More About Me

I always find it interesting to learn about other quilt designers' backgrounds. It often sheds light about their style and approach to quilt-making. So, here's a little more about me!

As a child, I was always good in math and science. So, as I was going through school, everyone steered me toward engineering. I also really liked chemistry and studying German. Next thing I know, I'm studying to be a chemical engineer with a second major in German. However, by the end of college I realized that I probably didn't want to do detailed engineering work on a day to day basis. I graduated with a general engineering degree with an emphasis on industrial engineering. Why is this relevant, you ask? Well, as my friends and family will attest, I am obsessed with planning, effeciency and details. I enjoy designing and optimizing systems to work well. I took my engineering training, added an MBA in operations management and held a series of successful technical management positions where I did just that.

I admit to doing the same with my quilting. I enjoy creating new designs and figuring out how to put them together in a way that the finished project comes together without too much headache, and even more important - as planned!

I know there are a lot of quilters out there with technical/scientific backgrounds. I imagine quilting appeals to many of them as it does to me on several levels. I especially enjoy how design, geometry, color and technique come together to produce a work of art - much like a well engineered/designed building or car - but much prettier to look at!

On the softer side of things, I think that quilting was probably in my genes just waiting to come out! I still have artwork from 1st grade, where I had colored in large format graph paper with various colors and designs. Growing up in the 70's, my mother owned a succession of fabric stores in northern NJ (back when people still used to make their own clothes!) I have sewn all my life, but it wasn't until I moved with my husband to the Chicagoland area in 1998 that I discovered the world of quilting. There I joined a quilt guild (Pride of the Prairie Quilters) where I made wonderful friends and gained a wealth of support and inspiration.

In 2007, we moved back to the east coast. Both kids are in school full time now and I have made wonderful new quilty friends since joining a new guild of supportive quilters - The Courthouse Quilters, based in Frenchtown, NJ. I am excited to use my new found free time to turn my passion into an opportunity to share my ideas and designs with other quilters!

 Here's a peek at the list of my published and exhibited quilts: Helle-May_Cheney_Quilt_Resume.pdf


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