Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Interview with Quilter Moe Baly

I’m very excited to start a new “Spotlight Feature” on my Blog where I hope to intermittently interview Authors, Quilters, Artists, Amazing Home Cooks, and People of Interest. 

Today is my first Blog Interview and I'm lucky to have it with a truly talented quilter, Maureen (Moe) Baly. I met Moe about ten years ago at a quilt retreat. She is an enthusiastic quilter and a master of woolen applique. I’ve always said that no one can be in the same room as Moe and not be smiling…hopefully you will feel that way after seeing her work. 

If you have enjoyed a peek at this talented woman’s quilts—please leave a comment for her or simply mark one of the “reactions” at the end of this post. 

Who or what started you on the path to quilting?
I learned to make French knots when I was 6 years old and have had a needle in my hand ever since. I started sewing polyester clothing in the 70s when my sister loaned me a sewing machine. Around 1984 I took a quilting class and then spent the next two years learning the basics of quilting. About 5 years later I attended my first quilt guild meeting where I was amazed and happy to find a room full of women who also loved to quilt!
Moe made the above quilt in memory of a friend who died from breast cancer in 1997. The squares are all from her friend's "stash".  Words about Lauretta's two year cancer experience run around the border of the quilt with words about her family and quilting in the body of the quilt.  . 

Do you have a favorite style of quilting?
Yes, I love to do wool applique by hand. I started in 1992 and realized I had found my niche! I do most of my hand sewing on my daily commute to and from work—I like to call it “Car Art” rather than Folk Art.

Do you own a longarm machine? If so what type and do you quilt tops for others?
Yes, I own a Handi-Quilter Sit-Down Quilting Machine http://www.handiquilter.com (see picture). I quilt for myself and my sisters.

Moe at her Handi-Quilter Quilt Machine

What type of sewing machine(s) do you have?
I started out hand piecing and hand quilting. Then my husband inherited a 1901 Marshall Field’s Treadle Machine which I used for 7 years. Finally in 1994 I purchased my Pfaff machine while in Paducah, Kentucky at the AQS Quilt Show. When the machine arrived, I was actually afraid to sew with it! My husband sat down with me and went through the manual page by page until I learned how to use it. I am still doing all my piecing work and sometime quilting on that same Pfaff which still purrs like a kitten.

Featuring Mary Englebreit's Fabrics

Do you belong to any guilds, groups, or organizations?
I’m a member of Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild (NSQG) and Heritage Quilters of South Holland Heritage Quilters of South Holland and attend monthly meetings. I belong to the BAQS group where we go on five day quilting retreats twice a year, and another group known as the LMNOPQ (Ladies Night Out for Piecing and Quilting) Bee.

Any tools you can't live without? 
I love pin cushions, I have quite a collection which I actually use, too! I love the applique pins by Clover, they have a small white head. Kwik KlipPin Basting Tool is a finger saver when pin basting a quilt. Fons & Porter's Thread Snips because they are neon colored so easy to find among the mess while I sew. Valdani Threads, size 8, are the most beautiful perle cotton threads out there; I love to see my thread work so that's why I use the thicker size 8s. I have my thread sorted in "thread garages", normally used to house little boy's toy cars, it's a perfect fit for my thread. Of course there are plenty of other gadgets I love to use, but those are what I can think of right off the top of my head.
One of Moe's "Thread Garages"

Do you have a blog, website, FB, Twitter, etc that you’d like to share?
My Blog is http://moequiltz.blogspot.com/

A Beautiful Red and White
A Quilt in Honor of P.D. the Pet Dog
Please share with us your favorite quilt shop(s).
Here are links to shops for wool supplies:

Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop—A full service quilt shop specializing in hand-dyed wool www.primitivegatherings.us 

Wooly Lady-- an independent, artisan wool dye studio located in Eagle River, Wisconsin www.woolylady.com

Mary Flanagan’s Woolens—offers high quality woolens for textile crafts www.Mfwoolens.com

Wool, Wool, and More Wool

If there is anything you’d like to comment on about quilting, hand sewing, or anything else, please post here.
In 2005, I was Featured Artist at a Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild (NSQG) bi-annual quilt show. I was excited to share 65 hand-sewn wool creations and a dozen machine pieced and machine quilted quilts with the guild members. It was an honor that I’ll never forget.  
I’d also like to say that my sisters and all of my quilting friends are a great inspiration to my creativity, and that my husband is my biggest supporter.

Recently my queen-sized hand appliquéd wool quilt, “My Wool Garden Expedition” (see photo) hung at the Quilt Expo in Madison Wisconsin, and also won ribbons at the NSQG quilt guild, and Heritage of South Suburbia Quilt Guild Show. This quilt was all hand sewn over 18 months in the car going to and from work every day (while my husband drove).    
My Wool Garden Expedition-Woolen Hand Applique and Prize Winner

Detail of My Wool Garden Expedition

Detail of My Wool Garden Expedition

Detail of My Wool Garden Expedition

Detail of My Wool Garden Expedition

Thank you, Moe, for the opportunity to share your story and beautiful work on my Blog. 


  1. Replies
    1. Moe is fabulous quilter and wonderful person!

  2. I agree that Moe brings light and laughter to any room she enters. Her quilts are wonderful and her enthusiasm is contagious. Good interview.