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The quilter selected for our March showcase is customer Jean Ping.

How did you get started in quilting?

My mom got into quilting in the late 80s, as I was getting done with high school.  In college, I discovered that sewing a quilt was the perfect way to relax and refresh my brain during breaks from school.  Pretty soon I was hooked and sewing quilts for my friends who got married, or for babies.  For the first several years I learned from Quilt in a Day books; it was a long time before I found other pattern books or met other quilters.

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

My walking foot!  I hardly ever use anything else.  I find that a good walking foot gives better precision in all my sewing, and of course it’s indispensable for machine quilting.

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

At a quilt show, my two kids spotted a Tardis quilt (from the TV show Doctor Who).  “MOOOOOOM!!”  they cried.  I found myself on the hook for two Tardis quilts, which were fun to make, but used a simply incredible amount of blue fabric.  I had a lot of blue in my stash, but I had to go buy more…and more…there was just no end to the need for blue fabric.  Maybe don’t commit to making TWO large quilts of one color at the same time…

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

It’s very hard to choose!  I think my favorite so far is a large wall hanging I made with Norah McMeeking’s Bella Bella patterns based on Italian cosmati tiles.  It has five different mosaic patterns and won a minor ribbon at the ASQG quilt show in 2017.  I have ambitions to make more cosmati quilts – someday of my own design.

What do you do with your quilts?

Put them on our beds, give them away, or hang them on the walls.  I’m not good at home decor so I just use quilts everywhere.  The process and fun of making is more important to me than keeping the end product, and I like to give them away.

Have you ever received a quilt as a gift? If so, please share a bit about the experience.

I spent my junior year of high school away from home as an exchange student, which is when my mom discovered quilting.  When I came home, she had sewn me a quilt – a log cabin – and that’s how I found out about quilting.  I still have it, though it’s pretty worn by now.

I also have a dear friend who sewed a wall hanging for me last year.  It refers to my love of books, and it hangs in my bedroom.  This one means a lot to me!

What type of quilting do you most enjoy?

I like a lot of different things, which is a problem because I’m always so scattered and have so many projects going at once.  My favorite thing is complex piecing by machine – but I’m fairly slow at actually accomplishing it!  

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’ve lived here in Chico for over 20 years, and I’m a librarian at Butte College.  My two kids are young adults and we are new empty-nesters.  Books are my first love; I enjoy reading history, world literature, mysteries and fantasy (my favorite author is Diana Wynne Jones).  Although hand-piecing makes me impatient, I love to do hand embroidery – anything from cross-stitch to historical stumpwork – and have many projects going in that area as well.