Meet Dani Miller, a member of the MQG and Treasurer and Communications Coordinator for Roanoke MQG. Like most of us she fell into quilting hard and fast! Learn about her below and check out that fantastic sewing space! (I totally covet her industrial Juki).
When did you become a MQG member? Do you belong to a guild or are you an individual member?
I originally started as a member of the now defunct SWVA MQG in 2011. The group morphed into the Roanoke MQG in 2012 and I have been a member ever since! I am the Treasurer and Communications Coordinator for our guild.
When did you first find modern quilting?
I would say I was interested in modern quilting pretty much from the time I started quilting, I just didn’t really know it. I took a Learn-to-Quilt class in January 2009, and while everyone was making quilts with traditional fabrics in soft colours, I picked out a graphic collection of black, white and red. That quilt is still one of my favourites and hangs in my studio!
What is your favorite part of the quilt making process?
A bit contrary to most people, I think cutting out the pieces for a quilt is actually my favourite part, along with hand binding. Cutting always seems like quick progress to me, and then the hand binding is that “slow down and enjoy the end of the project” part.
How do you educate yourself on new techniques?
I learn the majority of my new techniques online, through blogs or websites. But a close second to that is my guild – we teach a new technique or skill at most of our meetings. While some things I may have already been familiar with, I inevitably learn a new or better way to do it.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am a big blog reader, so a lot of my inspiration comes to me in that form. I also have a lot of quilt and sewing books that I often flip through for general inspiration. Anything with bold colours, especially rainbow styles, just makes me want to sew!
What is your most used and favorite quilting tool?
Other than the obvious rotary cutter, ruler and mat, I would say my favourite quilting tool would be my old Singer 15-91 that my sweet friend Lindsay gave me for my birthday. She (her name is Agnes) is so wonderful to piece with, and she makes me slow down a bit and enjoy the process. I sew all day long on my industrial, so when it comes time to do some quilting I need to force myself to slow down a bit.
What is the funniest mistake you’ve made while sewing?
The most bizarre thing I ever did while sewing was to sew my kitchen tablecloth into a quilt. I kid you not. Years ago, for whatever reason, I had my machine on the kitchen table, rushing to finish a gift quilt. I think I was doing the quilting, and my husband said to me, “Shouldn’t you take the table cloth off the table first?” I do believe I gave him the look, and he walked away with a shrug. It was about 30 seconds after that that I wondered why the quilt seemed to be getting bound up as I quilted away. Yeah. That would be because I had completely sewed the edge of the table cloth to the bottom of the quilt. That was an interesting one to pick out.
Show us your sewing space!
I have included lots of pictures of my space! I run a small business called KSC Designs, so I spend all day every day in my studio. This was an unfinished room when we moved into this house, and my husband, his dad and I did all of the work to get it where it is today. I love my huge cutting table (made from Ikea kitchen islands) and dedicated spots for all of my machines.
What sewing machine do you sew on?
I have 5 different sewing machines: Penny, my industrial Juki, does the lion’s share of the sewing in this space. She runs day in, day out, hours at a time. Sebastian, my industrial serger, is my newest addition. Agnes as I mentioned is my 1950’s Singer that I use for piecing. I just finished fixing up a 1937 featherweight that I bought – he or she is yet to be named! And I also have my home Singer that started it all, although it is mostly used for sewing labels on my products now.
If you could take a class from anyone in the quilting world who would it be?
I think if I could take a class from anyone it would probably be Anna Maria Horner. I would love to learn more about the fabric design process!
Stay up to date on what Dani is working on!
Website: knitty34 on Etsy
Facebook: KSC Designs