Reflections + Predictions ~ Lisa Sipes, That Crazy Quilty Girl

on December 27 | in Featured Creativity, Sewing Inspiration, Sewing Trends | by | with 1 Comment

Today we have reflections and predictions from Lisa Sipes, That Crazy Quilty Girl. This is our third Reflections + Predictions Series! We selected 10 Sewists for 2013 who we felt not only reached new personal highs, but also changed the way we think about sewing, quilting, writing and teaching. They did great things for their own careers, but they also impacted the industry in positive ways. Some of the other sewists named Lisa as a rising star to watch in 2014! Hear what others have already said in the series: Pat Sloan, Luke Haynes, Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Bumble Beans Inc., Heather Grant from The Modern Quilt Guild + QuiltCon, Vanessa Wilson from Crafty Gemini.

Interested in seeing if any predictions from previous years have come true? You can see them all here.

We’d love to hear from you too! Please answer any or all of our questions on your own blog and share the link to your reflections and predictions in the comments on any of the series posts. We love seeing photos of your sewing this year and we enjoy clicking into your site to learn about what you’re looking forward to in 2014! (The complete set of questions for the series is at the bottom of this post.)

Why we chose Lisa:

  • She was a very popular nominee among our informal Facebook and Instagram polls. She is very well loved and admired!
  • Those amazing QuiltCon quilts. Those of us who got a chance to see her work on Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Double-Edged Love up close know the win was definitely a team effort. Lisa’s quilting perfectly complimented Victoria’s work. Not to mention the inspiring quilting she did for Thomas Knauer and other QuiltCon participants.
  • She shares her skills and knowledge, demonstrating and teaching at shows all around the country.
  • That fabulous hair!


SMS: Looking back on 2013, what trends stand out?
LS: Honestly, I don’t feel that I can give an appropriate or knowledgeable response to this question. This past year has been such a blur for me, spending half of my time on the road at quilt shows, but not really seeing the shows, moving to the east coast, trying to get as much work done between travel as I possibly could, etc. I will say though, that the focus on technological advances within the sewing, embroidery and quilting industry cannot be denied. I feel that is a big cue that sewing and quilting machine companies are continuing their efforts to appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy crowd. And it’s exciting.

Was there a personal or an industry high point?
I’m hesitant to speak on industry high points, because again, I was fairly “la la laaaa” all year. But I think that QuiltCon was both an industry and personal high point. It started the year off on a fresh note, tensions were high and everyone had an opinion of it. It seems that the general consensus is that it was either loved or hated, with few having luke-warm feelings about it. Having won two of the top prizes– Best of Show and Viewers’ Choice– with quilts that I collaborated on with Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Alison Glass respectively, definitely made the beginning of my year pretty fantastic. Other personal high points include traveling with Gammill for the year as one of their newest official Quilting Artists, Filming two shows (Quilt It! with Jodie Davis and The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims), and dedicating a lot of my time to teaching what I love. Above all, I would say that the highest points are when students or even strangers have written me to tell me that I’ve made a positive impact on their life. Ultimately, that’s what I’ve set out to do. And there’s no better feeling in the world than knowing that it’s happening.
Photo: Lisa and Alex Anderson before filing The Quilt Show.

What did you make that you’re most proud of?
That’s funny. I don’t think I actually made anything in 2013! I did design a couple of quilts that I absolutely love, and I outsourced the piecing of them to friends willing to help because I just didn’t have the time. Neither of them have been seen by the public yet, but one will soon. I did start a Double Wedding Ring for the DWR challenge, but it’s not going to be finished in time for the deadline (which for all I know has already passed). I can guarantee you it’s unlike any DWR you’ve ever seen! I’m excited to finish it. All in due time.

I would probably say that the project I worked on that I’m the most proud of is a book coming out in 2014. More on that later.

Lisa and Victoria with their Best of Show Double Edged Love quilt.
Whose work inspired or awed you?
Dan Rouse. He has an amazing eye for color and design and more often than not I am completely blown away by what he does. Of course my partners in crime, Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Thomas Knauer. And Helen Godden. And always, Sharon Schamber.

What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
I really loved everything that Alison Glass put out. I’m also a big fan of Jason Yenter’s Modern Solids line. And Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons. And Thomas Knauer’s Asbury holds a special place in my heart. My forever-favorite though is Northcott’s Colorworks Solids collection. The hand and weave are just fabulous. If I’m using solids, they’re Northcott.

Do you have a book, pattern or class from the past year to recommend?
Okay! Getting back to that project I’m most proud of! I collaborated on a book with my “Quilt Husband,” Thomas Knauer, through the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013; it will be released with F + W Media later in 2014. It’s called Modern Quilt Perspectives: 12 Patterns for Meaningful Quilts. I can’t get into specifics about the quilts yet, but working on them really stretched me both artistically and emotionally. I think this will be understood once the book comes out and the themes of the quilts are revealed. I quilted one through tears. It was amazing.

What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
Well, really I hate nothing. Except for maybe I hate hate? It’s such a waste of energy that would be better spent on something positive! That said, I do have a “love/hate” relationship with social media. On the one hand, I do love it in that it’s a place for me to gather with my friends and fans near and far, offer encouragement and also receive a little every now and then, and also really continue to build this community that we all love so much. On the other hand, it is really a lot of work. And on several occasions, I have begged (BEGGED) for people to stop messaging me on Facebook. I don’t like discussing actual business on social media. I have no way of keeping track of it. Email is so much better in that regard. But the feeling of “home” and benefit that you can get through the use of social media when your friends are spread all over the world and can commune in one place is undeniable.

What do you predict for 2014?
I predict that the technological advances are just going to continue to blow me away. Every year I ask myself, “What are they going to think of next?” and I can’t come up with a single thing. And then no fail, the following year when the new products are released, I get goose bumps.

Who do you think will be a rising star of 2014?
Mandy Leins. She is a wonderful quilter, has taken a few of my classes and become a great friend to me when I need a great friend the most. I’m not biased though, she really is going to make some waves in the coming years. Don’t tell her I said that though.

Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
Oh my. So many things! I know that a lot of people are expecting a book from me soon. Originally that was the plan, but I’ve decided to walk away from that for now. (Dear Publishers: Don’t give up on me just yet!) I don’t do anything half way, and I feel that if I was to put a book out anytime in the near future, it would not be up to par with what I expect of myself and my work. That’s not to say that a book isn’t coming (or a few). Just not at this very moment.

I’ve worked really hard over the last several years. My personal relationships have suffered, my health has suffered and I’d go so far as to say that my mental health suffered as well. Of course I love what I do, but it’s been a really long year. I’ve just moved half way across the country, and I intend to give myself some time to enjoy just being me, having new experiences in a new city with new people. I will be traveling less, and working less on collaborations. I plan to begin working on a lot of the projects that have been stuck in my head, dormant for years. I have a lot of ideas that I want to see come to fruition. I have also been presented with an opportunity for a column in a revered publication within the industry, and have received offers to write freelance with a few others. I’m going to seize those opportunities now, and say all of the things that I’ve been dying to say. I feel like I’ve earned the right to take it easy for a few months (for instance, I’m just coming off of a completely unintentional three week hiatus, and it’s been wonderful), and work on some things that will make me happy and feed my soul. So that’s what I’m going to do!

Is there anything else about the sewing industry or community that you’d like to talk about?
Really, there are so many things I could say here but what it all really boils down to is respect. For everyone. I don’t feel that I should need to elaborate on that.


We’d love to hear from you! Please answer any or all of our questions on your own blog and share the link to your reflections and predictions in the comments on any of the series posts. We love seeing photo collages of your sewing this year and we enjoy clicking into your site to learn about what you’re looking forward to in 2014! Here are the questions we sent the Sewists of the Year:

  • Looking back on 2013, what trends stand out?
  • Was there a personal or an industry high point?
  • What did you make that you’re most proud of?
  • Whose work inspired or awed you?
  • What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
  • Do you have a book, pattern or class from the past year to recommend?
  • What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
  • What do you predict for 2014? (It could be related to style, social media, manufacturing, etc.)
  • Who do you think will be a rising star of 2014?
  • Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
  • Is there anything else about the sewing industry or community that you’d like to talk about? (It could be good or bad, but hopefully constructive.)
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One Response to Reflections + Predictions ~ Lisa Sipes, That Crazy Quilty Girl

  1. Barb N says:

    I just signed up today for a class you’re hosting in Phoenix at the AQS Quiltweek, and then I ran across this article. How fun to read about you ahead of time. I’m really looking forward to meeting you in February!

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