Welcome to Episode 23 of Sit & Sew Radio, a Quilt Addicts Anonymous podcast. We are back after taking a little hiatus and I’ve got a really awesome episode for you today. We’ve got two quilt pattern designers on today, and one of them is still working a day job while building her business. I was in that position just six months ago, so if there are any aspiring professional quilters out there, you’ve got to listen today to get some tips and tricks on how to break into the business.
Our first guest is Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Craftsy’s first Quilt Design Fellow. She started quilting four years ago, and started winning awards for her designs right away. She has a background in graphic design and brings her training and experience with color, grids and design to create some truly stunning modern quilt designs. She is using her Quilt Design Fellowship to help launch her pattern design company Whole Circle Studios. I put her patterns up on shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com before Thanksgiving and they are already really popular.
Then you’ll want to stick around to listen to Swan Sheridan, the creative force behind Swan Amity. Swan love, love, loves appliqué, her designs are super cute and most can be completed by someone with intermediate appliqué skills. And the best part is she hand draws these beautiful appliqué designs even though she was told she had no artistic talent and shouldn’t take art classes in high school. So that just goes to show you that you can make beautiful quilting designs even if you were kicked out of art class in school.
There’s a lot happening right now over at Quilt Addicts Anonymous. There is a 20% off sale going on over at shop.quiltaddictsanonymous.com. Pretty much everything is on sale and I’m adding new patterns and fabric bundles all the time, so go check it out. The final block pattern has been released for the Stars in the Night Quilt, so click here to download all the patterns and finish up this quilt top in time for the new year!
I also posted a video tutorial on how to turn your old ugly Christmas sweaters into super cute upcycled sweater mittens. This is a fun, fast project and you can make a pair for about $5 with a quarter-yard of fleece and a thrift store sweater. Plus if you go to the shop by December 16, 2016, you can get the pattern for free with any $10 purchase. Just click here to watch the tutorial and click here to get the pattern.
We also have a winner to announce! Nancy Sumner is the winner of the charm pack of Literary, the new fabric line by Heather Givans for Windham Fabrics. A big congratulations to Nancy and a big thank you to Heather for giving it away! If you missed her interview, click here to listen to Episode 22 and replay our chat.
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, pattern designer
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is a trained graphic designer who is balancing a full time job with Whole Circle Studio, her pattern design company that she calls her second full time job. She actually never intended to start quilting. She picked up her first quilting book as inspiration for graphic design, and four years ago found herself turning to quilting as a distraction.
She won some big awards right away for her designs and her business has grown quickly because her designs are so popular. We talk about her creative process, how her graphic design background impacts her quilt designs, what she’s learned from being Crafty’s first Quilt Design Fellow and where she plans to take her business.
Swan Sheridan, pattern designer
Swan Sheridan discovered appliqué as a way to fix a problem. She had a quilt early on that didn’t turn out flat and needed something to anchor it down. Swan used appliqué to make the quilt work, but quickly discovered the possibilities appliqué would provide in her quilting designs.
Swan also does all of her own quilting and it is beautiful. She quilts very densely, uses bold color choices so everyone can see her stitches and often uses the quilting as a way to enhance her pattern design. She shares some great tips on creating beautiful appliqué, practicing free motion quilting and how she built her pattern design business.
Not surprisingly, Swan has a thing for birds, and that shows up in designs. There are lots of whimsical bird and critter patterns.