January 14, 2016

Collaborator Spotlight: Janice Roy

Janice Roy is my special guest on the Drawing Board today. Janice is a talented (and local!) sewist who did the marvelous quilting work on the two quilts featuring my Aria collection for Moda Fabrics, shown in my last two posts – on Tina Egner and Crystal Stanworth.
Janice has some great family lore and photos to share with you today, so take it away Janice!

I come from a very creative family. Early in my life I developed a love for needle arts. My grandmother would inspire me through her endless knit, crochet, tat, needlepoint, and braided rug projects. Given fiber in any state, my grandmother could create something from it. My mother taught me to use her sewing machine to sew clothes and to create many home decorating projects. When I was around age 10 I became fascinated with crewel embroidery.

Here's the quilt that we entered into the 2015 Nine Patch Challenge at the National Quilt Museum
Although our quilt did not make it to the finalist stage, our quilt did earn 3rd place at the Vermont Quilt Festival last summer. The top was designed and sewn by Janice Averill. The quilting was designed and stitched by me.

My interest in quilting developed in my twenties. I loved the mix of colors, prints and the endless quilt designs I would see in magazines. However, I waited to take a beginner quilting class after my 2 boys were old enough to be more independent. Once I started to quilt, I WAS HOOKED! I would sew every evening after my boys went to sleep. I found quilting very relaxing and redirected my mind from weekly work issues. I love all stages of quilting – planning the design, fabric selection, cutting and organizing the parts, sewing and assembling the top, the quilting and even the binding that I prefer to do by hand. Over the years I have taken classes in all types of techniques and love to learn new ways to create quilts. My friends and I even did quite a bit of fabric dying in my basement. Every load of fabrics we would get out of the dryer after a day of dying was just like opening a Christmas present! We loved the explosion of colors and designs we could invent!
Hoffman Challenge 2014. Top designed and sewn by Janice Averill, quilting designed and stitched by Janice Roy
In 2002, as both my husband and I faced losing our corporate jobs, we decided to open a quilting business. We ran a large quilting studio for 7 years and purchased 3 Gammill Optimum quilting machines. We named them Ying, Yang, and Jung. We provided a drop off and pick up service at 6 area quilt shops and would rent time to people on our machines. When the financial crisis hit in 2009, we decided to close the large studio and sold off 2 of our machines. I kept Yang who has become my best friend since. I learn something new with Yang every day. The versatility of a system that can be computer and hand driven affords me endless finishing flexibility. My husband is very talented at digitizing designs and so we work together to create patterns for the quilts that I work on. One of our first customers was Denyse Schmidt of Denyse Schmidt Quilts. It has been my pleasure to provide my machine quilting and binding services to Denyse more than 10 years. Many of her quilts have been featured in magazines and shown in many museums – including the National Quilt Museum!

I especially enjoy the opportunity to quilt pieces for others. I see many different quilts made with many different techniques and get to fondle fabric every day. My life is filled with color, design and the beaming faces of my clients when they see their quilt finished. What a life for a self-confessed fabri-holic and thread junky!

The quilt above is our National Quilt Museum entry for the Carolina Lily challenge.  Titled "Zen Lillies." The top was designed and assembled by my friend Janice Averill.  Quilting designed and sewn by me.

Thanks for stopping by to learn more about these wonderful women. It's such a pleasure to work with people who expand and strengthen the heart of the quilting community.

Have a beautiful day!

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