Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Border Quilt Interview with Marija

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 Marija of Mara Quilt Designs

PBJ:  Name and business name?

Marija: Marija Vujcic, Mara Quilt Designs

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

Marija: Teacher and designer. My quilting became "not just for me" once I started teaching locally and discovered how much I love it. Designing started with doodles for myself, then patterns tailored to my students and techniques I was teaching them and evolved to some published patterns. I hope to do much more of ALL of these... 

PBJ:  Designers: Do you have any new patterns/books/fabrics coming out this year that you can share about? (If you don’t want to give too much information a fun little hint about a future project
can build excitement for you.) Teachers: What classes do you teach? Testers: what do you do
with all of the blocks/quilts that you make? Quilters: Longarm, domestic machine,
computerized, manual? 

Marija: I have several patterns submitted to magazines - lets see what happens! Idea for the book is kinda brewing still...
Teaching - I LOVE to teach absolute beginners and have a complete, comprehensive class set for them, all the way to the binding! Teaching new or interesting and unusual techniques is also a favorite. Interacting with other quilters is always so inspiring.

My business is really still at a very beginning, I am still figurnig out what exactly is that I am good at, or can bring a unique prospective. I do have several patterns over at (a pattern publisher and seller) but now going more towards publishing my own.

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

Marija:  I am mostly self taught, with help of books and figuring it out together with friends. I have never seen a quilt in my life before immigrating to US, (they are not something women make in my home country, Serbia), but have sewn since I was 9, and always collected fabric. Once I discovered quilting, it was like my creative soul found a home. I took A LOT of classes in past 20+ years, from teachers famous and not famous and learned something from each and every one! Still love to take classes whenever I can.

PBJ: What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

Marija: That is a really tough one, since I love all parts! I was going to say designing, but I love to pick colors, I love the feeling of first completed block, or when design starts to emerge...and really LOVE free motion quilting!! Binding is like saying a farewell to the quilt...(specially if it is for a gift). 

PBJ: What is your least favorite part?

Marija:  If one needs to be picked, it is basting. But usually as I do that, I start dreaming of how I will quilt it goes fast!

PBJ: What is your favorite quilty tool?

Marija: Besides a sharp blade in my rotarry cutter, it is a good ruler! General purpose or specialty ones, I love a good ruler. I love pretty much ALL Creatvie Grids rulers, Stripology Squared (by Gudrun Erla) just about changed my quilty life and really cool new one I love is Classic Curves Ruler by Sharon McConnell. My dream quilty tool would be to own a long arm machine...

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?

Marija: When answering that, I used to always say green. But I realized that during all these years of quilting, I learned to love almost any color! It is how different colors combine and play with each other that excites me the most. Nature is so good at that, I take tons of photos all the time, mostly for that reason, to remember a specific color combo or unique texture...

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

Marija: I watch TV mostly. Lots of PBS or Netflix. Right now, alternating between Planet Earth II (love Sir Richard Attenborough!!) and silly southern world series
Hart of Dixie (while waiting on new season of Crown...)

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

Marija: Not enough! I work full time and try to sew a little every day, my hours are early mornings or late nights... except when there is a gift of a whole day to sew - my favorite!

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?

Marija: Quilting cotton. Love batiks too, but that is not enough variety. Quilting cottons give the most variety from just solids to wild prints and textures!

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

Marija:  oh boy...there are many teachers I had classes with and loved them for many different reasons. For the patchwork as my art medium, it would be Ruth McDowell, for the magic of creating in scrappy style it would be Karen Stone, for a playfull colage creations it would be Susan Carlson,
for clever strip-piecing it would be Gudrun Erla (and her rulers), for amazing machine applique it would be Sue Nickels, for fun and clever techniques it would be Karla Alexander... and it goes on and on. But each one of these ladies I could spend days with. And ones I still wish to take classes from - Elaine Quehl, Angela Walters, Melinda Bula...  

PBJ: Does your sewing machine have a name?

Marija:  No, not really... its just my trusty Pfaff.

PBJ:   Does your seam ripper have a name?

Marija: No again. I do change them as they can get dull, or when a new, better one comes on the market.

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

Marija: Recently, I do change them often. That is one of my pet peeves and something I try to drill-in to my beginner students (along with closing your blade of the rotary cutter EVERY time, unless you have retractable, :) )

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

Marija: For me, the biggest fun and gift of quilt-a-long is connecting with other who do it, creating friendships (even if only through
cyber space) and learning new tips and tricks along the way. For that reason, if you are new - jump in and ask questions all the time, interact
and chat, and above all - have fun!



Mara Quilt Designs


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 Marija. 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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