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Meet Skye Rayburn of Isle of Skye Studio in Denton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Skye Rayburn.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My background is in apparel design, but I’ve always had a fondness for fibers, especially surface design. I made my first quilt in 2011 and started making quilts full-time in 2016 after leaving my corporate job as a textile designer.

In 2017, I branched out to smaller items, such as hand-dyed bags and zipper pouches using indigo cloth and sashiko needlework to display with my quilts at my first market. I fell in love. That is the best way to explain how I feel about combining indigo cloth with sashiko to create very unique and individual pieces.

These days, I am constantly thinking of new items to add to my inventory. And although it’s fun dreaming up new ways to create smaller items, my first love is quilting. But, I’ll be able to focus on quilting exclusively, once I’ve decided the market-circuit is no longer working for me.

I take indigo-dyed cloth, Bogolanfini (mudcloth), recycled denim and vintage linen and combine them with sashiko stitching to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I also do improvisational quilting, which to me is taking random pieces of fabric and sewing them into a pleasing composition, with little to no planning.

I haunt flea markets and antique malls to find vintage fabrics that I can dye for my projects. I get really excited when I can find an old quilt top and never know what it will look like after dying. I am always surprised and happy with the results. The best thing about this process for me is taking an item that is unloved because of a few stains and turning it into a work of art.

For now, I have a few more markets in me, I’m starting to give workshops, and I have met some really amazing and talented people through the markets and social media, such as Lora of Egan Street Design, Kara of Cracker Jack Goods and Kristen of KKB Metal Studio. They have really made me feel welcome in the maker community.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not all markets are created equal. Markets can be brutal. My target customer doesn’t always show up in the particular market I may be at. Also, I feel like I’m competing against mass-market textiles. So when I do get a customer who appreciated the time and effort that goes into making whatever it might be, whether it’s a quilt or wall-hanging, it’s very gratifying.

I’m still trying to figure out what items will appeal to the majority of customers at any given market. Each market has its own set of customers, and the more markets I attend, the better feel I will get for which markets suit my craft best.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Isle of Skye Studio – what should we know?
Isle of Skye Studio is best known for modern quilts and boro cloth-inspired textiles. I gravitate towards improv and that perfect imperfectness of Gee’s Bend quilts. I love the texture and the story that hand-quilting/stitching gives to textiles, whether it be a modern-day quilt or an indigo jacket from the turn of last century.

These techniques translate to home decors, such as pillows, wall-hangings and quilts; and fashion accessories like purses, pouches, and bags.

I just feel very fortunate to have found an outlet for my creativity. I love what I do and I enjoy sharing what I do with others.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family! My husband, Rick, has worked very hard for the position he is in, at a career that brings him joy, and he just wants me to have that same joy. He and my parents are so incredibly supportive. They are always ready to lend a hand, whether it’s to help with market set-up or to just watch my kiddo for the day, so that I may work on a project. None of what I am doing now would be possible without their help.

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