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Meet Cindy O

In the early 1990s, Cindy Oravecz was an alterations lady at a couture sewing store in Ohio. Her favorite job was emptying the wastebaskets because she collected precious bits of silk charmeuse, swiss batiste, French wire ribbon and velvets. She began to sew these treasures into her album quilts.

Appliquéing diverse fabrics into her album quilts was what she has in common with stitchers of the past.

But quilt judges of the time did not see it that way. She was told that she was not allowed to put ribbons on quilts. She was speechless. She had 4 yards of 1-inch wide French wire ribbon folded picket-fence style into an appliquéd basket.

She 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, she 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.

Cindy's classes and books combine her love of diverse fabrics, trims, ribbons and embellishments with dimensional applique and traditional embroidery techniques such as Stumpwork and Brazilian Embroidery. She teaches how to create album and crazy quilts as well as surface techniques on quilted clothing.

In addition to writing many technical sewing articles for Threads, Quilter’s Newsletter, Sew Beautiful and other sewing publications over the years, Cindy is the author of four books on her dimensional surface techniques for fabric and ribbon flowers. She also created two rulers - The Ruching Edge and The Mini Ruching Edge.

Almost 20 years ago she 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.