Podcast Episode # 54: Valori Wells

Valori Wells on the Crafty Planner podcast

At Fall Quilt Market, I decided to check out Valori Wells‘ Schoolhouse presentation about her latest fabric line, Mystic from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I have a few pieces of Valori’s fabrics I adore but other than that, I had no expectations about the presentation. I wanted to “meet” her and learn more about her fabric design process. She stood at the front of the room with a beaming smile and showed pictures from her latest trip. Her words and animated story telling style made me feel like I was traveling along with her. Then she showed the fabric designs… I might have squealed a little bit. The colors. The intricate design. The feelings of vibrant happiness. It was impossible to ignore all of the feelings her line inspired in me. (You can check out the lookbook created for the fabric line here.)

Mystic by Valori Wells

After her presentation, I walked up to her, handed her my business card and asked if she would consider being on the podcast. She immediately said yes and pretty much made my day.

At the time, I knew Valori was a great story teller, the daughter of Jean Wells and lived in Sisters, Oregon. I have often said that the scariest part of the podcasting process for me is the lack of control over the conversation. Conversations happen organically and I try not to push them too much. Sure, I prepare as well as I can before the interview. But I can not predict the nuances, direction or depth of the conversation. (And frankly, I have no desire to predict it. The fun is in the unpredictability.)

With our conversation, we dig into so many important topics. We talk about the realities and unpredictability of a fabric designer. She talks about how she works with her mother and the challenges of living in the moment when you are self employed. Her creative journey has been transformed by traveling and you get a glimpse into her thought process.  It is a fun conversation where she uses curse words and we laugh a lot. I am sure you will love it.

How to Listen:

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Notes from the Show:

Amy Butler

The Stitchin Post

Sisters Quilt Show

Hollis Chatelain

Katie Pasquini

Nancy Crow

This episode is sponsored by:

Creativebug (two free week trial and three free classes to keep forever using promo code THREEFREE)

Fat Quarter Shop (don’t forget 15% off everything but gift certificates using code:craftyplanner).

Giveaway!

Robert Kaufman Fabrics has also generously offered a fat quarter bundle of Valori’s latest line, Mystic, to anyone living in the United States!

During the podcast, Valori talked about how traveling has inspired her. Leave a comment about a way you have been inspired in your creative journey or something you think would inspire you. I will announce the winner next Monday, March 28th.

Thank you for listening!

 

Comments 14

  1. I love this conversation, so honest and friendly! I have loved Valori’s designs for quite a while. I even used her Novella fabric to make my Weekender bag. I grew up going to the Stitching Post every summer and it was always so vibrant and inspiring. Full of beautiful fabrics, quilts and ideas. I don’t think that I ever imagined that I would sew when I was older but I loved it anyway.

    1. D’oh, of course I see how as soon as I post *slaps forehead*. I am inspired by so many things, but especially by the work I have committed to pursuing over the past 2 years: the healing of my emotional and spiritual self, and the alignment of all of my health aspects (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). That journey has put me more in touch with wonderful people and things that continue to offer a deep well of inspiration both in my everyday and creative life.

  2. Love to find inspiration near home – especially in architecture elements in our city neighborhood. Loved this episode!

  3. My quilting journey is inspired by listening to other quilters explain their process. Everyone has a different way of approaching their craft and simply learning about those different processes is extremely helpful. Those who generously share how they create their art on a technical level are an inspiration to me.

    I very much enjoyed listening to Valori talk about her creative journey. I especially liked the parts were she talked about being present in the moment and when she referred to her mother’s fabrics as an artist’s “best palette”.

    I also have a BFA in studio art and on the subject of fine art vs craft I have to agree with Valori when she said, “I don’t personally think quilters are just crafters… that is not an appropriate term”… “That is just stupid”. Quilters can be described as artists just as painters can be described as artists.

    Artist have been making quilts for a long time. Quilting as fine art is not a gender issue. Male quilters who chose to call themselves artists are doing the same thing as female quilters who chose to call themselves artists. Valori mentioned Nancy Crow whom I adore and have you tried reaching out to her for the podcast?

    As Valori said, “Anyone who helps you deserves credit.” I know that the artist whom this line of discussion is swirling around did give thanks to those people who helped make the art.

    To imply that a quilter who calls themselves an artist and/or that how one gives credit to ones assistants is a gender issue is creating drama where it doesn’t need to be. To insist on making it an issue is to show one’s own gender bias. Asking an interviewee to weigh in on the “gender issue” is asking them to pick a side. I think this line of questioning only causes more unnecessary division within the quilting community.

  4. Wonderful podcast, as always. I never really know what I’m going to get inspired by but generally I am inspired by things in nature. Whenever I struggle for color inspiration I just look to nature and the answers are always there!

  5. I guess you could say I’m inspired by my children and grandchildren. I sewed when my sons were young and have made quilts for them. Then I went several years without sewing much of anything. Then, along came a granddaughter!! Sewing for her started me on a creative journey that has expanded into so many different areas. And I’m currently working on a quilt for my now grown son. I love the conversations on the podcast and am working my way through them all.

  6. It’s funny–often inspiration hits me when I see random stacks of fabric on my cutting table. case in point, I’m making myself a quilt from the leftovers from my husband’s quilt.

  7. Went to Sister in 2014, Valori and her mum are an inspiration with what has been achieved there. I am inspired by the beautiful colourful fabric that designers like Valori create ?❤️?

  8. Growing up in South Florida, I always had a gorgeous sky to enjoy. I have never again been so impressed with the acrobatics of sky, clouds, and ocean as when I lived in Miami. That is almost certainly why I find myself choosing blue fabrics regularly.

    Thanks for a wonderful podcast!

  9. I love Valori’s pattern’s. I was so surprised to hear about her fear of travel – that really resonated with me. Would love to go to Morocco, but oh, so scary!

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