Are the scraps really from old clothes?
I bought them—I collect black and white fabric. I have so many "quarters" of fabric, all the tiny pieces on this quilt are different, no two alike. And it's the same with the red.
Do you quilt by hand?
I usually do it by machine; my hands are in too bad of shape to hand stitch any more. Arthritis. My quilts are occasionally quilted by someone else—like "Red Serpentine," which I pieced by machine and had quilted by Sue Drinnon.
When did you start to quilt?
In 1972, in Michigan—I moved here 23 years ago. I had to teach myself because there really weren't all that many books or anything back then. That was before the Bicentennial got the quilting revival going.
How many quilts have you made?
More than 300 pieces. I like really strange, way out things. I went to a retreat where we were using Eleanor Burns patterns, very traditional. I used exotic African fabrics, a bird print, jungle girls. That quilt's in the Pigeon Forge show right now.
How long does one quilt take?
Some have taken years. I'm a Gemini, so I get bored easily. I may put something away and work on something else and come back to it later—I've always got several projects partially completed.
Are your quilts just for show?
This one will be used on a bed, probably as a wedding gift for a family member. That's what I do with the quilts. I've got a couple of nephews who are about the right age to be getting married. If you're farther away than a cousin, you get a wall hanging.
Do you get a prize besides bragging rights?
There's a $50 cash award and a ribbon of sorts.
Which will fund more black and white fabric?
The Smoky Mountains Quilters annual show is at Cooper Athletic Center at Maryville College March 19-21. For more info: smokymtnquilters.com/quiltshow.htm