Mothers & Daughters Together in One Art Studio

3 May 2011

pokey boltonpokey boltonI don't get to see my mom often enough. So with Mother's Day around the corner, I have been reminiscing about her visit to the "Quilting Arts TV" taping last August.

It was really fun to have my mom with me, if for no other reason than I could put her crafting skills to work and boss her around in the greenroom! Usually I'm responsible for demonstrating a few techniques each season, but sometimes I'm doing some last-minute preparations in the greenroom before I hit the set.

I figured my mother, who has her own painting studio in her home, would be a perfect candidate to work with Shiva® Paintstiks® and prepare some samples for me. She had never worked with Paintstiks before and loved them. And now that I think of it, I was a few Paintstiks short when I unpacked my suitcase. . .

I think a lot of mothers and daughters (and grandmothers and mothers-in-law) like to create together. Some have even gone into business together, like many of the mother-daughter teams featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Studios magazine.

mother daughter art studiosIt isn't always easy to work with your mom or daughter, but there are rewards. Just ask the mother-daughter teams who work here at Interweave.

Our Director of Marketing, Mary KinCannon, and her daughter, also named Mary KinCannon, who works in our Books department, have explored sewing, paper crafts, sketching, photography, painting, knitting, crochet, and culinary arts together even before working at the same company.

"Almost all of my memories growing up involved some sort of do-it-yourself adventure," says Mary the daughter. They still share a home studio, which is currently abuzz with all things baby as they welcome the first grandchild/niece into the family.

At the office, they keep things professional and separate as much as they can. Having the same name and working for the same company results in them occasionally getting each other's emails. Often the content starts off with, "I sure hope this is for you." 

mother daughter art studios"For other mother-daughter teams I would say that with respect, healthy boundaries, and a love of creativity, sharing workspace in a studio or within a company can add another rewarding dimension to the relationship," says Mary the mom.

Lindsey Murray, our team's assistant editor for special projects, works just down the hall from her mom, Sally Murray, who manages our office in Massachusetts.

Lindsey says, "Sure, there are some ups and downs of working in close quarters. But overall, I love getting the opportunity to see my mom so often-especially now that I live about 45 minutes away and would otherwise only see her a few times a week at most. It is truly a blessing to be able to work closely with my mom who, after all, is my best friend."

mother daugher art studiosIn the Summer issue of Studios, several mother and daughter teams reveal their studios and talk about how much they've learned from each other and give tips for working together. Here are some examples.

Fran Valera and her mom, Anne Fletcher, divvy up responsibilities. "I handle the creative aspects and production development while mom, the efficiency expert, handles all the organizing, coordinating, and quality control," says Fran.

Lisa Cox, who creates with her daughter, Sarah as the "Spoonful of Sugar Girls," says they work together well because they have different creative zones in the studio. "We have two workstations: one for sewing and one for paper crafting. This works well when we are both in the studio together working on our projects," Lisa says.

mother daughter art studios"Over the past 10 years that the three of us have been doing this together, we have depended on each other for encouragement, inspiration, and support. We are each other's biggest fans!" says Jill Brown, part of the "Things with Wings" creative group that includes her sister, Laura McCarragher and their mom, Connie Berends.

I loved seeing how generations of women are sharing their love of art and crafting in this issue of Studios. There's even an excerpt of the new book The Printed Pattern by mother-daughter creative team Yvonne and Rebecca Drury.

I think it would be great to share more studio time with my mom, though next time I will keep better track of my Paintstik supply! What about you? Would you like to share a studio with your mom or daughter? Have you tried? What advice do you have? Did you and your mother create together when you were younger? What did you learn?

I'm looking forward to reading your comments below. And if you have pictures of you and your mom or daughter (or even grandmother or son) creating together, be sure to share them on our Facebook page.


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kamiguen wrote
on 3 May 2011 4:00 AM

Mum and I get together every Wednesday to quilt.  This is a time we both treasure, for the sheer joy of creating and learning and being with each other  : )

sewinggeek wrote
on 3 May 2011 6:21 AM

Moms and Daughters..... Traditionally this is how our knowledge was passed down. It is great to see other Moms and Daughters creating together.

My earliest memories are being in moms sewing area and playing with "the button" box and scraps of fabric. Mom taught me to sew, knit, crochet, embroider and cook. Mom and I are blessed to be able to still do these activities together. We regularly collaborate  on a project. We just gave a quilt to my brother and sister in law that we had made together.

Now the next generation coming along... My daughter. My daughter is a joy. In amongst University studies, summer jobs and a young persons life she regularly takes time to sew and knit. (and collect fabric and paper!) We just came back from a road trip to my sisters where we hit several quilt shops and craft stores in the Ottawa,Ontario and Vermont area. We regularly sew together in the summer and are collaborating on a quilt for close friends of ours wedding.

Sometimes we disagree in our styles in our three generational group. Grandma is more traditional in her skills, I am in both traditional quilting and art quilting worlds and my daughter is still feeling her oats... But it is great to share.

My boys were taught to sew, knit and cross stitch at a younger age but as young men now they just tolerate mom's hobbies and roll their eyes and make fun of me - in  a good way! Although they always come to me to have something fixed or for a snuggly quilt. Maybe some day I can convert them to my side.

My husband tolerates and even encourages my hobbies. I can get him to stop for a store, look at what I have made and he knows all the terms. But he stops at helping me with mathematical questions in the "studio".

Felicity@4 wrote
on 3 May 2011 6:56 AM

Thank you for your stories of mothers and daughters...I am 60, and am very close to my daughter Caroline, 32, mother of 5 month old twin boys and a nearly 3 year old daughter.  Caroline is now getting into sewing, and quilting, card making and all sorts of craft things, partly I suspect because she has spent her life around me creating, sometimes not so successfully, all manner of craft and sewing projects.  But really it all began with my mother, who was not so much into craft but made me sew up and down sheets of brown paper as a 14 year old, to ' learn to sew straight', before I was allowed to actually use fabric.  She had sewed for me for years, then I took it up.  My mother is now almost 89, pretty much blind with macular degeneration, on a walking frame as a result of a fall and a fractured hip, sad from the loss of her husband and son within 3 months, almost 3 years ago. She's difficult, sometimes nasty, and projecting all her anger and sadness onto me.  But today you have reminded me how much she has given us all, and how important that is in our family.  Thank you so much.

on 3 May 2011 7:23 PM

My daughter, Mary, and I have a longarm business together.  It is so wonderful to share our common interest in quilting and to be able to work together.  

LisaF@12 wrote
on 4 May 2011 12:32 PM

Unfortunately, my mother does not share my love of creating... but I have two daughters who love to! My youngest one and I can cook up quite a mess some times LOL!