"I can't remember a time when fiber was not an important part of my life. I loved school but loved knitting, embroidery and sewing more. My Mom had a knitting group that met every other week at our house while I was at school. On those days I would become mysteriously ill, but was still sent off to school proclaiming I would surely die. Once I gave an Academy Award performance and was allowed to stay home. It was a good day.
I completed college earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, but with moving to our first house, creativity once again took center stage. Our 1840 New England farmhouse had 46 windows which needed curtains. I was in heaven. Braiding rugs was the next task. Furniture for our home was purchased at antique auctions. At one auction, I had the highest bid and took home a spinning wheel. It was another good day. A great day was when three little lambs came to stay. Not the most cost effective way to knit socks, hats, and mittens for everyone.
When my daughter was born it was obvious to me that a quilt had to be made. Off to the bookstore where at that time there was only one book on the subject of quiltmaking. There weren't any rotary cutters, rulers, or even quilt shops so I taught myself. The quilt was finished in time for Killeen's debut. It was the best day.
Three years after her birth the first quilt shop in our area opened and my quilt teaching career began. Five years later I opened my own shop. Over the years I've enjoyed making competition quilts. Competing led to the development of my "stencilscapes" technique. Painting has been the best teacher of color. It's been the foundation which opened the door for me to create two thread collections which are sold internationally. The marketing of these thread collections took me to Quilt Market in Houston, where Anna Fishkin with Red Rooster Fabrics noticed my work. This led to my first fabric line, Happily Ever After. It was a very good day.
Being a fabric designer is the newest chapter of my creative career. I’m still discovering how to turn an idea into a collection of fabrics. When I received the assignment of creating a Halloween group for my third collection, it was a dream come true. I love Halloween! But, where do you start? What hasn’t already been done? How original will it be? So, I created a fictitious place called Haunted Hallow. But who lives there?
May I introduce you to the residents of Haunted Hallow. Meet Ruby, the head witch and her favorite cat, Noon. Noon’s best friend is Squeak, the mouse, who hates his name and wants to change it to Scream. Then, there’s Boo, a ghost who fears nothing except mice. Completing the cast is Vincent vanCrow, a most intelligent bird. One of the fabrics from the group depicts all of the characters flying on brooms in celebration of Halloween. So, now that you’ve met them, please get to know them!
Stitchery patterns for Ruby, Noon, Squeak, Boo and Vincent vanCrow may be ordered from Jackie (603-882-9803) or a quilt shop near you. Stitch up a project and add borders made with Haunted Hallow fabric.
About Jackie's stencilscape classes and teaching schedule…
"The technique of "stencilscape" quilt painting is my brainchild. The process uses freezer paper and Paintstiks®, which are oil paints in stick form, to create a landscape from a master stencil.
Students work from a selected design. The design is traced onto freezer paper, numbered, cut apart with an X-ACTO knife, and reformed by ironing it in place on fabric. Pieces are then peeled and painted in the numbered order. The painting is completed in class. A pattern for pieced and appliquéd borders is provided.
I've taught from Maine to Houston in shops and for quilt guilds. Students now number nearly 6000. The Happily Ever After panel was painted using this technique. I am now booking workshops for 2009 and 2010."