... But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
We’re whatever we wanna be, frankly.
Miss Winnie Designs was started in late 2017 by Hanna Bialik Bourque, who has been inspired her whole life by strong, awesome women.
... Hanna’s maternal ancestor, who convinced her family to spend their winters on a remote island off the southern tip of Nova Scotia, so that they could save shipwrecked seafarers who otherwise wouldn’t survive. Eventually, the family was granted ownership of the island and became lighthouse keepers, making the area even safer for sailors. This island is now called Seal Island. Its proud, tall red and white lighthouse, mysterious history, scenic beaches, and beautiful, mossy forests are a huge inspiration to Hanna. Watch for these nautical motifs in her work!
... Hanna’s maternal great-grandmother, AKA Miss Winnie. She was a fiercely compassionate, hardworking, independent woman who loved nature and spent most of her life on Seal Island. Although she died shortly before Hanna was born, Hanna felt inspired to name this company after her. (does anybody else smell a cool reincarnation theory?)
The life boat to the left was made in honour of Miss Winnie's daughter and Hanna great aunt, Mary Hamilton, the last member of the family who ever grew up on Seal Island.
... Hanna’s mother and owner of The Fabric Addict, a former quilt/fabric store and current design/fabric company which now operates primarily online. Karen’s success, bewildering work ethic, and creative aptitude, as well as the beautiful designs she creates and fabrics she curates have had a huge impact on Hanna’s imagination and motivation and will likely continue to do so. Both through her indirect influence and direct help, Karen is a huge buoy to MWD.
I’m pretty awesome. At least, that’s what my kids tell me — and I choose to believe them.
I’m 36, I’ve been married to Mike for 16 years, I have two boys, 15 & 12. Yep. Those are the basics.
I’m also very involved in my community band scene. I play the clarinet decently well, and belong to the Lethbridge Community Band Society. Check us out at www.lcbs.ca. I sit on the board of the LCBS as the Membership chair and play in both the Silver & Gold concert bands. It’s been a huge influence for me, and I found out that all my volunteer time gave me a lot of life skills that I implemented when I was managing my mother’s quilt shop. Not to mention the life-long friends I’ve made, and the incredible cultural exposure my boys get to music!
My personality? Well, according to the Myers-Briggs test, I’m a pretty consistent ENFP.
What don’t I do?! Ha... Never mind me — I think I’m hilarious.
I design quilt patterns. But I also want to design fabric (I use my “fabric” designs as my backgrounds, logos, banners, etc), accessory patterns, sell finished accessories, and —
Oh yeah! I keep forgetting — I make wooden buttons. They’re pretty cool. I was crocheting under my business name “Hooked”, and people kept wanting “big purple buttons” (for example). It is crazy hard to find coloured big buttons, and when I could, it was $8 for one! What?! I didn‘t want to increase the price of my hats by $10! So I got desperate and ended up painting a wooden one that I found. Huh. That actually looks pretty cool. Then everyone wanted one, so then the “Hooked” wooden buttons began. I haven’t had much time the last couple years to make many, but now that I can focus on my business, I’ll start doing that again. Right now you can buy these handmade wooden buttons at our local quilt shop, “Fabric Fusion” (Lethbridge, Alberta), which is the store that my mom’s store turned into when she sold it. As soon as I get everything together, I will start posting them on my Facebook page, Etsy shop, and here on my web site.
I do my best to connect my shops, social media and my web site, but if you can’t seem to find the links, search for Miss Winnie Designs on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Craftsy, & Etsy.
I'm LC. Come on! You haven't heard of me? Oh well. I started working for a quilt store about 10 years ago. It was my job through high school and university and eventually fostered a huge love and talent for fabric and quilting. Last year, I graduated with a B.A. in English and Miss Winnie Designs is a great way for me to combine writing and sewing. Hanna is my older sister and my mom is also a quilt designer, so I guess that makes this the family business.
I've been writing, editing, and testing Hanna's patterns almost since the beginning, but as of 2018, I started working part-time hours at my desk job, so that I could focus on creative projects, like the ones I do for Miss Winnie, so you might see some patterns designed by me soon.
A lot of people can say they're more of a left brain or right brain person, but I'm right about in the middle. I love structure and reason, but also love undermining them. I love holding onto what works, tossing what doesn't, and perpetually looking for something new to fall in love with.
I love learning and love (LOVE) reading. I'll read anything, from encyclopedias to Milton to Kafka (in the original German when I'm feeling patient), to graphic novels (I'm really liking Vaughn and DeConnick right now). I'm also a very spiritual person and I love nature and animals. I'm not allowed to have a cat or dog right now (I have roommates) but I have a pet snake named Luci. She's a 4-foot long red corn snake and she's a total sweetheart.