Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Sweet Pea?
A: Many times, the fabric sets the theme. The large floral print in this collection actually has pea pods on it! The name came easily after I spotted that as my granddaughter, Delainey, is nicknamed Sweet Pea.
Q: How did you get into the fabric and quilting industry?
A: I've always loved fabric, fashion and home décor. My plan was to get a degree in Fashion Merchandising, move to the big city and dress windows at Macy's or Saks. But love and life changed my course. I got my degree in Social Work, but continued to sew for fun. After a major life change - widowed at 29 with four kids under age 6 - I took a year off from work to readjust and discovered quilting. After making & selling small quilts at local craft fairs, I started peddling the patterns out of the back of my car all over Kansas. Soon after, I went to my first Quilt Market. Moda noticed KTQ at our 3rd market and asked me to design fabric for them. Wow! It's the best job I didn't know I wanted!
Q: What projects do you hope to see using Sweet Pea? Quilts, apparel, accessories, home décor projects?
A: I think the large print would lend itself well to home decorating projects, like draperies, pillows, bed skirts, etc. I love the rich, autumn tones in this line, especially the pumpkin, browns and golds. I can see them warming up our enclosed porch this fall.
Q: How did you learn to sew, quilt, and design fabric?
A: My Gramma Ethel taught me how to hand sew at a very young age to make clothes for my baby dolls and Barbies. She created everything from swimsuits to wedding dresses, all without a pattern. I loved poring over her boxes of lace, buttons and beads to choose just the right trims for Barbie's outfits. Later, my Mom helped me learn to sew my own clothes. I grew up in the 70's when a dress was a long t-shirt so knits were my introduction to clothing construction. I pin tucked, ruffled and embroidered many dresses after my daughter was born, but was drawn to quilting because it didn't have to fit anyone and wasn't outgrown before it was finished!
|The KT Bernina Quilt Shop in Kansas!|
A: Time, time, time. There's never enough! Some days I just have to get up from the computer and take a long walk outside to clear my head and let the creative juices start to flow again. Staring at a blank computer screen does little to inspire me. When I'm travelling to teach, checking out unique little shops and home décor shops is always inspiring, as well.
Q: What is your favorite print in the collection?
A: Love the dots, available in tan, gold, brown, green, navy, and pumpkin! I'm really more comfortable working with smaller prints. I try to include a dot of some kind in each collection, along with a vine-y print. The tan with multi-colored motifs are the best!
Q: What inspires your work?
A: Nature, textiles, life - you name it. Sometimes I create a new project because one of my kids requests a new quilt, or maybe I want to update my décor at the cabin and need a quilt to anchor the look. Other times, the fabric tells me what to do.