Member Spotlight: Anne Barnes

Anne joined the Guild last year and brings with her a wealth of quilting and sewing experience, including a certificate in Fiber Arts! Plus she’s an avid reader and involved with lots of other interests. 

How did you first get involved with Boise Modern Quilt Guild?
Anne: We moved to Boise last August. I’ve belonged to quilt guilds in most of the cities I’ve lived in. I find it a great way to make friends!

What’s your first memory of something related to quilting or sewing?
Anne: I took the mandatory Home Ec in junior high and made a blouse. And didn’t touched a machine for a long time. In my 30s I lived in the Seattle area, and my best friend said, “Hey there is a quilting class, we should take it.” It was hand quilting so no machine required. I was very skeptical that I would like, but we gave it a go. I loved making my first quilt. Made a second one similar to it, because practice helps me really learn. Bought a sewing machine. And I am still good friends with all of the ladies that were in the class.

What’s your most memorable, or favorite, quilting project?
Anne: The most challenging thing I ever did was to get my certificate in Fiber Arts from the University of Washington. It was a year-long program for which you had to apply. After the first few weeks I was sure I wanted to quit, but the professor talked to me about it and explained that being uncomfortable with the program was part of what made you grow in your art, and to stick it out. The program culminated with putting one piece in a gallery show. The piece that I made was an Andy Warhol type of piece with nine versions of a face within a fingerprint. It was hands-down the most complicated thing I have ever done.

How would you describe your quilting design style or aesthetic?
Anne: As is true for most of us, I’m sure, it has evolved greatly, and is continuing to evolve. I love free form quilting without rules. I don’t typically make blocks any longer. I love expressions with color and movement. Lots of applique.

What colors, shapes, fabrics do you gravitate to? What do you use most in your designs?
Anne: Bright colors, things that contrast. I mostly work in cotton, but I’m open to anything.

Is there someone or something that has influenced your quilting?
Anne: More than I could mention.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Anne: So many things (ha ha)
1. I owned a squirrel monkey when I was a child.
2. I have lived in Chicago; College Station, Texas; Wichita; San Diego; Silverdale, Seattle and Kirkland, Washington; Melbourne and Sydney Australia; Las Vegas; Dallas; and now Boise. No – I am not in the military, I just like new adventures.
3. I owned a quilt shop in Silverdale, Washington. I absolutely loved it, but ended up having to close it.

What do you do when you aren’t quilting?
Anne: Moving a lot ha ha. I love to travel. We really enjoy playing board games. We try to get out and explore where we live. I enjoy riding my bike. I have a garden this year. Most of all I love to read and will read between 1-3 books a week.

What are you working on now?
Anne: I’m finishing up a 365 block applique quilt. I purchased the kit when I was in Las Vegas with the idea that I’d get it done in a year. As of today, I have 10 blocks left to sew down and then complete the borders.

What’s the project that you always intended to do (quilting or otherwise) but haven’t yet?
Anne: In January 2020 I set goals for myself to do two quilts, one to enter and one to just do. I wanted to make a quilt to celebrate my grandmother and make a quilt based on the Beatles song Blackbird. Then of course the pandemic hit, and in spite of being sequestered, I found it very difficult to mentally concentrate on anything for a variety of personal reasons. In spite of making an effort, I did not accomplish either, and I still want to accomplish both.

What’s the longest-lasting UFO in your collection?
Anne: I have a few tops that need to be quilted, which is really more of finding someone to do it for me, or find a long arm to do it. I’m not sure what I will do with them, so not in a hurry. Other than the 365 quilt mentioned above, I don’t keep a lot of UFOs. As I’ve moved around a lot, I pretty much only keep around what I think I will really get to.

Do you have a preferred snack or beverage while you’re sewing? If so, what is it?
Anne: Hmm, not while sewing, but I love a good Gin and Tonic. I guess I don’t really snack that much.

What do you listen to or watch while you’re sewing? Do you have any recommendations to share?
Anne: I’ll often turn on the tv to things I’ve seen before, because I don’t have to pay too much attention. So I’ll watch movies I’ve seen a thousand times. Some favorites while quilting are: Big Chill, Bull Durham, Moonstruck.
I love music, all kinds in particular stuff from the 70s.
I love podcasts. I listen to true crime, science, anything by Malcolm Gladwell, and fun and interesting things. Some favorites: Broken Record (Malcolm Gladwell), Revisionist History (Malcolm Gladwell), Radiolab, S-Town, The Murder Squad

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