Recently I had a conversation with Carol Steffensen of Chickadee Hollow Designs, what she told me I thought you would find interesting as to how she got started in the Quilt and needle art design business.
Even though she doesn’t remember exactly when, in her mind Carol has been designing for a long time. She has always been an artist and for many years painting and drawing were her choice of medium. As a young girl, she grew up with a mother who was a quilter and learned early on the joy of a needle, thread, and a piece of fabric. After devoting 40 years to the nursing career, 3 years to owning a quilt shop, Carol started designing quilt and stitchery patterns. Her first designs were released in the fall of 2003, and as of today she has 18 quilting patterns, 6 wool patterns and 6 stitchery patterns , plus a number of embroidery patterns. She distributes her pattern through 5 different distributors, one of which is Quilters Warehouse and has her own website that features her pattern business.
Carol also shared that she gets her inspiration from many different life events. Most often it comes from nature, the environment, or something she dreams about. “Many times it is when I lay in bed at night that I create my next pattern idea” she said, “It seems like that is the time of day when it is most quiet and I can tune into my inner self.” She also said she has definite times when the “creative juices” are flowing and the biggest problem she has then is having the time to get them down on paper or into sample form.
Carol makes all of her own samples. Sometimes they start on graph paper, sometimes they start with a strip of fabric and just sitting at the sewing machine. Her stitchery and embroidery patterns are all from her drawings and reflect her “country charm” style. She also has a big interest in vintage type designs and has spent quite a bit of time trying to achieve the vintage look in her embroidery patterns and has figured out a way to produce them so that the image is colorfast and has that “little bit of color” look to them. Carol believes that she has a photographic mind and sometimes dreams in color. She said she dreamt about a complete line of 30′s fabrics one night and that if she shuts her eyes she can still see what they looked like.
While she has not designed any fabrics at this point , it is not out of the realm of possibilities. “I not sure I’m ready to go down that road yet, but will keep the 30′s line in mind when I am” she said. “There are so many wonderful fabric designers out there that I am still having a lot of fun playing around with them for now.”
Carol thinks that “sometimes, necessity is the mother of invention,” and that is why she came up with one of her newest designs. “I had a couple of little end tables that were too small for any runner patterns I could find, so I designed a couple!” These patterns fit her tables so she published a fall version and now has released a Christmas version. Carol thinks of them as a “quilted version of a doilie”
Christmas Table Charms
The sizes for these Table Charms measure from 7 inches to 18 inches. They make great little charms for your accent tables or under candles, etc. They also make great, quick little gift ideas.
Carol is working on a Springtime Table Charms pattern as well to be released soon. She loves what she is doing and being self-employed gives her the best opportunity to be able to spend time with her three children and six grandchildren and hopefully get around to going on some fishing trips with her husband.
I really enjoyed my conversation with Carol and got to know her a little better. She has been with QuiltersWarehouse for a number of years and continues publishes wonderful patterns. You can see her entire line of quilting and stitchery patterns here.