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Conversations with Amy Schelle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Schelle.

Hi Amy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a modern quilt pattern designer….which most people are not familiar with. I discovered quilting after my mom taught my sister and I to quilt when I was in high school. I made quilts for all my best friends when we graduated and then quilting went on the back burner while I studied Interior Design at Baylor University. After graduation, I worked in high-end residential design for five years and got completely burned out.

I quit my job and helped a small business organization in Fort Worth, where I met a lot of inspiring entrepreneurs. At the same time, I discovered the world of Modern Quilting on Instagram. That led me to dust of my machine and get back to making things with my own two hands. I started selling handmade quilts, baby shoes, Christmas stockings and pillows.

When my husband and I got pregnant with twin boys, I knew I needed to shift the business model. I started writing quilt patterns and fell in love with it! Not only do I get to physically make quilts with my own hands, but I also get to design something upfront that fits my own aesthetic.

I took about a year off after having the twins, which gave me some space to think about my next pattern release. I decided to bring both quilting + interior design together and created a pattern series, The Sewn Home Series. Over the past year, I released five quilt patterns that were all designed and named after different rooms in my home. As each pattern was released, I shared how my quilt patterns fit with the design of each room. With the release of the series, I felt like I finally found a happy place where interior design and quilting work together.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has been smooth overall, but I struggled a lot with self-doubt. I started the business in 2017, still feeling a little lost and burned out from my previous job. It took a lot of time, reflection, trial and error to get where I am today. I found myself getting distracted by other modern quilters and caught up in comparison. Comparison doesn’t get you anywhere! Watching what everyone else was doing influenced what I was creating so that the patterns I was producing didn’t ever end up in my own aesthetic.

I had to take a huge step back, put on my blinders and really define what I wanted to create and stick to it. Quilt patterns are not usually designed in only two colors like some of my patterns are. Before the first pattern was released, I was so nervous because this pattern was going to be so different from my others and only called for two colors. I pushed through, and it was worth it. I made something I was extremely proud of, genuinely loved and it was a best seller!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I don’t design the quilts your grandmother made. Although those are beautiful and still represent the foundation of quilting. I was starting to see a younger crowd joining the quilt community. Quilting takes hours and the materials can get expensive. Once you finish a quilt, you want it to be displayed in your home. That’s where I was seeing a disconnect.

My quilt patterns are minimal, modern, and designed to fit into any modern interior. My hope is that will encourage younger generations to join the world of quilting. I also design my patterns with the intent that they will be made in solids so that the quilt pattern itself is the pattern you see instead of the distracting florals or big prints on the fabric.

Any big plans?
I plan to kick off another quilt pattern series in January, where we will explore the Scandinavian design principles with each pattern. I can’t wait to share more about this project! Each pattern will be named after the principles, and I’ll write more on my blog about how these principles can be executed in our homes. The Scandinavian design aesthetic is one I am most drawn to personally so these quilts will also fit perfectly into my own home.

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Photographs by Nikki Caviness Photography

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