Initial K Studio is the brainchild of Kristi Schroeder, who specializes in creating modern quilts and home decor. A native Texan and former Neiman Marcus designer, Kristi, is also a world traveler who draws inspiration from art, fashion and textiles from around the globe. Here, she gives us a tour of her light-filled home studio, formerly her dining room, in her Dallas duplex.
How big is your workspace?
About 400 square feet.
What’s your favorite thing about the space?
The natural lighting and the gallery wall — it’s been a work in progress this past year, and I love how it’s turned out.
How many hours a week do you spend in your studio?
Forty-five to 55 hours, depending on the projects.
What’s a typical workday?
Most days I’m up and out the door by 7 a.m. My dog, Dash, and I and walk to the local bakery for coffee. I typically use that time to prioritize my daily tasks and then hit the ground running when I’m back home. Most times, I spend the mornings answering emails, fulfilling orders, photographing inventory, updating the website and sketching out new design ideas. The majority of my afternoons are spent in the studio working on commissioned quilts — i.e., cutting fabric, sewing, ironing, quilting, binding, etc.
What were you doing before you launched Initial K?
I was designing in-house for Neiman Marcus — an absolute dream job, as I love anything and everything that has to do with the fashion world — but soon found myself burnt out creatively. I decided to take time off in May 2014 to regroup, and I launched Initial K Studio two months later. The modern quilting idea had been percolating in my mind for a while, and I decided it was the perfect time to take the entrepreneurial plunge.
When/how did you learn to quilt?
I started sewing six years ago as a creative outlet from my corporate job. One thing led to another, and I found myself designing/making baby quilts for friends and family.
How many quilts approximately have you made over the years?
Off the top of my head, I’d say 60-plus quilts over the past year and a half.
What’s your favorite piece ever?
My favorite piece is the Cascade Quilt. It launched my quilt patterns within the quilting industry. It’s the most requested commissioned quilt from my clients as well. Every time I make one, I’m amazed at the versatility of the design and colors combinations.
Is there a story behind your vintage sewing machine?
Yes! While home for Thanksgiving many years ago, I asked my mom to sew place mats for me, as I was hosting a holiday party with friends. Being the ever-resourceful mother, she taught me how to sew the place mats on the Singer Featherweight instead of making them for me herself. Needless to say, I loved the simplicity of sewing on the Featherweight and still use it today whenever I’m traveling.
Name your three favorite places to buy stock (or is that a trade secret)?
In Dallas, I buy most of my sewing supplies from Urban Spools. I also shop a few online retailers and wholesale fabric companies.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find in your desk drawer?
An alligator-skin wallet gifted to me by my Dad years ago that was the end result of an alligator-hunting trip in south Texas.
What’s in your mug/cup on your desk?
It’s filled with pens, pencils, markers, scissors and X-Acto knives.
Mac or PC?
Mac all the way.
Spotify or Pandora?
Take us out with your playlist.
Lord Huron, Willie Nelson, Thievery Corporation, Hozier and Chris Stapleton.
Photos by Kurt Griesbach