Eileen Zube

Questions & Answers with Eileen Zube, Quilt Artist

Q.   When did you start quilting? 

A. I actually have been an artist since childhood. I dabbled in sewing doll clothing, knitting, clothing construction for myself, and cooking and baking at a very young age. I transitioned into quilting around 1982 when I took my first beginning quilting class and was hooked. The first quilt I made was a sampler and all of the work from the pattern drafting to the sewing and quilting had to be done by hand. The instructor would not let us use a sewing machine. 

Q.   What inspires you? 

A. I am inspired by just about everything I see. The colors of nature, the shapes I see in construction, lovely scenes of nature, and every pattern I see. I even see quilting patterns in fence detail and grates surrounding tree bases. 

Q.   How long does it take you to finish a quilt? 

A. That is very dependent on the quilt itself. Applique tends to take months to finish due to the detail and handwork. Some pieced quilts can take merely days and some applique quilts take an entire year. Many times I am working on several projects at the same time and sometimes projects will sit and age like fine wine for a time. It also depends on life. Sometimes the mundane aspects of life like cooking dinner and laundry just get in the way. 

Q.   Do you have quite a few projects waiting for you? 

A. I have to admit that I have enough projects in my head and in my project boxes to keep me busily occupied for another 20 years or so. Quilters are like that. We accumulate projects called our stash because we fall in love with a project and know that the fabric will only be available for a limited amount of time. Therefore, we purchase the fabric and pattern and put it away for a rainy day. Since Bob and I live in Seattle I should have no excuse. 

Q.   Do you belong to a quilting guild? 

A. I actually belong to two guilds and I also have a quilting buddy that I quilt with once a week – she and I compliment each other really well. When one of us is stuck the other usually has the correct answer on how to fix a problem or a particular color to use etc. 

Q.   Do you and Bob work well together creatively? 

A. We have always complimented each other and been supportive of our creative pursuits. I think that Bob is a brilliant artist and have always been inspired by his work and theories. Bob always loves my quilts and is on the ready to give support and advice if needed. We have been happily married for 46 years and we must be doing something right. 

Q.   What do you do with your quilts when finished? 

A. Bob really doesn't like me to give away my creative artwork so I keep most of my quilts. I made a baby quilt for a girlfriend in California who was pregnant with a little girl. I designed the quilt myself and it turned out adorable with embroidered baby animals and it was very colorful. Bob didn't want me to give that quilt away. I then proceeded to make a second baby quilt which was almost a duplicate of the original one I created. After both were quilted and finished I asked Bob to pick the one he wanted and gave the other one to my friend as a baby gift. Bob was happy. 

Q.   Do you ever get creative blocks? 

A. I never get periods when I can't be creative, however, sometimes I have to play with a quilt design and fabric to make a quilt work well. Like Bob sometimes the creative process goes smoothly and sometimes it fights you for a time. The longer I quilt the better I get with fabric, contrast, color and design. 

Q.   What is your favorite type of quilting? 

A. I have become quite fond of applique quilts and I love heirloom quilting. The flowers and shapes of applique quilting has really drawn me in and I am currently working on several amazing quilts and have numerous ones waiting in the wings for me.

Artist Engagements

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