Thursday, February 19, 2015

An interview with Nancy from Quilting Potpourri

Today I'm interviewing Nancy from Quilting Potpourri.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. I greatly appreciate you taking time to answer these questions.  I would also like to thank you for allowing me to choose a few photos from your blog based on your answers.  And I am going to request all who visit this post, please DO NOT pin these images from my blog.  Instead, visit Nancy at Quilting Potpourri who I'm sure will give you permission to pin from HER blog.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:    What drew me to your blog in the first place was how much we seem to have in common. It seems like you like to jump into everything from mixed media to art journaling to sewing.

When did you start making art and in what genre?

Nancy: I’ve been somewhat “crafty” since a young age, and was initially attracted to needlework. Later, as a young wife, mother, and school teacher, I had limited time (and space). So even though I dabbled in embroidery, garment sewing, macramé, knitting, and more, I knew it was time to pick just one or nothing would get completed. 

I chose to focus on quilting for many years before expanding my interests once again to include mixed media and paper crafting.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: When did you learn about mixed media and when did it take over much of your art?  

Nancy: Mixed media piqued my interest about three years ago when I also began to pursue art quilting. A subscription to “Quilting Arts” led to another with the sister publication “Cloth, Paper, Scissors”.  
That’s also about the time I began to explore the blogging world and learned even more. It’s where I discovered your Altered Book Lover blog, and became a follower. 

Of course mixed media requires yet another set of supplies and equipment so my sewing and craft room became even more packed with fascinating things. I’ve learned about all sorts of supplies that were once unfamiliar to me such as gesso, canvas paper, matte medium, 

and the very intriguing Gelli Plate. And I’ve acquired plenty of them to add to the already healthy supply of fabric and sewing machines residing there.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:      I saw lovely cards you have made, so do you do this for special occasions, or just "because?"

Nancy: The cards are usually “just because”. 

I love paper shapes, layers, and 

vintage images, and once inspired the cards nearly invent themselves. And I go through spurts where I make lots of cards, and then those supplies get stowed away 

until the next creative urge strikes.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:   You make lovely quilts. Do you have formal training?

Nancy: As a one-time home economics teacher, I had some classes in garment sewing. But the quilts came first by reading magazines and a few books. Along the way I’ve been very fortunate to take some workshops from well-known quilting teachers. 

I like everything about quilting, so learning and 

trying many different techniques really appeals to me. 

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:   Do you prefer making traditional quilts or art quilts?

Nancy:  I began making traditional quilts in many different styles in the 1980s, and gradually grew toward an interest in 

art quilts. 

I still make both kinds. I also have a small collection of vintage quilts, and seeing a lovely vintage quilt always makes my heart skip a beat.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:  I see you enjoy hand stitching. When did you start?

I learned hand embroidery as a pre-teen, and loved to add designs to pillowcases, jeans, dresser scarves, and the like. 

And I would hand quilt every quilt if I could keep up with the pace that I make them! It’s my first love with quilting. 

However I learned and continue to practice machine quilting as a necessity to try and complete all the quilt tops made. My larger quilts go out to a long arm quilter, and we have several very talented ones on our area. 

With all the fibers and wonderful embellishments available, I also love to add surface stitchery to my projects whenever it calls for a special accent. 
Bleubeard and Elizabeth: I can tell you’re a pet lover, and often show your lovely animals on your blog. Please tell us about your work with your local animal shelter.

Nancy: We love our critters and have two horses 

(Freckles and 


two dogs 

(Scooter and 

Abby), and 

a cat (Lily). The latter three are all rescues that “found” us, the most recent one just a month ago. We were not looking to add more animals to the ranch, but believe that somehow each one needed us and found their way here. 

My contributions to the animal shelter came about because of my volunteering with a local women’s prison in a crafting program. The women sew quilts, tote bags, and dolls for a number of charitable agencies, and make crochet hats for cancer patients. They also make cat hammocks 

and dog beds for the animal shelter. The program is an honors one given the kinds of tools we have access to, and the ladies gain a great deal of self-esteem from being able to “give back” with their handwork.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:   I’ve noticed you are currently taking an online class. Do you prefer the in-class art you make and take, or are they both equally enjoyable?

Nancy:  A lifelong learner, I find the online, self-paced classes suit my schedule beautifully. Plus they are usually quite affordable and I can take more than one at a time. I made a list of all the online classes I’m enrolled in, and it was quite a healthy one, approaching a dozen! 

But I need instruction, particularly in mixed-media which is relatively new to me, so they are my go-to resource.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:  Tell us about your experiences with your gelli plate(s). Any advice for a person like myself who is not as in love with them as you are?

Nancy:  Ah, the Gelli Plate! Once I get started printing, it’s really hard to stop. And I love printing on both paper and fabric. As far as advice, I would suggest starting with the small plate- it’s about 3” x 5” (like an index card), so it’s easy to handle and not as messy as working with the larger plate. 

You can use it almost like a stamp. The small plate is very versatile, giving you the ability to create many interesting and successful designs right away.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:   I see you belong to a local craft and sewing group. Please tell us a bit about them, their projects, and how you found them.

Nancy:  Quilt groups provide such inspiration and are a wonderful fellowship of like-minded people. The ones I belong to offer a variety of experiences such as workshops, demonstrations, field trips, 

quilt retreats, and a quilt show every other year. I was one of the founders of the quilt group I belonged to when I lived in upstate New York. It was such a good experience, that when we moved to Florida, I wanted to join a group here. They’re not hard to find as guild members often participate in local community events and show their quilts. 

I ran across the first one I joined at a community festival. And I’ve joined two others since then! 

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:  I see food is a big part of your blog. Please share some of your favorite foods and places to eat.

Nancy: We are seafood fans, and lobster is number one on our list. Each summer we go right to the source 

when we visit the state of Maine for a week. We rent an ocean side cottage, and just enjoy the fresh air 

and seafood.

Italian food is also a favorite. We have a number of local Italian restaurants where we enjoy eating. And for chain restaurants, Panera’s just can’t be beat for their salads and soups. I don’t cook as much as I used to, but I’m a person who enjoys reading cookbooks like others read fiction!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth:  Since we now know a bit about your art, please tell us briefly about yourself.

My husband Jack and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary! We’ve been together since our college days, and we have two grown children- a son, Lee, and daughter, Joanna who just moved here from New York. She’s making a life and career change, and we enjoy having her close by. 

Jack still rides nearly every day and shows his Quarter Horses in western pleasure classes. When people ask about the longevity of our relationship, I tell them it’s easy- he doesn’t make me ride, and I don’t make him quilt! Mutual respect. 

I taught high school home ec, and then middle school social studies for 20 years. I then had the good fortune to work for a quilting magazine. Suddenly I was being paid to do the things I loved to do! 

Upon retirement, we moved our horse farm from New York to the Ocala area of Florida, which is known as “the horse capital of the world”. We both stay very busy with our various interests and volunteer service, and love living here. 

Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for the chance to be your interviewee for February and to have the chance to make new friends via your blog.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth: Actually, it is I who has you to thank for this great interview and truly lovely blog.  I learned so much about you and how similar, yet different we both are in our paper and fabric interests. 

Please visit Nancy at Quilting Potpourri to see even more of her wonderful quilts, mixed media art, mail art, swaps, and other interests.  Also, PLEASE respect Nancy's photos and DO NOT PIN them from my blog.  To request permission to pin them please visit Nancy's blog:

12 thoughtful remarks:

froebelsternchen Susi said...

What a fantastic post! Thank you for the interviwe and all this great pics!
Off to visit Nancy's blog now!

massofhair said...

Fabulous interview Elizabeth, you ask some fab questions. Off to look at Nancy's blog and get some Art Quilt inspiration:-) xxx

see you there! said...

Enjoyed the interview very much. Nancy is very creative and her comments about online classes was interesting to me. I've considered taking a class online but wondered how it would work for me.


Craftymoose Crafts said...

I really enjoyed this interview with Nancy. She is a very talented quilter and it seems we share some common interests, too!

Halle said...

Wow! Nancy is so very interesting. Her blog will most certainly be on my reading list.

~*~Patty S said...

Another great interview E!
Fun and interesting to meet a new blogging artist!

elle said...

Wonderful. As a lifelong learner myself I enjoyed learning some more. I'm off to check Nancy's blog! Thanks for a great interview!

TwinkleToes2day said...

That was SO interesting Elizabeth & Bleubeard, thank you for 'bringing Nancy to us'. Her quilts are beautiful and I did giggle at her relationship longevity answer *grin*
Off to visit her blog (hugs) :o)

Nancy said...

Oh my, you did a wonderful job with this Elizabeth. Thanks so very much, and thanks to the commenters who are so encouraging. It was fun to see what photos you chose, and how it all flowed. Lots of new blog visitors and friends thanks to you.

Susan said...

Great interview. I've been following Nancy's blog for several years and am always amazed at her creativity and willingness to just jump in and try something new.

pearshapedcrafting said...

What an interesting lady Nancy is - I will certainly be visiting her blog - it seems we may have quite a bit in common. Her work is fabulous and I would like to see more! A great interview that let us find out so much! Hope you are feeling better and that the weather is warming up a little - although we see on the new that the East coast is very cold. Hugs, Chrisx

Rita said...

Wonderful interview!! She's an interesting and talented lady. I will have to go visit her blog. :)