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An Unlikely Connection

I took a full-time job at a big box store after some personal events took place in my life. I was 56 at the time. At my age it was difficult to find a job that had health insurance benefits and most of my pay went to insurance anyway. I had owned my own quilt shop for years and I wanted to stay in the quilting industry, but there aren’t many small businesses that can offer health insurance and other benefits. I was making T-shirt quilts on the side, but there just weren’t enough hours in the day.

I started out with some really crappy hours. The one thing I did like about it is that I worked with some very interesting people. And one day I met one that would turn my direction back to quilting.

In this job I always had to carry around a lot of junk. Junk in my pockets, on my apron. I made myself a lanyard to carry my ID and other little bits of paper. I picked my brightest batik and I had some clips at home and I made up a nice lanyard. By then, I had gotten to know some of the Merchandising team and one day Danica walked up to me and looked at my lanyard and asked if it was a batik. Surprised that anyone in

the store actually knew what a batik was - I was stunned. We started a conversation that led me to places I never expected. Danica is very creative and I understand her need to create and what that process is about. Turns out, Danica is a "transplant" from California and she designs batik fabric for Batik Textiles. We had a lot to talk about! Eventually, they asked if I was interested in designing quilts from their batiks. That was a no-brainer! It was really exciting to find out about the design and batik process - right from the Designer! You’ll see a lot of her fabrics in my quilt designs.

I was going to the Spring 2020 quilt market with Batik Textiles when COVID hit hard. It was a huge disappointment for everyone involved. It turned the industry on it’s head along with most quilters. Quilters turned to the internet and our own collections to stay active and creative. Shop owners were having to purchase fabric via the internet as well. The batik companies were hit really hard as they couldn’t travel to Bali to create their collections. And the fabric they did have ready to go was stuck on ships in the ports.

Needless to say, things are getting better and more is available, but the small quilt shops are not back to where they were pre-pandemic. Some shops closed. Some struggled, but are still there. Keep going to the small quilt shops to keep them around!

Unexpected things can happen without warning. Meeting Danica changed my course…and I am forever grateful. An innocent question leads to a creative connection. I am fascinated by what Danica does. Learning more about her process gives me inspiration when I design with her fabrics. Stay tuned for more details about Danica and her creative process.

Let me know about your creative connections in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them! Keep in touch with your creative side and you never know when you will find an unlikely connection!

Quilt with joy!


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