Name and where you’re from:
I am Mary Groesbeck. I am from Louisiana (just the first 20 years). Does that make me sound old? I now have two homes. We live in Las Vegas on school days and in a 120-year old farm in Minnesota the rest of the time. No website, store, or anywhere else (except I like to put my photos on my facebook).
How long have you been paper piecing and/or quilting?
I made my first quilt in high school (a very large cathedral window made entirely by hand). I first paper-pieced about 12 years ago, and havemade entire queen-size quilts from paper-piecing, but nothing like the HP one I’m working on.
What do you use own your block designs for?
I am making two (yes, two) identical king-size quilts for my daughters. BTW, nobody tell my youngest that there are Twilight squares! Some are my own design, most are from sewhooked, and some are appliqued. I put my daughters on the Hogwart’s Express with Harry, and each quilt with have the initials “HP” along with my daughter’s initials.
When did you start designing?
Although I have designed quilts before, I never “designed” my own paper-pieced pattern until a few weeks ago. I have done really diverse paper-piecing, from large pictorials with tiny pieces to very simply blocks. But, Jennifer’s tutorial inspired me, and I thought, “I have a coloring book site, I have Photoshop, why not?” BTW, I am a digital scrapbooker also, so Photoshop comes naturally.
Was there a particular inspiration to draw your first pattern? Do you remember what your first design was? Do you have a favorite among your own designs?
My first paper-pieced design was the Engine of the Hogwart’s Express. Then the passenger car. Then Crookshanks. I’m on a roll now. My favorite so far is Crookshanks, mainly because I’m really a cat person.
How has the online community changed the way you craft/quilt/design, etc.?
I have one hour to myself every morning. I either quilt or scrap. Since I joined this community [Harry Potter Paper Piecing], I haven’t made ONE page for my scrapbook! My goal is either one page for the scrapbook or one quilt square per day.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I do have a full-time job, second to being a mom. If I could just quilt all day, I would be in heaven. I have a husband (21 years) and two daughters (16 and 13), who both play competitive volleyball and hope to be in the olympics (preferably before I die or run out of training money). I have a long-arm quilting machine at the farm that I’ve practiced on but never really had to guts to use–but still believe I will any day now.
I love the feeling of creating something. I very seldom just make something as designed. I like adding my personal touch (often so subtle that no one notices). For instance, on my Hedwig, the white-on-white fabric for her wings has a snowflake pattern–because she’s a snow owl. This makes me happy, even if no on else knows. My knight bus has tractor wheels….to bring a little of the farm to it….just for fun, not because a knight bus particularly needs tractor wheels.
Watch for more of Mary’s designs on sewhooked!