Welcome to Week 4 of Motherhood by Design – the series where mothers who also run creative businesses share their inspirations and their experiences juggling the demands of raising children while growing a creative career.
“Being a mom is draining, but having something that fills you creatively reminds you that you are not just a mom, you are a woman too. Making an effort to find that thing that fulfills you creatively will ultimately help you be a better mom.”
In many ways, Angela Walters defines the modern quilting movement. Not only is her work jaw-droppingly technical and stunning, she approaches it with a lighthearted warmth and spirit. In addition to machine quilting for some of the biggest names in the industry, Angela is an author, pattern designer, and fabric designer. She’s also a sought-after speaker who travels across the country and has just been named as the keynote speaker for QuiltCon 2016 in Pasadena, CA.
Welcome to Fuller by Design, Angela - can you please describe your family?
I have three kids - a 12 year old son, a 9 year old daugter and a 5 year old daughter.
What is your business?
I am a machine quilter and author.
When you were a child yourself, how did you spend your free time?
I always loved to be outside (which is so different for me now) and I loved to run around and make messes....sure drove my mom crazy!
Did crafting or handwork play a significant role in your childhood? If yes, in what way?
Not really. I always loved to draw, but I never did any crafty type things, sew, or anything like that. Maybe I am making up for lost time!
When you were a child, did you have ideas about your own future as a mother? Was motherhood something you’d always imagined for yourself, or is it an idea you grew into later in life?
I always knew I wanted kids, my worst fear was that I would be unable to.
In your early years of motherhood, did you have/make time for your creative pursuits, or was your creative work put aside for a while? If the latter, when did you pick it back up?
I started my business when my oldest son was 1, so I had to get really good at fitting it in where I could. I did a lot of my stuff at bedtime and naptime. I think that has made me even more efficient with my work. I am glad that I didn't put it off though. I think everyone needs some sort of creative outlet.
Did you start your creative business prior to becoming a mother, or after?
What prompted you to start your creative business? Is it something you saw yourself doing when you were a child?
I kinda fell into it. I always wanted to be in marketing, but instead helped my husband with his business. Starting my own creative business just came from my love of quilting.
How do you balance your creative work with your role as a mother and how has that changed over time?
I don't really think there is an idea of balance. Each day is different. Somedays I "mother" more than work and vice versa. I think doing the best that I can without being a perfectionist has allowed me to do both well (at least I hope).
In what ways does motherhood affect your work processes?
Ha! I have gotten really good with dealing with interruptions. It can be frustrating, but that is just how it goes. I also think it has helped me realize that everything doesn't have to be perfect.
In what ways does motherhood affect your creative products?
I think it has made me more of an encourager which I hope shows in my books and writing.
What is the biggest impact that your children have had on your business?
Oh, they keep me humble! I also love that they are always encouraging me!
How do you think your creative pursuits, including your business, affect your children?
I hope that it has a good impact on them. Sometimes, they get upset when I have to go out of town, but then I remind them that I am there to pick them up from school most every day, unlike some moms who have to work outside the home. I also tell them that I hope they know that they can do whatever they love in life and make a successful business doing it!
Is there something you hope your children learn from you by having a creative business?
Just that they can do whatever they want with their life!
What advice would you offer the mom who feels drained by the demands of motherhood and wants more hands-on creativity in her life?
Being a mom is draining, but having something that fills you creatively (no matter what it is) reminds you that you are not just a mom, you are a woman too. By making an effort to find that thing that fulfills you creatively will ultimately help you be a better mom. At least, that is my opinion.
Thank you so much, Angela, for sharing with us today! You can find Angela, her stunning quilts, as well as her books and classes at the following places: