About Me

Why Gypsy Dreamer...

Years ago I was very involved in the contra dance community in Kansas. At one point I was dancing every Saturday night somewhere in Kansas, regularly attending dance weekends across the midwest, as well as planning vacations around dance destinations. As a "dance gypsy", I always thought Gypsy Dreamer would be a great name if I ever started a business.

Years went by, interrupted by a hiatus from Kansas back to California to care for my aging parents for 7 1/2 years. When I returned to Kansas once again in 2012, I had not danced in years; however, I had taken up quilting in 2006 and become passionate about it! All of a sudden I found herself joining guilds and attending retreats. Once again, Gypsy Dreamer made sense, only this time I'm a "quilt gypsy" and love every minute of it!

50+ Years of Sewing Experience

I learned to sew at about age 9 with my Auntie R on the Singer 301A that sits in my sewing room today and is my favorite piecing machine. As quilters often do, I have named her Gerty after my auntie who was born Gertrude Irene. I started out making simple stuffed animals and doll clothes, and by junior high was already making dresses with set-in sleeves and zippers while my friends were learning to sew in a straight line in Home Economics class. My mother, an excellent seamstress, taught me how to adapt and combine patterns to make my creations unique. She also guided me through making a Pendelton wool shirt where every plaid matched! I added English smocking to my repertoire when my older daughter was in kindergarten, smocking her Easter dress, and making many more after that for both girls.
Jeni modeling my very first attempt at English Smocking

While caring for my father, my friend Marsha took me on respite adventures for lunch or shopping. When she took me on my first quilt shop hop in 2006, I was instantly hooked on quilting! I made several quilts from the shop hop sampler blocks, learning many techniques. Since then my stash has grown and my projects sometimes amaze even me.

When I returned to Kansas in 2012, I joined the Emporia Regional Quilt GuildIn early 2013 I moved yet again, back to northeast Kansas where all of my kids live. I jumped in with both feet, joining the Maple Leaf Quilt Guild in Baldwin City where I chaired the 2015 opportunity quilt and later served as co-program chair for 2016. There are multiple quilt shops nearby to keep me inspired with projects and fabric. I'm still working on completing some of the many UFOs I brought with me on my move from California back to Kansas, and have started and completed many new projects.

In 2015 I started teaching quilting classes at Quilters' Paradise in Baldwin City, Kansas. The list of class offerings has grown and I love sharing my passion with other quilters, both new and experienced.

Over the last three years, I have been working with my granddaughter Jordyn, who definitely has the quilting bug. At 12 years, she is already on her 5th quilt, and has free-motion quilted her first one on my HandiQuilter Sweet 16! 
Jordyn showing off the first quilt she made with me, "Road to California"
My 15-year-old grandson made his first (maybe only) quilt top earlier this year from fat quarters he collected on a roadtrip he, Jordyn and I took in the summer of 2014 to California and back. Both kids got to select a fat quarter at each shop we stopped in. Jordyn already has another pattern picked out to make her second quilt from her collection of fat quarters. Another generation of quilters has been born!
Grandson Joe showing off the Turning Twenty quilt top that he made!

With every quilt I make, I try to put a twist into the pattern or design with something new and unique on my own. Quilting is such an amazing creative outlet with endless possibilities!

Life is full of blessings--family, being back in my favorite part of the country, and connecting with new and old friends across the Midwest. And, of course, quilting!

3 comments:

  1. I will be in your area in May. Where are the local quilt shops. I will fly into Kansas City ( where my niece attends medical school) but, my sister lives in Manhattan ( go KSU!)'

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    1. Hi Teri, Sounds great! There are wonderful shops in Parkville (not far from the MCI airport), Leavenworth, Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan. There's loads more, but those are really nice ones. There are several in Kansas City, but I haven't been to those yet. Oh, and even little Eudora (on K-10 between KC and Lawrence) has a lovely shop! I'll join you in the GO KSU! as long as they're not playing KU. :-) Thanks for hopping by!

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    2. Welcome to the Eudora quilt guild. I am often on the road with my rv., but I will be looking forward to seeing you at the next guild meeting. That is the Christmas party. Be sure and let Kay S. know if you will be coming. It is a fun event. Karen S.

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