Being in the business of fabric, we have the opportunity to meet some incredibly talented individuals. On top of that, we actually get to work with these fabulous people (I know, some days I can’t believe it, either)!
Throughout the year, we get to work with some of the industry’s top quilt designers, and we want to show them off a little!
Audrey and Cheri of Cheri Good Quilt Design have been in the business of designing quilt patterns for six years and has worked with Island Batik for quite a while. Their fresh designs are always fun, and do a particularly wonderful job of showing off our fabrics (could we really ask for anything more?)! 😉 We figuratively sat down with them to dish about their business!
Island Batik: When did you start sewing? Who taught you?
Cheri: I got my first sewing machine as a gift from my Dad in 1965, when my daughter was born and took lessons from a local fabric store.
Audrey: I was around sewing all of my life. My Mother was an expert seamstress sewing clothes for three girls, as well as tailoring and quilting. My sewing instruction was a small part of her instruction as she was an avid fabrics shopper and exposed me to how to evaluate fabric quality, develop a “feel” for fabric and enjoy fabric color and texture. She had every new sewing tool available at the time and had a extensive thread collection. My solo experiences in sewing were in high school when I wanted to make “my own clothes,” and fortunately I had every sewing need at my disposable including a Mom willing to let me make mistakes and solve problems as I grew.
IB: How did you get started with quilting?
Cheri: I had a friend, Barb Wolf, who was an avid quilter and I would always admire her quilts and quilting room. When my granddaughter was born, my sister suggested that I invest in a new sewing machine (34 years after my first and only one) since I would want to make her some cute outfits. I went to a local quilt show to pick up some fabric for her first dress and signed up for beginning quilting. That was the one and only dress I ever made for her – it’s been quilting ever since!
Audrey: Again, my Mother also quilted and we always had wonderful, comfy quilts on our beds. I dappled in quilting after I got married, making just a few quilts for myself and many as gifts for friends. As a visual arts and performing arts teacher, I incorporated quilting into art, teaching students how to create art work through fabric and designed and made costumes of about 60 theater productions. In 1997, while managing a local performing arts program in the community where I taught, we produced the musical, “Quilters” which required making two versions of 16 individual quilts and one huge quilt which incorporated the second 16 quilts. This became a community project in which a silent auctions the 16 small quilts for charity was conducted after the production ended. In addition to making all of the costumes for this production, many quilting bees with 16 volunteer quilters were held – with spectacular results. I really became inspired to spend more time quilting after this experience. In a few years, I retired from 37 years of teaching and was able to pursue this passion.
IB: What inspired you to turn your quilting hobby into a business?
Cheri & Audrey: After moving from California (Cheri) and Pittsburgh (Audrey) to Arizona, we both were in the same quilt club. Someone ask Cheri if she had a pattern for a small quilt she had designed and made from precuts which were new at the time. She said that she couldn’t do that on the computer and Audrey said that she could. That was our first pattern! We didn’t formally create a partnership until later, but by the time that we did, we knew we could work well together. Six years later, we have about 70 patterns!. We live very close to one another, which make daily “play with fabric” get-togethers so easy.
IB: What are some of your least favorite and most favorite parts of the business?
Cheri: We both agree that the paperwork is the least favorite part of a business. The thing I love the most is being able to share our work with others.
Audrey: This business has allowed me to use many of my teaching skills, but in a new way. Actual sewing and creating designs has always been something I have pursued, but utilizing and developing computer skills in making patterns has been both challenging and a new creative outlet for me. I love that we are both able to be creative in our partnership, but also both have very different skills that give balance to our business.
IB: What do you love about working with batik fabrics?
Cheri: I love working with batiks. Batiks have such wonderful characteristics such as the front and back being the same, eliminating mistakes of sewing things together incorrectly. Their beautiful quality and jewel-like patterns give quilts a special look. As pattern designers, we found that batik lovers are more open to putting their stamp of individuality to a pattern by envisioning their own color ways and textures with batiks.
Audrey: I love everything about batiks. The rich, vibrant colors and patterns, flexibility in putting together color ways, and adaptability to almost any pattern suit my creative spirit.
Which project collaboration with Island Batik has been your favorite?
Cheri & Audrey: This is like choosing your favorite child! We love each of our projects for different reasons, making it hard to choose just one. But check out some of our favorites below!
1. Audrey and Cheri in front of their Chevron Bed Runner at the Fall 2012 International Quilt Market in Houston, TX (Anyone else notice that they perfectly coordinate with their bed runner? ;)) || 2. Diamond in the Strips Bed Runner || 3. Las Sendas Stripes || 4. Chevron Bed Runner || 5. Twisted Triangles || 6. Twisted Triangles Coordinating Nesting Boxes
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Cheri and Audrey! We’re excited to have TWO designs from Cheri Good Quilt Design hanging in the Island Batik booth at Fall Market. Stay tuned for a sneak peek in October! 😉