Izzy & Ivy Designs is a new children’s pattern design company on the scene. We first saw them pop up on Moda Bake Shop with really stylish pattern tutorials, then got to meet them this year at Quilt Market! These 3 ladies all bring their personal expertise to the table, and, seeing what they’ve been able to spin out so far, we can’t wait to see what’s next!
(by Shasta Perry) It all began less than a year ago when I called Jana Nielson (aka Lola) on the phone to tell her of her idea to start a children’s pattern company. I am a quilt shop owner, and Jana was the shop’s Purse of the Month Club designer and teacher. I had the ideas, and Jana had the pattern skills. Jana was all for it. A few months later I found an incredible seamstress with an eye for style. I kept after Lauralee Billingsley, a shop regular and fabulous seamstress, to join the crew, and luckily she relented. That is how Izzy & Ivy was formed. We feel like we were meant to work together.
Preparations for Houston Quilt Market 2009 began immediately, and were fast and furious. We decided to debut with 15 or more patterns…kind of a crazy idea considering we only had 5 months, at this point, to prepare.
Our first Quilt Market was amazing. It all feels like a dream! It was so exciting for us that other people liked our designs as much as we do! It was great to meet all of the shop owners, and get their advice and suggestions. One highlight was winning Best New Vendor. When they made the announcement we screamed, and everyone looked. It was fun!
I’m the mother of 7, Jana has 6 kids, and Lauralee has 2 (so far). We design children’s clothing because we are mothers. Not only that, but we are mothers who sew. Jana has a background in design. She majored in Costume design in college, with a minor in art. I’m the quilter in the bunch. Lauralee is the queen of style! She can always tweak anything to make it cutting edge.
Our vision was to create a line of patterns that were stylish, but not difficult to make. We want to help that new sewer to want to keep sewing. We kept this in mind as we made the patterns, and wrote the instructions, making each step fully illustrated. To make sure that our patterns were understandable we had a sewing club test our patterns. This group had a variety of sewing levels, from beginning to expert, and they proved very helpful in finding all of our mistakes.
We are already working on several patterns for next season…not 18 though. We have several bags (yeah!) a boy quilt, and more darling girlie clothes. Look for us, and some pattern surprises, in various quilting magazines.
We still love every second of this dream we are living, even the seconds we spend working out all of the kinks. We love being able to work with so many fun people, and we appreciate all of the support and friendship we have been surrounded with.
Shasta, Jana & Lauralee
Izzy & Ivy Designs