First up is the incredible sister duo - Lisa & Lora. They have an undeniable passion for quilting.
We are super thrilled and honored to be a part of the Michael Miller Ambassador team. Yep, we’re twins. I’m Lisa W. Norton, and my sister’s name is Lora W. Zmak. Together we’re a fun, dynamic quilting duo. Our scariest photo ever, last Halloween at the Houston Quilt Festival, we dressed as the Doublemint twins. I think we were more horrified than the Festival participants. We haven’t dressed alike since we were little – well, at least not on purpose!
Lora and I have been sewing since we were young, helping to sew our school clothes with our mother, Carolyn. But it wasn’t until 1999 that I decided to try quilting. With my neighbor Ingrid, I began a 30’s fabric block of the month program at my local quilt shop. Unknowingly, my sister Lora, living a 1000 miles away, decided to try quilting and began a 30’s fabric block of the month program with her friend, Inger. It’s a twin thing. We took to quilting like ducks to water. As artists, it wasn’t long before we were creating our own patterns and designs. Fast forward to 2012; we began Material Girlfriends Patterns.
After spending most of our adult life 1000 miles apart, a few years ago, Lora and her husband Kelly moved back to California and now reside in Clayton. Lora and Kelly have two beautiful daughters, one in Canada and one in Colorado. My husband, Michael, and I live in Discovery Bay, California. We have three handsome sons; two live in Discovery Bay, and one lives in Florida. Lora and I live just a half-hour from each other now, and we get together weekly for sewing and design fun.
A significant change for me this year was our family moved from Livermore to Discovery Bay. The new location is on Willow Lake, but the house is a major fixer upper. Currently, our husbands have been rebuilding a decrepit screen room into a lovely Material Girlfriends Headquarters with a stunning view of the lake. I can’t wait for it to be done!
On our favorites list: Italian food and Napa Valley wine. We both love our favorite photobombers, KC and Tucker. Lora’s cairn, Tucker, is a sweet old guy, and my “designer breed” (wink) KC is a spastic 10-year-old puppy. The dogs share a love/hate relationship. KC loves Tucker, and Tucker hates KC.
Besides quilting, we both enjoy home décor, remodeling, and road trips. Lora has a keen eye for photography. She spent this summer honing her skills, taking some beautiful shots of our quilts on our road trips. We drove up to Sisters Oregon for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show in July. In October, we drove to Colorado for Lora’s daughter’s gorgeous wedding. After the Mountenous-Wedding-of-the-Century, we drove south to Houston for Quilt Market and Festival. Along the way, if Lora saw the “perfect place” for a quilt photoshoot, she’d slam on the brakes and whip the truck and trailer around for a photo-op with her iPhone. The wind didn’t always cooperate.
I mentioned earlier that we were both artists. I have a BS degree in Graphic Design and Illustration, and I do most of the design work for our patterns. Lora has a BS degree in Interior Design and Textiles and lends her skills to color and fabrics, finishing our quilts with incredible stitching with her long-arm machine. We joke that it takes the two of us to make one complete quilter.
Our love of quilting is contagious and we both eagerly share our passion with new and used quilters by blogging, teaching, and lecturing at quilt shops, guilds, and shows.
Be sure to follow them to see all Michael Miller goodness they'll be sharing!
Facebook: @materialgirlfriends13, lisa.norton.361, lora.zmak
Pinterest: materialgirlfriend, lisawnorton, lorazmak
Instagram: material_girlfriends, lisa.norton.351
Web page: www.MaterialGirlfriends.com