March 20th, 2017
I'm talking with Dean Neumann and Penny McMorris about Electric Quilt, the quilt designs software company they co-founded 26 years ago.
After the Air Force and then graduate school, Dean was a Professor of Mathematics at Bowling Green State University for 25 years. He received a hand-me-down computer from his son in the late 1980s, and quickly became a self-taught computer programmer just for fun.
His wife, Penny McMorris, was the corporate art curator for Owens-Corning Corporation, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. Penny was a self-taught quilt maker. She taught a few local classes and then talked her local PBS station (WBGU-TV) into letting her produce and host a television series showing quilt history and the best contemporary quilts of that time.
With Penny’s travels for her job and the TV show, Dean became interested in quilts and was motivated to find an enterprise that they could do together. He was the brainstorm behind the idea of creating a software that would allow quilters to pre-plan their designs. The result was the first Electric Quilt (EQ) program in 1992.
They both eventually left their jobs to run the company full time. 26 years later, they continue to own and operate The Electric Quilt Company in Bowling Green, Ohio.
This episode is sponsored by Plum Deluxe. Love trying new teas? Treat yourself to a Plum Deluxe tea of the month subscription. For only $10/month, you'll receive a hand blended, all-organic,loose leaf tea thoughtfully chosen for the season. Tea club members also enjoy special benefits like discounts, free shipping on all purchases, and access to a very loving and supporting tea community. A tea subscription also makes a fantastic gift. Visit PlumDeluxe.com/tea and join now.
Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, WhileSheNaps.com where you can also sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.
Visit Electric Quilt at ElectricQuilt.com.
March 6th, 2017
Today we're talking about the sewing and quilting industry with my guest, Pokey Bolton.
Pokey Bolton was introduced to art quilting and the related needle arts in 1998, and ever since she took her first stitch (a fly) and embroidered her first motif (a spider), she has been entangled in this industry and doesn’t envision herself getting free.
Art quilting and mixed-media have, quite literally, taken over her life—so much so that she left her doctoral program and full-time teaching job to found Quilting Arts Magazine® and later with John Bolton, Cloth Paper Scissors® magazine, as well as a line of books. After they sold their publishing business to Interweave, Pokey became the Editorial Director for the Quilt & Paper Division at Interweave and was founding host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS.
In January 2012 she joined Quilts, Inc, the parent company of International Quilt Festival and Quilt Market, in the newly founded position of Chief Creative Officer.
A little over two years later, she founded Crafting a Life, LLC, a media and events company based in Napa Valley, California offering media and boutique-style retreats. In January 2016, she launched CRAFT NAPA, an annual retreat held in downtown Napa. CRAFT NAPA includes crafting, sewing, collage, quilting workshops, wine education, wine excursions, and an Artists' Market.
Connect with Pokey on her blog.
Get the show notes for this episoe and sign up for my newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week on my blog, whileshenaps.com.
Today's episode is sponsored by Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking. Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio offers a contemporary look at a traditional craft. Working as an artist creating one of a kind hooked rugs , Deanne also offers rug hooking kits, patterns, supplies, workshops and lessons, both online at www.hookingrugs.com or at her studio in downtown Amherst, Nova Scotia,Canada.Her original works are in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and many private and public collections. The author of seven books about rug hooking and creativity,Deanne has made her website, blog and youtube channels a beautiful resource for rug hookers internationally.
Visit her at www.hookingrugs.com and use the coupon code abby to receive 15% off your first order.
February 25th, 2017
This is a special episode of the While She Naps podcast. I’m here at QuiltCon 2017 and I’m honored to have been able to sit for a few minutes with Katherine Jones who has won Best in Show for her quilt, Bling. Kat is from Tasmania, Australia and I caught her just a few hours before she had to catch a flight back home. We sat on the grass outside the convention center and chatted about her extraordinary paper pieced quilt.
Kat has had award winning quilts in QuiltCon in years past, but she has a very low key online presence and many people are hearing about her for the first time. I wanted to hear her story, her approach to quilting, how she planned and executed such a stunning work of art, and what she’s going to do next. I hope you enjoy this special episode.
Visit Kat's blog: http://www.twocatsquilts.blogspot.com.au
February 20th, 2017
Today we’re talking about launching a kit and pattern business with my guest, Susan Fitzgerald. Susan lives near me, in the Boston area, so we were actually able to record this interview in person in Susan’s beautiful studio.
Susan Fitzgerald designs modern cross stitch kits and patterns. Her work features stitching on unconventional materials like wood, leather, and acrylic. Her innovative designs have been featured in a number of cross stitch, quilting, and craft publications including CrossStitcher magazine and Mollie Makes.
With a background in science and technology, Susan did not set out to become a cross stitch designer. She taught herself to stitch in her 20’s as a creative counterpoint to working long days in the corporate world. While dabbling in other crafts like knitting, quilting, and weaving, cross stitch was always the pursuit she came back to.
As her cross stitch practice evolved, Susan began to explore stitching on alternative materials like wood and leather. She loved how modern and unexpected the pieces were. In 2012 she created a line of cross stitch jewelry kits featuring the unconventional materials and began selling them on Etsy. She now sells an expanded range of kits to fabric and yarn shops across the country and internationally.
We talk about product development, sourcing, trade shows, distribution, and Instagram among many other things. If you sell a physical product or hope to one day this episode is for you!
Today’s episode is brought to you by halfmoon ATELIER. Simple design. Big impact.
Meghann Halfmoon of halfmoon ATELIER designs foundation pieces for modern sewists looking to create a sew-cially conscious handmade wardrobe. Her mission is to design simple, unique sewing patterns and help modern sewists to source sustainable, ethical, organic and fair trade fabric as a small step toward her vision of a world in which sustainable, ethical production is simply the standard. Simple design. Big impact.
Check out www.halfmoonatelier.com for unique PDF sewing patterns and a compilation of online businesses offering sustainable, ethical fabrics (http://www.halfmoonatelier.com/ethical-sources).
Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can also subscribe to my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.
February 6th, 2017
We're talking about blogging, and illustration, and newsletters with my guest Claire Robertson. Claire is an Australian artist and illustrator based on the Pacific North West island of Salt Spring, in British Columbia, Canada. She weaves the whimsy of her island life into her work, incorporating the local flora and fauna in her characteristic style. She is well known for her much loved blog loobylu.com which she began in 1999, and for which she has won many awards and accolades. She is also known for her iconic children's book illustrations including for the ongoing Truly Tan series, written by Jen Storer for Harper Collins Australia. Claire works digitally but also in traditional media: inks, acrylics, paper-cutting, ceramics and textiles.
This episode is sponsored by Shower Art. Rosalie & Douglas Gale of Ugly Baby invented Shower Art - waterproof art you can hang in your shower with a suction cup. They hand cast each piece in rubber add glitter, discarded toys and other weird stuff - along with a fair amount of sarcasm. Visit uglybabyshop.com and use coupon code ABBYRULES for 30% off a single order.
Check out the show notes for this episode on whileshenaps.com where you can also sign up for my weekly email newsletter.
January 16th, 2017
In this episode of the podcast I've asked quilter Thomas Knauer to talk about the state of the quilting industry right now. Knauer is an academic as well as an award winning quilter and he views the industry in a way that I feel is unusual and thought-provoking. He talks about the relationship between the quest for perfectionism and quilting and how that leads to consumerism. Thomas also feels that "the quilting industry has nothing to do with quilts," a statement I ask him to unpack for us. Finally, Thomas shares a new model for local quilt shops going forward - one that I've never heard before and that definitley made me think. I hope this interview prompts some new ideas to circulate as the business of quilting changes.
This episode is sponsored by Craftcation. If you’re maker, blogger or creative business owner Craftcation Conference is the perfect place for you to get all the tools and resources you need to start the business of your dreams, take your existing business to the next-level, make life-long friends and build your community, and discover or rediscover your inner artist and crafter.
Come to Craftcation: Business and Makers Conference on April 27-30 2017 in Ventura, California for four life-changing days of 80+ hands-on DIY craft workshops and business classes as well as special events like happy hour, keynote dinner, morning yoga, a dance party and more.
Craftcation sells out every year, so don’t miss this chance. Go to dearhandmadelife.com and use the code: whileshenaps to get $20 off and register for four days you’ll never forget.
January 9th, 2017
On today's episode of the While She Naps podcast we’re talking about building a business in fashion sewing with my guest Mimi Goodwin, whom you might know as MimiG.
Mimi is a mother, businesswoman, and award winning, trend expert and Editor-in-Chief of the popular fashion, lifestyle, and DIY blog, MimiGStyle.com. What started off as a hobby in her Los Angeles home in 2012, has blossomed into an international brand with daily engagement of more than 1.M followers.
We talk about :
- What works on YouTube
- Sponsored posts
- Body image
- How to build readership for your blog and grow you Instagram following
- Controlling the tone of your online community
- Becoming a sewing pattern designer
- Launching a membership site
Today’s show is sponsored by Spoonflower. If you’re a creative person who loves to design, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your art printed onto fabric, or better yet -- seeing someone across the globe purchase it and make something amazing. Spoonflower is the first company to make it possible to digitally print custom fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap with no minimums, and no limitation of colors. Shop from thousands of indie designs, or sell your own designs and earn up to 15% commission on every sale. The best part? As an independent seller you always keep the rights to your work. While She Naps podcast listeners can get 15% off your next Spoonflower fabric order with code ABBY17. Learn more at try.spoonflower.com/abby
December 19th, 2016
In this special episode of the podcast we're hearing voices from the community. It's the 2016 Community Episode! A few weeks ago I put a call out on my blog and in my newsletter asking you to record yourself and send it to me. I got so many entries! Thank you. Specifically I asked if you would recommend something you're loving right now. So this episode is full of amazing recommendations for books, apps, websites, notions, tools, and other podcasts you'll love.
I asked my good friend, crochet designer Stacey Trock of FreshStitches.com, to co-host this episode with me. Stacey and I also share our own recommendations for great stuff.
And, we're giving away a $100 gift certificate to Sprout Patterns to one lucky contributor to this episode. So, if you recorded yourself and sent it to me be sure to listen to see who won! Thank you, Sprout, for generously donating this fantastic prize.
This episode was truly special and I'm going to do it again next year.
Our episode sponsor is Yount Street Glass. Yount Street Glass makes jewelry and accessories from reycycled wine bottles. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, Yount Street Glass is perfectly situated to upcycle the beautiful glass that cradled beautiful wines. Check out YountStreetGlass.com to learn more about their handcrafted, eco-friendly products.
December 5th, 2016
On today's episode of the podcast we're talking about product development with my guest, Annie Unrein. A creative lifetime quilter, Annie Unrein of Patterns by Annie and ByAnnie.com has been designing patterns and teaching since 2000. With a focus on practical and useful projects, Annie's patterns appeal to a sewists of all ages and levels.
Annie is the creator of ByAnnie's Soft and Stable, an innovative product she designed to add body, stability and a professional finish to purses, bags, home dec items, and more.
A popular instructor, Annie teaches online and also travels worldwide to teach. She loves sharing techniques for making sewing bags and purses easier while yielding professional results.
Annie is based in St. George, Utah, where she and her energetic team operate the popular website ByAnnie.com. They are your source for patterns, Soft and Stable, handbag zippers in over 48 colors, purse hardware, mesh, vinyl, and more.
Annie talks about building a pattern business from scratch, developing signature products, and business growth. And, of course, I ask Annie to recommend great stuff she's enjoying right now.
This episode is sponsored by Modern Patchwork Magazine, a publication from F+W media known for its fresh and contemporary quilt patterns, in-depth designer profiles, and inspirational articles. Whether you are just beginning to quilt and love the modern look, or are a seasoned quilter looking for contemporary patchwork projects of every skill level, Modern Patchwork is the magazine for you. And now it’s available six times a year AND as a subscription. Visit quilting daily.com/mpsubscribe for more information.
Get the show notes for this episode and subscribe to my weekly email newsletter on my blog, whileshenaps.com.
November 21st, 2016
On today's episode we're talking about building a career as an artist and illustrator with my guest, Jennifer Judd-McGee.
Jennifer Judd-McGee is a full time artist and mother living and working in Mount Desert Island, Maine. She describes herself as a nature lover, obsessive doodler, path finder, and appreciator of paper, fine point pens, and detailed patterns. Jennifer creates papercuts, illustrations, mixed media collage and monoprints that are reflective of her surroundings. She shows her work in galleries and licenses it to companies around the country.
Jen talks about living with Multiple Sclerosis, transitioning into being a full-time artist, licensing work to commercial clients including Target and Land of Nod, creating fine art for galleries and so much more. Jen struggles with self-promotion and we talk about strategies she's used to overcome her discomfort. This is a gentle, honest conversation and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This episode is sponsored by Made By Rae. Made By Rae is an independent sewing pattern company specializing in simple, modern clothing designs for women and children. Designer Rae Hoekstra brings you sewing patterns that are easy to follow and learn from, with a focus on good fit. Whether you are just beginning to sew or have been sewing for years, you’ll love how approachable and versatile these patterns are. Use the special offer code WHILESHENAPS to get 10% off your next purchase in the Made by Rae shop. Offer expires December 31, 2016.
Get the show notes for this episode on my blog, whileshenaps.com, where you can also sign up for my email newsletter to get the best in sewing, blogging, and small business delivered right to your inbox each week.