Peek Inside a Soap Star's Quilting Studio

Beth Maitland may be an internationally known soap star. But when it comes to shopping for quilting fabric, she's just like you and me: She likes to touch the goods and buy, buy, buy.
beth maitland and her quilt studio
Beth Maitland, of "The Young and the Restless,"
is also a voracious quilter.

Perhaps unlike you–and certainly unlike me–she has a system for keep her stash contained and accessible at the same time.

You may recognize Beth Maitland as her alter-ego, Tracy Abbott from CBS's long-running daytime drama "The Young and the Restless." But when her storyline isn't front-and-center, Beth quilts, teaches quilting, and shops for quilting goods.

I had a chance to interview Beth, who is one of the celebrity quilters featured in the 2013/14 issue of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene. We talked about how she got into quilting–and now teaching fiber arts–as well as how she shops for and stores her fabric.

Like most quilters, Beth loves to roam the fabric aisles, touch the goods, and buy more fabric than she needs.

"I shop online if I need quilter's cotton pre-cuts or silk velvet. Otherwise, I prefer the tactile enjoyment of shopping for fabric. Seeing it, touching it, feeling the heft," says Beth.

She favors local quilt shops, with their personal service and expertise, and keeps her budget in check by taking advantage of coupons and closeout sales.

But the sewing supplies and fabric Beth has accumulated over the years would overwhelm her studio if she didn't have a system for containing and organizing her stash. She's also lucky enough to have a large space that was formerly a billiard room where she can set up her four sewing machines; the billiard light hangs above.

Beth's organization system includes:

  • Two major pieces of furniture that are bookshelves, top open and bottom with cabinet doors.
  • Tools, scissors, punches, rotary cutters, stored in plastic bins with labeling. Fabric also in clear bins, labeled by color range or as novelty fabric.
  • Threads for each of her sewing machines in clear thread organizers, stacked and labeled.
art quilt by beth maitland
An art quilt Beth made for her mother.

"I find the labeling essential. It's time-consuming to put together, but invaluable to be able to put my hands on something as I need it," says Beth.

Her other tip for studio organization? Make it personal by styling your dress form complete with hat.

"I have one dress form that fits me and two vintage ones just to hang things on for fun," she says.

You can learn more about Beth  on her blog, and read about her quilting career–plus inside get info and ideas from today's top quilters–in IQF:Quilt Scene 2013/14.

P.S. Is there a "celebrity" quilter you would like to meet? Who would that be? Leave your answer below.

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4 thoughts on “Peek Inside a Soap Star's Quilting Studio

  1. I also use clear plastic bins to store my fabric but I recently found that some had badly faded. Are you concerned about this? How do you plan to avoid this problem (if you are concerned)?
    Pebble Kelsey

  2. I have always liked Beth Maitland and was pleased to learn that she is a quilter. I am not familiar with any other celebrities who quilt, but I am sure they are out there. Perhaps a book of celebrity quilters could be published once a year, or more often if needed. Not to steal the thunder from another publisher, but perhaps in the format of “Where Women Create” .

  3. I would LOVE to meet and lunch with Robbi Joy Eklow. She is my fav! The very first thing I do when a new Quilting Arts mag comes is read her page. I actually think of her as my Rabbi Joy because she is so funny and sincere. Her takes on regular life while being an artist, wife, writer, mother, etc. just crack me up and make her so real and wonderful to read. I can’t get enough of her and I’ve bought her book as well. So, if there ever was a chance to meet her in person, I would take it in a heart beat.

  4. A co-worker of Ms Maitland, Tricia Cast was a quilter when she first arrived on The Young and the Restless. Does she still quilt? If so, I would like to know where her quilting journey has taken her.

    Also, how do the rest of the Y & R cast feel about their quilting co-workers?