Designing quilts for about 16 years, Heidi Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop is now averaging about 400 quilt designs annually and she doesn’t see that trend ending any time soon. In total, Heidi estimates that she has designed several thousands of quilts so far in her career.
Heidi gets inspiration for her whimsical designs by focusing on the positive aspects of life and then transferring that refreshing outlook onto her beautiful quilts. When you look at Heidi’s cheerful designs and her website which complements the designs so nicely, you can’t help but to feel happy.
So, you were born and raised in Rochester, New York … do you still have family there?
Yes, my parents and little sister still live there.
When’s the last time you went back home?
I was just home for the month of June. My husband and I have the flexibility to travel and work, so we try to get back as often as we can.
How long have you lived in Arizona? Have you lived anywhere else?
I have been in Arizona for 19 years and lived in Connecticut for two years after college.
When did you learn to sew and quilt, and are there any quilters in your family?
I learned to sew and quilt in 1999. My older sister and I learned to quilt at the same time. My husband’s grandmother was a hand quilter and she really inspired me to learn.
What did you do prior to starting your own business?
I worked as a Product Development Designer for a company designing craft kits for schools, hospitals, camps, and other institutions.
How do you get inspiration for your whimsical designs?
I always try to see the bright side of life and it spills over into my work.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
I love to see people’s reaction to my designs, especially children. Our Mission Statement has always been to inspire creativity and make people smile.
Roughly how many designs have you made over the years?
I would guess several thousand designs. I usually design about 400 quilts a year.
Do you make more designs for quilting magazines, fabric companies, or for your own business?
The bulk of our designs are for various fabric companies, magazines come in second, and unfortunately our business comes in third.
What are some of your favorite trade shows and other quilting events to attend every year?
I always attend Quilt Market twice a year. This year I also went to Quilt Con, which was a wonderful show.
How do you find time to maintain your blog and stay on top of everything else you’re doing?
I have to keep a tight schedule and stay organized. I am always thinking about three weeks ahead when I work on my schedule.
You’ve written five books … which one would you say is the most successful thus far?
Actually my book, Pop-up Paper Structures: The Beginner’s Guide to Creating 3-D Elements for Books, Cards & More, has been my most successful. I still get calls, and it is still selling nine years later.
Do you have any plans to write more books?
I have several book ideas in the works. Hopefully I will have another one soon.
How do you and your husband Matthew share responsibilities for the business?
We have learned the best way to work together is to have separate responsibilities. I handle designs and illustrations and he handles creating the digitals and formatting the patterns. We both design fabric, but in the past couple of years, he has taken over designing the bulk of our collections, and I design projects using his collections from Benartex.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not creating whimsical patterns?
I love to read, knit and create in other mediums such as jewelry, sketching, or crafting.
Describe your idea of a perfect day.
A perfect day would be one where I did not have anything lined up. Just to be able to relax and do nothing for a few hours.
What’s next for you and the Whimsical Workshop?
We are looking forward to continue on our path designing quilts and fabrics for quilters. We are also looking into other markets to offer our services.
Here are a few of Heidi's designs below. To see more of her work, be sure to visit The Whimsical Workshop.
King of the Jungle
TWW Trunk Show
Lynette A. Griffin is the Journalist Extraordinaire at AccuQuilt, and if you have a quilting story to share, she wants to hear it at email@example.com.