Who are you, and what do you do for a living?
My name is Nikki and I’m a former 1st grade and ESL teacher who stays at home with her two sons, Wyatt (age 4) and Owen (age 3). I do some education advocacy consulting part time for families by helping them obtain services through the school district for children with special needs. I have been married to the best man I know for 8 1/2 years. I’m originally from Little Rock, Arkansas and I went to college in Fayetteville.
When did you first start sewing or quilting? How did you learn?
My mother has always been very handy with a sewing machine, but my early attempts at sewing failed miserably. I made a pillow for my sister and an apron for my barbie doll in junior high school, but that’s about it. I’ve always loved quilts & had a fondness for my great grandmother’s antique quilts. After she passed away, I started to realize that the art of quilting wasn’t beyond me. I was in my mid 20’s and I took some quilting classes. My mom and my mother-in-law have taught me a few things along the way. When I started quilting, I didn’t even have a sewing machine. My sister gave me some wool swatches that I sewed together by hand. My mother took pity on me & gave me her sewing machine after she bought a nicer one for herself. I’ve owned 4 or 5 machines since that first one. I continue to take classes when I can, but I have found that I learn most by sewing alongside other people. I regularly get together with my quilting friends to work on Quilts of Valor. During these sewing sessions, I pick up tricks of the trade & fun new notions that I never new existed. I am also stretched to try new things in quilting bees. I’ve participated in 3 quilting bees, two of which were online (Bee Vintage and the Lovely Linen Bee) as well as the face-to-face bee that we have in our guild (the KC Scrappy Bee).
What is your favorite part of quilting, or favorite type of work to do? (handwork, machine quilting, designing, etc.)
My favorite types of quilts are scrappy. I enjoy piecing much more than quilting. I love to play with fabric & tend to dive right in, rather than plan. I work very quickly because I have a limited amount of time in which to sew. I seldom have a plan for fabric before I buy it. Part of the fun of quilting is making it up as you go.
What do you consider to be your quilting “style”?
I don’t really like to be boxed in with one particular style. I love traditional quilts (antique ones are my very favorites) but modern quilts appeal to me, as well. I love both the freedom of improvisation & the structure of a pattern. I’m drawn more and more to solids lately & have vowed to use my stash as much as possible. I also enjoy upcycling clothes & other textiles that I come across. Vintage linens are a recent obsession of mine, too.
How would you define “Modern Quilting”?
Modern quilting is whatever you want it to be. No rules. No preconceptions. No right or wrong. It’s art.
What is the thing you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
My grandfather’s Quilt of Valor. He served in WW II and is almost 92. I gave it to him at his 90th birthday party and he keeps it neatly folded in his room, showing it off to whoever comes to visit.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from quilting?
Quilting nurtures my soul. It’s more than a creative outlet for me. I could spend days on end without leaving my sewing room & be completely content. It heals my spirit.
Finish this phrase … Quilting makes me feel…
Thank you Nikki! We love your Quilts of Valor commitment and your interest in upcycling. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next. You can follow Nikki here if you’d like to see what she does too!