Love Patchwork & Quilting


- theathenaw­orkshop theathenaw­

We talk to founder of the Athena Workshop, Megan Lopez, about her quilting journey and what inspires her…

How did you first get into quilting?

I learned to quilt at the same time as my mom, when I was about 12. I was always in her sewing room helping her do quilt math and cut fabric pieces. My mom and I never worked from patterns – we just designed and made quilts based on others we’d seen. So I felt very confident starting off as a quilt pattern designer because I’d already done it for so long! I stopped quilting in my late teens and for most of my 20s, but then discovered the modern quilting movement and absolutely fell in love with it again. I loved the minimalist aspect, use of solid fabrics and negative space – I identified tremendous­ly with this style of quilting.

What kind of quilts do you like to make?

I love to make quilts with designs that mean something to me. Most of the patterns I create or that I’m drawn to by other designers remind me of – or are inspired by – experience­s, places or people I love, and those universal feelings of joy, wonder, nostalgia and friendship.

What’s your all-time favourite quilt pattern?

That’s like asking someone to pick their favourite child! But if I had to pick, I’d say probably my Empire pattern (see right). It’s quite an intricate pattern to make because the blocks are so small, so it’s not a quick sew by any means. One person even described it as a puzzle she was putting together.

You can only use prints from one fabric designer for the rest of your life… who is it? Another tough question! I think I would probably go with Amy Sinibaldi. I love her delicate, colourful designs, and I think they’re so versatile! I’ve loved absolutely everything she’s put out and I always get giddy in anticipati­on of any new releases she has as well.

Have you ever met a quilt block you don’t like?

I recently did a Log Cabin block for the first time and found it more challengin­g than I anticipate­d! I don’t like blocks that require lots of tiny piecing or lots of pieces in different sizes. I found keeping track of all the elements very confusing – and sometimes the blocks can become warped so I wasn’t a big fan. But always up for giving it another go!

What can we expect from you in the future?

To keep creating exciting new patterns and using my growing platform to advocate for causes I believe in through my annual Social Good patterns. I also want to work to make the modern quilting movement more accessible worldwide. One long-term project I’m currently working on behind the scenes is translatin­g my patterns, starting with Spanish because that’s my community. After that I’d like to translate them into other languages where quilting is popular and maybe put out a range of quilt kits too.

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