Joanie accepting an award at IQA Awards in 2008
How many years have you been quilting?
Over thirty! So I have experienced all of the wonderful innovations that have transformed this industry over the years, moving us from hand techniques to machine excellence.
What motivated you to start quilting?
My husband and his love for everything quilted. He never stops inventing quilted projects for me to produce. One request he has made several time is for a quilted cover for the dashboard of his truck, So sorry, haven’t had time for that one dear!
Where have you traveled in your quilting teaching career?
From the historic textile district of Lowell Mass to the ultra modern fashion show of one of Europe’s hottest designers: from the dusty single paved road of tiny LaVeta Co (taping THE QUILT SHOW, with Ricky and Alex), to the grandeur of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park (teaching along side my mentor and other machine quilting greats), from the pristine vistas of Switzerland (reunion of the Bernina Artisans) to t
he fabulous shopping in the Flea Market and tiny shops of Montmartre in Paris, France, from high atop the rolling hills in Gainesville, TX to the lights of Las Vegas, from walking across the Award stage at both Paducah and Houston, and now to the classrooms the Road to CA, this has been and extremely fun and gratifying experience. For every guild that has welcomed me with such anticipation I am so blessed. What a wonderful feeling it is to be doing what I was meant to do with my life and having students experience growth in their work in reaction to my teaching. I am a lucky girl!
What is the most, unusual, frightening, funny, frustrating experience you have had in your quilting career?
While demonstrating on a students machine, I took one stitch and broke a needle off in my index fingernail. May I balance that answer to the question by adding my greatest achievement, winning Best of Show at Road to Ca. in 2006!
Who is your favorite author?
Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts Novels.
What is the last book you read or are reading?
Quilts of Provence: The Art and Craft of French Quiltmaking, by Kathryn Berenson. I love the European antique quilts and woven textiles. I am preparing to organize a Textile and Wine River Cruise in Southern France. One of my sons is studying to be a French historian, it is my hope that he could act as translator and travel guide. If this sounds like fun to you, contact me to be included on a list to join us.
What is your birth order, only child, first, second, third, or ??
I was raised as the as the baby (the fourth child) until the caboose, (my baby brother) arrived 11 years after me. One of the benefits of having a child so late is that my parents were recently blessed with a new grandchild when they were well into their eighties. A delightful new little face to laugh at all of Grandpas silliness he hasn’t been able to use in the 19 years that separated her from the last grandchild. So in our family, we have learned to use the term “currently the youngest”.
Where did you grow up?
Madison, Wisconsin, where I watched the sun set behind the state capitol across the shore of Lake Monona every night. It is a very progressive city with a large university. Go Badgers! I think that the state of Wisconsin is one of the best kept secret treasures in the US. Our borders are two of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, yes and Illinois.
Where did you go to college?
U. W. Whitewater where I met my husband and Madison Area Technical College where I earned a degree in Graphic Design in 2003.
Do you have children – grandchildren?
We have two sons, both are in grad school. I know when it is my turn, I will thoroughly enjoy the experience of being a grandma. Until then, I have the thrill of practicing that role with Lilianna, the two year old daughter of my niece who shouts “Aunt Grandma Judy!” (Judy is my sister, the real grandma) when she see my photo on my books in fabric stores!
Do you have any pets?
No. Oh, do dust bunnies count?
What is your favorite food?
I love fresh fruits that are bursting with juice and flavor. Coming from Wisconsin, we only have truly fresh for a few months of the year. So if anyone of you have something growing in your yard in CA. in January…
Do you have any other hobbies besides quilting?
Are you kidding? I eat, sleep and dream quilting. I have focused only on this craft since I learned Heirloom Machine quilting from Diane Gaudynski in 2000. My entire life has changed and it is so full. I love what I do, but if I had a staff to help with the details, I would like to get back into exercising! Seriously, I love to walk, swim, bike and just be outdoors.
What would be on your “bucket list” (like the movie) if you could do anything and money was no object?
(Speaking in my Miss Universe voice) I would promote world peace by spreading good cheer and a few American dollars visiting quilt shops through out the world.