Quilting has been an integral part of my life since childhood, and that passion blossomed into a full-fledged venture during the 1980s. High school Home Economics classes ruined my desire to make clothing, and made me realize that sewing was much more fun and more successful on flat surfaces!
In the emerging stages of our quilting journey, my mother and I ventured on the ambitious path of opening our very own quilt shop. Back then, every aspect of the quilting process, from cutting and piecing to appliqué and quilting, was executed meticulously by hand.
We stood on the precipice of a quilting revolution - I vividly recall the moment when we introduced Rotary Cutters to our notions wall!"
My youthful impatience led me to explore the most novel techniques like strip piecing, rotary cutting, and fusibles, while my Mom focused her energy on traditional methods. On a quest to find better, faster, and more accurate ways to make quilts, I immersed myself in classes, absorbing the wisdom of quilting innovators.
With no desire to pursue impeccably pieced points, I gravitated toward the creative freedom found in the art of Appliqué. Being able to applique a vibrant fabric garden amid the harsh New England winters was the key to unlocking my heart!
After high school, I spent four years working in our quilt shop while simultaneously delving into the realm of Textile Chemistry at University. Upon graduation, I found myself living the dream as a chemist at Cranston Print Works Company, surrounded by the intoxicating sights, sounds, and scents in the mill, amid millions of yards of fabric. Cranston never realized the extent of my fabric addiction...allowing me to revel in the pleasure of collecting textiles for five glorious years.
Marriage and three children later, quilting became my sanctuary, my cherished "Mommy time." The local guild continued to challenge me, refining and honing my quilting skills.
Leaves Galore entered the scene unexpectedly when faced with the challenge of cutting hundreds of small leaves for a guild project. I knew there wasn’t enough time to hand appliqué all those leaves before the challenge quilts were revealed. I turned to fusible appliqué, which meant tracing and cutting hundreds of fusible leaves with scissors, a process that begged for a more efficient solution.
That night I dreamed of rotary cutting hundreds of leaves...Come morning, I sketched a tool that would revolutionize my approach, allowing for accurate and effortless cutting through four layers of fabric. Leaves Galore was born, ushering in a new era of innovative rotary cutting appliqué shapes. The Leaves Galore Templates were a game-changer for me and a pivotal juncture in my creative career, leading me to teach Rotary Cut Appliqué, author books, and patterns, and retail my tools both online and at major quilt shows.
Fast-forward five years, and my hunger for diverse appliqué shapes gave rise to a new invention - I patented Hearts and More, complementing the cutting efficiency of Leaves Galore. The combined use of both rotary cutting templates exponentially expanded my appliqué horizons.
Teaching, over the past decade, has emerged as the most fulfilling aspect of my quilting journey. Through books, YouTube, and virtual classes, I share the simplicity and efficacy of my methods with quilters worldwide. Even if we never meet face-to-face, I hope my fervor for these tools and techniques leaps off the pages, inspiring you to embark on your creative journey with Rotary Cut Appliqué.