Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jessica Smith - Creative Inspiration

Jessica Smith of The Quilt & Needle

Three years ago at Houston Quilt Market, I met Jessica Smith, owner of The Quilt and Needle, a friendly online quilting pub. Yes, that’s right, a quilting pub. Jess’s vision for Q&N was to create a virtual neighborhood gathering hole where friendships and camaraderie could be built around all that love quilting. Q&N is a place where quilters from around the world can visit anytime of day or night to enjoy the company of kindred spirits. The Quilt & Needle is filled with blogging, forums, chat rooms, and a an online quilt shop that is followed by quilters all over the world.

When I met Jess, her spunky personality and self confidence was infectious. We became instant friends. Jess is a business owner, mom, quilt teacher and undeniably talented pattern designer. She seems to be busy 24-7. Jess finds inspiration everywhere (yet another thing we have in common!) from her adorable children, to gardening or just observing design in everyday life.

Anything could spark the next idea.

In fact, Phire's Radiance, (below) was designed while bouncing her colicky new baby on her knee!

Discovering Mystery Quilts!

Jess's first experience with a mystery pattern was simple and ho-hum, but she was intrigued by the mystery process, so she began designing mystery patterns herself for Q&N members. Her goal was to create patterns that the quilters would actually cherish when finished. As you can see from the photos, she has certainly accomplished her goal! The results are fabulous! At this point, she has a strong following of Q&N Mystery Quilt fans.

Thoughts Mystery Patterns:

"Mystery patterns do more than surprise quilters. Mystery patterns actually help quilters stretch their personal boundaries. In the process of creating a mystery quilt unit by unit, the quilter will often attempt things they did not think they were capable of doing and would not have attempted otherwise. I believe that, even more importantly, quilters often discover their own inner designer diva in the process.” - Jess

Bella Cosa
Jess's latest Mystery Quilt Weekend was based on a pattern she designed using my new fabric line, Capri! The quilt is called, Bella Cosa, which roughly translates to "A Good Thing". Perhaps I am a little biased, but I think it is a Very Good Thing! The Mystery Weekend took place a few weeks ago and was, as always, a big success. The Bella Cosa pattern can be ordered through The Quilt & Needle website, along with the fabrics. Keep your eyes open for more fun with Mystery Quilt Patterns from Jess.

My suggestion? Sign up to be a "pub" member of Q&N, make some new friends from around the world, and be a part of her next Mystery Quilt Weekend. You won't regret it!

Thanks Jess! You are an inspiration for all of us!

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