Linda Laird Designs are authentic Mayan hand stamps recreated in applique patterns and silk screen panels. Here is a picture of Linda in musuem collections during quilt study tour. all those drawers are full of old quilts!!
Developed by Arizona quilt designer Linda Laird, a 4th generation quilter and historian, Linda learned of Mayan stamps as an anthropology major. As Linda explains, these ancient symbols have their own allure; "I have been fascinated with the Mayan hand stamps since I was an anthropology student in the 1970s and have woven them and embroidered them, and after all it was them that I started dreaming," during a hospital visit.
Quilt designing is not just dreaming. Linda has two studios, one in AZ and another in Kansan where she lives half-time. Two design studios are a long way from the quilting closet under the living room stairs where Linda started designing when her kids were little. Linda prefers very large design walls, 8'x15' at least. Symmetry and balance are the focus of Linda's designs, beginning with motifs on black and white paper for arranging on the design wall. Lind will live with wall. designs for weeks before "the quilt decides" how it wants to be finished and the pattern drafting begins. Arizona Applique Bee tests Linda's new patterns Linda's husband helps her with decisions on the giant design wall. "I've had incredible help from show owners in AZ, NM, and Kansas." Special thanks to Joelee Furrier from Tucson's Bella Quiltworks. Mary Jo McCarthy at Southwest Decoratives in Albuquerque and Paul at Fabri-Quilt in Kansas City for Encouragement and enthusiasm.
For new quilt professionals, Linda says "starting a quilt designing business is hard work and you have to do a lot of things that aren't fun. I love to design and create new patterns. But I don't like having to write them, though I hope I'm getting better at it. Marketing and order fulfillment are also very important, but not as exciting as creating a quilt."
In addition to inspiring quilt designs, Linda also teaches sashiko, and is available to visit your guild or show. A true historian, even Linda's cross-country travel time has been put to good research. Linda and her husband have been photographing grain elevators on their Midwest driving trips. They will release a book on the history of American grain elevators this summer.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments, Linda!