As some of you already know, Sherry Rose of Cave Creek, AZ is the grand prizewinner of our 2015 Quilt Block Design Contest. Her winning quilt block design, Rainbow Twinkle, will be unveiled on a 17-foot sign outside of our offices tomorrow. Sherry’s design was inspired by her family’s love of motorsports and racing.
What was your first thought when you learned you were the grand prizewinner of the 2015 Quilt Block Design Contest?
I was outside doing yard work when I got the call. My hands were covered with dirt so I almost let the call go to voicemail but when I saw the caller ID said Nebraska, I thought “Hmmm…maybe I better take this.” To say I was completely shocked would be an understatement. I walked around the rest of the day in disbelief.
How does it make you feel to know your block design is being featured on a 17-foot sign outside of our offices for hundreds of visitors from all over and people around Omaha to see?
Having my design displayed outside of AccuQuilt Headquarters is a huge honor. For me, this was the very best part of the prize package. It’s priceless and I’ll remember it forever.
Which lucky products did your AccuQuilt shopping spree dollars go toward?
I spent it on a combination of Studio and GO! dies plus some fresh new cutting mats.
What inspired your winning design?
My design was inspired by our family’s love of motorsports and racing. The black and white background is inspired by a checkered flag, and the rainbow star is inspired by the colorful paint schemes on the vehicles. This design was my husband and son’s favorite out of all five that I entered into the contest.
Have you made a project yet with this design?
Yes. I just finished piecing the top for my Rainbow Twinkle winning design today. I’ll start the quilting when I get back from Nebraska and hope to have it ready to display at the AccuQuilt educator event at my local AccuQuilt retailer this fall.
Who’s the lucky person coming with you to Omaha?
I’ll be bringing my husband and my son. They are always so supportive of my quilting adventures and never too busy to come and check out a project that I’m excited about. I’m excited to share this win with them.
Have you ever been to Omaha? If not, are you looking forward to anything in particular?
I have never been to Nebraska. I’m looking forward to meeting all the wonderful people at AccuQuilt that have helped me over the years. It’s always nice to put a face with a name. My son is looking forward to seeing a farm and possibly petting a baby cow.
How many completed quilting projects do you have at home?
Just a few. I generally don’t have too many completed projects hanging around at any given time because most of the projects I make these days are things I make for charities. I love to make quilted pillows, and one of the projects I’m working on right now is to make and donate 250 quilted and appliquéd pillows to local hospitals and charities here in Arizona. The fabric, batting, and thread that I won in the contest will go a long way toward helping me reach my goal.
Who has been the most influential quilter to you?
I can’t really think of a quilter that influenced me but my mom and her love of sewing certainly sparked my interest. She started sewing when she was a young girl in an orphanage. She originally learned out of necessity as she had to do all the mending, but sewing quickly became something she loved to do. She made all her own clothes as well as her wedding dress. When I was a kid I remember her sewing cute dresses for my sister and I on her treadle machine. When I was 10 she let me give sewing a try, and I’ve been stitching up a storm ever since. My mom was always my biggest cheerleader and a constant source of sewing encouragement. She loved to see all my creations even when they were made from her favorite curtains. I still have the very first quilt I made. My mom cut the squares with scissors and I pieced. We spent many nights sitting on her bed watching TV, tying the quilt with lots of colorful strands of embroidery floss. It’s a bit of an ugly duckling with its lime green stretch polyester backing and all, but it’s my favorite quilt because I made it with my mom.
Name three quilting supplies you can’t live without.
I can’t live without my Studio cutter and dies, and Machingers & Aurifil thread.
When did you purchase your Studio fabric cutter, and how many dies do you currently have in your collection?
I purchased it eight years ago after seeing a small black and white ad in a quilting magazine featuring a picture of the cutter and a set of rag dies. I looked at that picture every morning for a month and finally decided I needed to have it. Best purchase I ever made. I’ve used my Studio cutter day after day, hours on end for the past eight years and it still cuts like a champ. It’s my absolute favorite quilting tool of all time.
I have owned all but five Studio dies and most of the GO! dies. And I don’t buy duplicate dies. For instance, the 12” mix and match comes in single shapes or multiples. I only buy the multiple versions of dies. Or if there is a Studio and GO! version of something, I always buy the Studio version. Some dies I used literally to death and have purchased them multiple times. I know firsthand just how much you can cut with a Studio die before it’s time for a new one.
Have you designed any patterns?
All of the quilts, pillows and projects I make are my own designs. I do most of my designing in my head but I occasionally use EQ to visualize a design before I make it.
Do you have a blog, website, or any other place online where people can see your work?
Nope. I usually just share my projects with my friends on my personal FB page or on the AccuQuilt Facebook page once in a while. I’m not really looking to become a well- known quilter. I’m just a girl who quilts. I used to donate a ton to Project Linus and ConKerr Cancer, but these days I’m donating directly to the local hospitals. It cuts out the middleman and allows me to move more swiftly when it comes to making donations.
What advice would you give to a beginner quilter?
Sew an accurate ¼” seam, press, don’t iron and enjoy every stitch.
A big thank you and congratulations again to Sherry Rose. You can see some of her lovely projects below.