Tuesday 23 March 2010

show & tell - rita hodge

I've been really dying to post this second Show & Tell interview! I know you are going to really enjoy learning more about my guest, the talented Rita Hodge from Red Pepper Quilts. Rita's beautiful quilts exemplify the Fresh Modern style through her exciting use of whites and solids and her wonderful colour and pattern choices.

I'm sure you'll be as interested as me to read what her future plans are (!), find out which of her beautiful quilts is her favourite (I couldn't choose) and follow the links she's generously provided to her favourite inspirational quilt artists. Sadly I can only share a few of her beautiful images so make sure you follow her links to see more of Rita's lovely work and buy her quilt patterns and quilts.

Rita Hodge
flickr group - red pepper quilts

Short description of your blog/style/work

I am a quilter with a love (addiction) for fabric.  My quilting style is fresh and modern, using really simple and often traditional design ideas to make colorful quilts. My blog is a journal of my creative self, and I hope to show readers that easy to make quilts can be really striking, and that by taking small risks in fabric and color selection the final product won't disappoint. It is all about sharing my knowledge, and I hope inspire others to pick up the rotary cutter and use their fabric stash.

1. Why blog? How did you start?

I started blogging in April 2009.  My family and friends are fans of my quilts and fabric stash and encouraged me to start blogging to keep up with what I was up to. 

2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
I am a self-taught quilter, although I have always been surrounded by a crafting family.  My mum always had a crafting project on the go - when I was really young she enjoyed cross-stitch, but has since dabbled in many crafts including knitting, crochet, folk art, pottery, and quilting.  My sister is also a keen quilter and long arm professional machine quilter, but it wasn't until my two children were in primary that I decided to give quilting a try.  Right from the word go I loved fabric and have been building my fabric stash since.  I am also blessed to have a Mother in Law who is a talented seamstress and enjoys both machine and hand piecing quilts.

3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
My workspace is the dining table right in the middle of our open plan kitchen/dining/living room area.  There is ample seating at the kitchen bench for our meals, and as such the dining table is rarely clear of my quilting supplies, or my work in progress.

4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
My blog name does not have any real significance.  I set up a business name in 2008 when attending the Houston Quilt Market, and have continued to use this name for my blog and online stores since then.

Apparently this droolworthy stash doesn't include all Rita's solid fabrics, kaffe fassett and amy butler fabrics and anything larger than 1/2 yard!

5. Favourite medium to work in?
Favorite medium is definitely fabric.

6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
My future direction is perhaps in teaching some workshops or patchwork sewing classes.

7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Am I neat and organised? I think I am neat and organised, perhaps my family think otherwise… Admittedly when I am working on a quilt, I do tend to pull out lots of fabric, without putting it back or even folding it.  So at times there might just be a huge pile of fabric on the table spilling onto the floor.  No matter how meticulous and careful I am there are always threads and fabric scraps on the floor.

8. Favourite handmade item you own?
There are a few quilts that I have made that I am very fond of.  At the moment I love the custom made quilt that I made for a blogging friend, Kate from One Flew Over [shown at the top of the post].  It is pieced from Half Square Triangles, using a green/grey color palette, again not complicated, but so effective.

In terms of wearable items that I have made, my favorite would be the Laminaria Shawl.  I do enjoy both crochet and knitting, and I am particularly fond of lace knitting.  This lace shawl was a little challenging, and although green is not a color I wear well, I do wear the Laminaria shawl often.

9. Favourite food/recipe?
Our favorite family meal is a baked macaroni and cheese with lots of vegetables.  Mushrooms are a staple for most of our meals also.  Dutch (salty) licorice is my favorite confectionery, and find it hard to get through the day without a strong coffee.

10. Favourite colour?
This changes often! Looking at my fabric stash the most often purchased fabric is green. I stay clear of purple.

11. Star sign?

12. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
New York City - As a family we have visited NYC numerous times and feel very comfortable and at home in the buzz of this big city.  We use the public transport system to make our way around, and seek out all of the yarn and fabric/craft stores on all of our travels.

A favourite place, Rita and her beautiful kids in NYC at the Rockefeller Center in 2007.

13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
No tricks, sorry, but I do try to remind myself to get enough sleep.

14. Favourite artists?
There are numerous quilters/fabric designers that I really admire:  Kaffe Fassett, Nancy Crow, Mary Lee Bendolph and the Gee's Bend Quilters, Paula Nadelstern, Philippa Naylor, Denyse Schmidt have all inspired me in different ways.

15. Three words to describe you?
I find this really hard! Loyal, determined and unselfish.

16. What do you like to do besides creating?
Besides quilting I enjoy knitting and crochet and usually carry my knitting project around in my handbag. I love reading, and read most nights. As a family we enjoy traveling abroad.


  1. A lovely interview and I can vouch for Rita's generoisty...she is a fantastic lady.

  2. Lovely interview...I started quilting last year and also found Rita's blog and have learned so much from her...she is also very generous with her time in answering my questions. Thanks Rita!!

  3. Great interview! I love Rita's blog she makes amazing quilts! Thanks Sharon.

  4. As a friend of Rita I could list a whole string of words to describe her - generous, honest, loves her family, refreshing, always willing to share, very creative mind always
    working. Her quilts as we know are
    stunning. Lesley

  5. Well done Rita! Great interview, fantastic quilts!

  6. Great interview Rita!
    I'm proud to be your mum.

  7. I can see why you were champing at the bit. I have about 27 kazillion of Rita's how-to or top tip posts bookmarked so that I might actually be able to pull a beginner quilt together one of these days...!

  8. Lovely interview! And amazing quilts - I think it takes real skill to mix plain colours with patterns so beautifully.

  9. I am a daily reader of Rita's blog, and can say that she and her work have influenced me a great deal. I was especially interested in taking a new direction in my quilting, and found her to be an inspiration in many ways. I think most of all, she has somehow extended the "go ahead" to try something new out of my comfort zone. I so enjoy her blog! A great interview. Thank you for that.

  10. Thank you all for your lovely comments.
    I was so touched that you came to read the interview Adriana, you have lots of reasons I'm sure to be proud of your lovely daughter :-)

  11. Such a beautiful interview. I just love the giving spirit that runs through it all - very inspirational :) Kx

  12. Great interview with a downright talented, awesome, thoughtful, inspiring lady! I can personally vouch for her generosity and kindness. I can't believe she's only been blogging since April last year! I feel like I've known her forever.

    Thanks for this Kate ;)

  13. woo-hoo! totally awesome. Rita is amazing. I just can't get over that photo with the colour co-ordinated neat piles of fabric. Sooooo amazing! I wish I was this organised. rita's quilts are beautiful. Such a great read. thank yoooooooooou. xo :) K


Thank you for dropping by and commenting :-)