Featured Quilter of the Week @entropyalwayswins
Hillary Goodwin (@entropyalwayswins) is an ER doctor living with her family in California. Hillary sews, knits, travels, is always experimenting with new ideas, and blogs all about it at Entropy Always Wins. I had the opportunity to ask how her professional and personal lives meet and her insatiable curiosity.
All photos courtesy of Hillary Goodwin (@entropyalwayswins)
Stars and Stripes quilt top on a recent family trip to Iceland
Did sewing and knitting become your outlet to balance the demands of your career, or has it always been an important part of who you are?
I have been creating in one form or another for as long as I can remember though I am relatively new to the world of quilting. Making is a meditation of sorts for me. I knit many sweaters during medical school and now find myself working through the stress of my day job with handwork and quilt making. I can almost feel my heart rate slow when I pick up the knitting needles or sit down at the sewing machine.
“Flower Pots” Baby Quilt
Your 5/325 quilt has become a tool to facilitate the conversation on narcotic dependence and addiction issues. What has the reaction been from your medical peers to your quilting?
I was initially hesitant to share my creative life with my medical colleagues, but as my work has gotten out there more in magazines, and certainly with the national attention I have been getting with my 5/325 quilt, a “coming out” of sorts was inevitable.
Honestly my doctor friends have been really supportive and happy to see the problem of narcotic addiction highlighted in a new way. It’s also pretty fun to have these colleagues see quilting in a different light. I overheard one murmur on seeing my quilt, “that’s not a quilt, that’s art.” Boom! One more step forward in my opinion for folks to see quilting as the art it can be. Read more about Hillary’s 5/325 quilt process and finish.
Hillary (left) and her friend Robin with a quilt collaboration made using a painter’s drop cloth
I am always impressed by your fearlessness when it comes to using unconventional materials. Do you have any advice for quilters that are trying out a new technique or material?
I hate the idea of “rules” when it comes to creating. That sentiment along with my love for repurposing guide my making. I have made quilts with canvas and leather, Goodwill shirts, painter’s drop cloth (pictured above), and my old t-shirts as well as bags out of rubber, old jeans, and picture canvases. In my opinion, these mediums add a unique texture and story. If you just sit and look around you, there are so many materials ripe for quilting, bag making, etc. I encourage everyone to just experiment. Not every experiment will work but you will always learn something in the trying.
”Don’t Look Back” - striped IKEA canvas, linen, and blue suede
You travel. A lot. What is your favorite traveling craft?
One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain is, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” I feel so fortunate for what we have seen and will always prioritize a healthy travel budget over fancy cars, jewelry, clothing etc. My favorite travel crafts are knitting and recently I have fallen in love with watercolor painting. Life gets too busy for it somehow at home but it has become a special treat to paint every day on the road.
Embroidery with french knots
Whether it is trying new crafts or discovering more about the world around you, you obviously have a strong love of learning. What are you feeling drawn to explore next?
Learning is living in my book. The minute we stop being curious about the world around us the darker (and scarier) the world becomes. Read about Hillary’s reaction to the recent attacks in Paris
In the craft arena, I would like to become a better hand quilter and in my broader world I would love to learn another language (I am vicariously learning some Spanish with my kids). I also look forward to doing some writing and advancing my photography skills. My job constantly teaches me how finite and fragile life is. I want to soak up as much of this wonderful life while I can.
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