I grew up in a household that was always making things. I was working with my father creating things in his woodworking shop or helping my mother paint her ceramic pieces. I have always been making things: macrame (yep, I made those plant hangers with beads), leather work, embroidery, crochet, cross-stitch, the list goes on and on.
My formal training is in Church Music. I hold a MA in Music with an emphasis in Church Music and Liturgy and also have a Master of Divinity in Theology. For most of my professional career I have served as a Director of Music and Liturgy and I continue to serve as Organist at Gates Presbyterian Church in Gates, NY (a suburb of Rochester, NY). I also was an Assistant Editor in the New York City office of Oxford University Press. There I copyedited manuscripts of piano, organ, choral, and orchestral music in preparation for publication. While in New York City I served as a Supertitle Associate for New York City Opera. In this capacity I cued the supertitles (translated projections during operas). In addition to my work at New York City Opera I also cued supertitles for Juilliard Opera, Mostly Mozart Festival, Marilyn Horne Foundation/Weil Institute at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Presents, and the Bard Summer Festival. And in my “down-time” I continued to make things chipping away at things on my “crafting bucket list”.
I finally decided to start quilting around 2007 by taking classes at The City Quilter in New York City. Well it wasn’t long before I was hooked. I soon started going to “summer camp” attending Quilting by the Lake – and this has become annual summer tradition.
In 2010 I entered the McCalls Design Star competition and I was one of the 8 finalists. Soon after that I began having patterns published in various magazines and also began designing patterns for various fabric companies. In 2011 I was chosen by HandiQuilter to be part of their advertising campaign. In 2015 I was part of the Aurifil Design Team and designed a block for the month of April. You can download that pattern HERE. I have most recently designed patterns for Stof Fabrics from Denmark for the their stall at the 2017 & 2018 H&H Trade Show in Cologne Germany. Both of these quilts patterns were subsequently published in the German Magazine Patchwork Professional
In the fall of 2016, my book A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path from C&T Publishing was published. The quilts in this book are truly representative of my style – Traditional Quilting with a Modern Flair.
I enjoy traveling to speak and teach at guilds, stores, and conferences. I focus on piecing techniques (especially curved piecing) longarm quilting and ruler work on both domestic and longarm machines. I am a BERNINA Brand Ambassador and also a Sew Steady Brand Ambassador.
I live in Rochester, NY with my partner, harpist Ray Pool. In my spare time I enjoy gardening and cooking.
BIG RIG QUILTING
Everyone wants to know – am I a truck driver? Big Rig Quilting seems to point to that – but alas no – I don’t drive a big truck. So here is the truth behind the name.
I was looking for a name for my longarm quilting business and was having difficulty coming up with something I liked. My partner Ray said “Well, it’s like driving a big rig.” – I thought about it and he was right – stitching with a longarm is a bit like driving a big rig – it really is a BIG sewing machine. So the name was born! What began as a longarm quilting business has grown. Big Rig Quilting now encompasses longarm quilting, patterns, books, and teaching.
I originally began designing patterns for various fabric companies and magazines and continue to do that. Many of the magazine patterns will soon be available as PDF downloads in my store on this website. I also continue to publish my patterns and techniques in various magazines and in books with C&T Publications.
My longarm quilting is done exclusively on the BERNINA Q24, which is renowned for its wonderful stitch quality and precision. I would be happy to finish a quilt for you, or if you desire create a one of a kind creation.
I teach and travel extensively to lecture and teach for guilds and quilt shops. My classes are places where you can fine-tune your technique and design skills, all in a creative and supportive atmosphere.
I have sewn on a number of different sewing machines over the years and I have fallen in love with BERNINA sewing machines and longarm machines. I am a professional musician and I have often said that I can make any piano or organ sound good and I can enjoy playing them. But when I would sit down at a very good piano or organ, time would stand still, and I could play for hours on end. That is the way that I feel about sewing and quilting on BERNINA machines. It is a joy to work with them and I just don’t want to stop.
I had the privilege of being a tester during the development to the BERNINA Q24 & Q 20 Longarms (frame and sit-down). That meant that I spent time at the BERNINA factor in Steckborn Switzerland. While I was there I saw how everyone at the company put their all into the creation of these wonderful machines. The time spent there gave me a greater appreciation of what goes into the creation of a BERNINA machine.
My time as a BERNINA Ambassador has enabled me to travel the United States teaching in various BERNINA dealers from right her in New York State to the Pacific Northwest and Florida. In April of 2018 I traveled to Germany to teach longarm classes on the BERNINA Q24.
I hope that our paths might cross at a BERNINA dealership where I might be teaching or at a quilt show in a BERNINA classroom.
SEW STEADY BRAND AMBASSADOR
I have always had a love of ruler work on my longarm machine. I enjoy the precise designs that can be created giving a wonderful professional look to my quilts. When ruler work was introduced to the domestic sewing machine world I just had to give it a try. And as with ruler work on the longarm – I soon was hooked to ruler work on the domestic sewing machine.
This love affair with ruler work has allowed me to be chosen as a Sew Steady Brand Ambassador. In this role I work with Sew Steady to promote the full line of products in their catalog, among which are the Westalee Design Rulers for both domestic and longarm machines. I enjoy teaching ruler work to beginners and also offer intermediate and advanced ruler work classes. In addition I have begun to design a series of projects for Sew Steady using Westalee Design Rulers and Quilt As You Go projects from June Tailor.
I hope to see you in one of my classes. Please check out my workshop page for more information on my ruler work classes and consider bringing me in to teach for you guild or store.