Bobbie Gentili of The Geeky Bobbin is a longarm quilter, quilt pattern designer, and quilting educator based in Toronto.
Her earliest memories are of her mother sewing garments for neighbours to earn some extra income, and playing with scraps to make highly impractical clothes for her dolls. Bob continued to dabble in sewing and needlework throughout her childhood and teens, and especially enjoyed making costumes during university, both for Halloween and for an engineering student theatre production.
When it became clear that a hobby in theatre was not compatible with her technology consulting career, Bob briefly considered cake decorating, but gave that up when she found it hard to avoid eating all of her mistakes.
She renewed her interest in needlework as a creative and restorative outlet during her first maternity leave, knitting adorable accessories for the babies in her life, upcycling old T-shirts into baby clothes, and crocheting baby blankets. It was only a matter of time before bob finally found the right outlet for her lifelong creativity and love of mathematics, when she was introduced to modern quilting via a parenting-focused craft group.
She drafted her first quilt pattern for a baby shower gift (the predecessor of Retro Tetro, which is still her oldest UFO), and was hooked from the moment her first block came together. For the next 6 months, she spent hours every night sewing, and any spare moments during the day watching instructional videos on all things quilting, and reading quilting books, blogs, and tutorials. She studied quilting with more intensity than she had ever studied calculus or circuit theory. She changed her "thesis project" from the Tetris quilt to an epic hexagon quilt telling the tale of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. By the time the epic baby quilt was finished, she had spent hundreds of hours teaching herself to quilt.
Somewhere around this time, bob started The Geeky Bobbin as an Etsy shop, selling quirky carseat ponchos, polar fleece octopus tentacle scarves, and other fun kids' items. Partway through the first year of business, she knew that she had to turn the side hustle into her full time job, and bought a longarm.
She now spends every waking moment designing quilt patterns, longarm quilting, petting curating beautiful fabrics, and sharing her quilty adventures on Instagram at @geekybobbin and on her website geekybobbin.com.
Bob's patterns feature bold, geometric designs, playing with curves and long strips to give a sense of movement. She finds inspiration in science, nature, and geeky culture.
Bob lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where her husband, two young children, and cats enjoy any scraps of her attention that can be stolen from quilting.