If you haven’t heard, Quiltmaker has come into contact with three rare species in the quilt world. We featured three quilts made by three male quilters in our May/June issue. I had a chance to “virtually” chat with one of the three dashing quilters, Scott Flanagan. He designed Chop Suey, a pre-cut friendly twin size quilt.
Listen up ladies! This male quilter has a great story, and great advice, for any quilter.
What’s your quilting story?
I grew up in Longmont, CO, and come from a family of crafters and woodworkers. My love of quilting started with my maternal grandmother. While growing up, I spent many hours helping her piece quilts for Lutheran World Relief, family and friends. In all, my quilting journey spans more than 20 years. I’ve made more than 300 quilts through the years, and my personal collection now contains about 150 of my favorites. I love to make special quilts for family and friends, sometimes for no reason at all, but partly for the joy it brings, and to see the reaction when the quilt is received. In 2011, I started my own pattern design company, “4th and Main Designs by Scott Alan Flanagan”, and spend much of my free time designing quilt patterns exclusively for Country Traditions. I love the endless possibilities available when designing patterns.
What “kind” of quilter are you?
I enjoy most all types of quilting and have done some modern and art style quilts but I am primarily a traditionalist in my quilting style, but love to use brights, batiks and non-traditional color schemes. Samplers are my favorite type of quilt to make and design because of the variety of blocks and I don’t get bored of making the same block over and over again.
What would you tell women about male quilters?
Seeing as I have ten female co-workers and only 1 other male coworker I am pleading the 5th on this question! All kidding aside though, I really don’t think there is a big difference between male and female quilters. I believe it comes down to the fact that we each have our own personality, vision, and inspiration and that in turn is what makes every quilter, and their style, unique.
What is your quilt design process?
If I am working on a sampler style quilt, I try to figure out a theme or certain block (or set of blocks) that I would like to use in order to incorporate all skill levels and techniques. Once I have sketched out ideas on scratch paper I move to Electric Quilt 7 to help in figuring out the design math. Then I’ll start on the sample project by figuring out the color way I want to use. At this point a LOT of sticky notes get used in labeling fabric cuts, making pattern notes, cutting suggestions/revisions, square up points, pressing directions. Sticky Notes are a staple in my studio and are all over the place! Once I have the sample created and the rough directions figured out, I write the actual pattern. Depending on the project I will make test blocks or another whole quilt to make sure everything works out as planned.
Any sage words of advice for aspiring quilt designers?
Surround yourself with a great group of mentors and use them! Use them as a sounding board for ideas, ask them for advice, and have some who are willing to test and/or proof directions for you. I am blessed to have a diverse group that I count on for help from new quilters to advanced quilters, family members, close friends and even some who aren’t quilters. Everyone has a different way of looking at things! You never know what idea could be helpful!
If you can’t get enough of Scott (we certainly love him!) check out our quick video with Scott talking about his new quilt, Chop Suey, found in our magazine!