Monday, March 3, 2014

Member Spotlight: Rhonda Namba

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm married and I have one daughter, Alexa, who is a medical student. When I'm not quilting, I'm pretty crafty (scrapbooking, upholstery, redoing old furniture). My husband and I bought a turn of the century house in Philadelphia for our daughter and we spend most weekends working on restoring it. It's a lot of work, but has really been fun. I also love to bake. I am constantly working on new recipes. The Food Network is my true obsession.

This quilt was made for Rhonda's daughter (who is an Olympic swimmer) to take with her to college.  

During your presentation you talked a bit about how living and traveling to Japan and Hawaii has inspired you. Can you talk a bit about that?

I think that because both places have a strong background in quilting and textiles, it was easy to be inspired. In Japan, I so enjoyed seeing all the different fabrics (indigo, kasuri, yukata, shibori). I especially loved all the beautiful textiles they used in the vintage Kimonos. Absolutely beautiful! In Hawaii I so love the bright fabrics and the the appliqué techniques they use on the Hawaiian quilts. The handwork is absolutely stunning.

Fabric for this quilt was brought back from Japan...

Many of us were gobsmacked by the "Wedding Dress" quilt. Can you talk about the process of designing and creating that quilt?

Well, the quilt was designed as a gift for my niece who wore a beautiful, yet simple Vera Wang wedding dress. The top of the dress had a pleated top and the back had delicate shell buttons all the way down the back. I played around with one square and once I had a look I liked, I thought duplicating it made a simple, but elegant quilt. The quilt was made with two different fabrics, one that was white and one that was ivory. They were similar but different enough that they worked together, but showed the variation in the fabrics. I thought an all white quilt might be a little boring, so fabric variation seemed to be vital.

Pictures do not do this quilt justice.  It's absolutely stunning.

What's the funniest  thing that ever happened to you while you were quilting or during a quilt project?
I can't think of anything funny or odd, but I have definitely started a few quilts that I just didn't like as the project progressed, and I just couldn't ever finish them. I bring them out occasionally, hoping I will be inspired, but so far, to no avail.

Rhonda's use of color is inspiring and bold patterns is inspiring!

What is the one quilting tool that you absolutely could not live without?

Definitely, the seam ripper. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I don't hesitate to pull out a seam if I don't think it's perfect.

What does being a member of the PMQG mean to you?

So many things. I love being part of a group that likes to chat about quilts, projects, and all sorts of other things (Downton Abbey). I especially love our retreats and our sewing days. They remind me of the quilting bees that my grandmother just to participate in. The camaraderie is fantastic. I am so in awe of everyone's talent. I so look forward to our monthly meetings.

Thanks going out to Rhonda for sharing her quilting journey with us.  It's amazing to be a part of such a talented group of modern quilters!


  1. thanks so much for sharing your absolutely beautiful quilts! pure joy!

  2. Really great spotlight! Sorry I missed seeing these gorgeous quilts in person!