DO YOU EQ?
Designer and instructor, Reed Johnson does!
Discovering I have a creative side brought me to the quilting world. I was a trial attorney for 35 years, which was a very stressful occupation. In 2000, I visited the quilt exhibit at the Florida State Fair and said to myself “I bet I can do that.” I started quilting as a means of stress relief and to express my creativity. I am primarily self-taught, but have taken several courses from professional quilters. I was hooked. I love picking out the fabrics, cutting out all the shapes and watching the quilt top come together. With Electric Quilt, I discovered the art of designing quilts and found a new love. After a soul-searching trip to Israel, I took a leap of faith and retired early. I pursued quilt designing full time, and Blue Bear Quilts was born. Blue Bear is a blue, furry stuffed bear I made in a quilt shop class and he won a blue ribbon at the Florida State Fair. I want to encourage novice quilters and inspire the younger generation to seek quilting as a hobby, so my designs are primarily for the beginner to intermediate quilters. They are colorful and easy to piece together, offering a modern twist on classic patterns. Many of my quilt patterns are designed to be used with an Accuquilt cutter because “better cuts make better quilts.”
Being a certified Quilt-in-a-Day instructor, my favorite part of teaching is helping quilters gain confidence in their abilities and seeing the joy when someone learns a new skill or technique. Many of my students say they enjoy my calm demeanor and patience. I have nationally taught many quilting and Electric Quilt classes. Receiving some industry acknowledgment, I won the Accuquilt Block Design Contest as the Fan Favorite in 2016, the Grand Champion in 2017, and the runner-up in 2018.
Blue Bear Quilts is my company where I have designed and published over 50 quilt patterns. Many of my quilts have been published in Love of Quilting, Quiltmaker, Fons and Porter Quick + Easy Quilts and McCall’s Quilting magazines. I soon will be featured in American Quilter and Make Modern Magazine. I have designed patterns for QT Fabrics, Timeless Treasures Fabrics and Clothworks Fabrics, Row by Row and new Accuquilt dies. My first fabric line; a collaboration with QT Fabrics, is called Coco Chic. This fabric line was inspired from authentic 1920’s fabrics from the QT Fabrics achieves. In September 2021, I had a show on the Craft Store TV in England.
“When I teach EQ 8, my students are always amazed at how easy it is to design a quilt; love being able to import fabric manufacturer’s images so they can see their quilt with the actual fabric; appreciate the ability to easily resize blocks and/ or quilts, and that they can determine the yardage needed with the push of a button.”
~ Reed Johnson
Catch up with Reed!
Check out Reed’s quilts!