An Interview with Eileen Roche by Denise Holguin
DH: Eileen, you are a very busy individual! You manage the production of a magazine, write weekly blogs, do appearances at events, invent new products… AND you had time to design and create a new quilt for the Flower Box Quilt book. Wow! What is your secret to finding time to create this new quilt project?
ER: I leave and breathe embroidery! And I have a passion for embroidered quilts. I just love using my embroidery machine to decorate quilt blocks and quilt the entire quilt.
DH: When you started designing the Flower Box Quilt, did you have a clear path of what you wanted or did the project evolve over time?
ER: I had a basic layout in mind as I was inspired by Amy Gibson’s The Quilt Block Cookbook. Of course, along the way, a project guides me in a new direction.
DH: You used e-stitches on at least one of the blocks in the Flower Box Quilt. To those unfamiliar with an e-stitch, will you tell us more?
ER: E-stitch, also known as the blanket stitch – is a common hand (or sewing machine) applique technique. Often, the stitching is shown in a contrasting color. In the Flower Box Quilt, I matched the thread to the applique fabric to let the fabric shine – I didn’t want to introduce a wide line of stitches (think satin column) – just a gentle, almost indiscernible line of stitching. I like it.
DH: Your projects always look impeccable! Do you ever make mistakes? How do you overcome them?
ER: Thank you!
I make mistakes ALL the TIME! Frankly, if I wasn’t for the mistakes I’ve made, I wouldn’t be the embroiderer I am today. When I do make a mistake (which I do with every project), I rarely throw out the project. I figure out how to rectify the situation and move on. One of my biggest shortcomings is, I’m always excited to finish the project – to figure out if the design and techniques that I created will work as planned. I think if I worked at a slower pace, I would eliminate some mistakes. But I also know, that a slow pace does not meet deadlines! It’s a catch-22.
DH: What is the one take-away you want readers to learn from the Flower Box Quilt book?
ER: You don’t have to make a large quilt to learn all the techniques. Start with a manageable size, like a table runner or lap size quilt and you’ll master the techniques upon completion.
DH: Do you have a favorite quilt block in this collection?
ER: Hmm…that’s a tough one. Probably Block 1 – I just love those flowers!