I was born in Duncan, Oklahoma but only lived there about a year. I grew up in Texas and have been here ever since. As far back as I can remember I busied myself creating beautiful things - well, at least what "I" thought was beautiful!
With a pointed tree branch, I marked off rooms in the dirt to make the house I played in as a little girl. Using mama's kitchen broom, my dirt floors took on the look of decorated tile with accents of swishes and swirls. Smooth rocks and pretty weeds became lovely home decor sitting on top of salvaged wooden Coca-Cola crates. The water hose, an old coffee can, spoons borrowed from mama’s kitchen, and lids for pie pans, were all I needed to make some pretty special mud pies. Set out in the sun to bake, with carefully added sunflower petals, they were spectacular creations! I remember one particularly hot summer day I finally convinced my baby brother that my pies truly were edible...but then mama got involved and I'm still trying to forget how that day turned out! Take it from me... crusty, warm, hard dirt and water really does NOT taste very good at all!
I sorted through colorful scraps left over from mama's dressmaking to sew clothes for my dolls. My maternal grandmother taught me to crochet and embroider when I was 9 years old and I still love to sit and embroider for hours on end. I crocheted so many afgans in the 70's that I've set aside the yarn and big hooks. Now, when I crochet, it is a delicate, lacy doily.
Alas, lt was my freshman homemaking class that almost brought my creating to a standstill. My teacher was excellent I suppose, but at the time she just seemed too picky! The day came when each girl in class was to model her own creation. I loudly declared that I would NEVER sew another stitch. The dreadful zipper in my A-line skirt was sewn in and ripped out – sewn in and ripped out so many times it looked awful. I guess Mrs. Young decided that I had ripped out enough stitches because she finally gave me a passing grade. With my best posture, and all the poise of a 15 year old, gangly teenage girl, I modeled my PURPLE & BLUE FLORAL skirt and double breasted blazer. (ugh! the things we had to wear back then) The holes surrounding my skirt zipper were large enough that my slip showed through! And as if my runway walk had not been humiliating enough, when I came home from school, mama insisted she needed a photo of me modeling my lovely creation. Well, you know when mama gets out the camera you might as well just shut up and stand still. I still have that photo and should post it here for you to see......or well, maybe not!
In 1968, three days after my 18th birthday, I married my high school sweetheart. Oddly enough, I did return to the sewing machine after all. I sewed scads of those tent-like maternity tops, made pretty dresses for our little Michelle, costumes for parties and school plays for both Scott and Michelle. Then came the wedding – it was such a joy to sew our daughter’s beautiful wedding gown. More than a hundred covered buttons – BUT NO ZIPPER! It took four months to make her dress and hour on top of hour hand sewing seed beads. But, for as long as I live I will never forget the sight of our baby girl on her daddy’s arm as she seemed to glide down the aisle on her special day. Michelle's wedding gown really WAS the end of my garment sewing days.
In 1980, I was I was bitten by the not-so-rare, but life-changing, quilt bug. If you are reading this you must know there is no cure and you never recover from that bite. Using patterns found in magazines, I learned a little more with each quilt I made. No zippers & no fitting – I had finally found my creative passion! In time I began to create my own designs and found tremendous satisfaction in my work. In 1994, I purchased my first longarm quilting machine and taught myself how to just let go and quilt FREESTYLE! What fun!!
I’ve been so blessed with an understanding and supportive husband, who runs our business. Without Gary I would never have been brave enough to enter the world of marketing! My first four books were published by Leisure Arts, who gave me the confidence to keep moving forward! We established FriendFolks publishing company and market our books and patterns to distributors and quilt shops all over the world. I’ve designed for, and work closely with, Dill Buttons of America. I design whimsical children's fabric for Northcott Monarch, usually introducing two collections each year. In 2006 we added digitized machine embroidery to our product line. Currently, we are researching a couple of new product ideas. Mainly though, we just try to keep looking forward and enjoying this journey.
We are thankful for every opportunity that comes our way and I'll forever be grateful to all the people who advised me to follow the dream in my heart. Knowing our future is in the hands of our Creator, we'll just continue to rest and be glad. :-) Tricia