Angela Huffman, longarmer extraordinaire and newly minted patchwork designer, joined Sara Gallegos for seven episodes on the 3300 series of Love of Quilting on PBS. The series, which begins airing in January of 2019 (check your local PBS listings), is filled with wonderful projects, techniques, and guests. I took moment to ask Angela a few questions about her experience taping the latest series.
Did you have a favorite project this season?
I really enjoyed the Pinwheel Tote lunchbox that Sara demonstrated on episode 3308. I haven’t done many bags and they intimidate me. When Sara laid out all the elements for the bag my head started to swim a bit, but as she showed each step, it was really quite simple. In fact, since then I’ve picked up a few patterns for other bags I want to try making now. But the best part… I got to keep the lunchbox at the end and had Sara sign it, too! I’ve used it a number of times since we finished taping and it makes me smile every time I use it.
Which episode taught you the most?
While getting all the quilt projects ready for the show taping, I started to get overwhelmed by all the units I had to make for my Magic & Illusion quilt, which is episode 3311. The deadlines for getting everything quilted and shipped to the Love of Quilting set was making me queasy. I sat down with the blocks for the quilt and thought about how I could make the units faster. Out of the blue, I figured out a huge shortcut using a split economy block that shaved off so much time for the piecing of the quilt. I was so excited that I’d figured it out and I couldn’t wait to show Sara my shortcut. In fact, I almost called her in the middle of the night when I discovered it to tell her about it! Designing the Magic & Illusion quilt really challenged me to grow as a pattern designer. Plus, I just love to quilt!
Any fun surprises this season?
Does fabric count? When I got the fabric from Moon Rabbit fabric line from Paintbrush Studios for my Moon Hopper quilt for episode 3304, it knocked me over. They have a striped fabric that uses the phases of the moon for the stripes, little bunnies that read as polka dots, and those floral elements in the focal fabric… *SWOON* I think I had to show that fabric to everyone that came into my studio. I fell in love with every piece of it! Sometimes when I’m done making a quilt, I’m also done looking at the fabric. I’ll use up the leftovers by piecing the back but I typically don’t start dreaming of another quilt using the remaining fabric. However, for this line… I’m still petting it.
What are your favorite parts about appearing on the show?
Every time I walk on the set, I get goosebumps. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to laugh and talk about quilting with folks who love it just as much as I do. I get nervous every single time we start to record a show, but Sarah and all of the production staff do a great job helping me feel at ease. I wish our viewers could see the army of folks behind the cameras, in the control room, in the audio booth, and in the green room. They are all so kind and supportive. Without their professional skills, we wouldn’t have the show that we do. I’m incredibly thankful for the friendships that I’ve found through the Love of Quilting show and I hope our viewers can tell how much fun we have on set. I wish Sara and I lived closer because I’d be hanging out in her sewing room all the time! Any day I get to sew with Sara is a good one.
How has appearing on the show impacted you?
I love how many folks I get to meet who enjoy watching the show and who want to give me a hug. I swear, quilters are the best people on the planet! Fans of the show stop me at quilt shows or come into my shop and tell me their favorite projects from the show, or they talk about how they tape every episode so they can watch it again. I love that! The ones that really touch me, though, are the folks who tell me that something I’ve said or demonstrated helped them grow their skills or understand a concept they’ve been struggling with. I have a teacher’s heart and knowing that I’ve helped someone feel capable and confident makes me so happy!
Any other fun tidbits to share with viewers?
The day after we finished taping the 3300 series, I got on a plane and flew to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival where I taught for a week. I often have to pinch myself at everything quilting has brought into my life—and this year, it brought me kangaroos and koalas! I spent two weeks in Oz and two weeks in New Zealand where I got to visit a number of quilt shops! I don’t have words to describe how beautiful these two countries are or how much I loved my time there. After spending a week on the Love of Quilting set and then heading down under to spend time with my Aussie quilting students, I found myself rejuvenated and looking forward to new quilting projects for the next season.
To see when the 3300 series airs in your area, check your local PBS listings. A DVD of the series and a PDF booklet of all the patterns will be available mid-February 2019.