Meet Hazel Ashworth, a Persnickety Quilter!
Hazel Ashworth, Fargo, was born in Sheffield, England. She met her husband, Allan, while they were students at the University of Birmingham. Allan is from Brighton, a seaside town on the south coast of England. Sheffield is in south Yorkshire, not far from Manchester. Birmingham is almost half way between the two.
After moving to the United States, Hazel was a legal secretary at the Vogel Law Firm for 13 years. Allan was a professor from NDSU’s department of geosciences (see more here) and made six trips to Antartica to conduct research. Hazel and Allan are now retired and (hopefully) visiting places that are less inhospitable.
Hazel took up quilting in 1995, beginning with a class from Kim Baird because she wanted a project to work on while Allan was in Antarctica. Not many quilters own fabric souvenirs from Antarctica!
Hazel prefers working by hand, and especially enjoys applique. She describes herself as persnickety, and her attention to detail shows in her home and studio as well as in her meticulous quilts. Surprising for someone who prefers handwork Hazel’s sewing room features two Berninas ! The new model 740 has a longer arm for machine quilting. Maybe we’ll see some of that in Hazel’s next quilt.
Looking at her beautiful quilts, you might be surprised to learn that Hazel dislikes selecting the fabrics for her projects. She finds it difficult to choose colors. Fortunately, she loves red, and that appears in almost all her quilts.
Although she has made 20 or 25 large quilts, Hazel’s condo has only one bed! Each quilt takes its turn on the bed, atop a plain white spread, which forms the perfect frame.
Persnickety means, among other things, fastidious and punctilious. That seems to be an accurate description of Hazel’s stitching. Hazel is apologetic that she can only manage three hours of hand quilting per day. Three hours! It must be a bit easier now that she has retired from the law office.
Hazel and Allan both love to travel. When Allan goes by himself, he knows to find some fabric souvenirs to bring home. On a trip to Africa. the only fabrics he could find were tablecloth and napkin sets.
Hazel’s major at university was history, which she still loves. Ask what she misses about England and she will tell you it’s the castles, the history, the very age of the place.
Here is Hazel’s advice to the would-be quilter: take a class. Learn the correct way to do things from the start, so you don’t have to unlearn any bad habits.