The Commercial Appeal
Peek inside this modern quilter’s studio
PARK CITIES, Texas — Just a few years after landing her dream graphic design job, Kristi Schroeder knew she had to quit.
It wasn’t that the job wasn’t great — it was. It wasn’t that she didn’t still have a passion for design — she did. It was that she had a creative hobby that consumed her thoughts.
So, in 2014, Schroeder took the leap and became a full-time quilter and pattern designer. She transformed her onebedroom apartment into headquarters for Initial K Studio.
“I use every single space in my apartment,” she says.
The dining table was cleared out to make way for fabric storage and a sewing desk that takes up an entire wall. Schroeder’s kitchen became the cutting station.
The living room is a showroom of sorts, with completed quilts in a variety of sizes and colors hanging on a corner stand and pillows accenting her sofa and seating.
And of course, Schroeder’s bed is dressed in one of her clean-lined graphic creations.
Her designs are modern and packed with graphic punch, simple color and plenty of white space.
“Thanks to my graphic design background, I’ve always been drawn to lots of white space and simple, elegant, clean design,” says Schroeder, 37, who learned to sew only in 2009.
She has blended her appreciation for simplicity and traditional quilting elements.
“It’s simple, but it’s still interesting,” she says her designs.
When she left her full-time design job, Schroeder knew that she would have to get creative about not just her quilts, but also about how to replace her steady income.
So in addition to selling her quilts online, at shows and by commission, she also focused on pattern designs.
She’s got five, with names such as Migration, Modern Waves and Cascade, and is in the process of fine-tuning others. She says it’s thrilling when other quilters share the work they’ve completed using her design plans.
Schroeder also created a series of art