This Month at Cotton Cuts...
Five years ago, I made quilts for my children as Christmas gifts. Since then, I've made too many quilts to count, and I have loved every single stitch (okay, almost every stitch ;). Sometime between then and now, I came to realize that my life as a quiltmaker is a big part of who I am.
In 2016, I launched Aqua Paisley Studio with a collection of quilt patterns, designed to appeal to those who love classic design and simple construction methods.
Quilts are so much more than pieces of pretty fabric and thread. They are a tangible part of our life story, and a creative expression of who we are. They can showcase everything from our favourite colours to things we value and our hopes and dreams. Every quilt has its own story, and as a quiltmaker I get to share my story with fabric and thread.
I live in South Australia with my family and find a way to do something creative every day. Very rarely will you find me in the kitchen because I'm pretty sure when I learnt to quilt I forgot how to cook- but I'm okay with that!
Hi there! I’m Nicole, the one woman show behind lillyella stitchery. I spend my days livin’ the dream (and working my butt off) on a small farm in southern Colorado with my husband and our furry flock.
I am a formally trained graphic designer and photographer and spent 11 years working in the industry before ‘quitting my day job’ in 2008 to pursue my own graphic design business. After scaling back my larger design clients a few years later, I focused on working with other artists and small businesses. This allowed me the opportunity to pursue my love of sewing and launch lillyella stitchery where you will find unique and original sewing patterns.
In addition to working with metal, fabric and dirt, I love cross stitch, canning, old trucks, small farm animals, big dogs, the color yellow, vintage pyrex and all things related to cooking, baking and eating.
I started quilting when, as a teenager, I got bored one summer and asked my mom to help me make a quilt. I picked out some 30s reproduction prints and got to work making a pinwheel quilt top. I had a completed quilt top by the time school started in the fall, but finishing the quilt took me several more years (we all know how that is, right?). I sewed sporadically through my college years, but have picked it up more heavily now that I am a stay at home mom to four kids.
My style lies somewhere between modern and traditional and I love to use bright, cheerful colors in my creations. I taught myself how to free motion quilt years ago and machine quilting has become one of my favorite steps in the quilt making process. I also really enjoy designing patterns. In my previous life (i.e. before becoming a mom), I received degrees in both physics and medical informatics and I love that I can use the logic and math skills I developed to design quilt patterns.
I am thrilled to be able to share a few of my patterns with the Cotton Cuts community this month! Happy sewing!
Juliet discovered foundation paper piecing when her two children were babies. In days
filled with nappies, feeding and negotiating with small children, it gave her joy to achieve
something creative. Juliet's pre-child life included careers in archaeology and
radiography. These two seemingly disparate careers taught Juliet to pay attention to small
details and to be logical in her approach. They also encouraged her to analyse how
shapes and objects are constructed. These skills give the unique perspective that make
Juliet's patterns so special.
Originally from Scotland, Juliet and her husband live in New Zealand. These days Juliet
spends her days designing paper-pieced patterns, which she sells under the name The
Tartankiwi. She has built up a range of over 80 patterns and has just released her first book-
Animal Quilts: 12 Paper Piecing Patterns for Stunning Animal Quilt Designs.
I'm a quilter and pattern designer and maker living with my husband and two sons.
I come from a family of crafty, artsy people. My mother paints beautiful pictures and
my walls are filled with incredible paintings of my kids. My great grandma was an
aspiring artist with dreams of art school but with the beginning of World War I she
went to work and channeled her art into knitting, sewing, and mosaics among other
things. My sister sews, paints, makes rugs, and every kid craft you can think of. I
dabbled in all kinds of things but my passion lies in home arts - sewing & quilting,
cooking, soap making.
I began quilting in 2004 and was hooked with my very first quilt. I am a very
practical person and quilting to me combined creativity with practicality in creating
useful things. Most of my quilts have been of my own design, which led to writing
patterns so I could recreate the quilt or share the pattern with others. I love
designing quilts and making patterns for many reasons, but the best part is seeing
the quilts others make from my patterns, seeing their vision.
I've had patterns published in Fons & Porters Love of Quilting, Quilty, Modern Quilts
Unlimited, and Moda Bake Shop. I'm currently focusing on self-publishing and
creating some new patterns for 2018.
Sylvia has been quilting since 2007. She earned a Ph.D. in Marine Science before moving towards designing and quilting full-time. Her quilts and patterns have been featured in magazines such as McCall’s Quick
Quilts, Modern Patchwork, and Machine Quilting Unlimited, and as part of the Modern Quilt Guild’s Quilt of the Month program.
Her work has been exhibited across the country and won numerous awards at regional and
national shows, including the Pacific International Quilt Festival, AQS QuiltWeek Paducah, Road to California, and MQX. In 2017, she was awarded the second annual Craftsy Quilt Designer
Fellowship. Sylvia loves making quilts that are inspired by science and nature, as well as modern quilts inspired by traditional blocks! Sylvia is neither a dog nor a cat person–she’s had parrots all of her life, and wouldn’t have it any other way! “Flying Parrot Quilts” is a play on the traditional Flying Geese quilting block and her love of birds.
I’m a civil engineer by trade, a wife and a mother of four. and a quilt pattern designer from Australia. Sewing and craft have been hobbies I’ve enjoyed since I was a young girl - from cross-stitch to knitting to beading and even a little (frankly, terrible) garment sewing. When I started quilting (while pregnant with my third child, 8 years ago) I cast aside all those other pursuits and really dug in.
There’s so much to love about quilting. There’s something for everyone, no matter your skill level. If you don’t like sewing machines, you can make quilts by hand. If you don’t want to design your own pattern, there are thousands of beautiful quilt patterns already prepared for you. If you find putting fabrics together difficult there are fabric designers who spend all day doing just that for you.
It can take considerable money and effort to make a quilt. Not to mention the one thing that none of us have enough of - time. Quilting time is precious and for some, hard to come by. This is why I try my very best to create efficient, accurate and detailed quilt patterns for my customers. I want everyone to make the most of their available quilting time and enjoy the experience (and not spend it swearing at a poorly written pattern!). I’d love if you could come over on my website and join my infrequent but informative newsletter! I’m so happy to be part of this month’s Cotton Cuts deliveries and I hope you're inspired to start sewing something today!
Sixteen years ago, I married the love of my life. That one love quickly became two when my mother in law introduced me to the quilting world. I was hooked immediately! There was so much history of quilting in her family, and her home was so warm and inviting with quilts on the walls, on the beds, and draped on every chair just begging you to wrap up in it. I wanted that same cozy feel for my home and my new little family, so that's when I bought my very first sewing machine and all the basic quilting essentials and started making quilts.
Fast forward twelve years and our baby boy was on the way. Maternity leave was the best time and I knew there was no way I could go back to work. It was time to switch my love of quilting from a hobby into a career so I could stay home with my little bundle of joy and Sterling Quilt Company was born. I love every step in the quilting process, choosing the fabric, designing the pattern, and transforming a pieced top with the actual quilting stitches. My little shop provides all three, fabric, original patterns, and long arming service to help and inspire other quilters just like me. I am so grateful for the quilting community! Without all our passion for quilting, I wouldn't be able to do what I love on a daily basis plus stay home with my son. I love my quilty life!
I’m Sam Hunter, a fiber artist and quilt pattern designer. I started sewing when I was 7 and haven’t really stopped since. I started quilting in my 20’s, and teaching quilting shortly thereafter. I hold an MFA in Fiber Arts, and blend this classic training with my sense of play in all that I do. I believe that everyone has innate artistic talent, and I love helping people find theirs.
As a pattern designer, I’m a champion for helping our newest sewists, and our up-and-comers. I like to design patterns that can be made with beginners’ skills, but that are more interesting than the usual big block patterns that are offered to our newbies.
I enjoy wrangling with the puzzles of quilt design: I design mindfully for ease of construction, and economically for little waste. I take care to list the actual skills needed to make a project and my patterns are full of illustrations to make them easy to follow. I fundamentally believe that quilting should be fun, so I try hard to design and write things that are fun, too.
I'm a relaxed, encouraging, and generous teacher, and I love to share the joy of making beautiful things.
I spent over twenty years working in the children’s book industry and the experience has left its mark on me – all my favorite artists are children’s book illustrators, I believe people are basically good, and I can’t abide beige. Now I live in the mountains of North Carolina where I spend my time designing sewing, quilting and embroidery patterns especially for beginners. I’m on a mission to teach people that anyone can sew! Or quilt! Or embroider!
All my patterns are designed especially for beginners and I never release a pattern until I have videos teaching every single skill needed for the project. It’s the whole foundation of what I do and it’s all because of my experience as a learner and as a teacher. I also know from my experience teaching that we all learn best when we’re excited about what we’re learning. That’s why I always advocate choosing a pattern you’re excited about and making it in a fabric you love – even if that means a pattern that might be a little above your skill level. It might take you a little longer because you’re stopping to watch all the videos, but I really believe a beginner can make any of my patterns – and learn a lot of skills along the way that they can apply to other projects.
Midway through college, Sarah Maxwell moved into her first apartment bringing along a pink dogwood quilt that was appliquéd in the 1930s. Sarah grew up in the Lake of the Ozarks, where the dogwood blossoms always signaled the start of spring and was a welcome reminder of home.
While expecting her first child, Sarah got the nesting instinct so familiar to expectant mothers. Inspired by the treasured dogwood quilt, she bought a "Teach Yourself to Quilt" book, cut out squares with scissors, and pieced and quilted her first quilt. In the years since, Sarah has designed countless quilts. which have been regularly featured in American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilts & More, Simply Moderne and other magazines. She has also designed quilts and projects for Marcus Fabrics.
Once her second daughter left home, Sarah turned her attention to fabric design. Sarah's designs meld the best of the past and the present. She currently has batiks, flannels, and prints available in quilt shops around the country. Sarah's work is always supervised and inspected by the three cats left behind by her daughters. While now frayed and faded, that dogwood quilt remains a special reminder of how it all began.
Kathy Schwartz and Lori Suss met in Flin Flon, Manitoba at a local quilt guild meeting in 2003. An instant friendship began and soon they were co-hosting guild activities and working on joint projects. In 2011, Lori moved 525 km south to Dauphin, MB, but their friendship did not fade across the miles. Kathy and Lori continued working together and designed an original pattern to share with their quilting friends in both communities. From that pattern, Highway 10 Designs (named for the road that connects their two towns) was born.
Besides being pattern designers both are professional longarm quilters. Kathy is the owner of Tamarack Shack Longarm Quilting located at Schist Lake near Flin Flon, MB. Visit her blog at tamarackshack.blogspot.com. Lori is the owner of Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works located in Dauphin, MB. You can visit her blog at nightowlquilting.blogspot.com.
Rebecca is a quilt maker, author, designer, and teacher. As a fourth generation quilt maker, Rebecca began to explore her love of color through modern and improvisational quilt making. The journey led Rebecca to discover her voice as a maker. It was through quilting Rebecca was able to realize her potential as an artist. Rebecca strives to create patterns with modern designs inspired by classic quilt designs and always, always playful color.
Rebecca's love of color and repeating geometric shapes are best exemplified in her books. Rebecca believes firmly in the power of color as a driver of creativity. If it's not colorful, don't do it!
Rebecca is an award winning quilter whose quilts have been shown at International Quilt Fesitival, QuiltCon and QuiltWeek, Paducah. Rebecca's quilt designs have been featured in several magazines including American Patchwork & Quilting, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Modern Quilts Unlimited, and ModBLOCK Magazine.
Rebecca's creativity thrives on color, shape, and good coffee. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, 4 children, and 2 dogs. Her debut fabric line, Panache, will be released by Robert Kaufman this fall and she will be launching a Modern Triangle QAL this summer! Connect with her to learn more!
Jude Spero is originally from New York City and currently resides in Upstate NY in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. My pattern company is named after my cat Louise. She just loves getting in the middle of things when I'm designing.
I work with many different fabric companies designing quilt patterns which gives me an opportunity to work with several different styles of fabric. Everything from Vintage Modern to Batiks and everything in between. I love working with pre-cuts such as Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls and Charm Packs but you never know what I'll come up with. I have been published in Modern Quilts Magazine, Timeless Treasures Books, several publications in Australia and World of Quilts Scandinavia Collectors Series. I have also authored patterns for E-Quilter.com. Most recently I was in the July 2016 issue of Kindred Stitches Magazine. I created a sweet 1930's mini quilt just for them called 'Butterfly Ballet'. I am very proud of this! My patterns are distributed by United Notions, Checker Distributor and QuiltWoman.com.
Joanne Kerton started quilting in 2000, after years of wondering how to do it, and hasn't looked back. As her children grew up and she had more time to enjoy creating quilts from her own designs, she finally discovered what she wanted to be when she grew up! She founded Canuck Quilter Designs and started selling her patterns in 2013.
Joanne strives to deliver clear, well-illustrated instructions that will be accessible to quilters of any skill level. Her designs play with crisp colors and simple blocks in fresh settings, and take inspiration from both traditional and modern quilting styles. Try them in different colors or fabric styles. They are very versatile! Please visit her online to see what she’s playing with at the moment.
Elaine is a former teacher and librarian who always infused creativity into her work environment to make learning fun and bring books to life. In the summers, she spent her time crafting and sewing, which is how her business name, Summercrafter, was born. After starting a blog to document her projects, she stumbled upon the quilting world and she was hooked. She already knew how to sew and quickly taught herself how to quilt.
She soon found out that she enjoyed designing her own patterns and started her business. As a Florida native, her patterns are fresh, modern and have that “Florida flair.” They also come together quickly - no paper piecing and no applique.
Elaine lives in Miami with her family and still looks forward to heading to the beach every summer for some downtime (and crafting and sewing.) She also enjoys traveling, bible journaling and connecting with crafty and quilty peeps on Instagram. She likes to encourage others to create because making something pretty is like taking a little vacation.
Cynthia was first introduced to quilting in a college class over 15 years ago and has been quilting ever since. She found a love of designing quilts early on and began to create bright and fun original quilts, often using her favorite method - raw edge applique. She started writing patterns for her quilts by request and quickly discovered that she enjoyed the process of creating patterns. Some of her patterns have been featured in quilting magazines.
Cynthia is the mom of 4 busy girls (ages 8, 6, 3 and 10 months) and wife to a sweet husband who encourages her to "quilt her little heart out". She recently relocated to Reno, NV, where she has made new quilting friends at a local quilt guild. When she is not quilting, she enjoys cooking, reading, spending time with her family and adding tone on tone fabrics to her stash.
Sue lives in the Adirondack Mountain region of Upstate New York with her husband and two kids. Sue started her working life as a flight attendant for American Airlines. After Sue and her husband started their family, she resigned from her job to stay home with their daughter. Sue started looking for ways to keep busy and make a little money from home. That is how “Sweet Jane’s” started, named after their first daughter Jane.
Being a busy mom of two small kids, Sue has always gravitated toward quick, easy quilts. She writes her patterns for fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs. Sue loves precuts because they are already color coordinated and it takes a lot of the thinking out of fabric selection. Most of her patterns require one precut bundle and just one additional background fabric, so say good-bye to those long hours in the quilt shop trying to figure out complementary fabrics for your project! It also makes ordering fabric from the internet much easier, because you can be guaranteed that they match. Her mantra is “easy to start and quick to finish”! All of the patterns Sue picked for you are fat quarter friendly.
Rochelle Martin has been quilting and designing for 25 years. She lives with her husband in mid-Michigan and has two adult children and four grandchildren.
Rochelle designs patters for fabric companies; her designs have been published frequently in quilting magazines and books by House of White Birches. She and her daughter, Laura Day, self-published Strangled by Wild Geese, a quilt mystery featuring 10 flying geese-themed quilt projects. The craft book publisher Leisure Arts published her book Man Cave Quilts in 2012.
She has also taught at a local quilt shop in Bay City, Michigan.
Shelley Cavanna, the designer behind Cora’s Quilts, makes her home near Sacramento, CA, with her husband and two rambunctious boys (ages 3 and 4.5). In between weekend adventures in the nearby Sierra Nevadas, and all the dirt, plank-walking, legos, quilt-fort building, and the endless piles of laundry that come along with a house full of men, she manages to sneak in a little bit of quilting and pattern writing.
Shelley has a love for modern, intricate, mosaic-inspired quilts, but also knows first-hand how hard it is to squeeze even just a few minutes of sewing time into daily life. Her patterns are written with the busy, multi-tasking quilter in mind. Complex block construction is broken into small segments with concise instructions and plenty of full-color illustrations, living up to her design mantra of “stunning quilts made simple.”