about me

I’m Janice Ryan and I live in Los Angeles with my husband, 2 children and 4 cats (I’m not sure who creates more havoc when I try to sew—the children or the cats). Despite the Cali address and Irish name, I swear that I am genuine Pennsylvania Dutch (and, no, that is not the same as Amish—feel free to ask me about this!). I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember (some of my early memories are of my mom and I designing and sewing clothing for my dolls). In my former life (that would be pre-kids), I lived the vagabond life of a costume designer for regional theater, got my MFA in Costume Design from Carnegie Mellon, and then rode off into the sunset to become a costumer for TV and film in sunny California. Although I’ve had a long-time love affair with my sewing machine (I love it enough that my detour into the dark world of bridal alterations didn’t sway me), I didn’t catch the quilting bug until I was pregnant with my son, 4 years ago. In all my free time (ha!) I also enjoy fixing up our 1927 English Tudor home, unapologetically indulging in chick-lit, and exploring my family tree.

Thanks for checking out my blog!  Be sure to leave a comment, so that I can stop by your blog!

25 thoughts on “about me

  1. I LOVE your scrappy lone star quilt – I was readig in your blog of part 2 that said you were going to post on how to increaase the size of this quilt. Have you ever posted that? I am new to your site and have started trying to find more information. Also love the full star in the quilt you were going to teach a class on. Any chance you have that pattern available if we are not able to attend the class? Thanks for any help! Your quilts are amazing!

  2. Hi Janice, I’m actually not here to add my name to the growing list of people wanting to win your quilting book, but just wanted to say that I’m pleased I found you through the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway and I really love your blog name. I’ll be following you through Bloglovin’, and I’m looking forward to reading your blog updates. Your introduction is very intriguing, it sounds like you lead a very interesting life.

  3. Hi Janine
    Nice blog! I am about to buy a new sewing machine – any recommendations?
    Currently I have a part share in a Bernina 1010 together with my sister – but too often we both have projects to work on, so I am trying to find an alternative. I can’t afford a Bernina, so recommendations are really welcome.
    Thanks, Marie Helene

    1. Hi Marie! That somewhat depends on your budget. I really love Janome machines and they come in a variety of price points. The best thing to do is to go to a Janome dealer and tell them your budget and they can show you what is in your range. I do not suggest a machine from Target/Walmart (like a Brother or Singer). It would be better to buy a used Janome, Bernina, or Pfaff than to buy a cheaper machine. You also do not need a fancy computerized machine for sewing. It just needs to be strong and sturdy and sew a few stitches (straight, zig-zag and button-holes). Good luck!

  4. Hi! I just learned about you from Amy’s Creative Side. Your quilts are amazing! I didn’t catch the quilting bug until this past fall and I can only hope to create things as beautiful as yours. In my former life I was an Equity stage manager with an MFA in technical design & production (University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music) so I definitely know my way around a costume shop which has definitely helped my new creative endeavor. I opted for NYC instead of LA and was fortunate to work over 10 years in my chosen profession. I plan on following you through bloglovin’ and look forward to seeing what you create next!

  5. Our quilting association is looking for speakers / teachers. We are located in the San Fernando Valley.
    Do you teach workshops / give lectures?
    I love your patterns & would like to submit your name for consideration
    Pat Rosemary

  6. hi janice,
    my name is michele d’amore and i am a textile designer, also from penna.
    i wanted to tell you that i just love your quilts and your “modern” aesthetic.
    will you be at quilt market in may? would love to meet you in person and say “hi”.
    also, would it be o.k. to send you some images of my collections?
    i look forward to hearing from you. e-mail is best.
    best regards,
    michele d’amore

  7. hello Janice, I am wondering where you get your inspiration from, I am doing a project in my GCSE art class and the topic I have picked is vintage I typed in on google ‘vintage artists’ and you came up I am hoping to use you as one of my artists I will look at in my project
    thank you

  8. Hi, Janice…can I ask you questions on the Kite Flight quilt here? Rather than wait for a reply, I’ll just ask and you may email if you are willing. I’ve got all the panels of strips put together and the next step is to “Cut strip sets vertically at 10-1/2 ” intervals to create 4 squares.” My strip sets come out at about 9-3/4″ so after making the vertical cuts, the results will not be square (9-3/4″ x 10-1/2″). Is that okay? The next sentence of the instructions says “Then cut each rectangle diagonally…” So I have to ask should I end up with 10-1/2″ x 9-3/4″ rectangles or 9-3/4″ squares?

    Thank you for you help,

  9. Love your site….I was wondering if there was a pattern for your potholders ?? The hexie one ??
    Love to make some gifts for my quilting friends


  10. Hi Janice,
    I am making the Storm at Sea from the kit. Would it come out okay if I did not paper piece the blocks? Not a fan of paper piecing!

    The quilt is gorgeous, and I can’t wait until mine is finished!

    Thanks, Lisa

  11. Janice,
    I wrote to you previously about downsizing your Storm at Sea pattern. Can you resend me the downsize measurements that you sent me, I have moved and the folks who packed some of my sewing room separated the kit from my notes that you sent me. I was not able to pull up your email to retrieve the measurements.
    Thx so much,

  12. I love your tree skirt made from the fat quarterly pattern. Unfortunately the pattern is no longer available, so I am going to wing it. Can you tell me the dimensions of the houses and trees?

  13. Not a comment, more of a request. I’m a Volunteer with the Quilt of Valor, I have a lot of Patriotic colored Scraps. You have a picture of a quilt showing (No Strings Attached), I wonder if you could send me that pattern or the tutorial or maybe you want to tell me size you cut those Triangles. I have made a couple String quilts on a muslin base before in a 10 & 12 1/2 inch Square. Yours looks very interesting to me. Mine come out in a Diamond If you like I can send you a picture of mine. Thank you Reni Reed

  14. Hi, I love your starry night pattern, but the measurements of the middle “cross” do not line up with the corners of the star. I am an accurate sewer and have tried different fabrics, but it remains the same. If the cross in the middle is sewn less than 1/4 of an inch it will fit nicely.
    Thanks again for your pattern! my quilt is slowly coming along!

  15. Hi Janice – I was looking at Valley MQG Instagram today and read that you’ve moved to Simi Valley. We are a brand new MQG, 3 meetings now and about 60 members so far!
    Our meetings are the last Monday of the month at HighTechLA in the San Fernando Valley. This school is located on the grounds of Birmingham HS, 17111 Victory, at Balboa Blvd.
    The meeting this month only will be at the Quilt Emporium in Woodland Hills for a holiday party on December 28. PLEASE join us!
    I’m also a member of LAMQG and enjoyed your program at one of their meetings a few months ago.
    If you have any questions about ValleyMQG or any of the other quilt guilds in the area, feel free to call! My number is 818-621-9149.
    I hope to see you at a meeting,
    Jann (Janice) Lawson

  16. Janice: I have a question and I guess a request. I am very taken with your spiral flying geese project and I’ve looked a bit at the blog post about your process. After starting to draw out my own and thinking about making it as an entry for a quilt challenge in our guild I noticed that you have the pattern for sale. Does this mean that I should not try to draw out my version of what you made without buying your pattern? Not sure of proper quilt pattern etiquette. Thanks.

  17. You’re Pennsylvania Dutch???!!! I live in Lancaster County (PA) I’m off to check out all your other sites!

  18. i’m working on a kit – Winter’s Grandeur from last year. I got to the outside border and the instructions are short for the flying geese. It said to cut 8 2.5 inch squares…. then when reading the instructions for the last border – it says to make 16 flying geese…. that’s 8 squares short unless you’re supposed to use the left over pieces that were cut off. there is NO extra fabric. thank god i found a charm pack so i can complete this….

  19. HI! I’m working on the Migration Medallion quilt, and I have a question about the small Flying Geese in border 5. If I trim each one down to 2″ X 1 1/4″, I am trimming off all of the seam allowance. When joined, my small Flying Geese will not have the sharp triangle points. Is this correct? I made the geese using the Four-at-a-Time Flying Geese.

  20. Hi Janice,I love your quilts very much.
    I live in Belgium.
    I like to ask you if I can buy paper sheets of a circled flying geese.
    kind regards,

  21. I recently bought the solar flare quilt kit after seeing it being made by Angela Walters. And I think I need just a little bit more guidance on how to line up the triangles because I don’t know that I am lining them up properly like how much am I supposed to have hanging over at the bottom. Please give me a call because I really would like to get this quilt started my phone number is 360- 220- 1121 please give me a call

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *