Tuesday, February 18, 2020

This month for our member story, let’s meet Lisa Long:

Lisa was born and raised in Philadelphia, Oxford Circle in the Northeast. She is happily married to Joe Hopkins; she is a stepmother to Joe’s four children, and she has eight grandchildren. She currently lives in Harleysville but has lived in and around the area including Souderton, Huntingdon Valley, Langhorne and Northeast Philadelphia. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.
Lisa and her husband Joe
Her major was metal design. She also went to school abroad for one semester in Rome, Italy and participated in a summer study workshop in Scotland. In school If she hadn't majored in metal design at college, she says she would have majored in fiber arts and she enjoyed experimented with fabric printing and even made a weaving project on a loom.

Lisa has been sewing since she was a child and has had strong guiding influences from her grandmother who taught her crochet and her mother who taught her how to sew. Interestingly, Lisa’s mom taught her how to sew on a sewing machine that she had gotten instead of an engagement ring, and Lisa has that sewing machine today. Lisa really enjoyed using patterns and making clothing, and particularly customizing clothing to match her tall frame. Early on she began sewing strips of fabric together to create her own fabric that she would then either turn into clothing or accents on clothing, this would be some foreshadowing for what would become her love of quilting.

When I asked Lisa about her favorite thing about sewing and quilting, here’s what she had to say:
            “My favorite thing about quilting/sewing is creating something out of bits of fabric into something beautiful that someone can wear to keep them warm or make them smile. Quilting/sewing is an emotional act for me. It's the connection to my Mother and a way of expressing myself thru fabric, using my hands and the talent I was blessed with. Showing someone how much I care about them and creating something is like breathing for me. It's essential to my life. It grounds me.”

When it comes to quilting Lisa appreciates traditional quilts and patterns but is more drawn to modern quilt patterns, colors, fabric patterns and Improv. She gravitates towards scrappy quilts. She likes to combine traditional fabrics with modern fabrics and enjoys paper piecing, hand sewing, and mixing embroidery with quilting. She enjoys hand sewing the binding on a quilt. She’d eventually like learn how to do her own machine quilting at some point, design her own patterns and even design her own fabric. She’s not afraid of different kinds of materials and loves a good challenge, she loves to delight and surprise people with what she can do.

Her first quilt was a NASCAR t-shirt quilt. She took the class at the local grade school thru the Souderton High School District evening classes for adults. She learned the basics, went with her own layout and had the quilt machine quilted by Missouri Star Quilt Company. She met other quilters in the class and eventually taught a few sewing/quilting classes for Souderton School District. Lisa joined a quilt guild after she had attended one of their quilt shows. It was Valley Forge Homestead quilt guild in Valley Forge, PA. She found the comradery and creative energy very stimulating and a whole new world opened for her.

One of Lisa’s recent projects is a string block quilt top. In an effort to use some of the many yards of fabric she has in her stash, she started selecting fabric and cutting it into strips. Then, she put those strips in a fabric basket from which she pulled pieces to make the blocks. In between other projects, she would make blocks and add them to the pile. As she continued to make string blocks, she thought about combining quilting and her love of making clothes. She plans to use her string block quilt top to eventually make a coat.

Below you can see some pictures of Lisa’s NASCAR quilt, her string block quilt, some string block zipper pouches and just in time for Valentine’s Day, some embroidered hearts she’s also been working on. You can find more of Lisa’s work on her Etsy page; Sanger Street Studio: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SangerStreetStudio

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