Sunday, April 30, 2017

Meet Diana Mattoni

Hi Everyone! I’m Diana and I’ve been a member of the guild since October of 2015. I discovered the guild quite by accident through an online Facebook group, in an effort to connect locally with modern quilters in the area after having moved here from Ohio.

I am a former professional stage manager who used to work in New York City and in regional theaters across the country for more than 15 years before retiring and deciding to channel my creativity into other aspects of my life. I moved from backstage to front of house, house managing for various theaters and also worked in the business world as a corporate trainer, putting my theater skills to good use. It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided I wanted to make a quilt. I’d always wanted a handmade quilt, it just never occurred to me to make one myself. Why, I have no idea. Possibly because I thought I hated sewing. And I do. I HATE traditional garment sewing. Okay, hate is a strong word. But what I had to do in graduate school – pattern drafting for costuming, costume construction, and garment sewing – I HATE IT! And that’s why I thought I hated sewing and never thought to try quilting. So the sewing machine I received as a graduation gift from my aunt way back in 1992, was used for the occasional home d├ęcor project, until I dug it out to make my very first quilt, one for my son:

I saw a photo of a quilt I liked online, I drew it out and meticulously cut out the various pieces with scissors, not knowing what a rotary cutter was, and laid them all out, and sewed them together. It wasn’t until months later that I discovered it was actually a disappearing 9-patch pattern that could have been so much easier to sew had I done a bit of research. Oh well, live and learn. It’s not the prettiest quilt (it might even border on ugly) but I fell in love with some puppy fabric (and I’m a cat person, 100%) so it dictated my fabric choices. My proudest moment of that quilt was that I never hesitated in quilting it and free motion quilted each block differently. Maybe it wasn’t the best, but not bad for a first time and I had no fear.

Fast-forward to today, and here are a few of my favorite quilts that I’ve made in the past.

I’m not the fastest quilter, partly because I have a 7-year-old in the house, but also because I run a yearlong online quilting bee, called Stash Bee. It’s made up of 99 quilters from all over the world that are placed into 9 different hives. It takes a lot of organization and an extra dose of patience on my part!

My favorite aspect of quilt making is the quilting itself. I enjoy piecing a block and seeing a finished top come together but it’s that last step of quilting the 3 layers together, adding texture and visual interest through straight-line or free-motion quilting that I really love. So much so, that it resulted in me purchasing my very own long arm machine, which has brought about some pretty big changes in my family’s lives.

First and foremost, it made us realize that our current living space isn’t working for us so we’ve pulled the trigger on building a new home, one where I will have a nice workspace because I want to start my own business (eek, I’ve just said it out-loud!). It’s something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now, and even though it’s going to take some time, I’m up for the challenge, provided I survive the house building drama, so wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

1 comment:

  1. I loved hearing your story and wish you luck with that house!