I have been impressed with Aniko Feher’s work since I first saw it several years ago. I tried to get her to teach up in the Flint area, but couldn’t work that out. We’ve kept in touch via email, and I’ve watched her talents develop. How excited I was to find that she is doing a lecture for the Davison Evening Star Quilters on March 31, 2009! See for yourself…
Mine is not an unusual story now days. I used to work for Ford Motor Company as a Model maker.
When the auto industry went into a nose dive, I lost my job. I was shocked! I was certain that if there was only two jobs left at Ford it would be me and Allan Mulally. Than God Allan is doing OK, but I had to find a new way to earn a living; not an easy task when you are 55 and have always worked in automotive design.
I took stock of myself and decided that the only other thing I was really good at was doing faces on quilts. What used to be a hobby suddenly became a new business.
I started to do lectures and did classes at a local quilt shop. Most people were interested in two kinds of classes: either turning their own photo into a quilt or learning the technique of making a raw edge applique portrait based on my own pattern. People who didn’t get into my class kept asking me to sell them the pattern. I kept insisting that the pattern was not enough, you need the explanation of how to do it. After a lot of people kept asking, and it finally dawned on me that there might be an opportunity in this. I only needed to figure out how patterns are written. Because I always did my own designs, I never bought patterns before. Some of my quilting friends loaned me their patterns so I could “check out the competition”. I was shocked, again: these patterns were complicated and downright confusing. Of the 20 patterns I read through, I only liked and understood 2. That’s a 90% waste of money. I was determined to do a better job at pattern writing.
I already had the pattern of the face of a young girl I was teaching, and now I had to write it up clearly, combining it with some of the teaching aids I have developed for my classes. I did many rewrites before sending a prototype to some brave testers. They criticized every little detail and demanded even more illustration and more clarity. It seems to be a never ending story. Finally, after several weeks of work I had my first pattern done. I couldn’t have done it without my testers.
A single pattern is like an orphaned child with no one to play with. I quickly jumped back into the frying pan and created 2 more patterns; I call them my Let’s Face It Series.
I have Nadiia, a face of a young girl; Kitty, a cute little kitten trying to catch a butterfly, and Puppy Love, a beagle puppy looking rather guilty.
I am very proud of these patterns. They are well written and illustrated every step of the way. I kept the patterns and the instructions very simple. No artistic abilities are required; if you can cut and trace, you can do it. I also left enough wiggle room for quilters to put their own creativity into it.
To quote the Kitty’s cover: “It is important to follow instructions, but it is also important to use your own creativity and make this project your own. Let’s face it, not all kittens look alike. When you are done, your Kitty will remind you of one you know and love”.
I am still waiting to hear from all my Puppy testers before I will put all three patterns out for sale on my web site at www.quiltsbyaniko.com. Until then, please come and take a look at my quilts, I think you will enjoy them.