I had the opportunity to interview Barb and Mary recently and here is what we chatted about:
|Barb & Mary|
Barb & Mary: We find inspiration for our fabrics everywhere … sometimes it’s a small flower on an old scrap of fabric or a greeting card. Most of the time it just comes from doodles. Mary used to use graph paper to sketch out our patterns. Now she does most of it on the computer.
|Barb’s Favorite Fabric Design|
|Mary’s Favorite Fabric Design|
Barb & Mary: Thank You! I think the playfulness comes from the original doodles. The flowers start out very primitive with simple shapes and that helps to keep them whimsical and playful.
|A bundle of their first group – Pedal Pushers|
Most everything is a joint effort. We usually get together 3 or 4 times a week and either sit in front of the computer, test sew, or tweak fabric ideas. But after the initial pattern pages are written … Mary does all the computer graphics by herself.
Our designs are simple so lots of time the process is too. Sometimes we actually cut up fabric, but most of the time we just start with a square on the computer screen, chop it up and put it back together. We have been doing this for so many years now it comes naturally.
Barb & Mary: Orange Slices is one of Mary’s all time favorites! Pinwheels are my favorite block … so I like Spin Cycle! I love making half square triangles! We got in a faze where we were naming all our patterns after food. Had to stop that! I think we were naming them before lunch!
|Orange Slices – Courtesy of Me & My Sister Designs|
Barb & Mary: To be honest … no we do not miss owning the shop. We do miss the people! But not the hard work of being a shop owner! Owning the shop taught us a lot about the quilting business and provided us with contacts. Even after selling the shop we kept in contact with our Moda sales rep Ron Wiggins, who mentored us with the shop and with branching out into fabric and patterns.
Melissa: As sisters, do you find that working together has made you closer? From your website it seems like the whole family is, in some form or another, involved in your business – does everyone also sew and create with you?
Barb & Mary: I can’t say that it has made us closer. We have always been good friends, except for a period of time when we were in high school! Hated each other for several years. Mom used to threaten to lock us in a room together to see who came out alive! But after college and when the families started to grow all that luckily disappeared. Four of the five sisters quilt. My son and daughter in law stuff patterns and Mary’s daughters both help with the computer work and graphic design. They help teach us new things on the computer everyday! Both our husbands build the props for our market booths. It really is a family run business!!!!
You may be wondering…what are Barb and Mary giving away?!? One charm pack of Amelia and one charm pack of Dilly Dally! There will be 2 lucky winners for this giveaway!
|Image Courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop – also available for purchase there!|
|Dilly Dally – Image Courtesy of Old Country Store Fabrics – also available for purchase there|
How can you enter?
1. Head over to Me & My Sister Designs and tell me what your favorite pattern is – one entry!
2. Head over to Me & My Sister Designs blog – say Hi & Tell them that we sent you! – come back here and tell me that you did. – one entry!
3. Go like us on Facebook – come back here and tell me that you did – one entry!
That is 3 possible entries! Woot! We like to give these great prizes to our faithful Brother Lovers so make sure you are a follower!
For an additional entry – blog, facebook, or tweet about this giveaway.
This giveaway will run from August 29th to September 4th – a winner will be announced on September 5th – Labor Day.