Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother and mother sewing. My grandmother was an early twentieth century entrepreneur with her home sewing cottage industry. During frequent visits to her house in Ohio I would watch her create the most amazing clothes, formal wear, wedding dresses, school majorette outfits and more. She would give me her scraps from which I created doll clothes, decorations for doll houses, and then personal accessories like purses. I started sewing clothes as soon as I could operate a sewing machine.

Sharon KoppelSince retirement in 2010 from a career in management I have been exploring contemporary quilting. I live in central Pennsylvania where traditional quilting reigns but I knew my creative interests were different. The lines, curves, and colors of contemporary wall quilts excite me. Rarely is one piece in a quilt the same as another. Often the quilt takes shape on my design wall as pieces are sewn together and the creative process unfolds. I am self taught but have many exquisite quilts from my mother from which to learn. I experiment with design, composition, and colors in all shades and hues but find myself gravitating to bright colors and modern fabric patterns and designs. The machine quilting can be a more traditional stippling but it can also be very “free” motion, something fun and unpredictable. I don’t draw any quilt lines before sewing, rather I sit down at my machine and create as I go.

I awake each day filled with ideas and possibilities for new quilts, eager to start cutting, designing, and sewing. Sometimes ideas work and sometimes they don’t! But the journey is more fun than I ever could have imagined.