Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Get to know the QQQ's - Monique of Ladybug's Cabin

Hi! I'm Monique Kleinhans of Ladybug's Cabin

Where do you live?
I was born and raised in a small town in Montana near to Glacier National Park. I've lived other places during my life for school and have done a lot of touring with a theatre company based out of Seattle Washington, but Montana has been, and will always be 'home'.

When did you start making quilts? Or, when did you become interested in quilt-related items (fabric, patterns, etc) / Tell us about your first quilt or other important first in your sewing life.
My Mother started quilting the year that I was born, so I've been around quilts my entire life. In some ways I took them for granted. It wasn't until my friends started to get married and have children that I felt the call to make quilts as gifts. Once I understood that building quilts was very much like putting a puzzle together, I was hooked.  Then my Mother signed us up to take an art quilting class with the wonderful Ellen Anne Eddy.  During her workshop I learned about thread art and bobbin work and the light bulb not only went on, but pretty much exploded! Ever since I have jumped in with both feet to the art quilt world and enjoy exploring blending traditional and uncommon techniques in my work.  For the past two years I've also been designing applique and quilting patterns that incorporate adding 3-D elements or unique blends of art quilting and traditional piecing. I consider my patterns to be an invitation to let your inner child come out and play!

What inspires you?
I am most often inspired by nature. My windows here in the 'cabin' are the best television I've ever owned. Every day brings something beautiful or interesting to recreate into fabric, or color schemes that ask to be explored into quilts.

Do you have a favorite quilting tip?
Don't be afraid of doing what works for you. There are a thousand ways to do everything and often the new hottest craze begins when someone 'messes up' and finds a different way to complete a block or a task. This is something that I stress quite a bit when I'm teaching--"My way does not have to be your way.  Take what is useful and do what works for you!"  This is a lesson I learned from a very young age watching my Mom and her quilting. She was born with hands that don't work like most of us, and has always had to find a way to adapt. I couldn't believe the number of very well-known instructors who would start to chastise her for doing something in their class a different way from their instruction. My Mother would listen to their rant and just smile at them until they were done telling her that she was doing it 'right' or the way they told her it HAD to be done.  Then she would simply hold up her hands and say..."ok, show me how."

Do you do any charity sewing?
Yes. I am part of guild here in my area that has a wonderful outreach program. We make quilts for new parents, as well those going through chemo, dialysis, and also for Veterans. The guild that my mother is a part of also makes quilts for the Police and Fireman to hand out during emergencies as traffic incidents in Montana in the winter can be very cold and many times the quilt is not only appreciated by the victims, but helps to keep them protected from the cold.

How do you plan your projects?
I work a lot off of photos that I take or inspired from the animals or vistas that I view daily. Other times I'll have an idea start to take shape in my head and eventually work its way out into fabric.

Where in the world would you like to visit?
I've traveled quite a bit and have a deep fondness for Australia and New Zealand (both for the people as well as the landscapes).  I'd like to return to Europe and do a bit more exploring especially to Ireland.  And Iceland is on my bucket list so that I can see all the colors of the Northern Lights--not just the green parts that we see most often here.

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  1. Wow Monique! So nice to get to know you better and to see all of your beautiful work! Amazing!

  2. Great work, Monique! You're very talented.

  3. One of the best blog posts I've seen on this wonderful team. You are one inspirational and talented lady Monique and you mother sounds amazing! Next time you travel to Oz you must come visit. Lovely getting to 'know' you.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Monique. Lovely quilts.

  5. I loved reading your story, Monique. You are an incredible quilt artist!

  6. Monique, you have such great talent and are truly an inspiration. I loved reading your story and enjoyed looking at all of your fabulous projects.

  7. Such beautiful work, I love the art of your craft!

  8. Wow Monique your work is stunning!! What a talented young woman and a great presentation of yourself and your art ♥