Friday, June 1, 2012

June 2012 Member of the Month: Jen Boucher

It's time for another member spotlight! This month, it's Jen Boucher. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jen. 

Name: Jen Boucher

#Completed quilts: 43

Favorite online fabric store: 
It’s a tie between the Fat Quarter Shop, Hawthorne Threads and Sew Fresh Fabrics.

Favorite fabric shop: 
Quilters Way – it’s where I took my first quilting class back in college.  

Favorite pattern: 
I don’t think I could pick out a favorite pattern, but I love almost anything that is paper pieced. I learned to paper piece about 6 years ago and picked it back up about 4 years ago, never looking back.  I absolutely love it.

Favorite fabric designer: 
Pat Bravo and Kate Spain are two of my favorite fabric designers.  Tula Pink is a close third.

Favorite color: 
Teal is my favorite color.  I love practically all jewel tones (hence my blog, A Quilting Jewel).  My least favorite colors are orange and brown.  I enjoy them in moderation, but earth tones are my least favorite color scheme. 

Favorite sewing-related thing to shop for: 
Um, fabric!  You know the saying, “she who dies with the most fabric wins?”  Well, I’m very competitive, so I’m really trying to win. Second to fabric would probably be quilting books and patterns. I just love the inspiration books and patterns provide.  I may not follow a pattern much at this point in my quilting “career,” but I love to see other quilters interpretations of quilts and fabric.

What machine do you use: 
I sew using a Bernina Aurora 440QE.  I got it for Christmas a couple of years ago and absolutely love it.

Why you love to quilt: 
I love the process of being creative and making something.  There is just something so fulfilling to come up with an idea for a quilt, whether it’s your own design, based on a pattern, or even a kit and making a quilt come to life.  People often ask me what my favorite or least favorite part of making a quilt is, and I always struggle to come up with an answer.  I truly enjoy every part of the quilt making process.  I do admit, sometimes some tasks can get tedious or frustrating at one point or another, but that’s what makes completing that quilt even more satisfying. 

Favorite sized quilt you like to make: 
I tend to make wall and lap quilts the most.  I’ve made quilts of all sizes, from 10” square to king size.  Because I like to paper piece, it’s hard to paper piece a bed sized quilt without it taking forever. 

Solids or prints? :  
Prints!  I do love solids though, but I have always gravitated towards prints.  I love the texture and depth that it gives quilts.  At the same time, with the right use of color value, solids can be striking as well.  You can’t go wrong with either.

Quilting or sewing skill you'd like to acquire: 
Believe it or not, I’ve never made a single piece of clothing, and I’ve only made one bag (that didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped).  Some day I’m going to master making a bag and at some point, I’ll venture into making clothes.  I just love making quilts so much, that I hate to give up my sacred sewing time to make anything else.  I’ve also never sewn a “Y” seam.  I was thinking about that recently and decided that I must find a time to make something with one just to say that I’ve done it.  I’m not sure why I haven’t made anything with a “Y” seam; it doesn’t “seam” that difficult to me, but I just haven’t done it. 

Handquilting or machine quilting?: 
I love the look of hand quilting, but I’m a machine quilting girl at heart.  I’ve been practicing my machine quilting skills over the past few years and have become better at it to where I’d consider myself an intermediate machine quilter.  I’ve also begun to just send some of my quilts out to be quilted in order to just get more done.  I used to have a giant pile of quilt tops waiting for me to finish them.  I finally said, enough and started sending some out so that I could actually enjoy the quilts.  I enjoy quilting my own quilts, but I also love to see how others interpret my quilts through their quilting.

Other sewing or crafts: 
Occasionally I’ll make my own jewelry.  My in-laws are big into jewelry making, so I’ve begun to do it slowly with them.  I love to cook – just not after a long day at work – and come up with new recipes.  I also love photography.  You might not know from my blog since so many of my photos are taken at night with poor lighting when I’m home from work or on the run. 

How did you get into quilting? : 
My sister was a very high-level gymnast and had practices at least 4-5 days a week.  Sometimes I’d go with my mom to pick her up and we’d arrive early to watch a bit of her practice.  It was then that I began to hand quilt my first quilt.  I never finished it though.  Several years later, after putting that quilt in a box and forgetting about it, I attended the Lowell Quilt Festival where I purchased my first quilt pattern and fat quarter bundle.  I went out and bought a rotary cutter, ruler and mat and made my first quilt using my mom’s sewing machine.  I was hooked.  Two years later, I took my first class at Quilters Way and was hooked.

"Moonlit Sky". I've seen this quilt in person more than once and the picture doesn't even make it justice! It is stunning. The colors are fantabulous! And Jen painstakingly fused tiny Swarovski crystals to it. This quilt won 1st place last year at the Lowell Quilt Show in the Wall Quilt pieced category. Paper pieced by Jen, machine quilted by Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts.

"Rainbow House Quilt". This is Jen's most recent completion.  She was inspired by the use of traditional blocks in modern quilts and all of the quilts using a rainbow spectrum.  So, she combined both ideas into this quilt.  The rainbow spectrum is all pieced and each rainbow piece finishes at ¼” square. (Talk about patience! This is really fun project, Jen!)

"Twister Quilt". This is also a recent finish. Jen made this quilt after the BMQG class held by Aimee at retreat in March. (I really love the colors in this quilt, how you think the pink or red pops out, but then your eye catches some blue and then some yellow and other colors. Fab!)

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about one of our members, and I hope you all did too. Beautiful work, Jen, thanks for sharing with us. Until next next, happy quilting enveryone!


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