Life is a whirlwind of extremes. Happy times; hard times. Miracles and loss. But as our hearts are stretched in a thousand directions, they sure do grow!
If you’re anything like me, you pour your emotions into your quilts. And this week’s quilt is bursting with love!
Watch Jenny stitch up the wildly popular Exploding Hearts quilt by Laura Piland for Slice of Pi Quilts. This stunning heart quilt is a triumph of triangles with half-square triangles, hourglass blocks, and quarter-square triangles, too. (We love Exploding Hearts SO MUCH, we created a kit with the pattern and beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics!)
Meet Laura Piland. Laura is a quilt pattern designer and homeschooling mom of three young boys. She’s also an ex-math teacher – and with a last name like Piland – there’s a strong love of pi in her house! She has been designing and publishing patterns since 2016. Her work has been included in magazines, newspapers, and quilting industry publications. Laura loves to travel to guilds and quilt shops and share her love of quilting with others!
What is your favorite part of the quilting process?
I absolutely love the thrill of starting a new project! From coming up with a design idea to figuring out how to stitch it to picking out the perfect fabric! (Don’t ask me about finishing all the things I start though! Ha!)
Who are your favorite fabric designers?
Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew is at the top of that list! She’s such a wonderful human in real life, and I love seeing what she designs next! I also have quite a collection of fabric by Karen Lewis. I can not resist her tiny white screen printed shapes on solid fabrics! But if we’re talking what fabrics I *use* the most (instead of collect), then that would definitely be Island Batik fabrics! I love the saturation of color in their fabrics, and they’re a dream to work with!
What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?
My Juki TL-2010Q sewing machine!! It sews FAST! If I’m sewing on another machine, I’m thinking about my Juki the whole time!
How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?
I first learned to sew when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I made a couple garments for a 4-H project, but really didn’t like the process at all. My mom and both grandmothers quilted, but I had no interest whatsoever. It wasn’t until my 20s that I was inspired to try making a quilt after a friend had a baby. Then I couldn’t stop!
What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?
I often have projects that go to time-out for a bit! I get the most frustrated when using basting spray on a quilt (I always use pins now!) or if sewing something 3-D (like a bag or garment). I have to read the directions ten times before doing each step!
What fabric have you been hoarding the longest?
The Honeymoon collection from Sarah Watts is at the top of my hoarding list. (I do have several other fabrics that are older, but they don’t get the same “hoarding” title!) I’ve made a *few* hexies from the collection that will one day be a quilt just for me, and I have yardage of a couple of the prints that I save for super special projects.
What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?
I love searching Pinterest for new quilty ideas and inspiration! I have many more ideas than time! But spending a day with quilty friends always motivates me to get sewing!
What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?
I seriously can not imagine not being able to quilt! This is my dream job! That said, I used to be a middle school math teacher, and I do still love to teach. I suppose that would still be my second choice!
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Ooh! I think that would have to be Ms. Frizzle! Her field trip shenanigans are great, and her themed dresses are exactly something I would make too! I’ve even dressed up as her for a few Halloweens!
Describe your perfect day.
It would have to start with donuts! (A maple longjohn and a bear claw to be exact!) Add in some quilty friends and a sunny 75 degree day at a lake house. A bit of stitching and lots of laughter would really make it a day to remember!