Saturday, January 01, 2011

Why I Design

When Wayne Kollinger asked me to blog about why I design and to help inspire others to try their hand at designing, I was flattered...then I thought "Wouldn't that be like shooting myself in the foot?" But after a little more thought, I realized that even though I am a designer myself, I still like other peoples' designs and although I don't do it often, I still purchase patterns by other designers and I'm hoping others will do the same. So, here goes nothing!

Why I Design
The first reason I design is because I LOVE IT!
I love creating something from a thought, something that hasn't been done before or, even if it has been done before, doing it better. I have designed since I was a small child. I started out making dolls out of the wooden spoons that came with little cups of ice cream. My friends and I would draw faces on them and then make paper clothes. I sure wish I had saved some because I would love to look at them now.

I was fortunate to be chosen to take art lessons at our branch of the Carnegie Museum and did that every Saturday for about 3 or 4 years during grade school. When I went on to high school, I took only the required courses and then filled the rest of my day with art and craft classes. If I couldn't do something creative with my life I don't think it would be worth living!

Out of high school I went on to art school and earned a two year degree in graphic arts. My first job after finishing school was with a fine jeweler. After learning how to carve the waxes used in lost wax casting and to melt and pour the gold I was given the opportunity to do a little designing of my own. I worked in that industry for about 15 years before being bitten by the quilting bug.

The second reason I design is because I CAN!
Designing is the one thing for which I feel I have a talent. And I think we should all be using our talents to make other people happy and to make the world a better place.

For example, my design called LEXA'S ANGEL is my way of helping a friend deal with a recent tragedy in her life. My friend lost her 7 year old daughter Lexa in a car accident with a drunk driver December 6th, 2010. I made a small donation to a fund set up for her family and will continue to donate to that fund as I am able but my design abilities make it possible for me to help her in a bigger way and also to give others the opportunity to help her as well and get something in return.

The third reason I design is because I LIKE A CHALLENGE!
I will redraw a design as many times as necessary to make it as perfect as possible. My final version of LEXA'S ANGEL was the 11th version of that design. The original drawing was done about 4 years ago but I never did anything with it because there were other designs and deadlines that took priority. Now I'm glad I didn't use that design before because I think there was a bigger purpose for it.

The fourth reason I design is I LIKE THE ATTENTION IT GETS ME! 
The feeling I get when someone tells me how much they like my designs or how much they enjoyed making one of my designs is amazing. Every once in awhile I'll get a card in the mail or an email in which someone tells me the story behind a quilt they made from one of my patterns, such as who it was made for and why and that can totally make my day!


  1. Anonymous2:57 AM


    Interesting to read about your icecream stick dolls ... I have just passed on instructions for some to great nieces! Maybe they will be part of the next generation of designers.

    Thank you for sharing your reasons for designing quilts.

    Judy B

  2. Hi Judy,

    We had MORE fun with those little wooden dolls than with almost any other toy we had! I hope they enjoy it!