Monday, April 30, 2012

Member Spotlight // Jen Carlton Bailly

Hello Guild Members! I'm thrilled to have Jen sharing today on the blog. Enjoy! 


HI! I’m Jen Carlton Bailly, otherwise known as Bettycrockerass. If you get to know me, I might share the story of how that name came to pass almost ten years ago! I love to sew, garden, bake/cook and read.

I’m almost 40 (May 18), a stay at home mom and an avid self taught sewist. When I’m not chasing my kids or and making something delicious I usually have my head down scheming on a new sewing project…figuring out how I can not follow the directions and use fabric that I probably shouldn’t!

How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?
My best friend taught me how to sew a straight line about 10 years ago. That lasted for a few days until I got frustrated. About four years ago I bought an old 1972 Husqvarna Viking. Got frustrated. Then I learned that I was putting the bobbin in wrong. Who knew! Well, I guess I could have read the manual.

At any rate, I really didn't start really sewing until about 3 years ago. My daughter had received a quilt while in the NICU. I loved it so much and was so touched I wanted to make one (some) to donate back. I Googled "quilts" and my entire life changed. For days I was plotting and planning. Then, I read about a "fabric stash" and how everyone must have one! I had a little one, but I NEEDED quilting fabrics! So I started fabric shopping... and well now, I have a whole room dedicated to sewing.

How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us?
I’ve been a member since the beginning and was the first president. Alissa (who co-founded the MQG) knew that I was interested in a local guild and let me know when Elizabeth got the ball rolling! Being nominated, as president was a little shocking but the year was fun. We had lots of bumps along the way but feel like we were able to move forward and create something people were excited for.

What inspires your designs/quilting?
Everything around me inspires me. Right now it’s art. I see a piece of art and I want to turn it into a quilt. My last quilt was exactly that. A random piece of art that I saw on line became a great quilt that’s going to be in the Modern Quilt Guild Show Case at The International Quilt Festival!

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
Around 60-I average about 20 a year.

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?
I quilt because it’s an outlet for my artistic side. It gives me time to learn something new, challenge my skills and then perfect them.

What is your favorite quilt that you've made?
My Orange Cross quilt that I did when reviewing Susan’s Modern Log Cabin Book. Several people shared their fabrics with me (thanks again!) and I used my favorite color. The linen gives it some weight that feels so nice when you’re curled up with it. It’s not done. I’m hand stitching it with floss after being inspired by Ale’s presentation on hand quilting. It will get done at some point, it’s a labor of love. It’s also the first quilt I’ve made for myself.

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _______"
Happy, inspired, talented and some times really frustrated!

While you're quilting, what is the environment like? do you listen to music? enjoy the humming of the machine?
I usually listen to Pandora or This American Life. My music tastes vary with what I’m sewing.

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