Our June OLFA Creator is Giuseppe Ribaudo of Guicy Guice in New York City. By day, Guiseppe manages media for Andover Fabrics. But at night, his studio buzzes with an array of sewing adventures. After you read all about Giuseppe you’ll want to head over and make this beautiful Summer Picnic Blanket!
O: Tell us about your business.
G: There are a few different facets to my work in the quilt industry. By day I work for Andover Fabrics as their Multimedia Manager. My department handles a lot of what the quilt shop customers and end consumer see day to day. My nights and weekends are spent as Giucy Giuce. I travel and teach, design quilts other projects and write patterns for them. Most recently I have added fabric designer for Andover Fabrics to my resume. My first collection, Quantum, arrives in stores this fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
O: How did you choose your business name?
G: When I was an actor in another life, some friends and I were hanging out after a performance and we were giving each other names we’d have if we were rappers. My friend said I’d be Giucy Giuce. And the rest is history.
O: Where are you from? What is your community like?
G: I grew up in Long Island, New York. My family lived on the bottom level of a 2 story house, my maternal grandparents lived above us. My grandmother was a professional seamstress (she is still with us, but retired). I would watch her sew every day. When I began quilting in 2008 my grandmother was one of my greatest cheerleader. I feel really lucky to have inherited the sewing gene from her.
The community I most feel a part of is the quilting community on Instagram. I can honestly say I would not be doing what I am doing today without the incredible support of the people I interact with daily on social media. When I was just getting into this business, it was the first time I had ever been met with enthusiasm and encouragement. It made me want to turn my hobby into a career.
O: Do you specialize in a specific look or technique?
G: Mostly I like working with foundation paper piecing and English paper piecing. Lately I have been enjoying “tiny piecing,” making small intricate blocks with dozens of small pieces. But most of all I am known for making quilts in spectrums of bold color.
O: When did you start quilting? Where did you learn?
G: I came upon quilting in 2008 when I was living in Seattle. It started as a hobby for me, something to do between working on shows when I was an actor. I mostly taught myself, recalling things my grandmother had shown me as a garment maker. I would read books, watch tutorials online. When I fell for quilting, I fell hard. I’d read anything I could get my hands on, go into every single fabric store. I couldn’t get enough!
O: How have your quilting and sewing tastes changed over time?
G: I don’t know that they have changed. Mostly they have broadened. When I first started sewing I used a lot of gem tones, those beautiful autumnal shades. My love for those hues has never gone away, but in recent years I have worked with brighter and brighter fabrics. With my first collection, I have gone back to the colors that made me fall for quilting in the first place. The colors are rich, deeply saturated. The next collection will be brighter, more playful. The third will maybe have part of the “old me” and part of the “new me.”
O: What is your ‘go to’ craft when you want to do something different?
G: I love knitting! I was actually a knitter before I was a quilter. I miss knitting terribly, actually. It was a big part of my life for a long time.
O: How do you organize your fabric?
G: Color order. Everything is color order. It’s almost a compulsion. I can’t imagine organizing my fabric any other way.
O: Which OLFA tools do you tend to reach for the most?
G: I am nothing without my rotary cutter. I bought my first 45mm in 2008 and still use it to this day. I tell every single new quilter that it is the very first thing they need to buy.
O: Give us a quick sewing tip.
G: I’ll give you my three favorites: glue baste when sewing curves, nest your seams, and change your sewing machine needle with every new quilt!
O: What have you dreamed of doing but haven’t yet?
G: I hope to one day own my own quilt shop and cafe. I would run the shop, my dad would run the kitchen of the cafe. We’d have social events, meet-ups, classes, all sorts of things. It’s my biggest dream.
O: Can you give us an inside tip on where to go — what to eat — what not to miss in New York?
G: Get lost. Take one day of your visit and just go. Walk. Don’t make a single plan. Wander. Try a little something from every bakery, buy a tchotchke from a little local shop, walk until you can’t walk anymore. And then when you think you can’t walk anymore, walk some more! I promise it’ll be the best day of your trip.