As a child, I lived along Route 66, about 40 miles outside of Chicago. The town, about 5 miles away from home was Lemont, Illinois. My mom raised chickens, and sold eggs to passers by. She also had two rug weaving looms, and all our old clothes went into the rugs she sold, plus neighbors brought their old clothes to be made into rag rugs. I learned to sew on a treadle machine at about the age of 5, sewing the strips of fabric together for the rugs. Of course, we also had feed bag material from feeding all those chickens. But, that was used for house dresses, and aprons, mostly. As I got older I was allowed to make some doll clothes, and then my own clothes. My mom also taught me how to crochet, but I never really enjoyed it.
Although my work always consisted of math, numbers, accounting, and the like, I was a creative soul. Over the years I have tried painting, needlepoint, knitting, cross stitch, beading, t-shirt design, and photography. I did photography professionally for a few years. Next came computers, and the graphic design and typesetting programs. Rather than doing the creative design with the machines, I wound up teaching graphic artists how to use the PC.
My husband and I moved to Green Valley, AZ in 2004, and in 2005 the Valley Quilters Guild was formed. I have been a member since the beginning. I also have profound hearing loss, so most of my learning is by book, or one on one instruction. Fortunately, a book is my best way to learn, as I can go back and read the instruction as often as I like. Video classes are a waste to me, as I only hear half, and they all seem drawn out to fill a certain amount of time, or teach little for the time involved.
I tend to buy fabric for a project, but it winds up in my stash, until I get to it, sometimes 10 years later, and for something entirely different than I intended. Right now, I pulled some old fabric for charity quilts, because the reason I bought the fabric no longer exists. I guess this is what happens when you have been quilting for 16 years. My favorite style of quilting is some piecing, but mostly appliqué that is by machine. Sarah Vedeler is my all time favorite designer.
My quilt Stars of Freedom won Best Piecing award in Paducah at the Giving Quilt Challenge sponsored by Island Batiks. The AZ Hall of fame award is for my quilt Stars over the Valley, a Sarah Vedeler design, which hung at AQS, Albuquerque. Several of my quilts have won awards at our local guild quilt show.
I make most of my quilts from designer’s patterns, because I see so many I love. Beside Stars of Freedom, I do have another quilt I designed. Christmas Wreath was made using the AccuQuilt cutter, with Sarah Vedeler’s Feather border die. I also taught a workshop for our guild members to make this quilt. The den of my home is my studio, but sewing supplies are spilling out into several other rooms.
Cheryl Walker Gallery