Linda Ballard


Linda will be teaching two all day machine piecing classes.  She will also be the instructor for the two evening mystery classes.


How many years have you been quilting?

I’ve been quilting since the early 70’s …. Wow that’s been a long time when I do the math!

What motivated you to start quilting?

I’ve sewn all my life, making clothes and some home decorating items.  When I saw a friend doing a quilt, my thought was “I can do that”!  So I started with 1” gingham squares, very lofty batting and tied the quilt with baby yarn.  If it was a girl, she got eyelet ruffles for the edge, if it was a boy I just whipped the edges together.  This was so much fun it was then time to seek out ‘real’ patterns and a quilt shop, not just a yardage store.

Where have you traveled in your quilting teaching career?

Lucky for me, I’ve been all over this country, to Alaska several times, have done 8 quilting cruises that took me to the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska twice, New York to Quebec City and this fall I’ll be doing the Baltic Capitals in Europe.  So guess you could say I’ll be international soon.  For the most part, it doesn’t make any difference where I travel to teach, I just the fact there’s quilters who wish to have me come to their area …. I’m always ready!

What is the most, unusual, frightening, funny, frustrating experience you have had in your quilting career?

I’m in the airport in Chicago and this lady started staring at me.  At first I just caught her glance, I’d look away and then look up and she’s staring at me again.  She was facing me talking with a gentlemen ….. she would look away, I would look away and then I’d look up and she would be staring again.  Finally I thought maybe she was looking at someone behind me, but there was no one there, it was just me.  So I walk to another area, just hanging out.  She’s still watching me …. Ok, is there food on my face?  Is my zipper down?  What’s going on????  Finally she mouth’s something to me …. I look at her with a puzzled look …. She says something again to me, but of course I’m too far away to hear her …. I motion to her ‘are you talking to me’?  She says yes.  This is feeling really weird, but I can’t let it go.  Finally I walk toward her and she says ‘if you didn’t have your glasses on and placed at the bottom of your nose, I wouldn’t have thought twice to look at you …. I told my husband that I saw you on Simply Quilts and I loved the quilt you did and ordered the pattern’.

Who is your favorite author?

If you’re talking casual reading, I enjoy light-hearted reading, something that doesn’t take much concentration.  There are a number of authors that fit this category, too many to list.  While I read especially when I fly, if I drive I love books on tape.

What is the last book you read or are reading?

The last book will not be the last book when you read this ….. so I’m going to say my quilting magazines as I read them over and over to see what’s happening, what’s exciting, and who’s doing what.    

What is your birth order, only child, first, second, third, or ??

I’m have two older brothers …. Yes I’m the youngest and the only girl …. Oh yah, I was daddy’s girl.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in San Fernando Valley, CA …. That’s right, I was a ‘valley girl’.  Lived there until I graduated from high school and then moved with my parents to Redding, CA where they retired.  I worked for the phone company and got a transfer to the local office where I worked for 4 years. 

Where did you go to college?

No college education, my education came from life …. A good job and then became a wife and mother.

Do you have children – grandchildren?

I have two great children …. Jim who is in his residency of becoming a Vascular Surgeon, married to a darling and has my only grandson who is 3 in July.  Blake is the love of our life!  Everyone tells you how wonderful being a grandparent is …. You need to experience it to know how it feels …. It’s just the best!  Cheri is our daughter who is single and works in the hotel industry.  Of course you realize my children are in their late 30’s, but they still seem young to me.

Do you have any pets?


What is your favorite food?

I could say I don’t have any, but then I come up with a good list of things.  Mexican, Italian, good sandwiches, great salads, wonderful fruit and yes sometimes yummy desserts.

Do you have any other hobbies besides quilting?

I used to long ago knit, crochet and do counted cross stitch …. Now it’s all about the quilting no matter what area I’m working in.

What would be on your “bucket list” (like the movie) if you could do anything and money was no object?

So we’re talking anything and no limit to money ….. I would love to take care of my family of course.  On the fun side, I would love to have/build a retreat facility so I could have my retreats there or even rent it out to people …. you might say something like ‘Elm Creek Quilters’.  Since I’ve been doing the cruises, I’m learning how much I like to travel by sea. 

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