Friday, June 9, 2017

Stitchography

I hope you are enjoying reading Stitchography as much as I do.  There are surprises in some of the answers and there are many little gems of knowledege throughout.  It is interesting to read about people's backgrounds and especiall their advice to those starting out.  
This week Lee Chappell is my guest and if you're not familiar with her patterns, you must check them out.  And I just found out she is teaching at Quiltcon 2018 in Pasadena!!!


1.  Please introduce yourself (actual and professional name) and describe your areas of expertise
Hello! I’m Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell! I design quilt patterns and the occasional bag pattern. I also travel around and teach. My business is named after my great grandmother; she taught my grandmother to sew, who taught my mother, who taught me. I come from a sewing and quilting family. I love creating things and sharing my passion with my students. I teach a lot of classes that focus on color and precision piecing. I’m a Craftsy Instructor; my class is Quilt Faster: Accurate, Streamlined Piecing and is full of tips on perfecting your points and speeding up your piecing. I write about my teaching adventures, plus lots of tips, tutorials and fun quilty things on my blog (www.maychappell.com)  


2.  What is your background and how did you arrive at your current job(s)
I started off in graphic design. My LQS asked me to teach a class on color and everything else grew from there! I started designing patterns so that I could teach classes from my designs. My design background definitely has helped a lot with developing patterns. Slowly the graphic design job became less and less time and the quilting became more and more. The quilting is certainly more fun! Plus, I still do all the things that I loved about graphic design.


3.  How many hours a week do you devote to your job?
Yikes! I try to work 7 to 7 with a break. I think the most surprising thing is how little of that time I actually spend sewing. When I develop a new pattern, I would say that 70% of the development is doing the writing, graphics and photography, while about 30% is making prototypes and samples. 


4.  Where do you physically work?
I work in my sewing studio in my house. My computer is on my dining room table because I am all kinds of fancy! My space is not huge, but it’s efficient. I clean out my supplies and stash at least once a year so that I only have what I use. Or plan to use…I still hoard fabric that I love!


5.  What do you sell and how do you sell it? (It can be a service)
I design quilt patterns and the occasional bag pattern. I also teach! I love to travel to guilds, retreats or shops. I post the next few months of teaching gigs here: http://www.maychappell.com/learn/ There is also information about my class offerings. 


6.  What are you working on now?
New patterns are coming out (or maybe just came out depending on when this posts!) You can see them here: http://shop.maychappell.com/ I always have at least 2-3 new patterns in the works. Plus, I have the bin of “works in progress” that every quilter is required to have! I try to sort through it once a year and get rid of anything that no longer inspires me. I put them in our guild garage sale. 


7.  What do you do when you are not working?
I love to travel and read. Then, of course, I do my fair share of hand crafts- knitting, embroidery, cross stitch and all other forms of needle and thread. I’ve never met a crafty endeavor that I didn’t feel the need to try! 


8. If you could give one suggestion to someone starting out, what would it be?
Find what you really love and focus on that. If it doesn’t feel right for you, don’t do it! To make a living in this industry, you have to do more than one thing, but find the areas that feel genuine to you. I love teaching and designing so those two areas are always my focus. Many opportunities will come along and you need to choose what is right for you! Do not feel like you should say yes to everything. If you love writing, then write a blog. If you hate writing, then focus on other areas to connect with your customers. I love writing and photography so my blog works well for me. 


9.  Where can people find you and/your products? (FB, blog, website, IG, Twitter, stores
My website: www.maychappell.com
Twitter: 




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3 comments:

  1. Another enjoyable interview. I'm off to visit Lee's blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A nice interview of an especially gifted designer and teacher!

    ReplyDelete

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