"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece." - John Ruskin
Legacy Quilts Mission
The personalized memory quilts designed and handmade by Legacy Quilts enable clients to preserve powerful memories and pass on history in an exquisitely tangible, functional and lasting way.
About the Artist
From northwestern Wisconsin, Legacy Quilts founder, Jennifer Olson-Hyatt holds a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees, (none of which involve quilting :) She spent years in various locations internationally and in the US in ‘corporate America’, after which she and her husband decided to move back to their small town roots, raise a family and make her dream of a memory quilting business a reality.
Jennifer and her husband have two daughters. The family built their dream home on a Northern Wisconsin lake, complete with a full quilting studio for Legacy Quilts.
To Jennifer, the most important thing in life is that she is doing what she loves, while enriching others by helping create and preserve treasured memories through custom quilts.
Inspiration and Motivation
While Legacy Quilts was officially launched in 2002, the genesis of the idea came in 1994, after Jennifer’s mother died of breast cancer at the age of 48. As the family cleared her mother’s effects, many clothing items were put aside, in the hope that someone might make ‘quilts of memories’ for each family member.
While Jennifer had always had an interest in art, at the time, she had little sewing experience. As time passed, Jennifer realized that she wanted to make the quilts, so true to her spirit, she dove in. What she experienced was a healing journey as each fabric memory was pieced into something beautiful, functional and lasting for her family.
Creativity blossomed in the new medium and quilting quickly became a passion, with a growing need to help others preserve such powerful memories. Jennifer notes that a great deal of positive energy is put into every creation. As a result, she loves seeing the wonder they inspire and truly understands the memories they hold.
Legacy Quilts is Oxygen’s “Build Your Own Business” Contest Winner
After launching Legacy Quilts in 2002, a friend encouraged Jennifer to enter the Oxygen Media “Build Your Own Business” Contest for female entrepreneurs. She submitted her business plan, and out of 12,000 entrants nationwide, Legacy Quilts was selected as one of four winners. As a winner, Legacy Quilts received a $10,000 business grant, an Office Max computer suite and a trip to New York City for a small business workshop. In addition, Oxygen came to Wisconsin to shoot segments for a special spot on the winners. See the segment below.