Meet Brooke Cerbone

Where were you born? Toms River, but I was raised in Sayreville for the vast majority of my life

How long have you been quilting? Just over a year! I started in early 2021

Who/what inspired you to start quilting? Melanie Ham. I used to crochet a lot and used a lot of Melanie’s crochet tutorials on YouTube. I kept seeing suggested videos of her sewing and quilting content and one night I realized I had stayed up until 3:00am watching her videos on quilting. I was fascinated, but I didn’t have a sewing machine. It took a few years, like 4 years I think, to actually find and buy a Singer Start off Facebook Marketplace. It then took another year for me to actually learn how to use it. Covid hit and my sister asked me if I could figure out how to make masks. That’s where my sewing journey started and I began my first quilt layout just after Christmas in 2020.

Who/what inspires you now? Still Melanie Ham, though she has passed away, her family has left up all of her content both on YouTube and on her personal website. I also really like Christen from ISeeStarsQuilting. I have followed a few of her tutorials. I just recently purchased my first quilt pattern and am excited to try and follow an actual written pattern as opposed to the tutorials I normally watch. Sometimes I get inspired by a person in my life I want to make something for. Sometimes I get inspired by photos I see online. I am part of the Young & Millennial Quilters Facebook group and have hundreds of screenshots from that group, whether it was for the pattern or for the fabric. I am an art teacher and have always loved art so I find inspiration everywhere.

When talking about quilts – what is MODERN in YOUR view? Patterns or fabric that is not traditional. I love the look of non traditional patterns mostly, but sometimes I see a traditional block and think it would look awesome with a modern fabric. Bright, fresh, clean, those words all come to mind when I think of modern quilting.

Do you follow any specific quilter or designer?  If so, who? Yes! Up in the inspiration question I named a few. Melanie Ham is my number one creator that I continually follow even though she has passed away. She inspired so many people, and taught me that there are no quilt police and that we need to have fun while we are quilting. If we are stressing out about getting it perfect, it’s not enjoyable. She taught me that I would rather have a finished quilt with a few imperfections than an unfinished quilt that I keep seam ripping on because I’m a millimeter off. Christen from ISeeStarsQuilting is really great, and I’ve also recently started watching Donna Jordan from Jordan Fabrics. In terms of designers I wouldn’t say I specifically follow anyone but I have found myself buying an awful lot of Robert Kaufman fabric.

What type of quilting do you prefer – piecing, paper piecing, appliqué, hand stitching?  Do you longarm? I’ve only ever machine pieced. I have never tried paper piecing or applique. I tried to hand stitch a label on a quilt one time and it was a disaster. I bought a machine because I don’t want to sew by hand.

Is there a type of quilt/project that you like to do?  Wall hanging, bed quilt, pocketbooks, totes, table runners? I like to make good throw size quilts. I have only ever finished 5 quilts so I would definitely want to make something bigger in the future, but I kept it to what I thought was manageable for now. I have also made a handful of tote bags which I do enjoy. Small projects often frustrate me because they are sometimes difficult to get right, however, when I don’t have a lot of issues it is extremely satisfying to finish something in one day! 

Do you participate in any challenges, Quilt-a-longs, charity sewing?    If so, which? I have never participated in any kind of quilt-a-long but I am open to doing so! The only challenges I’ve done were the UFO challenge that Eileen came up with for us and making blocks that are either sewn together to donate, or our block lotto! The extent of my charity sewing so far has all been through JSMQG.

Have you taken any classes in the last two years?  If so, which ones?  Did you find them useful? I have not taken any quilting classes. I bought a few online quilting classes but have not finished any of them yet. I did take one sewing class here at Old Spool to make a clutch!

Is there something that you would like JSMQG to develop a workshop on? Not specifically. I am so new to quilting that I don’t know what I don’t know!

Are there any speakers would you like to see visit JSMQG? None that I can think of.

What are your favorite colors? Green and purple!

What other interests do you have? I crocheted for a loooooooong time. I still do but rarely now. I even started an Etsy shop and go to vendor fairs with my crochet items. Sadly that business has not been very successful and it became more of a chore than fun so I will be putting an end to that soon. I love crafting in general. I’m an art teacher so I pretty much like any kind of creating!

Anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked? Not that I can think of!

Do you have access to email?  Do you check it periodically? Yes, everyday!

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