Thursday, August 30, 2018

Border Quilt Interview with Tara

For the weeks leading up to the Quilt Along, which now starts September 12, there will be a quilty interview with bloggers participating in the quilt along. The fabric designer, quilter and the photographer of the Enchanted Forest version will be interviewed as well. You can look for a new interview every Monday and Thursday now until September 10th. Find all the information for the quilt along HERE.

So grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine depending on the time of day in your area and lets get to know Tara.

PBJ:  Name and business name: Tara Miller, The Quilt District

PBJ: What name would you give yourself in the quilting world? Designer, teacher, quilter, tester, etc 

Tara: Enthusiast! (Designer, Maker, Rookie Historian)

PBJ: Designers: Do you have any new patterns/books/fabrics coming out this year that you can share about?

Tara: I’m releasing Prescott Road in August! Half-square triangle lovers will totally dig it. 
Behind the scenes a bit: I have a pillow pattern in the works that will be in a booth at Quilt Market Houston in November. It’s called Mod Garden and it’ll be so much retro fun!

Prescott Road

PBJ: Who taught you/ or inspired you to learn to quilt? 

Tara: My sister-in-law was pregnant with her second child and I wanted to make a baby “blanket.” I went on YouTube… and down the rabbit hole. I soon learned the difference between a blanket and a quilt (!), and I’d watch anything I could get my hands on. I joined Facebook groups for quilters where I learned bits of tips and tricks when people would post questions (such as pros and cons of pre-washing). The rest is history.

PBJ: What is your favorite part of the quilting process 

Tara: Seeing it start to come together, which really happens twice: (1) When I’m auditioning the fabric selections and watching them zing or flop, and (2) When the quilting on it is almost finished and it handles like a unified piece; it feels like a quilt.

PBJ: What is your least favorite part?

Tara: Two, really: Basting. Blek. Roughly between the 1/2 and 3/4 marks when I have made most of the important design decisions and it’s down to working through the tedium of the construction. I can see it finished, I can almost taste it, and I’m impatient. I want it to come together because I’m ready to put my energy into the next piece.

PBJ: What is your favorite quilty tool?

Tara: My sewing machine. Possibly one of the most incredible inventions of the industrial revolution. Absolute genius.

Prescott Road - close up

PBJ: What is your favorite color? Do you use it in your quilts? If not, what color do you find yourself using a lot? Why do you use that color the most?

Tara: Right now? Teal. I love blues and I love greens, so I guess you could say I’m trying to have it all. LOL
Oddly enough, I’m not really using it much right now.

PBJ:  When sewing, do you watch T.V. / movies, listen to music, have it quiet?

Tara: Usually TV or movies (I just went through all three seasons of Outlander!). Often historical education type things: inside the Tudor monarchy or archaeological digs and investigations at Roman ruins in Britain. That sort of thing. I’ve also lately been listening a lot to some podcasts! Just Wanna Quilt, RadioLab, The Hidden Brain, and The TED Radio Hour are my favorites.

And I have a ritual: During the making of every quilt, I watch When Harry Met Sally at least once. It has become like a good luck charm or something.

PBJ: How much time do you spend quilting a day? 

Tara: Between zero and 12 hours. Totally depends on the day and the project and what else is going on. I work a day job, and some nights I’m able to get into my sewing. Other nights I just don’t have it in me. Some weekends are nothing but quilting. I’ve been known to take vacation days from work to finish a quilt.

Enough with the usual interview questions lets have some fun.  

PBJ: If you had to choose between quilting cotton, batiks or flannels to sew with *for the rest of your life* which would you choose? Why? 

Tara: Quilting cottons forever. Why? I like the way they feel and I like the variety of prints available.

PBJ: You are taking a quilting cruise, who’s your teacher? 

Tara: Bonnie Hunter. She’s a color master and she has an amazing attitude.

Fabric pull for The Border Quilt Quilt Along

PBJ: Does your sewing machine have a name? 

Tara: My Singer is named Polly, after my paternal grandmother. This is the machine I started quilting on. No, it wasn’t hers.
My mid-century Japanese import is named Betty, because the guy selling it advertised it as being a “White” machine (and I knew enough to know that was a terrific brand, but didn’t know enough to spot this wasn’t one of them).
My Brother is named Sister. Obvious reasons.
My Janome is named Sewphie. Because I thought it sounded cute.

PBJ: Does your seam ripper have a name? 

Tara: No. That would give it an attitude. He’s smug enough on his own.

PBJ: When was the last time you changed your needle?

Tara: Last week. I needed to swap out the denim 100 needle for a quilting 90.

PBJ: We have a big quilt along coming up. What is your advice to any quilter new to the quilt along world? 

Tara: Don’t stress about it! It’s meant to be fun! It will have some imperfections. That’s ok. You’re not a machine.

Interview Schedule

July 27 - Nancy - Masterpiece Quilting
July 30 - Vicki - My Creative Corner3
Aug 2 - Becca - Pretty Piney
Aug 6 - Kate - Seams Like A Dream
Aug 9 - Terri - Lizard Creek Quilting
Aug 13 - Joanne - Quilts By Joanne
Aug 16 - Marija - Mara Quilt Designs
Aug 20 - Alison - Little Bunny Quilts
Aug 23 - Stephanie - Quilt'n' Party
Aug 27 - Daphne - Daphne Greig
Aug 30 - Tara - The Quilt District
Sept 6 - Tracy (quilter) - Fabrics Plus
Sept 10 - Kelly (photographer) - Handmade Boy
Sept 12 - Quilt along begins!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Tara. If you have any questions for her, please put them in the comments, with an email address if your settings are set for no reply, and I will make sure she sees them. I hope you follow her and give her some quilty love!

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming September 2018

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