“Having a thing is not as satisfying as making a thing.” So says new Moda designer, Kristyne Czepuryk, and it’s a sentiment to which quilters can relate.
This realization came to Kristyne when as young girl she created holiday ornaments from pom-poms and used felt and pins to transform bars of soap into elephants. “I learned after awhile that it wasn’t having the thing at the end I was after, it was the entire creative process I enjoyed. The inspiration, the problem-solving, learning to use a new tool, learning from people who have already made things—it’s all so rewarding for me.”
Lucky for us that what makes Kristyne happy will make us happy, too. Her new line for Moda, dubbed First Romance in homage to her love affair with creativity and the quilting community, will be showing in May at Quilt Market.
Kristyne learned to sew clothing from her mother—“By junior high I knew all about tailor tacking and darts and French seams—and learned to quilt at 19. But her true embrace of the quilting community came first through a part-time job at a quilt shop near her Calgary, Alberta home where she sewed samples, taught classes, and designed patterns. “I made things with fabrics I’d never used and learned techniques I might not have tried myself,” she says. “It kept me creative and busy and learning new skills.” She also became fascinated by quilting blogs and after a close friend gave her a book on blogging Kristyne started her own, Pretty by Hand, in 2011.
A trip to Quilt Market further cemented her direction. “It was so exciting to see the human side of this industry I enjoyed being in as a maker,” says Kristyne, who realized that her experience in teaching and pattern design could pave the way for designing her own patterns. She started selling them online about the same time she kicked off her blog.
Though she entertained the idea of designing fabric—“It’s a lovely dream for a lot of quilters,” she says—it wasn’t until she’d returned to her “day job” in technical writing that an opportunity arose to study graphic design. With those skills firmly under her belt, Kristyne could take the imagery she loved so much—from feed sacks in particular—and transform it via resizing and recoloring. “As I studied fabric design I realized that my personal stash included a lot of feed sack repros,” she says. “While I loved the prints, the colors didn’t always call my name, or else I’d like the color palette of a line but not the prints. So designing fabric was an opportunity for me to create fresh and new combinations of feed sack reproductions with an updated color palette that comes right from my heart.”
Kristyne freely admits that her first color of choice is pink. “It sounds clichéd, but pink gives me a feeling of happiness—I have an emotional and physical response to it,” she says. “The pink I love is not too peachy and not too purple, not too bright but not babyish. I didn’t realize how particular I was until I had define it when approving colors for First Romance.”The opportunity to design for Moda delights Kristyne. “When I thought about submitting my designs, I knew enough about Moda to think they would be a great place for me, but I was intimidated thinking I could be considered of the caliber of their designers,” she says. “It was a huge leap, but I figured if I’d never find out if I didn’t try. I’ve learned through this whole process that when I put myself out there and take a risk things happen, not quickly, not easily, not without hard work, but I am so excited about where I am now and triple-fold excited where this path will lead me.”
(FYI: Kristyne supplied this phonetic pronunciation of last name: Czepuryk = chip R ek)