Tuesday, April 19, 2011

how did i get here....

how did i become what is known as a quilt designer?
well....it all started off with my taking tole painting classes (remember those days) at a local quilt shop named Calico Station, which was going to be sold and i who had never made a quilt happened to be the one that purchased it, that's crazy right....
quilt shops are one of the most wonderful places to wander & dream of all that can be made with their bolts of fabric, but being an owner you need to be making money to buy those bolts of fabric & other bills, needless to say i needed to figure out after a while how i could make my store different to bring new customers in and that became teaching some designs that were unique just to Calico Station...and it worked....so i thought maybe i could sell these designs to other shops, called some distributers of way back when, but it turns out that at that time if you weren't known already they didn't want to take a chance on an unknown me...
so being one of those that just jumps, i rented a booth at the next wholesale quilt show....persuaded the local printer, who did the shop's newsletter, to print my patterns & let me pay after the show....OMG! what was i doing, my family was going to eating pattern packets for dinners!  arrived at the show with my few small samples, you know i've not been known for large quilts....no decorations for my booth, just samples, patterns & a receipt book....let me tell you all the very well known quilt designers were there with Country Home style boothes, i just wanted to crawl under the table & hide..... but put my country bumpkiness aside, pinned my samples to the backdrop drapes & took orders, orders & orders.....and i've thanked my lucky stars everyday that this is what i was meant to do.....
and i appreciate all those that have been there with me from the beginning & those who are new quilting friends....         thanks cheri

20 comments:

kelley said...

How exciting Cheri...love that you just jumped right in to follow your dream...I purchased many of your booklets and patterns way back when...never did any painting but used the designs for stitching and hooking from the start...

Karen said...

And I'm glad that you took the plunge! I am a big fan.

SueB said...

Cheri and we are so glad that you did that. I love your patterns. You go girl.

Me and My Stitches said...

Isn't it wonderful to do what you love? I recently quit my HR job of 17 years and am making and selling quilt jewelry. I have never been happier!

Sue Tokash said...

I for one am so happy that you followed your dreams because I love your work. Thanks for being an inspiration.

Lori said...

That's a great story! I still think now distributors want to stay with who they know. You took a giant step and made it happen!

Diane said...

Cheri -
You have always defined 'primitive' for me. Even from back in the days of painted "woodies". Glad you had the courage. You are an inspiration to us all.

quiltsbycheri said...

always thankful for your support, compliments & well wishes....if i can do it, many of you out there with dreams of your own pattern line can too!

WoolenSails said...

I do remember the tole painting days, I did a lot of that when I worked in a shop and also taught classes. I love your story, sometimes we need to make that leap to follow our dreams.

Debbie

Wendy said...

I'm so glad you took the leap, I only wish I had found your patterns sooner. I love doing your designs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cheri, love your story. What was your first pattern? It would be fun to have you post it.

jayne

Libby said...

I came to quilting through your shop. I had learned to tole paint and loved to come there for inspiration and supplies. And from there the fabric and quilts just called my name - even though I had not a clue how to thread a sewing machine. Finally decided to take the plunge and searched for a pattern that looked like all the lines were straight, picked only fabric from what I now know is the fat quarter bin (didn't know how to ask for something to be cut from the bolt) and got my wonderful husband to read the manual and figure out how to work that machine . . . . that was back in the mid-90's and I haven't looked back. So for all of that I owe you a great big THANK YOU!

Beckyjean said...

Cheri~

Love that you made the leap!! I love all your quilts!

Have a wonderful day~Becky

Julie Isa said...

and we are the lucky ones benefitting from your creative juices. you are an inspiration. thanks!

Sharon said...

Cheri, I remember shopping at Calico Station. I still have your quilt books that I bought way back when. Loved them then, and love them now. Keep on designing!

Rachel's Farmhouse said...

I love your work. I still have all of your cute as a button paint books and probably most of your patterns,in my painting days you were my favorite artist, even when I thin down my stash those are my keepers-- and now I have your quilt books and alot of your patterns, I couldn't wait to get the new Primitive Quilt magazine when I heard you and Maggie B were contributing and it was worth the wait. I hope you design projects for every issue.

Cindy

Christine said...

Cheri,
Thank you for sharing your story. It really touched my heart....the way you just dug in there and did it. I have been a lover of your designs from way back then and treasure the fabric I have that you designed. I try and put a piece of it in every scrappy quilt I do.
Christine

Colleen said...

Thank you SO much for sharing your story! I remember those tole painting days well, having dabbled in that myself! I am a huge fan and love your style!

Ellen S said...

Cheri,
As I've told you before, I also am a HUGE fan starting with Calico Station....I have a great selection of patterns, stitchery from waaaay back are my favorites, I wouldn't take anything for them!! It wouldn't bethe Xmas season if I didn't stitch up a few ornaments!!!
Ellen

Cindy said...

Cheri,
I have written to you before...but just wanted to tell you again. I consider you the biggest influence in my creative side. I have wooden things throughout my house that are painted with your designs (I just don't get tired of them.) I now quilt. Their has got to be a connection. Thank you for your passion and your vision! Cindy