Michele and Tom Crawford met the night before the first day of college in 1972 at Miami University in Oxford, OH, and became a "team" when they were married in October 1976. Michele was an elementary teacher in Sandusky, OH; and Tom worked at the American Crayon Company. Myk was born in 1980, and Michele has been a "stay at home mom" with a home-based quilting business which has evolved over time. She is blessed to have her family revolve around her business and her business around her family.
They moved to Lima, OH, where Kevin, David and Kelly were born. Yes, there were 4 children under the age of 5! It was quite a crazy time for several years. Tom was offered a job at Columbia Lighting in Spokane, WA in 1986 so they moved to the "other side of the world" according to their family and friends.
The Crawfords were an active family while the kids were growing up with sports all year round (soccer, tennis, football, basketball, baseball, and tennis) for all the children, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire, youth group plus band and orchestra events. Tom and Michele coached soccer, volunteered leading fundraisers, and were part of their children's high school's parent musical for 9 years plus the Senior All-Nighters. They also enjoyed boating with their family and friends on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Coeur d'Alene, ID for many years. As empty nesters, Tom and Michele are looking forward to the next chapter in their life, which hopefully will lead them to western Washington to enjoy life on the Puget Sound. They also share their home with a golden retriever, Molly; and Max the cat.
Michele has always been involved in sewing and crafts even as a young child. Her "first business" was weaving potholders and selling them in her neighborhood. Her brother gave her first sewing machine when she was 12, and then she started sewing her own clothes after taking home economic classes in junior high. Besides sewing, she learned to knit, crochet, and embroider - basically anything to do with a needle! From 1980 -1987 she operated, The Stork Port, where she sewed items for babies and children that were sold at craft shows in Ohio and Washington. In-between she began taking quilting classes in the early 1980's and remembers making templates out of cereal boxes, sandpaper and plastic margarine tub lids.
After moving to Spokane in 1986, she joined several quilt guilds and met a variety of designers including Debbie Mumm and Pegi White. She was encouraged to begin creating her own designs combining counted cross stitch and quilting which lead to her next business, Cross 'n Quilt in 1987. Her patterns were sold in stores across the country, and Keepsake Quilting. In 1989, Michele attended a seminar for a national group called the Society of Craft Designers, a group of professional designers that worked for publishers and manufacturers. Thus began Michele's 26 -year career of designing projects - over 4,500 designs published now - for various magazines plus fabric and thread manufacturers, which she continues to do today.
In 2004 with much encouragement from Tom; and Laurette Koserowski, editor of The Quilter, she began to offer quilt kits for projects featuring new fabrics in magazines, and Flower Box Quilts was born! A quilt line pattern was born which has expanded to over 100 patterns which she sells online. In 2010, Michele and Tom started traveling in their motor home, along with their "fur babies" (Max the cat, and Molly the golden retriever) to vend at quilt shows all over the west coast. Michele loves to teach and lecture whenever she has the opportunity to for quilt guilds and at quilt shows. Whenever they are home, they enjoy spending time with their family - 4 kids + spouses + 5 adorable grandkids: Mackenzie, Camryn, Dylan, Logan and Chace.