Sunday, December 10, 2017

Meet Sharleen Jespersen

Sharleen served as our past Community Outreach Coordinator and continues to inspire with her generous spirit and amazing quilting skills!

Please tell us how long you have been sewing and/or quilting and when you joined the Orlando MQG.

I started sewing as a young girl in 4-H as well as in home economics in junior high school.  My Mother and my Grandmother also quilted in their spare time although they didn’t have much of that. They were doing hand piecing mostly and hand quilting. It was hard for me to see that I would EVER do that. Once I learned about rotary cutting and machine piecing I was in.   I first joined a quilt guild in Rochester, Michigan where we lived for 22 years.

We moved to Florida in 2010 and so I think it must have been 2011 when I joined the OMQG. Here I have met so many great people with common interests.

How did you learn to quilt?

Years ago I helped with a quilt project at church that was being tied and decided to look into it a little further and I was hooked. Someone gave me the permission to be a piecer only and that’s how I started.  Now, I try to do my own quilting as much as I am able.

What machine(s) do you drive?

I have been a Bernina girl.  Last Christmas my husband upgraded me from a 165 to a 765 and I’m really enjoying that.

What is your most treasured (sewing related) possession?

I have several prized quilting possessions.
One is the blue and red quilt that you see in the photo.  It is now very well worn. When my Grandmother died in 1960, there was a box under her bed with this quilt in it.  Inside was a note that said to give it to me. I was in grade school and was delighted to use it on my bed.

I have quilts made from my Mom’s first quilt blocks that she made as a teenager in 1936 as well as other quilts made by Mom and Grandma Rush that are very dear to me.

Tell us a little known fact about yourself.

I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska where by family were some of the very first pioneers.  My husband, myself and our two daughters were all born at the same hospital there. While living in Michigan, I made a quilt for a dear friend and she had a reproduction of one of the blocks painted on her barn.  You can see a photo here.

Today I’m retired and use sewing and quilting as my creative outlet.  Most of my free time is spent helping at our local Food Pantry and sewing with our Days for Girls Team.

I also try to promote and contribute to The 70273 Project by keeping blocks in my purse to stitch while in waiting rooms.  When I get to play, I go to my sewing room.  Right now I’m not doing any large projects.  I seem to get a lot of satisfaction in being a small part of a larger system.  I’m perfectly happy to do a simple block over and over that can be used in a quilt for community outreach.  And, I love seeing my daughter Sarah’s advancing skills in quilting.  In some circumstances, I think that a quilt can provide a tangible hug for someone.  It says, “I see you” and “I know of your struggle.  You are not forgotten”.

Thank you Sharleen for sharing your quilting journey with us.

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