Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl is our October Pattern Drop designer. Her pattern, Flight Path [pictured below], was originally designed for a special new baby. Sometimes, my favorite quilts are ones that are designed with someone specific in mind! Read more about the Flight Path Quilt here; purchase the pattern here.
Yvonne is also co-hosting the Tips and Tutorials Festival November 2-20, Submit your own favorite tip, and learn some new things!
Check out some of Yvonne’s videos here:
Tip for Stitch and Flip with Direction Fabric [use this for the Flight Path Quilt]
Fresh Quilting Episode 203: Quarter Square Triangle Piecing Accuracy Tips
Fresh Quilting Episode 206: Transparency Design
Circuitboard Quilting on Domestic and Long Arm Machines
1. Tell us a little about your name–Quilting Jetgirl–and anything about the connection between your former work as an aerospace engineer and your current work.
When I started my blog, I was working full time as an aerospace engineer. Picking a name for my blog was easy at that time: Quilting to represent what my blog content was going to be about and Jetgirl is the nickname I picked up when I started dating my husband, who was known as Jetman because he built custom homemade jet engines starting when he was 13.
I left my aerospace engineering career in 2014 in search of a better balance in my life, and not knowing what else to tell my co-workers, I told them I was going to start a quilting business. At first, I made and sold baby quilts, and over the years my business has evolved into pattern writing, teaching, and behind the scenes technical editing. I love being a pattern designer. I enjoy technical editing and technical writing, and that is a direct connection to my former work as an aerospace engineer: instead of writing build instructions for a prototype aircraft, I write instructions for quilts.
I bring a lot of what I learned as a professional engineer to bear in the work I do now: I am very organized and structured with my time and goals. Beyond that, I have a very linear and geometric style which is probably very influenced by my engineering background as well.
2. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
For me, inspiration can come from a lot of different places. If I am creating a design for someone specifically, I do my best to incorporate any requests that they may have into my work, and I am also always trying to stay true to what interests me and what I know about them as well. For instance, I created my pattern Perspective for friends expecting their first child last year. They wanted something that would be like a mental puzzle and could be interpreted different ways. For the quilting, I quilted lines in the Fibonacci Sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8) as a nod to the design and the background of the family.
In general, I go in spurts of inspiration and design creativity. I have dot pad sketchbooks that are filled with doodles and ideas when I am away from my computer that I can go back and reference in the future. I am also heavily inspired by my husband’s photography (Michael Fuchs Photography), and music.
Out of the idea of seeking better balance in my life, I found myself very drawn to creating transparency quilt designs in monochromatic color palettes. I am keenly drawn to thinking about transparency as a life philosophy: removing the sense of needing to live behind a veil of secrecy and living fully and authentically.
Yvonne’s quilt Wonder was recently featured in Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 65 . Yvonne shared on Instagram, “Wonder is a design sketch I made while sitting on a beach, listening to the waves lap against the shore, looking out at the turquoise colors deepening as the water depth increased offshore. I don’t think I’m the only one that looks out at the horizon across an ocean and is filled with a sense of wonder…”
3. Do you have a place you like to visit that always leaves you creatively inspired?
Pacific Grove, California. Although, to be honest, the entire coastal area and drive along California State Route 1 from Morro Bay to Pacific Grove is amazing. The variety in the coastal scape from shear cliffs to redwoods and waterfalls and elephant seals on a beach to harbor seals to otters floating on their backs to whales breaching and migrating… I just can’t get enough of that whole area.
4. What does your workspace look like? Do you have different spaces for pattern design, sewing, etc?
I have a computer nook in my living room that my husband custom built for me for my needs. It’s where I do the bulk of my work; running a business takes a lot of computer time.
I also have a room entirely dedicated as a sewing studio, which basically amounts to housing my 2004 APQS Millennium longarm (non-computerized) on a 10-foot frame. My husband also custom built a desk in my studio that is perfect for my Juki TL-2200 QVP Mini and an 18” x 24” OLFA cutting mat. Over the years we have also built a custom quilt ladder and modified my ironing board together. The walls in my studio are covered in mini and mini mini quilts that I have swapped with friends over the years.
5. Do you have a creative project that has been most fulfilling? Or that you most enjoyed working on?
Recently I really enjoyed making a mini quilt in memory of Grandma Babsie. I got to explore piecing orange peels and overlapping circles in a way that I had been thinking about for a few years in the piece. I also opted to hand quilt the mini quilt, and I did most of the hand quilting in the evenings with family as we remembered grandma, so it was a very soothing and therapeutic process.
6. What do you wish you could have told your creative self 5, 10, or 15 years ago?
10 or 15 years ago, I would have benefitted from hearing, “You ARE creative!” After going through college for an engineering degree and working professionally as a very analytical person, I was definitely questioning if I could see the forest for the trees, if you know what I mean.
5 years ago, the best advice I could have given myself would be, “Just keep creating.” I was worried about finding my artistic voice and if I was on the right path, and the truth is that the best way to get somewhere else is to keep going.
7. I saw that you are teaching at QuiltCon in 2019. Tell me a little bit about your class/your favorite part of teaching/etc.
I am teaching a 3-hour transparency quilt design workshop at QuiltCon in Nashville on Sunday, February 24, 2019. I am very excited about the class and keep having dreams for new ways to present the information and get participants engaged and interacting during the class. I really can’t wait to spend time in the classroom with other modern quilters talking about a topic that makes me so passionately excited.
My favorite part about teaching is getting the opportunity to be around other quilters. To be honest, I spend a lot of time alone doing my own thing, and it is really refreshing and energizing to be around other quilters! I also love seeing how others can translate an idea and make it their own.