Read how this graphics and package designer turned towards quilting as a new career path.
How did you decide to make quiltmaking a career? What led you in that direction?
I had an established design studio working on graphics and packaging for clients in the craft industry. This took me to many tradeshows for the craft industry. I attended one of these shows shortly after I had learned how to quilt and saw many booths by different fabric companies. I stood there thinking someone has to design and make all those quilts hanging in their booths. I did not see any difference between designing a quilt and designing a package. So I went up to each company, introduced myself and showed them my portfolio. The first year out, one of ten companies there gave me a chance. Each year I would come back to the others and show them what I had done for the previous year, and each year another company would give me a chance. I now work for ten fabric companies and my business is 85% designing for the fabric industry and 15% graphics and packaging. I never thought I would be a professional quilt designer–it just seemed to happen. I am very lucky.
What inspires your work? How do new ideas come to you in quiltmaking?
The things that inspire my work are the wonderful fabrics available today, movies, cartoon, greeting cards, toys, going to art museums and going on vacation. I see patterns in everything from hotel carpets to flower gardens. If you leave your mind open you can see ideas everywhere.
Most of my ideas come to me while I am sleeping. If I look at a fabric line before I go to bed, usually the idea is there when I wake up. My husband is also a strong contributor to my ideas especially when I am blocked. Having someone to collaborate with is very important to me.