Cindy is most passionate about her faith in a loving and faithful God, love of her family, friends and quilting, quilting, quilting!
Her love for sewing began when she was about four - at least that’s her youngest memory. Her Mama, Paternal Grandmother, and Great Aunt Hazel would probably say, she came out of the womb with a needle in my hand. They were great women of faith and she literally sat at their feet gleaning sewing skills and life’s lessons. In her little world, there wasn’t much that she needed or wanted that sewing couldn’t transcend. From making baby doll clothes and blankets and Barbie ensembles, sewing was a big part of her childhood. Naturally, all her clothes were handmade by the loving women in her life. Her favorite memory is her Aunt Hazel making her doll clothes to match her dresses and coats, including wool coats with velveteen trim and hand mufflers.
Her first memory of garment sewing for herself was a brown corduroy gathered skirt and the, oh-so timely, A-line shift dress. Needless to say, she took home economics every year she was in high school. When she was a junior, she was awarded a senior award for the most outstanding Home Economics student.
She took her Mother’s Featherweight to college, and made most of her clothes. Her wedding dress she made from a Simplicity pattern, a dream come true. When her daughters were small, 2 and 4, she learned the hand techniques of English smocking and French hand sewing. Of course, she made sure they had plenty of matching dresses. Her Granddaughters also enjoyed wearing them.
She became interested in quilting when her daughters no longer appreciated homemade clothes and matching dresses. They were quite relieved, she is sure, when her sewing interests turned the corner to quilting. Her first quilting class was offered at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, VA, an introduction to hand piecing and quilt design. She learned to design her own blocks from Jenny Beyers book, Patchwork Patterns. These blocks turned into her first completed quilt. It’s still one of her favorite quilts. She was honored with a Best In Show ribbon and Champion of Champions.
Her biggest quilt accomplishment is her Baltimore Album quilt which was some thirty years in the making, (1987-2017). While living in Winchester, she attended many of the annual quilt conferences, sponsored by Belle Grove. Several years in a row, Ella Sienkiewicz, was the key instructor. She was honored to be selected to assist her during her classes, sometimes for days at a time. Ella inspired her to start her first BA block. Several times, “life got in the way,” but this quilt helped center her along the journey. It won numerous awards, including Best in Show, 1st place, along with accompanying ribbons. It gives her great joy to see it everyday hanging in her sewing room. Someday she would like to have it appraised. But its monitory value will not surpass its legacy.
Coral, peach, apricot, green, yellow, and warm colors are her favorite colors to work with. She uses very little blue, if any. Over the years, friends have told her, “this is your box!” She likes to be challenged so she tends to chose complicated patterns or ones that take time and effort.
She finds these technique easy: Applique, hand piecing, machine piecing, and color design. She fine these difficult: hand quilting is hard for her. Getting even stitches on the top and bottom consistently is the biggest challenge. She has learned to be satisfied with my efforts with “big-stitch” quilting, using a heavier thread such as perle cotton.
She enjoys sharing techniques that may be new or difficult for others. Strengthening old friendships and making new ones help make her better on the inside.
When asked what piece of advice did you find to be most helpful in your quilting journey? Don’t be too hard on yourself, enjoy the journey, and be willing to share your knowledge and enjoyment of quilting with