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This is the second in our series of monthly featured quilters detailing a customer's background and interest in quilting. We hope you enjoy and are fascinated by each quilter's work. Come in and see a sample of the talent on display in our store.



If you were to look up prolific quilters, you might just find a picture of Hazel smiling back at you! We are extremely fortunate to have the pleasure of seeing her weekly at Honey Run Quilters. As she picks up and drops off quilts from our local long-arm quilters, you can always catch a glimpse of her contagious smile.
 
Hazel called Paradise her home for over 40 years. In 2020, she relocated to Chico. Career-wise, she worked for 16 years as a Behavioral Health Counselor specializing in substance abuse.
 
1972 was quite monumental, as it was the year that began Hazel's quilting journey. She dabbled in garment construction, making school clothes for her daughter. Ever resourceful, Hazel gathered the leftover polyester clothing scraps, cut and pieced squares together, and tied them to create her very first quilt.

When it comes to essential quilting tools, Hazel absolutely loves her Martelli rotary cutter and cutting mat. She doesn’t make a quilt without these handy notions!

After practicing this hobby for 51 years, Hazel still enjoys patchwork quilting most of all. Of all of the quilts she’s ever made, her favorite is a pattern known as Hunter’s Star. She enjoys both the technique and skill involved, especially appreciating the secondary pattern that comes through when the quilt is finished. She has made at least four of these quilts, all of which were given away.


Hazel knows that mistakes when making quilts are inevitable. A few of her favorite sayings are "The Irish say you must leave a mistake in your work, so your soul has a way to escape from the finished piece." and "The Amish quilters purposely make a mistake in their quilts as they believe only God is perfect."

Most of the quilts Hazel makes are given away as gifts. Ironically, while she is generous with her quilt giving, Hazel has never had the pleasure of being gifted a quilt herself.


The most memorable quilts she’s made are from her husband’s shirts after he passed away. She pieced together three quilts, one for each of her husband’s daughters, and one for herself to treasure.


She recently gave over a dozen quilts to the employees of the rest home where her husband lived.

Hazel modestly describes her quilting as “simple,” but at Honey Run Quilters, we see her quilting as works of love and gratitude.



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How did you get started in quilting?

I took a community center class in San Diego almost 30 years ago; I learned to make a Log Cabin block pattern. I had learned to sew clothing as a teen, but I really appreciated the design options available with quilting. Plus, I had young children, and any quilt blocks I managed to sew each day were the one thing that stayed finished at the end of day, unlike cleaning, feeding, laundry, and picking up after the kids.

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

A seam-ripper – lol- because sometimes, I just need to change the fabric, or something about a block.

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

When I was in graduate school, teaching at the university, engaged in research teams, I used to quilt as my stress reliever. I also had a quilting business in which I designed custom quilts and quilted clothing (e.g., holiday vests and baby clothes). One of my children’s teachers wanted a themed vest for every holiday. On the first couple that I did, I designed the applique shapes/scenes (e.g., Halloween bats, pumpkins, ghosts) on fabric first, but what I learned after a couple of these vests ended up oversized for this client, is the importance of first creating the vest to the right size and THEN sizing my applique shapes to fit on the fronts and back of the vests. I also learned, it looks much nicer if I do all of the quilting on the fronts with the batting, and then sew on the inside vest lining fabric afterwards, so you don’t see all different colored threads and messy stitching on the inside of the vest. 



 

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

That’s tough. One of my current favorite queen-size quilts has Moda fabrics from the Dwell in Possibility line. That quilt began with a 5” x 5” square with a moth on it, that a friend gave me. I decided to design an entire bed-size quilt around that fabric. I was able to include fabrics that I had collected over 20 years; it has hundreds of pieces in it.

I just made my daughter an Alice in Wonderland Halloween wall-hanging that was also very fun to design. I used a panel with Alice and smaller blocks with characters and sayings from those books. I created a few crazy quilt blocks with pumpkins, then I free-motion quilted it.


With the leftover scraps from that project, I just finished this little wall hanging.


What do you do with your quilts?

Many have been given away as birthday or graduation gifts, wedding gifts, baby shower gifts. I had a former student contact me about a year ago, it had been 20 plus years since we had last seen each other. Apparently, I had made her a wall quilt which she still has hanging in her bedroom. That was really touching, but also kinda embarrassing, as it wasn’t my best work. I’d love to remake her another WH with the skills that have developed with practice over time.  For each of my honors st  udents at Chico State, I’ve made them a throw size quilt to celebrate their graduation. With one of my sewing machines, I’m now able to write messages on quilts, which I think makes them more meaningful. The bookcase quilt has a quote from Dr. Seuss in the top beige block.

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

I have not. None of my family members, and only one of my friends, quilts.

What type of quilting do you most enjoy?

I really enjoy designing quilts or modifying an existing pattern by size, fabrics, or by incorporating different blocks. I really enjoy sharing quilting and the love of fabrics and designs with others. One of my former students asked if I would teach her how to quilt and it’s been so fun, helping her with projects that grow her skills and confidence. She’s hooked! I’ve brought some of my faculty friends into Honey Run to show them all of the possibilities.  It’s so fun to see and share quilts with others!

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 joined the faculty at California State University, Chico (CSUC) in the Child Development Department (August of 2006). Prior to this, I was a faculty member at UC-Irvine, University of New Mexico, and Utah State University, where I earned my master’s and Doctorate degrees in Human Development and Family Life. My professional and research interests have centered around interpersonal neurobiology, attachment between parents and children across ages from infancy to young adulthood, the impact of trauma on individual and relationship well-being, and how professional and social support are fundamental to recovery and healing.

My husband and I have six grown children and 1 grandson. Our children live in England, Thailand, Georgia, Florida, and California. We enjoy traveling to see them and take trips with them. I also love hiking, kayaking, and biking with non-quilting friends, and spending time with my dog, Archi. And of course, quilting, almost every day!