On Tuesday, John will be teaching 2012C Glorified Nine Patch and Kate will be teaching 2008C Crosses and Losses
What could be more fun than sharing your passion of quilting by giving workshops, creating innovative templates and kits, and bouncing off new ideas with someone from your own family? That is exactly what John Flynn and his daughter, Kate Flynn Nichols, have been doing for over 15 years. Both residents of Montana, they spend a lot of time together fine tuning patterns, assembly directions and pressing techniques so that their templates and laser pre-cut kits go together as easily and smoothly as possible.
John got in to the quilting scene in the 1980’s when he was testing the quilt frames that he was designing and building for his wife Brooke. He soon discovered how relaxing hand quilting was and has been working at it ever since. Kate started quilting in 1988. She grew up watching both her parents quilt. She went to Guild with them and started stashing fabric at a young age. Kate entered her first quilt show at just 8 years of age!! As she got older, she was “actually surprised to find out later in life that not everyone quilts!”
They each find inspiration for their designs in different ways. For Kate, it comes from nature and her parents’ old magazine collection. John has an engineering background so he finds inspiration in the geometry of objects and from old traditional quilts.
John and Kate have different preferences when it comes to working with color. John’s favorite palette is the colors of the rainbow; bright primaries and secondaries. Kate likes strong pastel combinations and monochromes. Interestingly, Kate is the company’s fabric buyer; she has a sure hand in color selection.
While they enjoy their partnership, working closely with each other can have its drawbacks. Kate says, “It’s hard not really having a separation between work and family. Who wants to plan their next business trip at Thanksgiving dinner?” John admits his challenge is that since he and Kate both have engineering minds, “they think alike most of the time” which can be both positive and negative.
Kate, who has been married since August, 2003 to graphic designer Kevin Nichols, enjoys reading, rockhounding, gardening and watching either Animal Planet, the History Channel or the Discovery Channel.
What are their favorite tips for quilters? From Kate: “Relax and be forgiving with yourself. You are a human, not a machine and your projects should reflect your humanity!” John adds, “Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. It is easier to take your time and do it right the first time rather than rush through and do it over and over.”
There is still limited space in both of their classes. You can learn more about this dynamic father-daughter quilting duo on their website: www.flynnquilt.com