I hope more of you are answering the member spotlight questions and sending the answers and some pictures out to me for a blog post so everyone can get to know you. Our first member spotlight feature is on Ann Bixler of
Q: When did you start quilting?
A: I bought my first sewing machine from ebay in 2006, and my first project was turning king sized pillow cases into standard cases. Since then, I’ve taken some classes and used the internet to teach myself to sew. In 2011, I made my first quilt.
Q: What would you tell a newbie that you wish you had known when you started?
A: Join a quilting club and learn all you can from experienced quilters; most everyone I’ve met has been happy to help me learn.
Q: Have you always considered yourself a “modern” quilter?
A: I don’t have enough experience yet to answer, but I do prefer geometric designs that use light and dark fabric to create depth
Q: What’s your favorite sewing/quilting tip?
A: After my first few months quilting, I had a lot of shoulder problems and ended up in physical therapy. Now, I do some shoulder stretches before I sit down to sew, and I take frequent breaks. I also make sure that my machine, my workspace, and my chair are adjusted to maximize ergonomic comfort.
Q: Do you have a favorite quilt block, pattern or designer?
A: I really like Courthouse Steps, which is a form of the Log Cabin. In the original design, the black center block symbolized the judge’s robe and the courthouse as the center of early American society. Today, the quilter can create a lot of geometric designs by alternating light and dark in the simple staircase pattern.
Q: Do you have a favorite notion or tool you can’t quilt without?
A: My quilting foot keeps my seams straight.
Q: Do you quilt your own quilts?
A: I took a class on freemotion quilting, and I am practicing my technique…trying to get rid of those eyelashes.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the quilting process?
A: Sewing the pieces together is relaxing because it’s akin to putting together a big, colorful puzzle
Q: What part of the quilting process do you dislike or struggle with?
A: Choosing fabrics that complement each other is a skill that I’m developing. I’m not to most accurate cutter in the world.
Q: Do you design your own quilts?
A: I have a few basic patterns that I follow
Q: What inspires you to create?
A: I enjoy making things that people need, so I get inspired when I can make things to enrich someone’s life
Q: Do you do any other crafts? Which ones?
A: knitting, crochet, cross stitch, kanzashi
Q: How many quilts have you made?
A: This year I made a quilt for my husband’s grandmother who moved into assisted living, and I made a Star Wars quilt for a new mother who couldn’t find Star Wars themed nursery items. I’ve also made several for Quilts4Kids and Arizona Blankets For Kids.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I bought a pattern and some fabric at the quilt show in Mesa, so I’m going to put that together. I’m also hoping to clean out my sewing room and get it organized this summer.
Q: What do you wish you knew how to do (quilt related) and hope to learn?
A: I would like to learn more about color theory and how to mix colors. I also want to know how to use all those different angles on my cutting mat and all the different rulers.
Q: Do you have quilt related business that you want to share with us?
A: My creation studio, dr.an.dzynz, is dedicated to serving to others by making quilts, pillowcases, hats, vegetable steamer bags, and other comfort items for people in need. I believe that my true purpose it to fit myself to be of service to God and the people about me, so the only rule of dr.an.dzynz is that we accept no payment. Making things to help other people fires up my creative engines to the point that I can spend all weekend making things and it never feels like work.
Star Wars quilt for baby Dax
knitting project bag
Vegetable steamer bag