In between working as the Edgecomb tax collector and volunteering her time as a member of the Edgecomb Historical Society, a resident spends her time making quilts and putting them on display.
Deb Boucher said she “always had a needle in my hand,” doing anything from knitting, cross-stitching, and embroidering items. In the ’80s, she made her first quilt. She stopped and picked it back up a decade ago.
“I watched a friend who was quilting … and I asked if she’d teach me, and she did,” she said. “It just snowballed from there.”
Today, Boucher utilizes a former shed as her home studio.
The name of her business is Tea Rose Quilting, which was inspired by her mother and her husband. Boucher’s mom emigrated from England when she was 18. When Boucher was growing up, she drank tea. On Boucher’s 40th birthday, her husband gave her 40 rose bushes.
“That’s why it is Tea Rose Quilting. Tea for my English mother and roses,” she said.
A familiar face in Edgecomb, Boucher has lived in town for almost 19 years, and has been the tax collector going on 11 years. She is on the Edgecomb Historical Society with her husband.
Boucher is predominantly a traditional quilter, although she does some modern quilting. Traditional quilting uses the same pattern uniformly throughout on a grid, while modern quilting uses abstract designs and bold colors on a white background, Boucher said.
She quilts for hire, sewing the quilt top, padding, and back together.
When it comes to quilt patterns, customers will choose between a pantograph or custom work. Pantographs are similar to stenciling in shapes onto the top of a quilt. It requires a long-arm quilting machine, which has a laser light to help guide a person while stitching his or her design.
Custom work entails different designs all over the quilt that must be marked out in the beginning, Boucher said.
In addition to quilting for hire, Boucher will craft her own pieces.
“I’m drawn to the reproduction fabrics, but really it’s when I look at a fabric and go ‘oh’ and it makes my heart stop,” Boucher said about the fabrics she chooses to use.
She likes complex designs and the way color plays with those designs.
However, Boucher does not sell many of her pieces. Although it is easy to tell the cost of materials, it is not easy when considering the amount of time put into a quilt.
It is also hard for her to see the quilts she made go. “There is too much of me in them to sell them. I just can’t,” Boucher said.
Quilts handcrafted by Boucher are put on display in various places, such as First National Bank in Damariscotta, the MQX Quilt Festival in New Hampshire, and the Windsor Fair.
Six of those quilts she crafted for herself or family are currently on display at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta — her second time showing there.
They were hung on the second floor’s railing in the main lobby on Feb. 25 and will stay there for six weeks.
A range of designs, colors, styles, and sizes of quilts are on display.
“Tropical Breeze” is made of pastel blues, oranges, creams, and reds. Hexagons are located within six-point stars, creating a kaleidoscope effect to the eye. Unlike the rest of the quilts on display, “Tropical Breeze” has fringe lining the perimeter of the quilt, made of layered pieces of triangle and rounded shapes.
This quilt is one of her most prized pieces she has made, taking three weeks to make.
Another quilt on display, gifted to Boucher’s mother for Christmas, is a single large flower fully bloomed. It is full of warm colors – reds, yellows, and oranges – creating a gradation from lighter to darker shades.
However, the most stunning part of this piece is the detail in the stitches. Each petal has a different design and texture, with some having floral and rounded stitching and others having straight lines; some have a bubbling texture and others are flatter. This piece has no name.
One quilt of a more textbook modern design is aptly titled “Fireworks,” with an array of colors from popping pinks to sea-foam blues on a white background.
Although the overall design is repeated throughout, the colors and various designs on the fabric captures one’s attention.
For more information, call Boucher at 882-8402 or email her at email@example.com.