A Quilted Jacket with a Story to Tell

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Recently I had the honor of chatting with Pat Sloan on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast on Creative Talk Network. You can listen to Episode 323 here. We had a good time chatting about how I came up with our Fabriflair™ kits, and our new line of Indygo Essentials Patterns, and about how I grew up in an environment rich with entrepreneurial influences.

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So many of you know I grew up with my mom’s business inspiring me to launch my own business (I started in high school with my teddy bear business and then post-college with Indygo Junction). Bertha’s Bed was my mom’s partnership with her good friend, Peggy. They took antique quilts and made them into pillows, jackets, and vests.
Sometimes I would use left over pieces from the quilts to make teddy bears and that is really where I got my start in pattern making. Later my mom opened a retail craft store to teach teddy bear making that grew into a gift and clothing store, Donna’s. 
Here’s an article from the Des Moines Register dated 1976 that my mom’s business partner Peggy recently sent me.
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This photo and article really got me thinking about the opportunities and exposure to creative people I was fortunate to be surrounded by at an early age. I think of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, that focuses on how circumstances in life contribute to success. My circumstances were unique and definitely influenced my successes with Indygo Junction. My mother’s entrepreneurial spirit no doubt is in my genes but beyond that her businesses afforded me the opportunity to start young learning about retail, wholesale and trade shows. But one of the things that had the most impact were all the creative people who were a part of her store’s community! Some, like Patrick Lose became designers for Indygo Junction. Thanks Mom!!
Here are some photos of her last Christmas season. “Donna’s” was a retail store in Valley Junction, West Des Moines, Iowa (coined Every woman’s favorite store!) and it thrived for 25 years until it closed in Spring of 2007.
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My mom with my kids, Jack and Emma on a last visit to “Nana’s Store”!

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My mom helping a customer. See clothing on left, and yarn on the right for her knitting customers.

Speaking of quilting, Indygo Junction carries many patterns that include quilting elements. In particular, we have several handbag patterns that have options for piecing and quilting. Here’s just a few favorites!

The Tote-All Patchwork Tote, the Quilted Wristlet, and the Tribeca Tote.

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If you enjoyed this podcast, I was also a guest on the Crafty Planner Podcast recently! You can listen to that podcast here.

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