Meet Karla Overland in her own words…
I began sewing at 10 years old. I was the youngest of three girls. We were all very involved in 4-H.
By the time I got to Home Economics class in 7th grade, I had been sewing my own clothing for so long that I was allowed to work somewhat independently. My classmates didn’t appreciated the fact that they had to make boring little pillows, while I made a tuxedo shirt complete with pin tucks and princess seams along with a bow tie.
While getting my graphic design degree in college, I worked in bridal and department stores doing alterations. During that time, I made the connection between sewing and art. In fact, we studied about people creating careers as something called “fiber artists!” That sounded awesome to me.
I started taking quilting classes whenever possible, jumping head first into the quilting community. The designs, graphics, textures, COLORS… this was everything I was already studying in college, combined with what I had experienced in life. The stars began to align.
Meeting the founder of Cherrywood Fabrics changed my life. It set me on this course I love so much.
Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric is a special business with a unique product. Always women-owned and operated, we’ve been dyeing since 1987.
Cherrywood has grown from its founder doing all the work herself, to a team of seven women who accomplish great things. We ship fabric all over the world.
What makes Cherrywood so special?
I combine unique formulas, Procion MX dye, and the finest quality muslin to build a color story that is uniquely ours. Our colors are sold in gradation bundles in combinations you don’t see anywhere else. At the same time, it’s amazing how easy it is to match up Cherrywood to other lines of commercial fabrics.
Cherrywood looks and feels like suede. It is often mistaken for leather, wool, flannel or felt. The tone-on-tone mottled effect makes each piece one-of-a-kind. In fact, each SIDE of the fabric is unique. Double the beauty!
The “broken-in” feel to the fabric is also an asset when piecing. You don’t need pins because Cherrywood sticks to itself.
By the time we finish, each piece of fabric has been washed repleatedly, dried, preshrunk, and touched by human hands dozens of times.
The thread count is extremely high. What does that mean for you? Minimal fraying for raw-edge appliqué. Needles glide through easily.
If you have to take out stitches, you’ll find that the needle holes do not distort the weave.
Finger pressing or ironing seams leaves them completely flat and crisp.
Each piece of fabric is prewashed, precut, and packaged beautifully in bundles of gradated colors.
We offer exclusive patterns and kits.
Each year, we travel around the country bringing our store to you at national and regional quilt shows. Our website is open to the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also wholesale to quilt shops.
Have questions? The people that answer your calls and emails are also the same people who make the product.
Next time you’re in Brainerd, Minnesota, stop by to see our newly remodeled showroom and tour of our facilities.
I love creating designs that show off the colors and texture of Cherrywood fabrics. There is no need for fussy cutting and piecing when you are working with such amazing fabric. Whether the colors in a bundle are kept in order, or mixed up randomly, they look fabulous in any pattern.
It is so fun to mix and match bundles to build unique palettes. My newest pattern, Petal Palette, combines the light, medium and dark Color Wheel 12-step bundles to create a dramatic wall hanging that also doubles as a color tool for your sewing room.
In 2014, we began something new. The challenges have been such a fun and exciting addition to our business. We love seeing what people can come up with using just one theme, one size, one color, and one fabric: Cherrywood.
The contest has grown from 100 entries to nearly 500 entries from all over the globe. Due to the traveling exhibits, the contest is juried.
Small quilts provide the perfect opportunity to try a new technique or design.
Maybe the color or theme is not your “thing,” but that is why it is called a CHALLENGE! You might surprise yourself with what you come up with when you have certain limitations.
As always, design and create something that YOU love.
Enjoy the feel of the fabric, the process, the personal growth. It is fun to be part of something that helps to bridge the gap between the quilting world and pop culture.
The Diana Cherrywood Challenge
Our current Call for Entry pays homage to a beautiful soul that was lost in the prime of her life, Princess Diana. Her gentle, caring nature and fierce love of family made her “The People’s Princess” and arguably one the most famous women of this century.
In this challenge, we feature her favorite color: pink. We’ve also included white, which is a new color for Cherrywood.
For over 30 years, we’ve been dyeing fabric on unbleached muslin which is creamy off-white. After finding a bleached muslin with the same softness and characteristics of our regular cotton, we are happy to premiere it with this challenge.
Entries are due by July 1, 2020. Photos have to be uploaded to a special website to begin the selection process.
Complete rules are included with the purchase of the fabric bundle needed for the contest.
There really aren’t that many rules:
- the quilt must be an original design that uses the fabric from the bundle
- Accent colors may be add if needed to portray your idea, but it must be Cherrywood and must not overtake the main colors of the challenge: Pink and White. With the anticipation of portraits of Diana, we are also offering an Accent Pack with colors addressing Diana’s golden hair, fair completion and blue eyes, but this is totally optional.
Of course, the subject matter of your entry is very personal and may reflect any aspect of the word “Diana” that inspires you.
We try to select a wide variety of themes, techniques and interpretations to represent the Cherrywood Challenge Traveling Exhibit.
The Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge
The current traveling exhibit, The Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge, provides some opportunity to work with Bob Ross, Inc.
Viewings of the documentary Bob Ross, The Happy Painter at AQS QuiltWeek shows, as well as other fun surprises, shows the dedication of AQS to make the viewer experience unique and personal.
We are so happy to be working with AQS to bring this special exhibit to all their shows around the country. Sometimes we are not able to have a Cherrywood booth at the show, but in those cases, the challenge keepsake books and fabric will be available in the AQS booth.
AQS has been instrumental in the growth of this project. They saw early on how this incredibly dramatic display of color draws people in, whether you are a quilter, a fan, or an admirer of art.
We love working with Bonnie Browning to brainstorm ways to present this display and provide a memorable experience for the viewer. The Cherrywood Challenge is always shown in its best light, and we appreciate the work that AQS does to make this happen.
I often give lectures and slide presentations about the challenge, sharing the story of its growth and personal stories.
We hope to see you at AQS QuiltWeek Show Paducah or Grand Rapids, or any of the other shows we travel to. See our complete schedule on our website, including information about our annual Cherrywood Retreat in Minnesota!
You can reach Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics…
Email us at:
Give us a call at 888-298-0967.
Stop by and see us:
7882 College Road
Baxter, Minnesota 56425
Showroom hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm or by appointment