Named after her great grandmother, Anka Petersen, Anka's Treasures has been a quilting institution since 1996. I doubt you can go to any quilt shop across the US and NOT find a couple of Heather's books. They are everywhere! Filled with tips and tricks for the busy quilter, her company is where trendy meets traditional.
With 20 fabric lines to her name, Heather is going to chat with me about one of her newer releases with Henry Glass Fabrics, Artful Home!
RWQ: Thanks for being here today and talking with me Heather, please tell me about your design background and when you began quilting.
I began quilting as a freshman in college and found myself immediately addicted. I soon picked a new major and began pursuing my quilting as a possible career. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! I’ve been in business since 1996, starting small while working on my sophomore year in college. I initially did machine quilting and published a few patterns on the side. It was a really slow start, but I now design books and patterns full-time.
My degree is actually in business administration, so I have no formal training in design. I'm sure it would have come in handy, but instead I have to lean on my 5% talent and 95% hard work. In addition to publishing designing quilt patterns, I also design fabrics for Henry Glass and Co, along with doing some teaching and lectures on quilting.
RWQ: So, Anka's Treasures is truly a "Home Grown" company then. I think that really shows through your brand. And what a great legacy for your grandmother. I'm sure she's so proud of you! Aside from your family, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Simply - the world around me. From the flowers in my garden, to the pattern on the pocket lining of my jeans, it's a beautiful world out there!
RWQ: Nature has always been a favorite place to find quilting ideas, but I absolutely LOVE to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places too. What inspired Artful Home?
My inspiration for this line came from my home. I love the feeling of coming home - to my own kitchen, my favorite chair, my own bed. Coming home means it's comfortable, inviting, cozy and comfortable. I wanted this line to have that feeling. The colors are taken from my home, with my favorites being the red and black. Turquoise has been such a hot color, and I wanted that to become a part of my home as well. The colors are dark, but have a bright punch to keep them from getting too dark or primitive. The patterns in this line, from the floral, to the dots, stripes, and tonal were inspired by my love of home dec fabrics. I love that little bit larger scale that home dec fabrics have.
RWQ: You are a prolific fabric designer. What techniques do you use to create your fabric? Can you briefly talk about your other lines?
This summer my 20th line will hit the stores. I do my fabric design the old fashioned way - by sitting down with paint and paint brush. I used to love art class in high school and college, but I never thought that I would find a way to make my art marketable. Painting my lines in this way brings me back to when I first discovered that I love to draw, paint and doodle. My designs reflect that I do everything by hand, lending them a whimsical style that shows up throughout my lines. I remember when Henry Glass approached me about designing fabric for them. I had to admit to them that I had no idea how to go about it, but they were willing to work with me and my hand-painted swatches.
RWQ: You mentioned you were bitten by the quilting bug in college. How would you describe your quilting "style"?
I love traditional quilts, brighter colors, and easy techniques. My designs reflect that. I used to lean more towards traditional quilts with dark colors, lots of black and appliqué, so my designs from several years ago reflect that. (I now lovingly refer to that era as my "Gothic" phase).
My look has changed a lot over the years. Part of that change is geared toward changes in the market, as people are looking for easier patterns and popular colors have changed. Part of the change is my love of following new trends in colors and design. That is why my tag line for my blog is "Trendy meets Traditional". I think it describes me perfectly (or at least what I want to be). It also allows some freedom within my look and designs, as I can evolve with the new trends as they come along.
RWQ: I think that was smart way to market yourself, Heather, and prevent your brand from being labeled and/or put in a box so to speak. Now, I'm sure my readers are getting tired of me asking this question, but I have the hardest time naming my quilts. How do you go about naming your fabrics?
I hate that part too! Don't even get me started . . . .
RWQ: Lastly, if my readers want to learn more about you or Anka's Treasures, how can they find you online?
My website: www.ankastreasures.com, particularly the Inspirations tab:
My Blog: www.ankastreasures.wordpress.com
If my readers want to know more ... of course they do! What kind of a question was that... :)
Some Artful Home yardage is available for purchase at the Fat Quarter Shop!
Now is your chance to WIN a half yard bundle of this wonderful collection donated by the Fat Quarter Shop!
To enter for your chance to win, leave a comment on this post. Only one entry per person, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.
I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, June 22, 2011!
Please take the time to visit Fat Quarter Shop today by clicking on the image above.
Never miss a post! Sign up here to have posts emailed to you as soon as they are published.