Karlee Porter of Honest Fabric
Interviewed by Elizabeth Townsend Gard
Date December 2018
Karlee is an award winning quilter, a teacher, an innovator, and now she has a new business, Honest Fabric, where she is printing custom print tops.
Here is her description of herself:
"I have been quilting since about 2009, and quilting professionally since 2014. Over the course of my career, I have been very fortunate to be able to be a creative in the quilting industry full-time. I come from a very grass-roots, self-reliant, do-it-yourself type of background. As number seven out of eight children, I was raised from a young age that if there was something I wanted in life, it was up to me to make it happen. No one was going to make my aspirations come true (creatively AND financially).
As I built my own freelance Graphic Design business, I self-published my own books, patterns, and videos. I pride myself on always running my business with a spirit of self-reliance. Self-publishing my computerized quilting designs gave me the financial footing to focus on finishing my graphic design degree and learning the skills I would need to write books and other publications. Self-publishing my book Graffiti Quilting is what funded the purchase of my longarm quilting machine. Quilting for hire allowed me the freedom and confidence to become a professional free-motion quilting teacher. Traveling to teach quilting classes gave me the credibility to offer online quilting classes that I knew people could love, and trust.
Now that a few years have passed, and I have recognized how fortunate I am to actually earn a living as a creative professional, Honest Fabric is my effort in now raising the tide for the designers of the quilting industry as a whole. Through my journey in the industry, I have on more than one occasion been offered professional relationships that, while they sounded awesome in the elevator pitch, were not financially viable options to sustain a creative career. The promise of free stuff, free exposure, and obscure “future paying opportunities” wouldn’t really allow me to allocate my time wisely enough to support my family."
Quilting Coloring book
Online courses including Hand Letter Quilting (expensive!) (You must have a FB account)
Passion to Professional Pro class
Sale of finished products (like Duvet covers)
Graffiti Quilting Rap song
(and a blog post about the process) (a wholecloth)
Jenny's Graffiti Quilt
Sweet 16 sit-down
The Royal Huntress (third place at Houston 2018) in Alternative techniques
Debuting Honest Fabric at Houston
- relationships with designers
Ira Glass on Storytelling on YouTube
Swarovski Flat Back Crystals
Irony: current scam of printing designs