Tuesday, January 22, 2013

IMQG Quilter of the Month Jan/Feb - Rachel McElwain

I'm super excited to announce the January/February Quilter of the month because well this girl rocks.  She makes awesome quilts and other awesome stuff she also knits, has a garden and does some cooking - hello fantastic.  Anyhow without further ado let's introduce her...

Name: Rachel McElwain
Blog: rachel-lake.squarespace.com
Flickr: rachellake
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Current Location: south side of Indianapolis

What sewing machine do you use? Does it have a name? Do you like it?
I received a Janome HD 1000 for my birthday in December and it is fabulous. No name yet though.

Where do you sew? What’s your space look like?
Right now I sew in the living room, on my great grandmother's dining table. Half the room is seating/living space and the other half is my work area. I store my fabric and supplies in vintage suitcases and an antique wardrobe.

What makes you a modern quilter?
The patterns and fabrics that I'm drawn to. I'm not a big fan of precision piecework and I tend to be less “strict” about matching points and perfectly pressed seams. I love big loud colors and patterns and quilts that have more of an organic flow to them

Tell me about your first quilting experience.
I've been sewing since I was really little, but didn't make my first real quilt until highschool. My school offered several levels of sewing classes and one of our projects was making quilts to donate to Riley Children's Hospital.

What’s your dream machine?
I sewed on an Elna during undergrad and it was amazing, I'd love to have one some day.

What is your favorite part of making a quilt?
I love when something turns out the way I'd imagined it. I can usually picture exactly how I'd like a project to turn out, but getting it there doesn't always work out perfectly.

What is your most dreaded part of making a quilt?
I hate basting. Working on a table has made it much easier, but it's still an annoying chore.

Do you have any great tips and tricks you want to share?
I love using masking or painters tape to plan quilting lines when doing a straight-line quilting design.

Where are your favorite brick and mortar quilt shops?
I <3 Crimson Tate. I don't get out of downtown much, so I don't go to other area stores very often.

What are your favorite online fabric shops?
Hawthorne Threads and Pink Castle. Etsy is great if I'm searching for something hard to find or want random fat quarters.

What time of day do you usually sew? Do you listen to music, or watch TV?
Unless an idea just won't leave me alone, I do most of my sewing on the weekends. I usually stream tv shows on netflix, something with good dialog that doesn't require me actually looking at the screen to follow along.

Do you have any sewing or quilting injuries?
I dropped my rotary cutter a few months ago and took a tiny chunk out of a finger on my left hand.

What are your favorite crafty blogs and/or Etsy shops?
Soule Mama, Lucy & Norman, InColor Order, Msmcporkchopquilts, All Buttoned Up, Knotty Bits

What's your favorite kona cotton color?
Coal. It's the perfect grey.

What do you love most about IMQG?
It's great to find a group of people with a common interest! It is also really fun to see what everyone else is working on, in the age of pinterest and blogs, it's nice to see projects in person from time to time.

Do you sew/make other things besides quilts?
I've been sewing garments for years, I took classes in garment design and construction for a few semesters in undergrad before changing majors. I also like to make practical things like bags, zip pouches, etc. Outside of sewing, I knit sweaters and shawls, do a lot of cooking and food preservation, and have a fairly large garden that keeps me busy during the summer.

What's your favorite project you've completed?
I sat on my stash of Good Folks fat quarters for several years and finally worked up the nerve to make a bed sized quilt with them last summer. It's backed in flannel and has been super cozy this winter.
thanks to Rachel for being our first quilter of the month for 2013.

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