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Makers Spotlight - Lydia Cheney

 

If you aren’t already following Lydia Cheney @lydiacheneystudio you should be. I met Lydia

probably five years ago through our love of English Paper Piecing. I have admired her work

ever since. Every EPP kit we developed Lydia has made. You’ll recognize her style by all the

intricate fussy cutting she does. I hope you take a look at her feed to get a taste of just how

amazing her work is. I have a link in my profile to a background story and interview where she

really is upfront and honest about what she does and why. It is always so interesting to me to

see what makes a quilter create. I’d like to thank Lydia for supporting me and our wonderful

EPP community that we all enjoy. :)

Lydia Cheney Bio @lydiacheneystudio

My journey with needlework started young. My sister taught me how to knit at age 11

and I learned to sew in my seventh grade Home EC class. This inspired a lifelong

passion for this type of craft, eventually leading to my obsession with quilting. I am

mostly self-taught and, for the last 20 years, I have continued to fall in love with the

design process. Because of my dyslexia, I tend to be more of a hands on learner, which

is probably why this type of work is such a great fit for me.

In 2014, the world of Instagram opened up an opportunity for me to find an inspiring

community of makers with a shared passion for creating. It provided friendships and

The Quilt Kit Company

encouragement that I didn’t know I needed. It’s the place I go for inspiration. This

community introduced me to English paper piecing (EPP) especially through “Lucy

Boston” blocks – a jigsaw puzzle approach to design. My brain works well with all the

detail and precision that it takes to put EPP together – the fussy-cutting of all the

different images on fabric and then fitting them together (wrapped around paper

shapes) to form a kaleidoscope. This particular process intrigue me and I was hooked

ever since.

The motto “quilting is my therapy“ rings true with me, as it does with so many other

Quilters. Having grown up experiencing several traumatic events – and dealing with

long-term depression – I am no stranger to therapy. My therapist (and countless

studies) have taught me that quilting is not only a creative outlet but a means of coping

with all the negative harmful stressors in life. I found that hand-stitching can be very

meditative. I get to be so fully absorbed with what I’m doing that my brain doesn’t think

of the negative and harmful issues that I deal with. It has had a profoundly positive

affect on my mental health.

I’m not sure what’s next in life, but I know that I’m enjoying the healing journey and

making beautiful things along the way.

~ Lydia Cheney 2021

Maker Spotlight Interview with Lydia Cheney

1. How long have you been quilting?

20 years, EPP 5 years

2. How did you learn?

I am a self taught Quilter.

3. Do you gift most of your quilts or hang on to them?

I gift a lot of my Quilts, there are a few that I hang onto and a few that I sell.

4. Is there a quilt on your bed?

No I do not have a quilt on my bed at this time.

5. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you when you were a beginning

quilter?

To be more precise in my measuring, cutting and piercing. I’m dyslexic and make too

many mistakes.

6. What five tools or notions are your favorite?

My favorite is a well functioning sewing machine, sharp scissors and a seam ripper

7. What one designer or quilter would you like to take a class from?

I’d love to take a class with Jane Sassaman

8. What do you do for inspiration ?

Inspiration is everywhere even when light hits on an object at different times of day.

9. Do you tend to work with the same color palette?

I embrace all the colors but I do avoid muddy colors

10. What techniques do you love? What techniques would you like to try or get better

at?

EPP for now, I’d love to learn quilting with different stitches and thread weights

I quilt for my sanity and it’s my therapy.

11. If you loose your sewing mojo how do you get it back?

If I lose my sewing mojo I will force myself to sit down and sew for 30 minutes every day

and slowly get back into it.

12. When you bind a quilt are you hand or machine?

I will bind a quilt using both machine or hand stitched…it depends on the Quilt.

14. Who or what influenced you the most?

I don’t think there was any One person who influenced me. It’s just my passion to create

something new and different.

15. How would you describe you style of quilting?

I will go from traditional to modern and anywhere in between.

16. What is the one quilt that you want to make but haven't? Why?

New York beauty… there’s too many other things to do.

17. What’s the one thing you would change in the quilt world?

I want to change Instagram back to what it was before Facebook took over. A better

sewing community on Social media without ads taking over.

18. How do you stay organized?

I’m not as organized as I’d like to be. Too much fabric.

19. Do you enter your quilts in shows for competition

I don’t enter competitions and shows too often because my quilts are not of that

caliber.