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Friday, September 8, 2017

Member Spotlight

Meet Laurie Thompson

1) Introduce yourself to us, (i.e., how long have you been quilting, do you have a day job, do you enjoy other hobbies)

I’ve been sewing since I was 10 and quilting for the last 17 or 18 years. I started with a quilt for my daughter, with the intention of learning how to quilt my grandmother’s hand-pieced quilt tops. I didn’t know anything and made every mistake you can think of, but I was hooked. I even hand-quilted that quilt. I’ve never hand-quilted since – although I’ve hand-pieced – and my grandmother’s tops are still unquilted.

I retired in November 2013 from UT Southwestern Medical Center where I was Asst. VP for Library Services. I worked in medical libraries for 35 years and went through the entire electronic revolution. In my first job I learned how to search the first online medical database, MEDLINE, using command line searches over a 1200 baud dial-up modem. The PC hadn’t even come on the scene yet. At the end of my career, I oversaw the conversion of the UTSW library into electronic only. 

It will probably come as no surprise that my other hobby is reading. I combine reading and quilting by listening to audiobooks while I quilt.

2) How long have you been a member of DMQG, what/who inspired you join our group, are you a member of another guild as well?
I was inspired to join a guild from a conversation with an LQS employee, who encouraged me to stop being a solo quilter. I joined the Quilt Guild of Dallas and attended several meetings. Then I saw a FaceBook posting from a (now former) DMQG member and was intrigued by the concept of modern quilting. My first DMQG meeting was a potluck that was held on the guild’s first anniversary in 2012. 

3) Do you do social media?  if so do you have an instagram handle, or would you welcome other members to follow you on Facebook?
I spend way too much time on social media! I’m Laurie Lightner Thompson on FaceBook and Laly_quilts on Instagram.

4) Tell us about your favorite quilt/sewing project.
I have several favorites, including a string quilt I’m currently obsessed with finishing. I have several tops that will likely be favorites once I quilt them. Of my finished quilts, one favorite was a wedding gift for my niece Sarah, who also quilts. She wanted something scrappy and wonky, so that’s what I did. I’ve included a picture below. Another one was from a pattern I found on Moda Bake Shop called Simply Woven. It used two jelly rolls and background fabric. What I learned when I started it on a DMQG retreat at the Compass Center is that not all jelly rolls have 42 strips. I rescued it with some additional fabric from the onsite store, but some of you may remember me cursing that quilt for that entire retreat. It has become one of my most favorite quilts.

5) What inspires you to create?

I’ve always been inspired by pictures. I love looking at quilts of all kinds – modern, traditional, art – and getting inspiration from them. I’m also inspired by everyday photos and have made several quilts that interpret those images. A friend who lives in New York City recently posted an architectural picture to Instagram that I really want to make into a quilt!

6) Are you a Fan girl/boy (i.e., is there a quilty person you love and enjoy stalking their work)?  Tell us about them. 
I love both fabric and patterns created by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic. Her designs are clean and simple. I also like Lotte Jansdotter’s quirky fabric designs, which can also be found on other home goods. As a longarm quilter, I also love the work of Angela Walters and Natalia Bonner.  

7) Do you enter quilt shows?  Have you received any ribbons?  Tell us about them. 
I’ve entered the Dallas quilt show twice. My first entry won an honorable mention. It started as a practice piece to learn English paper piecing. I never even intended to finish it – it was practice, after all – but it ended up fitting the food theme of the show that year. I spent many hours in the hotel at the first QuiltCon in Austin trying to finish piecing that quilt.

8) Have you made friendships through DMQG.  Tell us who they are, we would love to know.
SO many friendships and I am thankful for them all. One of the first people I met was Lovetta Ferrante when I joined her new community service committee. We bonded over the task of sorting bags of donated fabric and cutting kits. We just took a 16-day cruise and tour of Europe together this summer. Through her I met Chris Thiede. I don’t remember how I met Charlotte Cronkhite, but we sew together frequently and manage online swaps through her FaceBook group (2500 1.5” squares, anyone?). I’ve gotten to know Doris Kennedy at Handwork Mondays. So many wonderful friendships!

9) When you complete your quilts what becomes of them?  Give away? Keep? Sell? Show?
Yep, all the above. When I was working, I made quilts for any of my staff who retired, and I’ve continued that since I retired – for a total of 18 quilts. Every family member has a quilt, and some more than one (although not my husband – I need to rectify that). I’ve sold some, given some to charity, and keep the ones that mean the most to me.

10) In what room of the house do you sew? Tell us about your sewing/quilting/crafting space.
I’ve completely filled a spare bedroom with my longarm, fabric, projects, books, sewing machines, and assorted other stuff. I have 3 Olfa 5-drawer units stuffed with fat quarters and other pieces, sorted by color and style. There are several shelves of yardage on bolts or comic boards. Tubs of scraps. Stacks of project boxes. One end of my longarm is against the wall and I barely have room to move. There is overflow in another closet (that’s really an unused wet bar). When we redo the flooring, I want to move into the larger guest room. (The thought of trying to move all that stuff just makes me shudder.)

11) What is your current fabric obsession (color, line, style, etc.)?
Don’t laugh (or choke), but I’m trying real hard not to buy more fabric right now. I just don’t have anywhere to put it. But I love grunge. And Zen Chic and Lotte Jansdotter. I like the new Rifle Paper Co. lines put out by Cotton & Steel. Oh heck, I’ll always find room for more.

12)Favorite quilting blogs?
Don’t really read them regularly.

13) Please share photos of you and some of your favorite projects, friends, family or pets.  

Dale, Emily and Laurie 
Paint Cans 

Simply Woven 


Polka Dots for Annabelle 

Laurie's first English paper piecing project, and winning quilt at QGD

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