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The quilter selected for our November showcase is customer Pam Sawyer. Pam's independent, creative spirit and variety of skills come shining through in each of her beautiful projects!

1.   How did you get started in quilting?

I started sewing in 1977, when I was in the 7th grade. I still have the first thing I ever sewed: a draw string bag. My teacher said it had to be made from gingham material. But, it could be any color. My mom took me to the fabric store and I chose orange. To this day, orange is still one of my favorite colors to sew with.

I didn’t start quilting until about twenty years ago. I had mentioned to my sister that I would like to learn to quilt. So, for my birthday, she bought me a quilt kit. It came with the fabric, pattern, a ruler, and a few other tools. I had no idea what to do with any of it! I decided to take a class to learn the fundamentals of quilting.


I chose to enter one of the first quilts I made into the Nevada County Fair and actually won first place! I’ve been hooked ever since!

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

My most used tool is probably my pair of little Fiskar scissors (Non-stick Detail Scissors No. 5).  They never leave my sewing machine.  But, one thing I definitely can't live without are sticky notes.  I used them to label everything!

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

I find it funny that the quilt kit that my sister bought me, the one that got me started quilting, had still never gotten made! So many times over the years, I routinely pulled that kit out, looked at it, and then put it back.

So, about ten years after receiving it, I finally decided to cut all the material into five-inch squares and use them in a completely different quilt! The lesson was: Things don’t always go as planned. So, sometimes it’s good to change directions!

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

My favorite quilt is the second quilt I ever started! After completing my first quilt class, the teacher talked me into trying the Stars and Strips pattern by Atkinson Designs (a pattern that I found very intimidating at the time).

I bought the pattern and all the materials right away and it still took me 12 years to complete! I love the colors and the design of the quilt! I’m really happy that I never gave up on it.

5.   What do you do with your quilts?

I give most of my quilts as gifts. But, I have many around my house. I swap out seasonal quilts on my couch and I have a table runner for every month of the year. 

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

The only quilt I've ever received was one that my mom recently gave me. It's a very tattered baby quilt she said someone made for me when I was born. My mom thought I might want to try and fix it. But, I think it is too far gone. I may take part of the quilt, frame it, and hang it in my sewing room. 

7.   What type of quilting do you most enjoy?

I mostly enjoy doing quick projects. So, I make a lot of easy quilts and table runners. But, every so often, I throw in a complicated or advanced pattern. The challenge makes me feel good and also proud of myself once I've completed the project!

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 live in Paradise with my husband and two cats. We have four grown children, two grandchildren, and one more grandchild on the way. We moved to Paradise in 2017 and are eternally grateful that our house survived the 2018 fire. When I’m not sitting at my sewing machine, I love to read, garden, and spend time with my family. I’ve taken a few different classes at Cathy’s/Honey Run and I loved all the teachers and had such a great time. I look forward to taking more classes in the future and learning something new.