential! SHARP pins, scissors, rotary cutter, needles, fray check, and lots of thread. BUT, Wonderfil class 15 grey prewound bobbins are both DECADENT and ESSENTIAL!

3. If you’re willing, please share a funny quilting experience that taught you a memorable lesson.

Round Robin: Covid. In late summer/early fall 2020, I was invited by my local quilt shop, Honey Run Quilters, to join a Round Robin. This was a godsend when Covid shut the world down. But, now I had a community, mission, and monthly challenges.

The Round Robin introduced me to 12 other quilters and gave me a year to interact with them individually & collectively. I had to get out of my own color scheme and learn new techniques (positive peer pressure to not do the same border = LEARNING!!). It took courage and confidence for me to do a border with curved lines. That opened me up a lot! I learned to ask for help and not be fearful of projects that seemed so consequential. Quilting doesn't have to be done alone! #bestopportunityattherighttime

My other great opportunity was taking the Honey Run Quilters Pillow Case class with my mom. Classes build community, skills, and are just dang fun!

4. If it’s possible to choose just one, what is your favorite quilt that you’ve made?

The quilt I am most proud of is one that I made for my mom. It was a string pieced block in rainbow ombre, using fabrics from family quilts and beautiful bright prints.

I made my mom's quilt two years ago and it took 3-6 months. She loves bright colors. I used many Kaffe fabrics and scraps from other projects. It is string piecing blocks, which were paper pieced, and I just improvised. Without the Round Robin, I wouldn't have had the confidence to begin a minimally structured project.

5. What do you do with your quilts?

I love to create quilts for friends and family. I also love to sell and create commissioned quilts and art quilts. Everyone should have homemade comfort & beauty that is meaningful to their lives. My number one fan is my mom!
Most of my family members have quilts I have made in their homes. Some of my neighbors & friends do, too, and there are a few quilts I've donated for fundraisers.
I mostly work from inspiration. I always seek feedback from my mom & husband. Two of my quilts have been a true collaboration from design through layout.
6. Have you ever received a quilt as a gift? If so, please share a bit about the experience.
I haven’t received a quilt. But, my favorite childhood stuffed animals were sewn by my mom. Bunny and Ducky were my first loves and dear friends.

7. What type of quilting do you most enjoy?
I have learned that I love moving between full size and art quilts, pieces of my vision and commissions. Since I tend to get stuck in my tracks, I love collaborating with others and taking classes.
8. We would love to include some personal details about you (anything you’d like to share) such as your profession, interests outside of quilting, future plans, etc.
I am the CUSD College Connection program coordinator & teacher. I love being a part of students' educational paths as they move from high school to college. I want to spark with others to grow, learn, and connect.