Robinsons at Robinson Grove
Image taken in Redwood State Park in California.
Family Photo in Seattle
Boys Messing Around
Hot Air Balloon Ride
In the Bahamas
Jacob with his Flag Quilt
Purple Leaf Quilts
Hello, I'm Shannon Robinson and I’m the quilter at Purple Leaf Quilts. Purple Leaf Quilts is a happy place, I like to say that everything we do here is fun! It sure feels that way to me. I am supported by my wonderful family of 3 (+1). That would be me, my husband, Steve, my teenaged son, Winfield Scott (he goes by Scott at home), and my son’s best friend Jacob. Jacob has spent so much time with us over the years, doing activities with us, spending the night (sometimes the week), and vacationing with us, that he has become part of the family. We call him our “sometimes other son,” and his mom calls me his “other mom.” We do have a lot of fun together as you can see in the pictures here.
I started quilting in 2011 when I was looking for something creative to do. I had been in the habit of repainting different rooms in our house, but there are only so many rooms before you have to start over. I had a Brothers sewing machine in the attic that I had bought 3 years earlier, so I pulled it out and made my first and second quilt. A Star Wars quilt for Scott and a memory quilt for my husband, from our trip to Vienna, Austria. To say that the quilting bug bit me, is a bit of an understatement. I was determined to learn everything right away and create every kind of quilt. Here I am 10 years later, and I have made a lot of quilts, and learned a lot, but there is still so much out there left to learn and there are SO MANY more quilts out there to make. I am sure that every other quilter in the world feels the same way!
After 3 years of making quilted pillows, and throw quilts, I managed to wear out my Brothers machine completely. This was 3 days before Christmas – I had Christmas gifts I had to finish. So, my totally wonderful Hubby went out and bought me a very nice Pfaff Ambition. I now own two, one is a backup and my travel machine. Then one year, my brother (Andy) was getting married, so I made him and his wife a Handy Andy quilt for their bed. It was actually my first queen sized quilt. I tied the center of the quilt, but wanted to machine quilt the borders, which I attempted to do at our dining room table, where there was space. Well, after much fighting and frustration (a queen-sized quilt is BIG), I declared to my husband – “this is the LAST time I am ever going to quilt a queen sized quilt on this machine,” His response? Well, I did mention my Hubby is totally wonderful, right? He said, “okay, let’s go take a look at one of those sit-down long-arms that we saw at a show a few months ago.” And that is how I became an owner of a HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen. Oh, and I LOOOOVE it.
Read on to learn how we came to be and got our name.
My Purple Leaf Quilt
Every quilt has a story...
I worked in education as an instructional designer/trainer in government contracting for nearly 25 years. At one point, in the year prior to COVID-19, I remember having a conversation with some coworkers about our “Happy Places.” Well for me, my happy place was the purple leaf quilt I was working on. It was a 45”x45” leaf design from the Hoffman Dream Big series. I put a border of green leaf fabric (with just a hint of purple in the background) around it and planned on hanging it as a wall hanging. I just LOVED working on that purple leaf, I loved quilting around and between the lines to create just the right texture. And then there was the border fabric. I quilted, in purple, around each of the leaf motifs, and they just popped! They had a texture all their own! I do have the Purple Leaf Quilt hanging in our dining room. And I sometimes go by just to touch it and feel that wonderful texture.
Once I finished the quilting on it, I brought it in to show my coworkers and one of them asked if I sold any of my work online. That was when the seed was planted.
Then came the time of COVID! My time on that last contract came to an end, LITERALLY the day before everything shut down at the start of COVID-19 in Virginia. This turned out to be a very good thing for our family.
With my degree in education, and my expertise in online education, I was able to help Scott and Jacob through some very challenging times with school. Both boys have special needs, and the school situation was particularly tough for them. But the extra time also allowed me to spend even more time in my happy place - my quilting studio. That is when that seed of a thought, planted by that purple leaf quilt, began to blossom. It started out to be simply a method of selling my work and making a little money. But then I realized that I could do so much more. I LOVE sitting at my Sweet Sixteen and “coloring,” as I call it. So I began to do some quilting for a few friends. Then it turned into some friends of friends, and I’m working on making it grow even more. It is a bit difficult as there are still no guild meetings or quilt shows, but it is coming.
I also have had people ask to buy the patterns for the quilts I have done. I often start with an idea from a pattern or another quilt that I’ve seen, but then the quilt just kind of grows on its own. With 25 years of writing training, writing a pattern is kind of a no-brainer. So, I am working towards having a whole collection of patterns to sell.
And you can’t stop the educator in me! I love to teach, I love to help people learn new things. So I will also be looking for opportunities to teach some classes. I might even do some online classes. Let me know if there is something that you are particularly interested in and I can develop and present a class.
So, with the support of both my wonderful husband and my son(s), as well as several very supportive friends, we have begun Purple Leaf Quilts.