Island Batik Ambassador Spotlight: Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts

This month, we’ll be giving you an inside look at the talented individuals who represent the 2023 Island Batik Ambassador team! Get to know them, their unique stories and the creative process behind their work. Get ready to be inspired!

Please say hello to Reed Johnson of Blue Bear Quilts! Reed is an award winning quilt pattern designer who has worked with Accuquilt and numerous fabric companies. His quilt designs have been published in a variety of magazines including American Quilter, Love of Quilting, McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker, Fons and Porter Quick and Easy Quilts. Reed creates bold designs that are a modern take on the classics. In 2016, he won the Fan Favorite in the Accuquilt Block Design Challenge and in 2017, he was the Grand Champion of the same contest.

New York Beauty Blog Hop quilt, June 2022. Island Batik Jewel Carvings collection. Read more here.

We asked Reed a few questions about his creative process and here’s what he told us!

Island Batik: What inspired you to learn to sew?

Reed Johnson: Alex Anderson and Simply Quilts.

What inspires your design process?

Architecture!

What were your beginner mistakes in quilting?

Thinking I could free motion quilt!

What sewing technique have you tried that you said you never would do then fell in love with it?

Paper piecing.

What is your sewing peeve?

Ripping out quilting stitches!

Reach for the Stars quilt (Lone Star Blog Hop project), December 2022. Island Batik Copperfield collection. Read more here.

What block or pattern could you make over and over again and not get tired of it?

Churn Dash.

Do you have a fun name you call your seam ripper?

Jack the Ripper!

How do you store your UFOs?

In storage totes under a bed never to be seen again!

Timberland Tumble quilt (Row by Row Challenge project), February 2022. Island Batik Evergreen & Pine collection. Read more here.

Do you like to watch tv, listen to music or books while you are sewing?

I like to listen to NPR while sewing.

What are your other crafty (and non-crafty) hobbies?

Photography!

If you could choose an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to go to Japan as I love the artistry there.

Be sure to follow Reed on Instagram and Facebook and visit his blog for inspiration and quilty tips!

Is there something you want to ask Reed? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more 2023 Island Batik Ambassador highlights!

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