The Quilting Life of an Army Wife: an Interview with Aby Dolinger
QN chats with Aby Dolinger about her new pattern concept and life during deployment.
Aby Dolinger creates classic quilts using Layer Cakes, precut 10˝ squares available from Moda Fabrics. Her article "Cutting the Cake" is in QN's October/November 2009 issue, and Moda distributes her patterns.
QN: What does quilting mean to you as a military wife?
AD: My husband, Ran, is an Army chaplain, and we move every three years. Military wives rely on each other for emotional support while our husbands are deployed, and quilting helps us forge close, enduring friendships. When I arrive in a new place, I immediately check out local quilt shops, guilds, and quilt groups. If I don't find a quilt group, I start one.
QN: How do you prepare for moving?
AD: I go through my fabric and tools and donate everything I won't use again. I pack fabrics one color to a box. With online shopping, there's no need to stock up before moving overseas. The post exchanges at larger installations in Germany sell fabrics and quiltmaking supplies.
QN: How do you stay in touch with your quilting friends?
AD: The Internet! The American Samplers, a group that started on an Army post in Germany in 1995, maintains a Yahoo group. We post photos of projects and host two or three block exchanges, challenges, round robins, or group projects every year. We meet annually at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Virginia to catch up, laugh, view quilts, shop, and eat.
QN: How did you become involved with Moda?
AD: I devised a way to make traditional quilt blocks while conserving fabric and saving time. Layer Cakes, Moda's stack of precut 10˝ squares, and my method went together like peanut butter and chocolate! I emailed Moda's marketing director. She gave me an opportunity to prove myself, and the pattern buyer selected ten of my designs. I love Moda fabrics. They really spark my creativity.
Buttons for Betty, 57˝ x 57˝, 2008.
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