Life is too short not to have chickens.
I'm a chicken, glamper, gardening,
sewing and crafting junkie
Hello! My name is Joanne Hillestad and I have been sewing for years and years. As a very small girl growing up in Duluth, Minnesota, my sister and I were always making something. Fabric is just one medium I love to play with. As a teen, clothes were #1. When I married and later a baby was on the way, I switched to baby blankets, clothes and home decor. Once it was determined I wasn't going to be blessed with a baby girl (which is not a sad thing at all), I had to find a way to express my creative side. I made fancy bags with a thousand pockets for little cars and a play mat with a road on it to drive them around, tried to solve the Lego storage issues, sleeping bags for stuffed animals, etc. Then one day my Mom-in-law, Nancy, told me about the quilts she was making. Bam! Shazam! Zippity Doo Dah... I was hooked!
I worked for 22 years as a database analyst in the direct mail industry. But I always wanted to do something different. On my birthday in 2013, I woke up knowing that I had to follow my dreams. That was the day The Fat Quarter Gypsy was born. I started out designing quilts, which I still love to do. But then in April of 2015, I had this idea for a springy thread catcher. Once the Fat Quarter Pop Up came to life everything changed and my business took a design turn towards dimensional products.
In the fall of 2018, Swirly Girls Design was added to my quilty family. This was a great acquisition. It gave me the perfect way to revive my love of quilt design.
In 2019, I decided to change the name of Fat Quarter Gypsy to something that better represented where my designs have evolved. Part of the change was a merge of my two pattern lines into our family business Nu Design, Inc. Nu Design is a wire-forming business. Now you can see why I design patterns that use wire frames, springs and the like!
In 2020, I settled on the name Sew Organized Design. The official switch over is set for the Fall of 2021.