Ian Davis has been Quiltmaker’s Art Director for four years, which means he has walked through all eight volumes of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.
Even so, this (Volume 8) is the first time he’s designed a block for us—so I thought it would be fitting to introduce Ian today and let you hear from him in his own words.
So, first can you explain for blog readers what your job entails at Quiltmaker?
As Art Director, I’m responsible for page layout and design, setting up photography and working with editors, graphic designers and production staff to make sure the magazine goes out on time and looks professional and friendly.
Had you been exposed to quilts before you went to work for QM? How, when, where?
Not really. I did watch a PBS documentary about quilting some years ago, which mostly concentrated on the Appalachian/Ozarks back in the Depression, about the amazing things they were doing when they had so little to work with.
What has surprised you about the quilt industry?
I haven’t really been surprised. I mean, if you look at any quilt, you can see the level of talent and passion that one must have to create something like that.
I will say though, that sometimes someone will bring something in that took a few weeks to do—I figure it would probably take me a year.
Tell me about your block design: your inspiration, your process, anything significant. Did you have any false starts?
Well, I was at work and dreaming ( on my lunch break, of course :) ) about my upcoming vacation to my favorite place, Isla Mujeres, Mexico, and how I was going to take a ride on a small boat up to a national bird sanctuary near there.
The block is the view from the boat looking west to the Yucatan coast. I’ve already designed one for next issue looking at the sunset from Isla.
What’s the best thing about working in the company of women every day?
Pot-Luck lunches. You do that with 12 guys, and you get 12 bags of chips. Women will go home and make something yummy.
And actually, I’m pretty used to working with women. My old job in the natural products industry was mostly women.
A woman has been my direct supervisor since 1992. At one point, my little sister was my boss. You know how kids tell their siblings, “You’re not the boss of me!” Well, my sister WAS the boss of me. But I had saved her from drowning many years ago, so she was pretty nice to me.
What’s the worst thing about working in the company of women every day?
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
What are your other interests?
National parks, wildlife. Paleontology, astronomy. I play bass guitar, love sci-fi, and I spend WAY too much time on video games.
Anything else you’d like to say to our blog readers?
Keep it up! You guys never cease to amaze me!
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Here are a few of my favorite covers from the past few years. Ian is responsible for pulling the cover together. I think he does a great job!
Since Ian has been in on all eight volumes of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, we thought this would be a great time to give a set of them away. Yes! This giveaway is for a complete set of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volumes 1 to 8. Leave a comment below by midnight Friday, Dec. 6 for your chance to win. Good luck!