Friday, March 11, 2011

Interview with Pam from Hip to Be a Square

I regularly listen to Hip To Be A Square, a podcast "for quilters and crafters, nerds and geeks" where Pam, the Chief Rhombus, discusses her ongoing projects, gives tips and generally comments on life.  You can take a glimpse into her life on her blog or by downloading the podcast from iTunes.

We were lucky enough to do a virtual interview this week.  I have posted excerpts here and the entire interview on the Interviews page. You can navigate there using the tabs on the top of this page.  Happy reading...

What first attracted you to quilting and what do you get from it today?
I’ve sewn for as long as I can remember, but think the first thing I would still cop to making I did when I was 8 or 9.  It was a rag doll inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s doll Charlotte, and I made what felt like a billion little dresses for it and shoes out of the felt
and converted loft made out of a shoe box. I morphed into fashion sewing for a bit, as well as home dec! I picked up quilting seriously about nine years ago, just before I had kids. I think in part because my mother in law quilts, and I wanted to have something else to talk to her about.

Today, I get to just play with colors and designs. It’s a way to fill my time making beautiful things for people I love, or for donating to charity. I experiment with designs and color combinations frequently, and turn those into donations for Project Linus.

Is Zoom (Pam's cat) a help or a hindrance?  What is her favorite part of the process?
I’d like to think that Zoom is a complex enough creature that her influence on my crafting is a bigger concept than either helping or hindering… but mostly she just likes to holler about her food bowl being empty and sitting on my sewing table with her face over the heating vent.  Zapper, on the other hand, is pure hindrance (she’s the one that contributes to the podcast by meowing, purring, and sneezing into the microphone).

What skill in quilting have you mastered and what still eludes you?
I’ve recently “mastered” paper piecing (read: I did it and it didn’t look like a hot mess), and have had a good handle on precision piecing and free motion quilting. And I’m very, very good at UNsewing things. I’d like to do curved piecing at some point, and work on some trapunto (both of which have a place in the Star Wars quilt I’m imagining in my head).

What is your greatest success?
I always feel like the quilt I just finished is my greatest success, so I’m inclined to pick my Mariner’s Compass wallhanging right now. I’d also list the “My True Love” 12 Days of Christmas quilt by Nancy Halvoren as a great achievement; it involved a lot of appliquĂ©.

Also, I grew two whole new people (from scratch!), so that’s pretty impressive, too. J

Here’s the picture of my Christmas quilt, but you can view more on this flickr page

I still need to take a picture of the finished Mariner’s Compass wallhanging, but you can see photos of the center block on my flickr page.  The center block is pictured above.  

Do you listen to music while you quilt?  What is your playlist?
I listen more to audiobooks either from my library or the authors on (most of which are unpublished in dead tree format). But when I run out of the spoken word, I’m usually listening to some embarrassing combination of Neil Diamond, 80’s hair bands, Milli Vanilli, Color Me Badd, and Beyonce’s Single Ladies.

Yes, there is usually chair dancing involved. I do, in fact, blame it on the rain.

Do you have a dedicated crafting space?
Yep – I split one room in my house between my work-from-home office space and my sewing. The benefit is that when I’m running a particularly taxing query or something for work, I can wheel over to my sewing table and sewing a couple blocks.  I’ve got a sewing table in front of a window with a cutting and pressing surface to the right. Underneath the cutting/pressing area is storage for large roll batting, a bin of reclaimed clothing to repurpose, and a set of small drawers for various tools and supplies.  On the other side of the sewing table is a rolling cart with my sewing box and other “stuff” and a bookshelf for books and my serger.  On the opposite wall is fabric storage and some file cabinets that store patterns and my home office supplies.


Pam said...

Thanks, Cindy!

Nonnie said...

Loved the interview... Love the paper piecing mariner compass....Been listening to Pam since she started. Liked reading the info I did not know.

Add your blog to my reader... will be back

Happy Quilting... Nonnie
Nonnie's Quilting Dreams- Podcast

Nonnie's Quilting Dreams - Blog

Cindy said...

Thank you, Nonnie! Your work is so beautiful - it is such a nice complement that you are having a peek here to see what I have been doing. Come back again, please!

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