My daily life is filled with quilts and fabrics as a designer of both. But my love of quilts and fabrics began many years ago. It seems like I have always been drawn to needlecraft. My earliest memories are filled with sewing of some kind – including a shoebox of small doll clothes that I designed (and most of those were evening gowns) to 5″ scrap squares that I cut out to make my first quilt.
Various forms of needlework were instilled in me from my earliest years. My grandmother (as well as her ancestors) quilted. I have several quilts passed down from my great grandparents along with the “wedding” quilts for my grandmother and grandfather. My grandmother had a quilting frame attached to her ceiling that she dropped down to quilt. My mother sewed and knitted. She knitted matching sweaters for us when I was a toddler (and I still have both of them). My aunt cross stitched, needlepointed, embroidered and crocheted. So from these fabulous women in my life, I learned the same skills as soon as I became old enough to hold a needle and I’m still holding that needle.
I’ve also tried many other crafts along the way, but always come back to that needle. I was very adept at macramÃ© and made several pieces of my own design. I did lots of crewel because I loved the needle. I tried decoupage. I took batik classes and stained glass classes. I have to admit that I was a drop out on the stained glass – I didn’t like to see the spots of blood on my hands from the glass cuts. You have to draw the line somewhere and that was the one for me.
But I stayed with the needle. I concentrated at first on cross stitch and needlepoint. At that point, I was feeling pretty creative and started designing cross stitch. I jumped in with both feet and started self-publishing cross stitch leaflets and booklets under the name of Lucky Duck Designs. I designed and published cross stitch for 5 years publishing 50 booklets, when I decided to switch to free lance designing and moved into quilt designing.
I have since designed numerous quilts for books, magazines, manufacturers and kits. I wrote and designed 2 quilt books, “Dimensional Quilts” and “Fun with Flannel”.
Like most of you, I simply love and adore fabric and buy it – just because, no reason other than because. There’s something about being drawn to a piece of fabric. You can’t pass it up. You purchase it because you love it and just have to have it!
So along with designing quilts, I’ve always dreamed of designing fabric. I included painting in my list of skills and started painting fabric designs. Having a knowledge of quilting is a huge plus when designing quilt fabrics. It gave me the knowledge of how fabrics work together when quilting and to know the size scales needed for a collection. I presented my first collection to Hancock Fabrics. And to my delight, they picked it up and printed my first fabric collection of 20 fabrics in flannel.
As much as I wanted to work on another collection right away, I took a job for 2 years designing textile products. These were fun products and also used my knowledge of quilting. I designed Christmas tree skirts and stockings as well as various other products like table runners and placemats for a manufacturer.
After this stint, I was anxious to return to fabric designing and am so excited to be designing for Quilting Treasures. My first collection with them was “Sweetheart Ballerinas”, featuring a frog, a cat and a black spotted cow in a tutu. I’ve been asked many times, why a tutu. My answer is “why not”! My latest collection was “Meow, Meow” inspired completely by the sassy attitudes of my own kitty. If you have a cat, you know what I mean!
And I’m really excited about my newest collection. “It’s a Dog’s Life” will be in stores later this spring around May. While the dogs are not sassy, I hope you will find them heart warming. I’m showing you the very first sneak peak of some of the collection below.
If any of you are attending the Spring Quilt Market trade show in Pittsburgh, I am presenting a Schoolhouse segment, “Using Trends to Boost Your Sales”, on Thursday, May 14 and would love for you to attend. I would love to meet you.
I love blogging and have been blogging for over 2 years. I would love for you to visit my blog where I have some free patterns or my website. I would also love to have you to sign up for my newsletter.
I will select two people who leave a comment on either this blog or my blog to receive some fabric cuts from my “Meow Meow” fabric line. Also, I will select 1 person who signs up for my newsletter to also receive fabric cuts of “Meow Meow”. Doing both will double your chances! The winners will be chosen on March 9, 2009.
Its a fun job to have my work the same as my hobby and lifelong love. Many thanks Michele for inviting me to write as a guest blogger and whom I also look forward to seeing at Quilt Market.