Hi, I’m Ann. I feel blessed to have had my dream job at Connecting Threads (CT) for almost two years. Most of my role revolves around the development, editing, maintenance, and archiving of quilt patterns.
The main part of my job is to find patterns in our archives that would work well with new fabric collections and rewrite them. I currently draft and design in Adobe Illustrator (seen on the right monitor behind me) and write patterns in Adobe InDesign (on the left monitor). If a pattern was written in a previous program, it becomes a major rewrite. I occasionally update outmoded techniques in patterns. If possible, I try to have one or two of my own designs in each catalog.
In addition to writing patterns, I incorporate suggestions from sample sewers and pattern proofers into ongoing edits of patterns throughout the catalog cycles. This means that while preparing some finalized patterns for the May 2013 catalog launch on the web (coming up pretty soon), I am making changes in patterns for July, September, and October, writing patterns for October and November recolors, planning pattern yardage requirements for Winter 2014 and developing project ideas for the March 2014 catalog. Whew!
As the assistant to the department, I facilitate the department’s functions by:
• Archiving CT patterns, outside vendor patterns, and free and pay CT downloads (the patterns are stored in binders seen above my head in the photo)
• Putting patterns and kit inserts on the Customer Service drive for customer support
• Drafting new Kit Builder designs and blogging about them
• Turning on free and pay downloads of CT patterns for the catalog web launch
• Running errands to buy sewing supplies
Other tasks, also done by many CT staff members, include helping to write blog posts, make samples, write book reviews, inspect and fold new fabric collections, cut fabric for kits for sewers, and test products. We all participate in internal focus groups to give input on future collections, and brainstorm about key words, collection names, and ideas for projects.
Tutorials & Quilt Alongs
I love to teach! Most of my professional and volunteer work over the years involved some aspect of teaching, including quilting classes at local quilt shops. For the six years prior to working at Connecting Threads, I was a volunteer quilting instructor at a women’s prison as part of the Coffee Creek Quilters and wrote over 50 patterns for the students to use. This was excellent preparation for writing instructional patterns such as the Perfect Points Sampler and Mystery Quilt 2013 (both were quilt alongs on Quilt with Us) and tutorials like Binding Basics and Perfect Points and the Positioning Pin (on the CT website).
Perfect Points Sampler – 2012 Quilt Along for National Quilt Month
Why I Love my Job!
• We are a small group of 12, but we have lots of fun while producing a catalog about every 6-8 weeks!
• I am proud of CT’s consistent ability to offer quality products at excellent prices
• A designer by nature, I like coming up with ideas that someone else sews, so I can spend time dreaming of new ideas!
• Due to the catalog cycle, the pace is steady and busy; I am never bored and usually not too stressed.
• The ongoing exposure to new ideas, techniques and products is exciting; I am doing more hand sewing such as English paper piecing and embroidery
• I love being surrounded by color and creativity all day – every day (photos show the fabric and color swatches hanging in my cubicle)