This is Madeleine.
Madeleine Roberg is the creator of Domestic Strata, a delicious pattern company in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her quilt, home decor, and bag patterns are clean, bold, graphic, and globally inspired — and they’re pretty awesome, too. While Madeleine has been heading up her business for about a year, she’s worked a bunch in the fabric and quilting industries and even has her Master’s degree in Quilt Studies. In other words: SHE KNOWS HER STUFF.
What I like best, though, about her pattern designs is that they’re simple and easy enough for beginners. Madeleine seems to espouse the belief that patterns need not be ridiculously complex or difficult to be beautiful, and she proves it. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s so nice to have Madeleine here as our guest to stop for a minute and chat about her design process. We’re so happy to have her here, and we all need some reminders this time of year to slow down and simplify.
What’s your sewing story?
One of my earliest memories is sitting on my cousin’s lap and working on a cross-stitch ice cream cone sampler. My parents are both the creative types and our house was always full of art supplies, including lots of fabric. Throughout my childhood I made clothes and somewhere there is a hideous polyester-and-cotton bear’s paw quilt top, but when I hit high school I stopped sewing.
I got my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida. After graduation, I worked as a Cultural Resource Archaeologist and traveled extensively. When I ended up in Wyoming, I took a quilting class and was surprised to learn that I loved quilting. Three months after I took my first quilting class, Bill Kerr from Modern Quilt Studio came to Sheridan and taught a color class. I was blown away about the fact that people were out there making a living through quilting. Within a year we were headed to Lincoln, Nebraska so I could get my Master’s degree in Quilt Studies. At UNL I had the opportunity to work with the quilts in the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. I hadn’t intended to design quilt patterns but after working for several companies in the quilting field, I kept feeling the draw of the studio. I decided that if I was ever going to start my own company, I needed to do it now. I started Domestic Strata, LLC and have been so happy with how well people have responded to my work.
My favorite patterns to write are for beginners. When I made my first quilt top, my class ended and I was left looking for directions on how to actually finish my quilt. With the Domestic Strata beginner quilt patterns, I cover how to hand- or machine-finish the quilt and take quilters through each step of the binding process.
What quilter do you most admire?
My favorite quilter of all time is Jean Ray Laury. She is one of those people that did a little bit of everything and inspired everybody that crossed her path.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out in quilting, what would it be?
Don’t worry about mistakes. I see a significant difference between children and adults learning how to sew. It really makes me sad to see how stressed the thought of making a mistake is for many adults. Embrace the knowledge that mistakes will be made and that they are part of the process!
We’re giving away a Fernweh quilt pattern. What does “Fernweh” mean?
A little over a year ago, we started home brewing (not that we needed another hobby). So I went in search of a name for our home brewery and came across the German word Fernweh. Fernweh means a longing for another time or place. I am a major daydreamer and love thinking about life in different times and places, which might be part of why I love archaeology and anthropology! I love that the Fernweh quilt would be hard to pin to a certain time or place. The quilt is an instant classic and while you are snuggled up in the Fernweh quilt you can allow your mind to wander and you can dream of being in a different time or place.
Hear that, folks? Two giveaways in one week: WOO HOO! Madeleine is generously donating a Fernweh quilt pattern to one lucky RST reader. Could it be you? Two ways to enter: leave a comment below and/or share today’s post on IG with #domesticRST! We’ll leave the giveaway open through Sunday and announce the winner next week. Open to international readers, too!