For years we kept it a secret we are sisters. We each wanted to make our mark as quilt designers without influencing the other. With our book, the secret is out and we are working together. We often trade ideas and improve our designs with this working relationship. At some point, we discovered the “circle of nines grid” and realized that we were using it over and over again with the changes in fabrics and quilt blocks giving an endless supply of quilt designs based on this simple concept This book is the next step in our quilting journey.
Jean Ann’s story:
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to sew. I majored in Textiles and Fine Arts in college, combining my love of sewing and fashion design with my love of painting and drawing. I made my first quilt while awaiting the birth of my first child, and just kept on quilting.
My first book, Creative Quiltmaking in the Mandala Tradition was published in 1986. Soon I was editor-in-chief of Quilt magazine, a position I held for 20 years. I then edited the NQA journal, The Quilting Quarterly for 2 years. After leaving Quilt in 2006 I began designing quilts for several major fabric companies and various quilt magazines. I am enjoying the creative challenge presented by the designing phase of my career. I continue editing and writing books with Circle of Nine Quilts.
I have taught quilting and presented programs to guilds in the United States, Canada and England. I is interesting and inspiring to see what quilters all over the world are making. I was a judge at the first International Quilt Festival in Salzburg, Austria and the Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. I continue to judge shows for major events and small local guilds.
I live in the historic district in Marietta, Georgia, in a hundred year old house with my dog Chloe who is my personal trainer, requiring long daily walks for the modest payment of a dog biscuit or two.
After working my way through college as a typesetter while studying fine art, I continued my career in the graphic arts field. One summer, while visiting my sister Jean Ann, who was the editor of Quilt magazine. She needed a quilt pattern illustrated for an upcoming deadline, and before I knew it I had a freelance job as Graphic Arts Editor at the magazine. Designing my own quilts came quite naturally, as I had always drawn geometric designs. In the early 70′s I published a coloring book, The Mandala Coloring Pad, published by Doubleday & Co. I have years of graph paper notebooks filled with geometric shapes, just waiting to be translated into quilts.
For two years I was the Editorial Art Director for The Quilting Quarterly, a magazine published by the National Quilting Association, Inc. My quilts have been published in numerous quilting magazines, including Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, McCalls Quick Quilts, Quilter’s World and Quilt Magazine. I design quilts for several textile companies, including Blank Textiles and Windham Fabrics. I am also responsible for designing quilts and illustrating patterns and sales brochures for Andover Textiles. I love receiving a big box of fabric in the mail and beginning the process of scanning the fabrics and creating a virtual quilt on the computer. The translation from computer design to actual quilt is always a thrill, and I look forward to the next one with renewed enthusiasm.
My husband, Steven, and I reside in the Sun Valley area of Idaho, where I receive much of my inspiration from the beautiful natural surroundings.