Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - David Stemple

Today I am excited to introduce you to David Stemple - also known as The Quilt Engineer.  He describes himself as a Certified trainer in various Law Enforcement related curriculum, certified Special Operations (Senior Operator), Quilter, and an experienced Leader and Motivator!!!!  

When I contacted Tish and David about being part of this series as a husband and wife quilting family.  What I didn't know at the time, is that they both were from families with lots of quilters in them.  What a treasure trove!

Enjoy Dave's story...

Have YOU ever made a quilt?
I am happy to say I have made several quilts. My first sewing experience was in 7th grade home  economics class, making a pillow.  My next sewing experience was two years ago when my wife, Tish Stemple, taught me to quilt.

Tell me a story about your first quilt.

If you are talking about the first thing I pieced,  the pattern was called Blue Skies/Sunny Days and I was pattern testing for the designer, Sandra at mmm!quilts
This quilt hangs in our living room.  I entered it into our local quilt show and brought home an honorable mention.

The first full quilt from start to finish I made was the Added Up Quilt.  I found it in a magazine at the house and made it for my sister.  The pattern designer was Libs Elliot.  Each of the non-red pluses represent a member of our family and their favorite color.

Did your mother quilt? 

My mother, Bonita Stemple (pictured with Dad, Larry), was a quilter. She liked to make applique quilts. I don't have any pictures of her quilts, but one of my best memories was her sitting down and looking at the top I made for her without her knowing it was for her. She sat on the floor with crossed legs at 60+ years of age and just looked and looked.

How about a grand-mother?  

My paternal grandmother, Mildred “Midge” Stemple, loved to  quilt.  Here are a few of her quilts.

The quilt below was hand quilted (photo  of my grandparents,"Midge" and "Tilley"), showing the detail from the back of the quilt.

Have YOU taught someone to quilt?   
I haven't actually taught anyone to quilt.  But I have led a class on my pattern Star Blossoms at the local quilt shop - Bolts and Quarters - in Parkersburg, WV.  It was a small class with just two participants.  I always enjoy teaching and actually within my agency I work for, that is my actual job. I am temporarily reassigned but my actual job title is lead trainer. I did enjoy teaching but learned a lot and would do things differently. Specifically having all fabric pre-cut.

How many quilts have you made?
If my numbers are correct, I have made (tops and finished quilts) 32 quilts.

Do you have a favorite block?
I love simple half square triangles.  You can do so many different things with them.

Do you have a favorite quilt?

I recently did a quilt based on Liz at Savor Every Stitch’s Haphazard quilt generator. I absolutely love the version I created I call Fractured.

Second runner up would be Cheryl Brickey’s Looking Glass Quilt.

Do you participate in any quilt groups?
I am a member of the local quilt guild, Quilters At Heart Quilt Guild.  It was the annual quilt show that I entered my first quilt (shown at the top of the story) and earned an Honorable Mention.  As Tish stated in her story we are hoping to increase our membership with more activities and guest speakers.

Have you sold any quilts? For how much?
I have sold a baby quilt for $100.  I am currently making a quilt for someone and have been asked to make another.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Color inspiration comes from nature, then I find a pattern I like or design my own.

What is your favorite part of quilting?
My favorite part of quilting is choosing the colors and fabrics, then building the quilt in my mind before I ever start actually piecing the quilt.

Why do you quilt?
I love the process. From finding inspiration, picking out fabrics, choosing or creating a pattern of my own design, to the order and process of how a quilt comes together. Blocks turn into rows. Rows turn into sections and sections turn into quilt tops. Everything has an order. You have a tangible object when you are finished that you can keep or give away. Giving them away is probably the most rewarding, especially when people realize the work and love that goes into building a quilt.  

Plus is it something that I can share with my wife and we have in common…since she won’t take up running.

I actually asked Tish about running... here's what she had to say about it.

"I really don't like running, but I gave it a good go.  I was doing pretty well and had been slowly training with Dave and one weekend I completely over did it and injured myself.  I'm just not built for running.  As the chiropractor put's just a lot on my bones and joints with all the impact.  I've actually been thinking about giving it a go again, it's just the man it's A LOT of work thing."

Isn't it is a great thing that David wanted to have a activity that he and Tish could do together???  

Last year my husband decided to sell his vintage Honda motorcycle so that we could purchase a truck camper.  He enjoyed riding, but I did not... and he knew that.  So, he opted to sell it so that we would have the opportunity to enjoy camping... something we both enjoy doing.  Even though he hasn't taken up quilting, I do consult him from time to time for overall layout and color balance if something is just "not quite right".  And he is pretty darn cool!  I think I'll keep him... 

Is there someone you quilt with?  
Someone you collaborate projects and designs with?  

Leave a comment... 
I would love to hear about your quilting buddy!

Quilt Happy,



  1. I have really loved getting to watch Dave and Tish quilt together. :)

  2. 2 nice people who were lucky enough to meet, marry, and continue to have fun together.

  3. What a fun post - I am pretty sure my hubby won't make an quilts with me, but he is very interested in doing the quilting on my Gammill!! We joke that when we retire he will do the quilting while I do the piecing! xx