Welcome to my inaugural post of Winter~Baron Quilts and Designs, and the beginning of making my passion a business. My fascination with textiles goes back to when I was a young girl, 8 years old, browsing the bolts of fabrics at Newbury's and Woolworth's. Back in those days, parents were responsible for making their children's uniforms for school and cheerleading.
I grew up riding my bicycle to the five and dime store on Saturday mornings, to spend my allowance on sewing supplies; patterns, fabric, buttons, thread, needles. I would make handmade items for my family, and I loved to make my own clothes. I took sewing and quilting in high school as an elective, which taught me all of the basics I needed to know for garment making and quilting. As an independent and creative youngster, I was perfectly content in front of a sewing machine.
Being an analytical minded person, measurements and numbers intrigued me enough to enter college and graduate as a microbiologist and chemist. During college I met my husband, who owned his own business, and I put my math skills to work as a bookkeeper for him, which I still do to this day!
23 years later and I am bored. Our daughter is long gone from the house, and I keep hearing this saying over and over in my mind: Do What You Love, Love What You Do! I decided to make it happen, little by little.
How did it all start? Well, back in March, I was honored to represent Guide Dogs of America in receiving from the Orange County Quilter's Guild, a quilt the members had made to raise money for this wonderful non-profit organization that I belong to. I am a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs of America. I raise little Guide Dogs in Training from the age of 7 weeks to 18 months old.
After attending this meeting, I felt so at home with fellow quilters, that I joined the guild. I started shopping like crazy for fabric all over Southern California, until I had a fabric stash that eventually needed it's own room. My dining room table was no longer available for meals, as it was covered with sewing supplies. What to do? Move the home office to a nook in the garage, and move the sewing supplies to the old home office! Contact the furniture maker, customize my sewing console, order my quilting sewing machine with embroidery attachment and here I am, ready to embark on a new business venture.
The name of my business comes from my first two dogs that I raised for Guide Dogs of America, Winter and Baron. Winter was my first dog, and did not graduate in the program. Some dogs don't want to be guide dogs, and he was definitely one of those dogs. I adopted Winter, who is three years old now and a great big brother to the other puppies in training that come into our house. The second dog I raised for GDA is named Baron. Baron is two years old now and a working Guide in Kentucky for a young professional violinist.
I have one other dog at home, Stryker, a breeder for Guide Dogs of America. He is my third dog that I have raised for GDA. GDA provides Guide Dogs free of charge to the blind and visually impaired. They are one of 11 guide dog schools in the country, and one of 3 in California. Stryker lives with me permanently, and he is 18 months old. I am currently awaiting my fourth puppy to raise. It is addicting, fun, rewarding, and challenging. There is always a dog beside me quilting.