Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Member Spotlight: Jennifer Frei

We are back with another Member Spotlight! For December, we introduce you to Jennifer Frei. If you have questions for Jennifer or comments on her spotlight, please leave us a comment!


What did you study in school and/or what do you do for a day job?

I studied sociology in school – not terribly creative. I’ve always done creative things but apart from a painting class, I never studied art. I work at the Montreal Children’s Hospital as a research coordinator in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It’s a lot of fun but can be a bit heavy at times which is why I enjoy coming home to quilt and make!

How long have you been quilting?

I started quilting about 7 years ago but I’ve been sewing ever since I was little. My mother is a seamstress by trade and she was always making things. Years ago she took up quilting but at the time I wasn’t really paying attention. It wasn’t until I got a bit older that I decided to try it out too and shortly after starting my first quilt a few of my friends started getting pregnant so I quickly moved on to baby quilts and was hooked!

What first got you interested in modern quilting?

My first quilt was pretty traditional and even as I was making it I found myself bored with the colours and fabric patterns. It wasn’t until I started looking for patterns online that I discovered different colour palates and designs. I was drawn to the bright colours and updated takes on traditional patterns. I think that’s still my favourite. I like to make things are that not traditionally modern but are modern traditional.

How did you find the MMQG and why did you decide to join?

I was having trouble finding nice fabric/supplies in and around the city and was doing some online investigating. I had come across the MMQG website was surprised by my luck, I had no idea we had guilds in Montreal. I was all set to head to a meeting when there was a snowstorm and I chickened out. It wasn’t until a year later that I finally made it to a meeting – this time in the spring!

Do you have any favourite quilting related social media accounts that you follow?

I’m an Instagram and Pinterest junkie but apart from our wonderful guild members, I don’t follow anyone in particular. I tend to search for ideas and click on pretty images that inspire me but I don’t follow particular designers or artists. I’m an equal opportunity quilting absorber!

Where do you look for inspiration or ideas for your quilting projects?

I have to admit that prior to joining the guild I looked through magazines or online to recreate quilts that I thought were pretty. Now I tend to see quilt ideas in everything. A few months ago I was at a medical conference and one of the presenters was showing some graphs of her data and all I could see was a really cool quilt! I have yet to recreate it but I made a mental note.

What would you consider to be your quilting “superpower”?

I’m not sure I’d call it a superpower but I’m pretty good at binding. I like hand-binding but I’ve been getting better at machine binding as well (a technique I only use on small projects like placemats or mug rugs).

What is your favourite part of the quilt making process? Why?

I like piecing. I like seeing my quilt transform from pattern on paper to a real, material quilt. And I find it fun to cut up all the little pieces and put them back together (I also like puzzles so…). I could make a million quilt tops but when it comes to quilting them they hang around for far too long before I *finally* force myself to finish them.

What project or technique is next on your “to try” list?

I have yet to confidently master the non-appliquéd circle. I think we agreed that the 2016/17 year was going to be the year of the circle and I fully hope to embrace it. The Cheryl Arkison workshop really helped to demystify some of the techniques.

What is your favourite project that you have completed? Why is it your favourite?

I think it’s a tie between two baby quilts I made. The first one had to be neutral because we didn’t know the sex of the baby and I love how calming it felt. The second was an appliqué circle quilt that was both grid-like and circular and I had a lot of fun arranging the squares so that the colours worked together. I also love my Libs Elliot “Weight of Love” quilt but that’s not finished yet (see previous comment on quilting/finishing quilts).

Describe/share pictures of your creative space:

When I bought my condo a few years back I had an extra room that I confidently set up like a guestroom which had a desk where I could work from time to time. Suffice it to say that no guest has ever spent the night in that room – my quilting has taken over.

1 comment:

  1. It is so fun to know you better Jennifer! I love how you finished your "Weight of Love" with several "beige/grey" hexagons. Great idea!