by Mary Beth Krapil
Next up in our series on our HQ Ambassadors is David Taylor. Our Handi Quilter Ambassadors are specially selected quilters and educators who use our HQ brand and machines. They are amazing quilters and leaders in the art. David is no exception!
David’s first quilt design was in 1999, a fundraiser quilt collaboration for Strings Music Festival in Steamboat with friend and professional longarm quilter Madeleine Vail of Clark, CO. Madeleine encouraged him to keep after it. Following a visit to Houston in 2001 for the International Quilt Festival, David’s obsession with fabric turned into an obsession for quilting as art.
Now, after more than a decade into his quilting journey, he has exhibited his work internationally and teaches at numerous venues throughout the year. David’s art quilts are created using hand appliqué, and are meticulously quilted on his HQ Sweet Sixteen®.
He is a two-time recipient of the Master Award for Contemporary Quilting from the International Quilt Association (2006, 2014), the Brother Wall Machine Workmanship Award from the American Quilters Society (Paducah Quilt Week, 2008), and a two-time Best of Show winner at the IQA’s Spring Festival in Chicago (2007, 2008). His works hang in numerous private collections around the world.
We had a chance to chat with David and ask a few questions about his experiences as an HQ ambassador. Here’s what he had to say:
HQ: What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?
DT: Being an ambassador for HandiQuilter is being a part of a very large, extended family. With my very busy traveling and teaching schedule, I have the opportunity to meet thousands of quilters every year. It’s always a delight to hear someone say to me, “I LOVE my Sweet!” – I agree!
HQ: How long have you been an HQ Ambassador?
DT: I officially signed on as an HQ Sweet Sixteen Ambassador in February 2009, after sitting down to a machine during a one-day quilt-a-thon for Project Linus at Quilters Newsletter Magazine headquarters in Golden, Colorado.
HQ: What is the most fun thing you have done as an Ambassador?
DT: I remember one of my favorite gigs was sitting down at the Sixteen in the Vendor Mall at the HMQS show in Utah during the spring of 2010. HQ had set up a camera and large monitor so passersby could watch me quilt ‘on the big screen.’ I was working on my quilt “Keeping Watch Over Carlson Ranch” at the time. With such a fun, efficient machine as the Sweet, talking about the machine’s features to quilters is a joy.
HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?
DT: My favorite quilt that I’ve created using my Sweet Sixteen is “Did You Wash Your Beak?” I finished the quilt in early 2013. The skills I had been teaching myself and to my students all came to fruition with that project. I am very proud of those Eastern Bluebirds. The quilt won me the “Best Machine Quilting” award from Quilt Colorado in 2014.
HQ: Do you still have your first quilt?
DT: Sadly, all of my personal ‘first’ quilts (first pieced project from high school – never quilted, first wall art quilt, etc.) were destroyed in the gas explosion and house fire I experienced in 2016. All of my professional quilts are fortunately residing in museums and private collections.
HQ: Who is your inspiration/muse?
DT: On a grand scale, Martha Stewart taught me that no matter what creative endeavor you embark upon, it’s always more gratifying to make it the best you can, each and every time. My niece and nephew used to call me “Uncle Martha.” Closer to home, my good friend of 30 years, Madeleine Vail never fails to amaze me with her talent and creativity, whether in the kitchen or her quilt studio. I can only aspire to be that peaceful, patient and precise.
HQ: Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your favorite and least favorite?
DT: When I sit down to the Sweet Sixteen, time fades away. There is something very comforting in listening to the rhythm of machine and moving the fabric under the needle. There’s nothing like being ‘in the zone.’ Pinning is my least favorite part. I know it’s silly little thing. I love accuracy, but I wish the process of pinning was equally satisfying.
HQ: Thank so much David, we look forward to more stunning quilts from you.
To learn more about David and see more of his quilts, visit his website at: davidtaylorquilts.com
Here are a few of my favorites: