I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love fabric and stitching with a sewing machine or by my hand! By the time I was 8 years old, my Mother was certain that I was going to learn to sew and embroider!! And I did!! Through 10 years of 4-H and as a young mother I stitched all my clothing and outfits for my daughters – even prom dresses!! In 1988 I was introduced to quilting by my friend, Cindi Edgerton (A Very Special Collection), and I have never looked back! I worked in quilt shops from 1997 and until my retirement in June 2017. During that time I taught many quilting classes, including beginning quilting, foundation paper piecing, English Paper Piecing, 1930’s Clothesline Club and wool appliqué. I have entered quilts in juried and judged events. I consider myself a traditional quilter and especially enjoy collecting and stitching with the 1930’s and 1800 reproduction fabrics. I also enjoy collecting antiques and baking.
My husband retired from the Air Force in 1996 and we moved to my family home in Middlebury, Indiana. Our three daughters and their families live in Indiana, Ohio and Virginia.
I presently live in Gladwin, Michigan moving north from Waterford, Michigan after retiring from Oakland County Sheriff’s Department with 35years on the job. My escape from a job that was sometimes stressful was creating works of art as I believed them to be. I enjoyed many forms of art; oil, pastel, watercolor, stained glass, photography and always in the back of my mind I hoped to make a quilt someday. Saving pictures, torn from magazines, in a folder for the day I would make my first quilt, well time just passed and my stack got bigger. I started quilting in 2008 when I was invited to a quilt retreat with friends who were avid quilters. I enjoyed the process so much I was now ready to start my quilting venture. In 2009 I retired and now it was time to settle on one or two art forms mainly because I was moving to a smaller work space. Little did I know the quilting requires a lot of space as it grows and I mean it grows.
I discovered you could print photos on fabric using an ink jet printer which led me into the art quilting world. I have always used many of my photos as inspiration for my paintings and now using them for quilts led me further into printing my own fabric, using the computer to transform the photos and finding on-line fabric printing companies for larger prints. As always, the first attempts did not quite live up to my original plan but I kept experimenting, reading books, honing my skills, and taking classes from quilt artists I admire. There are so many resources out there my mind just swims with ideas.
With the success of my latest quilt “Stick With Me Kid” I have been asked to do trunk shows locally in Michigan and teach classes--a new adventure for me. I love sharing what I have learned and what works or does not work. I am very involved with my local quilt guild where I am the activities coordinator and I am president of the Gladwin Area Artist Guild. I am on the board of the Gladwin Youth Arts Alliance which promotes and supports the arts in the area schools. One thing I have found is my art quilts can cross two artistic worlds. I have entered my quilts in fine art shows and have been well received because this is new to most viewers at art shows.
For as long as she can remember, Gail has been stitching or sewing. She learned her way around the sewing machine from her mom and grandmother, sewing her own clothing and eventually her kids’ clothes. She cross-stitched and crocheted her way through the 80s until her sister and co-teacher Ann Buschlen convinced her to try her hand at quilting. She was hooked! Now with over 20 years of quilting experience, Gail shares her passion for quilting with others through classes held in her home and bi-annual retreats held near her residence in Elkton, Michigan. Find her online at www.gailbrownquilts.com or on Facebook: Gail Brown Quilts.
Ann is the quilting enabler in her family. She got her sister and co-teacher Gail Brown into it, as well as her mother and both of her daughters. Having quilted for over 20 years, she is known for her attention to detail and extremely accurate points. This accuracy and her willingness to try new techniques led her to the Deb Tucker Studio 180 rulers, which are the main tool in her class, Doubly Charmed. (Ever the enabler, she convinced Gail to try the rulers in the first place!) Ann is also somewhat of an anomaly—she only buys fabric when she has a plan for it. As a full-time respiratory therapist, the patients know her passion for quilting by the wall hanging in her office. She is also a doting grandmother to her granddaughter, Kennedy, the future fourth generation quilter. She lives in Pigeon, Michigan.
Lynn lives in Michigan where she creates art, raises chickens, and grows vegetables. Both of Lynn’s parents grew up on farms and, like the little red hen in the children’s story, she was taught to do things from scratch and to never let anything go to waste. Her thrifty upbringing led her to her current style of working with scraps and the desire to use “every last piece.” Her quilts have been juried into international shows and gallery exhibits and her work is in private collections around the world. She is the author of Every Last Piece and has also been published in numerous books and magazines.
Jan Hildebrant is the owner of The Front Porch Quilt Shop in Frankenmuth, MI. The store recently celebrated its 8th year in business. Prior to owning the quilt shop, Jan had an interior decorating store. “I’ve always had a strong sense of color and design and how it works together,” says Jan. The store in Frankenmuth is a two story Victorian home that was home to a dressmaker in the 1930s! Along with 1000+ bolts of fabrics, it houses a retreat area upstairs for small groups. See more about Jan and the Front Porch Quilt Shop on their website: https://www.thefrontporchquiltshop.com.
Doug Leko’s story is unique in the quilting industry. He founded Antler Quilt Design in 2008, when he was just fourteen. He’d been quilting since the age of six, and working in his mother’s quilt shop over the years helped him develop his skills and refine his art. After pattern testing for various designers, he began to develop his own quilt designs. Doug took off from there, launching a full-scale design and marketing operation while he was still in high school.
Since then, his reputation has grown along with his business. He has a vibrant and growing collection of patterns available at quilt stores around the U.S. and Canada. New releases each year coincide with the timing of Quilt Market. With every new release, he signs and numbers the first 24 patterns, and those are intermixed randomly as orders are filled - so keep your eye out!
Doug takes a distinctive approach to his quilt designs. He enjoys incorporating secondary design elements, and he’s absolutely passionate about color. For Doug, there’s nothing like pulling together just the right mix of coordinating fabrics for a project. He loves every aspect of the quilting process, from design to fabric selection to handwork to binding.
His work has been featured in prominent publications such as McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker, and in American Patchwork & Quilting.
When he’s not busy developing new designs or showing at Quilt Market, he divides his time between pursuing a marketing degree and teaching/speaking at quilt shops and other quilting events.
Sharing with other quilters is what Doug likes best about his business. He always wants to know what people are working on, and he’s known as much for his outgoing nature and storytelling as for his unique passion about quilting.
Shop Doug’s innovative selection of designs, and keep an eye on this young man who’s continuing to make a colorful splash in the quilting world!
(Photo Credit: Meyer's Photography Studio, Sauk Centre, MN)
Coleen Merte began her professional quilting career as a quilting instructor, teaching in several area quilt shop for several years. She then progressed to a pattern designer around 2010. The name of her pattern company is “Northwater Quilts” to pay homage to her home state of Michigan. Her quilts are generally a combination of an antique quilt block which is usually altered in some way, with bright wool or cotton applique added. After exhibiting her work at International Quilt Market for the first time last Spring, she has developed an interest in Modern quilts, and has already created several designs in this realm as well. She has had quilts published in popular quilting magazines and has spoken at numerous quilt guilds.
Coleen lives in Clarkston, Michigan, has been married for 30 years, and has three grown children. She has a degree in education and works part-time as a registered nurse. She loves to teach and inspire creative thinking in others. Her main joy is meeting other quilters at guilds and at quilt shows; they are a huge inspiration to her as well.
Lori J. Miller is a quilter, teacher, pattern designer, and Electric Quilt enthusiast from Troy, Michigan. Sewing since age 11, Lori has deep roots in sewing and quilting traditions that add a unique dimension to her designs. “My joy is working with fun colors, patterns and designs.” Lori is the host of “EQ Mini Friday Fun with Lori” on the Electric Quilt Blog, where she shares tips and tutorials for beginning quilt designers. Lori’s work has been featured in Modern Patchwork, Modern Quilts Unlimited, APQ Quilts and More, and Fons and Porter Easy Quilts. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @lorimillerdesigns or catch her blog at lorimillerdesigns.com.
I was introduced to punchneedle embroidery in 2005. Once I recognized how much I enjoyed it, I went on to learn punchneedle rug hooking and became a certified Oxford punchneedle instructor in 2011. I have been desigining patterns, hand dyeing rug yarn, teaching punchneedle classes as well as participating in needle art and quilting events since 2013. I own the Wild Hare Rug Studio located in Elk Rapids, MI and continue to enjoy sharing my love of color, texture and creativity. See more of Michele's work at: http://www.wildharerugstudio.com.
Patty began quilting over 20 years ago and hasn’t slowed down since. While appreciating all styles of quilting, Patty fell in love with the intricacies of Judy Niemeyer quilts years ago and started amassing quite a library of the patterns. A class here and a class there kept the desire to master this quilt technique going strong and in 2016 she decided to take a week long class with Judy at the Madeline Island School of the Arts. What followed was a whirlwind group of week long classes, a LOT of sewing, and the distinction of being one of the first quilt shops in Michigan to become a Quiltworx Certified Shop. Patty’s passion and desire to pass her love of these quilts to her customers has earned her the reputation as being the place to go for help in all phases of designing, planning, construction and, Patty’s personal goal, finishing all Quiltworx Patterns. Find Patty online at the Park Bench Quilt Shop: https://www.parkbenchquiltshop.com.
Lynn has worked in a design capacity for all of her professional life. She entered the design world as a Fine Arts student ultimately graduating with a BFA in Interior Design. She then continued as an interior designer specializing in commercial interiors for over 30 years and now colors outside the lines as the owner of A Different Box of Crayons. Lynn has worked with and designed quilts for over 12 years. A Different Box of Crayons was officially launched in 2010. Through A Different Box of Crayons, Lynn designs patterns and kits for the adventurous quilter using new techniques and an eclectic mix of cotton and alternative textiles. Her work has been published repeatedly in American Patchwork and Quilting and Quilts and More. She has had several projects published in Needl'love quilt books. Initially her most popular projects focused on whimsical approaches to graphic imagery in quilts. Lynn's current focus is on secondary patterning, color, textures and Eclectic textiles enhanced with wool applique. With a little understanding of how to handle and sew with Eclectic textiles, quilters need not be limited to just cotton fabric in their projects. Eclectic Bundles afford quilters access to silk matka, raw silk and silk dupioni, both hand dyed and woven wools, linen, home decor and certainly all scales and themes of cotton. Lynn illustrates here how they can by beautifully brought together to dance in a single project. Truly a new "box of crayons" for quilters of all ages and experience to learn to color with!
Come visit us at our new home in Glen Ellyn, IL at 439 Pennsylvania Avenue and experience first hand the mix of color and texture that Eclectics can create in your projects or visit our website www.adifferentboxofcrayons.com.