Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Frost.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Creating has always been a part of my life; I learned to hand sew at a very young age, and have wonderful memories of my mom sewing our Halloween costumes for us when we were children. I loved going to the fabric store, picking out the most sparkly blue crepe fabric I could find for that year’s “fairy Godmother” costume, and watching her create something special from it.
After my son was born, I chose to leave the workforce (I was an IT Project Manager at a local biotech firm). During my son’s naps, I started to sew again; after having been away from it for so long, it was a true joy to return to! My mother-in-law quilts, and introduced this form of sewing to me. I fell in love with it – and that Christmas, after not being able to find an Advent quilt pattern available on the market, I taught myself how to write quilt patterns and published my first pattern: Advent Wreaths. Since then, I’ve published 27 patterns in total, each tested by a wonderful pattern test team. I’ve also started to branch out and design faith-filled fabrics, each designed complement the quilt patterns.
For me, creating Christian patterns is a beautiful way to share our faith through gorgeous quilts and fabrics! I’m thankful to be able to fill a niche in the quilt pattern market that wasn’t being filled before. I also truly appreciate the inclusion that offering faith-filled patterns brings; I’ve been able to connect with so many different denominations as part of my job. Truly, such a gift.
I believe that there is something very personal in creating a lovely handmade item that reflects and retains a bit of you that wasn’t there before, and I’m thankful to be able to share this gift with others. I have loved sewing for as long as I can remember and find inspiration from the everyday things around us. My faith is central to my family’s life and is often reflected in my quilt patterns.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As the saying goes, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears go hand in hand with running your own business – and that’s especially true of a sewing one! I’ll never forget the day I was sewing on an old machine; my finger slipped, and the needle came down, right through my finger. The machine jammed… and locked my finger in the machine. Thank God, truly, that my phone was nearby; I phoned a neighbor, who rushed over with metal cutters and cut through the needle. I’d love to say that’s the only time I’ve managed to sew through a finger – but thankfully, it’s never been quite that bad before!
The other area I see both as an opportunity and a challenge. Sometimes, it seems that it’s harder and harder to share your faith in the public sector. My hope is that – by creating and sharing our faith in a beautiful way – that I can be open and expressive while encouraging others too.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Faith and Fabric – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
The art of quilting is seeing a resurgence as we – as a global community – experienced a movement and desire towards handmade products. Quilting in America 2014 survey indicates the market is worth $3.76 billion annually; year over year, this number has continued to grow. Memberships in our local quilting guild have continued to grow, as has the interest in organic fabrics and prints.
My business sets itself apart from other quilt pattern designers, as the majority of my patterns are focused on celebrating the Christian faith. There really aren’t any other designers doing this, which gives me a wonderful niche to play and grow in. Plus, with over 2000 years of the Christian tradition, the potential for creating new ideas is limitless! Seriously, though, I truly appreciate being able to bring an element of faith into the home. Each of us are part of our own little domestic church within our family, and my patterns offer a way for individuals to create something that serves as an inspirational image of faith. Quilts themselves are heirloom items, and knowing that I’m just one small step in what could become a treasured family item is such a joy.
My current offering of patterns focuses around major Christian holidays, like Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Within this range of patterns, I create designs that appeal to a variety of quilters: roughly half my designs are traditional piecing (measuring, cutting, and sewing fabric together), and half are foundation paper pieced (sewing fabric directly onto paper designs). Foundation paper piecing is probably my favorite of the two; it lets you create the most unique shapes and designs!
Within my business, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with so many different denominations; while my family is Catholic, I’ve developed lovely relationships that span the Christian community. I’ve had the opportunity to work with female pastors looking to create unique clergy stoles from my fabric line, Pentecostal parishes wanting quilted banners for their church, and local girl scout-type groups wanting basic sewing instruction. Connecting with others outside my immediate community has been such a gift.
I also truly enjoy the opportunity to travel. I’ve had the opportunity to present my work at several quilt shows and have started speaking at local quilt guilds about what I do; it’s also an opportunity to share my work, which I love. The time after the speaking engagements – when individuals come up for a closer look at the quilts, sharing their thoughts, stories, and memories – is absolutely my favorite.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m excited to be hosting my first quilt-along beginning on April 5th – it’s based on our Crab Quilt pattern. I don’t know about you, but being cooped up indoors can leave me feeling a bit crabby! So, it’s with this tongue-in-cheek sentiment that we’ll be creating and sewing something beautiful.
- Quilt Patterns: $5-6.50
- Fabrics: $12+
- Beginner Sewing Kits: $16
- Website: https://faithandfabricdesign.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/faithandfabric
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaithAndFabric/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/faithandfabric
All images copyright (C) Faith and Fabric
Covid-19 is affecting so many in our community. It’s a health and economic crisis, but we can come together as a community to share ideas, solutions to problems, and resources to ensure that we all bounce back strong once the virus is defeated. Check out our conversation with photographer and Voyage Content Partner Stephanie Mantiply below.