Why Quilts Matter –
Question and Answer with Angela Walters
Have you seen the June/July issue of Quilters Newsletter? If you have, you probably recognize the free motion quilting handiwork of Angela Walters. As popular teacher and fabric designer, Angela didn’t start out quilting. Rather, she arrived at it through her love of sketching.
“For as long as I can remember I have always loved to draw. Nothing is more exciting than the unlimited possibilities of an empty notepad and a brand new pencil. In order to practice new quilting designs, I would draw them over and over again, filling sketch book after sketch book with different designs.” We caught up with Angela just before she left for Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon, and asked her about how she sees herself and the future of quilting.
When making a quilt, do you see yourself as a “quilt maker,” a “seamstress,” a “quilter,” or an “artist”?
I would call myself a quilter for sure! I think that we are all “artists” since I think that any quilt is a work of art, but first and foremost I think of myself as a quilter. I really don’t take myself, or my quilting for that matter, too seriously. I just want to jump in, have fun and then move onto the next quilt. Once I start considering the “art” behind it, I almost get a little freaked out. I also wouldn’t consider myself a seamstress because I am not the best at sewing – I would much rather be quilting!
For quilting to remain an important and viable movement it needs to keep adding young people to its numbers. How can the quilt world attract young people?
This is so very important to me. My grandpa taught me how to quilt and really fostered my love for it. He was so very patient and encouraging. I think that to entice other younger quilters we need to do the same. Be encouraging, no matter what kind of quilts they are making. This is even more important now that blogs, websites and social media are a big part of this industry. Taste is so subjective, what one person likes another might not. What a quilt looks like isn’t the most important thing. The fact that they are quilting is the most important thing. I think back to the day I asked my Grandpa to show me how to make a quilt. He could have told me that I had to make a certain quilt, or use fabric that he liked, but he didn’t. I made quilts that he didn’t necessarily like, but he loved that we were quilting together. The same needs to be true for this movement.
What is next for you?
I am so thrilled to get to be a part of this industry! I really enjoy teaching and plan to continue doing so. I am finishing work on my next fabric line with Art Gallery Fabrics, Textures, which will debut very soon. The future definitely holds some interesting things for me!
More about Angela
Angela has a busy teaching schedule, appearing at QuiltCon, Road to California and MQX West. She lives with her husband and three children in Kansas City, Missouri. Learn more about Angela’s mastery of free motion quilting by viewing ten videos she recently finished for American Patchwork and Quilting, and on the Craftsy website. Her books, In the Studio with Angela Walters and Free Motion Quilting, along with her blog and many other how-to videos and tutorials can be found on her website, Quilting is My Therapy. Follow Angela on Twitter @AngelaFMQ.