Friday, July 1, 2011

Let's Meet the Lovely Laura Coons!

Ready to get to know a little bit more about AST's sweetheart and bundle queen, Laura Coons? Well, then, read on!
This is the place you can usually find her when she comes to the shop- in front of the bundle quad! Every single one of those bundles is full of potential and Laura has a way of seeing beyond that tidy little packet to a new and beautiful quilt!

When did you learn to sew and who taught you?
Though I learned to sew when I was younger, I didn't really take to it at first. I remember making a round pillow in Home Economics in Middle School, but I never made any clothes. I did watch my Mom sometimes when she would sew clothes, so I guess you could say I learned from my Mom and my Home Ec teacher.

All Squared- Laura's first bundle pattern!

How long have you been quilting?

I have been quilting for three years now. My Mom had been trying to convince me for several years before that, and I finally gave in and, I love it! Mom has been a great teacher... always giving me pointers and advice. It's great to share a hobby with her. I love piecing tops, and I'm looking forward to improving on the actual quilting part!

 How long have you been designing your own quilts?

I have been designing quilts for about a year and a half. I first started out with graph paper and colored pencils, and quickly became frustrated with the amount of time it took. Also, I wasn't able to modify the block once it was down. So, about a year ago, I purchased EQ7 (the Electric Quilt software), and my designing took off! The software is truly amazing, and I keep finding new features on it every week.

Stars and Stripes- perfect for the your Independence Day picnic!

From where does your inspiration come?

Well, firstly, I must give credit to God. He has blessed me with so much and I truly believe some of the inspiration comes directly from Him. I also get inspired by the fabrics and quilts that I see in stores and magazines. I always have to put my spin on it, though, which I guess could be good or bad. I took Mary's Stashbuster's class, and while I did use the technique she taught, I ended up rearranging the little pieces into something uniquely different! That's just who I am, and I'm thankful Mary was okay with it.

The back of stars and Stripes. A clever use of two bundles makes this quilt back as beautiful as the front!

 What part of the process do you most enjoy?

I love seeing a design come together after several modifications. I'm also a math geek, so I really love trying to work either five yards (i.e. the bundle) or forty strips (i.e the jelly roll) of fabric into one quilt top. It's challenging at times, but seeing the design come to life as I piece the top is truly rewarding.

Do you envision a color/fabric scheme before you start a design or do you
wait to see how it evolves?

I wait and see how it evolves on most quilts. All Square has gone through several color schemes. But that's what great about the EQ7 software. You can import fabric swatches from the manufacturer's websites and plug it right into your quilt. So, for any one quilt pattern, I can literally test a dozen different lines of fabric.

XOXO- the second bundle pattern in the series. Yes, I said series!

You're a busy mom of three children, how do you find the time to create?

I have a great family, and they know that sometimes Mom needs to sew. My husband is just the best, and he occasionally gives me the time I need by taking the kids on hikes and adventures. But also, I'm the type of person that lives by the expression, "Early to bed, early to rise, make a person healthy, wealthy, and wise." I'm usually in bed by 9:30, so I wake up each day by 5:30 A.M. Most of my best designs come together before the kids wake up!

Into the Garden- a pattern and quilt designed exclusively for Laura's mom from one of our bundles!

We know (and love!) that you design the new bundle quilt patterns at AST.
Do you have other patterns available and where can we buy them?

I do have other five-yard patterns, and they are available on my Etsy website:

I am also branching out into Jelly Roll patterns. I have entered two into a competition, and if they don't make the final selection this month, I will make those available as well!

Do you have any other hidden talents? 

 I play piano and I was a gymnast growing up!

There you have it! Everything you need to know about Laura and her fabulous designs! Thank you so much, Laura, for taking time to answer a few questions for us and giving us a peek into your creative world!

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