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Charisma's Corner
HK
Heidi Kaisand
0:01
Welcome to create with Heidi. I'm Heidi Kaisand, owner of Hen and Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa, and lover of all things creative each week here on create with Heidi, we like to cover topics that educate and inspire you about how people are being creative, whether it's quilting, scrapbooking, food, wool, or just hanging out with others who seem to have their creative Mojo groove and and all the right directions. We are excited to share these things with you. Each week, I love to start with a quote. And today mine is beautiful things come together one stitch at a time. And I'd like to welcome my guest Charisma Horton. Good morning. Charisma. How are you today?
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Charisma Horton
0:51
Good. Good morning. I'm glad to be here. This is an exciting adventure.
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Heidi Kaisand
0:55
It is an exciting adventure several weeks ago, you and I, we haven't been acquainted very long. But several weeks ago, you were doing an Instagram takeover. And boy, oh boy, my Instagram feed was filled with your work. And it was beautiful. So tell us a little bit about your business Charisma.
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Charisma Horton
1:20
Sure, I have been a long arm quilter for about 11 years. And I just started out, you know, I just wanted to pay for my machine. You know those long arm quilting machines? Oh, yeah, well, and I had six kids at home. And I and I was actually going to college full time because my kids were in school full time. And then within two weeks, I had 60 quilts here, and I my long arm business was started. I started that. And then about two years ago, I decided to jump into pattern design. And since then, I've been published in about 60 national magazines and I have published around 200 designs on my site. So I have everything from bright, colorful modern designs to embroidery designs and some more traditional design. So I sort of dabble in a little bit of everything.
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Heidi Kaisand
2:19
Oh, I like to say that I'm eclectic. That sounds like maybe you have a little bit of that eclectic pneus in you too. That's awesome. And and it was actually American patchwork and quilting magazine that you had done the Instagram takeover for correct? Correct? Yes. And of course, everybody knows that's my I have a real place and special place in my heart for that magazine since I was there for a number of years at the beginning of its life. And so I of course follow them and love seeing what they're doing. And boy, again, I said my feed was filled up with with your beautiful quilts. One of the things that immediately attracted me to the images that I was seeing of your work is that you use color. And I'm going to say graphic placement to really present the design. And you know, tell me about that. Is it you know, do are they really solid fabrics? Are they just look solid? Are they more tonal, you know, what is your what's your preference of what kind of fabric you like to work in?
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Charisma Horton
3:27
Well, I do a lot of solids. And that sort of happens by necessity, I guess. Because before I was a designer, I probably worked with a lot of pattern. And I didn't use solids very much. But what I discovered when I started designing is that I color really changes the impact of a quote. And so what I started doing is using color to change what normal foot blocks look like. So why reinvent the wheel, I'm just taking regular quilt blocks that we all know when love those traditional blocks. And I'm just using color to make them more graphic and modern. And so I just sort of play with color a lot. And because that is such a main design focus. For me when I'm designing my patterns, I started using the solid fabrics just to create that little punch of power. And then on top of that, it's kind of a double bonus for me because a lot of times if you use a line of fabric on the cover of a pattern, you might have to keep remaking those samples and refreshing your covers. If I use solid then I don't ever have to know it. That's it that's realistic problem. You
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Heidi Kaisand
4:46
know, we mean I've been around long enough to know that it is hard that for pattern designers. You know if if that quilt is if it's hanging on the wall in my quilt shop, if that little pattern If it looks dated, because of the fabric that is being used, then people don't want to pick that pattern up. And so your smarts in doing that. I mean, there's definitely benefits in keeping those looking and looking fresh and solid fabric today is so popular that there I mean, every every company has a solid collection. And I think between all of them, we could have just an amazing array of shades of every color in the rainbow.
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Charisma Horton
5:34
Yeah. And that's exactly right. And so that's the other thing that I like about it is that my pattern, do work with every single company, because you can almost go into any quilt shop in America, and they're going to have a line or a wall of solids, or blenders. And so my patterns are really good for that. Because, you know, there's always a color wall somewhere that you'll be able to pull from.
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Heidi Kaisand
6:01
Yes, I totally agree with that. And so you can't go wrong with that. Well, we're off to a great start having a conversation charisma, and we are going to take a quick commercial break. We'll be back right after this. Welcome back to create with Heidi, this is Heidi Kaisand from Hen and chicks studio in Conrad, and I'm having a great conversation with charisma Horton, who is a quilt designer and long arm quilter. And we of course have a our own passion for long arm quilting at Henan chick studio because we rent out our long arm. And when before the break, you were talking about using solid fabrics, and maybe reasons why you choose this solid because they're timeless and they cross over from company to company. But you know, the other thing that was going through my mind that I have to ask you is do you see those solid colors in your patterns then as a backdrop for beautiful machine quilting?
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Charisma Horton
7:02
Yes, so perfectly. I love negative face, I love being able to accent any design. I say that, you know, when a quilter brings me a quilt top, they have sewn this beautiful thing. And I just breathe the life into it right? When you weigh all those stitches down, you are giving those colors, patterns, fabrics, everything sort of life, I like to use a lot of texture. I like to just give every element of that quilt something extra. So that's sort of been my style. I own three long arms, and I sort of carved my meat by doing custom clothing.
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Heidi Kaisand
7:48
Oh, isn't that awesome? No. And I have to ask that if you have three, are you like is one computerized? Are you using them for different things?
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Charisma Horton
7:58
Yes. So I like computerized machine was actually the last machine that I bought a few years ago and I don't do a lot of that myself, I actually my husband will do some of the edge to edge on that computer ice machine because I find it torturous to watch the machine do something that I can just to myself and I don't have to like think about it. Yeah, I have the other two machines that I've been long arming on or, you know, 11 years. And one of them I have for my like everyday regular work. And then the second one I sort of pin on either the show quotes, or my personal skills are something that I can take a little bit more time on. And I don't have to like take it off and on and I just like to be able to go over there, do some heavy, you know, pebbles or ruler work or whatever I need to do and then I can go back and do my regular work. Sure. Sure.
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Heidi Kaisand
8:57
Oh, that's exciting. Love it that your husband is involved too. I have a list of things I have to order from you because again, they were they were great patterns that I felt would work with with fabrics that I had. And again back to that using solids. It allows me sometimes to envision other fabrics easier to be to put in those places rather than getting caught up in Oh, she used a floral and I can't envision anything but that floral now because I've seen it with the floral. So yes, yes, there's there's definitely lots of different different ways of looking at that. Okay, so besides piecing you you know, you talked about that you're eclectic and that you also do some embroidery and stitching. So tell us a little bit about that part of your business.
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Charisma Horton
9:50
Yeah, so when I first started designing patterns, I wanted to focus on stitching and I really love embroidery. I love that folk. See it embroidery with all but I love all of the fancy stitches, the Boolean not the wrapped pitches, the, you know, just all of those things that add textures, I always kind of go back to textures when I'm thinking about quilt designs, whether it be long arm quilting, or embroidery, or anything else, I'm always looking at textures and what can I add? What kind of dimension Can I add, and I sort of just love that. And so when I would make, I would go to classes, or I would, you know, make other embroidery patterns, I was always adding extra, whether it was the or buttons or you know, adding my own extra stitches. So I just started sort of playing and making my own will pennies, and confetti squares, and hexagons and those sorts of things and just adding to them. And I just started creating my own sort of work and some of my friends like that. So I started a YouTube channel just to teach stitches, it's nothing professional or anything, I was just teaching my friends. And so sort of all of these designs were kind of born out of that. And then I started the little Penny notes, journals. And those kind of went crazy. And I started doing classes for those, because they're really something that you can accomplish in a short amount of times are good gifts and those sorts of things. So you've noticed some of those on the takeover and oh, worship.
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Heidi Kaisand
11:29
Yes. And, of course, I was attracted because there was a cute chick. And, and I have to tell, I kind of keep some of these things under wraps. But I will I will tell on air here that in the march feathered friends bundle, we are going to have one of your designs in there for our subscription, because we have to have an embroidered check as a feathered friend. I mean, they're just it seemed like that was just an you know, absolute had to have that. And so it'll be part of the package that that our subscribers will be getting in the month of March. So that's super exciting to have. And and I love I think you and I could probably have lots of different conversations here. I too love the texture of how embroidery, you know you the layers of the wall, the stitches and all of those things go together. And so I was also attracted to those images because I like to, I like to do that myself. So well. We're having a great time talking charisma. And we're gonna take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. Welcome back to create with Heidi, this is Heidi Kaisand at hidden chicks studio in Conrad, Iowa. And we're having a fun discussion with charisma Horton this morning. She is a long arm quilter and pattern designer and does embroidery and all sorts of things. So, you know, Charisma, or there's Are there any projects on the horizon that you want to share with us anything that you've got on your design wall or you know, anything exciting? You want to talk about?
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Charisma Horton
13:10
You know, I always have things?
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Heidi Kaisand
13:13
I bet you do? I bet you do.
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Charisma Horton
13:17
So I do have some block of the month coming out that I'm really I'm really excited about a few of them. So there's that and I have I have a bunch of designs coming out for free spirit and may wood and Michael Miller, there's just I worked with several fabric companies and mock up my designs like you were talking about. So there's always something new coming up always and I'm I'm always working, you know, six months behind. So by the time the new things are really, I'm already working on the thing that's going to be released in six months.
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Heidi Kaisand
13:57
So after publishing for years, I totally understand that feeling that you're like, Oh, that's right. I did that.
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Charisma Horton
14:04
You know,
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Heidi Kaisand
14:05
it's it seems like it's so far in the past.
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Charisma Horton
14:08
Yeah, but it's so it's like new to me too, when it comes out because I'm like, Oh, yeah, that sounds great. I love that.
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Heidi Kaisand
14:16
Excuse me, it is exciting, isn't it? There's it's always fun to then go Yeah, that was that was what I was doing six months ago. And it is fun and the patterns like I said that you've got are so fun and we're gonna we're gonna be having some at hen and chicks to do but how would people find you if a to see all of your your work?
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Charisma Horton
14:37
Um, they can go to www.Charismacorner.com. I have my blog and my shop is listed there and I have an Etsy shop where all of my designs are listed there. And that's also charisma corner on etsy
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Heidi Kaisand
14:54
and we will have the links for all of those on our website page to make it easy. For people as well, to be able to find your patterns and as I get them patterns in that, that we're going to carry will have the links to those as well, because there's so many fun things that you are doing. And stuff now is quilting. It sounds like you have a very busy family if you've got six kids and all of that, or is everybody involved in your quilting business? Are you? Are they you know, do any of your kids quilt or how does that work at your house?
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Charisma Horton
15:29
Well, I only have one left at home now. But when the kids were all home, I have four boys and two girls. And my two girls are the oldest and the youngest of the four boys, we're sort of in between. But two of my boys are pretty artistic. And in fact, when they were home and wanted to earn money, they would quilt on the long arms as well. So they had their own little customer base, and they would stipple quotes for a penny a square inch. And they always had a little bit of money in their pocket. And the ladies just loves that these no 10 and 11 year old boys would do that. So there was a time when everybody was involved with the business. But now they are they you know, left to college or went and they own their own homes and sort of so my last little birdie is a senior and she's not so much involved. I think she will be at some point. But she's just got to figure out her wings and figure out, you know what she wants to do. But my husband is very involved. And he's very supportive. And you probably saw on the all people quote that he had a little calendar.
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Heidi Kaisand
16:42
Oh, yes. And that brought out a huge smile on my face. You're well you can tell people what what that story was about? Because it was quite funny.
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Charisma Horton
16:50
Yeah, so when I first started designing patterns, you know, it's, it's pretty brutal, because there is so much competition and everything. So when I first started, as I said, and he's always cracking jokes, you know, and I said, I just need to find a way to get my work out there. Because I don't know, I had a steady long arm business, but I wasn't finding traction right away with the patterns. And he said, Oh, I'll just close next to them. And they'll sell like hotcakes. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I need like real help here, not your commentary. And so I he did he I said, Well, he decided he was going to make a calendar. And I said, Okay, fine, I'll give you 12 close, and then you figure out the calendar, I have to do some real work over here. And I really just did not think that he would do that. Because I don't know, he, you know, he has lots of projects around the house that are half done, and he hasn't done them. But he did, you know, order costumes come up with themes. And he had a photographer, and I didn't even know what half of the photos look like. But I did go on some of the photo shoot. And I was just laughing hysterically at the costumes themselves, because, of course, he ordered them online. And he's six foot three, and like 250 pounds, and none of them fit, you know, properly or anything. So that was just like an added layer of laughter. But he really pulled it off. And so all of these, you know, calendars. We took them to the work Christmas parties. And, you know, our kids all laughed about them. And I thought it was just like a good family, you know, joke or, you know, whatever, for people. But people started buying them when I was at the shows and stuff. And they just thought it was the most hilarious. And so they did catch fire. They didn't sell my clothes, but but the pictures were funny and got a laugh. So
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Heidi Kaisand
18:50
Oh, it was fun. And of course, you know how much he obviously loves and supports you by going to the great lengths that he did to create some of those scenarios. And it was it was humorous. Now has there been a any discussion of a new calendar or a new product featuring him or has he retired from his calendar talents,
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Charisma Horton
19:13
No, he is going to do another one. He's already got the themes worked out for 2022 we would have done 2021. But with the pandemic and everything he actually worked for 10 months, seven days a week 12 to 15 hours a day because he was an essential worker and he's part of the food chain. So he had we were living a farming community and all of that so he had to work all of those hours so he didn't have time to make the calendar. So we do have one on the horizon to put out for 2022 and I think it's going to be probably better than the first one because we are more experienced and
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Heidi Kaisand
19:58
I think that is awesome. I think that is a great thing to do. And I love that you know that he takes a role in that we'll we'll look forward to seeing what 2022 brings for that for that calendar. And we just have had a great time talking Charisma. It's been fun to get to know you better. I know that. We're going to be working together obviously in the future with patterns and things for our feathered friends. So I look forward to that. And for everybody looking for inspiration and creativity. Visit Hen and chicks studio in Conrad are online at henandchicks studio.com we'll be glad to help you with quilting and everything creative. And until next week. Be creative.