Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith
Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith have been collaborating on quilts since opening their quilt shop, the Great American Quilt Factory, twenty years ago. Read about their technique called Quilting in Sections in the July/August 2001 issue of QUILTMAKER magazine. Lynda and Nancy’s book, Divide and Conquer!: Quilt It Your Way, is published by Possibilities®.
Following are excerpts from a recent QUILTMAKER interview.
How did you decide to make quilt making a career? What led you in that direction?
I worked at Quilts & Other Comforts, one of the first quilt shops and mail order catalog businesses in the country. I loved the contact with people and also had developed a passion for quilt making and teaching quilting. Nancy would often come into the store towing her two small daughters and a quilting project. We decided to attend the West Coast Quilter’s Conference held in Ashland, Oregon, and found out that we had much in common other than our love of quilting. We became fast friends and started discussing the possibility of opening our own quilt shop. When we opened our store in April of 1981, Nancy had three daughters and I was pregnant with my first child. Laura, Nancy’s youngest, and Kim, my daughter, were in the store with us every day until they went to kindergarten. We were very conscious of each other’s family needs and worked out a good working relationship that had Nancy home when her two oldest girls returned from school. The quilt shop became the answer to the need we had to fulfill ourselves as mothers and to provide a living for our families. The love of quilting has been passed down to our daughters. Nancy’s middle daughter now works for us full-time in many diverse positions and Laura and Kim work part-time in the summers during their college years.