By Deborah Bauer
Our celebration of our newest releases continues with Farm-Fresh Quilts: Simple Projects Inspired by the Simple Life, by Kim Gaddy. Everyone who comments on this post will be entered in a giveaway for one free copy of the book.
Kim and her family live outside Austin, Texas, in an 1860s stone house on five acres she and her husband bought from her grandmother. The six quilts and eight projects in Kim’s book are inspired by her daily life. She also is the author of Story Time: Picture Quilts to Stir a Child’s Imagination.
We recently talked with Kim about her mother’s influence, the importance of plugging into the quilting community and her bucket list of projects.
How did you get started quilting? Did you sew before you started learning to quilt?
My mom invited me to take a beginning quilting class with her when I was in college. It was a great mother-daughter bonding experience, and both of us have been quilting ever since.
Actually, my mom is the real seamstress in the family. She sewed a lot of my clothes when I was young and was so good she could make jeans that looked store bought! One of my earliest memories is sitting on the floor, digging through my mom’s giant scrap bag while she sewed at her machine. It’s little wonder that I learned to sew at an early age.
My brain is continually scanning my environment for the next project — and just in case inspiration hits, I like to have a little sketchbook handy to record the occasional idea.
Do you have a special place where you quilt? Do you have a schedule?
It often seems like my quilting is poised to take over the entire house. I do have a wonderful place to sew in our home’s loft, but that doesn’t keep me from dragging a machine down to the kitchen table, or draping a quilt that needs binding over the back of the couch, or storing the great roll of batting in the son’s closet.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of quilting?
Binding. I’m not a fan of binding. The only thing that makes binding a quilt bearable is that it’s a project I can take with me when my quilting friends and I get together. There’s not much better than sitting and chatting and sewing with other quilters.
One thing I love about quilting is the diversity in the craft. Dabbling in all the different styles keeps quilting new for me. I’ll work on a reproduction appliqué quilt one week, then be happy to change gears and work on something with large prints and polka dots the next week.
What other creative outlets do you have?
Inspired by a (BBC) TV show, “The Great British Sewing Bee,” I’ve taken up garment making again. I haven’t made adult-size clothing since my high school home economics days. And truth be told, after making my first dress, I’m not much better at it that I was in 11th grade — but it’s good to have a new skill to develop, and anyway, I’m having a blast! I can’t wait to be good enough to sew one of the fabulous retro patterns that are on the market.
Any words of wisdom for someone just starting to quilt? What’s the best advice you received?
I’d advise any new quilter to find a way to plug into the quilting community. There are more ways than ever to learn from and be inspired by other quilters. Join a quilt guild, take a class, hang out at your local quilt shop, find an online chat group or class.
Is there anything you haven’t done that you would like to try?
I have a bucket list of quilt projects that I’d like to try. It includes a Baltimore album quilt, a T-shirt quilt, a 1930s-style embroidered block quilt, a wool appliqué quilt inspired by the Mittie Barrier quilt, a “family history” appliqué quilt, a manly but mod quilt, a blue and white quilt. The list grows every day.
What’s your next project?
I’m working on projects for my next book right now. The book will revolve around a school theme, and I’m having fun working with bright, cheerful colors inspired by a group of drawings Ms. Garcia’s second-grade class made for me. The focus quilt for the book will eventually go home to Brookhollow Elementary, where Ms. Garcia teaches.
Don’t forget to comment on this post for your chance to win a copy of Farm-Fresh Quilts. Here are some projects from the book: