Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interview with Jayne Harrell

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

A very dear friend had started paper piecing . For a very long time, she had been encouraging me to learn. I was not interested at all. Then one morning, flipping through TV channels, I spotted a paper piecing demo on Simply Quilts. I can do this!!! That was about 15 years ago and it has changed my life. I am proud of my new found creativity and thankful for the many wonderful friendships I’ve made.

2. Do you still have your first quilt?

Yes, it’s awful and hidden in the closet. My second quilt, however, was made for my husband and is proudly displayed in the den. It’s a beautiful Log Cabin from my first quilting class with Alice Levet. Thanks Alice for starting me on the right road!

3. When did you arrive in the local area and what brought you here?

I was born in New Orleans and raised in Metairie. In 2003 my husband was transferred to Hammond. We rented a house and started building our dream house in Robert, where we now live. We absolutely LOVE living in the country.

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

I started at Bright Hopes 3 years ago. Let me just say, this is the best job I’ve ever had! Everyday is like a party and we actually get a little work done!! And the UPS deliveries are like Christmas morning! My job is to do whatever needs to be done, from cleaning to sewing samples to making bows. My favorite part is helping brand new quilters. They bring so much excitement to the shop.

5. Jayne is a fan of “retreats”. Can you give the reader who isn’t aware of these things an idea of what you do on a retreat and how it promotes your “work”?

I ‘retreat’ twice a year with a wonderful group of friends. The one thing we do most is laugh!!! And, we get lots of sewing done too. It’s amazing how much you can get done with no interruptions from phones, husbands, kids, work, etc. We have workshops, raffles, gifties, and lots of show n tell. The grounds of the retreat center are beautiful and many take long walks in the woods. When we return home we are relaxed, inspired and very ready to do it again!!!!

6. Do you belong to a guild? attend large quilt shows? travel far afield to take classes?

I belong to Queen Bee Quilters, Stitchin’ Sistas, and Happy Hearts. I love going to Houston Quilt Festival and GSQA Seminar. In Houston, I meet with my dear friend and quilter Barbara (from Buffalo NY). This is usually the only time we see each other which makes the event extra special.

I also try to see as many quilts shows as I can. When we vacation, I’m always on the lookout for quilt shops.

7. Since I have known you, you have branched out in new directions concerning fabrics. How has your work changed in the past 8 years? Where do you see yourself headed?

My heart lies with traditional patterns and fabrics. BUT, I find being exposed to so many different styles, I’m being drawn out of my comfort zone. Namely, batiks. (thank you Pearl!!!) I’ve done a few shop samples in batiks and have fallen in love with them.

Lately, I’ve been working on several table runners. There are so many adorable patterns available. And now with a new grandbaby on the way (a girl!!!) I’m buying lots and lots of pink fabrics!!!

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

My wish is to be able to quilt for a very long time. I have so much fabric and so many patterns, it will take a life time to complete it all!!!

Back to me..... I LOVED to hear Jayne describe what it's like to work at Bright Hopes..... like a party and Christmas when the UPS man walks in with boxes. That is exactly spot-on.

Her retreats sound like another party... and one I'd attend in a heartbeat. Laughter. Friends. Food. Fabric. There's a real recipe for success.

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