Here we are - the grand finale. I can't believe we are at 10 today. All of the interviews have been so fun, and today's is no exception. We're starting a little early, as it's already Thursday Down Under, where our next guest lives. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the amazingly talented, super inspiring, and wonderfully friendly Rita from Red Pepper Quilts.
Ok - time to be honest for a second - I'm still a little giddy over this one. Rita is my idol, my hero, you know... that "holy crow, I can't believe she's talking to little ol' me" person. She's who I want to be when I'm finally a grown-up quilter. She's wonderfully talented and successful, but still willing to help out when people have questions. I've enjoyed getting to know her more over the past few weeks.
I found Rita's blog very early this year - just when I was getting back into quilting after a bit of a inspiration funk. I was instantly mesmerized and immediately became a follower. Her work never ceases to amaze me and I watch for new posts almost like a stalker. And, by the way, if you've not visited her site before, you should go there now. Right now. You can come back here later. Go on....I'll wait. :)
What first struck me about Rita's blog is the completely modern feel of her quilts. Now, I'm not about to try and define "modern" in words - it's just something I feel when I see her quilts. They are breathtaking!
I love her use of white (I'm hooked on white as a background, now) and her fabulous use of bright, fun colors. And I love, love, love her simple, straight-line stitching.
In fact, when I was having trouble with my first go at straight-line quilting, she came to my rescue. With her advice and encouragement, the quilt was finished and off to my grandmother in no time. (Thanks again, Rita!!) Her response to my questions, genuine interest in my situation, and friendly eagerness to help made me a fan for life.
Since then, I've purchased two of her patterns, Alice and Bricks-and-Stones, and nearly finished Alice. Next on my list after these is the Flying Geese pattern.
This one still makes my jaw drop. Simply fabulous.
Oh, and did you know you can buy her quilts - yes, finished quilts. Anyone want to go Christmas shopping??
So now, here she is, ready to talk to you! I love the answers she gave to the interview questions, and I'm sure you will, too. Enjoy!!
If you won $3,000 today and had to spend it today, what would you buy?
If I won $3000 today I would probably want to put it aside for a holiday. As a family we really enjoy traveling and have been fortunate to enjoy holidays in both the USA, Europe and England. We'd love to go again and are hoping to do so within the next 3 years. It's part of the long term plan.
What color scheme or fabric line are you loving right now?
I am really still "stuck" on a fresh color scheme - anything with lots of contrasting white is a feast for my eyes. I have really enjoyed playing around with other colors - to the exclusion of white - but find that I end up coming back to a color scheme that includes white. It just has a classic and timeless feel about it for me.
What is one (sharable) thing from your "bucket list"?
I would love to um ... bungee jump in New Zealand? No just joking! I am terrified of heights. But ... I would like to spend 2 to 3 months living in NYC, just to experience this amazing city as less of a tourist (a pretend local). Yes, that would be amazing!
Is there a sewing technique or quilt block that you would like to try?
I'd love to make a Pickle Dish Quilt with loads of paper pieced arcs and curved piecing. I don't mind paper piecing, in fact I quite enjoy it as there is a rhythm to the process, but it is sewing together those arcs that really puts me off. I have pieced arcs/circles before and I can't say there was much joy in it for me!
What hot trends do you see coming our way?
I see more quilts with only solid fabrics, and a continuation of traditional quilt designs being worked with modern and colorful fabrics. I would love to see more fabric collections with simple designs and each print featuring only 2 to 3 colors - much like Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt.
What kind of movies do you like and do you have an all-time favorite?
I don't watch much TV and it is rare that I actually make time to go to the movies. Several weeks ago I watched the movie Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman on TV (although I'd missed the start of it). I really enjoyed it and ended up purchasing the DVD. My first Movie DVD! My other all time favorites: Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing.
When you’re faced with a lack of motivation, what do you do to get re-energized?
When looking for inspiration I turn to magazines and books. But I find that the harder I try to find inspiration the less likely I am to succeed. Sometimes it's better to take a step back, go for a walk, take some time out from your normal routine and inspiration will find you.
What one piece of advice would you give a new quilter?
I would tell a newbie quilter to have fun with it; don't sweat the small stuff, the uneven/unmatched seams, none of it matters. All you need is a rotary cutter/mat, a working sewing machine and a bundle of fabric and you are ready to go. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing you're doing it just right! Don't doubt yourself.
What is your favorite finished project to date?
This is a difficult question! I might have to go with the In A Spin Quilt - made with a combination of new and recycled fabrics: http://www.redpepperquilts.com/2010/10/in-spin.html
You have an unplanned evening alone with no responsibilities – what do you do?
I am pretty boring in that I quite enjoy my own company and would be happy to stay home and potter around. I am home on my own most week days during school hours and thoroughly enjoy this quiet time.
Thanks so much, Rita! If you do end up back in the USA, I hope you'll let me know. And, fair warning - if I ever make it to Australia, you'll have to hide your quilts from me! :)
Now, it's on to the giveaway. Today's Heirloom bundle includes a fat eighth of Blockade Blossom, Opal Gold, Marquis Garnet, and Ornate Floral Garnet. The fabrics were generously donated by Cathy at Wondrous Woven Fabrics, so please visit her store and say hello. (Oh - and by the way, Cathy still has Heirloom on sale for $7.99 a yard!!)
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me which of Rita's finished projects is your favorite.
Followers of Rita's blog and/or followers of my blog get up to two optional bonus entries. So leave a separate comment for each blog you follow.
That's three entries per person...one for the giveaway itself, one for following Rita's blog, and one for following my blog. Comments close at 9:00 am EST (USA) on Monday, October 3rd, and I will draw a random winner at that time.
I hope you've enjoyed this series - it's been a lot of fun gathering these questions and getting to know our bloggy friends a little better. Thanks for playing along!!