Today, we are featuring the talented Jacquie from Tallgrass Prairie Studio.

FQ: Tell us a little bit about your creative journey?
Jacquie: ‘I?ve always been a creative person and for many years my home and my children were my creative outlet. Most of the rooms in my house have been painted, decorated and painted again and maybe a few more times after that.

I love art and music and I?ve felt for most of my life that there was an artist in me waiting to emerge. My boys are both talented artists and musicians. They are my primary inspiration and motivators.

At the beginning of 2008 I stepped back from a very demanding job and with a little more time on my hands decided to pull out my sewing machine. At that time I didn?t know that quilting would become my thing, but after a visit to the Gee?s Bend exhibit, I was struck by the ?feeling? of those quilts and I sat down at the sewing machine to see what I could create. After my first couple of quilts I gave improvisation a try and I?ve now embraced improvisational quilt making for all of my quilts.’

FQ: Which part of the quilt making process is your favourite and why?
Jacquie: ‘That?s a tough question, there are times when I get in the groove and it?s the actual sewing that I love, seeing things come together. What excites the artist in me is the design process. I feed off the frustrations of false starts and the exhilaration of when a design comes together. I think that?s why I have trouble repeating a design. I feel a bit like been there, done that. Time to move on and try something new.’

FQ: Do you have a favorite fabric designer?
Jacquie: ‘I guess it?s easiest to say I have many. I?m constantly searching for fabric that inspires me. I?m not much for buying a whole line and using it it in a quilt. I look for individual fabrics that speak to me. I think Yoshiko Jinzenji has some amazing fabric. Heather Ross is the queen of whimsy in her fabric and I love finding indie designers who put out unique fabric like Lauren Hunt of Kansas City.’

FQ: Where do you draw inspiration for your quilts?
Jacquie: ‘Inspiration seems to be everywhere for me. I?m inspired by people, stories, experiences, patterns in walls, fabric, artists, words, and shapes. I see quilts all around me.’

FQ: Do you have a favourite quilt?
Jacquie: ‘My favorite quilt is probably the one I?m currently in the process of making. It?s what?s on my mind and in my head. Of the quilts I?ve made I?m pretty proud of the ?Urban Garden? quilt. It was a personal scrap challenge. I love the ?Not Lost in the Woods? quilt too. The lines and shapes that are created and simplicity and boldness are very appealing to me. The ?Selvage quilt? is pretty special to me as well. It?s like a memory book of all the fabric I?ve used and the quilts I?ve made over the last 2 ? years.

FQ: Are there any new creative skills that you would like to try in the future?
Jacquie: ‘For sure! I want every new quilt to be a new creative adventure for me. I want to push myself to go more modern. My traditional side has a pretty strong influence in my work, and I want to move in a new direction. I?m excited to start teaching quilting classes in my studio this summer. Teaching has been my profession for 30 years, but this is definitely a new direction for my educational career!’