Nancy Halvorsen has been designing quilt patterns and project books since 1992. “I’ve always been interested in creating, drawing and sewing since I was a little girl”. Soon after she learned to quilt, she started designing her own patterns for herself and her home. After receiving lots of positive feedback, she started publishing her own patterns. As another outlet for her creativity, and to add an exciting new aspect to her quilt designing, she started designing fabrics for Benartex in 1997. Nancy’s innovative and appealing Art to Heart designs and fabrics are recognized and loved around the world. She has published 54 books and 67 patterns with more on the way! She is always working on new patterns, fabric collections and project designs, finding inspiration everywhere. Many of her designs have positive, uplifting messages and images. “I design projects that I want my family to see. I always love to include quilt and project designs for quilters of all experience levels, a little something for everyone.”
Besides her love of sewing and quilting, Nancy loves chocolate and being out in nature. The highlights of her life are spending time with her husband, Rick, her four children, their spouses and her nine grandchildren.
Who can see Nancy’s Wander Lane collections and not want to live in one of those houses?! We asked Nancy to sit down with us and talk about her latest fabric lines.
Q. What inspired Wander Lane?
A. I decided I wanted to do a collection that was following a little neighborhood through the year. When I drew the main print with the houses on it and little hills and valleys, I liked the idea of the road “wandering” around what I created.
Q. Tell us about the houses in the main Wander print.
A. They’re really from my imagination; they’re not like houses I’ve lived in. I added details of things that inspire me after a long winter – it’s wonderful to see tulips pop out and hear birds singing. It refreshes my soul. I also had fun adding the different line textures to the hills.
Q. The scale of the details really caught our eye. Was that planned from the beginning?
A. Yes! I love whimsy. If everything was to scale, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. With these small houses, you wouldn’t see the flowers if they were to scale. I love the whimsical look of a giant tulip growing up over a house.
Q. How do you feel that being a quilter enhances your fabric collections?
A. I understand what quilters need for a successful quilt. For this line, I knew I would be creating monthly projects, so I made sure I had the colors I needed – for example, red and blue for July – as well as a range of values. I like to make appliqué quilts, so I consider textures in the prints that will work for cut-out shapes. For example, the scallop print turned upside down would make really cute shingles.
Q. Tell us about your Block of the Month series for Wander Lane.
A. Anybody who follows me knows that I love doing something for each month of the year. Each month can be done as a stand-alone quilt, or you can wait to put them all together at the end. There are a lot of projects: a table topper, a little table stand quilt, and a pot holder for each month. I love designing pieced blocks and adding details with appliqué. Wander Lane features six months of projects, and then Wander Lane II, which will have a fall/winter feel, will feature the remaining six.
Q. With all these seasonal quilts, is your house constantly decorated for the current holiday?
A. I do have quilts all over my house, and I swap them out for seasons. I do have one room in the basement that I keep decorated for Christmas year-round. My husband asked if I could do that, and I said, ‘Sure, it’s my house.’ It has a red couch and kind of a cabin feel, and I hang ornaments on some pencil post trees. Then at Christmas, I decorate it even more.
Explore Wander Lane I and Wander Lane II , as well as their Better Basics coordinates Whisper Weave and Whisper Weave Too
Learn more about Nancy’s Wander Lane BOM at arttoheart.com
This interview appeared originally on the Summer 2022 issue of The Fat Quarterly magazine. Subscribe now to receive news, exclusive projects and free charm packs of upcoming Benartex collections.