Sunday, October 2, 2016

Meet Caroline Garnier-Janney

Bonjour à tous et à toutes,

I am the French lady with a somewhat British accent!
Very often I get the question: ‘where are you from?  Strangely enough ‘from Orlando’ does not seem to satisfy whoever’s asking.  So where am I from?  My passport says France, but considering that I have moved 13 times over the last 22 years, lived in 5 different countries, on 3 different continents, I am not quite sure anymore, but I can happily claim that I have quilty friends from all over the world, and we all know ‘Quilty friends are the best’.

Where did my crafty adventure start?  Probably at my parents’ kitchen table when I was around 7, trying to crochet a blanket for my doll - I did not know how to crochet a rectangular shape, and ended up with a trapezoidal shape, so I turned it into a skirt.
I have always been crafty: from knitting, to sewing my own garments, cross-stitching, but quilting came by accident.  When my last child was just few-month old and my 2 other kids were still very young and not going to school, I managed to get 2 hours of help per week and decided to enrol to any class I could find at my local community centre.   Thursday morning quilting class fit the bill, so I was to become a quilter.  I learnt to draft my own templates on cereal boxes, to sew a metric 0.75cm seams, I hand-quilted all my quilts.  But I also learnt the importance of friendship amongst quilters and more largely crafty people.  Those 2 hours a week preserved my sanity and started me on a world of international friends.

Fast forward 13 years later, when I arrived in Orlando, a bit more than 3 years ago, as I was registering to the Dr Philipps’ library, Sew Day was in full action next door.  I met Beth who convinced me to join the OrlandoMQG and I am so thankful for the push.  I love the monthly meeting, I wish I could participate to the Sew Days more often, and I am so grateful for all the classes I had the chance to attend.

When it comes to style, I think I am an accidental modern quilter.  Going through my stash, you will find fabric ranging from Civil War reproductions (I can see some of the more Modern quilters rolling their eyes), to Japanese fabric (anything from indigo to earthy tones and lots of texture), to the last fav (anybody else in love with LesFleurs or From Porto with Love from Cotton&Steel).
I never really ‘intellectualised’ the way I quilt.  As a consequence, I don’t really know where my inspiration comes from.  It seems that I follow a pretty simple rule:  if I like it, I make it.  I have a thing for scrappy quilts.  I recently finished a quilt for my cousin’s wedding (or more precisely her 10th anniversary – I am slow), and I love the concept of this quilt: put all your dark in one bag, all the light fabric in another one and pair one dark with one light without any other consideration.  I really like how all those ugly fabrics put together make a harmonious, interesting quilt.

Most recently, I have been branching out of my comfort zone and participated to the MQG Riley Black challenge.  It has been an interesting process from the original inspiration pictures (a subway station in London), to some kind of improve piecing and quilting, to the final product.

What I am working on at the moment?  Quilts for Pulse, like many others in our Guild.  I also have a couple of tops waiting to be quilted.  After last week’s class with Christa Watson, I hope I will feel more confident to tackle them.  Otherwise, I am sewing garments for my girls and samples for my first upcoming class at the Sewing Studio, but it is another story.

If you want to see more of what I do, you can always come and visit my blog, I love having visitors.
Now I have a question for you.  What are the tips, techniques, books you couldn’t do without?  Here are mine.
·       If you’re like me and have a hard time figuring out the math for buying backing fabric, here is a net tool
·       the Board Basting method (thanks to Jodi for the demo), I would not say I now love basting, but it makes the process less painful:
·       and this book, Thread work unravelled by Sarah Ann Smith ‘Everything you need to know about thread and machine quilting’

See you at the next meeting!

1 comment:

  1. Caroline, I just love your quilts and all the crafty things you make. You have a makers heart and your style is just so you!