Submitted by Pat Clark 

Darlene Tice has been sewing for almost her entire life, starting in elementary school. Both of her Grandmothers sewed and she learned a lot from them, especially from her Mother’s Mother. She used her Brownies cookie box to hold her fabric stash of mostly double knits, from which she made her Barbie Doll's clothes and patchwork blankets. As early as first grade, she modified patterns for the clothes her Grandmother made for her. And, of course, she made most of her own clothes in high school. Looking back to her roots, she still has her first youth’s metal “Little Modiste" sewing machine which does a chain stitch. It was a gift for Christmas in first grade! Darlene is from Williamsport, Pa and moved up to New York in 1978 to work as a Co-operative Extension Agent in Columbia County.

While she earned her degree in Home Economics Education from Mansfield College, Pa., Darlene did her student teaching under a quilter. Her first block was the Honeybee (including both patchwork and applique’) which she made from seersucker fabric! She still loves applique’, but usually does this by machine rather than by hand.

As a member of FDQ for about 20 years, she had first been a member of Wiltwyck Quilters Guild when it was meeting on Wednesdays. As the store manager of Fabric Bonanza (was in Kingston) and previously SoFro Fabrics (was in Fishkill), when WQG moved their meetings to Saturdays, she found FDQ met her time constraints much better. And we are glad she did!

Darlene recently got a Westalee ruler set and is anxious to learn how to do ruler work on her home machine. She is constantly working towards better machine quilting. Animal portraits is an area she wants to explore. She says to take time to audition your fabrics for any project you do, and keep pushing yourself to try new things. Currently she is working on the Victoria Findlay Wolfe star block with 4 blocks from the guilds workshop. Instead of the wall hanging, she has designed a lined bag with the star on front and the 4 blocks are a pocket on the back with scraps making up the handle. It will be for carrying her mat board and rulers. You can see that designing her own projects was ingrained from an early age. She also welcomed a new great nephew on 12/29 and is now machine quilting him a baby quilt for a gift.

Married to a restoration carpenter, they live in a small 1792 farmhouse that together they are working on. They have two daughters. One lives near Boston and has her own ‘Boston for the Dogs’ walking business while her other daughter is an interior designer in Southern California. Entrepreneurship runs in the family, where Darlene has taken her sewing abilities and developed into a full-time career as a self-employed home decoration business with many high-end clients (all in her 120” x 125” sewing room!). She does custom sewing for the home and interchanges her skills in both areas. No wonder her quilts are beautiful!