Saturday, May 5, 2012

Designer Interviews

Many well-known designers are partnering with Northcott fabrics to create patterns with their new fabric lines.  I thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more about these designers.

My first interviewee is Jean Boyd from Brockville, Ontario.

I first met Jean at International Quilt Market in Houston many years ago when we both had booths to showcase our pattern designs to shops and distributors.

When did you start quilting and how did that happen?
I started quilting in the late 1970s. That was the time of the great resurgence of interest in quilting in the US. I had done lots of sewing and other crafts and thought I should give quilting a try too. There were no quilt shops or teachers in my area, so I was self-taught for many years. I bought all the available books and magazines and that was how I learned about quilting.

You were named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters' Association. How did you start teaching quilting? Tell us about a couple of the places or events where you have taught.
By 1981, I thought I knew enough about quilting to teach some classes. I was hired by the local school board to teach night school classes and 2 years later I was hired by St Lawrence Community College in Brockville. I helped initiate the Fibre Arts Certificate Program in Quilting at the College and wrote all the course outlines for the program. I taught many quilting classes there over the next 15 years. I have also taught at 7 Quilt Canada Conferences across Canada and at several US events.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I try to be very thorough in my classes, making sure that students understand all the steps involved. I also try to use a relaxed style of teaching and always encourage students to strive for excellence.

How would you describe your quilting style?
My work is almost always based on traditional designs. Although I have experimented with other design techniques, I usually come back to the traditional look.

What inspires you to create a new design?
New designs are often inspired by the fabric I have to work with. I am also inspired by other quiltmakers and teachers that I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with
Do you use technology when you develop new designs? If so, how?
I use a combination of computer programs when designing: Electric Quilt, Photoshop Elements and Microsoft Publisher. Each program is used for something specific during the designing process. The final step is always making the quilt to test all the measurements and instructions.

Do you participate in other activities related to quilting?
I have been a member of my Quilt Guild (Thousand Islands Quilters’ Guild in Brockville) since it started 25 years ago and have been on the executive of the Guild for several years. I have also been a member of the Canadian Quilters’ Association since the early 1980s. I am presently on the Editorial Advisory Committee for Quilters’ Connection magazine, Canada’s only quilting magazine.

What are some of your interests outside the quilting world?
I am a volunteer for a few organizations in Brockville, Ontario. I am a docent and tour guide at Fulford Place Museum, a wonderful Edwardian Mansion in Brockville. I am also a volunteer at the Brockville Arts Centre, another historic building in town with wonderful theatre productions year round. I am a member and have been on the executive of the Brockville Women’s Network, a women’s support and networking group.
Anything else you would like people to know about you?
For the past 3 years I have been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott. This experience has also given me the opportunity to work with fabrics that I might not have otherwise chosen for my work, so it has been a learning experience for me as well. It has been a pleasure to work with the wonderful people in this company.

All of my patterns can be seen on my website, I self-publish all of my patterns, so nothing is ever out of stock! There is also a link on my website that will take you to my Blog, where you can get quilting tips and sneak previews of my new patterns.

More designer interviews coming soon.

No comments: