Today I get to share with you the delightful Krista aka Poppyprint who lives far away in Canada! lol She’s led such a fascinating life and is now an equally fascinating quilter! She does have an aversion to country music but doesn’t hold that against her. 😉 I think country music can get to all of us sometimes. So come ride the Krista train and see all the beautiful things that she makes.
I’m Krista. I used to be a geologist and environmental studies coordinator, but now I’m very happy to call myself a quilter. Even though a lot of my friends think that means I knit sweaters. I live with my amazingly supportive husband, two young teenagers, and one obnoxious wiener dog. Aside from quilting, running a day-retreat business, teaching a workshop or two each year, belonging to two guilds, blogging, and occasionally making dinner before 6:00 p.m., I also love photography and have happily returned to cycling on a shiny new road bike!
Where in the World are You?
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
How long have you been sewing/quilting? How did you become interested in quilting?
I started quilting ten years ago after my second child was born. Our new house didn’t have space for woodwork (which I had started when our first child was born a couple of years earlier) and the local village had a lovely quilt shop that I couldn’t stay away from. I succumbed to my love of fabric and signed up for a row by row class that claimed it was suitable for a confident beginner. While I have never looked back, I have never finished that first quilt, either.
Is quilting common in your area or are you a lone crafter?
Super common! The largest community guild wavers from 150 to 200 members, depending on the year and there are 2 smaller guilds that meet in the daytime that each has 50 members. Sadly, three local quilt shops have had to close in the last 5 years. They have been replaced by one new one, though.
Do you find it difficult to get quilting supplies and fabric in your area?
Not at all. The letter carrier knows my address and several online stores know my Visa number. Plus, as I mentioned, there is a local shop as well as two more downtown. Typically I am not patient enough to wait for the latest lines to make it across the border into Canada, so I shop online. I appreciate being able to color match a particular fabric in person once in a while, though. Because I ended up working at the LQS where it all began, I was exposed to a lot of notions, threads, books, and patterns, so generally, I know what I’m looking for and can find it online. I also love to shop merchant malls at quilt shows and there are plenty of those in B.C. annually!
What designer/designs are you exposed to the most as a result of living where you do?
The majority of quilt work being done here is still traditional. I would say that 80% of the quilts I see at shows around my province would fall into the traditional category, 10% art, and maybe another 10% what the online community would consider modern. For many traditional quilters here, batiks are still considered ‘modern and different, which is quite a different view from the online blogging/Flickr community that I participate in. Due to import costs and lag time, we don’t get exposed to a lot of the designer fabric that you find online. With our dollar at parity (and some days even worth more than the U.S. dollar), I’m hopeful that more shops will bring in designer goods and realize a market for them. I am exposed to various designers and designs online at the blogs I visit.
What is your favorite part about the international nature of the online quilting community?
New friends! That is exactly the reason I wanted to start blogging. I would read blogs about swapping with friends or meeting up with friends, or admiring friends’ work and I thought, hey, I want to be a part of that community! I have a massive quilting circle of friends here mostly due to my involvement in guilds and my retreat business. However, I love to travel and have a great interest in knowing people around the world. It’s tough to do all the traveling we’d like to with a family, so meeting bloggers from around the world helps satisfy my wanderlust and keeps me hopeful that one day I might meet some of these amazing quilters in person (and hopefully crash on their couch).
How good are you at filling out customs forms for the postal service?
I rock it. I have a stack right here beside my laptop so I am fully prepared when I get to the P.O. I cannot tell you how much I’ve spent on postage in the last two years. I did 15 swaps in 2010 and not one was with a fellow Canadian. I also have regular giveaways on my blog that are invariably won by people in Australia, Turkey, or England! It’s a small price to pay for the fabulous things I get in return, but it always stings a bit when I see how little postage is in the U.S. by comparison. I have been known to take a little road trip across the border to take advantage of the USPS.
If you could own any fabric at all in the world, what would it be?
Honestly, I can’t answer this question. I have such wide-ranging tastes in fabric, but I covet nothing in particular.
What sewing machine do you own? Do you love it or hate it?!
I have three. My day-to-day machine is a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 that I love some days and hate on others. Free motion quilting is a challenge with this machine at times. That’s ironic because I specifically bought it for the huge harp and resulting space so that I could free-motion quilt my own quilts! I also have a Pfaff 1212 and a Featherweight, both of which belonged to my late Mother in Law. I love both of those machines.
What does a typical sewing session look like for you?
30 minutes of sewing, followed by 2 hours on the laptop! I am terrible. My sewing productivity has really gone down since I started blogging and I hear that a lot from other quilt bloggers, too! I get a lot done on retreats, though.
Anything else that you want the world to know about you?
My family and I really want to visit France next summer and do so on a house exchange. If you or any of your friends live in France and want to spend some time in Vancouver next summer at our home, while we eat croissants in your home, let me know!