Our Crossing quilt is in the current issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. Don’t they make all of the quilts look fantastic? Their styling and photography always capture the spirit of the quilts we design. I’ve lost track of how many quilts of ours have appeared in APQ but it’s got to be close to a dozen now.
When we first started FunQuilts we wouldn’t design patterns for hobby quilters. It seems so ridiculous now. We had some well-intentioned but, in hind sight, totally misguided attitude that people should design their own patterns.
There were two students, however, who changed our minds and would forever influence our attitude toward pattern design. One was Margaret, a student in one of our basic quiltmaking classes. She told me once that she didn’t want to be a designer. She wanted to spend her time making things because she had two small children and a workaholic husband and the making part was a therapeutic part of her busy life. She once said to me, “I’m just learning this stuff but I don’t want to make an Irish Chain or a Four-Patch. I want it simple enough that I can finish it and hip enough that I want to finish it.”
Another former student, Susan, is a neurologist. She wanted to make a quilt for her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. “I’m a doctor. I only have so much time and I don’t want to spend it trying to figure out what it should look like or calculating yardage requirements,” she commented once.
We listened. Every time we develop a new pattern I think about those two women. Although there are some people who look down there noses on any pattern that has fewer than 500 pieces and doesn’t require two years to complete, I think about the people who are hobby quilters. Quilting isn’t the focus of their lives but it’s important to them to be able to make quilts for the people they love in the limited time that they have available.
Those women gave us invaluable advice and I’m glad that we took it.