Monday, July 17, 2017

July Member Interview: Taylor Darby

This month's interview was with Taylor Darby. Enjoy! 

            Hello, my name is Taylor and I have been sewing since my grandma taught me when I was eight years old. She taught me to crochet and knit as well. For most of my sewing career I have focused on making clothing and tailoring for my family and friends. Then six years ago I attempted starting a baby clothing company, but a year later I became a mother and things started to fall apart for the company. I drastically underestimated how much time a child would consume. When we decided to have a second child I completely gave up the idea of the baby clothing company and returned to sewing occasionally.
            On the glaringly bright side of things I have two daughters, Alanice and Danica, with my wonderful husband, Colt. 

 We live in Winchester, CA with our two dogs, Kimber and Blue. 

            My other hobbies are soccer, painting, traveling, and raising my babies. In the fall I start grad school at CSUSM in pursuit of a Masters degree in Biological Sciences.  I have a humble little sewing room in our humble little house and I pack it with as much sewing paraphernalia as I possibly can. I have my industrial sewing machine on wheels so I can store it in the corner then pull it out when I use it. I also save space by using a folding dining table as a work area. 

            It’s a 7.5 foot long table, but it folds into thirds so I can customize how much work space I need depending on the project (2.5 ft, 5 ft, or 7.5 ft long area). I need to be smart about my space because I recently had a blossoming seamstress invade my sewing room (she’s sewing next to me as I write this).
            For my daughter’s fifth birthday in May 2017 I got her her first sewing machine. Naturally, I had to set up a little mini station for her in my sewing room. It’s amazing how quickly she learns. She wants to be sewing with me every time I’m in my sewing room. I love it, but, although she gets a lot done, I don’t get much done at all.
            I have always considered myself an artist and I enjoy almost every way of expressing myself including through my sewing.  At one point I wanted to be a fashion designer, but I wasn’t interested in the sales and competition aspects of being a designer. I decided to create custom clothing more as a hobby than a source of income. I hadn’t discovered quilting as media of artistic expression until January 2016.  A friend invited me to the Road to California convention in Ontario, CA and I loved it so much we decided to go to QuiltCon 2016. I absolutely fell in love. I really connected with all of the quilts I saw and I appreciated the unique way each one touched me.  At that convention I went to a Victoria Findlay Wolfe lecture and instantly became a fan girl. I love Victoria more because of her contribution to the modern quilting arena rather than her quilts themselves. She is so motivational and supportive of genuine, individual expression.
            Each corner I turned at that convention I was learning something new, and my mind was exploding with ideas and possibilities. I felt so robbed of all of the years I could have been quilting but didn’t because I had written it off. As a young girl quilting wasn’t cool, and it had a reputation for being a hobby meant for an older demographic. That convention proved my preconceptions completely wrong and opened my eyes to the possibilities of quilting I had never taken the time to learn about. When I saw the signup booth to join the Modern Quilt Guild in Temecula I didn’t hesitate at all.
            Today I have finished one quilt since joining the TVMQG. It turned out okay, but it definitely needed rescuing at one point. Using a long arm is definitely harder than it looks. I attempted zigzags because I didn’t know any better. What a mess! To rescue it I used my DHM to sew straight lines across the entire quilt and freehand little monsters peeking over the straight lines (check out the pictures, I think they turned out kind of cute).  

            Besides a quilted bag I made, the rest of my quilts are in progress. I’ve learned I am a multiple project kind of quilter. I’m hoping to have my second quilt done by July 15th so I can enter it into my first quilt show in San Diego.
             This is just the beginning of my quilting career.  I’m hooked and I have a feeling I will be hooked for the rest of my life. Thank you, TVMQG, for helping me through the beginnings of my journey.

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