• January 2014

"Quilters" Gives Color a Brighter Meaning

“Every quilt tells a story,” says Jo Packham, author of Quilters, a compilation of the personal experiences of 20 artisans who share their love of textile art.

They open their studios to Packham and photographer Ryne Hazen, to share their love for the creative process of sewing quilts. Plus, readers have access to 80 online quilt patterns to download.

Packham, quoting “The Quilts of Gee’s Band,” says: “Quilting is a white woman’s way of singing the blues.” She knows of what she speaks.

“My practical, patient, and thrifty mother taught me how to sew,” explains Packham. “She showed me how to create a pattern for whatever I either wanted or believed that I needed, and she persistently taught me the lessons of fine handwork. That meant, and still means, plaids perfectly matching at the seams, straight stitching lines, and a back as beautiful as the front—with no exceptions made for haste and no less-than-perfect craftsmanship.

“I learned my mother’s lessons, but I have never loved sewing clothing as much as I love quilting,” she shares. “These pieced and quilted fabrics tell the stories of the women who created them. The stitches are so tiny you can barely see them. And the hours of creative, painstaking endurance are what I love most.”

“Quliters” is filled with the most important aspects of the world of quilting, including cutting tables, fabric and supply storage, quilt display treatments, and more. Its goal is to have readers discover each quilter’s personal story of their journey with quilting, along with their favorite personally designed quilt patterns or their favorite pattern.

Here’s a glimpse into the art and craft of three quilters:

David Butler is an Ohio-based graphic designer who has worked for Timberland, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister. He recently got into product design under the umbrella of his wife, Amy Butler —a well-known and respected quilter.

“Amy needed somebody to help her with the computer aspect of design, and I learned fabric design so I could assist,” he says. “I’ve spent the last eight years behind the scenes, working closely with a firm called Westminster. The team there prompted me to think about doing my own line, as there seems to be a niche for male-friendly fabrics.”

Parson Gray is his brand. “Amy coaxed me along and guided me, and my first line came out in 2012. Sales have been really good, which feels great. I think all you can do is create something that you would want to see in the marketplace, and give it a life of its own.”

See for yourself on page 44, read about page the amazing Amy starting on page 36, and learn more about Parson Gray by clicking here: www.parsongray.com.

Heather Grant A modernist from Austin, TX, Grant’s passion is to push the modern quilt movement forward. Through her popular blog and website, she has been instrumental in building a vibrant community of like-minded quilters.

“My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmothers were all quilters, so quilting has always had a special lure for me” Grant says. “I made my first quilt when I was 20. At the time, I wasn’t energized about the traditional designs of quilts, but I really loved the craft itself and enjoyed the process of making a quilt.

“I was starting to come into my own, establishing my taste, and found I was attracted to mid-century designs. I began collecting modern mid-century furniture, and as my appreciation for design developed, I started walking away from quilting.”

What drew her back in? See page 80 of Quilters.

Amanda Murphy is known for her exuberant use of color. The author of “Color Essentials” and “Modern Holiday” is also a fabric and pattern designer and a quilter, who markets her pattern line and designs quilting collections for Blend Fabrics.

“I love fabric,” says Murphy. “The endless array of colors and patterns and the tactile quality of cloth never fail to inspire me. I’m particularly interested in the juxtaposition of modern and traditional motifs. When I’m in the process of designing a new collection, I bounce between fabric and quilting designs, adjusting color values and scale. Ultimately, I develop a family of designs that can be combined in myriad ways.”

See Murphy’s work on page 142, and learn more at amandamurphydesign.com.

Jo Packham has been an innovator in the crafts and handmade publishing market for more than 30 years. A successful entrepreneur who has partnered with Stampington & Company, she is now creating a new imprint with Sterling, WWC PRESS.

Packham is the creator and editor-in-chief of three bestselling magazines: Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women, Where Women Cook: The Heart and Soul of Cooking, and Where Women Create BUSINESS: A Passion for Success. She is also the author of “Where Women Create” (2005), “Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration” (2010), and “Where Women Create: Book of Organization” (2013). She lives in Ogden, Utah.

For more information about “Quliters,” click here.