Meet Darci Read, Digital Experience Manager

We’d love for you to get to know the MQG Staff! Every few weeks, we’ll highlight one of our eight staff members. We’re quilters too, and we each made a quilt using a pattern from the MQG Resource Library to share with you. Once the quilt is made, we will donate it to a local organization or raise money for a cause through the sale of the quilt. This week, Digital Experience Manager Darci Read is showing her version of the Boids quilt by Gillian Smith.

How long have you been quilting? I started quilting in 2010-that makes it almost 14 years! I wanted to make something handmade for my niece and have something to work on while I rode the subway. So I took a class from the City Quilter in NYC, and things quickly spiraled.

Do you have quilty friends/pets? I have a very old chihuahua named Izzy. I’m primarily a long-arm quilter these days and Izzy’s favorite place in the house is the pile of batting scraps that live under the long arm. She loves to bury herself in them – sometimes I have to search the house to find her before I remember she’s probably buried in the scrap pile! I also have 4 chickens that live in the backyard, but they are a little too messy for any quilting. Maybe they will get an old one someday.

Do you have a favorite block/technique? As I mentioned before I mostly do the quilting part of quiltmaking these days. But when I do actually get to piece my own quilt I really love handwork and applique. I’ve got several long-term applique projects that might be done in another 10 years or so.

What about non-quilty hobbies? I keep chickens and love to garden. I just moved into a new house so have been transforming the yard little by little. With a 6-year-old, a dog, and 4 chickens, I don’t get much time to do other hobbies so my quilting time seems especially precious. I sometimes knit but am the world’s slowest knitter, the project on my needles has currently been there for 18 months.

Tell us about your pre-MQG life. I came to the MQG after a semi-illustrious career in advertising. (I kid-it was actually quite traumatic) I moved around a ton with that job- from New York City to Minneapolis, and then to the Bay Area in California. I had taken a few years off after my son was born and opened a longarm studio in St. Paul, MN called Field Trip Quilting. When COVID hit I had to close the studio so I took a few years off to be with my son. Getting to work with all the awesome folks at the MQG has been the perfect job transition for me. I get to use the skills I developed in the ad world and also get to talk about quilts all day!

Did you make any modifications or additions to the quilt pattern? No-it’s just as written. I did have to use my favorite color pink and throw some strawberries in there. I have a huge collection of fruit and veg fabric. It’s getting a little out of hand.

Where are you donating your quilt? My quilt will go to the Neighborhood House in St. Paul, MN. They have a housing stability program that helps families with housing needs.