Diana McClun's career as a quiltmaker blossomed in mid-life, inspired by her mother and grandmother's fascination with fabric and quilts. As a toddler playing in her mother's kitchen Diana recalls playing with fabric scraps kept visibly in the flour bin to amuse her while her mother worked.
With a college Wool Growers and 4-H scholarship Diana found the University of Idaho the place to study clothing and textiles. In 1970 she enrolled at San Jose State University to pursue studies in fine arts. Eventually her love of fabric led her to San Francisco State University and the further study of textiles. By 1980 Diana was ready to abandon the teaching of tailored garments and pursue a dream working in the creative art of quiltmaking.
Laura Nownes' passion for making quilts is an extension of her love of sewing. From an early age she began with doll clothes, then to making her own garments and often working on projects for neighbors. Her early involvement in 4-H provided her first teaching experience to younger members. After taking her first sampler quilt class in 1979, she knew she had found a lifelong interest. Her connection with Diana in 1980 allowed her to share her talents with students in the classroom. Laura soon became one of the shop's leading beginning quilting teachers.
In 1986 Diana approached Laura Nownes about co-authoring a beginning how-to book. The book was intended to be used just in the shop, however, it was chosen by local publisher Michael Kile of The Quilt Digest Press and shortly thereafter, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! was born. The huge, immediate success of this book encouraged Diana and Laura to continue writing.
The pair has worked together on television programs, with study groups, and in seminars touching thousands of students, giving them a start in the basics of quiltmaking. They founded Teacher Development Seminars as a result of their commitment to the continuing education of quiltmaking. For the over 20 years Diana has been co-founder and director of Empty Spools Seminars, held at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. With four seminars per year, one thousand students are taught by forty-five of the nation's best instructors during these five day seminars.
Visit Diana & Laura on the Web at www.dianaandlaura.com.