Saturday was Worldwide Quilting Day. Of course, quilters knew all along it was bigger than a national celebration, so it was nice to share with the rest of the world. The celebration got me thinking about my own quilt beginnings and why I ended up creating a business from what I love. I could actually write a lot about this, but I’ll try to be brief. After all, you’re running a business and need to focus on that!
I did not come from a tradition of quilting, and only after I began quilting did a couple of quilts find their way into my home. I did come from a tradition of sewing and art. My great-great grandmothers were professional seamstresses, and family lore has me threading their needles at the age of three. My mother was a professional watercolorist and taught the subject. So I can see my background was filled with thread and color.
After starting with sewing (and selling) Barbie clothes as a youngster, progressing through my own personal sewing and multitude of arts and crafts (knitting, crochet, embroidery, painting), I happened on a quilt show in the fall of 1976 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. That was all it took for me to ask about classes. As I often share, I had the sewing machine and all those scraps so it couldn’t be a costly hobby.
Fast forward just a couple of years and I wanted to share my new found love of quilting and I began teaching at the local adult ed program. At that point, my accountant suggested I form a business and I did. As I look back over the past 30 plus – yikes – years, I went from teaching to creating patterns to selling my work at arts and craft shows to working in a cooperative to taking commissions. They were all ways for me to express my own creativity and share it with others.
Back in 1994, my business took a turn and I began to work with more creative entrepreneurs who wanted to know how they, too, could create a business from their passion at quilting. That was the beginning of my tenure as editor and publisher of The Professional Quilter. That led eventually to the International Association of Professional Quilters. As I look back, it’s always been about providing information for growth as creative entrepreneurs.
So why do you quilt? I quilt because I love thread and color and creating. It’s fills a deep need in me. Why do you have a quilt business? I have one because I want to empower women (OK, and cool men) who have a passion for creating and sharing that with others to craft a profitable business for themselves from that passion. It’s also about creating a legacy so that Worldwide Quilting Day continues well past the time we all celebrated it.
Please share your thoughts on your “why” below.