Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Meet Anne Sutton
Calling on collections of the things she loves-quilts, bunnies, and antique chocolate molds-Anne Sutton delightfully blends tradition and whimsy to create her Bunny Hill Designs patterns and fabrics. Here, Anne shares the limelight with Mooch the cat and Chelsea the dog.
Over the stairs leading to Anne's studio is her Confetti quilt. "Quilters were not afraid to mix up whatever fabrics they had," Anne says. One 1930s quilt led Anne to create Confetti, which is a Nine-Patch scrap-fabric celebration. On the daybed is one of her Pillow Party designs, one of a dozen slip-off, appliqué pillow covers.
Imagination thrives in this second-floor "bunny hutch" that includes two large cutting-table islands. The antique hutch with spacious, slide-out storage drawers hails from a men's clothing store.
Shapely antique shakers and jars-filled with seed beads and colorful crystals-give Anne ideas when designing flower vessels. The grouping is part of her inspiration wall.
Memories and Mementos
"I can look at something I love and pull it into a quilt pattern," Anne says. An inspiration wall with vintage ribbon and lace, postcards, gifts, and sentiments from family and friends jump-starts her imagination.
Lace, trim, buttons, and beads add texture and interest to Anne's block-of-the-month quilts. Her son Michael and his wife, Diana, supply most of the embellishments through their Web site business, crafts4me.com.
Colored pencils are cheerfully at hand so Anne can experiment with color combinations at the sketching stage. The receptacle is a weathered toolbox painted pink.
The living room-turned library offers a retreat for reading up on quilting, antiquing, and other pastimes. Ample shelves display Anne's collection of about 30 chocolate bunny molds, which have inspired five quilt designs. At home in the room is Bitsy the dog, one of seven pets the Suttons share their home with.
Though the house is only a year old, the Suttons try hard to make it feel old. Crown moldings, hardwood floors, and hanging quilts, such as Cream and Sugar, add to the comfortable cottage style. Wonderful embellishments set Cream and Sugar apart. Anne sews beads on one at a time using durable beading thread and knotting after every attachment.
Baltimore Bunnies is an animated backdrop for this casual dining room. Anne laid the quilt out on the floor of her previous home and is happy to hang it proudly among her china and family treasures.
Business Behind the Scenes
Anne's husband, Ross, a retired police officer, manages shipping. The Suttons store and inventory patterns in their shipping room, sending out hundreds of orders weekly.
Anne's collection of about a dozen antique quilts inspires her. She appreciates this early 1930s rendition for its unusual two-color prairie points. She incorporated similar points into her Simply Cottage design.
An antique floral appliqué quilt (below) inspired Mary Jane's Garden (above). The initials M. J. on the back of the antique quilt gave Anne the idea for the new quilt's name. A flowerpot with a blooming vine creeps up the original quilt's border.