Artist + quilter = new pattern company

PINEDALE – The “artist mother” and “quilter daughter” team of Ginny Rossow and Tessa Miller have pieced together their talents and creativity into one project to now offer new inspiration for collage quilters.

Rossow, a whimsical designer of fairies, sculptures and painted fabrics, came to Miller’s rescue when her daughter, a serious stitcher, was frustrated by a pattern that didn’t include separate sections for the different colors.

“I’d gotten a collage pattern for my birthday and my mom and I were making it together,” Miller recalled. “We decided we could improve on it.”

So Rossow began sketching wild animals and birds, helping Miller with the color schemes to create unique patterns with both “realistic” and fanciful color combinations.

Miller would then label each color and write her own instructions.

“My mother and I were just doing it as a fun thing for ourselves,” Miller said. “And then Heather (Hossack, owner of Heritage Quilts) suggested we start making our patterns to sell.”

Rossow already had her artist’s venture, “Little Pebble People,” which took the new business concept under its wing to also advertise and sell their quilt patterns.

It’s a step-by-step process that uses the best of each woman’s abilities and talents.

A quilter for eight years, Miller grew up with her self-taught mother immersed in painting, drawing and sculpting.

“I’m the quilter because I can’t paint, draw or sculpt,” she said. “But my mother says it’s like painting with fabric.”

Working at Heritage Quilts in Pinedale, Miller looks at fabrics with a new eye that keeps her looking for odd and textured fabrics to use in a future quilt.

“The ugliest fabric sometimes makes the coolest quilts,” she said.

For the new commercial line, Miller simplified Rossow’s sketches, which are scanned at Office Outlet onto a large-format paper pattern “so they get a little more realistic project.” Miller said Dawn Ballou helps her “polish” the overall product for a professional look. Ballou also helped with branding, taking the “Little Pebble People” logo from one of Rossow’s tiny sketches.

Miller adds the color placement and her instructions, working on her computer between freelance editing and writing. Once it’s done, the quilter can trace the pattern onto material or fusible interfacing and cut out pieces for a collage effect.

In her spare time on weekends, she folds patterns to properly fit into their paper envelopes.

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