Who the heck is Diane Harris?
If you found me because of Global Quilt Connection, you might wonder! Here’s my story.
I spent 11 years as an editor for Quiltmaker magazine, where I wrote pattern instructions and product reviews. I shot how-to videos and wrote a variety of articles related to quilts and quiltmaking. It was a dream job!
I was the online voice of Quiltmaker for most of that time. In the early days, we were figuring out what it meant for a business to be online, along with everyone else. It was exciting, exhausting and fun!
Some of the editors helped promote the magazine by giving trunk shows of the quilts from our pages. I loved doing that, and I got good feedback from quilt groups. So when my time with Quiltmaker ended, since I’d been making quilts for 30 years, I started Stash Bandit and began sharing my own quilts in trunk shows.
I’d been teaching quilters here and there as requests came up over the years, so I added classes to my lineup as well. Writing for a pattern magazine is a form of teaching, so it seemed only natural.
The second part is that I still design and make quilts for magazines. That helps me spread the word about Stash Bandit and leads to calls from quilt guilds. It’s fun to see your work in a professionally styled shot in a national publication! And it’s always a happy day if your quilt makes the cover. Never gets old.
And the third part of my business that I’ve just added this year is helping other quilt-related businesses with social media. I manage this area for a couple of entities and I love doing it. And it’s fine with me if my name is not publicly associated with that work. I’m an introvert and I don’t love the spotlight so much.
The most visible of those is working as brand ambassador for HQ Stitch by Handi Quilter, a line of three (fabulous) domestic sewing machines. I love the machines, and it’s my job to use them and write about them. Which I happily do every day! Learn more: HQ Stitch on IG @hqstitch and on Facebook/hqstitch.
One area that I have not forayed into is the pattern business. After a trunk show, people naturally ask me where they can buy the patterns for my designs. I don’t have a great answer!
It takes a lot to bring a pattern to the market. I’d spend a lot of time and money to do it. And then you have to sell an awful lot of patterns to cover all of that before you start making a profit. And that is just one of the reasons. The others are probably not interesting to a blog reader!
I would much rather show people how to make their own unique quilts by understanding how fabrics work together. I’d like to help them unlock their creativity and be fearless in making something outside their comfort zone. So that is how I work and where I place my focus:
I use scrap quilts to help others understand fabric, color, design and quilting techniques.
Some patterns remain available from the various magazines. And a few are freebies on my own website.
So that’s a bit of my story. It’s nice to meet you!
I’ve started offering virtual trunk shows and classes in 2020. I’d love to bring one to your quilt group! Get in touch and…
You could help me out here by leaving a comment if you’ve been to a class or trunk show of mine. A few sentences about your experience would help others to know what they’re signing up for. Thank you!