Thursday, June 23, 2011

Member Feature-- Meet Pam!

We are happy to introduce to you another of our fabulous Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild members, Pam! (seen here on the left, with her sister, Susan)

BMQG: Tell us about yourself.

Pam: My name is Pamela Gavin, aka Pam or mamadeduski- a name one of my kids gave me during a board game. Born sometime in July; sorry, no details. I am an RN and critical care educator currently working at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital with over 35 years in nursing. I am married to a wonderful husband who is a practicing dentist and a mother of three college-aged adult children. I am excited to learn and explore new ideas in fabric. I have many sewing friends and sewing has been a lifetime hobby.

BMQG: How many years have you been quilting?

Pam: I have been sewing since I was a teenager in Home Economics class. I've been sewing quilt tops and a little home decor for the past 11 years. I've made approximately 15 quilt projects, with only a couple which have not yet been quilted. BMQG: What inspired you to start?

Pam: My love of sewing and creating my own clothing was inspired by a friend's mom who sewed regularly. Quilting started when my daughter wouldn't wear my lovely creations anymore and I took a quilt class at Strawberry Patches. The class met for three sessions and I thought you had to have all of the blocks made in between class sessions. So, by the end of the third class I was ready to assemble my quilt. I believe in doing your homework!

: What is your favorite part of quilting?

Pam: I like every part of quilting, including choosing the project, picking out the fabrics (playing in the coloring box), prioritizing what needs to happen, and then getting to my machine to construct. For applique, it's the relaxing part of sitting and hand stitching the pattern pieces in the evening after a long day of work.

: What is your least favorite part?

Pam: Complex piecing and getting all of the points to square without knocking off the points. "Stinkin piecing" I would call it, but I am getting over it. I can machine stipple a quilt, but I prefer a gifted and creative long arm quilter to quilt my projects. I can embroider quilt designs onto small projects or do a quilt-as-you-go project, but for large wall-hanging to full size quilts, I leave that creative process to the experts.

BMQG: Do you have a specialty?

Pam: I've enjoyed various methods of hand applique, with the starch method as my favorite for the quick and expert results. I also like machine embroidery and hand stitchery.

BMQG: Do you enjoy any non-quilty sewing?

Pam: Childrens' garments, sewing pillows, and I've also made a few bags and mini mats (mug rugs!).

: Have you ever entered a quilt show, etc.?

: Yes, local area quilt shows.

BMQG: Have you been featured, received recognition, or won any awards?

Pam: Yes, for hand applique. I recently won first place in the 2011 Best of the Valley for hand applique for my "Vintage Christmas" quilt which was expertly quilted by Lynn Douglass.

BMQG: How did you find out about the Modern Quilt Guild?

Pam: I went to the meeting at Strawberry Patches and also have seen more patterns with modern twists. The Flickr site has many amazing pictures of adventures and misadventures in modern quilting. I love reading some of the blogs and seeing how young modern women are interpreting fabrics and quilt blocks into quilts. Modern quilters are rule benders and have embraced the quilting industry with a new twist on old patterns.

BMQG: What about modern quilting are you drawn to? What inspires you? What would you like to try?

Pam: I am drawn to the modern fabrics and there are so many patterns with interesting color combinations which are much more out of the box. I am willing to try a bee or swap or group project. I don't care for some of the color combinations or layouts, but I am willing to try. I don't care for poorly constructed or ugly un-useful projects. Good design is good design! My old brain is beginning to enjoy the improvisational aspects of modern quilting. I love functional art. I am inspired by the younger generation's twist on old quilt patterns and the use of geometrical yet asymmetrical layouts. I am learning again!BMQG: Is there anything else we should know about you?

Pam: I am a Christian woman devoted to God and His plan for my life. I spend way too much money on fabric (I fall in love easily with new prints) and am currently on a diet (for weight loss). I'm de-stashing, so anyone looking for cotton fabrics, SEE ME!

Thank you so much, Pam, for taking the time to answer our questions and allow us to get to know you better. Isn't she so talented? You can keep up with her projects on her Flickr photostream. And we are very fortunate to learn from her expertise on applique at our next meeting, July 6th! It is so much fun to get a better glimpse of our fellow BMQG members!!!


  1. One day I hope to be as talented as Pam. ;0)

  2. Pam I wanted to thank you for the wonderful presentation you gave on Modern Quilts at the last meeting. It was so inspiring! My head has been spinning with all the new ideas!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words!! My style has changed so much since belonging to the BMQG. I love the look of modern fabrics and get so excited to see what new quilters are doing. I hope you keep coming. The June meeting will have a demo of improv piecing - I'm using scraps. It will be fun and colorful! See you there!!