Sew and Tell – Meet Lisa Sipes

For show and tell today, I want to introduce you to my new friend and amazing machine quilter, Lisa Sipes.

I was first introduced to Lisa’s work when I attended Road to California last year. Her quilt, BeDazzled really dazzled me. The bright solid colors really spoke to me and this was even before I started using them in my own quilts.

Bedazzled by Lisa Sipes

Bedazzled by Lisa Sipes

Fast forward to QuiltCon this year and who won best of show? Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Lisa Sipes with their quilt, Double Edged love. I mean can you see all the detail in that quilting? This gorgeous quilt is a fantastic modern interpretation of the classic  double wedding ring quilt pattern.

Double Edged Love

Double Edged Love by Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Lisa Sipes

And guess who took Viewer’s Choice at QuiltCon? Again, it was Lisa’s amazing quilting along with Alison Glass’ impeccable applique in “Overgrown” that stole the show.

Overgrown Quilting Detail

OverGrown – Detail of quilting by Lisa Sipes

I believe it’s amazing quilting like this that is becoming one of the hallmarks of the modern quilting movement. I recently had a chat with Lisa to talk about her inspirational work.

Lisa began quilting near the end of 2008 when her mother suggested she take up long arm quilting as a new career direction (after dabbling in such varied occupations as accounting and bartending).

Lisa Sipes

Lisa Sipes

Lisa does all of her quilting on a Gamill long arm machine. She is a Gamill quilting artist which means she gets to travel with them showing off what these machines are capable of.  Her work has been seen in such magazines as American Patchwork and Quilting, Generation Q, and Modern Quilts Unlimited.

She does mostly quilting these days and her friends help with the piecing. Like any good artist, she always has several designs in her head that just HAVE to get made someday (I can relate!) as therapy to soothe the soul.

It takes her anywhere from a few day to a couple of weeks of focused effort to achieve such impeccable results. She doesn’t quilt just for the sake of quilting, but instead likes to have conversations with the quilters to determine how the quilt would best be quilted.

Sometimes she bases the quilting on the name of the quilt or why it was made or for whom. Other times, her inspiration comes from the design of the quilt or fabric. In all cases, she tries to make the quilting tell a story, such as her collaberation with Thomas Knauer for In Defense of Handmade:

In Defense of Handmade

In Defense of Handmade by Thomas Knauer and Lisa Sipes

This quilt is the actual barcode representation of a celebrity designed quilt that was mass marketed and sold through department stores. According to the quilt’s artistic statement, “the… bar code becomes a place for color and play… in lieu of the homogeneity of the factory-made.” Lisa’s painstaking quilting, tied off at every single straight line start and stop embodies the meaning of this quilt. It is beautiful hand-crafted work, indeed.

I applaud Lisa for bringing the art of machine quilting to a higher-level. Whether you quilt on a long-arm like she does, or use a domestic machine like I do, I hope you appreciate the artistry and vision that quilting can bring to a quilt.

7 thoughts on “Sew and Tell – Meet Lisa Sipes

  1. farmquilter says:

    I haven’t heard anything about Lisa since The Quilt Show did an article about her accident. Do you know how she is??

  2. mandy says:

    What a wonderful interview about a wonderfully amazing and inspiring quilter, her attention to detail and love for what she does is what we all strive for!! Thanks for getting her to stop for a few minutes so you could pick her brain!!

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