In the 1980s, when I was in high school, my Mom and I decided to open a quilt shop. Back then we did every inch of our cutting, piecing, appliqué and quilting by hand. Yet we were on the cusp of a new era in quilting. Being young and wanting instant gratification, I learned everything I could about newly invented strip piecing methods, rotary cutting, and fusibles from innovators in the field. I took every class I could on my quest to find better, faster, and more accurate ways to make quilts.
Soon I developed a love of appliqué. Instead of persnickety perfectly pieced blocks, I could create a garden full of flowers in the midst of our long New England winters. Appliqué wasn’t all about accuracy, it was about beauty. That was where I wanted to put my creative energies rather than striving for perfect points.
For four years after high school, I worked in our shop while I studied Textile Chemistry in college. As soon as I graduated, I landed my dream job working as a chemist for Cranston Print Works Company. It was a pleasure being surrounded by millions of yards of fabric at work and I never got tired of the sight, smell, and sounds of the mill. Cranston never realized the extent of my addiction and for five glorious years they enabled this fabriholic to collect as much fabric as I pleased.
Soon I was married with three kids and anxious to get out of the house now and then. I turned to quilting as my favorite form of “Mommy time”. My local guild whittled, carved, and polished my skills as a quilter and for that I am eternally grateful.
Leaves Galore took me by surprise. One day when designing a quilt for a guild challenge, I realized I had to cut hundreds of small leaves. I knew there wasn’t enough time to appliqué all those leaves before the challenge quilts were revealed so I turned to fusible appliqué: fusing, tracing, and cutting hundreds of fusible leaves. There had to be a better way. Then one night the light bulb in my head went on….Leaves Galore was born.
Five years later, I wanted more appliqué shapes to play with. I developed Hearts and More to complement the shapes that Leaves Galore could cut. Using both templates together expanded my appliqué abilities.
Since developing Leaves Galore over eight years ago, I have found teaching to be the most rewarding part of my job. I love showing others how simple and effective my methods are. Through my two books, YouTube, and my website I am able to teach quilters all over the globe. Even if we never get to meet in person, I hope my passion for my tools and methods comes through these pages and encourages you to try, succeed, and fall in love with Rotary Cut Appliqué.