Betty Busby played at "Arts and Crabs" with her two little sisters as a small child, and continued her obsession through graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design, with a ceramics major.
She founded and operated a ceramic tile manufacturing firm in Los Angeles, and sold it after 18 successful years in order to move to New Mexico to raise her son.
She is a published fiber artist and teacher, and maintains a busy exhibition schedule nationally and internationally.
I had an early interest in crafts and tried my hand at knitting, needlepoint, cross-stitch and, yes I must admit, even macramé. But when I made a baby quilt for my first child in 1982 I discovered my real passion. Finally, an excuse to buy some of that lovely fabric without having to figure out how to wear it! Sewing had always fascinated me, but I am not, nor have I ever been known for my fashion sense. The big plus with making quilts is that they don't need to fit.
My husband and I owned and ran a graphic design/printing business in San Diego for 10 years. Between that enterprise and raising 2 children, I didn't have much time for quilting, but I joined a guild and started taking every class I could squeeze in. It was a small step from graphic design to quilt design, but I honed my skills on the computer without actually using very much of my growing fabric stash.
In 1992, I was part of a friendship group at Hope Methodist Church in Rancho Bernardo that began making prayer quilts. A few years later, after moving to Poway, I organized what is now Prayers & Squares, The Prayer Quilt Ministry. This interfaith non-profit organization as of March, 2013 has over 1100 chapters and is in 11 countries. I began designing and teaching simple, strip-pieced patterns to be used for prayer quilts. My stash was finally being used at a great rate but even more fabric was being donated, mostly in the form of scraps. Figuring out what to do with mountains of scraps was my next challenge, and I continued to design patterns with this goal in mind.
I started doing guild lectures several years ago, choosing the topic "Scrap Management". I use my collection of antique quilts, plus some of my own creations to illustrate and teach some of what I has learned in the process of making loads of "scrappy" prayer quilts. I love coming up with ideas for improved piecing techniques, and I invented a system of cut-after-you-sew tools called Quilters' TRIMplates®. My specialty is a fast, easy and accurate method for making the traditional "Storm at Sea" pattern without using templates or paper piecing. My book, "A New Light on Storm at Sea Quilts: One Block, An Ocean of Design Possibilities" was released by C&T Publishing in March, 2009, along with my fast2cut TRIMplate tools. My newest invention, the fast2mark Easy Triangle tool came out in August, 2012. This little gem is for making half-square and quarter-square triangles with no squaring up.
After selling the printing business, I worked for several years as a graphic designer, first for Palomar Community College, then designing quilting books for ASN (American School of Needlework) Publishing in San Marcos. I now work as a freelance book illustrator for C&T Publishing. I taught adult ed quilting classes for Palomar College for 8 years, and now am teaching at San Diego area quilt shops and for guild workshops. I taught for the Emply Spools Seminars at Asilomar in 2012, and will be returning for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
I am an artist who has been making contemporary quilts for over 30 years. My quilts have been juried into art and fiber shows and I have completed commissions for public and private spaces.
Color and texture make me happy! Trees, stars, angels and people are themes that are frequently found in my creations. Many of my quilts illustrate stories of seasons of my life. My quilts are machine pieced and raw edge appliquéd using many different fabrics and threads.
Machine quilting using variegated and metallic thread adds the last layer of color and texture to my quilts. Embellishments of metallic yarns, ribbons, buttons and beads add magic and movement to each creation.
From 2002-2006 I was co-owner and operator of Textures Gallery and Studio, a fine art and craft gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. I learned a lot about art, artists and running a business.
In 2010, I became the director of Quilting in the Desert, a 5 day quilting retreat in its 12th year of bring nationally known quilting teachers to the Phoenix area. I really enjoy meeting the teachers, seeing old friends and meeting new students.
I have lived in the Valley for 18 years and have taught quilting classes in various locations from quilt stores to quilt guilds across the state. Encouraging students to develop their skills and creativity is very rewarding.