JUKI Spotlight: An Inappropriate Quilter with Leslie Bercher

Known for creating beautiful quilts, sharing tips and tricks for your sewing rooms, and her quilting podcast with co-host Rochelle Rice, we’re excited to spotlight Leslie Bercher, Quilter and podcast host for Inappropriate Quilters! Joining us for this month’s spotlight, we got to interview Leslie about her journey in quilting, the podcast’s beginning with co-host Rochelle, and how she created her brand.

It all started with Leslie’s grandmother, Helen. Helen was a member of a church that held Auxiliary Meetings where other members would quilt, crochet, and embroider. It took Leslie several years to watch her grandmother attend these meetings and see her create beautiful projects before picking up the hobby. So it was 2018 when Leslie, with two of her best friends, decided to take a class called ‘Quilt 101’.

“My first quilt was a log cabin, and I made two immediately. That was the beginning, and I haven’t looked back.”

Leslie began sharing her work online, finding a passion for creating and taking the time to build these quilts and designs. It was after a friend recommended she create a profile on social media, explaining she was missing out by not joining the online community when she opened her account. Opening herself up to the idea, she began posting and sharing her projects, excited to see how many beautiful quilters were out there in the world.

It was online that Leslie found a supportive community in her projects and offered her the opportunity to network and build relationships with new people! Consistently supporting one another in their ideas, and encouraging those who have lost their “sew-jo,” as Leslie says, has made the community, unlike any other group she’s been a part of.

This community has also been the inspiration for countless projects she’s created, inspired by other creators on social media. While not a modern quilter, she finds inspiration in all their designs picking from their color selections, patterns, and quilting textures. She also focuses on who she is creating, letting that drive much of the inspiration.

At one of these quilt retreats with the quilting community, she met Rochelle, someone who, according to Leslie, “has never met a stranger.” Leslie and Rochelle were placed in the same group, and their group’s theme was chickens! With their organized and over-the-top decorations, they couldn’t resist having a group mascot, Leon, the rubber chicken.

One day, during the retreat, Leon went missing! Leslie convinced Rochelle was to blame for the Rubber Duck disappearance, and she took it upon herself to ‘borrow’ Rochelle’s foot controller from her machine when she wasn’t looking. The joke would fall back on Leslie when Rochelle returned to the retreat the next day after a nice early night in, unaware her controller had been taken in the first place! They were fast friends after that, bonding over jokes and laughter.

 A couple of years later, the podcast topic would come up between the two friends. During a dream quilt vacation, a sewing retreat where two of their favorites, Camille Roskelley and Angela Walters, would attend, they were having breakfast when the idea popped into Leslie’s head.

With only an idea and some research, Rochelle purchased all the equipment while on their retreat and had it shipped to her home for when they arrived back in town. Excited about their new project, there was only one thing missing, a name! But, as their friends joined in on the conversation, one name stuck out. Walking away from their breakfast table, their friend Angela turned around and offered up “Inappropriate Quilters,” the perfect name for the inappropriate duo!

“Angela was getting up from the table and casually said, ‘oh, I know what you should name it. Inappropriate Quilters.’ We looked at each other and said, “that’s it!”

From there, the show project was on! Weekly episodes, released on Saturdays, became the norm where two quilting friends could join together to discuss life and quilting. With no script in hand, the two friends meet at Leslie’s studio weekly to record before she finishes editing and schedules the episodes Saturday morning. Finding their way into other quilters’ studios through their speakers, their show focuses on just two friends who love quilting, allowing listeners to feel like they have friends in the room with them when they’re creating.

One topic Leslie loves to cover is the process of creating and organizing your studio space. As quilters and sewists know, having a space that encourages creativity and allows you to move and build your projects is important! As an advocate for ‘Function and Beauty,’ we asked Leslie what recommendations she can offer to those building their studio space today.

“You have to start with function. But if it isn’t cute, it better have a very good reason to take up your space!”

What else can you find in Leslie’s studio? Her JUKI! With her Haruka TL-18QVP, named Camille after Camille Roskelley, Leslie has been able to create beautiful quilts and projects she loves. With 95% of her projects involving straight-stitch, she chose a machine that fit her needs. Her top three features at the time were: consistent straight stitch, an automatic thread cutter, and speed! Her best recommendation to sewists and quilters looking for a new machine is to focus on what features are important to you, figure out what type of stitches you plan to create with, the speed, and visit your local dealer! A local dealer can listen to everything you may want and offer machine recommendations and test-sewing.

Leslie’s quilting has opened up a community for her, allowing her to be creative, meet new people, and enjoy her hobby! As she’s transitioned to a content creator and business owner, we asked what advice she’d offer to someone trying to build their brand. “There are so many little things that you didn’t plan. Be gracious with yourself in the process.” Setting up the government business aspects of a shop, like tax ID, sales taxes, and even finding a partner, can be challenging, but the final product is worth it when you love what you do!

We’re so excited to continue seeing Leslies’ brand and content grow, especially with possible plans of opening a YouTube page for creators to join! Listening to feedback from the community she’s created is vital, and she trusts them to lead her toward new and exciting project ventures. So even with her reservations about being on camera, you can expect Leslie to meet her community in the middle and find a way to join the video world!

From quilting to running a podcast, we had a great time getting to know Leslie and going behind the scenes for her projects. If you’ve enjoyed getting to know Leslie and want to keep up with her and Rochelle’s podcast and future quilt projects, join us in following her socials and websites below!

Blog: read here!

Instagram: follow here!

Linktree: Find Leslies channels here!

YouTube: watch here!

Podcast: Inappropriate Quilters – available where you listen to podcasts

Inappropriate Quilters Shop: shop here!

It’s Always Halloween with Christina O.

With the fall season upon us and our favorite spooky holiday around the corner, we’re here to introduce Christina O, owner, and designer of Agashi! A handmade collection, the Agashi style focuses on modern gothic apparel & accessories; intended for those who love to celebrate Halloween every day of the year. Join us this month as we get to discover the history of how Agashi came to be and how Christina found her passion for fashion and running her shop.

From a young age, Christina became obsessed with sewing and crafting. From creating outfits that her Barbie dolls could wear to upcycling projects on her mother’s old Kenmore, Christina would constantly find a way to work on her craft. Then, with dreams of leaving her small town after high school to become a fashion designer, she focused on what she would need to do to achieve her goals.

Classic & Bat Wing Kiminos

Coming from a family where becoming a fashion designer seemed more like a faraway dream than reality, Christina was prepared to do everything it took. Evaluating her options, she entered her community college before transferring to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for their fashion merchandising program. While her path to becoming a fashion designer changed for Christina and may have been different than she planned, her dream is still happening!

“It wasn’t going to happen easily for someone like me, and I was prepared to do whatever it took. Not having many resources will force you to become resourceful.”

While Christina admits she would’ve chosen the path of the self-taught designer over school, her hard work was beginning to pay off. After college, her downtime was focused on sewing and creating. However, after trying her hand at creating accessories for her shop, she soon realized apparel was her favorite project to focus on. By Halloween of 2010, she was able to move to Philadelphia, where she ended up meeting her future husband, Paul.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Christina launched her current fashion brand Agashi! With only $50 worth of material, she was able to put together a few harnesses and kawaii-style dresses for the first few months of her shop opening. Over the next couple of years, Christina would go on to add theatrical crinoline pieces and obtain some of her first custom-order customers, burlesque performers! This success was a step in the right direction, leading to her career change in 2015, where she could quit her day job and place all her focus on her brand.

Battress Gown

It was in 2017 when Christina and Paul moved into their first home in Philadelphia. Agashi began growing faster than ever, surpassing their home space and pushing Christina to open up her first official studio space in 2018, including shop assistants. While the shop continued to see great success over the next couple of years, 2020 brought the shop to a slow down, causing Agashi to be brought back home after closing the studio due to the pandemic.

Due to Christina’s passion for the business, Agashi is still live and running! She also launched her first YouTube channel for sewing, DIY, and Behind the Seams content during the summer of 2020, creating a new connection to her community of followers and new sewists. During this time, she began modeling a new path for her business, one where her passion for creating fashion and teaching sewing skills could intermix. Now, Agashi offers smaller quantities of made-to-order wear at faster turnaround times, allowing Christina to slow down and push her passion for teaching into the mix.

One focus about Agashi that never changed was sustainable fashion. While she acknowledges that not everyone has the financial ability to only buy made-to-order, Christina sees sustainable fashion as “buying with a purpose and purging clothes slower.” To avoid over-production, Christina focuses on creating made-to-order pieces and upcycles 90% of her fabric scrap pieces when sewing.

“My entire process is slow, intimate, and intentional. I’m grateful to have customers who invest in my custom pieces. They aren’t ordering for instant gratification, but rather an affordable luxury item they can cherish.”

Battrix Velvet Bralette (made 100 from upcycled velvet scraps)

Avoiding offers from manufacturers, the quality of her work and products is what Christina focuses on when creating her apparel. With each project feeling personal, she continues to place a lot of thought, time, and labor into each stitch of her pieces. Her dedication and message seep into her packaging with a handwritten thank you note, sustainable packaging, and self-sewn reusable gift bags.

While the shop’s plans for sales may have changed, her fashion design hasn’t! Those lovers of the gothic aesthetic and Halloween can find a piece they’ll love in Christina’s shop. Christina was inspired by cinema with darker themes like Addams Family Values, The Dark Crystal, and The Return to Oz. She found herself naturally drawn to the characters portrayed, connecting to the “weirdos” of the films. As someone who grew up having trouble making friends, finding a connection in these films inspired her to design fashion for grown-up sizes. With a variety of minimal designs, horror lovers like herself can easily wear fashion with spider webs and bat wings, celebrating their gothic ways!

Her style inspiration can also be pinpointed to vintage lingerie catalogs and old runway shots from McQueen, Mugler, and Gaultier. Victorian and Rococo fashion inspire Christina heavily over today’s fashion, feeling that the style now is only a repetition of the past.

“Agashi is for anyone who celebrates Halloween once a year or every day.”

It’s this niche design and theme that brings attention to Christina’s shop, where lovers of all Goth and horror can find fashion pieces that fit within the modern world. Thanks to social media, Christina has been able to build a community of over 100 thousand followers that have followed along the journey to where the business is today. Whether they’ve followed because they found interest in the shop, or her recent videos showcasing tips and tricks to sewing, she’s been able to utilize these platforms to grow her business and expand her brand awareness.

Ayumi Seifuku Classic Collection

As a business owner focused on social media for branding, she consistently posted content multiple times a week that revolved around her work and brand aesthetic. With Instagram being her platform, she’s focused on showcasing her work and her as a creator and behind-the-scenes looks. Focusing on building that connection between her customers and art is one of the reasons she’s been successful, with social media allowing her to connect with other creators, customers, and sewists.

While today’s social media can be more brutal to gain popularity on, Christina’s advice is to diversify your social media presence and focus on platforms that will help build your community. She recommends focusing on video content that’s popular right now and seeing how you can share behind the scene looks or process videos, as viewers will always love feeling like they can relate to you! Sites like Tiktok and YouTube are her favorites. This is thanks to their ease to use and the sewing communities that have been built.

Her new focus on sewing tutorials and tips is an excellent passion for Christina. When asked about her current sewing machine choices and what she would recommend for a new sewist, she reminded us that finding the perfect machine is just like dating!

“You want to know what you’re looking for and find the best machine to match your sewing needs and goals. And yes, just like dating, you will be disappointed with some machines.”

Her first tip for new sewists is to find a second-hand or vintage machine. Focusing on budget-friendly when entering a new hobby will allow you to get a taste of the craft while letting you hone your skills. A few basics, like a straight & zigzag stitch and a buttonhole feature, are perfect when starting off. Once you feel more comfortable or your skills begin outgrowing your machine, you can start focusing on upgrading and buying the suitable machine for you. For Christina, this answer comes in a rotation of 3 domestic sewing machines, 4 sergers, and 1 coverstitch machine, one being her trusty TL-2000Qi!

Greta Peignoir

It was in August 2020 when she searched for a “straight stitching beast,” focusing on the features wishlist, the budget, and the space, she chose the TL-2000Qi. Looking for industrial power that would fit her studio space, Christina loves its power and the finished quality of her projects when she creates on it, using it for her final seams on every order. Her dream goal? All industrial JUKI machines!

Beyond her tips and tricks for sewing, Christina also has advice for sewists out there who plan to open their small businesses. “Always invest in yourself and learn from your mistakes,” she says, encouraging those out there to keep investing in their passion and to never stop learning. While Christina earned a degree in Fashion Merchandising, she still acclaims herself as a self-taught sewist and designer. She encourages you to find your best path, whether it be fashion school or self-taught, and to learn at your own pace to enjoy the journey.

Focus on building relationships with those in your community, and choose it over the competition. Christina focuses on finding her own identity and experiments by not comparing herself to others. Because of this, she’s been able to plan the new future for Agashi. With a new effort to prioritize her mental health, Agashi will begin scaling down on made-to-order apparel and start focusing on teaching sewing next year. This will include DIY sewing kits for clothing and accessories and focus on those who don’t have many resources to learn sewing beside the internet.

“There is plenty of space for everyone to succeed together.”

Grateful to the community she’s been able to build and proud of how the brand has grown and evolved over the years, Christina and her brand Agashi will continue to flourish in the fashion industry! We can’t wait to see the new changes soon to come, and we’re excited to learn alongside her followers! If you love Halloween or want to learn new sewing tips and tricks, join us in following Christina’s journey below and wishing her a Happy Halloween!

Find Agashi and Christina below!

Agashishop.com

Instagram

Facebook

Etsy (Paper Bats)

Tiktok

Pinterest

JUKI Spotlight: Quilting with the Fat Quarter Shop!

In this month’s spotlight, we’re focusing on Kimberly and The Fat Quarter Shop! If you’re a quilter, you’ve most likely heard about the Fat Quarter Shop for their variety of fabric bundles, sew-along streams, quilt patterns, and more. Dive into the Fat Quarter Shop journey with us as we discuss how Kimberly, with the help of her husband Kevin and team, started the business right from home and how it grew into the shop it is today.

Scrappiness is Happiness Lori Holt book

Starting in 2003, Kimberly would return home after working as an accountant during the day and begin buying and cutting fabric, preparing fat quarter bundles for her new sales. Fat quarter bundles weren’t common to find 20 years ago. They were one of the few precut bundles you could purchase, so with only a desk, a computer, and a shelf full of fabric, she began creating and selling her own fat quarter bundles directly to customers. It was a niche many had missed, and Kimberly took it upon herself to remedy this issue.

“I wanted more access to more bundles for myself, and if opening a store would let me have that, then that’s what I was going to do!”

Kimberly loved the idea of packaging a collection of precut fabrics and started seeing an increase in shoppers. So, as the business began to grow, Kimberly’s husband, Kevin, jumped on board and joined the team! After only a few months of getting married, Kevin and Kimberly were also business partners! With Kevin handling IT and operations, and Kimberly running the creative side, they could go full-time and upgrade their shop to a warehouse.

Upgrading to a warehouse came with more than just extra space, but the opportunities to grow their inventory and build a team! As they began hiring and expanding their product range, the Fat Quarter Shop became known for having everything a quilter may need. With over 35,000 products, they’ve been able to offer over 18,000 different fabrics plus notions, precuts, kits, thread, floss, patterns, books, and charts. As a one-stop shop, beginners and advanced quilters can enjoy their different clubs and promotions.

Designer Mystery quilt 2020

With so many clubs to choose from, the Fat Quarter Shop offers a multitude of monthly subscriptions for fabric bundles, quilt block pattern kits, and more. Currently, their most popular club is Designer Mystery Box of the Month! Now going for 15 years, the Designer Mystery BOM includes months 1-12 with designer mystery quilt block patterns, perfect for trying something new. They also offer clubs where you can receive a bundle of your favorite kind each month and quarterly Fat Quarter sets. One of their favorite ventures, the Fat Quarter Shop, will always try to go above and beyond in their kits, a unique program they have had fun creating.

With the help of their team, they’ve been able to expand their shop and keep a focus on customer service. Elva, their customer service team leader, started many years ago filling orders in their warehouse. In addition, Jocelyn was the first person they ever hired to do marketing, becoming the leader for most of their marketing team. With so many others joining, they attest their growth to a team effort all around! 

With Jocelyn and Elva on the team, they’ve expanded their reach on social media and created a customer service experience that quilters and cross-stitch creators can depend on. Going above assistance with sales, you can reach out to their team and receive guidance on fabric choices, notions, and more. With a wealth of knowledge on their team, they help customers find what they need.

A great way the Fat Quarter Shop team has shared their knowledge over the years is through their social media platforms. By connecting with quilters, stitchers, and other crafters on channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, they’ve been able to provide live-stream lessons and answer questions directly from customers. You can find tips and lessons on quilting techniques, machine tips, and more on these socials.

Halloween Mystery Cross Stitch 2022

Kimberly’s favorite social media aspect is their weekly live streams on Fridays! Allowing her to chat with customers live while creating and enjoying her hobby, she’s been able to connect with the community and build her shop product list based on their requests and recommendations. Through marketing like this, she’s been able to create programs like their free Christmas and Halloween mystery quilt that customers love and come back for.

“- I get to hear firsthand what they want to see in the store. If something doesn’t exist, we try to create it.”

Don’t worry if you miss a Livestream! You can always visit the Fat Quarter Shop’s YouTube page and find videos on Quilt Alongs, tips and tricks, and other projects. In addition, their quilting video page offers tutorials that all skill sets can enjoy. From beginner to advanced techniques, Kimberly and her team have provided their audience with what they want! For example, if you’re interested in learning how to quilt, they offer an outstanding Ultimate Beginner Series. But, if you’re an advanced quilter, you can learn and try your hand at classic & vintage quilts.

Aside from their fabric, quilter’s kits, and notions, you can also find pattern books! Starting 10 years ago, Kimberly, and her husband Kevin, opened up the publishing side of the business, ‘It’s Sew Emma.’ Named after their oldest daughter, Emma, the publishing aspect of their business has published hundreds of quilt and cross stitch patterns, books, and notions. While their most popular designer is Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet Co., they also offer Fat Quarter and Half Yard books, perfect for those bundles you love to buy!

Make A Wish fundraising quilt 2022

With everything the Fat Quarter Shop has been able to accomplish in 20 years, we asked Kimberly what the experience was like seeing the rise in popularity. “It’s hard to describe. I never expected it to grow as it has. It’s been difficult, stressful, and a lot of fun all at the same time.” Focusing on doing their best daily, they attribute their success to the team’s continuous hard work, never giving up, and offering customers the best quality service and products. They, of course, also attest to their success to their loyal customers, who keep coming back for their new products, videos, and inspiration.

Kimberly and the teams’ advice for those starting their own business is this, find your niches! When you can create an image and branding that you’re proud of and shows off your style, you’ll be one step closer to seeing success. Be passionate about your hobby and shop, engage your audience, and you’ll begin seeing the trademarks of something starting.

While Kimberly and Kevin admit there are things they could’ve done differently, they recognize all these decisions led them to where they are today. Constantly giving a hundred percent to the shop, they focus on looking forward to opportunities that allow them to be creative and have fun in the future.

“I try to only look forward, and I still have more goals to reach. I don’t see limits to what we can do, so I’m ready for anything.”

We’re so excited to share more about the Fat Quarter Shop and its team with you! So whether you’re starting your quilting journey or an advanced quilter looking for something new, check out the Fat Quarter Shop today and meet Kimberly and the team!

To follow along on the Fat Quarter Teams Journey, and learn more about their shop, visit their links below!

Fat Quarter Shop – YouTube
Fat Quarter Shop FlossTube – YouTube

Instagram: Fat Quarter Shop – Quilting
Fat Quarter Shop – Cross Stitch

Facebook: Fat Quarter Shop – Quilting
Fat Quarter Shop – Cross Stitch

Pinterest: Fat Quarter Shop

Fat Quarter Shop Blog

JUKI Spotlight: Exploring House of Lilli with Anjori Halder

Meet small business owner Anjori Halder, creator, and designer for House of Lilli, a business that does embroidery a little differently. Known for her free motion embroidery work created by free motion quilting on the HZL-F600 sewing machine, Anjori has begun making a name for herself in the sewing world. From beautiful full portrait designs to small motifs that bring her apparel to life, let’s learn about how Anjori discovered her skills in embroidery work, where she began, and where she plans to go!

It all started with a wedding invite in 2010. One day, after becoming a bridesmaid to her dear friend Veronique, Anjori needed a crinoline slip for a themed dress! In her “I want to DIY everything” phase of life, she decided to take it upon herself to create a slip with the help of some blogs and a machine off Craigslist. Even after “crudely” finishing her first piece of apparel, her journey in sewing had truly begun.

Outfits created by Anjori through sewing, upcycling, and embroidery

“I call it my therapy and use it constantly to de-stress. But I also use sewing to keep my mind sharp.”

While the journey was on and off, Anjori would find time to complete refashions and housewares in her downtime from her career as a software engineer and project manager. It wasn’t until she transitioned to a stay-at-home mom that Anjori truly began immersing herself in sewing. Finding the need to do something and gain a sense of accomplishment, she threw herself into the hobby. However, she would soon find out that sewing could be toxic after experiencing the push of social media on her work.

“That need to sew turned toxic, though. Social media and the idea that you had to be creating content all the time to grow followers, to, in turn, grow your business took a toll.”

This moment would change the direction in which Anjori was running her business. After learning about slow fashion and revaluating how she was running her business, Anjori decided it was time to do things differently. Slowing down her work, she began creating again for pure enjoyment and not just for the sake of creating.

Outfits created for Anjori’s daughter through sewing, upcycling, and embroidery

Indie patterns and pattern testing brought the fun and creativity back to sewing for Anjori. She began by creating clothing for her daughter, honing her skills at a smaller scale, and was able to grow her confidence in garment creation. After sewing an Anarkali from a sari that her late mother had gifted her, Anjori’s confidence in garment creation for adults rose as well.

Inspired by those she was creating for, she focuses on how her creations will be used and enjoyed before sewing. Her favorite inspiration is her daughter, a strong-willed and goofy personality who had an obsession with construction vehicles! After her daughter requested a dress with a bulldozer on it, and Anjori had no luck finding one, she decided to test her skills in embroidery and make her one! Continuing to create for her daughter, Anjori focused on embroidering designs and sayings that would inspire her daughter in life.

House of Lilli showcases this with Anjori’s creations focused on positive & reaffirming messages. Her embroidered art shop concentrates on creating art with only a machine, thread, and her hands. Pulling from her heritage, she creates Indian garments, or garments with Indian motifs such as paisleys, peacocks, elephants, and tigers. Completed with free motion embroidery through the free motion quilting feature, you can see the pops of color and bright energy she pulls into her work. Described by friends as positive and always looking for the bright side, it’s no wonder she brings this into every project she creates, not letting mistakes in her projects hold her back.

“Mistakes are opportunities to learn and keep going or realize change is needed and pivot to something new.”

Free Motion Embroidered Designs

What’s our favorite part of her creative process? The unique use of free motion quilting as free motion embroidery! Gravitating toward embroidery work, even as a child, Anjori knew that adding images and designs would be the next step in going from homemade to handmade. Unfortunately, it was here where she hit a wall. Knowing that the cost of an embroidery machine could be high, she found herself at a standstill on what step to take next. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon creator Emma Giacalone on Instagram that she discovered the possibility of embroidering using free motion quilting.

A new door in creating had been opened, and Anjori walked right in! Finding a new way to bring her art to life, she was excited about how simple the process was to begin. All she started with was a sewing machine that could drop the feed dogs, thread, fabric, and a design. It would take time before she began using a darning foot, admitting to still skipping that step on some days!

Using the HZL-F600, she created her designs quickly and easily fill them in. Creating embroidery using the HZL-F600 is fun and different and has allowed Anjori the freedom of creation in embroidery while sticking to her budget. When asked about what she recommends for JUKI users out there who want to try their hand at free motion embroidery through free motion quilting, she advised having the following tools in your sewing kit:

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Stabilizer of some sort (washable or tear away)
  • Open toe darning foot
  • Heat erasable pen

While using a machine with ample throat space has been helpful, as well as her tools, she also advises to seek out training! After taking a sculptural embroidery class from Meredith Woolnough and learning new tricks and tips for her projects, she encourages others to invest in themselves and their hobbies.

“Never be afraid to invest in learning.”

While opening her small business has been a journey, she knows that planning and strategy are what build a business. As a small business owner, you are now the marketing manager, designer, producer, shipper, and so much more. Success can be different for everyone, so Anjori advises taking time to figure out what success is to you and not comparing yourself to other businesses. She also recommends getting to the nitty gritty and taking those “boring” business courses that can assist you in running yours!

Taking her own advice to heart, she’s recently taken a business course presented by Jan Ditchfield and has begun reworking her strategies and plan. So while we wait for the new and improved House of Lilli to rise, we’re so excited we were able to introduce her creations and technique!

Created using Free Motion Embroidery

Continuing her work in embroidery, Anjori hopes to keep instilling positive messages in her creations and sharing her work with others.

“Creating with my hands, whether it is sewing, painting, drawing, or knitting, is a treat for my soul. I find it relaxing and fun, with a sense of accomplishment when you complete a project. Of course, in the end, you usually end up with something nice to look at too.”

To learn more about Anjori and her journey in embroidery, follow along below for her social links!

Visit House of Lilli’s website today to keep up with her blog and sign up for her newsletter!

Keep up with Anjori’s free motion embroidery work on her Instagram here!

JUKI Spotlight: From Bio to Quilting with Jessica Dayon

From her days in biochemistry and biology to becoming an author, quilt creator, and pattern designer, we’re so excited to introduce Jessica Dayon! Author of three pattern books; ‘A Year in Solids’, ‘Season to Taste: Quilts to Warm Your Home All Year Long’, and the upcoming ‘Precut Parade’, releasing August 1st, we’ve asked Jessica to join us and talk about her life in quilting, and journey in becoming a pattern author.

Like so many of our readers, Jessica’s journey starts with a pull towards quilting. Coming from her background as a scientist, with a degree in Biology and Biochemistry, she hadn’t tried quilting before. But, with no connections in the quilting world at the time, she decided after her 4th child to dive in! After being bit by the quilting bug in the summer of 2017, she began teaching herself and fell in love with the craft. Her first project? A table runner for a birthday, one that was never even completed! It did, however, open the door to quilting and hasn’t closed since.

“The first day I started quilting, this little fire was ignited inside of me, and it’s been burning ever since. Quilting is my passion.”

With each day that passed, she continued to work on the aspect of making a quilt and improving her skills. Pushing herself to learn new skills for the sake of learning, she attempted new methods and tricks for quilting her projects.

In 2017, Jessica also decided to open her Instagram account to document her journey and share her work. She still remembers having less than 100 followers and the excitement that came when a new one followed. To this day, she is still in awe when she sees new followers join her page. Currently, Jessica’s following topples over 76 thousand followers, a community focused on inspiring each other in their quilting journeys.

“I work hard and I love sharing and engaging with my followers. I hope they feel valued and inspired by following me. I want to share the joy of creating every day with them. I’m grateful for the community that I’ve built there.”

As her skills grew, she decided it was time to start creating patterns. Working hard to understand pattern creation, she began designing patterns after only one month of quilting.

Sitting at her computer, Jessica would design quilt after quilt, constantly creating. Thinking of the design was the easiest aspect when she began writing patterns. With hundreds of designs currently saved on her computer, it’s no wonder she went on to author and design pattern books. Within a short timeline, she found the most challenging part of becoming a pattern author has been the time constraints from publishing. Teaching her to work quickly it’s now become a strength to begin and finish a quilt quicker than she would have imagined possible when she first started.

Fireworks – Contributed to Red & White II

Inspired by the freedom of creating, Jessica focuses on not pressuring herself to finish one project at a time. Instead, she allows her creativity and curiosity to flourish and wander, moving from project to project, not restricting herself to one at a time.

“When I’m at the sewing machine and I’m working on a project, sometimes my mind wanders to another block and I just have to make it. I don’t stop myself when the urge to do this arises.”

Knowing she’ll go back to her original project with a focused mind, she’s found letting herself have this freedom while creating removes pressure from her work. Even if a design doesn’t come out how she expects, she’ll just design another and another until she’s happy with the result.

Just like she creates, Jessica allows her designs to wander in style too! Not picking a distinctive style, she creates using her TL-2010Q sewing machine and a versatile collection of fabric types and patterns. Easy to take care of and use, Jessica loves recommending the TL-2010Q to quilters out there! While she chose the machine for its features and price point, she’s found the TL-2010Q to be highly reliable, accurate, and speedy.

Depending on her mood, she’ll select patterns and styles that speak to her and fill her up creatively. Instead of boxing her style and creativity, which Jessica believes would lead to burn-out, she focuses on her creative self-guide to create her designs.

Abloom – From ‘Season to Taste

As for her pattern books, Jessica focuses on creating themed designs! Allowing her creativity to flow; her books focus on patterns that inspire her while hopefully inspiring those who use them. For example, in her pattern book, “Season to Taste: Quilts to Warm Your Home All Year Long,” Jessica focuses on quilt designs for all four seasons! Centered on the seasons, with each season having three quilt designs, you can see her creativity flourish with each pattern being different and beautiful.

Her best advice for pattern creators trying to sell their work is this, “I recommend staying true to yourself and your style. There is room for everyone who wants to design patterns. Each person is unique, and you don’t have to do things like anyone else… it’s better if you don’t! Being your own, authentic self will get you far. Hard work will get you even further.”

As a pattern creator and author, she advises creators to be mindful of the work that comes with this venture. From marketing to IT, you will be the one to do it all when you first start your business. While it can seem overwhelming at first, taking each step one at a time has been her motto. Her recommendation is to write your goals down, like a skill you need to learn or a marketing project that needs to get done and work towards each one.

As we eagerly await Jessica’s next pattern book, to be released this upcoming August, we’re excited to share she has even more in the works! Keep an eye on Jessica’s social for future quilt-alongs, new pattern books, and possibly, even classes one day.

“Quilting is a major part of my life now. It is my passion – There are so many wonderful things to do in the quilting world, and I want to do them all!”

Scrappy Sampler

To learn more about Jessica, her pattern books, and her quilting journey click on the links below and join her socials today! We hope this spotlight encourages you to begin writing your own sewing and quilting patterns, and even possibly publishing them one day!

What theme would your pattern book have? Let us know down below!

Jessica Dayon’s Links:

Click here to download the Scrappy Sampler today!

Check out Jessica on Instagram today here!

Learn more about Jessica and her journey here!