It’s official… it was five years ago, February 5, 2015 to be exact, that I started Whole Circle Studio as a blog. I was interested in exploring how I might be able to turn design and quilting into a business, but my main goal at the time was to share my work and process with others. I distinctly remember writing the very first blog post. I was on vacation at a coffee shop in Key West, Florida. While sitting there sipping a latte, I started planning on paper some of the things I wanted to share on the blog. Thankfully wifi was available because I then got up enough courage to put this short post into the world.
It’s been an amazing, unexpected journey since 2015. I never would have predicted that I would be doing what I’m doing today—enhancing people’s lives through beautiful, meaningful design in the form of quilting. Eight years ago, I didn’t even know how to properly use a sewing machine. I feel incredibly fortunate to have made a career out of design and quilting and none of it would be possible without YOU (even if this is your first interaction with me).
Without you doing the following, none of this would be possible:
• encouraging me
• buying a pattern or product from me
• attending one of my presentations
• participating in one of my workshops
• telling a friend, shop or guild about me
• sharing a blog entry, social media post, or newsletter
I truly love meeting and connecting with you (both in real life and online), sharing my work and learning what you’re working on. I’m here for you—whether it’s delivering a delight, teaching you something new, inspiring you, encouraging you, or making piecing or quilting a bit easier and more pleasurable. I love hearing from you—by email or through the blog comments (comment below!) Let’s keep the conversation going!
Here some of the highlights from the last 5 years:
• Launched Whole Circle Studio with a single blog post
You have to start somewhere, no matter how small or awkward it is. Read “Here we go…”
• Attended my first QuiltCon in Austin, Texas
I entered my first quilt into a juried show and had three accepted. Imagine my surprise when one, What’s the Frequency, Love?, won first place in the Small Quilts category at QuiltCon 2015.
• Awarded first place as well as Mark Lipinski’s Judge’s Choice award in the Quilt Alliance “Animals We Love” Contest for Bzzzzzz.
• Designed and independently published my first quilt pattern
My very first published pattern was a Row by Row block for one of my local quilt shops, The Bolt. I loved the block so much, and so did other quilters, that I decided to explore what it would look like as a quilt. From there, Little Fishies launched.
• Awarded the first annual Craftsy Quilt Designers Fellowship.
I will be eternally grateful for this amazing opportunity that accelerated the growth of Whole Circle Studio.
• Exhibited at my first International Quilt Market in Houston.
What’s it like to have a trade show booth at Quilt Market? See for yourself here. Jason and I are looking forward to returning to Quilt Market for the first time since Fall 2016. We’ll be at Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh in May. More to come soon!
• Debuted, 270 Colors, a quilt designed and made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Aurifil in the United States
This quilt was just the beginning of a wonderful, collaborative relationship I have with Aurifil.
• Challenged myself to do handwork each day for 365 days
While some days it was really challenging to keep up the motivation and energy, I am really glad I did it and documented the process each week. I’ve slacked off a bit with this lately and looking back at this time period reminds me I need to make more time for it!
• Filmed my first online videos
Take a peek behind the scenes and check out the segments I filmed for Season 2 of Fresh Quilting.
• Taught at my first major conference, QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, California
I’m super excited to be back to teach at QuiltCon 2020!
• Resigned from my “day job” to make Whole Circle Studio my one full-time job
It was a bit scary, yet super exciting at the same time. It wouldn’t have been possible without a loyal, supportive quilting community. Thank you!
• Collaborated with wonderful quilters and companies like, Mathew Boudreaux (aka Mister Domestic), Leah Day, and Makers’ Mercantile
I love working with other talented makers—everything is better when we pool our creativity!
Mathew and I had a blast with our Patchwork Petals Sewing Party!
Leah and I really enjoyed sharing how we each pieced and quilted our Leaf Peepers quilt with weekly videos and blog posts over the course of 12 weeks.
• Launched my first English Paper Piecing (EPP) pattern—Typecast
To celebrate, 26 of my quilting friends stitched up a letter, A-Z. Check out all of their beautiful work on the Typecast of Characters Blog Tour (and I bet you’ll know at least one of these quilters).
• Filmed my first long format online class
It was so much fun to visit the “Disneyland of Quilting”, Hamilton, Missouri. I’m super proud of the hour-long Piecing Curves with Confidence online class I filmed at Missouri Star Quilt Company. Take a peek behind the scenes here.
We’ve only just begun!
2020 and beyond…
I have lots of fun projects planned for 2020 and beyond—I can’t wait to share even more with you. I’m also scheduled to present and teach all around the United States in 2020/2021. Hopefully, I’ll be in a location near you! I’d love to connect in person. You can see my schedule here.
Go make something great,