Etarae has been sewing and crafting since childhood. She still has an apron she embroidered when she was about five years old. She’s made clothing and decorative gifts her entire life.
Etarae began quilting in about 1990, when she was looking for a project to do once her son was off to college and she was working only part-time. She started big and complicated—a multi-colored jacket that took her almost a year to complete. It incorporated a variety of traditional quilting patterns—no simple sampler for her. After that, she went bigger, making a twin-bed sized quilt using a repeating Seminole patch (another year). And biggest—a king-sized bed quilt with repeating triangles and appliqués of two cats (don’t ask—almost five years).
Once she learned to make smaller items—primarily decorative wall quilts, ranging from about 12” x 18” to 4’ x 6’—she began to experiment with decorative embellishments—embroidery floss, yarns, and beads. Several of her quilts were inspired by trips she took. “Hawaiian Flowers” shows off photos her husband Jerry took in Hawaii (where else?). “Chinese Gate” reflects her trip to China. And “Aegean Sunset,” displayed here, conjures up memories of her trip to Turkey.
She recently finished a small baby’s quilt featuring the baby’s Hebrew name and liked it so much she finished a similar one for her granddaughter. She also completed a wall hanging that features a variety of tropical animals—crocodiles, lions, and elephants, a reminder of her recent African safari.
Etarae’s newest avenue of interest is machine embroidery, which she incorporates into some of her quilts. Using specialized software, she designs the quilting patterns at her computer and transfers them to the embroidery machine.
Etarae also quilts small items to order. Her bowl buddies, for use in the microwave, are available in your choice of size and colors. She embroiders initials on napkins and handkerchiefs. She can embroider your name or other information on special-ordered fabric art.
Etarae is self-taught. She never took a quilting class but has quite a collection of quilting books and magazines. She loves going to quilt exhibits as well, to see what other quilters are doing. There’s so much talent out there!