Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Featured Designer | Kimberbell Designs + NEW Kimberbell Pillow Club

Today on The Shabby we are interviewing Kim Christopherson, owner and creative force of Kimberbell Designs! Join us as we hear Kim's story from learning how to quilt to where she is now. (Keep reading to see her most recent designs!) 

Who taught you how to sew and quilt?

When I was newly married and in my early twenties, I had a friend who had a beautiful snowman quilt hanging on her wall. I absolutely loved it, but thought "I could never do that!"​ She, of course, replied "Yes you can! It's easy and I can show you how!" There began my love for sewing and quilting. My sister and I would get together with this group of friends and we'd learn from each other. I guess you could say that it snowballed from there.

What led you to becoming a designer?

​I always loved to draw -- o​r rather, "doodle" -- and when I learned that you could take your drawings and actually appliqué them onto fabric, I was hooked! I first did small pillows for my children with their names on it. I would draw the letters and appliqué them onto different scrappy fabrics for "name pillows". After making them for friends, family, and eventually to sell, I decided to create a pattern and teach people how they could make them, too. That "personalized name pillow" was my first pattern in 2006, and still sells today.

Which pillow in the series is your favorite and why?

One of my favorite pillows is the snowmen and penguin that is January's pillow. I love snowmen (remember it was a large snowman quilt that got me excited about the idea of quilting!), and it was fun to create the dimensional embellishments for the hats.

 Another favorite is "Welcome Spring" because I love the look of polka-dotted, yellow rubber boots! Adding the dimensional flowers coming out from the boots was also a fun design element. I don't think you can go wrong with polka dot boots, ruched flowers, and yo-yos!

Do any of the pillows have a fun story behind the design?

A funny thing happened with the "May Flowers" bench pillow. Notice the pot that is tipped over? I like to call that a "happy accident!" When I originally designed the flower pots, I thought I'd fuse them to the pillow all upright, and all in one row. Well, I was at my ironing board when I went to fuse them onto the background. I turned my body to look over at something, which inadvertantly turned one of the pots over on its side. I took a look at it and just before going to press it again upright, I thought "Wait! This is usually what MY flower pots look like -- there's always one tipped over, dirt spilled, and making a mess!" So I kept it that way and it's actually what make people smile each time they look at that part of the pillow. I think we can all relate! Then to fill up that space a bit better, I decided to add the bee flying off of the flower. ​

What do you do or where do you go to find inspiration?

​I think inspiration is everywhere. I can't be in a room without looking at the tile floor (yes, that even means I can find inspiration in a restroom!) I especially love decorating for the season or holidays, so brainstorming what kinds of things I would like in my own home really helps me to feel inspired.​

When you’re working on a new design, how do your ideas start to take shape?

I have a lot of sketch pads -- and napkins -- that will have drawings on them! I definitely start with sketching it in pencil, erasing, and sketching again.​ From there, it goes to the computer for the digitized line art that you find in the patterns.

Are you working on a new fabric line?

Yes! I'm so excited to debut my new fabric collection for Halloween 2015. It is called "Mind Your Mummy" and is based on one of my best selling patterns called "Home Is Where the Haunt Is". It showcases the more fun and whimsical side of Halloween, and incorporates purples, blacks, lime greens, and oranges. A few of the prints will also be available on canvas, in addition to quilter's cotton.​ It is being done with Maywood Studio.

Look for Mind Your Mummy at our Shop coming August of 2015!

Is there a story behind the name “Kimberbell”?

Actually, yes! My real name is Kimberly, but I've always gone by Kim. When I was a little girl, my dad gave me the nickname of "Kimberbell" and it just stuck for many years. When I was trying to thinking of what to call my company, it just seemed to fit well -- it was a part of me, and always makes me smile since that is what my dad called me. My twin sister on the other hand had the nickname of "Stinker". We always joke that that name wouldn't have the same ring to it, so she says that I definitely scored in the nickname department.

Thank you, Kim for sharing a bit of yourself with us! And now, we have an exciting announcement! 

We are introducing our new Kimberbell Pillow Club! Create an adorable pillow for each month of the year with our 12-month Pillow of the Month Laser-Cut program.This program will challenge you to learn skills with applique and embellishments. Each pillow has unique adorable embellishments, whether it be buttons, bows or ruched flowers.

At only $47 per month (FREE shipping in the US! $10 International shipping), Kimberbell Pillow Club is both fun and affordable! This program begins in January and runs for 12 months, ending in December 2015. Each pillow is over 3 feet long measuring 16" x 38". Your kit will include the pattern, top fabrics, backing, and any necessary embellishments or embroidery floss to complete one pillow.You also have the option to purchase a special coordinated MasterPiece Thread Set designed specifically for the Kimberbell Pillow Club! This is an 18 piece, 50 wt, 3 ply, 100% Extra-Long Stable Egyptian Cotton thread. Not only are these threads great for the pillows, they are excellent to have on hand for other projects as well!

We hope to have you join us for this program—sign up here!
Watch our YouTube video below for all the information (plus a tutorial!) below.


  1. Adorable pillows! Love all the trims and such that make the design really pop! Those kits will be well worth it for the fun and cuteness they provide.

  2. I love the new pillows, and the watermelon is my favorite! But I'm looking forward to the "Mind Your Mummy" group for 2015. Tell us more about the canvas pieces.