Today I am so delighted to have Leanne from She Can Quilt with me...and boy can this girl quilt! She has come over for the day from her native Canada and I took her to the beach at Oualidia on the Atlantic coast for the day. On windswept sands, Leanne told me a little about her quilting journey.
Annabella: What inspired you to take up quilting?
Leanne: Although I resisted quilting for many years and focused on other fibre arts (knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, needlepoint and embroidery, etc.), one rainy school spring break 2 years ago this week I was drawn to the sewing machine at my cottage. A trip to the local quilt shop sealed the deal. My kids and I played with HSTs for a week and created my first quilt. I did start sewing on a machine when I was 5, so it was always just a matter of time before I became a quilter.
Annabella: For those who don't know you, how would you describe your style?
Leanne: All over the map. I am drawn to many styles of quilting and have yet to settle into a style. I like precise paper piecing, I like improve and modern quilts. I like working at a tiny scale and had a great time making my kingsize quilt for my own bed. I love working with solids, with a single designer's fabrics and scraps. And I am sure that next week there will be another thing I want to try, so I think I am still finding my style.
Leanne: Books - about quilting, sewing, knitting, architecture, art, fabric, nature, science, and photography. I also like to just look at the world, on a large and also tiny scale - there are patterns and colours everywhere. Music, and words and memories also provide me with inspiration at the most unexpected times.
Annabella: Aside from your immediate family, who is your greatest creative inspiration and why?
Leanne: I guess I get the most inspiration from nature - from animals and plants, the sky, the stars, the wind, the ocean, from fire and lightning, the beach and the mountains - I could go on and on.
Leanne: There are a so many blogs that I follow and I am always finding new ones. I never know which one will be inspiring this week. I could not possibly narrow down the list to one or two. I also should mention that I find the quilters on Flickr to be amazing too.
Annabella: Tell me about one of the quilts you have made.
Leanne: I would love to tell you about all of them, but I will mention a little mini quilt called Shattered. For this one there really was a light bulb moment. I wanted to make something for the Tangerine Tango Challenge, as I just love that name, Tangerine Tango and it is the colour of this year over at Panatone. I was playing around with a paper pieced block from the Mystery QAL, and then my friend Hadley (Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle) mentioned in an email that she was "shattered". Well, Canadians don't say that but I know the expression and it set off the Rolling Stones song Shattered in my head. It all came together and I made the quilt over a couple of days. You can read the longer version of this story here on my blog.
Leanne: Yes, I pin under the name she can quilt, and you can find me on the internet generally under "shecanquilt". I was so pleased to get an email from Pinterest last weekend advising me of their new terms, given all of the recent discussion. I am hoping these terms along with more careful use will make people more comfortable. I do not spend a lot of time on Pinterest yet, but I use it to keep track of inspirations that are not linked to Flickr, where I can put my inspirations in my Flickr favourites. Oh, and my tumblr blog, which is still new, is also she can quilt.
Annabella: Is there a there a design or technique that you would like to try?
Leanne: I would like to do more improv piecing and I want to make some quilts which have a lot of negative space. I am working on understanding the concept of less is more. I also want to focus much more on the quilting part of making quilts - straight line quilting, free motion quilting and hand quilting.
Leanne: Not really, I am still exploring all colours, and colour combinations and there are many more to go.
Annabella: Why do you think quilting has become so popular again?
Leanne: I don't actually think it was ever not popular, at least since the early 1800s. I think that the internet has connected a great number of quilters who have a much more modern and fun approach to quilting and that has had a wonderful impact on the craft which is what makes it appear that there is a new popularity.
Annabella: Who is a creative inspiration that you would most like to spend 30 minutes with?
Leanne: This is another very difficult question. I would love to meet Gwen Marston or Ingrid Press. It would be fascinating to talk with Barbara Brackman about William Morris and other historic fabric designs. I would love to hear Kaffe Fassett talk about colour or Jinny Beyer explain designing quilt blocks. I could go on and on, there are so many creative inspirations for quilters.
Annabella: What is your favorite fabric line or designer?
Leanne: I could never pick just one, in part because there is such a diversity of style. I love the whimsey of Heather Ross and Aneela Hoey, the colour of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler, the boldness of Lotta Jansdotter, the uniqueness of Jay McCarroll, Tina Givens, and Tula Pink, the modern beauty of Denyse Schmidt and Kate Spain and the artistic approach of Laura Gunn. I will stop there, there are many more that are my favourites, and I have not even mentioned the "solid" designers.
Thank you Annabella for having this lovely discussion with me and for hosting this wonderful series.
Thank you Leanne - it`s been my absolute pleasure and I can`t wait to see you again in June at the FQ Retreat! If you don`t know Leanne`s blog, do hop over there and say `hi`. She is so talented and her blog is chockablock with eye candy of a quilty nature and there`s tutorials too!