February Monthly Member Spotlight: Ellen

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No matter how long you’ve been in the quilting community, you know that no two quilters creative spaces are the same.  We all have our own organized chaos, ideas, and systems that we know work best for us. But get us in another quilters sewing space and we WILL go wild with curiosity.

We have all been there, which is why we’re launching this new online series called Monthly Member Spotlight. It is our pleasure to introduce Ellen!

Name: Ellen Leff

Instagram Name: @ellenleff

When did you join VTMQG?  January 2017

When brought you to VTMQG? Kaitlin told me about VTMQG when I was shopping at Nido. I was eager for a chance to connect with other quilters with similar interests. When I attended my first meeting, I found the group to be very inclusive, welcoming, and fun. The meeting time and place were very convenient for me. 

When did you start quilting? Around 2000 or 2001; I had a very busy life but wanted to add a creative activity. I had experience sewing clothes for myself and my son, and I had friends who were quilters, so it was a natural choice. Quilting relates well to my interests in fabric dyeing and wet wool felting.

Why do you quilt? I enjoy being creative and making useful and beautiful things. I especially like to make quilts or crafted gifts for others.

What was your most recent fabric purchase? Kona cotton “medleys” of 7 half-yards in color families of orange, turquoise, and green.

What is on your “to make list”? Quilt for my Aunt Ruth, flannel community quilt, and a long-standing work in progress

What is something you struggle with? Making time and getting focused on a project. It is also hard to undo my work or re-plan when the original idea for a project is not working out as expected.

What do you do when you aren’t quilting? I am a Registered Nurse and I work at the Office of Professional Regulation. I love being active outdoors and spending time with my family, including husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren ages 7 and 8, and extended family in NC.

What kind of machine do you sew on? A Janome Memory Craft 6500, purchased many years ago at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I also recently bought a light-weight and more portable Brother CS-6000i because the Janome is so heavy to bring out of the house.

Describe your sewing space in three words? Comfortable, convenient, compact

Where do you sew the most? In my sewing/crafting/reading/studying/yoga/exercise/ hangout room

What is your most useful (or least useful) notion? Fons & Porter binding tool which helps connect the ends neatly.

Anything else you’d like to say? I appreciate all the work many people are doing to make the VTMQG successful. The meetings, retreats, challenges, and other activities provide many so opportunities to learn and be involved with the Guild.

Show us some photos of your sewing space!

A few of Ellen’s lovely creations:

“Friends and Mentors” Wall Hanging: This wall hanging is appliqued with colorful blocks of dupioni silks. It is my way of honoring all the nurses, patients, and others who have enriched my career in nursing.

Stitched Vessel: This is a project I started started on a camping trip with my twin sister. The inspiration came from a free e-book from Quilting Daily: Fiber Art Projects. This project involves a series of steps of dyeing, stenciling, stamping, cutting, applique, quilting, shaping, and embellishment to create a three-dimensional vessel. It is very fun, and there’s plenty of opportunity to vary the materials and effects based on supplies at hand.

Rosemary’s Quilt: My Aunt Rosemary is an accomplished and gracious woman who is facing profound losses in her life. I wanted to make her a cheerful and fun quilt that shows how much the whole family cares about her.

Thanks for sharing with us, Ellen! We love a good multi-purpose sewing room. I think many of us can relate to that…Warrior pose and SEW! Sounds like a great way to loosen up those shoulders after some marathon sewing.

And that’s a wrap for February’s Monthly Member Spotlight. See you next month with a whole new member and a whole new sewing space!