Our resident Sister of the Hex Shelly Harshman is in the Member Spotlight. She’s a long-serving member of the BMQG board, where she oversees all things Membership related. Shelly is quick-humored, and an accomplished quilter with a terrific eye for color.
Piper, Shelly and Amy
Shelly’s rainbow quilt
How did you first get involved with Boise Modern Quilt Guild?
Shelly: I was looking for a smaller, more modern group to join. When I did a Google search, I was impressed with the colorful logo and the information about this group. I came to a meeting, and felt really welcome.
What’s your first memory of something related to quilting or sewing?
Shelly: My mom paid me to make summer shorts for my little sisters when I was around 12. I sewed all my skirts and blouses and dresses while I was in school. My mom was always sewing, and it’s been a part of my life as long as I can remember.
What’s your most memorable, or favorite, quilting project?
Shelly: My sisters and I made hexi quilts together. That will probably always be my favorite project. Sisters of the Hex rule!!
How would you describe your quilting design style or aesthetic?
Shelly: I love color, and trying something new. A pattern is just a place to start.
What colors, shapes, fabrics do you gravitate to? What do you use most in your designs?
Shelly: I love bright jewel tones, and super scrappy quilts – loads of surprising details to find. Curved blocks are a current favorite. I love a quilt pattern that you have to look at for a while to figure out how they put it together. I’m always up for a challenge.
Is there someone or something that has influenced your quilting?
Shelly: My mom was always sewing, but she’s not a quilter. I thought everybody had matching clothes and pajamas for their dolls. I learned my sewing skills from her. My Grandma Spencer was a quilter and I have wonderful memories of her hand quilting on wooden frames on the covered back patio at her home. Sadly, she passed away before I caught the quilting bug.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Shelly: Hmmm…. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone and I drive a Mini Cooper.
What do you do when you aren’t quilting?
Shelly: I don’t understand the question.
What are you working on now?
Shelly: I’m free motion quilting the backlog of quilt tops that are hanging in my closet. I use my home machine to quilt them. I try to always have something to plan, something to piece, and something to quilt, and some handwork. I received a Featherweight for Christmas this year, and I’ve been loving piecing on it!
What’s the project that you always intended to do (quilting or otherwise) but haven’t yet?
Shelly: I want to make the La Passacaglia quilt. So far, I have a nice big pinterest board with ideas, and have ordered the book and papers.
What’s the longest-lasting UFO in your collection?
Shelly: I’m currently pretty caught up – I have quilt tops that need to be quilted, but the oldest is probably only a couple of years old. Covid has given me more time to work on projects.
Do you have a preferred snack or beverage while you’re sewing? If so, what is it?
Shelly: Dr. Pepper and peanut m&m’s.
What do you listen to or watch while you’re sewing? Do you have any recommendations to share?
Shelly: I love audiobooks and music. Movies on the iPad distract me unless it’s something I’ve seen a bunch of times. Mysteries and Clive Cussler adventures are favorites.