Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spotlight on.... ANNA!

Happy summer fellow quilters!! And boy, have I got some spectacular bright and cheery photos for you - just in time to celebrate the lovely weather we're having here in the Philadelphia area. Read on to learn more about fellow PMQG member, Anna! But don't say I didn't warn you - the color combos in the following photos are prone to make any quilter drool. Enjoy!

• Tell me a bit about yourself: name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.

My name is Anna Levengood and I live in East Coventry, PA, which is in Northeastern Chester County. I live with my husband Mark and my two sons David (4.5 years old) and Noah (2 years old) and our dog Nelly. I’m originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved here after we got married nine years ago.

• What do you do (employment or for fun)?

I work at a computer software company that does electronic data collection for pharmaceutical companies performing clinical trials. Our office is in Audubon, PA. My job is fairly demanding, so with that, taking care of two boys, and attempting to keep my house in some semblance of order…I find I have less time than I would like for my crafty pursuits!

• How did you get started quilting?

When I was pregnant with David, I wanted to make a quilt for him (although I didn’t know that he was a boy at that time!) This is when I made my first quilt. After I had Noah is when I really started to get into quilting. It started as a passion/obsession with collecting fabrics.

• Did you ever take quilting lessons from someone?

I took a free motion quilting class at one of my local quilt stores (Chester County Quilting in Phoenixville)

• What do you like best about quilting?

I have a strong need to express myself through creativity, which of course, quilting provides an outlet which satisfies this. I love to learn more about colors and color values, which stretches my comfort zone. I tend to gravitate towards colors of the same value.

• What is the hardest thing about quilting?

Quilting on a regular sewing machine. I have never had a long arm quilter do any of my quilts, but I am looking into it because I am getting a backlog on my projects.

• How do you decide what pattern to make?

Whatever has caught my eye! I love looking at and buying patterns and magazines, though I never have enough time to make all of them.

• Where do you do your work? Do you have a quilting room?

I have a quilting room, which is fairly small. Until this past fall, I had taken over the entire basement but when we decided to finish the basement, I had to move so we could do the construction. I find it much more difficult to work in a confined space as I tend to pull everything out when working on a project. I have to confess that I moved my sons to share a bedroom in order to have my own quilting space... :)

• How much time do you quilt during an average week?

Only a few hours. That pesky job gets in the way.

• How do you choose your colors? What are your favorites?

I love reds, pinks, and aquas. Looking at my stash, you can see what I gravitate towards. I am currently making a conscious effort to choose lighter and darker colors to add depth to my projects.

• Where do you buy your fabrics and materials? Is there any particular supply you’re partial to?

Hmmm…lots of places. Local stores: Chester County Quilting (Phoenixville), Generations (Pottstown) and Steve’s Vac and Sew (King of Prussia). Online, I like Pink Chalk Fabrics, Twiddletails, Hancocks of Paducah. (Nicole's Note: I included links to the shops where available!)

• What quilt(s) are you working on now?

Too many…2 scrappy nine patches for my boys, a coin quilt, twiddletails flying geese (2 – one in Christmas, one in a rainbow), a few more that I can’t ever remember!

• Do you make up your designs?

Some. Despite my addiction to patterns and magazines, I rarely follow a pattern.

• What other crafts do you indulge in or hope to learn?

Scrapbooking, Knitting, Sewing, Beading

• What are your quilting related goals?

Before starting another different quilt, finish 4 in progress quilts, even if that means paying someone else to do the quilting. :)

• What do you consider your greatest quilting related

After Noah was born, I suffered from severe postpartum depression. The first quilt I finished after my diagnosis was my greatest achievement, not because of the complexity of the quilt, but because of what symbolized to me.

• What is your motto?

I don’t have an official life motto, but right now the phrase that sticks in my head is from my son’s preschool teacher: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset about it.” I think it applies to so many things besides what sticker your teacher is handing out.

That is one great motto :) Thanks so much, Anna, for chatting with me! I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my emails and answer all my questions. And thanks to you for reading!

Questions, comments, suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

Brought to you by refreshing iced tea with lemon and Nicole Bruno


  1. Had to smile when I got to the part that proves she's a die-hard quilter: her quilting space was in the basement BEFORE they decided to finish it! Now that's dedication! --- Sabra

  2. Anna, I am loving that orange quilt up top, and can't wait to see pics of the in-progress zig zag once it's finished. Thanks, Nicole, for another interesting spotlight!

  3. You're welcome! It's great to learn about other quilters so I'm glad everyone's enjoying the interviews!!

  4. Hey Anna,
    It has been a treat reading your interview and looking at these gorgeous quilts! I love your fabric choices.
    Nicole, it is nice to get to know local quilters through these posts. Thank you!

  5. Hi your quilts are gorgeous. I love the pink and floral square quilt (3rd piccie). Can you share the name of the pattern or the block sizes as would love to make one using japanese prints. Thank you for sharing about yourself in your interview.