Layman Designs has been around for about 14 years. The company
was created when Teresa became a licensed designer for the
Vogue pattern company in 1992. Her collection of Vogue designs
includes exquisite children’s clothing, doll clothes
and a diverse array of craft patterns.
The company emerged in it’s current form in 2003
when Teresa was building a doll’s house and needed
a miniature “hooked” rug. Since needlework is
one of her stronger talents, she started with a needle and
thread, an encyclopedia of embroidery stitches and what
she thought would be a year’s worth of stitching.
Much to her surprise, the little rug that was created was
not only a very convincing, scale replica of a hooked rug,
but also had been very easy to make and was finished in
just a few days! So she made some more, this time experimenting
with other knots to see just how fine she could get them.
Teresa’s friend, Richard Palan encouraged her to
make kits for her minute creations and take them to a miniatures
show to sell. They were very well received, so she was in
In a quest to find the tiny needles to include in those
kits, Teresa took her samples to her local needlework shop,
in Glastonbury, CT. The shop owner, Judie was very impressed
and encouraged Teresa to market the kits to needlework shops
at trade shows. Judie helped with valuable information on
sources for supplies and advice on which would be the best
places to exhibit.
Teresa and her husband Ken jumped in with both feet! The
first needlework trade show was the TNNA show in Long Beach,
California. They were scared to death, but determined to
see if the needleworkers were ready for miniature knotwork
or if they would think this designer was CRAZY!
|Well, they loved it. By the time they got to
their second show in Columbus, OH, word had spread (who knew
that would happen?) and they were the talk of the show! Wow!
Something new in the world of needlearts! So, now Teresa spends
her time creating new designs for her miniature knotwork and
trying to wear all of the hats that come with running a small
business. She has help in her business from her very supportive
husband, daughter Karen and her friend Gretchen, not to mention
all the fairy godmothers she has acquired along the way!
is also the author of two books on the art of making gingerbread
houses, Gingerbread Things to Make and Bake (1992) and Gingerbread
For All Seasons (1997) as well as a book of sewing designs,
Handmade Baby Gifts (1999) all published by Harry N. Abrams,
Inc., New York.
Teresa’s dad was an inventor and so she grew up “giving-it-a-whirl.”
She is self-taught in the art of sewing and gingerbread
making, and considers herself very fortunate to be able
to work creating the art she loves the most.
She has appeared as a guest twice on the Food Network’s
program, In Food Today, demonstrating techniques for making
gingerbread houses, and was featured as a guest designer
(when she was 9 months pregnant!) on the program series
Sewing Today hosted by Nancy Flemming.
Teresa is inspired by all manner of things including antique
handworks, nature, architecture, scale miniatures and excellence
in work of all kinds. Her passion is in fine details and
she strives to include those details in all aspects of her