Jo Morton was introduced to quilting in 1979 and hasn't put down her needle since. She began teaching in 1982 and in 1985 started to create small quilts with the charm of antiques. Jo has sold her small quilts since 1988. She has written numerous quilt books and patterns and designs fabric for Andover Fabrics. She lives in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Learn more about Jo in this interview by Quiltmaker magazine.
How did you decide to make working with quilts a career? What led you in that direction?
It was serendipity. It began in 1988 by selling my small (doll quilt size) quilts at juried folk art shows in OH, PA, VA, MA, and CT. I traveled and exhibited at those shows for 13 years. I traveled to Pennsylvania once a year to exhibit at the Designer Craftsman Show (a juried, invitational show) near Philadelphia, a retail venue for the serious collector of American craftsmanship. During that time, quilters who were collecting fabric would ask me for the patterns to make my little quilts. So in the spring of 1995 I started my pattern business and did my first Quilt Market in Charlotte, NC.
What inspires your work? How do new ideas come to you in quiltmaking?
I'm inspired by antique quilts. I enjoy recreating a quilt––imitating the colors and styles of period pieces. I will also use a quilt's color and/or design as a source of inspiration, and create a quilt that might have existed in the 19th century.
Can you describe the process you use in designing fabric for Andover Fabrics?
I work from antique fabric for my designs, and then color them for vintage charm.
If you could offer one piece of advice for quiltmakers today, what would it be?
Enjoy the process!
Jo Morton's Rhubarb Crisp quilt––and her tips for cutting, piecing and storing fabric––appear in the September/October '07 (No. 117) issue of QUILTMAKER magazine.