Interview with Donna di Natale

Posted by

We're so excited to share an exclusive interview with Donna di Natale, the author of many popular Kansas City Star Quilts books, including Anna's Quilt, Prized Quilts, and Stitches in Rhyme. Read on to learn all about her quilting inspiration and philosophy!

Where do you find your quilting or sewing inspiration?

Magazines from the early 1900s. I love to find an interesting quilt or block from the '20s or '30s and redesign it using modern techniques. I am in awe of women who made beautiful quilts using (sometimes) inaccurate patterns with no instructions, homemade cardboard templates, pencils, and scissors. We are truly spoiled by rotary cutters, rulers, accurate templates, and clear instructions that have been tested and deemed clear and correct.

Who has inspired your creativity?

My friends: some are famous designers and some are everyday quilters. They all inspire me and encourage me. It was a quilting friend who introduced me to the world of quilt book editing and design.

What is something we might not know about you?

That I learned English paper piecing (EPP) from a lady in Colorado and made my first EPP project that same week while camping at an elevation of over 10,000 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park.

What projects are you working on right now?

I’m designing a quilt to enter in a contest in my home state of Nebraska. It has been a fun, and sometimes frustrating, challenge. I don’t expect to win anything, but you never know unless you enter. Some people are afraid to enter contests because they feel they aren’t “good enough” or their work won’t meet the high standards of judges. But if it is something you enjoy doing, and YOU like the project, it is a good way to find out how you measure up against other quilters. By entering shows or contests I challenge myself to do a good job and improve my quilting skills.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve made?

I made a feathered-star sampler quilt from the book  A Flock of Feathered Stars by Carolyn Cullinan McCormick. It was a huge challenge, but I enjoyed making the quilt, and I was proud of it once it was finished. The quilt won Best of Show at a local quilt show (see the photo at the top of this post!) and was selected for the Heart of America exhibit at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.

Where do you shop for fabric?

I mostly buy at my local quilt shops (I’m lucky to have more than eight shops nearby) but will give in and order online if I can’t find something locally.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

A quilt that my aunt made in 1936 inspired my first book,  Anna’s Quilt. That quilt won a blue ribbon (and an overstuffed chair) in a contest sponsored by the Omaha World Herald. Anna’s original quilt is now part of the collection at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.

My research of the World Herald contests led to my second book, Prized Quilts , which tells the story of those contests and lists all the winners. The book contains a quilt for each of the years that the contest was held, 1931 through 1940.

I also discovered a series of embroidered quilt blocks designed by Lavern Bartos that people still request copies of today—75+ years later. I was intrigued by the fact that Lavern designed only two quilts in her lifetime, both published only in the World Herald . Thanks to social media I found Lavern’s daughter and was able to tell Lavern’s story and reproduce her Nursery Rhyme series in my book, Stitches in Rhyme.

Thank you, Donna!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  • Donna di Natale
  • interview
  • Anna's Quilt
  • Prized Quilts
  • Stitches in Rhyme
  • Carolyn Cullinan McCormick
  • A Flock of Feathered Stars

View Comments


kraft-tex and Stencil Girl Blog Tour

Welcome to the Stencil Girl and kraft-tex blog tour! We teamed up with the great team over at Stencil Girl to provide kraft-tex and stencils to ten amazing designers and let them loose to see what they would come up with, and boy did they deliver! Over here at C&T Publishing, our very own Tristan Gallagher, took [...]

Read More »

Sew an Arrow-Dynamic Quilt from Quilts for Scrap Lovers

Finished Block: 28" x 28". Finished Quilt: 84 1/2" x 84 1/2".  I used a monochromatic theme for each block in this quilt (orange, red, navy, and turquoise), which allowed me to achieve a very cohesive pattern and appearance using some very odd scrap fabrics. I used solid white Kona Cotton for the background. The inside [...]

Read More »

Happy Valentine's Day!

Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day with your family, partner, kids, or friends, who can resist a perfectly sweet stitched project? We've rounded up some of our favorite lovey-dovey quilts and projects to get you in the mood for love (and sewing)! With its classic hearts, Xs, and Os, this February quilt from Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts would [...]

Read More »

Tackle Curves with These Free Projects!

Afraid of curves? You shouldn’t be. With a little practice they are really very easy to sew and can give you a lot of design options. I once was afraid of curves, but I overcame that fear and now I love them. Here are two quick and easy patterns featuring Drunkard’s Path Blocks—it’s the same block [...]

Read More »

The Quiltmaker's Butterfly Forest Blog Tour Kickoff

Welcome to the blog tour for The Quiltmaker's Butterfly Forest, Felicia Brenoe's new book! We're so excited to have you here. To celebrate the release of Felicia's book, ten bloggers have joined for what promises to be an inspiring tour with plenty of exciting giveaways, including books, fabric, and more. See the lineup below! 2/10 Friday C&T Publishing 2/13 [...]

Read More »

Blind Hem Video Tutorial with Erin Schlosser

Get a professional look on your drapes (like the beauties above!) with a blind hem. Erin Schlosser, professional interior designer and author of Sew Home, shows you how in the tutorial video below.  Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Read More »

Learn How to Plan a Quilt with Harriet Hargrave's Quilter's Graph Paper

Many people think that drafting is the four-letter word of quilting. It doesn’t have to be! Drafting can be as creative a process as picking the fabrics and piecing the quilt top. Here, we will begin simply and walk you though the basics of putting your layout design on paper. To begin, you are going to [...]

Read More »

Fun Downloads from The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids

Trying to get the kids in your life interested in sewing? Well, we've got some great downloads for you! These puzzles and games from  The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids, Second Edition, introduce kids to sewing safety and to sewing pivots and curves.  Oh oh! This octopus is doing some seriously dangerous sewing. You can [...]

Read More »

Interview with Laura Wasilowski

Please give a warm welcome to Laura Wasilowski, who we're interviewing on the blog today! She is amazing fabric artist, dyer, and the author of Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts. She first started sewing in 4-H, went on to earn a degree in costume design, and now runs her own business, Artfabrik. Where do you find your quilting [...]

Read More »

×
×