In the November/December 2017 Issue, Cathy Geier shares with us her methods for color in her article “Playing with Color”. We had a chance to catch up with Cathy and ask her a little about her quilting career and where she’s headed next.
When did you first learn to sew? When did you make your first quilt?
I learned to quilt 30+ years ago when I met a woman at a country fair in Chesapeake, Virginia. She taught me to hand piece and hand quilt and I still have bags of old cardboard templates that I can’t seem to throw out. 3 years later I taught myself how to use a sewing machine to piece and bind a quilt. 10 years later I began using my sewing machine to quilt as well.
What is a technique that you have never tried that you would like to?
I’d love to learn to hand dye and paint fabrics. I have books showing me how to do it, but no time to learn something new these days! I keep telling myself ‘someday I’ll get to this… someday’.
What advice would you give to a beginner in machine quilting?
Start with small projects that easily fit under your sewing machine arm. I learned by cutting out flowers from various floral fabrics and making lots of small quilts of bouquets on a whole cloth background. As I free motion stitched these fabric patches in place I learned control of my speed and motion. It was also good practice learning how to quilt with different types of thread and resolving tension issues.
What kinds of fabrics are your favorite to work with?
It depends on what kind of landscape I’m working on. If I’m creating a natural landscape by cutting and gluing various raw edge patches to create a scene then I primarily use cotton prints with landscape motifs such as leaves, bark and rocks. When I create a pieced landscape anything goes – I combine batiks and cotton prints and whatever I can find to create the effect I need. I’ve used fine wale corduroy, tulle and upholstery prints at times! When I’m making a strip appliqued landscape I primarily use batiks because their tighter weave creates nicer raw edges.
What kind of projects are you working on next?
My husband was injured in a bad fall a few months ago and at this point my life revolves around his knees and recovery. (He injured both knees and only recently can maneuver around comfortably without help.) Before the fall I was working on a landscape of the Grand Canyon at sunset inspired by a photograph I took when visiting the park a few years ago. The ‘rough draft’ of this landscape is mostly done and I’m beginning to feel desperate to get back into my sewing room with some solid time to quilt again!
I’ve made 2 quilts from my favorite musicals; Gotta Dance! from Singing in the Rain and The Perfect Nanny from Mary Poppins. At the back of my mind another is forming, perhaps from Music Man or My Fair Lady, we’ll see what happens!