Artist Spotlight: Amy Latta

Meet Amy Latta!

Amy Latta is passionate about inspiring her online community by sharing honest inspiration for everyday life. On her award-winning blog, you’ll find easy-to-follow hand lettering tutorials, along with all kinds of craft and DIY projects anyone can create. Amy recently stopped by to teach us some hand lettering, show off some new fabric markers, and design some beautiful quilt labels that you can DIY for your next project! Before the tutorial comes out, let’s learn more about Amy – from her creative journey and process to her inspiration and more!

How did you become fascinated with hand-writing and beautiful penmanship?

I have loved creating art ever since I was little – I was the girl who doodled all over the pages of my notebooks in school and tried to take the prettiest notes possible. I learned traditional calligraphy with a pointed pen as a teenager and have always enjoyed playing around with different font styles. When brush script, which is the current most popular form of hand lettering, started to become really popular a few years ago, I absolutely loved the look of it and determined that I was going to teach myself to do it. The contrast of thick and thin lines inside every letter makes it so unique, and it’s definitely my favorite artistic way to write. 

Do you play with fabric in your craft life? How do you use it?

I sure do! I know how to sew, so sometimes I make fun fabric projects like cute bandanas for my dog or Halloween costumes for my kids. During the beginning of the pandemic, I sewed hundreds of fabric masks for the nurses at local hospitals, and it felt amazing to be able to use my crafting skills to help other people in a real time of need. I also use felt a lot, making DIY ornaments and plush toys.

What crafting tool are you most dependent on?

Since lettering is my specialty, it would probably be my markers, but when it comes to general crafting, I often find myself in need of a hot glue gun and a paintbrush. I also absolutely love my Cricut machine! It allows me to cut my lettered designs out of all kinds of materials like vinyl, fabric, felt, infusible ink, iron-on, leather, and more, which means I can make a huge variety of projects.

What was the most frustrating project you ever worked on? How did you stay motivated and creatively present to finish it?

If I’m being honest, it was an attempt at wood burning, and I failed so terribly that I threw it across the room and then into the trash. Nowadays, I have a scorch marker that lets me wood burn without the difficult equipment, though, so I have indeed been able to hand letter on wood! I know that finishing strong and staying motivated is important, and I have definitely done that during my fair share of projects (I often find that when I’m frustrated, I just need to walk away for awhile, then come back with a fresh attitude). But I also think there’s wisdom in knowing when to let a project go too. You don’t have to do everything. 

What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?

I am an incredibly visual person, so I am most inspired by what I see. Sometimes that might be something in a store or something on Pinterest, and when I see it, I am inspired to try creating a personalized version of it for myself. Other times, I see materials, like a particular fabric or wooden sign or flowers and I start to envision what they could become.

What occupation would you like to try if making wasn’t an option?

I would go back to my previous occupation as a ballroom, Latin, and swing dance instructor. It was indescribably fun! I loved everything about it: the dancing, the learning, and the teaching. The thing I didn’t love was the hours, which kept me away from my family in the evenings. I stopped teaching dance when my son was 2 years old because I knew that as my kids got older and started school, those evenings would be the only real time we had together and I didn’t want to miss them. As I was navigating being a stay-at-home-mom, I stumbled across a craft blog and that’s what led me to start this whole venture with my website and everything that followed. No matter what my occupation, though, I would never stop creating on the side.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

I actually majored in English in college, and taught English in the public school system for four  years, so I am a major book nerd. I have tons of beloved characters, and it’s so hard to choose just one! I guess if I had to choose, I’d pick Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice.

What craft material have you been hoarding the longest?

So, you are assuming that I’m a hoarder. LOL. I prefer “collector.” I’m not sure what material I’ve had the longest, but I definitely “collect” markers, wooden surfaces, vinyl, metal stamping supplies, and paint. When I reorganized my craft studio in February, I literally donated boxes and bags full of paint and other supplies to the local elementary school as well as giving some away to friends, and I still have more than I need.

Describe your perfect day.

It would definitely start with sleeping in! I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and right now my kids’ school schedule means I have to be up by 6 AM every day. I’d sleep in, then ease into the day with some coffee on the couch, snuggling my cat and dog while doing my daily devotion and catching up on email. Then, I’d take a few hours to leisurely create something just for the joy of it. I might work on a paint by number or start a new project. After lunch, I’d film a television segment to share crafty ideas. For dinner, my husband would cook one of his absolutely incredible from-scratch meals like Mongolian Beef or Orange Chicken and fried rice, then our family would take a walk on the beach…because my perfect day would include living somewhere near the ocean. We’d catch up on the boys’ days at school and spend some quality time together. Then, we’d play a game together as a family – probably Super Smash Bros or Mario Kart 8 if my boys had their choice. We’d finish the day with my husband and I watching a Hallmark Christmas movie together. What could be better?

What’s your dream project? What’s the “maybe some day…” creation you have in mind?

I would absolutely LOVE to do a hand lettered mural on the wall or even the chalkboard of a local spot. Ideally, I’d do a coffee-themed one in our local Starbucks. At one point, our church also toyed with the idea of a lettering piece on the back wall, but it hasn’t come to anything yet. I just think doing something on such a large scale would push and challenge me, and it would be amazing to see it there in the community inspiring other people.

The other dream project I have – and I’m not just saying this because you are the quilt people – is to create a handmade quilt. It’s one of the only art & craft type things I’ve never attempted, and I know how much time and love goes into creating one. I feel like it would be such a huge accomplishment and I would be so proud of myself for actually taking on such a big, new project.

To learn more about Amy and to see more of what she creates, follow her on her Instagram @amylattacreations, visit her website, and join her on her Facebook page!

Tammy Reid: “Every Quilt Has a Story”

Tammy Reid with a stack of her quilts.

If you’re interested in quilts and their history, you won’t want to miss this event! Tammy Reid, Head Coach of the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, is a passionate quilt collector and in her talk “Every Quilt Has a Story”, she is sharing stories of the quilts she has collected over the years. 

An Irish Chain Quilt in Tammy’s collection.

In this fun, interactive talk, the three panelists, Tammy Reid, Dakota Redford (the Director of the Missouri Quilt Museum, housed here in Hamilton), and Christine Pembrook (a quilt historian who has studied for 30 years on how to determine the age of quilts) come together to talk about symbolism in quilts, share history of Tammy’s collection, and more! Refreshments will be served as well – it’ll be a great time!

If you’re local or planning a visit to see Tammy’s quilts at the museum or see her talk, visit HERE for public and private tour schedules and ticket information.

Another quilt in Tammy’s collection. Fantasy Quilt – Noah’s Arc.

Tammy’s “Every Quilt has a Story” talk will take place on Wednesday, October 27th, at 12:30pm to 2:30pm at Kelly’s Westport Inn in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tickets to this event are available now and will NOT be available at the door. Kelly’s will be closed to the public during the event so be sure to purchase your tickets HERE today or before 5pm on Monday, October 25th. 

Tammy is doing this event in partnership with the Westport Historical Society and the Harris-Kearney House to raise money for education to keep the history of Westport alive. Money for the house is raised through donations and tours. To learn more about the Westport Historical Society, visit and set up a tour, make a donation, or become a volunteer, click HERE.

A stack of some of Tammy’s beautiful quilts.

Artist Spotlight: Laura Piland

Meet Laura Piland of Slice of Pi quilts and the your host for Creating for Kids: Nursery from Missouri Star!
Meet Laura Piland of Slice of Pi quilts and the your host for Creating for Kids: Nursery from Missouri Star!

Meet Laura Piland. Laura is a quilt pattern designer and homeschooling mom of three young boys. She’s also an ex-math teacher – and with a last name like Piland – there’s a strong love of pi in her house! She has been designing and publishing patterns since 2016. Her work has been included in magazines, newspapers, and quilting industry publications. Laura loves to travel to guilds and quilt shops and share her love of quilting with others!

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

I absolutely love the thrill of starting a new project! From coming up with a design idea to figuring out how to stitch it to picking out the perfect fabric! (Don’t ask me about finishing all the things I start though! Ha!)

Who are your favorite fabric designers?

Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew is at the top of that list! She’s such a wonderful human in real life, and I love seeing what she designs next! I also have quite a collection of fabric by Karen Lewis. I can not resist her tiny white screen printed shapes on solid fabrics! But if we’re talking what fabrics I *use* the most (instead of collect), then that would definitely be Island Batik fabrics! I love the saturation of color in their fabrics, and they’re a dream to work with!

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?

My Juki TL-2010Q sewing machine!! It sews FAST! If I’m sewing on another machine, I’m thinking about my Juki the whole time!

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

I first learned to sew when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I made a couple garments for a 4-H project, but really didn’t like the process at all. My mom and both grandmothers quilted, but I had no interest whatsoever. It wasn’t until my 20s that I was inspired to try making a quilt after a friend had a baby. Then I couldn’t stop!

What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?

I often have projects that go to time-out for a bit! I get the most frustrated when using basting spray on a quilt (I always use pins now!) or if sewing something 3-D (like a bag or garment). I have to read the directions ten times before doing each step!

What fabric have you been hoarding the longest?

The Honeymoon collection from Sarah Watts is at the top of my hoarding list. (I do have several other fabrics that are older, but they don’t get the same “hoarding” title!) I’ve made a *few* hexies from the collection that will one day be a quilt just for me, and I have yardage of a couple of the prints that I save for super special projects.

What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?

I love searching Pinterest for new quilty ideas and inspiration! I have many more ideas than time! But spending a day with quilty friends always motivates me to get sewing!

What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?

I seriously can not imagine not being able to quilt! This is my dream job! That said, I used to be a middle school math teacher, and I do still love to teach. I suppose that would still be my second choice!

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Ooh! I think that would have to be Ms. Frizzle! Her field trip shenanigans are great, and her themed dresses are exactly something I would make too! I’ve even dressed up as her for a few Halloweens!

Describe your perfect day. 

It would have to start with donuts! (A maple longjohn and a bear claw to be exact!) Add in some quilty friends and a sunny 75 degree day at a lake house. A bit of stitching and lots of laughter would really make it a day to remember!

Want to learn more about Laura? Head over to her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

Meet the Makers of Let’s Make Art

Not everyone has a ton of time or space to create. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to start now. We’ll encourage you to try new things and take risks. We’ll laugh with you when things don’t turn out quite as planned. We promise to challenge you and to teach you to enjoy the process of making art. If you promise to be kind to yourself, not to compare your art to others, and to have fun, then we’re going to have a great time together. Let’s make some art!

– The Let’s Make Art Team

Sarah Cray, Watercolor Artist and Co-Founder at Let’s Make Art

When and how did you first start painting?
I have always had a love and passion for art. Painting, drawing, creating was something that I did as a child and simply never stopped. When it came time to pick a career, I decided to pick art as my major in college and a year after graduating, I started Let’s Make Art with my business partner. 

What advice would you give to someone who just started painting?
Be kind to yourself. Do not compare. Remember to have fun.

What are your must-have tools in your studio?
Must have tools: Paint supplies and music. You know when I am in the zone by how much I am singing along to whatever is playing while I paint 🙂

What inspires you and gets your creativity flowing?
I think inspiration is a tricky beast and I am learning that mostly what it means to get creativity flowing is to show up consistently. I don’t always have the flutter feeling of inspiration BEFORE I start painting, but I almost always feel better when I am done painting. I view creating as a practice that I am passionate about and committed to instead of this magical, elusive thing. Sometimes the magic is there and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, I am making something. 

How did you become the face of Let’s Make Art?
As co-founder of Let’s Make Art, there weren’t a lot of people or options (or money for that matter) that we could use as a resource to help us find “the face”. And honestly, I am not entirely sure that it was strategic on what being “the face” actually means. All I know is that I had a vision for how art should and could be taught. And I thought, “Maybe if I could open up, and share with them everything: the supplies, how to use them, the mistakes, the joy, the fear, the techniques, the why – then maybe it won’t feel so out of reach for people who have always wanted to try.” So that’s what I did. I simply gave all of myself to this company.

Nicole Miyuki, Kids Artist at Let’s Make Art

When and how did you first start lettering?
In 2012 I started with a personal challenge to create something every day. I had absolutely no idea that that would be a catalyst for a career of creating, teaching and expressing myself through art!

What advice would you give to someone who just started lettering?
Tap into your inner child-like wonder that is there inside of you. Yes, it might need some dusting off, but it is in there, simply waiting to be free and create!

What are your must-have tools in your studio?
Watercolor paints and two brushes – a small one to letter with and a round larger one to paint with! 

What inspires you and gets your creativity flowing?
The colors that illuminate the sky when the sun goes down. Sunsets are Mother Nature’s beautiful daily light shows and have been the source of my creativity recently!

How did you become the host of your own Let’s Make Art series?
The internet makes the world smaller! Sarah Cray and I were both teaching an online workshop and she reached out about a company she was starting, Let’s Make Art. She enjoyed my teaching style, lettering books (see links below), and we instantly connected after one visit! Lettering became the second subscription box at Let’s Make Art and it was so much fun! Then, in the summer of 2020, I felt an urge and a need to create for kids. I transitioned from teaching lettering to creating a kids program and art box for our Little Artists! It has been so much fun, and we just launched our kids-only Instagram!

By Hand: The Art of Modern Lettering

The Kids Book of Hand Lettering

Jesse Petersen, Mixed Media Artist at Let’s Make Art

When and how did you first start journaling?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. I made my own art journals in first grade and laminated the covers with all my Mom’s scotch tape. My parents tried really hard to discourage me from making art my career, but I’ve always been a rebel. 😉

What advice would you give to someone who just started journaling?
Don’t be too precious. The only wasted paint is the paint that is still in the tube!

What are your must-have tools in your studio?
I like to start with a great surface, a mixed media journal paper, or a sturdy panel. I love rich pigmented paints and working with a craft knife and collage paper. Yes! Paste is my favorite adhesive. 

What inspires you and gets your creativity flowing?
My creative ritual keeps me grounded and inspired. I like to start out my studio time with some calm music and sketching or a painting sort of warm-up before I get into anything too serious. Sometimes these low-pressure warm-ups lead to big ideas.

How did you become the host of your own Let’s Make Art series?
I’ve worked in the craft industry for a big chunk of my career and I really wanted to see a different format of creativity be offered. I’ve always made art journals and creative sketchbooks on my own while creating products for creative memory keeping in major retail stores. I wanted to offer more education around those ideas. I pitched the idea of doing an art journal subscription box to one of the Let’s Make Art co-founders, Al Doan, and the rest is history!

Art Journaling Subscription Box from Let's Make Art

Whether you’re a total beginner or you’ve mastered the arts, the supplies and tutorials in this monthly art box are designed to encourage, support, and enhance your experience with Art Journaling. The monthly box provides the supplies you’ll need and a free video tutorial released weekly. 

Art Journaling Subscription Box

Explore Let’s Make Art Today! >

Get to Know: Jacquie Gering

Jacquie Gering.
Jacquie Gering

Meet Jacquie Gering, a modern textile artist based out of Prairie Village, Kansas. She began quilting in 2009 and her quilting style has evolved from first exploring traditional quilting to settling into her own way of creating that encompasses a modern, minimalist style that she works through today. 

We had an opportunity to ask Jacquie a few questions ahead of her special appearance on BLOCK Party on Thursday, March 18. Keep reading to get to know Jacquie, from her favorite tools to her history of sewing, and join us on Thursday to see her in action!

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

Design is my favorite part of making a quilt, but design is a key component in almost every facet of making a quilt: creating the pieced design, choosing color and fabrics, choosing a quilting design and even that final design choice of picking the right binding or deciding to use facing rather than binding. 

Who are your favorite fabric designers?

I don’t really have many favorite fabric designers since I use almost exclusively solid fabrics when I make my work. The one shelf of prints I do have is filled with fabrics designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji. Her prints are unique in the fabric world. They are sparse yet graphic and they have always intrigued me.  I’ve been purchasing them since I started quilting in 2009, but it’s taken me years to figure out how her prints integrate with my aesthetic and how to use them effectively in my quilts.

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?

The one tool that I couldn’t do without is my sewing machines. They are the workhorses in my studio.  I have a Brother Nouvelle 1500s which is a semi-industrial straight stitch machine that I use pretty much exclusively for piecing. It’s a beast. It sews fast with beautiful stitches and it never needs to go to the shop. It is simple to operate and to care for, yet it has the features that I require for good piecing: presser foot pressure adjustment, needle down, thread cutter, multiple feed dog settings and a knee lift. I love that it’s fast. My other machine is a Bernina 820 and it is always set up for quilting. I bought that machine so that I could quilt my own quilts. It has a large harp space to support quilting large quilts and it is sunk into the table so that my quilts are well supported when I quilt. It does more than it needs to for me and because of the level of complexity of the electronics it’s fussier than my Brother, but I take pristine care of it and have learned it inside and out and what it takes to make it work for what I need it to do. Both my machines are covered when not in use and they are cleaned and oiled regularly to keep them in tiptop shape.

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

The women in my family introduced me to sewing. They were all accomplished seamstresses.  My mother taught me to sew as a child.  She was my 4-H leader and tried her best to teach me the sewing skills she thought I might need. I was pretty much a failure in her eyes. I didn’t love sewing or making my own clothes and accessories though as the obedient daughter I did. I wasn’t very good at it and since I didn’t love it I abandoned it as soon as I could buy my own wardrobe. The women in my family quilted as well, but I didn’t really see it as interesting or special so I didn’t learn to quilt from them. I discovered quilting much later in life through the art world. I stumbled onto quilting after seeing the Gee’s Bend exhibit. I found those quilts intriguing and so different than the quilts I knew growing up. I bought a sewing machine and dabbled a bit. The timing was serendipitous. Quitting my current job corresponded with my discovery of quilting and on a whim I decided that quilting was the career I wanted to pursue. I fired up Google and taught myself what I wanted (needed) to know and I’ve been learning ever since.

What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?

I’m not sure I can say. Frustrating is an odd choice of words for me. In fact, I looked it up because something felt weird about it. Frustrated is “feeling or expressing distress or annoyance, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.” Some pieces challenge me and some are abject failures, but that’s all part of the process. I always feel like change is an option for any piece I make. If something’s not working I change it whether it be design, fabric or technique. Failure is how I learn. Some pieces get started, abandoned and may get resurrected and live in a new form in the future. Some are still in the closet. I may have learned all I can from them at this point. 

What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?

I know that this is a trite thing to say, but inspiration is everywhere; you just need to look for it and recognize it.  I get inspiration from design concepts like line or space and concepts like pressure or flow or from events in my own life or in society in general. I consciously teach myself to slow down and notice and to think about, study and explore those things around me. I could have enough design fodder for my entire quilting career simply from exploring the concept of line. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with too much inspiration and I have to focus and try to sustain myself in one place. I’m a starter and I jump to shiny pieces of inspiration to start new projects rather than finishing or deeply exploring where I currently am working.

What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?

If quilting weren’t an option I’d be exploring some other area of art or design. I love designing in my own home. I’m a gal with a power tool and I’m pretty good at paint, drywall, wallpapering and tiling. My husband and I have renovated every home we’ve lived in. We designed and built our own home out in the Kansas countryside. It was so much fun since I got to make every decision that went into that house from designing the placement of the electricity to the kitchen. We’ve moved six times since 2013 and every time I move into a new place I get to play interior designer. 

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Cookie Monster is my favorite fictional character. Cookie Monster lives his passion. I admire that. He’s also curious and asks questions when he doesn’t understand. He’s the opposite of a know it all. He’s also a great example of what’s on the outside is not necessarily what’s on the inside.

What fabric have you been hoarding the longest?

I don’t hoard fabric. I use it. Nothing that I own is so precious that it won’t go in a quilt someday.  I do have one piece of fabric from 2015 that I still have that is special. It was a piece of Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric that I bought at QuiltCon and she signed it for me. Of the few yards of that print that I purchased I have about 8″ left and that 8″ has her signature. I should probably frame it for my studio. When I first started quilting I didn’t have any idea how to buy fabric or what to buy so if I saw it and liked it, I bought it. I made loads of buying mistakes those first few years and ended up with fabric that I didn’t want to use. As I figured out who I was as a quilter, I set about reducing my stash and developing a more curated collection of fabrics. I don’t have a gigantic stash any more. Too much fabric overwhelms me. 

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day would be spent with my husband in New York City. We love the energy, diversity, and opportunities of the city. I’m sure it would be spent with time at the MOMA or Guggenheim or some other museum, music or dance venue with time to explore and walk a neighborhood or read a book in the park with a good dose of people watching and of course there would be coffee, a great bottle of wine, friends and food, delicious food.

We can’t wait to have Jacquie join us on Thursday, March 18th at 6:00 pm cst for our BLOCK Party!

You can keep up with Jacquie by following her on Instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to swing by her website,, and blog, too!