Saturday, August 13, 2011

Interview with Celeste

Celeste has been with us for years and makes so many of the fine samples you see around the shop. If it is whimsical (remember the fun animals with the fancy shoes?) or nautical (the McKenna Ryan watercolors), chances are it was Celeste that made it. She teaches many classes each month and you probably already have met, but here she is in her words.

1.When did you start quilting and how did it come to happen?

1979 I loved Better Homes and Garden magazine. It featured a quilt pattern of Trip Around The World. Our children were young, went to bed at 8-8:30pm, my husband worked offshore. I had always enjoyed sewing, embroidery, any type of hand work, I thought, "I can do that !"

So with cardboard for a template and scissors for cutting, fabric from TG&Y. Ziplock bag to organize, I had a project, did take a few years to complete, remember 3 kids- worked full-time as an R.N.

2. Do you still have your first quilt?

That trip-around the world was machine pieced, hand quilted, and just had its binding re-sewn, our son is the proud owner. I have lost count of the quilts that have been made and given as baby gifts, auction, Memories quilts, just because, and esp. loved ones!

3. When did you arrive in St. Tammany Parish, and what brought you here?

My husband and I wandered across the causeway in 1992 just to look around, very aware that Lafourche Parish La. was very vulnerable to flooding. Found just the right land by accident, spent one year clearing it by hand, every weekend. We now have lots of animals, garden, and Grass!

Also no fear of Flooding.

4. How long have you worked for Bright Hopes Quilting and what do you do there?

After Katrina, I was very fortunate to be asked by Pearl if I would like to work at Bright Hopes. I was thrilled; I had retired when my first granddaughter was born, then we moved to St Tammany. I was ready to enjoy quilting by working at Bright Hopes, being part of the Bright Hopes Family. I love our customers, show and tell, being inspired with new ideas, and trying to absorb all the fun ideas that come through the doors everyday.

Part of my job is to assist with customers, help with cutting kits, planning kits, teaching and helping with Block of the Month projects.

5. You teach many of the classes offered at Bright Hopes Do you have a favorite class or technique that you enjoy teaching most?

I like a challenge; I've completed my share of bed quilts, baby quilts. I can no longer do hand work, so my challenge was to fine a new way to create! Raw edge applique-embellishment, tons of patterns, lots of creative ways to express myself. I also discovered wool-rug hooking! I loved doing the Jungle walk, The Garden Cats, I think 18 at this time. Now McKenna Ryan. Keep a close watch on our News Letter And blog, new things all the time.

6. Is there a technique in piecing that you won’t do? Do you have on your bed right now a quilt YOU made?

An Amish quilt is on my bed. Most of my bed quilts have been given and several are waiting to be quilted on my wonderful Bernina. I like any piecing that can be done by machine.

7. You have a small farm. How do the critters and garden inspire you in your quiltmaking?

Mother nature is our inspiration, we have 2 miniature donkeys, Jethro, and Sweetpea, Frick and Frack (2 Manx cats), Jake and Dexter (dogs), everyone has heard stories of those two.

We have lots of chickens and ducks. We feed all of the above, we also have our fair share of wild critters! I love to play with landscapes, trees, country scenes, and waters capes. Lighthouses, barns, old houses, all sorts of chicken patterns, everything. Not enough hours in my days!

8. If your fairy quiltmother could grant you one wish, what would it be?

I would ask my Fairy Quilt Mother to grant me more time to love, and enjoy this great gift of quilting, and to be able to share with everyone all the fun that is your reward.

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