Friday, April 11, 2014

Meet a Member: Stephanie Peterson

Stephanie is our visionary founder and energetic board president. Here she shares her enthusiasm for quilting and her great sense of humor!

When did you begin quilting?

I made my first quilt top in high school. I wanted to learn to make quilts. I was always fascinated by them. So, when I was about 17, I signed up for a class at a shop in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I made a top with elongated hunter stars. It was off-white muslin background and dark green and rose/mauve stars. This would have been in the very early 1980s. So, it was all calico. I tried to hand quilt it and realized I really did not enjoy the quilting part. I quilted one block and quit. It sat. I did not start quilting again until about 2002. I just really wanted to start sewing again. I never did finish that original quilt. I kind of feel bad, because in one of my moves, I gave it to Goodwill. (Gasp!) Yep. I sure wish I had it now. But the fact that I didn't finish it is still indicative of my style. I start a lot of things. I do finish quite a few, but I start way more. LOL.

Why do you quilt?

I know it sounds pretty cliche', but it's my therapy. It's how I unwind and relax. I enjoy the creative process. There's a drive in me to create. A lot of the quilts or other projects I make, I make them just to make them. I have no other purpose in mind. I also enjoy giving my made objects away. I delight in other people's joy of receiving something handmade.

What new technique are you hoping to learn this year?

I know how to do English Paper Piecing, but I've never made anything big with it. I'm about to embark on a pretty large English Paper Piecing project. I'm hoping to learn how to manage that with hand piecing. Someday, I want to go back to the hand quilting and try it again. I really enjoy handwork, so I think I would enjoy hand quilting now.

Why modern quilting?
I like the clean style, bright colors, and the fun fabrics associated with modern quilting. I like the cute hedgehogs, little mushrooms, and other quirky fabrics. I also love linens for the texture they bring to the table. (But I should say, I consider myself a multiple personality quilter. I also really love very traditional, civil war quilts. I enjoy the precision it takes to piece all the little pieces in those quilts, and I like the history they harken. Oh, yeah, and I love 1930s prints. They are so cute. I also have fun with applique'. And.... You get the drift?)

What is your favorite sewing or quilting tool?

Well, my sewing machine has to be my favorite quilting tool! I love all the computerized machines these days. There are so many aspects of the wonderful machines they make now that make sewing such a pleasure. My rotary cutter is probably my second most favorite tool--along with all my rulers.

Why did you establish the GLMQG?

I started this guild because I really wanted to have a community around me that shared my interest in modern quilting. I enjoy the other guild in town, but it's a large guild, and there are a variety of interests there. I hoped to establish another outlet for folks who had interests similar to mine--so we could have programs that focused solely on the modern ideals. I also wanted to see us have the opportunity to bring in national speakers that we wanted and to have their workshops on days when people who work during the week could attend. For that reason, we have our meetings on Saturdays. I wanted this guild to serve as a compliment to, not a replacement for, the other guild in town.

What random fun fact about yourself can you share?

Random fact? Gee, that is a tough one. How about this one? When I was in college, I was a special education major. I really wanted to study abroad for a semester, so I did my student teaching abroad. I chose to go to Australia. So, I traveled to and lived in Australia all by myself when I was 20 years old. Pretty scary for me at that time, but it was the most amazing experience ever. I have a very special fondness for anything Australian, as a result of that experience.


  1. I'm starting to think I wear that pink sweatshirt too much! LOL.

  2. Fun article and a chance to learn how you got interested in quilting. Thanks for sharing Stephanie!