We have a great new holiday BOM by Pat Bruce of Daisy & Dell! Today, she lets us peek into her studio and step into her life a little!
Can you believe this?! I feel totally honored by the Fat Quarter Shop to be asked to write to you! What fun! This is another first for me!
I’ve just been in business about a year and a half, and there have been more “firsts” than I can count! I’m always saying, “As soon as I get past this, then I can do…….”, then there’s another ‘this’ because things keep growing. I have you all to thank and great places like Fat Quarter Shop, who are willing to take a chance on a designer they never heard of before.
Though not without its challenges, it’s been a barrel of fun and I’ve learned more than I could put in a book. After working in a quilt shop for 5 years, a good friend of mine and I researched the possibility of opening one ourselves. But I decided to design and she went ahead and opened her shop, The Feathered Star – which is totally wonderful, by the way.
My own business is named for my two grandmothers, Daisy & Dell. I loved them and being with them and hope I am a Grandmother of the same caliber. As the Borg would say, they added their “distinctiveness” to mine, and I’m grateful. I went to my first Quilt Market in 2006. This last year people were actually looking for me – can you believe that?! They’re beginning to spot me at market by looking for the 30 wild, funky, bright, tremendously large flowers that hang over my booth. (There’s a pattern – you should give it a try, they’re fun!) They’ve sparked conversations with so many people. I think the nicest one I had was with a young lady about 16. While her mom was looking at the quilts, she was looking at the flowers. She sidled over right against me and said “It’s great to know someone who’s….uh….I mean…..more mature……(at this I laughed and said “you mean someone my age?”), then she smiled and finished, “…and doing some things for someone MY age.” I melted right there. Truth is, that response alone would be enough to keep me going.
I have this great guy, who introduces himself very well below (I just rewrote this when he stuck his head in)! Not long ago I returned a phone message to a shop owner, and she commented about how my husband’s voice on the voice mail sounded so calm & collected – I know, because if I get frazzled, he’s always got just the right thing to say to put everything in perspective! (He just stuck his head around the corner and warned me not to get ‘blogged’ down. It’s just like him. He’s the Pun Master. I can only shake my head.) He staked me to my wish and helps me with assorted, seemingly unsolvable problems – plus, he’s lugged ALL my stuff back and forth to market! Now that’s love! We have a son and a daughter, who both make us proud!
But let’s get right to my 4 grandkids (all girls), ranging in age from 4 – 14! I really believe this is why I gravitate to pink so much – but I’m really trying to do some things in blue, too! My daughter lives close in Houston with the 4-year old, while the other 3 are far away in Idaho. If I won the lottery, I’d fly them back and forth every weekend! Meanwhile, I get to spend some up-close time with Melanie, the youngest. I occasionally send emails detailing “Melanie Moments” – a glimpse of her 4-year old perspective.
Since it’s Spring, I’m reminded of one such moment about a year ago when the crepe myrtle trees were heavy with bloom. I got to spend a day with her and we were running errands. Our route took us down streets lined with the trees, and she told me from the back seat what each of the colors were – she was very taken with them. When we got to the next stop, we parked right in front of some whose very mature blooms were dropping their petals all over the ground in a beautiful, deep-pink pool. She asked me why they were “dripping.” Since she was just 3, and there seemed no understandable explanation, I said “Because that’s the way God made them.” There was silence, and then she said “God did a good job.” (Another meltdown!)
There’s also our cocker spaniel, named Bo. In the photo, he’s not real happy because he’s on a leash so he would sit still! He’s somewhere between 11 & 13. We don’t know exactly because he was rescued somewhere between 1 & 3. We met him at a Cocker Spaniel Rescue foster home, where he had come to them with heartworms, covered with fleas, malnourished and abused. When we saw him, we knew he was ours! He has given us endless reasons to laugh and enjoy him and he’s our baby! We love every minute we have with him!
Magazine ads, napkins, stationery, pressed leaves, paint chips, fabric swatches, gift wrap, photos galore that I’ve taken – these are just a few of my favorite things. I have 4 – 4” binders full & collect anything that strikes my fancy. This is my way of holding on to inspirations like color combinations or a design element that I know I might not remember later. You’ll see all kinds of things if you start looking! I often write notes about what I had in mind for it, or add a little sketch. I was always sketching things; then when I lived in England a few years back, I learned to paint in watercolor from a British illustrator who lived in my village, and for a little while, I traveled to York once a week to learn calligraphy. I have more ideas than I can get done already, but I can’t stop looking for more!
The photos from my studio are really just ‘vignettes’ since it looks like such a workroom right now. You’ll notice my embellishment supplies, buttons, beads, ribbons, threads, etc. The roughed-out painting is a precursor to a needlepoint design, and I love the colors. There’s quilting going on here – and sewing and drawing and designing and computer work.- for occasions, holidays, seasons, baby, children, home & more!! We go to some extra effort to make our patterns all digital and we hope our directions are suitable to actually read, and even educational for a beginner.
At DaisyandDell.com you can see all our patterns, embellishment kits and fun finds! Email me and tell me what kinds of patterns you’d like to see! My husband reminds me I have a full-time (and often more) job, then he gets that smile and says I need to GET TO WORK! Boy, is he right! Fortunately, unlike many in Houston who have hour-long commutes each way, I just walk up the stairs with a cup of coffee! How’s that for privileged?!
I’m down at the bottom – I mean, on the U.S. map. Here in Texas, we warm up pretty early. I have included a couple pics from my backyard because I know that many of you are still staring at a foot of snow (my kids in Idaho told me) – but don’t despair! I’ve seen Spring myself and it’s coming your way!
We at Daisy & Dell sincerely hope that
stitching our designs
puts a smile on your face,
Nice article, but when I visited her website, a lot of her links don’t work.
Thanks for the introduction to a great designer who is new to me! I love that Christmas quilt!
It is great to know what inspires our designers. I guess we are all collectors. Gorgeous Christmas quilt
Iremember those big flowers from market!! Very clever. Love the quilts, congratulations on your success.