On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about the sewing and quilting industry with my guest, Pokey Bolton.

Pokey Bolton was introduced to art quilting and the related needle arts in 1998, and ever since she took her first stitch (a fly) and embroidered her first motif (a spider), she has been entangled in this industry and doesn’t envision herself getting free.

Art quilting and mixed-media have, quite literally, taken over her life—so much so that she left her doctoral program and full-time teaching job to found Quilting Arts Magazine® and later with John Bolton, Cloth Paper Scissors® magazine, as well as a line of books. After they sold their publishing business to Interweave, Pokey became the Editorial Director for the Quilt & Paper Division at Interweave and was founding host of Quilting Arts TV on PBS.

In January 2012 she joined Quilts, Inc, the parent company of International Quilt Festival and Quilt Market, in the newly founded position of Chief Creative Officer.

A little over two years later, she founded Crafting a Life, LLC, a media and events company based in Napa Valley, California offering media and boutique-style retreats. In January 2016, she launched CRAFT NAPA, an annual retreat held in downtown Napa. CRAFT NAPA includes crafting, sewing, collage, quilting workshops, wine education, wine excursions, and an Artists’ Market.

CRAFT NAPA group shot

Artist Carrie Bloomston at CRAFT NAPA.

Wine blending evening at CRAFT NAPA.

In this conversation we talk about Pokey’s early career as a special education teacher and how she first learned about quilting. She takes us back to the early days of Quilting Arts and talks about the challenges and joys of founding a magazine. We then trace her career through each stage including her newest venture, CRAFT NAPA.

Pokey is incredibly knowledgeable about the industry and has really smart and interesting reflections on how its changed over the nearly two decades she’s been working in it. I so enjoyed talking with her!

During our conversation we reference:

Playful Fabric Printing (affiliate link) by Carol Solderlund and Melanie Testa, the first book published by Crafting a Life LLC.

And, of course, I ask Pokey to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Pokey recommends:

Keep up with Pokey on her blog, on Instagram, and on Facebook. Save the date for CRAFT NAPA 2018 – January 10-15 at the Embassy Suites/Napa.


This episode is sponsored by Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio.

Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio offers a contemporary look at a traditional craft. Working as an artist creating one of a kind hooked rugs, Deanne also offers rug hooking kits, patterns, supplies, workshops and lessons, both online at www.hookingrugs.com or at her studio in downtown Amherst, Nova Scotia,Canada. Her original works are in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and many private and public collections. The author of seven books about rug hooking and creativity, Deanne has made her website, blog and YouTube channels a beautiful resource for rug hookers internationally.  Visit her at www.hookingrugs.com and use the coupon code abby to receive 15% off your first order.


You can listen to this special episode by clicking on the green arrow below, or subscribe to the Craft Industry Alliance podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher so you never miss an episode. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it! Thank you so much.

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