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Interview with John Kubiniec

Posted by Deirdre Quirk on Feb 21st 2017

Today, we're counting ourselves lucky to be able to share an inspirational interview with John Kubiniec, author of A New Spin on Drunkard's Path. We already love his work, and this interview just gives us even more reasons to love him!

Where do you find your quilting or sewing inspiration?

The quilters who have gone before me. I really love looking at antique quilts in museums and in books. There are some wonderful ideas that can be gleaned by looking at what has been done.

How do you stay up-to-date on new trends?

I don’t know that I can ever be truly up-to-date on new trends, but I pick up on what people are talking about on various social media platforms. I also subscribe to a number of email newsletters from various designers and fabric companies. And I try to get to at least one Quilt Market every year to see what new things are hitting the stores.

What is something we might not know about you?

My career outside of quilting is as a church organist. I did that as my main source of income for most of my life; now it is only part-time, as I devote more time to quilting. When I lived in New York City, I worked as a supertitle operator for New York City Opera, the Juilliard School of Music, and the Marilyn Horne Foundation. I was the guy sitting in the projection booth cueing the translations that were projected on the screens so concert attendees would know what those singers were really singing about.

What was your favorite part of the book writing or production process?

That is a hard question, but I think I would have to say first of all designing the quilts, then a really close second was working on the graphics and instructions. My least favorite? Creating all the step-outs for the book. They really add a lot to the book and were well worth the effort, but I can honestly say: not my favorite part of working on the book.

What are your go-to colors?

I love RED, and if I see red fabric in the store you can be assured that I will buy some—and most likely a yard or two —none of this 1/4-yard stuff. Also, I love black. I really like how it makes colors just pop.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am working on redoing some projects that are in my book and working on some samples that show how you can use the ideas from the book in new ways. Also, I am trying to work through some UFOs that have been collecting in my studio. I did a MAJOR purge/reorganization this past December and found some old friends I had forgotten about. I am going to try and work on one of them every month.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve made?

I think I would have to say it is the quilt I made for the final round of the McCall’s 2010 Design Star Competition. I had always wanted to make a Medallion Quilt—so I designed one. I loved the process and loved how it turned out.

Where do you shop for fabric?

I like to support my local quilt shops and buy from them. When I travel I usually walk away with some fabric from stores in the area.

Can you share with us one quilting or sewing tip?

Have pincushions in a few different spots—that way if you need a pin, one is nearby, and if you need to take out a pin from a project, you have someplace to put it. I always have one by my sewing machine and one at the cutting table. At the cutting table I usually need pins to pin together blocks, so I try to keep a full pincushion there. At my sewing machine I usually keep one there to put pins in after I remove them from the project as I sew. When the cushion at the cutting table gets empty, I just swap it out with the one at the sewing machine, which is now full.

Thank you so much, John!

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