If you've been following my Insta stories then you've learned two things recently: first, unless you live in Africa, you do not need to be afraid of Red Cobras, and second, its been a doozy of a week around here. In light of that, let's put a little extra YAY in today because FriYAY at last! I think I'm going to take the boys to one of our favorite parks this morning and climb and play and sweat ourselves into a stupor, so they'll take great naps.
While you're enjoying your morning coffee (or commute or lunch break, etc), though, I have a marvelous interview for you. Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts, known for her #JaybirdAlphabet in her book Alphabet Soup and other bold, modern patterns, is here today to share more about her work and process.
1) Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your hobbies, your creative background, etc. Jaybird is a childhood nickname given to me by my brother. I was a very crafty kid in my day. I’ve worked with clay, beads, embroidery, photography, oil & acrylic painting and more! My mom is a bit of seamstress and had always wanted me to learn how to sew. While I was in college, I borrowed her sewing machine during a semester break to try it out and maybe learn something new in the downtime between classes, and then I never returned it! A few years after graduation, I took up blogging about quilts and quilting. The goal when I started my blog was to share my quilts & have a journal of them. I'm a girl who loves fabric, and loves to design & sew quilts!
2) What does your design process look like? Patterns always catch my eye or my imagination and I sketch them out with paper & a pencil. If I like where the idea is going, I'll start working it up digitally. If I want to give it a test drive at my sewing machine, I'll get out some fabric to get cutting and piecing to see it come together.
3) How do you choose colors for your projects? How do you keep your colors fresh and keep from falling into a "rut" of the same colors? I cut up my Kona color card & I use the swatches like paint chips to help me choose my colors. I'm also OK with color "ruts". I've used the Kona colors of my wedding quilt / Kona designer series bundle over & over again. Many of those blues & greens also inspire some of my rainbow palettes. Good color combinations are almost always going to work well together when it comes to working with something like Kona fabric. I go with what works & let that inform & inspire new designs as I work on them. I've tried to fight the color "rut" in the past & found that sometimes it's better to just go with it & see where it takes me.
4) How is creative community important to your work? My sewing and quilting friends often give me the push I need to get to work on new and different designs and projects. Their interest and encouragement means more to me than I think they know!
5) What advice do you have for other designers and makers on their creative journeys? Keep at it and keep trying. Go for the projects that interest you, share what you're ready to share when you're ready to share it. It's also OK to try new things that "outside" of what you're known for creatively. That's part of the process, too.
Thank you, Julie! I know you are marvelously busy, and this was such a treat for all of us! As someone who is studying and practicing more with design, I especially love hearing about your process. Thank you!
Y'all, all of you can find these gorgeous photos and more on Julie's Instagram @jaybirdquilts. While you're there, make sure you're following me, too, @stringandstory. We've had some delightful conversations about pinning and binding this week, and I'd love you to join in!
Also, tomorrow is newsletter day! Be sure you're all signed up to get the latest news, extra content and coupons, and, perhaps most excitingly, a FREE PDF of "3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Free Motion Quilting."
Okie dokee, quilty friends-- go put the YAY in FriYAY, and I'll see you in the morning for coffee and the newsletter!