Alison Glass: Artist, hashtag, down to earth
Her name is a hashtag, but even though a search for #AlisonGlass on Instagram turns up 9,000+ photos of quilters and sewers who have used her fabric and patterns, Glass – who goes by Ali to family and friends – is pretty down to earth.
Looking for a way to stay closer to home when her kids were small, Glass started a business focusing on custom home decor and space remodels. Eventually that led to the opportunity to design fabric for Andover and popular sewing and quilting patterns using her rich and vibrant collections.
So how did Ali the sewer and artist become Alison Glass the brand? Well, that’s simple. The domain AliGlass.com was taken when she started her business.
“In my mind it jut happens to be my name,” Glass said. “I’m very honored people want to use the fabric, but I just didn’t get into this for that aspect of it. I just started doing this because I just wanted to be able to do art as a job.”
Glass’ latest collection, Handcrafted with Andover Fabrics, has just arrived in quilt shops. But she is already in planning mode as she waits for her next line of fabric to be produced in what is known as a strike-off. A small run of a new fabric line that designers use to make final adjustments from. The strike offs will arrive later this summer and then she’ll be busy making samples, showing the design to shops and creating patterns that show quilters how she envisions it being used.
“It is always exciting to see the designs on fabric, because it is different than on paper,” Glass said. “They have different design qualities and it’s always exciting.
“It always brings things closer to what it’s going to be when people can actually use it to make things with. The fun part is when people actually use it to make creations. I like being part of an unfinished good, I guess you could say. A raw material that somebody can can take and do something with. It’s part of why I like to design fabric.”
For the last five years Glass has been running the entire fabric and pattern design business from her living room and dining room. Blending family living and work space until the things that are needed to run a business became to much.
“It works really well to a certain point and then you just have too much stuff,” Glass said. “It’s difficult to work in that space.”
Her family moved to a new home with room for Glass to have her own studio – a walk up attic with every nook and cranny finished to maximize storage for patterns, kits and fabric, and a stark white walls, ceiling and floor. Her richly colored fabric and quilts provide the color.
“Kind of like starting with a neutral and adding a bunch of stuff to it,” Glass said. “I can envision a lot of studios that are really spectacular, but what we have going now is really great and I’m very thrilled to have this space.”
There’s just one problem. She can’t seem to get it tidy enough to share a photo.
“We keep getting new patterns delivered,” Glass said. “I don’t expect it to ever be clean. I would like it to be tidy so I can take a picture.”