Grab a cup of coffee, find a comfy spot and enjoy a visit with the ever-talented Sandy Klop of American Jane Patterns and fabric.
I started quilting in 1979 when I made my first quilt for my son . Quilting had gotten a big boost from the bicentennial in 1976. Prior to that time I was unaware of any quilt in my family or of anyone else I knew. But once I got hooked, I couldn’t stop! I was drawn to the many names and patterns of the old quilts and I still draw my inspiration from those.
– Sandy Klop
Sandy, there is such a distinctive style to your work, how did the American Jane’s “signature look” come to be?
I started designing my own patterns in 2002, and went to my first Quilt Market in 2003. At that time I didn’t know I had a “look,” but I knew what I liked and kept doing that! Moda came to me at that first market and asked if I had thought about designing fabric. Of course I had! Now I do two lines a year and multiple patterns for each line, plus some just for fun!
What is a typical day for you?
I get to sew every day and its still not enough time! I also get to go to guilds all across the U.S. to show my quilts and teach workshops. Quilters across the world have the same passion and so it’s easy to connect with each one and hear their stories.
Sandy, you tell such wonderful stories in naming your patterns, designing your fabric lines, and writing your books. Would you share a story with our readers?
I’ve worked at quilt stores for almost 20 years and enjoying the contact with quilters. During that time I also machine quilted for many, and I still quilt for some. I have seen a lot of quilts. Not long ago, I was mailed a package with an old quilt from Alabama or Mississippi. I put it off for a while because the note said “not square.” Well, when I decided to get it done, I thought I’d add a border so I’d have some thing to work with. It started off okay, but somewhere toward the end something had gone amiss. The whole quilt veered off to one side and almost became a triangle! It actually came to a point. The pattern was a basket without handles. Lots of half square triangles with a large triangle on top and a small triangle at the base. The whole time I’m thinking this quilt is not worth the money to quilt it. So I started thinking about what was she thinking when she made it. It looked like someone had given her some Thirties era half-square triangles. Then she needed the larger triangles,but she had to piece those. The sashing was four different color variations of the same print, but they were also pieced. The basket part had the two squares at the bottom and so she pieced two of the same color together! Then the light bulb lit! She did the best she could with what she had!
Now I thank my friend for honoring the maker by having her quilt quilted! So what if its not square? It’s not going to hang on a wall, it’s going to keep someone warm!
Thank you Sandy for sharing your experiences with us. I will close with a few photos from Quilting in the Garden, a beautiful quilt show in Livermore, California last fall featuring Sandy Klop as the guest artist. It was a beautiful day with hundreds of American Jane quilts hanging in the oak grove at Alden Lane Nursery. What a spectacular site!
Sandy’s advice to all of us:
Be kind to one another! Honor all people! And, keep quilting! – Sandy Klop
We will be part of the Jennifer Sampou Blog Hop next week on Wednesday, not Tuesday, you don’t want to miss it! We have a wonderful surprise for our readers!