Lisa, known as upstatelisa on Flickr and writer of the blog http://www.upstatelisa.blogspot.com/, took part in our Designer Challenge in Issue 2 of Fat Quarterly. We chatted with Lisa to find out more about her and her sewing projects.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Ottawa, Canada but now live south of the border in upstate NY (met my hubby while in grad school in Syracuse NY), near the beautiful mountains and lakes of the Adirondack region. I used to be a speech pathologist but now manage the 5 rental properties that my hubby and I own, while being a wife, and mom to 3 (two of which I homeschool, the oldest is going into her last year of high school and said that she would rather ?die? than be homeschooled LOL!).

How did you start quilting?

I bought my first sewing machine with the money that my paternal grandmother gave me when I was 13 years old. She was a wonderful sewer, smocker, and knitter and wanted her granddaughters to enjoy the same. I learned to sew at a Singer Sewing Machine store in Ottawa and took classes at school throughout high school I didn?t start quilting until I took a class at a local community college about a year before my first child was born (that?s 17 years ago.. yikes!) and I was hooked!!!!

What is the favourite quilt you have made? Why?

I absolutely love log cabin quilts and am slooowly working on one for our bed and so far I have about 112 blocks?

I now have 112..
My favorite quilt at the moment is a quilt that I made using a tutorial from Victoria of Bumblebeans and my hand dyed fabrics.

waverunner quilt done!

It hangs in our family room so I can look at it often.

The other quilt that I love is one that I made to be auctioned off to raise funds for diabetes research (my youngest child has type 1 diabetes) and it ended up back at our house!!! I do love my hubby!

The quilt is done!
What is your favourite fabric line or designer?

Both of my fave quilts were made without a pattern and I am discovering more and more that I enjoy creating quilts without patterns. I don?t really have a favorite designer but I have a love affair with black and white fabrics and polka dotted fabrics and my stash reflects it!

polka dots and black/whites, black/color
I also have enjoyed dyeing my own fabrics and hope to dye some more this summer!

I feel fortunate to have heard (in person!) Kaffe Fassett, Jan Mullen, Mary Ellen Hopkins, Mark Lipinski, Kim Diehl and many other inspiring quilters at our guild meetings.

I have also made a lot of friends online at flickr (some of whom I have met too!) and through blogging and they (and you!) are all so inspiring!!!! My own blog is at http://www.upstatelisa.blogspot.com/

Where do you do your sewing? Do you have a dedicated sewing area or do you use the dining room table?

I am lucky enough (!) that we do not have dining room furniture (we are not the formal entertaining kind of people) and so the dining room has become my sewing room. My hubby installed some wonderful lighting and built in shelves and built me a cutting table. Even so, I am always searching for places to stash my stuff!

My name is Lisa and I am a fabriholic!

clean sewing room!
Luckily, the sewing room is right off the kitchen and I am a master multi-tasker (usually? some times I sew fingers? but it another story!)

What are you working on at the moment?

It is summer here and unfortunately I don?t have air conditioning in my sewing room so I have to sew early in the AM (which isn?t too hard since I am a very early riser) or wait for cooler days. Right now, I have a one block wonder hanging on my French doors-turned-design wall but it has been hanging there for about a month! I am working toward 25 dresden plates (I have 22 so far!)in my infamous black/white backgrounds with polka dotted plates.

my dresden plates
I also recently bought Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins and have made a couple experimental pieces with paper cloth. I would like to venture more into mixed media!