Friday, March 23, 2018

Quilters of the SCTMQG: Michelle Lieberson

How did you get started quilting? 

I've been a knitter most of my life. While I was living in London, one of the customers at my knitting shop taught me to sew. I hadn't sewn since I was in middle school. It wasn't until I moved back to Connecticut a year or so later that I got interested in Modern Quilting. I started reading some blogs, and ordering fabric, and making quilts.

Then I saw a postcard advertising a meeting for the MQG at the American Fabric Building Open Studios. I went to several meetings, but the group folded. It was then that I decided to revive the group, which has now become the SCTMQG.

How long have you been a quilter?

About 7 years.

How many quilts do you think you have made in that time?

I'm not very prolific, so probably about 10 lap size, and a bunch of minis.

What is the story behind the first quilt you ever made?

My first quilt was an Elizabeth Hartman pattern. It was a variation on a log cabin, pretty basic. It was very precise though, which is not me at all. I had to cut all of the pieces and label them in baggies in folders. I FMQ'ed it myself on my very basic Singer, which actually came out pretty well.

How would you describe your style of quilting?


I don't like to follow patterns, or if I do, I will look at it and then make it up myself. It's about the same as my method of cooking. It's the opposite of knitting, where the item you are making needs to fit your body. I like that about quilting, it's just flat pieces sewn together, so I can just go for it.

What is your favorite type of quilt to make? (Paper pieced, applique, etc. ) Why?

Improv. Its very freeing to just cut fabric up and sew it back together. I also am a big fan of curves.

What tool or tools could you not live without and why?

I love my Olfa acrylic rulers. I feel that they are the best ones since there aren't too many markings on them which enables you to see through them better. My Juki straight stitch machine is a workhorse.

What are your favorite materials to work with in terms of threads, fabrics, and batting?

I don't really have a favorite as long as the fabric is good quality. I do like cotton batting. I'm sure most of you know I dislike batiks, both for the look and the feel of them.

Which colors do you gravitate toward in your quilts?/Which color have you never used or want to use?

I tend to gravitate towards a bright palette of aqua blue, bright magenta, grassy green, and, orange, which are the same colors that I knit with. I probably will never use brown, nor do I have any desire to.

How many UFO’s do you have?

Quite a few. A few years ago I took Denyse Schmidt's weekend class, and still have to finish it. I also have a bunch from the first Quiltcon I attended. This is why I don't like to take project based classes any more, I'd rather learn a technique.

If someone were to peek in on your quilting time, what would they see?

I waste a lot of time and don't get as much done as I'd like to.

What themes do you see in your quilts? (Colors, shapes, techniques,etc.)

Simple, graphic shapes. Made fabric.

What were some turning points in your quilting process?

When I realized I didn't need to use patterns, and that I can just make it up myself.

Who are the people, artists, quilters, etc. you look to for encouragement and inspiration in quilting?

I follow a lot of people on Instagram, both for sewing and knitting. Victoria Finlay Wolfe has been an inspiration to me, the way she cuts up fabric and sews it back together in so many interesting ways.

Where else do you find inspiration for your quilts?

Graphic images on signs, street signs, nature.

What do you like best about quilting?

That it doesn't have to fit the body, as in knitting. I can just sew fabric together, and if I don't like how it looks, I can cut it up or cut it with a template and make something else.

Where are you headed in your quilting, and what would you like to learn more about?

Right now I'm more into making clothes than quilts. I'm sure I will make more quilts, there is always something else I want to make. My 'to do' pile is endless. I just took a class with Victoria using Y-seams. I'd like to work more to perfect that technique.

What would you want to try if time and money were no object?

Fashion draping class, and pattern making classes at FIT.

Last Question: What are you working on right now?

I decided to make something more basic where I don't have to think too much. Its a kit from Alison Glass. It is a pattern, but its more about the color placement, which is up to me.