May’s Member Spotlight was given over to To Boston With Love activities (see our Facebook page for all kinds of information, media reports and whatnot). In this month’s Member Spotlight, we are delighted to be featuring Jo Ann Lee!
Jo Ann is an extremely talented quiltmaker and sewist. So excited to learn more about her in her own words.
When did you start quilting?
I learned to sew and knit when as a child. I became interested in quilting in 1998 and signed up for my first class at the Cloth Shop taught by Dolores Bell. It was a hand pieced and quilted sampler. I made a twin sized quilt and had it quilted in just a few months. I was hooked! I continue to take classes to learn new skills and techniques.
Why do you quilt?
I grew up surrounded by all kinds of handmade goodness. My Great Grandmother and Great Aunt Runa were quilters. Unfortunately we used our quilts and most of them are no longer around. I have always loved and appreciated handmade items and I love to create!
What is your favourite project?
I am proud of my Cardinal and I love my Single Girl quilts. My Cardinal was a challenge at every stage it is by far the quilt that used the most of my hours.
My Single Girl quilt was a gift for my sister and was made from scraps of fabric from my Great Grandmother’s stash. It was a really special project to work on.
Where do you create?
All over my home! I share a room with the computer and it is a 9’ x 9’ and has an L shaped desk and two shelving units. It is tight, but it is space. The kitchen island is my cutting table. I have some Styrofoam boards in the garage that I tape together to be a design wall. My family room floor is where I baste quilts and I block quilts in my in-laws’ living room. Whenever I baste a quilt I seem to have a helper appear to make sure the center of the quilt doesn’t move. I think Monty is not unusual as far as pets go but it amuses me anyway.
I also create on retreats, mostly Krista Hennebury’s retreats, but also guild retreats and sew-ins.
Where do you find inspiration?
Every Guild meeting, retreat, quilt show, and quilt store I enter provides inspiration. I love books and follow other quilters on their blogs and on Instagram.
What is your favourite tool/notion?
It really depends on the job. I love Aurifil and Superior threads, 505 basting spray, my Sew Slip and machine quilting gloves. I love my Featherwieght for piecing and my Bernina 150 is what I use for machine quilting.
What’s one thing we might not know about you?
I am not a fan of heights but have managed to skydive! – Twice. The first time was with the woman who ran the day care I attended as a little one. She was 80 at the time! The second time was not as much fun as the first but was still cool. I think I can cross that off my list. I no longer wish to leave an airplane midflight.
What do you do when you’re not creating/quilting?
I love to garden and spend time with my family and dog. I am a Home Economics teacher and that keeps me fairly busy during the school year. But I do squeeze in a heck of a lot of hours into quilting!