In the world of modern quilting online, Andres Rosales seems like he’s everywhere. The dude is a constant presence on Instagram (you might recall the whole #notgoingtomarket festivities: his idea), and he serves as a moderator on the MQG forums. Currently the president of the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild, he started sewing in freaking 2012 and now he makes stuff like this:
Yeah. His composition, color choices, improv skills, and general quilting mojo just make the rest of us look bad. Luckily, Andres was nice enough to share some of his inspiration and story with us! We just can’t stay mad at him.
What’s your sewing story? How did you get started?
My roommate, Maureen, is a long-time quilter. She is my first and most influential teacher and has taught me everything I know about quilting. In January of 2012 she, along with the owner of one of our local fabric shops, decided to start a branch of the Modern Quilt Guild. We attended the January meeting of the Los Angeles MQG and, shortly afterwards, founded the Ventura chapter. I was on the board of our guild before I started sewing. I was attracted to the modern quilt aesthetic and in May of that year I decided to try my hand at quilting. Two years later I’m the president of our guild. I consider myself a confident beginner quilter.
What is your quilting style? What types of fabrics, techniques, and designs do you find yourself gravitating toward, and where do you find your inspiration?
I’d like to consider myself a modern quilter. Currently my quilts are heavily improvisational but I’d like to move away from that towards more planned-out designs. I don’t (currently) use patterns. All my quilts are, for better or worse, all mine. I use solid colors almost exclusively. I like the look of solid fabrics and I find them easier to use than prints.
I find inspiration all around me. Like a lot of modern quilters, I’m an admirer of modern/pop/minimalism/graphic design art. This isn’t the most original answer ever but I’d say the work of Josef Albers is highly influential to me. I have Bill Kerr to thank for suggesting looking at Mr. Albers’ work.
Who are some other quilters that you admire?
I’m lucky that I get to attend quilt guild meetings with two quilters I admire: Alissa Haight Carlton and Latifah Saafir. They both make quilts that blow me away. The full list of quilters whose work I admire is waaay too long.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out in quilting or sewing, what would it be?
Take your time. Quilting should be enjoyable, not a rat race. Leave the shortcuts and time-saving techniques for later.
What project of yours are you most proud of?
My first quilt. It’s light-years from perfect, but the project went from ‘I should make a few more blocks like this one’ to ‘you need to finish this quilt and it will be displayed at a quilt show’. The day after I finished it, I handed over my first attempt at top-piecing, basting, quilting, and binding to be displayed next to quilts by people that had been quilting for longer than I’ve been alive. I also got to hear my first critique: apparently it was too ‘harsh-looking’.
How many times have you sewn through your finger?
None yet! I have nicked my knuckle and cut into my fingertip (the nail stopped it) with a rotary cutter.