{olive & ollie}

Shocking, I know.  It's Monday.  And I'm actually posting my "Monday Mornings Inspiration" ON Monday.  {big pat on back for Trish, thank you}. I met Heather Jones at Quilt Market last fall but we had been "Twitter" friends long before that.  Turns out, Heather is a "neighbor" of sorts.  She lives in Cincinnati (I'm in Columbus - only 2 hours apart).  She has been ON FIRE lately with her modern quilt designs and I'm so excited to introduce her to you today!  You will fall in love with her creations and certainly, be inspired!  {and do some crafty things yourself because she is sharing some of her inspiration with you!  See the end of post!}  Friends, meet Heather Jones of Olive & Ollie...

Since the feature is called Monday Mornings Inspiration, can you tell me what inspired you to a career in art and design?

I’ve always been artsy and crafty. I used to paint and draw a lot, and I majored in Art History in college and grad school. I started my career in the Curatorial and Education departments at the Cincinnati Art Museum, while I made all sorts of crafts in my spare time. When my children were born, I knew I didn’t want to go back to my day job, so I looked at ways that I could make money from home and still take care of them. I opened up my etsy shop in 2007, but really started to think of it as a prospective business in 2008, after the birth of my daughter. By then, I had an 18 month old and a newborn, so I began to focus on designing children’s clothing and accessories. 

What continues to inspire you each day and how do you keep your art fresh?

My husband and children are my number one sources of inspiration. They continue to inspire me every day, and challenge me to work as hard as I can for our little family. My husband is a painter, and I’m really inspired by his artwork, and I can see his influence in my work. But, I honestly see inspiration everywhere. One of my recent quilt designs was based on a grid that was painted in the parking lot of my local Wal-mart!

I’ve began to take a few more breaks in the studio, which I think is a good way to keep things fresh. I still rarely have a day off because of my limited hours of work time each day, which are usually late at night or early in the morning, when the kids are still sleeping. But, I’m trying to make more time for myself, which helps me recharge and keep things fresh. I’m also inspired by the women who are members of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild with me.

What 3 words best describe you

Caring, Compassionate, Strong

What could you not live without to get through each work day?  Your phone/computer, sewing machine or your coffee?

Probably all! I’m not a big fan of coffee though, and I really prefer tea, but coffee has become an unfortunate necessity to me, since I’m usually running on about 5 hours of sleep every day!

What is the one best part of your job as a designer?

The best thing is being able to work from home and stay with my babies, who are now three and four. I’m incredibly lucky to have a job that I love and that allows me to be with them as well.

What advice would you offer to someone when it comes to living a creative life?

Follow your passion and do what you love. Don’t forget that you can do anything that you want to, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

What can we expect to see from you in the coming year in terms of new projects and design?

I’m working on a series of modern quilt patterns that I hope to have completed this fall. I am also going to be writing patterns for some of the children’s clothing and accessories that I currently make as well. And finally, I’m also part of a big project that unfortunately I can’t say too much about, but just keep your eyes open in the spring!

Thanks Heather for sharing a bit of yourself - your work is so beautiful!  I'm thinking I may need to offer up a bribe of some sort to find out what this big project is...hmm!  I hope you'll visit Heather on her blog and leave her some love!  If you've enjoyed this post - please share (easy to do with the little share buttons at the bottom!)

SEW ALONG with Heather - she has so graciously offered to give 3 of you a copy of her YIELD PDF QUILT PATTERN!  Sweet!  Leave me a separate comment for each of the following and we will pick a winner later this week!  {giveaway ends on Friday, May 13th at midnight - winner chosen via Random.org}.

1) Just leave any old comment - preferably one where you share what crafty goodness you've been up to lately.  one entry. 2) Follow Heather on Facebook.  One entry. 3) Follow Heather's blog. one entry. 4) Visit Heather's shop - because you will drool over the adorable birthday ensembles, then come back and tell me you are so glad you found her! one entry

4 chances - one very cool and fun quilt pattern!