Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Desire to Inspire Challenger: Lisa England shows off her talents

Beautiful "Aussie Mates" Star Quilt  
Lisa England was the lucky one who accepted the Desire to Inspire Challenge for March. She received several pieces of fabric from Delphine Cubitt's "Aussie Mates" collection. You are going to be amazed with what she came up with during this past month.

To get to know Lisa's fun style, take a look at the first project she made with the "Aussie Mates" collection.

Here's Lisa's story: 
I live in Ashland, KY --  a small town on the eastern edge of Kentucky.  I can drive about 5 miles in one direction and be in Ohio or about 5 miles in another direction and be in West Virginia.  Ashland is my husband’s hometown and his parents and an assortment of other relatives live nearby.  It’s a small town with friendly people, a good family atmosphere, a temperate climate, and very little traffic.  I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, but have now lived in Kentucky longer than anywhere else.

Lisa and hubby walking the lava fields in Hawaii
I have a wonderful husband whom I met when we were students at Virginia Tech.  We married shortly after graduation and will celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer.  We have a grown son (also a Virginia Tech graduate) who lives and works near New Orleans.  My husband and I have been a great DIY team since we first married, and have done many remodeling projects over the years.  He’s one of those people who can build or fix just about anything.  We are also college and NFL football fans and enjoy going to games or watching them on TV.  

Lisa and son at waterfall in Hawaii
When our son was at Tech, we went to all the home games and had a lot of fun with that.  We also enjoy going to places where we can hike and see beautiful scenery, and have visited many National Parks.  Our vacations are usually not “sit and relax” type affairs.

Quilted tote, perfect as a child's book bag
I learned basic sewing as a kid from my Mom and Home Economics class, but my interest really grew after I was married.  I started with clothes, crafts and home decor items, and then started quilting about 20-some years ago.  My mother-in-law is an accomplished seamstress and quilter who has taught and encouraged me in all things sewing related. 

I make quilts in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors.  I like so many things!  Paper piecing shows up in many of my projects because it is one of my favorite techniques.  The last couple years I have been lucky enough to test paper piecing patterns for several talented designers from all over the world.  Getting to interact with the designers and try so many wonderful patterns is something I really enjoy.  And something I never anticipated when I started quilting so many years ago.

Not long after I started quilting, someone (my MIL, I think) suggested that I take a photo of each of my quilts or projects.  Now, of course, I have lots of digital photos of the things I’ve made but I still get a print of each one to put in a photo album.  I buy the little albums that hold 100 photos each.  I’m currently filling album number seven.

Surrounded by family and quilts – what could be better? 
I donate some of my quilts to a local crisis pregnancy center and some to a Hospice facility. I also participate in "Hands2Help!" at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I give many of the quilts I make to family and friends.  

Sometimes at holiday get-togethers I set out a big stack of quilts and have everyone draw numbers for the order in which they each get to pick a quilt.  One year, after much discussion, deliberation, negotiating, and even some bluffing, my husband’s family members suggested a photo with all the quilts and their new owners and me in the middle.  They can be a crazy bunch!  I am fortunate to have many family members on both my side and my husband’s side who really appreciate the quilts and other handmade gifts I give them. 
"Aussie Mates" Plus Quilt
I’m not in any guilds, but I do meet most weekday mornings with 2 good friends who are also quilters.  We meet at the local YMCA where we take fitness classes and talk about quilting.  It’s a fun way to start the day!  

 Drawstring backpack with zipper pocket
"Aussie Mates" Baby Quilt
Sometimes we find time to go to a quilt show, take a class, or go on fabric shopping trips.  The owner of my favorite LQS (Michelle at WVQuilt) has published a few of my patterns and has been a friend and cheerleader for my quilting for many years.

My husband is very supportive and sometimes has more confidence in my abilities than I do.  I’m sure he never anticipated I’d become so obsessed with cutting fabric into little pieces and sewing it back together, but he has been wonderful to give me the freedom to do what I love and to fill the house with everything quilt related.  

He was the one who encouraged me to buy a mid-arm quilting machine about 8 years ago so I could easily do my own quilting.  Now, like many quilters, I have so many ideas about things I want to make that I will surely never get them all finished.  It’s fun to try though!

It was great to meet Lisa, and see the abundance of work she produced in just a month!
And she is so kind! She is offering up this sweet little giveaway of two projects that she made with the little bit of fabric she had left over!


GranChris said...

I love the fabric and I think she's doing great. Her quilts are wonderful.

sisylyn2 said...

You did such a good job. I especially like the pot holder and wristlet.

Karen said...

I think Lisa did an amazing job! I really love all the different projects.

Cecilia said...

Great job! I loved reading your story Lisa! Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway!

Kathy G. said...

Everything is wonderful! An inspiration to us newbies! :)

Deal.licious Real Food Debby said...

That is a fun and lovely story. I love getting to read other quilters/sewers stories. And your projects are adorable.

debbygrawn at yahoo dot com

Vicki H said...

Lisa, You did an amazing job with the challenge and completed so many wonderful projects. Very creative. Thanks for sharing your story too.

Judy1522 said...

All the projects turned out beautiful and it was interesting to read about Lisa.

Karen S said...

It has been wonderful to look through this showcase of Lisa's work with this fun fabric. Thank you for sharing with us.

Karen S said...

It has been wonderful to look through this showcase of Lisa's work with this fun fabric. Thank you for sharing with us.

Sandra Walker said...

Fantastic work Lisa! Wow! I can't believe how much you accomplished.

Julie said...

I think she did wonderful!!!! Love everything she made. Would love to see her quilt patterns :)

OhioLori said...

I love her Projects...definitely an Inspiration! Awesome talent for sure! Grrrreat job!!

Lee said...

A fabulous project! Thank you for sharing!

Sherry said...

It was great to see all of the projects Lisa made. She is obviously a talented quilter and sewer and used the fabrics very creatively.

Diane Beavers said...

Lisa, Your AUssie Mates quilt and child book bag are too sweet, and stunning.
How intricate, colorful. I love your story. THink we all started in Home Eco dreaming of decorating our home w/our handmade goodies. Still doing it!
I do love selvage strips and your gifts would be most welcome and put into use immediately. Thank you.


Anna brown said...

Love the fabric and her ideas are very encouraging....ty for sharing your talent with us......

Knittingdancer on Ravelry said...

I love the bright colors in the wristlet and potholder.

Danette said...

Your Aussie Mates projects are so adorable. I especially enjoyed the star quilt!