I've been really dying to post this second Show & Tell interview! I know you are going to really enjoy learning more about my guest, the talented Rita Hodge from Red Pepper Quilts. Rita's beautiful quilts exemplify the Fresh Modern style through her exciting use of whites and solids and her wonderful colour and pattern choices.
I'm sure you'll be as interested as me to read what her future plans are (!), find out which of her beautiful quilts is her favourite (I couldn't choose) and follow the links she's generously provided to her favourite inspirational quilt artists. Sadly I can only share a few of her beautiful images so make sure you follow her links to see more of Rita's lovely work and buy her quilt patterns and quilts.
Rita Hodge location
Melbourne blog http://www.redpepperquilts.com shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/knitknat http://www.sewnsell.com.au/storecatalog.asp?userid=280 flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/redpepperquilts/ flickr group - red pepper quilts http://www.flickr.com/groups/1337794@N23/
Short description of your blog/style/work
I am a quilter with a love (addiction) for fabric. My quilting style is fresh and modern, using really simple and often traditional design ideas to make colorful quilts. My blog is a journal of my creative self, and I hope to show readers that easy to make quilts can be really striking, and that by taking small risks in fabric and color selection the final product won't disappoint. It is all about sharing my knowledge, and I hope inspire others to pick up the rotary cutter and use their fabric stash.
1. Why blog? How did you start?
I started blogging in April 2009. My family and friends are fans of my quilts and fabric stash and encouraged me to start blogging to keep up with what I was up to.
2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
I am a self-taught quilter, although I have always been surrounded by a crafting family. My mum always had a crafting project on the go - when I was really young she enjoyed cross-stitch, but has since dabbled in many crafts including knitting, crochet, folk art, pottery, and quilting. My sister is also a keen quilter and long arm professional machine quilter, but it wasn't until my two children were in primary that I decided to give quilting a try. Right from the word go I loved fabric and have been building my fabric stash since. I am also blessed to have a Mother in Law who is a talented seamstress and enjoys both machine and hand piecing quilts.
3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
My workspace is the dining table right in the middle of our open plan kitchen/dining/living room area. There is ample seating at the kitchen bench for our meals, and as such the dining table is rarely clear of my quilting supplies, or my work in progress.
4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
My blog name does not have any real significance. I set up a business name in 2008 when attending the Houston Quilt Market, and have continued to use this name for my blog and online stores since then.
Apparently this droolworthy stash doesn't include all Rita's solid fabrics, kaffe fassett and amy butler fabrics and anything larger than 1/2 yard!
5. Favourite medium to work in?
Favorite medium is definitely fabric.
6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
My future direction is perhaps in teaching some workshops or patchwork sewing classes.
7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Am I neat and organised? I think I am neat and organised, perhaps my family think otherwise… Admittedly when I am working on a quilt, I do tend to pull out lots of fabric, without putting it back or even folding it. So at times there might just be a huge pile of fabric on the table spilling onto the floor. No matter how meticulous and careful I am there are always threads and fabric scraps on the floor.
8. Favourite handmade item you own?
There are a few quilts that I have made that I am very fond of. At the moment I love the custom made quilt that I made for a blogging friend, Kate from One Flew Over [shown at the top of the post]. It is pieced from Half Square Triangles, using a green/grey color palette, again not complicated, but so effective.
In terms of wearable items that I have made, my favorite would be the Laminaria Shawl. I do enjoy both crochet and knitting, and I am particularly fond of lace knitting. This lace shawl was a little challenging, and although green is not a color I wear well, I do wear the Laminaria shawl often.
9. Favourite food/recipe?
Our favorite family meal is a baked macaroni and cheese with lots of vegetables. Mushrooms are a staple for most of our meals also. Dutch (salty) licorice is my favorite confectionery, and find it hard to get through the day without a strong coffee.
10. Favourite colour?
This changes often! Looking at my fabric stash the most often purchased fabric is green. I stay clear of purple.
11. Star sign?
12. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
New York City - As a family we have visited NYC numerous times and feel very comfortable and at home in the buzz of this big city. We use the public transport system to make our way around, and seek out all of the yarn and fabric/craft stores on all of our travels.
A favourite place, Rita and her beautiful kids in NYC at the Rockefeller Center in 2007.
13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
No tricks, sorry, but I do try to remind myself to get enough sleep.
15. Three words to describe you?
I find this really hard! Loyal, determined and unselfish.
16. What do you like to do besides creating?
Besides quilting I enjoy knitting and crochet and usually carry my knitting project around in my handbag. I love reading, and read most nights. As a family we enjoy traveling abroad.