This Month at Cotton Cuts...
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.”