Q & A with Heather Briggs, our Featured Designer

Q & A with Heather Briggs, our Featured Designer

Posted by Robyn Thomas on 20th Apr 2023

We love getting to know our Featured Designers. What is their inspiration for their latest designs? What motivates them to sew and create? We had a chance to ask our April designer, Heather Briggs of My Sew Quilty Life, a few questions about her business and what inspires her work. Read on to see what she has to say about quilting and designing.

1. Which of your quilt patterns is your favorite and why?

Oh, this is such a hard question. I love all my floral quilts, but the one that still sings to me today is Daisy Chain. There's just something about it that makes my heart flutter. It holds a special place in my heart because it was the first quilt I designed that got the attention of industry leaders and led to many great collaborations. It also remains as my top seller. There's not many of my quilts I have been brave enough to make twice, but Daisy Chain is one of them. 

2. Do you do other work besides quilting? What other artistic outlets do you pursue?
Yes, although quilting and designing patterns takes up most of my day I still find time to be creative in other ways. I enjoy drawing and doodling. Within the past year I have also learned surface pattern design. Surface pattern design is essentially all the designs you see on products, think fabric design. I have always wanted to be a fabric designer and design quilt patterns with my own fabrics. There may be something on the horizon, so stay tuned for Fall Quilt Market. That's all I can say!
3. Is quilting a hobby that you did or do with family, or share with your son?
Quilting is really only something I do, although I have taught my son how to sew and he has made a couple of quilts. My family does enjoy talking about quilting, bouncing ideas, and taking me into the wild to photograph my quilts. My son enjoys looking up different quilt shops when we travel for his baseball tournaments. Most of the time it's to tease me, because it's usually when we are traveling back home on Sunday and most of them are closed. I think I have been driven by more closed quilt shops than I have visited open ones. The business itself has definitely become a family affair now, but as far as sewing and making the quilts, my family runs the other way. My son has an entrepreneurial spirit and I can definitely see him taking over a part of the business one day. This summer we have plans to design a quilt pattern together, make the quilt, and release it. I want to show him my process and how the business works. He's excited, but I think it's because he's excited to split the profits. 

4. How long have you been quilting and sewing? What is your background?
I have sewn for most of my life, but in 2017 I took up quilting. I started with EPP and then in 2018 I started machine piecing. I was amazed at how much of a difference quilting projects are to regular sewing projects. I learned so many things from watching YouTube. My background is in Architecture and I have a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Kansas. Rock Chalk, baby! I was working as an Healthcare Architectural Designer in Kansas City when I started my quilt pattern business, My Sew Quilty Life. I was amazed at how similar these two professions are. This was supposed to be a side gig, but we all see how that turned out. I left my career in May 2021 to fully pursue my quilt pattern business, as well spend more time with my family. Like many, the pandemic really opened my eyes to what was important in life. 

5. Do you travel with your sewing and quilting work? Where have you been and what do you do on your travels?
When I travel I usually bring a sewing project with me. Mostly it's hand work. I enjoy EPP when I travel. I have a project bag packed with all of the supplies I need and when we travel I toss the bag into my luggage. I'm currently making a Dresden Plate quilt. I have limited myself to only working on it when I am vacationing in coastal or lakeside places. So far my Dresden project has been to many Florida beaches. I have only been able to complete one whole Dresden plate so far, but many of the petals have been basted. My goal is to finish 12 or 16 Dresden plates. After I have sewn them into the quilt, I plan to embroider the names of all the places I worked on the quilt. Unlike many of my projects, this quilt does not have a deadline. If I only have a few minutes to work on it while vacationing, that is just fine. I plan to start my second Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt soon to take to non coastal or lakeside places.