Monday, June 22, 2009

Interview with James Niles, A Man Who Quilts

Well, if you are reading this post and interview then you know it is mans week here at the Quilting Ranny blog and that I am today in surgery. I interviewed two wonderfully talented men who quilt just to have a change of pace and I scheduled this to be posted today.

My hubby will be with me over the next 24 hours at the hospital and will update you with my condition as he can. But honestly, with all he will have on his plate, don't expect volumes!

James Niles is an 88 year young quilter. At the time of this interview, his long time friend Russell Lord asked and wrote answers to my questions. Both have been very gracious to do this for me and I know you, my readers will enjoy these.

1- How did you get into quilting and how long have you been quilting? I saw my Mother quilting at an early age, but I didn't begin until the mid 50's. While working at a Dept. store in Cleveland, Ohio, I saw them throw out lots of drapery samples. I retrieved them and did my 1st patch work quilt from these samples.
Now, 70 years later, I'm still at it.

2- What was the first quilt you ever made, how large was it and how long did it take you to make it? See answer #1. Maybe a twin? Several weeks in the making, as it was only tied.

3-Do you pre-wash your fabrics or not? Not usually.

4- What is your favorite quilter’s tool? My imagination.

5- You have made some amazing art quilts, do you make other quilts and how did you ever begin making an art quilt? I saw a whiskey bottle with a dragon on it and decided I'd try to make the dragon on a quilt.

6- When you first took on quilting, what were the reactions to this from friends and family? Most thought I was nuts.....

7-Does your wife quilt? No wife, so I do as I please!!!

8- How many men are in Clark County Quilters? 6-7? Here at the Quilting Ranny, we have been blessed to interview 2 of them!

9- If you feel comfortable, can you share a bit of your life with my readers? Background and how you knew quilting was for you. I began a career as a Baptist minister, and worked during the WW2 in an army hospital and worked for a Sports /Outdoor store for 35 years in warehousing. I just enjoy making things with the fabric??

10- Do you have a studio, special room or other area where you quilt? yes.

11- Do you take quilting with you when you go on vacations, to the doctors office, etc.? ( I always take something with me when I am going to have to sit and wait)no

12- What are your favorite colors for quilts? Depends on the subject.

13- Do you had quilt or machine quilt and or tie your quilts or does it depend on the quilt? hand quilt- stab method and tie & does depend on the quilt.

14-How do you get an idea for a quilt? Once that idea is going to become a reality, how do you choose your fabric and colors? Many, I make up in my head- many I adapt from pictures or other sources. Colors depend on the mood or subject.

15-Do you have one special quilt shop you prefer to get fabric or does it depend on where you are at the moment? No

16- Do you visit quilt shops when you go on vacations? yes

17-Thinking of all the quilt shops you have been to and where, which would be your favorite and why? Can't say any favorite !

18-Do you sell your quilts, keep your quilts or give them away? all 3

19- Any Favorite quilting stories, jokes or sayings to share? Some years back I was the featured artist of a 1 person quilt show in Vancouver,WA. when several young teen age boys peeked in. They viewed the show, and seemed to enjoy it. Then asked "Why doesn't any one ever help you with all this work?? "Thought the comment was funny and strange, so tried to explain how an artist- Van Gogh, Picassio or how ever?? does the work . Its a personal thing!

20- Anything else you want to share with my readers? No
To View some of the beautiful quilts that both Russell and James have made, go to:

**Both of the quilts shown on this page were made by James. Russell Lord (tomorrows interview) gave me permission to use these pictures.

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