Monday, October 5, 2015

Member Spotlight: Ellyn Zinsmeister

Meet Ellyn Zinsmeister, one of our wonderful guild members, and a board member. If you've been to meetings, you've probably seen Ellyn! She coordinates the swaps, bees, and challenges and keeps us busy with new and inventive ideas each month. It's pretty common knowledge that her favorite color combinations include aqua, red and grey- you'll notice a trend as you see her projects!  
Ellyn Zinsmeister

Ellyn has been sewing for as long as she can remember. She was sewing her own clothes by the age of nine or ten and truly has been drawn to it her whole life. She even worked in a fabric store while in college and got to help with displays and all (so cool!). While her degree in college was in business and accounting, she admits she never considered textiles as a career at that time. 

Mini Quilt made for a friend swap.
Ellyn has a current obsession with words in quilts!
Dresden pattern: Piccadilly Circus 
by Thimble Blossoms 
She sewed clothes for her two daughters, but didn't get into quilting until her mother introduced her to it after her mom retired. While living in Colorado, Ellyn went to a quilt shop with her mom and the next thing she knew.... she's making a quilt! When she moved to Texas, things really took off as she met other quilty friends (and we're so glad!)

It's all about creativity
Ellyn enjoys exploring new aspects of quilting and sees each project as an opportunity for creativity. Our recent "Improv with Intent" guild meeting has inspired her to try some different piecing combinations.  

But maybe not about the quilting! 
When asked about her least favorite part, her response made me chuckle, "The actual quilting part of quilting."   She's tried free motion quilting and just doesn't enjoy this part of the process. Fortunately, there are plenty of people who do enjoy that part, so she doesn't hesitate to outsource for that part of the process. 

One thing she does love? Hand binding. Which has proven to be quite handy in trading parts of the process with friends.  

According to Ellyn, The Marcelle Medallion 
(pattern by Alexia Abegg in the book Liberty Love) 
is the hardest quilt she's tackled and
 the biggest challenge so far!
Modern Quilting & Online Community
Ellyn learned about the modern quilting movement online and as she said, it just "spoke to her" and fit her personal style of design. Ellyn started blogging seven years ago, mostly as a way to keep track of her projects but it evolved into so much more! She started meeting people through their blogs, and saw modern quilters. She joined a local modern quilt guild and it became a stress reliever and she learned much from the programs and speakers.  When the McKinney Modern quilt guild was formed, she began attending since it was closer to home. We're glad she did!

A little about blogging
English Paper Piecing made modern by Ellyn
If you haven't checked out Ellyn's blog, Ellyn's Place, you really should! She keeps her blog focused on creativity- things she's making and things she's received. When she travels, she often posts about inspiration she finds in other locales. A pro tip on blogging from Ellyn: Keep a list of posts to write! Since we're often making for others, and can't immediately post about them, keeping a list of projects and posts, can ensure that everything is documented. 

Learning about quilting
Ellyn describes herself as an independent quilt learner. She doesn't take a lot of classes, but instead tends to read books, watch video tutorials, or look at online tutorials. She's a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the online quilting community! On her blog is a list of other blogs that are great resources for quilters. One in particular (when I pressed her to pick just one) is A Quilter's Table.

You may want to follow Ellyn's blog at Ellyn's Place or follow her on Instagram


  1. haha.Good thing I popped over to read about my friend Ellyn! Thanks for the shoutout! But seriously, Ellyn is inspiring! Like me, she enjoys doing a variety of projects - just adds to the fun. I always enjoy seeing what she's up to! Thanks for sharing - I certainly enjoyed your post!

  2. Loved reading your post and learn a little more about my talented Texan blogging seeing all her projects by following her blog.
    Maria from Australia.....

  3. Thanks for a great article about my online friend, Ellyn! As you said, she is so creative! She inspires me!