30 March

In April we have the pleasure of welcoming quilting specialist Carolina Oneto to our studio for a series of modern quilting classes, and we’re so excited! We caught up with Carolina ahead of her visit to chat all about how she became a quilting master and what inspires her creativity.

What got you into quilting?
CO: Thirteen years ago, I had the privilege of learning quilting from two Argentinian quilters. Their guidance enabled me to immerse myself in traditional quilting techniques, providing a strong foundation upon which I could later develop my own unique style. Discovering quilting in South America was a fortuitous discovery, sparked by my encounter with the art form on Pinterest. I was captivated by the intricate designs and the storytelling aspect encapsulated in each quilt. Despite quilting not being a common activity in this region, I was drawn to the idea of creating something beautiful and functional using fabric and thread. The multicultural aspects of my quilting journey have granted me a unique insight into different quilting traditions and styles, enriching my creative process. It has been thirteen years since I embarked on this quilting adventure, and I am continually inspired by the cultural diversity that shapes my craft.

What inspires your projects?
CO: Nature, colour, math, music, social justice and other areas in art inspire me to create unique quilts that tell a story and evoke emotions.

How do you combine your mathematical and artistic sides in your projects?
CO: My background as an industrial engineer has significantly influenced my approach to quilting. While seemingly unrelated, engineering and quilting share common ground in their fusion of creativity and precision. The skill set cultivated in engineering has seamlessly translated into my quilting endeavours, allowing me to bring a unique blend of analytical thinking and creative expression to my quilt designs. In essence, my transition from engineering to quilting has woven together the worlds of creativity and scientific rigor, resulting in quilts that reflect the harmonious merger of mathematical finesse and imaginative expression. This marriage of disciplines has not only shaped my quilting style but has also imbued my quilts with a unique and captivating allure, where creativity finds its perfect complement in mathematical intricacy.

What is your favourite thing to listen to/ watch while sewing?
CO: I enjoy listening to podcasts and music. I have a list in Spotify that I listen to, especially when I’m quilting in my studio, that spark creativity and keep me focused while sewing.

What is your sewing snack of choice?
CO: A cup of tea or coffee and some fruit (I love cherries and mango) are my go-to sewing snacks to keep me energised and focused!

What 3 tools could you not live without?
CO: My rotary cutter for precision cutting, sewing machine for stitching, and my design wall.

What do you love most about teaching?
CO: When I was a student at the University I was a professor assistant, later when I was an Engineer I taught engineering at the University Faculty. I love to teach! Its in my DNA ( my parents are Chemistry teachers). Teaching allows me to share my passion for quilting, inspire others to explore their creativity, and foster a sense of community among fellow quilters.

How do you manage work, mothering and sewing for fun?
CO: For the last 13 years being a quilter has been my full time job! Balancing work and motherhood involves effective time management and prioritising tasks, as a former engineer I’m an expert doing that! Also working and having my studio at home really helps me to manage everything in an easier way. I’m super lucky that my job is also my passion.

What do you love about English Paper Piecing?
CO: EPP allows me to slow down, enjoy the hand-sewing process, create intricate designs, and carry a portable project wherever I go.

What do you love about improvisational quilting?
CO: Improvisational quilting gives me the freedom to experiment with shapes, colors, and textures without strict rules, allowing for creative expression and unique, one-of-a-kind quilts.

How do you see yourself in the future?
In five years, I envision myself working with a multifaceted approach. I see myself organising and leading week-long retreats and seminars, providing immersive experiences for quilting enthusiasts to delve deeply into the art form. These gatherings would foster a sense of community, creativity, and skill development, nurturing a vibrant quilting culture. I aspire to share my expertise in the textile and quilting realm by teaching at a university, imparting knowledge, inspiring creativity, and shaping the next generation of textile artisans. By contributing to academia, I seek to engage with emerging talents, instilling a deep appreciation for textile arts and fostering innovative approaches to quilting and design. Additionally, I envision showcasing my work in prestigious museums and galleries, elevating the recognition of quilting as a revered art form. This platform would not only shine a spotlight on my creations but also elevate the art of quilting within the broader artistic community, sparking new conversations and perspectives on textile artistry.

Through these endeavours, I aim to cultivate a rich world of creativity, knowledge-sharing, and artistic appreciation in the quilting world, leaving an enduring impact on both the artistic and educational fronts.

Carolina will be visiting our studio at the end of April for a series of modern quilting workshops. Book your space via the link below!