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1.   How did you get started sewing/quilting?
My grandmother taught me the love of sewing. In middle school, I learned to make clothes with her. She would watch soap operas just to see the latest styles, ensuring that whatever we made, I would always be “in style.” All of my clothes were homemade. We made so many blouses, swimsuits, shorts, everything. After school, we would head over to Hart’s Fabric in Paradise. I remember picking out corduroy fabric and making a pair of the biggest bell bottom pants! We would also go to yard sales and bring home garments that we would re-style into something that was fashionable.
I started quilting 30 years ago, taking quilting classes at Honey Run Quilters when it was on the Esplanade. My grandmother helped me make my first quilt. We pieced a velour cover for my waterbed. Over the years, I’ve made several smaller quilts. As my girlfriends started having babies, I started making baby quilts for each of them. Unfortunately, none of the quilts that I made for my friends and family survived the Paradise Camp Fire.
But, two years ago, a whole new world opened up after coming into Cathy’s Sew & Vac and buying my serger and embroidery machines! With these latest acquisitions I've discovered so many fun projects to create! I'm at Cathy's Sew & Vac most weekends to learn different embroidery and serger projects. (I love the colors and scenes that embroidery can create.)

2.   What is one sewing notion that you can’t do without?
Along with my seam ripper, a must have is my Kimberbell embroidery tool and scissors set. I learned the hard way! I once cut through my finished stitching instead of just snipping off the loose threads. I also cut too close to the stabilizer on an embroidery project and ruined it. You need the right tools for the job! I love using the right scissors for the right task!
3.   If you’re willing, please share a funny sewing related experience that taught you a memorable lesson.
One day, I overheard my husband talking on the phone, describing a sound to his friend. I heard him say, “You know, it sounds like a sewing machine.” After he hung up, I asked him how he knew what a sewing machine sounded like. He said “I’ve bought enough of them.” So true!

4.   If it’s possible to choose just one, what is your favorite project that you’ve made?
I’ve really enjoyed making mesh bags and Santa bags. They’re fun and creative to make. I like to dye fabric and personalize each bag depending on the individual it’s intended for. They “come to life” for me! I had 8 of them around my Christmas tree last year because I couldn’t bear to give any away. I’m not tired of them yet!

I started making dog jackets about 20 years ago for our two pit bull puppies, Minnie and Max.

Over the years, I’ve made hundreds of jackets to give out to homeless dogs. I call them “Jackets Fur Minnie’s Friends.” I started handing them out individually, keeping some in my car and handing them out as I saw the need. One man wanted to give me something in return. It’s heartwarming to see their owners and how grateful they are to have a jacket to help keep their furry companions warm. For the last couple of years, a group of us ladies (who take classes at Cathy’s) get together and have a sewing night. We can get about 25 jackets done in a night! We take them to the local animal shelters and the Chico and Oroville Humane Societies.

5.   What do you do with your quilts/crafts?
I give away most everything I make. I like seeing my friends and family enjoying the thing I’ve made for them.
After her mother passed away, I made a memory quilt for my friend out of some of her mother’s clothes. These items included many memories for my friend! One t-shirt was from a concert they attended together. One was a bathing suit her mother had made in 1959. And one shirt was splattered with paint from when they painted her bathroom together. I loved hearing about the memories as she went through each piece of clothing. My friend had no idea I was making the quilt. So, it was a very welcome surprise. I know she really treasured it.

6.   Have you ever received a quilt as a gift? If so, please share a bit about the experience.
My very good friend, Joan Dresser, made me a quilt this past Christmas that I will treasure forever. It's especially meaningful because she truly is like a second mom to me.
When I was asked to be the featured quilter, I was hesitant because I hadn’t realized what a big impact quilting had on my life. I’ve realized in responding to these questions that quilting and crafting, with and for others, connects us! I’ve connected with family, friends, and even strangers through my quilting and crafting.

7.   What type of crafting do you most enjoy?
Just recently, I’d dyed a shirt trying to get a stain out. When that didn’t work, I embroidered over it! It’s fun to get creative and make something old new again.

8.   We would love to include some personal details about you (anything you’d like to share) such as your profession, interests outside of sewing, future plans, etc.
When I’m not here, taking classes from Janice or Annette, I love spending time with my grandson, fishing with my husband, and raising our two year old puppy!