Aussie Quilt Stars - Heather Hopkins

Aussie Quilt Stars – Heather Hopkins

How did you get started quilting?My parents opened a sewing store when I was in primary school so I have grown up in the sewing industry. It has been a natural progression from dressmaking, machine embroidery to patchwork & quilting. It all got a little exciting and accelerated in a different direction when I was introduced to the Handi Quilter Avante longarm 8 years ago.
How old were you when you made your first quilt? 22
Who taught you to quilt? A customer at our store taught me patchwork & started me off with FMQ on a domestic machine. When we first got the Avante I had a set of 3 Handi Quilter longarm DVD’s by Suzanne Michelle Hyland. I had them playing in the store on repeat and would watch – pause – stitch– repeat!
What do you like best about quilting? I love the texture and character that quilting brings to a quilt. I am lucky enough to have both the sit down & longarm machines. This gives me the best of both worlds, some of my quilting is better suited to the Sweet Sixteen and other quilts (especially big ones) are best suited to the Infinity.
How do you decide what pattern to quilt? Most of my quilts are done using rulers and freehand designs, I just start quilting and see what happens! I very rarely have a quilt design pre planned before I stitch, I just start laying down stitches and enjoy how the quilting grows to make a quilt sing. If I’m using ProStitcher for a customer quilt I will set up the design layout on the screen so they customer can decide on the design.
Do you have any quilt tips you could share?My best tip is to just jump in and do it without fear, really what is the worst that can happen? A finished quilt is better than a quilt top folded up in the corner never to see the light of day again. And take classes, take as many classes as you can with different tutors – pick up on how different quilters work and find what best suits you.
How many quilts have you made and for whom have you made quilts? Ummm……. It would have to be over a hundred (not sure I can admit to this – what if my husband sees’ this). I make them for my kids, family, good friends and anyone I know having a baby will get a quilt! I also make quilts for samples, classes & workshops, for shows and I run a longarm quilting service. Yikes…While I am sitting here typing this I have counted 9 quilts in the lounge room waiting for the binding fairy (Ok, clearly I need an intervention haha)
Where do you quilt and on what HQ machine? At home in the lounge room I quilt on my Sweet Sixteen, at the store I quilt in my “quilt room” on the Infinity and have just recently added the Amara to the collection
How much time do you quilt every week, day? I get more done at the store than I do at home with the kids. I would say anywhere from 20 – 30 hours a week.
What advice do you wish someone had told you when you started quilting?Look out its addictive, haha. Seriously though, Don’t compare yourself with quilts at shows and fancy quilting pics on Instagram. Nobody is born with magic quilting powers and you won’t become an awesome quilter overnight, like any skill It takes practice – don’t quit!
Do you have blog or Instagram to follow: Do you have blog or Instagram to follow:
Facebook: HeatherHopkinsQUilts
Instagram: HeatherHopkinsQuilts