MAKERS HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from WINDHAM FABRICS

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"a sum of the parts that make us whole"

the history of
b e y o n d   t h e   r e e f
you probably know enough about this blog author, and this blog, 
to know that I don't like to blog too much about myself
events, sure.  beyond the reef, sure.  places, sure.
but not
unless of course, I "rotary cutter my finger", and I think there's a lesson in it for someone, somewhere
so this post will be a little difficult for me to craft, and a little longer than usual

history lesson
beyond the reef was started in 1994 drinking coffee on a lanai in Hanalei, Kauai
it would rain every morning
and my friend, author, Jill Marie Landis, and I would sit in the still of the morning
drinking coffee and watching the rain
she would be reading or writing a book, and I would be working on some applique
when Jill's friends started asking her where they could buy the pattern for the project I was working on
Jill said to me, "you have to do this!"
I had just started hunter|hughes w/friend and business partner John Hunter
providing commercial/corporate interior design to fortune 100 companies
but that didn't stop me
beyond the reef was born
a few months later Jill and I visited a lovely woman named Julie Yukimura
"These are nice," she said, and started carrying the patterns
if you have ever been to Kauai, you will know about Kapaia Stitchery
Julie has passed on, but her family carries on the tradition
in the one story plantation style building by the side of the cutoff road into town
please visit them and say hello
it's a great shop filled with treasures and surprises

fast forward
corporate clients had demands, and schedules never faltered
but I managed to design a few beyond the reef quilts a year and attend a few quilt shows a year
recently, the hunter (john) and the hughes (me) decided to retire
and I became a full time beyond the reef designer, quilt maker, pattern maker, shipping clerk

it was time for a new look for beyond the reef
I sat down with a mac and a few books and dove right in to learn
illustrator, inDesign, photoshop, bridge
I must say, THAT is the accomplishment of which I am the most proud
if I could just stop right there, that would be enough for me
(architecture/interiors is a pc based cad based world)

I selected a printer after interviewing a few folks face to face shake your hand nice to meet you style
and then, as Jill tells people about getting a whole book written,
I put my butt in the chair and started drawing and writing and remaking about 25 of my 35 patterns
Lisa did proofs. Jill was the wordsmith. Kenna was in charge of encouragement.
Katey was a great distraction. Paul took care of the computer. Buddy took one for the team. 
Rose cheered me on. Roberta made me take 12 mile bike rides to clear my head.
And John took one last look at the press sheets.

Don't ever believe the people that tell you they do it all themselves.
They don't.
we are all a sum of the parts that make us whole
we are all better because we are connected
because we reach out to each other
and walk through life

the design concept
it's an interesting project to approach
keep a company's graphic standards, core vision, and values intact
while updating the whole suite of packaging and marketing materials
(my corporate design, creative, process driven, side of me will always be a big part of who I am)
working with companies like Mercedes Benz, Quiksilver, Epson, Mars Inc. 
and some 'not to be named' demanding music, film and television Producers
gave me great insight, and trained me well

living in the moment
I hope you will all agree
that the beyond the reef you have all come to know and love
has not been lost in the remake
and that you'll be just as excited as I am
with the results of this new project
I hope that the shop owners and book/magazine publishers and fabric companies
will be delighted, too

okay.  that's enough of that!
we'll do a giveaway post as soon as they arrive

so now, it's on to something other than

did you know there's a quilt show coming up?
Seven Sisters Quilt Show
Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo
next weekend, Sat/Sun

it's a combined Guild show
and a lovely time to be on the central coast
take a weekend off and take a drive up the coast


jackiero said...

Super post Natalie :) Rarely hearing honesty in todays world, you Ms. Natalie are so unique. Kudos to you!

wackywoman said...

So looking forward to your next chapter with Beyond the Reef Natalie.

angela said...

I love your history lesson, Natalie!

Janet said...

How exciting for you! I can't wait to see!

quiltzyx said...

Hooray! Keeping things fresh & yet still a band of "family" - I, too, am looking forward to the shiny, new, beyond the reef!

mascanlon said...

So interesting to know hoe Beyond the Reef came to be and it will be wonderful to see where its headed too! Looking for forward to seeing all that is new again.

Miss Crayola Creepy said...

I had fun meeting you this weekend :)

I wrote about you on my blog: