"How I wish I could design things that are elegant!" says Nancy Barrett.
"Clearly, however, the good Lord knew there would always be too much of the imp in me, and decided I should be the one to make quilts that always contain an element of humor and whimsy - almost as if a giggle or two were always about to escape." Her students and other fans of her work across the country urge her not to change a thing about her designs. They send notes saying things like "keep up the good work - you always make me smile!" And "when is your next pattern coming out? I have all the others - they make me feel so good inside." Then there was the man who, when he first saw her quilt "Clowning Around" hanging on the wall, just laughed out loud. She says that was one of her favorite (and most gratifying) moments ever. "We are on this earth to love and take care of each other," says Nancy. "I choose to do that by lifting spirits with my designs and by convincing my students that they really can learn how to do this wonderful old needle art we call quilting."
Nancy lives in Edmond, Oklahoma with her husband, Don. She calls him her chief supporter, partner, and prince charming. He refers to himself as the "chief gofer." Whatever the job title, clearly they are doing something right with over 40 patterns on the market and "many more" waiting in the wings. Nancy hastens to add that her son, David, and daughter, Katherine, have always encouraged her, too, with comments like “cool, Mom!” and “is that one for me?!”
Nancy has had either a needle or paint brush (sometimes both!) in her hand since she was very small and continues to use several media and techniques in her work. She enjoys making use of the various different stitches on her sewing machine and never hesitates to combine all kinds and colors of thread as well. After all this she still isn't through, however. Embellishments of all sorts are "an addiction" with her, and she suggests visitors watch out for beads, buttons, laces, trims of all sorts, ribbons, etc., etc. that may be found laying around - all around - her studio. We just wish we could visit this place.....
Nancy studied fashion design at Oklahoma State University. She began quilting 23 years ago and started publishing her designs at the insistence of friends and students who felt the whimsical, humorous nature of her work "should be shared with the rest of the world." Her quilt "The Children" toured the United States as part of the exhibit "Sewing Comfort Out of Grief: The Oklahoma City Children's Memorial Art Quilts." Other examples of her work may be found in "Mastering Machine Appliqué", First and Second Editions, by Harriet Hargrave.
Nancy says she became addicted to Pfaff sewing machines the first time she sat down at one. She bought that 7570 and thought nothing could be any better....'til she sat down at her 2140. Then she taught at the 2003 Pfaff Convention (took a couple of classes, too), became convinced she had to become a Certified Pfaff Instructor and did so in September 2003. It was there she became familiar with the 2144 update and says she was simply left speechless at the quality of the machines and more importantly the quality of the people working for the company. She is often heard quietly asking herself "how does anyone become so fortunate as to make her living doing what she loves most? It’s just amazing..."
Nancy H. Barrett
addicted to embellishments