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Fabrics > Designers > Lydia Nelson of Dreamy Quilts
Lydia’s love for quilting and design didn’t begin in earnest until she was in her 20s. Upon graduation from Purdue University with a Management and Finance degree, Lydia worked in logistics for a major retailer. She left that job to be with her husband, a military officer. Lydia planned to attend law school until the unpredictability of her husband’s military career said otherwise. Lydia made her first quilt in 2007, while her husband was deployed. She was immediately hooked; and her passion and love for sewing rapidly evolved into a desire to make a career out of being creative. At Fort Riley, Kansas, pregnant with her first son and with her husband in Iraq, Lydia took graduate-level courses in Apparel Design at Kansas State University. Lydia thrived in the classes and loved learning garment construction and textile manufacturing. However, when their son was 2 weeks old, her husband was accepted into the Army Aviation program; the family packed up and moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama where her husband would train to be a Black Hawk pilot. Although Lydia couldn’t continue her Apparel Design studies, she began taking night classes in photography and graphic design. In 2011, Lydia helped her mom open a yarn store, Mockingbird Moon, by developing a website and blog. She also began knitting samples for the shop. In 2013, Lydia submitted a book proposal, “Dreamy Quilts,” that was accepted by Stash Publishing. The first draft of the manuscript was submitted 2 weeks after giving birth to their 3rd son and only days after her husband left on his fourth combat deployment. Lydia attended her first quilt market in 2015, as a first time exhibitor, to launch her pattern line “Dreamy Quilts.” Lydia loves designing for children because, with children in mind, the capacity for creativity is limitless. Lydia’s design process ensures that each design is original: she will often take her camera outside to capture flora and fauna on film. Then she hand-sketches them, and finally she converts them into a print in Illustrator. Neutral palettes and designs are essential to Lydia (especially as a mom to 3 boys). Her favorite medium for illustrating is watercolor paper and pencil. In addition to quilting, Lydia loves reading, naps, cats, morning coffee, Alfred Hitchcock movies, and Billie Holiday. Find her on Instagram as @DreamyQuilts.