Cindy Zlotnik Oravecz

In the early 1990s, I was an alterations lady at a couture sewing store in Ohio.  My favorite job was emptying the wastebaskets because I collected precious bits of silk charmeuse, swiss batiste, French wire ribbon and velvets. I began to sew thesetreasures into my album quilts.

Appliqueing diverse fabrics into my album quilts was what I have in common with stitchers of the past. But quilt judges of the time did not see it that way. I was told that I was not allowed to put ribbons on quilts.

I was speechless. I had 4 yards of 1-inch wide French wire ribbon folded picket-fence style into an appliqued basket. I continued to break sewing rules and attach everything from silk cording to the dyed cocoons of the silk worm onto fabric to form flowers. 

Twenty years later, I showed that basket of dimensional Bluebells, Canterbury Bells and Bleeding Heart along with how to embroider with silk ribbon on HGTV’s Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson.

My classes and books combine my love of diverse fabrics, trims, ribbonsand embellishments with dimensional applique and traditional embroidery techniques such as Stumpwork and Brazalian Embroidery.  I teach how to create album and crazy quilts as well as surface techniques on quilted clothing.

I have written many technical sewing articles for Threads, Quilter’s Newsletter, Sew Beautiful and other sewing publications over the years. I have written four books on my dimensional surface techniques for fabric and ribbon flowers and created two rulers-- The Ruching Edge and The Mini Ruching Edge.

Twelve years ago I opened a quilt and embellishment store called Quilter’s Fancy in Cortland, Ohio. It features textiles from around the world. There you will find fabrics of silk, cotton and wool, buttons, charms, trims, lace, beads, many imported ribbons, threads, fibers and notions.