Professional quilter Karen Snyder is well known to Long Beach Peninsula residents and visitors as the owner of Anna Lena's Quilt Shop in downtown Long Beach. Snyder closed the shop in the fall of last year, but her business - and her reputation as a world-class quilter and designer is thriving.
Recently one of her quilting designs made the cover of the Summer 2009 issue of Quilts and More Magazine, a trade publication for quilting fans published by Better Homes and Gardens.
Snyder described the pattern as a type of design called a toile, which involves a reverse red and white motif.
She is the author of several books on quilting and sells her products through other quilt shops nationwide and online.
"My goal was to retire from retail when I was 55," she said. "Now I'm still designing fabric and writing quilting books and patterns."
Snyder turned her love of quilting into a business about 11 years ago.
"Quilting is enjoying a lot of popularity right now," she said. "It's been cyclical. The current interest started during the [U.S.] Bicentennial in 1976."
She also said the recession is bringing out the quilter in many customers.
"It's kind of a nesting thing for people," she said. "A lot of baby boomers are retiring and they are finding that they have the time to devote to hobbies."
Snyder also garnered media attention last year when she was chosen as a national spokesperson for Swiss sewing machine company Elna, to represent the firm's products in their ELNA USA line.