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Lessons from Third Generation Quiltmaker Tammy Tadd posted: 3/24/2004
by Hallye Bone Printable Page
Category: General Method: All Series: In the Studio
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Tammy Tadd’s love of quiltmaking is contagious and her patterns overflow with her enthusiasm for color and design. When she started her pattern company, her goal was to put a fresh, new look on old patterns. And, she also wanted to appeal to every level of quiltmaker. Any beginner can tackle one of her designs. Her keen eye for color has resulted in appealing arrangements of color and even seasoned quilters are attracted to her quilts.

“I love the creative process in quilting.” Before she went into the quilt business, she “loved decorating for holidays and loved decorating her home.” She recalls that she developed her color sense while working first in a greenhouse and later while working for a florist.

Tammy’s close-knit family has played an important role in her development as a quilter. Tammy describes her mother Velda Grubbs as her inspiration and “the brains behind the operation of Tammy Tadd Designs. Tammy says that Velda has always encouraged her to do “anything she set her mind to do.” As mother and daughter drive to quilt shows, Mrs. Grubbs serves as Tammy’s co-pilot, directing her along the route. “She’s also the co-pilot of my business; I couldn’t function without her.”

The “Grandma Bessie” line of Tammy’s patterns came from watching her grandmother quilt and do needlework. Grandma Bessie inspired Tammy’s patterns like “Cranberry Bowl,” “Snappin’ Green Beans,” “O Cookie Tree,” and more. Bessie’s signature is printed on every pattern, a tribute to Tammy’s fond memories of her grandmother. “The Grandma Bessie Series links us to the past and reminds us of someone who invested in us the way my grandmother did me,” says Tammy.

Tammy works and reworks her patterns until “I get the ‘look’ I want,” she adds. The majority of her time in the studio is spent designing and planning new quilt patterns. Tammy’s husband does most of the illustrations, using a computer drawing program. He has been an avid supporter of her business. Velda makes many of the samples and quilts them exquisitely. Velda’s clearly written, easy-to-follow instructions take the guesswork out of Tammy’s patterns.

As her business is developing, Tammy is getting lots of positive feedback. Her patterns have “something for everyone.” And, “once a quilter tries one of our patterns and discovers how clear the directions are, they become repeat customers.”

You can contact Tammy at: or (toll-free) 877-999-8233. Or visit your local quilt shop—if they don’t carry her patterns, ask them to order them for you!

©2004 Hallye Bone

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