In every blog post that I share a collection with you all, I always encourage people to tag their makes on Instagram with us so we can see it! There is nothing more exciting for us than to see all you talented people create beautiful things with our fabrics. And how can we not share the love?! We dedicate our Mondays to shine a spotlight on those that tag their makes on Instagram using the hashtag, so we can see them and we couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that participates. Not only do you inspire us, but you also inspire everyone in the sewing community!
With that, I’m thrilled to introduce our first #AGFMAKERSSPOTLIGHT feature to you, “Elizabeth Bolten”! She is an incredible quilter that keeps pushing the boundaries of modern quilting, and we can’t help to be swooned by the AGF quilts she has shared with us. It’s been a pleasure getting to know the person behind these photos, and I can’t wait for all of you to get to know her a little better and hear her story!
Hi Elizabeth! Congratulations on being our first "AGF Maker Spotlight" feature! Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into quilting?
Thanks so much for having me, it’s an honor! Oh gosh, I grew up with a grandma who was an avid seamstress/quilter her entire life who passed that onto me, and a mom who is an artist. Creativity has always been encouraged and nurtured in our family. I inhaled every art class and medium as a kid/teen and that continued into college. I’m (quite a bit) older now and that still hasn’t changed though I have settled into quilting on a daily basis. I love designing projects and then seeing them come to life. Having a creative outlet is so important.
What are you inspired by?
Every form of Art. Nature. My kids & husband. The unexpected. Life. I’m so glad we live in the digital age where it’s so easy to capture ideas the moment they happen, take photos of what inspires us, communicate, and create in real-time. It’s amazing to think how difficult it must have been before technology when everything wasn’t truly at our fingertips.
Describe your design style in three words.
This is a hard one. Hmmm... Artful. Timeless. Innovative.
Why sew with Art Gallery Fabrics?
I love this question because I’m smitten. I started out using fabrics from all of the manufacturers, there are just so many to choose from you know? After making several projects I quickly realized AGF stood out from the rest. AGF is so consistent with unique, elegant, and artistic designs, I think that is what first caught my attention. And then... you really can feel the difference and that MATTERS. Every project we make with fabric we touch, use, hold, snuggle up with, so yes that super soft OEKO-TEX certified poplin cotton? It matters! AGF does not fray and this is such a big one for me. The first time I made a quilt top using only AGF I stood there, looking at the back of it dumbfounded, there was literally no-fray! That was the first time I’d experienced that, usually I'd have to trim the "hairs'' on my quilt tops and I don’t miss that at all. I can use all of AGF’s dark colors with confidence that they will not bleed. I used their PURE Solids in “Candied Cherry '' as a background last fall and so many people DM'd me really concerned about my quilt bleeding... I was reassuring everyone for weeks! But I get it, red, dark colors, they bleed with most manufacturers so it can be scary to trust that they won’t. I even tested it once, putting Candied Cherry in scalding water, then got sidetracked and forgot all about it... all day. I came back to it in the evening and the water was still clear. AGF also doesn’t shrink, having experienced how much shrinkage happens with some manufacturers, I’m always happy to know that AGF fabrics don’t and that means my projects stay the size they are meant to be without me having to prewash. AGF PURE Solids are vivid, beautiful hues, shades, and tints... they absolutely sing in projects. Last summer, I started using AGF exclusively for all of these reasons, it’s hard to use anything else now. Since switching to and carrying AGF in our shop I have had the pleasure of connecting with many of the AGF crew who are always amazing to work with, and that is the icing on one very delicious cake.
How do you stay motivated with your sewing projects?
I plan out every project before I begin, sometimes in my head, sometimes on "paper", from start to finish. What design elements I’m after, what palette of colors, prints, and textures will best bring the idea to life, what the pattern should look like, if its a quilt what FMQ or panto design will best speak to the overall aesthetic, where the finished quilt should be photographed, and the meaning/feeling I’d like it to evoke. I keep making revisions until I’m level 10 excited about it, then I can't wait to get started and that energy stays until it’s complete. I’ve learned not to start anything that I’m not level 10 about because those... well, they never get finished!
Any words of advice to those new to quilting or who are interested in starting?
Best advice: 1. Learn the basics but don’t ever feel like there is only one right way to something. The right way is whatever way works best for YOU and that is different for each of us. It’s ok if what/how you do things is different than others. Honestly, in a social media world where there is so much sameness, it’s better. Lean into YOU and enjoy every moment without worry that you aren’t doing it right. You are. 2. Enjoy the process of learning and keep pushing your boundaries every time you start to get comfortable. 3. Know what inspires you and create from that place. Try not to get pulled into the influence of what is trending (it’s hard!). This community needs your unique perspective, and creativity can’t thrive when following.
What’s next on your sewing list?
Ahhh... I mean, what isn’t?! I have new design ideas spilling out for all of these new collections AND I equally love playing with the AGF book of existing prints. It really is the very best playground!
5 things you can’t live without.
Family. Daily creative time. Being outdoors/traveling/camping. Differing perspectives. Plants. COFFEE. Good food. That is more than 5, isn’t it...
Where can other makers find your work?
Come hang out!
Thank you so much Elizabeth for allowing us to share your story and your beautiful makes! Please show some love in the comments below and make sure you follow her on Instagram for more quilty goodness. To everyone who has been posting under the hashtag, THANK YOU!
Until next time,