I’m a small town farm girl who spent her childhood playing in the sunshine on tractors and climbing trees. I grew up happily immersed in all things domestic. I’m the middle child of a large family and live closely surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. My mom says that I was practically born with a needle in my hand. My earliest memories are sitting underneath the quilting frames and threading needles for my grandma and great aunts until I eventually grew old enough to make stitches of my own. As a girl, I spent many happy hours designing and sewing clothes for my dolls, crocheting and doing embroidery. My deep love of all needle art comes from the early influence of my mother and grandmothers, who were my first teachers.
Now I teach others to create and I find joy in using my creativity to design and make beautiful things. I have designed fabric and quilting notions for Riley Blake Designs for over 10 years, I also have a yarn collection called Chunky Thread and yarn accessories. I have authored a dozen quilting books and hundreds of quilting patterns too. I have enjoyed designing cross stitch charts over the last 5 years or so for It’s Sew Emma.
I draw inspiration for my designs from the beauty of the earth and from the love of God and family memories. I am drawn to stacks of colorful fabrics, pretty papers, aprons, buttons, embroidery, old dishes, gingham and calico, sprinkles and glitter and all things vintage. I am married to my best friend and childhood sweetheart and together we have 3 creative, intelligent children, a grandaughter and a grandson. Life is good! I sew, draw, create, decorate and re-decorate on a daily basis. I think of myself as the luckiest girl in the world, because I get to do what I love everyday.
I feel blessed to have my own company called, “Bee in my Bonnet", which I began in 1994. My wish is that my designs in both pattern and fabric will inspire others to create and will also instill the desire to pass down the valuable lessons of days gone by taught to us by our mothers and grandmothers.