The story behind Toad & Sew
I’m just going to rewind a little bit to give you more of a background of my story. I was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA. Throughout high school, I was a weird combination of art student mixed with athlete, not quite fitting into either category. Ultimately, I ended up going to art school at VCU in Richmond, VA where I studied illustration and graphic design. I always loved drawing but I knew that there were more secure jobs in the design world. Jump forward 4-years, post graduation, where I followed a boy (now fiance) to Houston, TX and started working full time as a designer! We stayed in Houston for several years where I had a few different jobs but was starting to get an itch for working for myself.
In 2019 (pre-covid era), that same boy and I decided we wanted out of Texas. He landed a job here in Seattle and we decided to pick up our belongings and move across country without ever having visited. And let me tell you, I was SO excited. Around this time I was feeling lost and was struggling heavily with OCD (I didn’t know it at the time), so a new start sounded amazing - especially surrounded by all the beauty that WA brings.
We made our journey to the PNW where, although everything I ever asked for, I didn’t have a job, or friends, and my OCD started spiraling out of control. I had just landed an illustration job at Microsoft and was looking forward to finally going into an office to meet new people and then COVID hit… and work from home life was officially enacted. My depression and anxiety was at an all time high - mostly due to undiagnosed OCD and ADHD. I needed something to do with my restless hands, so I picked up the first quilt I started to make over 6-months prior and decided to finally quilt and bind it (the steps I was most nervous about). It was like a switch went off, I finally found something that got me out of my head… something that sparked me creatively and gave me a reason to be excited. I was officially hooked!
In case you're curious and want to check out my illustration portfolio - here it is!
my very first quilt | finished April 2019
This was my very first quilt! When I realized I wanted to make a quilt I immediatly came across Suzy Quilts and was so excited to find a whole new side of quilting that I had no idea about! My grandma had just recently mailed me her early 1980s singer sewing machine and I was ready to go... or I thought.... I picked up some fabric I thought would go well together and started cutting - I didn't have a cutting mat or anything! I started running into all sorts of trouble with my machine, I was regurarly facetiming my grandma asking her for help... which was no easy task. I later found out, after I already finished this quilt that I was using the wrong bobbins the whole time. Which made me feel a lot better becuase I was heavily discouraged that sewing just may not be my thing.
new years kiss quilt | finished dec. 2019
This was the first pattern I ever designed. I was looking for something bold and geometric for my home and I started playing around with the little quilting blocks I knew at the time and I came up with this! I had no idea how fast it would spread... before I knew it I was writing a pattern, people were volunteering to test it and it was listed for sale in my new shop! Since then it has been featured in QuiltCon 2022, and the 2022 International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX.
Now, I’m not going to say quilting cured my mental health issues - because let’s be honest, lots of therapy and treatment are the true heros in this story, but quilting definitely played a huge role in helping me turn my life around.
I think I roughly made five quilts before I knew I wanted to design my own. As a trained artist and graphic designer this NEED came fast and furious… and thats when the New Years Kiss Quilt was born! The rest is history.
So where did the name Toad & Sew come from? Well that’s not really a long story at all! We rescued an abandoned pup on the side of a back country road in Texas on our way to go pumpkin picking almost 6 years ago. We had every intention of getting him adopted, but there is a serious stray dog problem in Texas, so we knew he wouldn’t stand a chance being in a shelter. We quickly fell in love with him and named him Toad to fit his goofy personality. When I started quilting I just thought Toad & Sew would be a cool name, and it stuck! Meet Toad, the 100% good boi :)