Creative Moms & Daughters

by Liesl Russell



Meet Heather Bailey, fabric and paper designer; daughter of Linda Hutchings  


1. What kinds of creative projects do you enjoy doing? When did you start doing them?

My prime hobby is learning new things, so I've collected quite a list of interests over the years. My first craft obsession was paper. At four years old, I filled my bottom dresser drawer with heaps of paper: white paper, lined paper, construction paper- any paper I could get my hands on. With the assistance of a stapler, scissors and glue, I built intricate 3-D objects: robots, elephants and even shoes. It wasn't long before I learned to crochet, outfitting my dolls and Barbies in a rainbow of wild duds. Quilting and knitting soon followed. By the time I was seventeen, my preoccupation with all things handmade picked up serious speed, and I soon learned my way around many new arts: spinning, weaving, stained glass, upholstery, ceramics, bead-making, faux-finishing, silversmithing, painting and illustration.


Today, I enjoy the artistic freedom that comes from a broad base of experience. And with the tools and supplies I've collected throughout my explorations, my studio is a virtual craft store. Soldering iron? Got it. Spinning wheel? Got it. Wood burner? Got it. Yarn, fabric, ribbon, paper, clay? I've got those, too.


2. How did you first get involved in the creative process?

I started creating out of curiosity. I quickly found that not only was I good at making things, but that creativity also made me happy at a root level. My hobbies now provide my family's livelihood, and designing projects continues to give me joy. As a child, I did not foresee that I would design fabric, scrapbook supplies, sewing patterns, hair accessories, etc., but I now see what was obvious from an early age. When I was a sophomore in college, I switched my major from premed to Apparel Design. I'll always remember my mother's response, "Heather, that's perfect for you!"


3. Where do you create?

My main creative space is my studio at home, a dedicated room for my supplies, tools, machines and computer. When away from home for the week or for the evening, I always bring my sketchbook. I have volumes and volumes of completed sketchbooks forming a pictographic history of my creative life over the last decade.


4. How has your style of creative projects changed over the years?

My interests are still as broad as they have ever been. As always, I love to make jewelry, hair accessories, clothing, birthday cards, sweaters, blankets, toys, etc. In recent years, however, I've mainly focused my creative energy on designing products to inspire others to get creative and discover the same fulfillment I've found in making beautiful items for my loved ones and home.


5. Where or how do you find inspiration?

Ah, a most tricky question. For me, pinpointing inspiration is a difficult task, because I find inspiration everywhere. I'm keenly aware of the colors and forms of my environment. A stroll through an antique store, a walk through the mall and a jog through the neighborhood park can all spark new ideas. My typical reaction usually boils down to color combinations and general design styles. As I begin sketching or painting, one idea leads to another.


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