78 Granite St Westerly, RI 02891 Email Barbara
I think my fascination with needle arts began when I was
about four years old. Remember those cardboard sewing cards with
shoelaces? It wasn’t long before I was doing stamped cross stitch and
By my teen years I was inflicting my efforts on others. My dad valiantly wore not only the vibrant multicolored scarf I made for him, but also the green and orange tie (we’re talking late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s)!
My mother was into crewel at this time- these were the years of the two EW’s- Erica Wilson and Elsa Williams. My first original design was a crewel welcome banner I made for my college dorm room. Within a few years I was regularly selling my designs to magazines. My first published design was crocheted, but I soon branched out to cross stitch, crewel, and needlepoint.
I began quilting in the early 1980’s. My earliest pieces were pillows and wall hangings. I soon discovered miniature quilts and my work became smaller...and smaller...my smallest published pattern was 4 1/2” square.
The design process is endlessly fascinating and never the same. I get my inspiration everywhere. Sometimes it begins with fabric. Two of my favorite quilts began with OPS - Other People’s Scraps! Other times the process begins with sketches on graph paper, a hike in the woods, the title of a book, or even my lunch (I once sold a counted cross stitch design of the makings of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich)!
I design with my customers in mind. I personally stitch every piece myself; if I have difficulty with any design I either find a better way to do it or scrap the entire design. All my patterns are marked as to level of difficulty and special techniques used.
I often suggest alternate construction methods. For example, two of my quilts contain sections that can be foundation paper pieced. Realizing that not every quilter likes this technique, I also included patterns for traditional templates. All my patterns are full size. Nothing is more frustrating than sitting down to sew and finding out you can’t do anything until you take a trip to your local print shop to have your pattern enlarged!
I live in Westerly, Rhode Island, and yes, my house has six gables.