Margaret started sewing when she was young, mostly making clothing. She made her first quilt about 25 years ago when she got her first sewing machine. Over the years, she didn’t quilt much except for making a few for gifts.
In 2007, she decided to try quilting again by using her scraps to make a donation quilt for Project Linus. And guess what? She got hooked on quilting once more!! Between 2007 and 2010, Margaret made over 100 quilts for Project Linus (and they didn’t decrease her stash hardly at all!!) Five years ago, Margaret bought a long arm and began a business quilting shortly thereafter.
Big Bertha was inspired by Margaret’s love for taking old patterns and modernizing them with bolder fabrics. She began the Dresden plates in the summer of 2011. By the time she had all the plates hand pieced/appliquéd, she noticed that there were Dresden quilt-alongs all over the quilting blogs. This really bummed her out as she likes to make unique quilts for shows. She ended up sticking the project in a box for nearly a year. One day, when Margaret was looking for something to work on, Big Bertha was the one closest to being ready to quilt, so she pulled it out and started to work on it again. It took four months to complete the top. The quilting was done over an eight week period, taking nearly 175 hours. Big Bertha debuted at its first show in 2013.
What did Margaret learn from creating Big Bertha? “I never want to make another quilt that is this large!”
What was Margaret’s reaction when she found out that she won the Masterpiece prize? “Quite surprised! It was the single largest prize I had ever won.”
Did she do anything special with her prize money? According to Margaret, “Looks like Uncle Sam will get a nice chunk, but basically no, not really.”
What is Margaret’s next project? “I always have several show quilts in the works…one in the design stage, one in piecing/applique, and one half quilted!”
Congratulations Margaret Solomon Gunn for winning the Masterpiece category, sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Center.