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Mothers. Daughters. Moda Designers!

Mothers. Daughters. Moda Designers!

Written by: 
Linzee McCray

It’s Mother’s Day in the U.S. on Sunday. But it’s mother’s and daughter’s day everyday for these Moda designers.

Moms are always special (as are daughters). But it’s extra-special when a mom and daughter work together, and Moda is lucky to have three such design teams: Sweetwater; Bonnie and Camille; and Sherri and Chelsi. In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked them to share a bit about what it’s like to create together. So grab a nice cup of tea and sit down to hear (and see) a bit about each of them.

Sweetwater family portrait

First up is Sweetwater, which includes mom Karla and her daughters Susan and Lisa (who shared her thoughts below). They’ve been designing together for Moda since 2009, though Karla designed fabric before then. They started out designing scrapbook products and transitioned into fabric.

Sweetwater blocks

What are the benefits of working together?

The benefits of working together are many. First, we all basically have the same style and our ideas mesh rather easily. We also are very different in how we work. My sister, Susan, is fast at everything—she is the most efficient person I know. Everything is quick, quick, quick and she gets a lot done. I am totally different—I agonize over the details and also overthink things. Our different work styles balance each other out in a very good way. Also, my sister and I design everything on the computer. We can’t draw to save our lives. Conversely, my mom can draw anything. It is great to have both digital abilities and pure artistic talent when designing.

sweetwater spring chicken

What are the challenges of working together?

Even though we have the same style, we don’t always agree. Because we are family, we argue about things and don’t hold much back. If we have a disagreement, it’s usually two against one and feelings can be hurt. On the bright side, those moments pass rather quickly and don’t happen often. 

Sweetwater spools

Next let’s hear from the mother-daughter design team of Bonnie and Camille, who make up the design team Bonnie & Camille.  They have been designing for Moda since 2008, and their first collection was Cotton Blossoms.

Bonnie and Camille portrait

How did you get started designing together?

We each had separate pattern companies at the time (Bonnie- Cotton Way and Camille- Thimble Blossoms). We had worked with Moda in the past and they reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in designing a line of fabric for them. It was named Cotton Blossoms, a combo of our pattern companies.

Bonnie and Camille quilt chair

What are the benefits of working together?

We live two states apart since Bonnie lives in Idaho and Camille in Nevada so we don’t get to see each other a lot, but we love an excuse to FaceTime often and talk about quilting and design. We’ve grown super close over the 14 years we’ve been designing fabric together and are so grateful for the opportunity we’ve been given. It’s such a dream come true for both of us!

Bonnie and Camille Sunday Stroll

 What are the challenges of working together?

The distance is definitely challenging, and so are our busy schedules. Sometimes it is difficult to connect and stay on the same page, but we keep working at it!

Bonnie and Camille quilt

 And finally, we have Sherri and Chelsi, whose first collection for Moda appeared in 2015. Sherri shared her thoughts on their partnership.

Sherri and Chelsi headshot

How did you get started designing together?

I asked Chelsi if she would be interested in working with me to submit designs to Moda for fabric. She didn't sew or quilt at all at the time, and I remember telling her "you never have to sew or quilt..." It's been such a blessing to see her come to love quilting :)

SHerri and Chelsi Happy Days folds

What are the benefits of working together?

The benefits are so many--since we know each other so well, working together has come very naturally. While we have quite different tastes and styles, it's always been easy to compromise, so that has been a wonderful benefit as well. It also helps that we live just 5 miles away from each other so can get together in person to work together as needed.

 Sherri and Chelsi Happy Days stack

What are the challenges of working together?

I don't feel like we've had very many challenges, certainly not any that have been difficult. I am mostly concerned when I feel like she has so much on her plate with a young family at home as well (she has homeschooled through the pandemic, too). But Chelsi is super organized, and that has helped her stay on top of things.

I'm so grateful to be able to work with Chelsi...and we've both been working with my oldest son (her big brother) with video and YouTube and our podcast (A Quilting Life) over the past year. It's also been a really fun family dynamic to share.

Sherri, Chelsi, and Billy


So there you have it—as in everyday life, working with a family member may have its challenges, but also a lot of pleasures. Thanks so much to these mother-daughter duos for sharing their stories with us.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

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