Island Batik Ambassador Spotlight: Randi Jones, Randi’s Roost

Are you following Randi Jones at Randi’s Roost? Formerly a math teacher, she is a true ByAnnie.com pattern enthusiast, running the ByAnnie Bag Makers group on Facebook. Randi also is the “head sloth” of the Slow-Alongs, where makers slow down and enjoy the process of creating ByAnnie.com projects. She loves making quilts, and especially enjoys tiny paper piecing. When she’s not crafting or momming, she enjoys learning (about everything, but archaeology is her favorite at the moment), trying different kinds of beer and pickles, and visiting the farm animals that live near her house in Holland, New Jersey.

We asked Randi about her creative background. Let’s see what she said!

Island Batik: When did you begin sewing?

Randi: I had my first real look at sewing and quilting in progress when I belonged to a group that knit and crocheted for charity. Our group shared a meeting space with a quilting group, and I kept wandering over to their area because quilting seemed like magic to me. I didn’t even really know how to use a sewing machine. Then a few years later when I watched Jenny Doan, I finally decided to try it. I had horrible postpartum depression after my first daughter was born, and at that time I somehow stumbled upon Jenny Doan’s tutorials on YouTube. She made quilting seem very approachable. I gave it a go and found that it helped my mental health considerably.

What were your beginner mistakes in quilting?

I had absolutely no idea how binding was supposed to go on. I had it all inside out and backward, and put it on a quilt as four separate pieces. I give myself points for creative problem solving!

Runner, made for the Island Batik Ambassador Tool Craze Blog Hop, May 2023, with the fabric from Island Batik Celebrate collection. Read more about the runner here.

Is there block or pattern you could you make over and over again?
Improv or semi-improv blocks are probably the kind I find most fun and least boring. I feel like I might be cheating with this answer somehow, though.

Do you have a favorite quilt?

I think my favorite at the moment is the quilt I made during the first Mini Series Sew-Along with Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass. I think my arrangement of the blocks was pretty unique, and I like the tiny pops of color I put in each block.

Wall hangings, made for the Island Batik Ambassador Falling for AccuQuilt challenge, October 2023. Read more about the quilts here.

What inspires your design process?

I can find inspiration just about anywhere at any time. I have had to get up in the middle of the night to jot down design ideas that came from weird dreams. I’ve been inspired by music, nature, conversations, math, and other makers, just to name a few.

What’s your most favorite part of quilting, and why? Least favorite? 

I enjoy the fabric selection process, and hand sewing the binding down. My least favorite part of quilting is the quilting! I think that’s mostly because I’m not that good at it yet. I know it takes a ton of practice and that I will get better.

Divide & Conquer bag, made for the Island Batik It’s in the Bag Blog Hop, November 2023. Made with the pattern from ByAnnie.com and fabric from Island Batik Vintage Charm collection. Read more about the project here.

What do you do that you hope the “quilt police” never find out about? 

Since I am mostly self-taught, I’m sure there are a myriad of Sewing Law violations going on in my sewing room. But in my opinion, if it works for me and doesn’t hurt anything, who cares? 

Do you enjoy watching TV, listening to music or audiobooks, or sewing in silence while you work on your projects?

I usually have music on while I sew. I’ve been very into music for pretty much my entire life, and studied classical and jazz violin all throughout school. I love a wide variety of music. Just to name a few of my current favorites – LCD Soundsystem, the Talking Heads, Beck, Fela Kuti, Bela Fleck, Miles Davis, the Grateful Dead, and Keller Williams.

What is your favorite notion or gadget that you use every time you sew?

I am primarily a bag maker, and I don’t really know what I would do without clips or clamps of some kind. 

Amplified Geese/Day Geese quilt, made for the Island Batik Ambassador Fly Away challenge, June, 2023, with the fabric from Island Batik Tantalizing Teal Basics. Read more about the quilt here.

What are your other crafty (and non-crafty) hobbies? 

I enjoy hiking, geocaching, brewing beer, learning about pretty much anything and everything (archaeology is my current favorite), reading, and playing board games.

Do you have a pet that “helps” you sew?

I wish! I have been a cat lover for my entire life, but my husband is allergic, sadly.

If you could choose an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

I would love to travel to just about anywhere I have never been, so it’s very difficult to narrow this down to just one place. I have always dreamed of going to Socotra, because I’ve read that it’s known as the most alien place on Earth. 

Be sure to follow Randi on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to her blog to see what she’s working on right now!

To see the whole 2023 Island Batik Ambassador team, please visit: https://islandbatik.com/2023-ambassadors/

Is there anything else you want to ask Leah? Leave us a comment below!

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