2023 Spotlight Quilter

June spotlight quilter is Donna Schalge

Tell us about yourself and your quilting journey:

I have been a lifetime sewer.  I had to sew my own clothes out of necessity.  I was taught by my grandmother and my mother.  I have a legacy of Home Economic teachers in my family (my mother, my aunt, and my sister).  It was my sister that got me interested in quilting in 2004.  Her department at school had several prolific quilters and she thought I needed to learn a new skill.  I was hooked from the first quilt I did:  a block of the month from Joanne’s.  I joined Genesee Valley Quilt Club in 2009, a couple of years after I retired from teaching secondary Mathematics.  I am in awe of the skills our members have and I learn something new all the time.  I’ve been a member/President of the Board of Directors, the Program Committee, Genesee Valley QuiltFest Committee chair for 5 quilt shows and recently served as President of the Club for four years, two of them during the pandemic.

I embraced my new passion for quilting with enthusiasm.  Since that time, I have completed (or started) approximately 75 quilts or quilting projects.  I discovered wool applique when I attended the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati.  I took a class by Charlotte Agnotti and that was it. I was hooked!   I would say I probably do more wool applique now than quilting, but I’m always in search of a new skill to add to my repertoire.  I’m not afraid to tackle something I haven’t done before.  My friends and family tell me my sewing room is like a store.  I have every ruler, book and quilting supply that exists.

I think the thing I like best is learning something new whether it be a quilting skill or a wool stitch to incorporate into a design.    I’ve recently gone outside my comfort zone to explore designing my own version of a pattern.  I’m not afraid to take a chance on what I think is a better version of a design.

What would you like to offer other quilters:

My quilting advice would be to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.  Learn as many advice skills as you can.  Embrace the challenge!  You can’t fail – you just make something new.

May spotlight quilter is Marsh Regan

My name is Marsha Regan. I have been quilting for 40 years. My introduction to quilt making was at the age of 16. My mother remembers us going into a quilt shop in Victor and me exclaiming, “Mom, we need to open a quilt shop”. My very first class was taken at that shop (my boyfriend’s mother owned the shop which is no longer in business) but it was back in the day of making cardboard templates and tracing them onto fabric; no rotary cutters, mats, or rotary rules. My poor quilt! Every block had to be made at least twice as my cutting, tracing and sewing were not that good at all. Every color thread imaginable was used to piece it together and the ¼ inch seam was pretty much non-existent. My boyfriend’s mother just shook her head. BUT the quilt did get finished and it was loved until it fell apart out of use. If only she knew how far my quilt adventure has taken me!! In college, my demonstration speech was on how to make a quilt and it sparked much interest which was such a confidence booster. Once out of college, my decision was to learn as much as I could about quilting and to learn it well. As my skills advanced, my confidence grew and the desire to teach others began to surface.
I have taught and continue to teach both children and adults from learning to quilt to advanced classes such as drafting, dyeing, machine quilting – the list goes on. For me, the quilt making process is a journey to stretch yourself – to push limits and ENJOY THE PROCESS. We live in a day and age where we think we have to hurry up and get everything done as quickly as possible. WHY? Why not sit back and enjoy the process?

My journey has also enabled me to volunteer and work for Genesee Country Village and Museum (GCVM) where I learned about 19th century costuming as well as sewing garments from corsets to dresses to drafting men’s trousers and shirts. I also assisted in many costuming workshops conducted by the costuming shop. The classes were always full, so extra hands were always appreciated. Additionally, I learned how to spin fiber on a spinning wheel with one of my bucket list projects is to spin, weave and make my own clothes from my hand spun fiber. GCVM also introduced me to the Shaker’s a religious group founded in the 17th century. I am currently working on a research project Shaker Textiles.

So, let us explore together and learn from each other. I hope you will join me in my classes and if there is something you like to learn, feel free to let me know and I will be more than happy to teach a class on it.

April spotlight quilter is Mary Aman

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am the mother of two wonderful adults, grandmother to 5 and great grandma to a beautiful little girl.

How long have you been quilting? / Who taught you to quilt?

I started sewing through 4-H when I was 9.  In 1979 I took a class from a local quilter, and we made templates and hand piece the quilt, thank goodness for rotary cutters. I started quilting again in 2006 and fell in love with all the new fabrics.

What do you like best about quilting?

What I really like about quilting is the creative outlet it provides. I love playing with color and deconstructing blocks. Over the last 17 years I have made about 20 quilts, and many have been gifted to family members.  I believe it’s really important to enjoy the process and do what you love!

What’s your quilting advice /mantra?

My mantra is slow and steady wins the race!

Here are some pictures of some of her beautiful work.

March spotlight quilter is Sherrie Lasky

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m a wife (partner) of a wonderful husband, a mom (friend) of an amazing daughter, mother-in-law of an amazing son-in-law, and I’m soon to be a grandmother. I am also a graphic designer to help pay for my quilting addiction.

In 2012 I co-founded the Rochester Modern Quilt Guild, and we are celebrating being 10 years young this year. I’m also a member of the Perinton Quilt Guild. I come from a big family. I’m one of seven children and some of my siblings still live in the area. If I’m not quilting or doing something with one of the guilds I’m a member of or having a sew day with a quilt bestie I’m probably doing something with my family. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

Also, several years ago, I became a Longarm quilter for hire who goes by the name of the Creekside Quilter.

How long have you been quilting?

I have been quilting for 29 years. I started when I was pregnant with my daughter who will turn 29 this summer.

Who taught you to quilt?

I learned how to sew from my mother and grandmother at a very young age. They did not quilt so I had to teach myself. I learned from reading books and taking classes. Learning this wonderful craft is an ongoing adventure.

What do you like best about quilting?

It relaxes me. When I’m piecing or quilting a finished quilt top, I love that when I’m in the process all the stress that comes with life disappears, if only for a time. Being part of the guilds that I joined has been so wonderful. I love that I have a “quilt family” now as well. Like most quilters, the best feeling is when you gift a quilt, and you can tell right away that the recipient loves it.

What’s your quilting advice /mantra? Quilting is meant to be fun and creative. Try not to let it stress you, there is enough of that in life already. I am my worst critic so when I get too much in my head and start comparing myself and my work to others, I try to remember that I do this for fun and to feed my soul.

February spotlight quilter is Lauri Namisnak

Lauri, Tell me a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in the Thousand Islands area. I now live in Penfield with my husband of 22 years and have a daughter in college. When I am not working you can find me in my sewing room, doing jigsaw puzzles, or gardening.  I also love to watch hockey and I am a fan of the Buffalo Sabres.

How long have you been quilting?

I have been sewing for about 15 years. My first sewing project was a pair of pajamas for my daughter. Since then, I have made table runners, placemats, wall hangings and quilts.  I just finished my eighth quilt.

Who taught you to quilt?

I grew up watching my mother and stepmother sew, but it was a neighbor who taught me to sew.  I went to a craft night at her house, and she was working on a sewing project, I was very interested in what she was doing and asked a lot of questions. The next day, I went out and bought a sewing machine and asked her to give me a few lessons. She showed me the sewing basics like how to thread my machine, cut out a pattern, pin fabrics, etc.  After five lessons, I was hooked. I have not stopped sewing since.

What do you like best about quilting?

I like the creativity. I always try to take a pattern or project that I am working on and add my own twist to the process. I add different fabric choices, an extra border, or a creative design to make it more unique to my tastes and vision.

What’s your quilting advice /mantra?

Take as many classes as you can. You may go to a class to work on one project and learn other sewing tips or techniques to help make your sewing projects that much better.  Quilters are always willing to share their experiences and give you tips to make you a better quilter. I always enjoy meeting other quilters at the classes. Everyone is always friendly and eager to help.  It is also interesting to see how other people interpret a pattern or project. Here are some pictures of some of her beautiful work.

January spotlight quilter is Joan Beadle

Tell me a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in West Webster and when I got married 30 years ago, I was lucky to be able to move back into my childhood home and raise my 3 kids. My husband and I still live there.

How long have you been quilting?

My sister and I talked about learning to quilt for a while. I have always loved crafting. Macrame,  crocheting and some sewing.  It wasn’t until she retired and my youngest was in high school that we both had the time to actually do it.

Who taught you to quilt?

We dove in taking a paper piecing class at VQS in 2019. I love paper piecing! It is crafting and sewing in one. Then we decided to dive further and take a BOM class at Madelines. Just in time for Covid quarantine. Needless to say, since I had very little experience in quilting, my BOM blocks came out pretty wonky. But you learn from every piece you make and I hung my very first quilt above me in my craft room. Every time I look up, I see how far I have come.

What do you like best about quilting?

I love to look at a pattern now and think about how I can do it just a little different to really make it mine.  Whether that is incorporating wool, embroidery, or beading. I have discovered watercolor pencils and look forward to adding more color to some upcoming projects.

What’s your quilting advice /mantra?

I have a saying that I keep in my head especially when projects don’t work out the way I picture them. I am not perfect, and neither are my projects. They just need to stay together in the wash!  Thanks to Monique, Vanetta, Maryfran and Michelle for being a wonderful source of inspiration and education!

Here are some pictures of some of her beautiful work.