Thursday, January 10, 2013
Member Highlight - Pam
We are starting off the New Year with a highlight of one of my favorite members. Pam has been active in our guild and always astounds me with her talent and skill! I also have to add how grateful we are as a guild to have her create our incredible HMQG banner!! Thanks Pam! Now here is Pam's story and some photos of her work.
Pam B: I have been sewing since I was old enough to push the foot pedal. My grandmother held me in her lap and let me help her sew. My mother sewed some and helped me to learn sewing also. I sewed each year in 4-H club and made the traditional apron, skirt, blouse and competed with my garments in the local county fairs. I eventually made tailored jackets, dresses and made most of my clothes throughout school.
I grew up in a small rural town in Georgia, received my BS in Computer Science from the University of Georgia and lived in Athens, Ga. with my husband, Abe for six years before moving to Houston in 1980. I did not sew much between high school and the birth of my first child in 1982, but I did make a simple whole cloth baby quilt with straight line quilting when Rebekah was born. Within four years of moving to Houston, our son Ronjon was born and for the next 16 years, I was active with the kids, in both Cub and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I was the leader of my daughter’s troop for ten years. We camped a lot with scouts, did every kind of craft possible, cooked on every means of fire and fuel, and during vacations from work, we family camped at national parks all over the country.
I have worked in Information Technology since graduating college, taking just six weeks off work for each child’s birth. I’m not sure why I’m still working (other than to pay the bills, ha!) , but maybe I find some entertainment and pleasure in solving complex business problems with geeky computer code. My husband Abe, of 38 years, retired in 2003 and now watches me work in my home office. Sometimes though he goes to his workshop and builds custom wooden jewelry or treasure boxes, makes gorgeous stained glass pieces and creates masterful handcrafted knives. I never have a dull knife in my house! We still love the outdoors but don’t get to go camping as often as we used to. We learned kayaking recently and try to take the kayaks out as often as we can. Abe and I walk three miles just after we get up in the morning almost every day of the year. We take our grand dog, Kipper, a German Sheppard who belongs to Rebekah, but lives with us.
I made a few quilts before 2000, but really got immersed in quilting since 2000. I have attended the Houston International Quilt Festival each year since 2000, taking as many classes as I could squeeze into the week Monday through Sunday during the festival. I use vacation to take the entire week off work and am at the GRB from the 8 am until closing every. I’m great at collecting fabric and have a huge stash. It is not as big though as my friend Sara Sissenwein Norris, who lots of you know. I have not met many quilters who don’t know Sara.
In 2009, I took some machine quilting classes in hopes of learning how to quilt my own quilts. Up until then, Sara quilted for me. I don’t practice enough, but I keep trying to get better at machine quilting. Over the years, I have a accumulated a very large quilting book collection. All the quilting books reside on the beautiful book shelves my husband built for me. He also built furniture for my quilting and sewing room. He built my cutting table which has storage underneath and drawers. He built my big board ironing table with a shelf underneath and even built an ironing table once for me to trade for long arm quilting.
Most of my piecing and quilting has been traditional style, but in 2011, I started reading about modern quilting. In November 2011, I found out about Houston Modern Quilt Guild. I attend the meeting that month and decided to join the group in 2012. I found the members are so talented, refreshing, motivating, and friendly. I’m really happy to have found the group and look forward to learning from the group, participating in all the swaps and challenges, and having a great time quilting together. I really hope to learn and develop my own style of modern quilting and am anxious to be influenced by all of the members of HMQG. I love the freshness of the colors, the simplicity of the quilting and the uniqueness of the contemporary interpretations of traditional blocks. I look forward to an exciting adventure in HMQG and modern quilting.