I am so lucky to be celebrating my 43nd year of living the life as a professional crafts person. Way back in 1978 I set up at my first show ever at the Salon Des Metiers d’Art in Montreal. 400,000 people came through over the 23 days, 12 hours per day show. I didn’t speak very much French and I made quilts, wall hangings and cushions so sales weren’t great BUT….. What an experience. I was on my way. A few months later 2 of the quilts that I didn’t sell at the show I sold to the magazine Better Homes and Gardens. I was really on my way. A satisfying life to create every day, but…its a hard life with lots of setting up every week at shows and markets. I’ve always looked at my venues as not only income but also of quality of people you get to work around. I’ve met so many amazing people that put on or perform or volunteer at these shows as well as the people that come to the shows to shop and the other vendors Thank you for what you do. I love setting up at interesting venues and hope to do so again soon. My musicians stage wear is calling to me to be set up somewhere with live music. I miss it and all of you so much. Sending out the hugs.
Profiles of Jan over her quilting and sewing career.
For my first 6 years starting 1978 I was a quilter on a farm in Quebec and started right away going professional by doing the Salon Des Metiers d’Art in Montreal. Almost every piece of clothing or art I’ve done since then has been a one of a kind. In the 80’s I hosted and produced 3 TV series in Montreal on quilting called Jan Donaldson’s Quilted World, Jan Donaldson’s Stained Glass Quilting and Jan Donaldson’s Shadow Quilting. Pretty fun to be a TV personality. My TV shows at CF Cable in Montreal were shown across the country many times a day for a number of years. I even won an award for Exceptional Achievement for one of the series.
I sold wall hangings to the Canadian Government External Affairs for official gifts, Such fun. From Quebec I moved to Toronto to the Beaches . I spent 5 years there with my studio storefronts always on Queen St E and me living steps from the beach. I got more into kids wear and ended up doing primarily very fun funky clothing for the little ones as well as one of a kind wear for men and women. Toronto was so much fun. Live music everywhere in the neighborhood that I lived in called The Beaches. I even had a float with my kids wear in the Easter Parade in Toronto in the Beaches a couple of times.
Vancouver Island had always called to me. Ever since I came out here to sell my patterns and Olfa cutters at the Quilt Conference in Victoria one winter mid 80’s It was -30 in Quebec where I was living and the trees and flowers were in bloom in Victoria. I knew I would move here one day.
I’ve been living here on Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley for thirty years now. Out here I’ve gone from making kids wear to ladies wear and then to musicians stage wear for the last many years. I love making the musicians look special. To see my clothing on stage, in videos and CD covers is so cool. Of course you don’t have to be a musician to wear them. My street wear is equally fun to wear. Beautiful ladies floral dresses and funky shirts will bring smiles to your day.
“Let me don my thimble and take you on a journey through the eye of my needle and you can have a glimpse of my whimsical look and love of fabrics, music, gardens and the world around me. Imagination in Stitchery …. .Let’s Talk ……” Jan Donaldson