We have an amazing board, hard at work planning Quilting Month for April! Today we have Rita’s interview for you to enjoy. Rita blogs at Red Pepper Quilts, where she creates beautiful quilts, designs quilt patterns (including the pattern for Georgia’s Quilt shown below) and also sells finished quilts and custom quilts in her shop. Click over to peek at her latest top which incorporates Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and then get lost in all Rita does at Red Pepper Quilts!

SMS: How long have you been sewing?
Rita: I have been sewing for almost ten years – my first quilt is dated 2001 – coinciding with my youngest child starting primary school.

SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing? What are your favorite things to make?
Rita: I absolutely love simple sewing and find it very relaxing. My favorite things to sew are quilts! I also belong to a community based sewing group which meets once a months and really enjoy the company of the other sewers. I particularly love sharing sewing ideas, playing with fabrics, prints and colors!

SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
Rita: Finding time to sew is often at the expense of housekeeping! I am the mother of two teenagers and work 20 hours a week most of this being on the weekend. This leaves me free to sew weekdays whilst my children are at school. However, and I am sure I am not alone here, the 9am to 3pm time slot often disappears without having switched on the sewing machine. Therefore I am often up late (read very late!) in the evening to get my creative fix.

SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
Rita: My favorite sewing skill is machine stitching the binding on my quilts. For a while there I had nice stack of “finished” quilts that still needed the binding hand stitched to the back of the quilt. I just could not find time or inspiration to hand stitch, which I avoid at all costs. I was determined to work out a way to machine stitch the entire binding process. All my quilts now have machine stitched binding, which I find not only faster but also neater.

Georgia’s Quilt by Rita

SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately? Why?
Rita: My latest favorite is a quilt that I made for my niece Georgia. Georgia started school this year and celebrated her 6th birthday in March. Like most little girls that I know she loves all things pink:

Georgia’s Quilt detail.

I love the huge range of pink fabrics, the colors ranging from purple pinks, to those pinks tinged with red and orange. They all “clash” together wildly, yet harmoniously. Again, just simple log cabin blocks, and straight easy piecing. I loved piecing this quilt and although it is very pink, by using fresh and modern fabrics the gap between girly pre-schooler and older girls has been bridged.

SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Rita: I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband and two teenage children and a Miniature Schauzer. All of my sewing and quilting takes place in the open plan kitchen/dining area of our home, and my fabrics now reside in the large kitchen dresser. My sewing stuff has gradually taken over without complaint from my family. How lucky am I?

I am from a family of four girls, and from even my earliest memories, my mother always had a craft project on the go. My older sister and my mum shared a passion for sewing and quilting, and never in their wildest dreams did they imagine that I too would start sewing. I was inspired by their creativity and from the moment that I picked up one of their quilting magazines I have been supported and encouraged by them every step of the way.

My formal education saw me become a Chartered Accountant! What was I thinking? However, I have not worked in the profession since having my children, and have no intention of returning. I feel much more comfortable juggling being a wife, mother, quilter, blogger and working a non-demanding job, however I do tend to drop one or all of these balls now and again!