Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Member Spotlight // Gail Weiss

Before diving into this week's Member Spotlight, don't forget that this Saturday is our All Day Sew at Fabric Depot from 9am - 9pm. Stay all day or come for a few hours! Bring your sewing machine and a project to work on. Fabric Depot provides irons and cutting mats and you can bring anything else that you may need. We had a fun potluck last time, feel free to bring snacks to share if you'd like! 

Meet Gail Weiss! 
Flickr: Gail Weiss

How long have you been making quilts? What was your learning process like?

I would say I've been actively quilting for about 2 years...  I'm just a beginner in many ways.  While I've been sewing my whole life, I've had no formal training so there are many little things about the way I sew that I question. My learning is definitely still in process!  Usually when I have a question, I just ask someone with more experience.  I learn most from watching others work... on-the-job-training style.  When there is no one there to show me how to do something... I just try to figure it out on my own. The object of my current study is color tone and value ~ this is where I feel I need the most work in my quilting... and where I want to expand my personal take on modern quilting.

How long have you been a PMQG member and how did you find us?
Since July(?) 2010.  Doing an online search for techniques that would help me with an art quilt, I found the PMQG on Ning.  Jen Carlton-Bailly was president at the time and she was very inviting and supportive of me to join.  I'm so happy I did!  Every single meeting I've been to I've learned something new ~ I guess it's not that big a deal if you're an expert quilter, but I'm just beginning ~ so it's pretty awesome.  Plus I'm a huge fan of "Show and Tell"... some of the quilts I see there are state fair quality and are stunning.  I leave feeling motivated with fresh new ideas that tend to keep me up at night.  I love it.

What inspires your designs/quilting?
Again... seeing those quilts at PMQG meetings is one of the biggest inspirations for me.  I think my taste is different than most, so I love seeing other people's perspectives in putting fabric colors, and styles together... and photos online just don't cut it compared to the real thing. My quilt designs have all stemmed from learning a new technique or two.  Once I've mastered a skill, I want to show it off ~ so I let my practice blocks speak to me as to how to put a quilt pattern or design together. 

How many quilts do you think you've made in your life?
About 12-15

Why do you quilt? What do you enjoy most about it?

Quilting is a good habit that I'm working on to keep me from other "not so good habits".  I have an addictive personality, and sewing keeps my hands busy which is a very good thing!   Plus I love color... I don't really like wearing color, but I love SEEING color... and I've always liked working with tactile objects.  Being a graphic designer keeps me on the computer for long hours... so I'm always happy to take a break from the monitor and just work with my hands and touch nice things.  
I also like the people that quilting attracts ~ very creative, supportive, types.  
Lately, I've been happier and happier with my execution in sewing projects, so there is also a sense of pride and accomplishment when looking at something you made with your own two hands... I'm really happy to start seeing progress in my own quilting style.
There is nothing better than snuggling under a freshly washed quilt... especially one you love.
What is your favorite quilt that you've made?
The Squid Quilt has to be my favorite so far... but I think the dragon I'm currently working on will blow that one away. I was also really happy with my Villa Villa Kula Quilt ~ it was a very personal quilt to make for me, and the more I see it the more I love it.

Fill in the blank: "When I'm quilting, I feel _____"

While you're quilting, what is the environment like?
I usually shut myself off to the outside world (take a message please) shut the door to my sewing room and listen to sci-fi novels on disc.  My favorite author of all time is Dan Simmons, but any good story will do.  I like thinking of other-worldly places where my quilt might live while I'm sewing it.   I take my paper-piecing projects with me whenever I can. When I sew on the go, I tend to get lost in the ambient noise around me and just "zone out" on my project. 

Gail, thanks so much for sharing with us! 


  1. That Squid quilt is killer! Well done!

  2. Gail you are awesome! I'll never forget the first time I saw your squid! I was/am in awe!

  3. I too remember when I saw your squid ~ could hardly believe how small the pieces were! Great interview and love your sewing space.


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