Join us for a night of seeing and learning about the fantastic creations of Utah’s quilters!
July 31, 2019
Suzanne Harmon Hillestad grew up in the small town of Holden, Utah. Both of my grandmothers pieced quilts and my mother was a beautiful hand quilter. My Paternal great grandmother made quilts to help supplement the family income, so quilting is inherited.
My start to serious quilting was in 1990. We lived in the Seattle, WA area and a wonderful woman started teaching a six month quilting class through the Homemaking Program in Relief Society. She taught hand piecing and my first quilt was a hand-pieced, 42 block Bear Paw quilt.
I consider myself a traditional quilter doing mostly scrappy quilts, though not a Bonnie Hunter type scrap quilter, but do more planning of fabric placement as I would consider myself rather OCD. The color of the fabric draws me more to a quilt rather than the pattern, but my favorite color pallet is the Civil War fabrics.
The only place I have displayed quilts is the Springville Quilt Show, and the only award received was in 2014 where I received an Award of Excellence on a quilt where I found the pattern in a magazine and changed the applique in the center and borders. Many wonderful friendships have developed through quilting groups, sharing our talents and love of quilting.
Lorri Cummings started piecing and quilting in the mid 1980s. She was just in the middle of growing a family. She wanted to follow the generational family tradition of making a baby quilt before each child was born. After that was accomplished, she didn't think she would quilt again until she was old and gray, like her grandmother and all her quilting ladies. However the joy of creating and designing couldn't be set aside that long, so slowly she began experimenting with traditional patterns and replications based on memories of quilts her grandmother had made or ones she had seen.
Her known resources were limited to black and white newsprint pages of magazines with bare bone instructions, few books at the library, and going to museums. She didn't know for a few years there was a revival in the quilting art brewing with such things as quilt shops, quilters cotton, new patterns, tools, and even quilting bees and guilds. Once that was discovered, the quilting world fully opened up to her.
Her first class was pictorial appliqué taught by Charlotte Warr Anderson. That is where her first love began. As time went on she learned and tried many techniques and new color palettes. She now not only loves traditional reproductions and Gracie's, but bright new bold Kaffe and Anna Marie Horner designs and color. She doesn't necessary have a favorite style or color palette. Most things have a time and a place, a purpose and a lesson that adds to her experience. She loves taking inspiration from other quilters work, but also tweaking and designing a version of her own.
Quilting is her passion and her go-to for stress relief, creative outlet, therapy, soul feeding, and builds her social and support circle.
I was born and raised in Upstate New York (Rochester). I was introduced to quilting by my husband's Aunt Ruth. She was a beautiful quilter and did all of her piecing and quilting by hand. I always loved her quilts but never thought about quilting myself.
When we were on vacation in 2003 we went into a small quilt shop in Hannibal, Illinois. I bought a quilt kit that I was sure I could make. I finally finished that quilt a few weeks ago in 2019.
In 2005 I went into American Quilting to look around. I started to remember Aunt Ruth’s quilts and suddenly wanted to try quilting. Several times I jokingly told Amy – the owner of American Quilting – that I would be willing to work for her for a yard an hour. She eventually called and offered me a job – not at a yard an hour but for an actual paycheck. I worked there for several years and loved every minute.
Needless to say I am now addicted. I’m not one to do show and tell but I did enter four quilts in the State Fair. I did this just for fun and was surprised to win blue ribbons for each. The first one I entered was considered for best of show.
I love the creative process of putting quilts together. To me it is like putting puzzles together – which I love. I also love giving quilts to family members and friends.
I am happy to be presenting my first trunk show ever. Thank you for asking me to do this.
Presented in partnership with the Utah Valley Quilt Guild