Interviewing quilters and authors is one of my favorite things. One of the best things I learned with Generation Q Magazine is to have fun as the person is more than the book they are publishing. The book, Sew Emoji, is due out in September and I’ll be getting two copies, one to keep and one to give away so watch next month for a book review and give away.
Jake Finch introduced me to Gailen at Quilt Market. Jake had meetings and I played chief delivery girl, handing off something very special, and very womanly. Sometimes when you’re introduced to people there’s a connection, I really connect with Gailen’s joie de vivre! She goes to summer camp every year and has an infectious, quick laugh.
Favorite Ice Cream: Oddly enough, this used to be a super easy question. I don’t really like ice cream much except Baskin Robbins’ mint chip. I love a child-size scoop of that on a sugar cone. (Exactly like that.). But I went to Baskin Robbins yesterday with the kids and the mint chip ice cream was oddly white. No longer green. What? They’ve stopped using artificial coloring. I could live with that, but it tasted different to me. And it wasn’t as hard as it usually was. I had a taster spoon of it and couldn’t bring myself to order any. Heartbroken.
Favorite color(s): Orange. And purple (slightly pinky in tone). And pinkgreenredblueyellow. That’s one color, right?
Favorite adult beverages: Cocktails! Bourbon or Gin. It’s summer so I’m a bit more gin now (a nice Chunnel is calling my name tonight.)
Coffee or tea?: Coffee. But only decaf. (I drink Diet Coke for the caffeine with breakfast then switch.)
Do you allow beverages by your sewing machine?: Yep. My sewing is definitely fueled by Diet Coke.
What are you stitching on these days?: I have a wool appliqué quilt I’ve been working on (Erica Kaprow’s Everything’s Blooming) but it’s on hold until I figure out if I’m allergic to wool. (True story.) I also have a half-done quilt from Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting’s Modern One-Block Quilts in Jennifer Sampou’s Shimmer 2 fabric line waiting. And a stripy kinda quilt in neutral plaid flannels. And an improv quilt I’m building around an Our Lady of Guadalupe panel. And a sweatshirt cut out ready to serge. And a couple of bags my son designed that are in the experimental stage. Last night at knitting circle I finished a Newsprint Cowl from Purl Soho.
How did you begin quilting? My mom started quilting about the same time so I’m not sure who inspired whom. She’s a one-patch-at-a-time kind of artist. I’m much more assembly line and math oriented. I read a magazine article (I believe) on a super simple two-color alternating block throw. I went for it. Then I made a California King size Milky Way quilt from Jean Wells’ Patchwork Quilts Made Easy series of leaflets.
Favorite batting(s): The one that I have in the closet that fits what I’m doing. I really don’t pick favorites because I try to be a sale shopper. I started back in 1991 with polyester fat batt and I shudder at the thought now. I really appreciate low-loft and soft hand these days!
Three favorite books you’ve worked on with C&T: No fair. Are you kidding me? All of them. Well… not all of them. Most of them. I used to take ALL of them home But after almost 16 years here, I’ve finally been divesting. Now I am definitely more picky about what I add to my library.
If I had to chose I would chose only one total favorite: Nicole Mallalieu’s The Better Bag Maker. It might have been a timing question (it came out right when I was super interested in make my bags better) but her instructions and advice are amazing and I use her techniques in almost all of the bag and garment sewing I do. The most recent book I brought home was Teeny-Tiny Quilts by Donna Lynn Thomas.
What prompted the Emjoi book?: It was the brainchild of Sue Astroth, the project manager here at C&T (who started as a C&T author). She is amazingly ideaphoric and creative. She thought an emoji quilt was a no brainer but had no interest in sewing it up herself. My daughter [hearts] emojis and had been asking for a quilt, too. It seemed easy enough at the time.
What’s your favorite emoji when texting? 😉 Winky face. For sure. I use it more than I use ellipses… (Which is a lot.) But if I was texting with you? Undoubtedly “blowing a kiss.” 😉
The folks in the Marketing Department at C&T created this video of Gailen’s book on their page, hop on over and check it out. It’s as fun as Gailen. Thank you Gailen for the interview and congratulations!