May was my #SDQAL partner-in-crime's month in the No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee. I've had the pleasure of getting to know Paul (blog: Evildemondevildog Quilts) since the bee started several months ago, and I am awed by his talent and creativity.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Me But Were Afraid to Ask (and probably shouldn't have)
Paul Hallinger, born in New Jersey. I am the product of a very nuclear family - dad, mom, me, and my sister. I am the older brother. Just a rather mundane childhood of growing up watching Japanese cartoons and Dr. Who. Oh, and Monty Python. And I was one of those 'studious' types who would much rather take home a 100 book reading list for the summer. And if my aunt would lend me her books on UFOs, psychic phenomenon, and otherworldly things, I would fit them in alongside The Great Gatsby.
I took up some levels of sewing and crochet in my teens, mostly because I lived next to my grandmother and aunt, both of whom spent time doing these things. I took a sewing class at a local fabric store (yes, they existed back in the Stone Age) and made a really cool for the times patchwork denim vest. Someone in my family still has it!
I graduated from high school and went off to college. Well that was an interesting thing to do. I lived in a co-ed dorm, found more fun than I could possibly ever want to experience, and decided that if majoring in forestry meant I had to learn latin, well, that was not going to happen. So after a fun filled year at a small liberal arts college in northern New Jersey, I dropped out.
And then I just explored new and fun experiences. I worked at various jobs, hung out at clubs with friends, got into CBGBs, became enamored with punk, double pierced my ears, got a tatoo, and colored my hair a lovely shade of blue after spending months looking like Rutger Hauer in Bladerunner. I would not trade those life experiences for anything. And Doc Martens ruled.
I eventually went back to college (I think I was 26 or so), working full time and going to school full time. I majored in sociology with a minor in psychology and I am that person in the room who doesn't say much but is intrigued by everything going on around him. And then off to grad school in the wonderful land of California. I spent two years getting my masters, buggered off the phD (eternal studentdom was not for me) and took a job with the Federal government in 1991. Been there as a day job ever since. I have lived in Jersey, California, Missouri and am now back in Pennsylvania.
What, too impersonal? Not a big sharer, but here you go.
I have been with my one true love for 26ish years now - our first date involved a trip to the dump. A true romantic that one. We both remember the movie we went to see and the fact that I didn't go home. And never left much after that either!
I took up quilting in 1992 or so - I had gone to Europe on a wonderful two week adventure and upon returning to the states blew out a couple of lumbar discs when I grabbed a suitcase out of the trunk of a car. Cross country flight and pain, not a good mix. So I was out of work for a few months and was going absolutely bonkers counting the ceiling tiles when a friend showed me how to cross stitch and then how to do quilt stitching by hand. I then asked her to show me how to make a quilt. I was using a lovely White sewing machine that I had bought at a 'school over-ordered' sale. I took it in for service and was amazed at the Bernina sewing machines, so I bought one! and then another. And then another. I have three. Two embroider (another favorite of mine). And then I bought a Juki (I like it for the more industrial needs!)
My quilting is like my musical taste - punk funk other junk, classical jazz industrial pretty much anything I listen to and like. So I quilt things I like - I don't confine myself to any particular style. I do tend to be a little 'matchy' with my fabric choices and tend to stick to one or two choices in a quilt - I personally feel that the fabric designer did what they did and I should let their expression stand relatively sound. When I look at some stuff produced by other quilters I just start hearing "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong...". My own personal aesthetic. I need some level of cohesion.
Paul's block request was wide open: he asked us to make any 8" block at all that represented us as quilters. A signature block, if you will. He is sure to have a wonderfully eclectic sampler quilt at the end of the bee!
I decided to make Fancy Fox face blocks from Elizabeth Hartman's fantastic pattern. For two of them I used part of my coveted Liberty of London stash, and for the others I used a new Anna Maria Horner print and a Joel Dewberry woodgrain in a lovely shade of deep purple.
Hope you like them, Paul!