Meet Hazel Ashworth, a Persnickety Quilter!
Hazel with a Vines in Bloom, a multiple prizewinner from the 2011 Indian Summer Quilt Show
Hazel Ashworth, Fargo, was born in Sheffield, England. She met her husband, Allan, while they were students at the University of Birmingham. Allan is from Brighton, a seaside town on the south coast of England. Sheffield is in south Yorkshire, not far from Manchester. Birmingham is almost half way between the two.
Vines in Bloom, featuring hand applique and hand quilting
Hazel took up quilting in 1995, beginning with a class from Kim Baird. She was a legal secretary at the Vogel Law Firm for 13 years.
Hazel wanted a project to work on while Allan was in Antarctica, a place where he has lived and researched six times. Allan is an emeritus professor from NDSU’s department of geosciences. (see more here)
Not many quilters own fabric souvenirs from Antarctica!
Hazel prefers working by hand, and especially enjoys applique.
This quilt decorates the wall just outside the Ashworth’s unit in their south Fargo condominium.
Hazel describes herself as persnickety, and her attention to detail shows in her home and studio as well as in her meticulous quilts.
Two Berninas in the sewing room! Surprising for someone who prefers handwork, isn’t it?
The new model 740 has a longer arm for machine quilting. Maybe we’ll see some of that in Hazel’s next quilt.
A work in progress on the design wall, which is also the closet door.
Looking at these beautiful quilts, you might be surprised to learn that Hazel dislikes selecting the fabrics for her projects. She finds it difficult to choose colors. Fortunately, she loves red, and that appears in almost all her quilts.
Another quilt shown at the 2011 Indian Summer Show. Red white and blue is always a good color combination.
Hazel is a long-time member of the Applique Group, whose members make blocks for each other. The recipient chooses the design and fabrics.
You can see in the flower vase quilt above that Hazel has carefully balanced the shapes and flowers. What saves this from being a run-of-the-mill applique sampler is the zippy diamond sashing. It adds movement and excitement without overpowering the blocks and borders. Notice how carefully the corners are formed! Nothing has been left to chance here.
A champion quilt and quilter at Paducah!
currently in pride of place
Although she has made 20 or 25 large quilts, Hazel’s condo has only one bed! Each quilt takes its turn on the bed, atop a plain white spread, which forms the perfect frame.
Persnickety means, among other things, fastidious and punctilious. That seems to be an accurate description of Hazel’s stitching.
Hazel is apologetic that she can only manage three hours of hand quilting per day. Three hours! It must be a bit easier now that she has retired from the law office.
Hazel and Allan both love to travel. When Allan goes by himself, he knows to find some fabric souvenirs to bring home. On a trip to Africa. the only fabrics he could find were tablecloth and napkin sets.
Hazel has made three baby quilts from this napery.
Lucas Alonzo baby quilt
Jessie Rock baby quilt
Bolton Castle in Yorkshire is a mere 600 years old.
Hazel’s major at university was history, which she still loves. Ask what she misses about England and she will tell you it’s the castles, the history, the very age of the place.
And you thought she was the shy, retiring type? Not too shy to make Cups of Roses for Bras on Broadway.
Here is Hazel’s advice to the would-be quilter: take a class. Learn the correct way to do things from the start, so you don’t have to unlearn any bad habits.