NQA Member Spotlight
If I had to describe my own personal style of quilting I would have to say, "More quilts in less time makes me a happy girl." After almost 30 years into quilt making, I have made over 300 quilts. Most of these quilts were made to try different techniques, make samples for the various classes I teach, and, of course, for family and friends. My favorite technique is patchwork. I love being able to quickly rotary cut a pattern and get right to the sewing part. My grandmother made quilts and clothes and so did my Mom in her spare time, but I never learned how to quilt from either one. Once I married, I moved 800 miles away from my family, and out of necessity learned to sew by taking classes. The rest I learned by trial and error. So believe me when I say I have made every mistake possible.
I spend a lot of time writing directions for books, patterns, classes and I'm always interested in the processes of rotary cutting, piecing and quilt assembly. Fewer steps in a process gives me more quilting time to enjoy the sewing part and seeing the pieces come together in a design that I created on the computer.
Like many of you who have been quilting for a while, I have discovered that there are a few things I really don't like about the standard rotary cutting measurements of 7/8" for the all time favorite half-square triangle. I'm now writing patterns and books without this bothersome increment and instead cut everything out with a simple 1" seam allowance. My greatest accomplishment and I hope contribution to the quilting world is a marking tool that incorporates the extra seam allowance so that all my half-squares finish at the correct size, and as a result eliminates the second step of re-cutting each one down. Definitely not rocket science and yet it allows the quilter to quickly and accurately rotary cut strips and squares from either whole or half numbers, sew on a marked line and end up with perfect patchwork pieces. I decided to call it, "The Magic Triangle Method Tool."
Stash, stash, stash do you have any stash? What's the fuss all about anyway? Now that you know I have been quilting for quite a while I guess you know my stash is out of control. This overwhelming need for fabric is definitely an obsession. Do you think I may need counseling? I have organized and reorganized these fabrics so many times I can't count them. I have bought many different containers to sort and store this stash as well. My husband, Drew, a very patient man, has indulged me by building a 15 foot counter with large shelves underneath just to store my stash containers. For many years I sorted this stash by colors and types of fabric. Yipes! I actually started out sewing garments, making dolls, drapes and other household items. Once my four children grew up I gradually converted to making quilts more than anything. My latest organization system is now sorting by color for those fabrics that fit into a color category (like solids or blendables) and in addition I have added fabric style. My examples would be: Americana or Patriotic, 1930's Feed Sack, Civil War, Batik, Novelty or Conversational, Large Floral Prints, Stripes, Dots, Plaids, Backing, etc. Now that I've gone on record and admitted to having this huge amount of stash fabric, let me say that at some point I realized that it might be a good idea to plan more quilts that incorporate my stash. Hence, the idea of Stash with Splash came to me as a method of dipping into my stash piles and at the same time allowing me to continue to enjoy new splash fabrics.
Splash, Splash, splash! Who are you kidding? You can't stop buying fabric! Stop feeling guilty and start combining that stash with new splash fabric. You really will have fun running off to your favorite quilt shop where there are other quilting friends to help you select just the right splash fabrics to work with your stash and make your quilt oh so special. Have fun! I hope you will enjoy the process as much as the end results.
Cindy Casciato is a teacher, designer, author and most importantly, a quilter with 28 years of experience teaching quilting and related topics to numerous guilds and organizations. She has three quilt publications. She is the founder of a very successful quilters retreat held every year since 1994, and has been able to reach thousands of other quilters and keep the circle of friendship growing.
Cindy was the National Education Manager for Jo-Ann Fabrics for eight years. She was the designer of the American Spirit Quilt Kit for the Patriots Day Project with the American Sewing Guild in June of 2002 presented to Fire Departments nationwide. She is a member of NQA, AQS, and ASG all of which promote the art of quilting and sewing as a viable and gratifying occupational passion. She recently served as the NQA Grant Chair for the Little Quilt Auction held annually at the National Quilt Show in June. Cindy also has been widely published.
Married to the same wonderful man for 42 years Drew is now active in helping Cindy plan and register quilters at their annual quilting events. They have four children and four grandchildren all of whom reside within a 25 mile radius from their home in Ravenna Ohio.
Cindy is always ready to share her knowledge of quilting and you can contact her via e-mail at email@example.com for more information concerning workshops, lectures and retreats.