by Ruth

  1. Who are you, where do you live, and who with? Tell us about your family and/or the important people (pets are GREAT!) in your life and how they feel about your quiltmaking?
My name is Ruth B., and I live in Mountain View with my husband Steve and our dog, Koni. Steve is very supportive of my quilting, including fabric buying. At least budget-wise… it doesn’t extend to actually shopping with me.  
Koni gives his own brand of support.  When I use the sewing machine, he frequently comes around and tries to climb into my lap. Sewing is difficult with a doggie head in front of your face, just so you know.
  1. Do you want people to look at your blog? website? Flickr stream? If so, please provide links?
I blog at PippinSequim .  I am ircabbit on both Flickr and Pinterest, if those are your jam.
  1. How long have you been making quilts/ How and where did you learn to quilt/Who inspired you to get started?/Describe your first quilt
    My Mom was a sewer and quilter, and I was fascinated with it, as far back as I can remember.
    Me watching my Mom lay out squares
    I started “helping” with her quilts when I was about 12… cutting pieces for her (with a 12-yr old’s precision)… piecing (I was always forgetting to hold the threads when I started, which made a big bird’s nest of thread in her machine). By high school, I was mostly doing the tops for her quilts, and then leaving her to quilt them. (Nice arrangement for me, ya?) I took a break when I left for college, and then came back to quilting in 2009, when I started my first solo project:
    The first project that I started on my own
    My four sisters each contributed embroidered squares that I used to make a quilt for my oldest niece. It’s my favorite of the quilts I’ve made so far.
  2. What is your style and where do you find inspiration?
    My inspiration is probably evenly divided between Flickr, blogs, the guild, and things that I see – like buildings, beaches, vineyards, etc. My quilting style would probably be considered modern, but I don’t feel a strong need to fit my quilting under some label or banner. I make what seems pretty or interesting to me.
  3. Do you belong to other guilds besides BAM? If so, which ones and why?
    Bay Area Modern is my baby! When I started quilting again three years ago, I looked around for a quilting group, but I didn’t really find anything that seemed like a good fit. I was so jealous when I started hearing about the meetings of the LA Modern Quilt Guild. Alissa put up a post inviting people to start their own local MQGs, and I kept checking back over and over, waiting for someone to take action in the Bay Area. Then, one day I was looking at the post, and I remember thinking “Well, all I really have to do is click right there and send an email, and then I will have started one!”
  4. What guild job do you hold and why did you volunteer for that position?
    My job in the guild is Challenge Coordinator (and General Interferer in Everyone’s Business, haha). It was easy picking my job – before we had coordinators, I did a little bit of almost all the positions we have now, so I knew just what I liked best! Editor’s note: Ruth was also the first president.
  5. Favorite quilting blogs?  (mainly because Joelle wants some new blogs to read 😉  )
    I read a lot of blogs, but the majority of them are related to garment sewing, home decorating, or just humorous/random writing.  I do follow some of the big ones like Film in the Fridge, Tallgrass Prairie Studio, Oh Fransson, and Crazy Mom Quilts. I also follow some of our guild members who have blogs.
  6. What do you generally do with the quilts you make?  Give away? Keep? Sell? Show?
    I have given away all of the quilts that I’ve finished so far. Of the six quilts that I have in progress right now, 3 are destined to stay with me (it’s about time!), and the other six will be given away.
  7. What is your favorite block pattern?
    When I’m asked for my favorite color, I usually say a different one every time because it takes too long to explain that I don’t really have one and the colors are all lovely in different contexts. It’s the same with block patterns, so for today I will say the Storm at Sea block. It’s lovely, creates beautiful secondary patterns, and has such an excellent  name.
    Storm at Sea in Neptune by Tula Pink
  8. In what room of the house do you sew? Tell us about your sewing/quilting/crafting space.
    I have a semi-permanent setup on the dining room table. It only gets put away for company. Some company. My tools and scraps are in a set of plastic drawers to the left of my sewing chair, and my ironing board is to the right. My fabric stash doesn’t fit in the dining room, so it is in the office. I thought it was a little cramped (the danger of reading too many “my sewing space” blog posts from quilters who have a whole room to themselves) but I have a lot more room than some of the other people in the guild. 

  9. Do you create in any other areas of craft? Is quilting your main creative outlet?
    I do all kinds of crafts. I have quilted, sewed garments, housewares, and softies, knitted, crocheted, mod-podged, stamped, upholstered, refinished a chair, done woodworking, machined metal, and made bracelets, earrings, and yarn poodles. Lately my crafting time is mostly devoted to quilting and garment sewing.
  10. Are there any must have quilting tools?  
    I really love my Chaco liner. It’s a chalk marking device sold by Clover, and it’s magical. I almost always mark my tops for quilting because I’ve learned that my quilting is straighter if I mark my quilt where my needle needs to go, rather than using the side of my foot against the piecing lines. The Chaco liner is definitely the best marking device that I’ve used, and it’s just chalk on the surface, so I don’t worry that sometime it won’t come out.
  11. What are your favorite shops either online or in the neighborhood?
    I have a bad addiction to Julie’s shop (Intrepid Thread). I follow her blog, so I’m constantly being tempted by the new fabric coming in. She always invites me to pick up my fabric if I don’t want to wait for the next guild meeting, and of course once I’m there, a few more things usually end up in my stack (Julie – that’s preying on the weak!).
  12. Is there an area of quilting at which you feel you excel? Tell us about it. Do you prefer the process of designing, piecing, or quilting?
    My favorite part of the quilting process is definitely design, but it’s a bit empty if I never actually do anything! The very best part is picking fabrics. My stash (and the room it’s in) is always a crazy mess because I pull fabric combinations frequently and enthusiastically.
  13. Do you have a favorite sewing tip or trick?
I have a great technique for placing your next fabric when paper piecing, but it’s a bit hard to just describe. Hit me up next time you are paper piecing and I will gladly show you.