Today I have Rhonda Lawton for you from Texas! A quilter. And boy does she know how to work that fabric! I stumbled across her blog one evening and was bowled over! You-have-to-go-look-for-yourselves!!!!!!
Here is now Rhonda with a little something from her live:
Greetings! My name is Rhonda Lawton and I’m the “wacky” author of Ravelly1 Quilz Blog: http://ravelly1-quiltzblog.blogspot.com
I hale from Texas and have lived here my entire live. My little community, Plum Creek, is a wonderful place with great neighbors.
I’d a retired teacher who served 29 years with 10yr. olds. Happily, I was able to incorporate sewing in my art classes. The children loved it and the parents were pleasantly surprised with projects such as vests, dolls and pillows.
My grandmother, who died in 1962, was a quilter. I remember sitting at her feet as she sewed on her treadle Singer sewing machine. She allowed me to thread her hand needles and bought me those little cardboard sewing cards to practice on. The idea of making things developed from her.
It wasn’t until mid 1980’s that I took up the art of piecing quilts. My brother was very ill and my mom and I rushed him to Galveston, TX for treatments. It was there in the gift store that I saw my first quilting magazine. The first design that I fell in love with was the Apple Core (silly me). I started gathering fabric, thinking that I’d make my brother a quilt. I begged for fabric from my wonderful Aunt Pinkie, who gave me great advice……always use 100% cotton fabric and always iron as you go.
(This is the quilt that first caught my eye! I loooove this one Rhonda!!)
I finished the Apple Core, got it quilted but my brother died before it was all done, but I know he would have loved it. After that quilt, I was hungry for more. On a trip to Waco, TX, mom and I stumbled upon a little quilt shop, County Fair, owned by Lee Fadel (it’s out of business now). Lee was a delightful lady who was happy to get me started. She introduced me to the rotary cutter, cutting mat and all those plexi-glass rulers of various sizes. I’m sure that I, along, kept her shop afloat…..LOL
The first quilt class I took from Lee was the Double Wedding Ring (silly me). The class lasted 6 weeks. Let me just say that had I not taken that class, I would have never attempted that project. There were 7 of us taking the class and I was the only one to make the complete quilt top…. scalloped edges and all.
When I showed off the wedding ring quilt to my Aunt Pinkie, she was dumbstruck that this could be done on the sewing machine. Aunt Pinkie was a seamstress but had never make a quilt on the machine only by hand. After showing and demonstrating the rotary cutter, mat and rulers I challenged her to a duel. We were to make Log cabin quilt tops within a week’s time. We each went to our perspective home and got started. My Aunt was amazed at how quickly she could get things done by using her new tools. My Uncle was not so happy…LOL
A couple of years ago Fons & Porter had a contest called “Done in One” where you had to make a mini quilt in one weekend from start to finish. I designed and entered a little quilt entitled “Things Texas” .
I used a new technique that I developed, using black fabric. The blocks were all done in shadow. My little quilt got Honorable Mention. I was so happy to even get to participate. This made me realize that we quilters need to try different things, challenge ourselves outside our groups, stretch ourselves!
I am now apart of a wonderful group of 9 ladies who keep me on my toes. We are known far and wide as the “WackyPack” of which we have a smaller group of six,
which we lovingly named the 6Pack. We meet each month for dinner and laughs, we retreat at least 4 times a year and we communicate via “chat” group and email. At the beginning of each year, we challenge ourselves with projects. Some of those have been donation quilts to our local Breast Cancer organization; picking a certain color group then everyone makes blocks to trade; swapping half square triangles to use in other projects; round robins; and this year, we’re doing row by row quilts.
This smaller group of ladies are my inspiration and keeps me going.
Last year’s challenge came from a quilt our “wacky” group make for one of the veteran’s hospitals. The quilt was so inspiring that we all wanted one. We chose the red/white(cream)/blue colors, wrote up the guidelines and went to work for the year. I chose to make a quilt that would have the seals of our armed forces, an eagle and our flag. The seals were very involved
and “no,” they are not machine embroidered. I cut and sewed every little, tiny bitty portion. When all was finished and quilted, I entered the quilt in our local county fair and won “Go Texan” and First Place.
(OMGOSH!!! Those Seals are AWESOME!The entire quilt is mind-blowing!)
If I could meet a quilt artist and spend a week or month with her/him, it would be………….Virginia Greaves ( http://www.virginiagreaves.com/blog ). Virginia’s talent is taking a face from a photo and turning it into an unbelievable fabric wonder. I have been following her work for several months and will soon attempt a project from her blog tutorials.
And now for the “aaaawwww moment” it would be those times when someone shares a different and faster way to sew, like half square triangles or flying geese. But I have to say that the most “aaaawww moment” was when one of my girlfriends informed us of those two “push-in” areas on the ends of Wax Paper or Cling Wrap……..if you push those in, they will hold the roller in place so that you don’t have to fight to unroll the paper……LOL…..duh! Live and learn!
Finally, my mantra is “Live well, Laugh often and Love much!”
Thank you so much Rhonda, for sharing all this with us! I am in awe of your talent! Everything you do with your sewing machine is like magic to me! I cannot get over the Military seals!!!!! And my fave is the apple core as you know! Just WOW!
Go by Rhonda’s blog everybody! There are more amazing Quilts to see!