Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Coffee Talk Interview: Angelina

Our monthly Coffee Talk Tuesday is now a quarterly feature. We are happy to introduce you to Angelina Seha. I'm really excited for this interview because I think Angelina  has a unique perspective and since she and I haven't had a chance to chat too much in real life, I'm excited to get to know her better and discover her inspirations.

So, Angelina…one day on Facebook a few of us were pressuring…I mean encouraging…you to start your own blog. Have you started one yet?

A friend and I are working on it. I'm hoping to have it up and running in a few weeks. It will be called MODstitches.

Well, just know you have some immediate followers when you're up and running. What about an online shop?

I destash at figure8angel.

How long have you been sewing?

About 3 years.

How long have you been quilting?

The same amount of time.

I think that's rather brave to start sewing and quilting about the same time. What made you want to jump right into quilting?

My friend Cornelia (and fellow guild member) started me off embroidering and I really enjoyed it. She quilted, so I got interested through her. She had a friend named Wilma that was a great help to both of us in all our crafty endeavors. That woman could do anything!

Quilt for her boyfriend who loves orange and brown. It was quite a stretch for her, as at the
 time she wasn't too fond of those colors.  She snuck in a lot of red and green, as well as a bit of aqua.

What drew you to modern quilting?

Hmmm…I think I just have more of a modern aesthetic right now. Until I was in my mid-twenties, I was into more traditional, Queen Anne furniture kind of décor. Then, one day the owner of the furniture store I was working at left a Design Within Reach catalog on my desk and, surprisingly, I loved almost everything in it. From then on, I was in love with everything clean-lined, minimal, and modern. I asked her one day why she left that catalog with me and she said she just had a feeling it was for me. She was right! I appreciate the work that goes into traditional quilts, and I love learning about the rich history that quilting has, but the traditional works simply aren't my style.

It's interesting how a closer look at something we hadn't previously paid attention to can change our whole perspective.

So, is there anyone in the world of modern quilting that inspires you?

I find Chawne at Complete Cauchy incredibly inspiring. She's made some quilts that some people might call profane, tasteless, tacky, whatever…but I love them. I feel like she's a true artist working with fabric, needle, and thread as her medium. She often leaves me pondering the issue(s) behind her work in a more in-depth manner than I might have otherwise. She seems so fearless! I really respect her work and she inspires me more than anyone blogging today. Sure, other people might make quilts that are "prettier" to look at, but those quilts never get me thinking. They never get me on the phone to friends in the middle of the night to discuss serious issues. They never make me want to be a better person. They're just pretty, ultimately. And that's OK, too. Just a different sort of inspirational, I guess.

I'm also completely gobsmacked by this quiltThey don't have a quilting blog and only have a few quilt tops in their photostream, but their work is ridiculously inspiring to me aesthetically. As in, jaw on the floor, holy crap, wtf just happened here. I will never make anything that amazing. Just hang it up, awesome.

You have me laughing with your enthusiasm, I love it!

I feel similarly about the Amish quilts posted here.

Just so amazing, I wonder why I bother.

Angelina's most recent Jack White/White Stripes inspired quilt. "I wish I had gotten a photo of it after I finished the top, before I sent it to the amazingly talented Angela Walters to be quilted. After this photo was taken, I added a 2” strip of black to the left side, and trimmed it square. It reads, “White flowers, cups of coffee, and love letters”, which is from Hand Springs, one of my favorite White Stripes songs." 

Well, I'm glad you bother because you definitely have a voice of your own.
If fabrics can speak, which ones are speaking to you?

Solids and saturated colors with white patterns are what I find myself drawn to the most lately. Free Spirit solids have a really beautiful hand and the colors are just lovely. I also love the Michael Miller couture solids, but slightly prefer the FS solids for quilting because they're a bit thicker, and that seems to work better for patchwork.  Moda crossweaves are probably my favorite solid. I just love the depth that the different color warp and weft threads give to the fabric. I've also really enjoyed Lotta Jansdotter's lines, especially Echo and the upcoming Glimma.

My exceptions to the simple 1 color + white preference would be Anna Maria Horner and Echino. I'd like to have a big pile of all of their fabrics and just roll around in them. Probably naked. hey, we've all done it! Haven't we? :unsure:

Ha, Ha! Now that I have that visual and am wondering what fabric I'd roll around in… Is that when most ideas strike you? When you're rolling around?

My ideas come at all times of the day. I can be listening to a record and have a quilt idea pop in my head. I'm a night owl, so I'm most productive in the evening or late at night. I think my ideal schedule would be to go to bed as the sun comes up, then get up around 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. I've only had occasion to test that once or twice in my life, but man, was it nice!

Do you have any ideas or patterns you hope to tackle in the near future?

I don't have any quilt ideas on the horizon as of right now. I'm kind of focusing on getting my sewing space organized and finishing up works in progress that have been languishing. Maybe once I get a bit caught up on those things, I'll be more inspired to start new projects. I feel kind of blocked right now…Maybe something improvisational would get me back in the swing of things.

[groan] Sometimes those unfinished projects can just weigh you down.
I've seen some of your creations. Which one are you most proud of?

The creations I'm most proud of are the ones I work on with my circle at do. Good Stitches. Our circle makes one quilt a month, and those quilts are then donated to Project Linus, whose mission is to "provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers."" I love being a part of this charity bee. I'm a stitcher, so I only contribute a few blocks a month, but it's the most rewarding work I do. If my machine wasn't such a jerk about quilting, I'd volunteer to be a quilter, which are the ones that choose the quilt design and palette each month, sew all our blocks into a quilt top, make the quilt back…then quilt, bind, and drop off the quilts each month. Maybe when I get a new machine and am more confident of my quilting, I will be able to do more. 

You can see all of our finished quilts hereMy favorite of these is probably this one, but it's a tough choice. They've all been gorgeous!
"I completely love these blocks I made for the most recent 4x5 bee on flickr. My boyfriend says he wants a quilt made out of this style block. I told him he better learn to sew. ;) "

That is a wonderful project to be involved in and it just goes to show what can be accomplished when everyone chips in!

Okay, now I want to hear about a disaster project. Have you ever had a quilt go terribly wrong?

Not horrifically wrong, no. Not yet, anyway. I've had things not come out quite how I envisioned them in my head and have had to unpick my fair share of jacked up stitches, but that just seems like a normal thing.

Normal to me too.

If you had to choose one must have book or blog to visit for modern quilting, what would it be?

This question is tough and I don't know if I will answer it. It's so wide open. Do you want my must have book or blog for eye candy, basic skills, what I consider "modern", or other? Someone that is curious about what is modern quilting?

Hmmm…good point.
How about some good general advice?

If it's someone that is just getting into quilting, I'd say to jump right in. You're going to make mistakes, and that's okay. Seam rippers exist for good reason. Just do it! You will get better and you will be proud. Making something with your own two hands is one of the most fulfilling things, in my opinion, and many people never try it because they're afraid they'll mess up.  It's okay to not be perfect. Just keep at it! You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Good advice indeed. Thanks Angelina!

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