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Kathy Schmitz never really knew what was going to hit her when she signed up to do her first Quilt Market. She had always been a quilter. In fact, she is a fourth generation quilter. Kathy made her first quilt when she was 13 years old on her grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. In high school, she made another quilt using batiks. At the time, her mother questioned Kathy’s fabric choices but soon realized how creative Kathy really was. Quilt Market seemed the perfect fit to peddle her line of quilt inspired cards and plaques.
The youngest of three girls, she grew up always drawing, painting or sewing. Kathy went on to attend college to become a graphic designer. However, the rigid style was not exactly what she was comfortable with. She wanted to do illustrations.
One Christmas, she wanted something new to hang over her mantle during the holidays. She dug out the three tubes of paint that were left over from her school days and painted her house in a snow scene and hung it over the mantle. She fell in love with this type of illustration and continued to paint pictures of other people’s homes.
In March of 2002, Kathy started Kathy Schmitz Studio and then ended up at Quilt Market in May. With the support of long time friend and business manager, Betsy Deines, they knew they could do this. Her illustrations were a huge success.
Kathy lives in a little cottage in Portland, Oregon with her husband and best friend Steve.