What do you think of when you hear the words, “beyond the reef?” If they conjure up visions of a laid back, peaceful, relaxing beach setting, then you’ve entered the world of designer, Natalie Barnes.
Natalie, a former corporate commercial interior designer, started quilting in the 70’s as a way to win boys’ hearts in high school. She got started in pattern designing in 1994 when she went on a three week vacation to the north shore of Hawaii to visit a friend. During her stay, she put together a kit for her and her friend to make, utilizing Hawaiian fabrics. Another friend saw what they had made and asked Natalie for the pattern. And so her new career began. She worked part time on her own design work until 2008 when she went full time; marketing Beyond the Reef as a platform for her lectures, quilt show booths, teaching, and book writing.
Natalie embraces the challenge of staying in step with the changing force of quilting, especially with the modern quilt movement. She is “big” in to social media as a means to share her work. As Natalie puts it, “I love what I do so it is easy to share.” What does she like best about what she does? The people she meets. “I love seeing everyone, their creativity and being a part of the quilting community.”
Natalie is involved in the beach area where she lives and works. When she isn’t designing, Natalie is a puppy sitter for Guide Dogs of America. Her dog, “Buddy,” is a good beach dog and companion. Natalie also enjoys spending time in her raised bed garden.
What does Natalie see for her future? She is excited to work with more fabric companies and publishers, providing more access to her brand. Road to California is proud to share Natalie’s Hawaiian inspired designs with our guests.