Cheryl Kotecki




Cheryl Kotecki




Cheryl Kotecki


Alice Helms

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Sandra Anne Frazier


Weaverville, NC


Alice Helms


Alice Helms (AH): My name is Alice Helms. Today is November 25, 2009. I'm conducting an interview with Cheryl Kotecki for the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project. We're at Cheryl's home in Weaverville, North Carolina, and it's 1:45. Cheryl tell me about the quilt you have here today.

Cheryl Kotecki (CK): This quilt was made by a good friend of mine [Dorry Emmer.]. I met her through the guild that I was a member of in Northern Virginia and she was one of my first customers. I am a professional longarm quilter and she trusted me with this project which was important to her. And she actually designed it, when it came to putting the borders on, to show off some of my particular quilting skills. And then I moved to North Carolina not long after I quilted this for her and we decided to enter it in the Asheville Quilt Guild show and in that show it won the Best Longarm Quilting ribbon, which is not given by the show management. It's actually awarded by a jury of my peers. They are other professional longarm quilters in North Carolina who come in and they look at the quilts that have been quilted by other longarmers and they pick the best of the show for that and it is completely separate from the judging, and often differs greatly from the judging that's done by the professional judges, because my peers look for some elements of quilting that are a little bit different than what those judges would look for. And in this particular case what's unique about the quilting I did on it is a reflection of what I thought was my strength as a professional quilter, and that is that she asked for one specific thing because she has a block in the quilt that is--she was actually born in New Zealand. She is an American citizen now but she was from New Zealand. There's one block that's designed and reflects her New Zealand heritage and she asked me to quilt it like it was in the original New Zealand design and then I took that design and I used that in other elements of the quilt and then I had to expand on it. It's a sampler quilt which is always a little tricky to quilt because in this case it represents different places she's lived in the world and so you're trying to tie all that together. She was able to do it with fabric and color and I have to do with quilting design. So, it was a real special quilt for me in a way because it was one of the first--it was the first quilt that was ever entered in any kind of judged competition and then it won that ribbon and that ribbon in particular is extremely meaningful to a longarm quilter.

AH: Wow. So which block is it that represents New Zealand?

CK: This one. [points to a block in the quilt.] It looks like a pumpkin seed then it has this curl and this curl is called a koru in the native Maori tongue of New Zealand and they use that. It's a scroll shape or curl and they use that a lot in the native art and so that was put on top. It kind of looks like a traditional American quilt block but then that curl on top of it is a specific New Zealand design that was added to it and I used it in other areas of the quilt. You'll see it all the way through. Some are harder to see than others just because of the nature of quilting on printed fabrics. And then the orange peel sort of idea repeats as a motif throughout the quilt.

AH: Right. So there's nine blocks, right?

CK: Yes, there are nine blocks.

AH: And each one represents someplace that she lived-- [both speak at the same time.]

CK: Someplace that she lived, right. Or that she at least visited. Her husband worked for a company and they lived all over the world and she actually learned to quilt in Latin America. But for example, I don't think she lived in Japan, but here's a Japanese one. There's a New York Beauty. They lived in the New York area for a while. A Pineapple block. They all are meaningful. And this block has signatures. She taught this to a group of women who are part of a guild from her husband's company. And so those blocks were signed by the members of her class. So she was making the quilt along with teaching it. And then after she put it together she added this nice wide, white border which shows off a faux trapunto effect that I added to it.

AH: So she added just the plain border. That was the idea that--

CK: Right. Right. And she would probably not have finished the quilt that way except she knew that I was going to quilt it. So, it's really a joint project in that regard and it was designed to have quilting as an element of the quilt.

AH: Uh huh. Which is sort of a modern idea, right? In quilting.

CK: Yes. Yeah, probably it is.

AH: Yeah. So the quilt belongs to you?

CK: No. It is her quilt. It is her quilt. I only have it right now because we were asked--the Carolina Longarm Association asked that winners of previous show ribbons like this one would enter them in a Carolina Longarm [Association.] Show that they were planning to have last September but it's been delayed. So, the quilt was here with me only because I was going to be putting it in this show in Clemmons, North Carolina.

AH: So what will become of the quilt eventually?

CK: It has a wonderful place of prominence in Dory's home. She has it mounted on the wall. It has its own lights so that the quilting is given that relief that you get. When you hang a quilt vertically, it kind of needs some help sometimes to bring out the shadow and three-dimensional effect of the quilting.

AH: Wow. So, it's a bed-sized quilt, but obviously not intended to be used on a bed.

CK: No. No. She doesn't use it that way. She probably has enough quilts. She makes a lot of quilts.

AH: Well, let's see. Let's describe the colors. It's green and red and--

CK: And white. That's another element of the quilt that's distinctly her. She loves the combination of green and red and to most people that looks like Christmas, to her that has nothing to do with Christmas. Green is a very prominent color in the New Zealand landscape and then she likes that contrast with red. So that's kind of her signature favorite look. She's got the tans in there and other things to give it more dimension and relief.

AH: And some of the fabric, some of the neutral colored fabric is a map of the world, I guess.

CK: Yes.

AH: Which gives it that international look. But the border is about, five inches, would you say?

CK: Yes.

AH: So it's a real palette for your quilting.

CK: Yes.

AH: Very nice. Tell me, Cheryl, about your interest in quilting. How did you start quilting, how did you get interested?

CK: I was a garment sewer. My mother did not make quilts but she taught me to sew when I was very young. I learned on her sewing machine when I wasn't even six years old yet. And I was a 4-H quilter [sewer.] but I was principally a garment quilter [sewer.] When I was in my early twenties and my brother had a son and his wife made the son a quilt when he was a toddler and somebody else was talking about this particular quilt, someplace I was reading about it, I think it was a Better Homes and Gardens pattern, and it was appliqué and she hadn't made a quilt before. The quilt was beautiful. It wasn't a design that I was particularly interested in, but the idea of putting together your own item which would end up as part of the décor in your house that was meaningful to you came to me from her having made that quilt. She also got me started knitting because she was a very prolific knitter. And she hasn't made other quilts since then but I had decided then I would like to make a quilt.

AH: This was in the seventies?

CK: No, the early eighties. My nephew was born in 1981, so it was '83 or '84. I was living abroad at that time [and then.] in Hawaii and I learned a little bit about quilting in Hawaii but I didn't try it. And then I moved back to Maryland and I was back working for the government and sewing almost all my clothes. Almost everything that I wore, I sewed including aerobic wear, swimwear and I sewed for other people. I was a garment sewer but I was going to make a quilt and I was working in an office with a computer development group, actually. I was not a computer developer at all, but I was hired as a spokesperson for them and one of the other women in that group was an employee of a local quilt shop and Lois Smith taught a class at this shop where she worked in machine quilting. By that point in my life I had developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand and from all the computer work I was doing and I figured I would never make that quilt because I had to avoid repetitive motions like would be involved in quilting. But she was taking this class, I guess, from Lois Smith, which was machine quiltmaking and that was a revolutionary idea to me at that time. I didn't know that much about quilting, that you could quilt a quilt by machine and she encouraged me to take the next offering of the class which I did. And the class was a sampler, not unlike this one in front of us, and I was the only person in the class to finish that queen-size sampler in the allotted time of the class completely. But even with that quilt, I understood as soon as I quilted the first block--she had you quilt-as- you-go. You would quilt each block and then it was a method which you never see anybody use anymore because it requires a lot of hand tacking on the back of the sashing pieces but I was really taken by the third dimension aspect of machine quilting that I put on that sampler, and how you could use that design on top of all of the other design work that you had done to-- [Lu, the cat, jumps on the quilt and meows, both laugh. ] Kitty, you shouldn't be on the quilt. [pushes Lu off quilt.] To further make a statement of art in the quilt come out. So all my quilts have been machine quilted from that time. That's how I got started, I took that class. And I was going to make one quilt; that was my goal. And when I made that quilt though, it was a sampler and I didn't want a sampler, my one quilt was not going to be a sampler. So I only took the class to learn how to make my one quilt but in the end I really liked my sampler and I would get so excited. When I bought the fabrics--you know she had a kind of formula that you would buy a certain number of lights, mediums, and darks of x number of colors that you would draw from. She had a good way of getting you a good palette so I probably was working with twenty fabrics or something which was something as a garment sewer you would never do and I just couldn't even sleep at night I would get so excited putting one of these blocks together and figuring out which of those fabrics to use on this block that she had taught. And I went to the library and I remember I borrowed Jinny Beyer's patchwork blocks book so I didn't just do--because I was a garment sewer, I never really wanted to follow somebody else's patterns and formulas so she would teach say a Nine Patch. I didn't want to just do the ones that she had in her book and handouts. I went to the Jinny Beyer book and found another Nine Patch so that it could be more--somehow a reflection of me or my life and not just another one. So I would be looking at the quilt names and traditions that went behind them to pick what went into my sampler then I made more quilts after that.

AH: So, do you remember what some of the blocks were?

CK: Oh yeah, because the quilt's in there in my guest room. It's wearing out. I used it for whatever that's been, that was in the mid-nineties when I made that quilt. I think it was 1994 and I have cats and I used it for probably fifteen years so it's been washed. Anyway, it's well used and well loved. It's my mother's favorite quilt in the world, I think. [laughs.] She doesn't like quilts but she likes that one. But anyway--

AH: What's the color scheme?

CK: The color scheme came from a decorator fabric that I had chosen for my window treatments in that room and it's teals and magenta and peach and green and blue. It has a lot of colors but I found some prints and the way that works is I didn't use that fabric in the quilt and everybody thought that was kind of strange. No, I didn't have to repeat that exact fabric because it was a very large scale print and I didn't want to cut it up and use it in the quilt that way. It was on the window and you know, in a big block there where you could appreciate all those colors that went together and it was really a very trendy nineties fabric but I still am drawn to that teal color. That's one I still work with quite a bit. It's on the guest bed now until I make something else that will be a little more up-to-date and less fragile than that one is because the fabrics on that one are starting to really show the wear that they got.

AH: So, how soon before you made another quilt, the second quilt?

CK: The second quilt was probably one I made with my sister and it might have been just a few months later. She came on a little break. She had kids and I think that was the next quilt--and we designed the quilt to copy a tile pattern that she had in her bathroom, a motif off the tile and we did it in big bold colors. The tile was all in shades of black and gray and white and the quilt was in red and blue and purple. It's really a very pretty quilt. We're remaking that quilt for her because, like my first quilt, it's suffered because it's been in the sunlight and it's been used and washed and kids climbed all over it and that's what happens so we're re-making that quilt and it's going to be more complicated this time. We used wide swaths of fabric the first time and did this gradation of color but this time we'll be doing that with little triangles and creating the same effect.

AH: So on your second quilt you were already not using a pattern?

CK: Right. And I've never made a quilt from a pattern actually. I used a pattern or two, I made a little hummingbird wall hanging once but I changed it. I couldn't do it the way the pattern was written. I made it for my husband and he really likes hummingbirds and he said, -That flower isn't right.' Hummingbirds really prefer a certain different look to a flower than that so I had to appliqué my own flowers on that which was completely not part of the pattern. And there have been a couple other instances where I used a design--well I made the block of the month quilt from my guild in Northern Virginia. There's a quilt designer, she works for McCall's magazine and she designed this quilt block of the month for the guild. And I really liked quilting her quilts and I thought it would be a fun way to do something very different than what I would have designed. So I did make that one according to the pattern so that's one exception.

AH: Was it hard to make a quilt from a pattern for you?

CK: Well, no, because in the last four years or whatever it's been that I've been professionally quilting I have hardly been able to make quilts for myself and a block of the month was something that I figured I could do and keep up with and it was a sampler also but it was not this traditional type of sampler at all. She used the blocks in a completely different way to create a medallion design and there were large areas that were suitable for quilting in the design. I had already quilted hers by the time I was making mine but she has a very unique style and I had grown to appreciate it and she always combines her--she doesn't always, but nearly always combines appliqué but not really traditional looking appliqué and piecing and in a very fresh way and with a fresh color palette but I made it my own because I used colors from I photograph I had taken at the azalea gardens at the Biltmore [Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.] and built my quilt colors off of that. It's one actual pieced quilt project that I have made in the last few years just for myself.

AH: You mentioned being particularly struck by your nephew's baby quilt in the eighties. Is that your first quilt memory? Did you grow up with quilts?

CK: No. I didn't grow up with quilts because my mother, although she was a very good seamstress and tailor and so was my grandmother and my great-grandmother was a dressmaker. Sewing was a very important part of the tradition that was handed down from the generation on that side--mother to daughter, mother to daughter. Her paternal grandmother had made quilts but she wasn't even aware of that. The quilts that she grew up with were utility quilts and she thought they were ugly. They were what they had instead of good blankets when she was growing up in the Depression and so she didn't like quilts. And I was exposed to them a few times when we would go visiting people on a vacation or something. There might be one in somebody's guest bedroom where I slept or something like that but I didn't really have any real exposure to them until my sister-in-law made this one.

AH: So are there any other quilters in your family now? Your sister-in-law, your sister, I guess.

DK: My sister won't make a quilt without me helping her. She's perfectly capable of doing it. We've made one for each of her children but it's always kind of a family project that we do together and she's not made the time, you could say, to make one on her own. Other than her, because as I said my sister-in-law doesn't really quilt. She's made one quilt. No, one of my cousins married a woman who's a very good seamstress and she's done some quilting but it's not a strong element in the family. It's more crochet, tatting and the dressmaking was a big factor.

AH: So what about your day-to-day quilting life? You mentioned your business, so why don't you talk about that?

CK: I bought a longarm quilting machine because after I made my first king-size quilt on my domestic sewing machine and that can actually be physically painful as well as difficult because I didn't do it in the quilt-as-you-go method, and I was trying to wrestle with all that quilt under my little sewing machine and just trying to lay it out on the floor and baste it and all of the elements because I had no table big enough to do it. I said, 'I can't make another king-size quilt this way,' and I had looked at paying other people to quilt my quilt but I wanted control of that part of the process. I didn't want to hand my quilt over to somebody else. It's funny that's what I do now for a business is take that from other people. They got over it but I couldn't get over that. [laughs.] So when my husband and I were talking about retiring and coming to North Carolina and we'd come that far along, I always had it in the back of my mind that I would make another king-size quilt for us at some point. I knew I wanted to buy the longarm machine and I figured I would buy it after we retired because it's a big thing. It takes up a lot of room. It's not easy to move around, and so buying it when we were on the verge of moving, it seemed like didn't make sense. But my husband, when I was talking to him about this whole thing--he's an engineer and he said, 'Well, if the machine's going to last you for the rest of your life, you should buy it now and get a couple more years' use out of it.' [both laugh. ] Engineers are very practical that way. Actually he went with me on my little buying excursions and I actually only made one. I fell in love with the type of machine that I found. When I found it, it was the right machine for me and that's the way we always recommend if people are looking into buying one of these big machines, you have to test drive them just like a car and everybody will have a different thing that they need out of that machine and you can't get it by asking other peoples' opinions, you need to drive it yourself. So I bought my machine, got it home--actually it took months because you have to be on a waiting list to get a machine out of the factory, they don't put them out that fast. So I sat there on pins and needles for months and [telephone rings.] thinking, 'Oh what have I done?' Do you want to stop that? [tape is turned off while CK answers the telephone. ] So I got the machine and it finally gets delivered months later. I start working with it, and my husband says, 'I think we made a terrible mistake,' because when you first start to use it you're pretty klutzy with it. As much machine quilting as I had done, because I made a lot of quilts, even after that king-size quilt, I just wouldn't make any big ones and I had always done a lot of machine quilting, it just took a few days though, to get the control of the machine and then you have work on certain designs and you build in muscle memory and there's some amount of just studying and learning as you go but I had the machine for only a couple months and then when people in my guild there found out, there was so much demand for longarm quilting in the Washington D.C. area, they were begging me to set up as a business. And I had no intention of setting up as a business until we had left the area and I was retired if I was ever going to set it up as business even then. I just wanted the longarm machine for my own quilting and the pressure was there though and it was almost an accident how I got started with it, but you can't just start quilting for other people for money. That's not fair to you. So we took a class in small business and I met a guy in that class who was also a small businessman as an accountant and I got myself set up. So it was about four or five months later that I took in my first paid work. And of course I was still working full-time so it wasn't a full-time endeavor for me but I never had to advertise. And there really was a much greater demand than supply in that area for finishing other people's quilts. So that's kind of how it started. It was not a big smart business plan on my part, by any means.

AH: So what was the first quilt you quilted on your longarm? Was it one of yours?

CK: I started with just the practice cloth my dealer had brought along with her. She actually spent two days training me on the machine and then I worked on my own practice cloths and I got bored with that right away. I had a couple quilts that I pieced in the time frame that I was waiting for the machine, so those were a couple of my early ones. And I made a couple of quilts for family members that I quilted.

AH: Were there any mishaps, or calamities getting started?

CK: No. There's an awful lot of ripping out your stitches. [laughs.]There's an awful lot of 'This just didn't work,' and a lot of it is technical and you don't really know why. I don't know what I was doing different then than I am doing now. There's a couple things, but the main problem was just getting tension right on the top and bottom of the quilt at the same time. As you would change some element of the quilt sandwich or the thread, the tension just needs to be adjusted and tweaked almost all the time on the machine. And the machine itself, I think, had to be broken in. There were elements of it, like I said, I didn't change anything at all about what I was doing for a long time and I didn't have to rip out as much for tension problems. That was the biggest thing. You quilt and it takes no time at all to put those stitches in and it takes hours to take them back out. [both laugh.]

AH: It's a good learning process.

CK: Yes. Happily, part of my garment sewing experience, unlike most people, I don't mind ripping stitches out. It's tedious and takes a long time but it does not bother me at all. It's part of how my mother taught me to sew. When I was not even ten years old, she took me to the store, we bought a pattern and a zipper and a fabric and I went home and I'm trying to set a sleeve in, and I'm eight or nine, and of course it was terrible. But my mother would rip it out and she would re-sew it in for me. And I could say that I had put that sleeve in, but of course she had done most of it, maybe she put in a couple inches of it but the same thing went for the zipper. Any part of it that was tricky she didn't mind ripping it out for me and then sometimes I could fix it and sometimes she would fix it. But I understood that as part of the process of completing your sewing.

AH: The point being, it's always worth it to redo it.

CK: Right. So even when I take stitches out, I know it's going to be better when I put them back and that's just the way I view it.

AH: I'll have to remember that. [laughs.] So you've had this professional longarm quilting business--well how long have you been working at it fulltime?

CK: I've never been working at it fulltime, I guess is the right answer to that because when we moved here we were building a house and so I couldn't schedule to work eight hours a day at this because we were always busy with the house construction project. And it was during that time frame that I discovered that I really was not getting any quilting done for myself and so when I might have been able to schedule more quilts, I didn't. I just kept a part-time schedule with how much I would work. But doing it and not having another job has been since we moved here which was in April of 2007, shortly after that. I actually brought a lot of quilting with me. It surprised me how many of my Northern Virginia customers stuck with me after I moved and the post office and the UPS guy bring me quilts.

AH: Why do you think that is?

CK: There's a couple of things. There's too much demand and quilting somebody else's quilt, for me is an emotional arrangement. This person has put this quilt top together with their love and care. They've put an awful lot into selecting fabrics, even if they followed a pattern or they bought a set of fabrics. They picked that design, they spent the hours it took them to put that together. It's my responsibility to respect what they've done and I think that the customers that were attracted to my work, you develop a relationship, you don't just hand your quilt over to somebody you don't know. I would never have been able to do it. It's a really hard thing to do, I think. So you develop a trust and you understand what this person does and you have seen enough of their work and then it would be hard to replace that relationship so I think that it's a connection that's like being part of the whole process. And part of it was my own particular style, was to try to enhance the quilt in any way I could without overshadowing what the quilter had put together. I see a lot of that now in longarm quilting. It's stuff that's hyper quilted or whatever. It's sort of that you've forgotten what the whole purpose of the quilt was sometimes. And the artistry of the longarmer has come a long way, even since I've been doing this. The variations in design, the individual things that people are doing. It's wonderful. But, when you're working on someone else's quilt you kind of have to squelch a little bit of that and respect the work of the customer that is paying you.

AH: So how many hours a week do you quilt?

CK: I have no idea. I really don't know. I keep track of the number of hours that I spend actually putting stitches in somebody's quilt. That doesn't represent half of the time I spend on that quilt because I have spent time talking to that person, what would be one of the first questions you ask is 'What is the intended purpose of this quilt?' That's part of what goes into the quilting design. So there's a long process beforehand. Some people, they just want it done quickly and they don't want to pay a lot of money and it's a pretty quick thing but when you're doing a custom job like this, and most of the quilts that I have quilted have been custom work. That is a long and sometimes an iterative design process that I'm working on. I'll take a photograph of the quilt and then I start working on designs and submit them as part of a proposal to the customer for their approval or 'Here's a range of options,' and for some folks, I have a lot of options and some I don't have as many. Some strike me as, 'I have no idea how I'm going to quilt this quilt,' but it's my job as a professional to come up with something that will work with the intended purpose of the quilt and what that quilter envisions when she hires me. So there's a huge amount of time that goes into the business that's not accounted for in the time that I'm actually quilting on something. And then there's a lot of running the business that's not quilting at all. Filing taxes every quarter for the batting that I sell and it's not quilting. And it's only maybe a third of your time, is the general estimate, is actually spent at your machine. In my case, it might have been a little bit more because so much of what I do is custom work and that takes more time at the machine than the overall kind of designs.

AH: So did that surprise you to find out that's you'd only spend a fraction of your time actually quilting when you had a quilting business?

CK: Yeah, because I didn't really know anything about the quilting as a business and there aren't very places where you can learn that. There is one school but I learned most of what I know about running a quilting business from Internet user groups and exchanges with other quilters. How to handle various situations, trying to get paid and all kinds of things that can come up and I happily have not really had any of the more unfortunate situations like that to deal with, but I guess you could say it surprised me because I didn't really have any major goals as a business, it didn't bother me that it comes as more of a shock to people who maybe gave up a job and need the money to help pay the grocery bills and there are an awful lot of women quilters in the country who are in that situation that it didn't surprise me so much as eventually you start to evaluate what you're doing and try to change a little bit so that it's a little bit more rewarding for the quilter, me in this case. I had read enough about it to know. I knew that quilters all had the problem of never getting to their own thing. I didn't really understand how hard it would be for me personally because the advice is always, 'Put yourself in your schedule,' when you start, talk to people and your quilting queue starts to stack up, you need to put yourself in the schedule or you'll never do any of your own quilts. I had never been in that situation. I always started and finished a quilt. I never had UFOs [unfinished objects.]That's just not my style of doing anything. So all of a sudden I was in that position and that's the thing that surprised me was that quilting for other people in the way that I did it, I had no more energy, no more creative power. I didn't want to quilt anymore, for myself. And so that was the downside of doing something I really enjoyed for other people, then I couldn't enjoy doing it for myself. And even when I put myself in the schedule, what happens is a brain thing, I would just think, 'Well, I've got fifteen quilts waiting for me and there's two more coming in the mail. If I take this week off for myself and something happens to me next week, I'll be behind,' and so I couldn't really enjoy the time. Even when I said, 'This is my time,' I didn't enjoy it.

AH: So what do you plan to do about this?

CK: I'm planning to cut back completely on quilting for other people and go back to just quilting for myself.

AH: Do you have a lot of ideas, just waiting to be done?

CK: No.

AH: For yourself.

CK: Right now I don't, which is unusual. Right now all I have is I have that quilt and that quilt and that quilt that need to be done for other people still in my mind and I can't think about my own. But I do have a quilt of mine on the machine right now because one thing I have done very year is reserve the end of the year time. I won't get involved in other people's deadlines for Christmas and don't quilt for other people that month.

AH: Well, that's good.

CK: Yeah. I had heard too many horror stories of quilters trying to finish things at the last minute so I just have a cutoff date and then I don't quilt for other people that last month. That's my only vacation.

AH: Okay Cheryl, we're getting close to the end of our time so I thought maybe we could just spend a couple minutes talking about what you think makes a great quilt or what you think makes a great quilter.

CK: I think all quilts are great. There's some--well this color combination doesn't appeal to me, or this theme I don't have any use for, or there's some that are sort of controversial or political in nature. I don't really go for that, but those quilts have a place. I think that anything that somebody has put the amount of time and effort into, to create a quilt, it deserves to be recognized for what it is. And, so this whole controversy you'll sometimes hear, here's an old quilt and somebody wants it quilted. The quilt was made probably to be loved. It wasn't made to sit on a shelf in a closet and so if you're going to hire somebody else to machine quilt it for you, that's great, even if it was made with those horrible polyester fabrics [laughs.] and the quilt is really poorly pieced. The person who put those pieces together who is now not with us, did that so that quilt could give somebody else some love. So it deserves to be quilted and loved.

AH: So, you know a lot of quilters, so what makes the great ones great, in your opinion?

CK: The great quilters probably they're doing something innovative, they're doing something unique, they're doing something with a degree of perfection that most of us could just dream of attaining, but like I said, I think all quilters are great. Anybody who does something by hand.

AH: Or, by machine. [laughs.]

CK: Well, yes. Yes. But I mean it's a creative process.

AH: Okay, I think we're pretty much at the end. So I'm going to say thank you and this concludes our interview and it is now 2:25.


“Cheryl Kotecki,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed April 22, 2024,