Quilter: Jessica Prosper-Bohannon, of Euphoria Jessica fame
Location: Portland, Oregon
Nickname: The Fastest Needle in the West
I met Jessica at Sewdown Portland, which, thank the Lord, was not a sewing race. If it had been, Jessica would have left the rest of us in the dust. We were trudging along to make an intricate block or a mini-quilt top, most of us about halfway there… and then we’d look over at Jessica. And she was DONE. Done, and putting the binding on her Marcelle Medallion, which she’d probably just whipped up the week before. And we would shake our fists at her and yell, “DARN YOU, JESSICA!” and then we’d all go drink afterwards, because that’s how we roll in the MQG.
But anyway, Jessica is gracious enough to share her quilting story with us, and we’re happy to have her on RST. Be sure to check the link at the end — Jessica’s got a giveaway she’s running on her blog!
What is your sewing story, and who was your first teacher?
So simple, really! My mother is mega crafty. She sewed my clothes, drawing, painting…you name it, my mom could do it. When I was preggo with my little one back in 2004 I really wanted to make something for her. I tried to knit/crochet a blanket and it was a HOT MESS! So, Mom and I took a quilt class at church. Those little old ladies were amazing. I tried it, and it stuck! Every single year, my now 10-year-old kiddo gets a brand new quilt from her momma! And to this day I cannot (for the life of me) knit or crochet!
What quilting styles do you love to use?
I once quilted because it was a new hobby. Grab a fabric line, pick a pattern, and boom: done! Today, I really enjoy and take pride in my eye for scrappiness. I freaking LOVE grabbing various fabric lines and mixing them like crazy to create something lovely. Scrappy, funky and bold! I very much enjoy incorporating black into my quilts. I see it more and more nowadays, and it makes such a bold statement. And, if you can really pull it off with various lines and colors, let the angels sing!
Where do you find inspiration for your quilt designs?
Inspiration is everywhere, all around us! You just have to stop and look. Have you ever gone shopping and need to run to the restroom? Look at the floor. Hexagons, patterns—they’re on every restroom floor ever! Or outside, the way the wooden fence beams line up and create a shape and pattern.
My favorite inspiration is a single word. Take a word, any word, and just ponder on that. What does it mean? Does the meaning of the word take a shape, and does the shape of the word give you a color or colors? Going from a single word to design is the best. It goes from “I need to buy eggs on the way home” all the way to “Yolks are yummy. Yellow is bright. The sun is hot. Geez, it’s hot today. Look at the trees; there’s no breeze today. Low volume is the sky. Now a splash of yellow color. I wish it was cooler… coolness, blues, no breeze means greens, florals…” and you just go on until you have the best design and inspiration from freaking eggs!
Who are some other quilters that you admire?
There are seriously so many amazing and talented quilters out there! The simplicity of Heather Jones, the wonderfully easy-to-read patterns of Julie Herman, the piecing of Jen Kingwell…too many to choose from!
Which of your projects makes you the most proud?
I’m most proud of my Heather Ross/Munki Munki Marcelle Medallion quilt. It’s awesome! It took forever [Ed: BULLSHIT.] and those darn fussy cuts killed me! It’s beautiful (tooting my own horn here, is that allowed?) and I used almost every single bit of my HR/Munki collection! It was raffled on Instagram to raise money for Courage House, a wonderful cause that my dear sweet friends allowed me to be a part of. It was true blessing to use my talents for something so wonderful.
Thanks so much Jessica — and great news! Jessica is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her RST appearance on her awesome blog, Euphoria Jessica. Be sure to also follow her on Instagram!