Sewing since she was a young girl, Terri Vanden Bosch didn't get the quilting bug until 1993 when she went on a road trip to Country Threads Quilt Shop in Garner, Iowa. Now she's a 20-year veteran quilter who is the proud owner of Lizard Creek Quilting where she performs longarming services for other quilters. Terri started longarming nine years ago.
Terri, who was the grand prize winner of our 2016 Quilt Block Design Contest, is still enjoying her prize package, which included fabric and plenty of thread to help her with new projects. Additionally, Terri's winning design, Point of View, greets us daily from its 17-foot perch outside of our headquarters.
Terri also stays busy as a farm wife and says her biggest cheerleader and supporter is her husband, Loren, who accompanied her for the unveiling of her quilt block on June 9. Both of them were lucky enough to sit with quilting guru Eleanor Burns during dinner at the event.
What was the inspiration behind your winning design?
I love to design within a challenge--the set of parameters keeps my "Ping-Pong" brain on track--sort of! I sat down to do some designing and decided to design using only the dies that I own, so I could make the block if I won. I had two blocks designed when my husband and I decided to take an afternoon motorcycle ride. The spring temps were gorgeous that day, but the wind was stronger than we had anticipated. Too windy for the first ride of the season. Heading north out of a small rural town the cross winds almost sucked the bike right out from under us! We came to an intersection with a stop sign and changed our course of direction. After making it home safely, my husband went out to do chores so I sat down to do some more designing and this block just flowed out of my fingers.
How does it make you feel to know your block design is being featured on a 17-foot sign outside of our offices where not only AccuQuilt staff will see it every day when they walk into the office, but also hundreds of thousands of travelers on I-80?
I have always wanted a barn quilt, but we never lived on a hard surface road for others to see the quilt. Now we live on a hard surface road and have no out buildings to put a quilt on -- too funny. So, instead I have a 17-foot quilt block at AccuQuilt! Our son gets married in Omaha this summer; the reception is only a few blocks from you, so I can't wait for my family to see it.
What advice would you give to someone who is planning to enter our quilt block design contest in the future?
I would advise people to send in a good quality photo for the contest. Use colors that compliment and contrast well with each other. Then think how the block would look if it's really, REALLY big! I think that I entered this contest at least three other times. Even made it into the finals once ... just keep trying. You never know if you don't try.
How long have you been a quilter and longarmer?
I have been a quilter for over 20 years and long arming for nine.
Do you find any time left for your own quilting projects?
I have amazing clients who mostly let me do whatever it takes to make their quilt tops sing. Some tops tell me right away what they want, while others only whisper it. I find that I am more selective in the projects I make for myself now that I am a longarmer. Being self-employed I can work myself into the schedule, but I want to make that time count so I do more detailed projects that have a personal meaning to me.
How did you use your $1,000 AccuQuilt shopping spree?
The new GO! Qubes are intriguing to me ... I even thought I just might enter this contest because I would really like some of those Qubes! Well now I have the Qubes! I can't wait to play with the Specialty Set. Oh, and the GO! Big came to live at my house, too.
What other things do you enjoy?
I enjoy the fact that I am a farm wife that helps my husband do all the sorting and loading of 280-pound market hogs onto the semi trucks. My quilting clients find it amusing and amazing that one side of me is rather smelly and dirty while the other side is so colorful and creative.
That is quite amusing. What is your idea of the perfect evening?
A perfect evening would start with having a plan for supper, then making that supper and eating it out on the patio with my husband while watching the sun go down.
If you could travel anywhere in the world on an all-expenses paid two-week vacation, where would you go?
We went to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary, and I would love to go back and explore more of that gorgeous place.
See some of Terri's amazing work below, including her winning design, and be sure to visit her over at Lizard Creek Quilting.
Point of View - 2016 Quilt Block Design Winner
Created to Complete
Deep Blue Rhap-Sea
Cultivate Creative Wonder
Color Me Happy
Terri poses with her quilt Promise Kept
A little history from Terri about the quilt above, Promise Kept...
This is my most favorite quilt I have designed. On our wedding day my husband promised me a Hawaiian vacation if I stayed with him for 25 years ... so I did! The outer pieced blocks are called Steps to the Altar and have photos of our wedding pieced into them. In the next ring of blocks, my husband and I journaled every night the activities of the day on our Hawaiian trip. Then when we came home, I appliqued photos from the trip onto the quilt. The fabrics are luscious hand-dyed CherryWood. The Hawaiian designs are appliqued onto fabric from my bridesmaid dresses. I also put a piece of that fabric in the steps to the altar blocks. The hibiscus in the outer corners are accented with colored pencil after they were quilted. I also quilted some words from 1Corinthians 13 around the Hawaiian blocks.
This quilt has won several awards ... faculty ribbon at MQS and MQX, first time entry award at Minnesota State Quilt Show, Honorable Mention at Pacific International Quilt Festival, and a few local ribbons. In this photo it was juried into AQS Paducah! And yes, I did put color in my hair to match my quilt. It is now retired and lays across a bench at the foot of our bed.